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Income Inequality, the Median Voter, and the Support for Public Education

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  • Sean Corcoran
  • William N. Evans

Abstract

Using 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 Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16097.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16097

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  6. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "Inequality and Violent Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 1-40, April.
  7. 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.
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  10. 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.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Are places with more income inequality more supportive of funding public education?
    by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-07-03 10:47:12
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Cited by:
  1. Ahmet Faruk Aysan, 2006. "The Role of Efficiency of Redistributive Institutions on Redistribution: An Empirical Assessment," Working Papers 2006/14, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
  2. Nora Gordon, 2013. "Explaining Trends in High School Graduation: The Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy Landscape and Income Inequality over the Last Half Century," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital in History: The American Record National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Andrey Timofeev, 2010. "The Long and Winding Road to Local Fiscal Equity in the United States: A Fifty Year Retrospective," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1027, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  4. Nora E. Gordon, 2013. "High School Graduation in the Context of Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy and Income Inequality: The Last Half Century," NBER Working Papers 19049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kathryn Wilson & Kristina Lambright & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2004. "School Finance, Equivalent Educational Expenditure, and Income Distribution: Equal Dollars or Equal Chances for Success?," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 62, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  6. Kosec, Katrina, 2014. "Relying on the private sector: The income distribution and public investments in the poor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 320-342.
  7. Fernando Albornoz & Samuel Berlinski & Antonio Cabrales, 2010. "Incentives, resources and the organization of the school system," Working Papers 2010-28, FEDEA.
  8. Ive Marx & Lina Salanauskaite & Gerlinde Verbist, 2013. "GINI DP 82: The paradox of redistribution revisited: and that it may rest in peace?," GINI Discussion Papers 82, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  9. William N. Evans & Craig Garthwaite & Timothy J. Moore, 2012. "The White/Black Educational Gap, Stalled Progress, and the Long Term Consequences of the Emergence of Crack Cocaine Markets," NBER Working Papers 18437, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Sarah J. Reber, 2013. "Comment on "Explaining Trends in High School Graduation: The Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy Landscape and Income Inequality over the Last Half Century"," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital in History: The American Record National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Neil Buckley & Katherine Cuff & Jeremiah Hurley & Stuart Mestelman & Stephanie Thomas & David Cameron, 2013. "Support for Public Provision with Top-Up and Opt-Out: A Controlled Laboratory Experiment," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-15, McMaster University.
  12. Leah P. Boustan & Carola Frydman & Robert Margo, 2013. "Introduction to "Human Capital in History: The American Record"," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital in History: The American Record National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Eric J. Brunner & Stephen L. Ross & Rebecca K. Simonsen, 2013. "Homeowners, Renters and the Political Economy of Property Taxation," Working papers 2013-30, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  14. Leah Platt Boustan & Fernando Ferreira & Hernan Winkler & Eric Zolt, 2010. "Income Inequality and Local Government in the United States, 1970-2000," NBER Working Papers 16299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Paololo Melindi Ghidi, 2012. "Income Inequality, School Choice and the Endogenous Gentrification of US Cities," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012006, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  16. Marx, Ive & Salanauskaite, Lina & Verbist, Gerlinde, 2013. "The Paradox of Redistribution Revisited: And That It May Rest in Peace?," IZA Discussion Papers 7414, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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