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School Finance Reform: Assessing General Equilibrium Effects

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  • Dennis N. Epple
  • Maria Marta Ferreyra
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    Abstract

    In 1994 the state of Michigan implemented one of the most comprehensive school finance reforms undertaken to date in any of the states. Understanding the effects of the reform is thus of value in informing other potential reform initiatives. In addition, the reform and associated changes in the economic environment provide an opportunity to assess whether a simple general equilibrium model can be of value in framing the study of such reform initiatives. In this paper, we present and use such a model to derive predictions about the effects of the reform on housing prices and neighborhood demographic compositions. Broadly, our analysis implies that the effects of the reform and changes in the economic environment are likely to have been reflected primarily in housing prices and only modestly on neighborhood demographics. We find that evidence for the Detroit metropolitan area from the decade encompassing the reform is largely consistent with the predictions of the model.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13524.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2007
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    Publication status: published as Epple, Dennis & Ferreyra, Maria Marta, 2008. "School finance reform: Assessing general equilibrium effects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1326-1351, June.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13524

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    1. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano, 2000. "Neighborhood Schools, Choice, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Loeb, Susanna, 2001. "Estimating the effects of school finance reform: a framework for a federalist system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 225-247, May.
    3. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1999. "Equity and Resources: An Analysis of Education Finance Systems," NBER Working Papers 7111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2002. "The Promise and Pitfalls of Using Imprecise School Accountability Measures," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 91-114, Fall.
    5. Jesse M. Rothstein, 2006. "Good Principals or Good Peers? Parental Valuation of School Characteristics, Tiebout Equilibrium, and the Incentive Effects of Competition among Jurisdictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1333-1350, September.
    6. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," NBER Working Papers 8598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Papke, Leslie E., 2005. "The effects of spending on test pass rates: evidence from Michigan," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 821-839, June.
    8. Paul N. Courant & Susanna Loeb, 1997. "Centralization of school finance in Michigan," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 114-136.
    9. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1998. "Public Education and Income Distribution: A Dynamic Quantitative Evaluation of Education-Finance Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 813-33, September.
    10. Jan K. Brueckner & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2005. "Gentrification and Neighborhood Housing Cycles: Will America's Future Downtowns be Rich?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1579, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Dennis Epple & Holger Sieg, 1999. "Estimating Equilibrium Models of Local Jurisdictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 645-681, August.
    12. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
    13. Aaronson, Daniel, 1999. "The Effect of School Finance Reform on Population Heterogeneity," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 1), pages 5-29, March.
    14. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," NBER Working Papers 11627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2000. "Mobility, Targeting, and Private-School Vouchers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 130-146, March.
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