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Public School Finance in a General Equilibrium Tiebout World: Equalization Programs, Peer Effects and Private School Vouchers

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  • Thomas J. Nechyba

Abstract

This paper uses computable general equilibrium simulations to investigate the effect of private school vouchers. It improves on past computational approaches by (i) endogenizing the funding of public schools through the modelling of an explicit political process at the school district level; (ii) embedding the private/public school choice in a Tiebout model in which agents also choose between communities that provide different public school/property tax packages; and (iii) allowing for a variety of different public school financing mechanisms ranging from purely local financing and control all the way to pure state funding. While voucher programs are shown to increase school-based stratification of agents, they tend to decrease residence-based stratification. This implies that untargeted vouchers may be equity-enhancing under some institutional settings even when there are no direct improvements in public school efficiency from increased competition. Furthermore, the effects of targeting vouchers to low income districts may not differ significantly from the effects of untargeted voucher plans.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5642.

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Date of creation: Jun 1996
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Publication status: published as Nechyba, Thomas J. "What Can Be (and What Has Been) Learned From General Equilibrium Simulation Models Of School Finance?," National Tax Journal, 2003, v56(2,Jun), 387-414.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5642

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  1. Silva, Fabio & Sonstelie, Jon, 1995. "Did Serrano Cause a Decline in School Spending," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 199-215, June.
  2. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
  3. Richard Arnott & John Rowse, 1982. "Peer Group Effects and Educational Attainment," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 497, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Link, Charles R. & Mulligan, James G., 1991. "Classmates' effects on black student achievement in public school classrooms," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 297-310, December.
  6. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 4978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Amy B. Schmidt, 1992. "Private School Enrollment in Metropolitan Areas," Public Finance Review, , , vol. 20(3), pages 298-320, July.
  8. Nechyba, Thomas, 1996. "A computable general equilibrium model of intergovernmental aid," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 363-397, November.
  9. Toma, Eugenia Froedge, 1996. "Public Funding and Private Schooling across Countries," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(1), pages 121-48, April.
  10. Brueckner, Jan K. & Lee, Kangoh, 1989. "Club theory with a peer-group effect," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 399-420, August.
  11. Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 1979. "Market models of local government: Exit, voting, and the land market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 319-337, July.
  12. Thomas Nechyba, 1996. "Fiscal federalism and local public finance: A computable general equilibrium (CGE) framework," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 215-231, May.
  13. Hoyt, William H. & Lee, Kangoh, 1998. "Educational vouchers, welfare effects, and voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 211-228, June.
  14. Summers, Anita A & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1977. "Do Schools Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 639-52, September.
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