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Sharing the blame? Local electoral accountability and centralized school finance in California

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  • Marcelin Joanis

    ()
    (Université de Sherbrooke)

Abstract

While electoral accountability should be stronger when responsibilities are clearly assigned to one political office, the involvement of higher tiers of government is often associated with policies specifically designed to improve local accountability. This paper investigates the impact of centralization on local electoral accountability in the context of California’s school finance system. Results show that voters are responsive to differences in dropout rates and pupil-teacher ratios, and that incumbents are less likely to be reelected when a district’s degree of centralization is high. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 appears to have sharpened local electoral accountability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2009/33.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2009/10/doc2009-33

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Keywords: centralization; accountability; school finance; local elections; shared responsibility; No Child Left Behind;

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  1. George M. Holmes, . "Does school choice increase school quality?," Working Papers, East Carolina University, Department of Economics 0106, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  2. Marcelin Joanis, 2009. "Intertwined Federalism: Accountability Problems under Partial Decentralization," CIRANO Working Papers, CIRANO 2009s-39, CIRANO.
  3. Rainald Borck, 2008. "Central versus local education finance: a political economy approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 338-352, June.
  4. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2001. "Centralization, Fiscal Federalism and Private School Attendance," NBER Working Papers 8355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Eric J. Brunner & Jon Sonstelie, 2006. "California's School Finance Reform: An Experiment in Fiscal Federalism," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2006-09, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  6. Justine S. Hastings & Jeffrey M. Weinstein, 2007. "No Child Left Behind: Estimating the Impact on Choices and Student Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 13009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422, February.
  8. Hoxby, Caroline M., 1999. "The productivity of schools and other local public goods producers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-30, October.
  9. Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2004. "Does School Accountability Lead to Improved Student Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2001. "All School Finance Equalizations Are Not Created Equal," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1189-1231, November.
  11. 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, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 49-82, January.
  12. Derek Neal & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Left Behind By Design: Proficiency Counts and Test-Based Accountability," NBER Working Papers 13293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2012. "Party cues in elections under multilevel governance: Theory and evidence from US states," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism", Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) SP II 2012-107, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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