Income Inequality, the Median Voter, and the Support for Public Education
AbstractUsing a panel of U.S. school districts spanning 1970 – 2000, we examine the relationship between income inequality and fiscal support for public education. In contrast with recent theoretical and empirical work suggesting a negative relationship between inequality and public spending, we find results consistent with a median voter model, in which inequality that reduces the median voter’s tax share induces higher local spending on public education. We estimate that 12 to 22 percent of the increase in local school spending over this period is attributable to rising inequality.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16097.
Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-06-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2010-06-26 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2010-06-26 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2010-06-26 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2010-06-26 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-URE-2010-06-26 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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