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Racial Segregation and Public School Expenditure

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  • La Ferrara, Eliana
  • Mele, Angelo

Abstract

This paper explores the effect of racial segregation on public school expenditure in US metropolitan areas and school districts. Our starting point is the literature that relates public good provision to the degree of racial fragmentation in the community. We argue that looking at fragmentation alone may be misleading and that the geographic distribution of different racial groups needs to be taken into account. Greater segregation is associated with more homogeneity in some subareas and more heterogeneity in others, and this matters if decisions on spending are taken at aggregation levels lower than the MSA. For given fragmentation, the extent of segregation conveys information on households’ possibility to sort into relatively more or less homogeneous jurisdictions. We account for the potential endogeneity of racial segregation and find that the latter has a positive impact on average public school expenditure both at the MSA and at the district level. At the same time, increased segregation leads to more inequality in spending across districts of the same MSA, thus worsening the relative position of poorer districts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5750.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5750

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Keywords: public school expenditure; racial fragmentation; segregation;

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References

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  1. Jonathan Guryan, 2001. "Desegregation and Black Dropout Rates," NBER Working Papers 8345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "Does Competition among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1209-1238, December.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 1999. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," NBER Working Papers 7155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Rajiv Sethi & Rohini Somanathan, 2001. "Inequality and Segregation," Microeconomics 0108005, EconWPA.
  5. Brasington, David M., 1999. "Joint provision of public goods: the consolidation of school districts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 373-393, September.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
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  10. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & Caroline Hoxby, 2002. "Political Jurisdictions in Heterogeneous Communities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1949, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  14. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1997. "The Determinants of Public Education Expenditures: Evidence from the States, 1950-1990," NBER Working Papers 5995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  16. Collins, Wiiliam J., 1997. "When the Tide Turned: Immigration and the Delay of the Great Black Migration," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(03), pages 607-632, September.
  17. Robert A. Margo, 1988. "Schooling and the Great Migration," NBER Working Papers 2697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "The Pursuit of Opportunity: Explaining Selective Black Migration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 391-417, May.
  19. Epple, Dennis & Filimon, Radu & Romer, Thomas, 1984. "Equilibrium among local jurisdictions: toward an integrated treatment of voting and residential choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 281-308, August.
  20. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 237-64, April.
  21. Card, David & Payne, A. Abigail, 2002. "School finance reform, the distribution of school spending, and the distribution of student test scores," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 49-82, January.
  22. Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & Rider, Mark & Walker, Mary Beth, 1997. "Race and the Structure of School Districts in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 281-300, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Uslaner, Eric, 2011. "Contact, Diversity, and Segregation," SULCIS Working Papers 2011:5, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2004. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Development Working Papers 193, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  3. James Andreoni & A. Abigail Payne & Justin Smith & David Karp, 2013. "Diversity and Donations: The Effect of Religious and Ethnic Diversity on Charitable Giving," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-11, McMaster University.
  4. Marianna Battaglia & Lara Lebedinski, 2014. "The Curse of Low Aspirations: Remedial Education and Perceived Returns to Education of Roma People," Working Papers. Serie AD 2014-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  5. Elena Fumagalli & laura Fumagalli, 2009. "Like oil and water or chocolate and peanut butter? Ethnic diversity and social participation of young people in England," Working Papers 2009_21, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  6. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2008. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 14316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. James Andreoni & Abigail Payne & Justin Smith & David Karp, . "Diversity and Donations: The Effect of Religious and Ethnic Diversity on Charitable GivingAbstract: Using 10-year neighborhood-level panels derived from personal tax records in Canada, we find that lo," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 12/289, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.

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