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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, GREDI and CIRANO)

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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File URL: http://gredi.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/wpapers/GREDI-0921.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 09-21.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:09-21

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

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References

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  1. 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, vol. 83(1), pages 49-82, January.
  2. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422, February.
  3. Hoxby, Caroline M., 1999. "The productivity of schools and other local public goods producers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-30, October.
  4. Nechyba, Thomas J., 2002. "Centralization, Fiscal Federalism and Privte School Attendance," Working Papers 02-11, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  5. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2001. "All School Finance Equalizations Are Not Created Equal," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1189-1231, November.
  6. Marcelin Joanis, 2009. "Intertwined Federalism: Accountability Problems under Partial Decentralization," CIRANO Working Papers 2009s-39, CIRANO.
  7. 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.
  8. George M. Holmes, . "Does school choice increase school quality?," Working Papers 0106, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  9. Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2005. "Does school accountability lead to improved student performance?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 297-327.
  10. Rainald Borck, 2008. "Central versus local education finance: a political economy approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 338-352, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Eric J. Brunner & Jon Sonstelie, 2006. "California's School Finance Reform: An Experiment in Fiscal Federalism," Working papers 2006-09, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
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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" SP II 2012-107, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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