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An Empirical Framework for Large-Scale Policy Analysis, with an Application to School Finance Reform in Michigan

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  • Maria Marta Ferreyra

Abstract

In this paper, I develop an empirical framework for the analysis of large-scale policies, and apply it to study the effects of school finance reform on the Detroit metropolitan area. Exploiting school finance reform in Michigan in 1994, I estimate a general equilibrium model of multiple jurisdictions with 1990 data from Detroit, predict the 2000 equilibrium, and compare this prediction with 2000 data to validate the model. I conduct counterfactual simulations using the estimates. According to my analysis, feasible revenue-based reforms that ensure spending equity or adequacy have little impact on school quality or household demographics in Detroit. (JEL H75, I22)

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Marta Ferreyra, 2009. "An Empirical Framework for Large-Scale Policy Analysis, with an Application to School Finance Reform in Michigan," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 147-180, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:147-80
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.1.1.147
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maria Marta Ferreyra, 2007. "Estimating the Effects of Private School Vouchers in Multidistrict Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 789-817, June.
    2. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 2003. "Equity and Resources: An Analysis of Education Finance Systems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 858-897, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Lise, Jeremy & Seitz, Shannon & Smith, Jeffrey, 2003. "Equilibrium Policy Experiments and the Evaluation of Social Programs," Queen's Economics Department Working Papers 273439, Queen's University - Department of Economics.
    5. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1384-1417, December.
    6. Joydeep Roy, 2011. "Impact of School Finance Reform on Resource Equalization and Academic Performance: Evidence from Michigan," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(2), pages 137-167, April.
    7. Jeremy Lise & Shannon Seitz & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "Equilibrium Policy Experiments and the Evaluation of Social Programs," Working Papers 1012, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    8. Joydeep Roy, 2004. "Effect of a School Finance Reform on Housing Stock and Residential Segregation: Evidence from Proposal A in Michigan," Public Economics 0412004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Dee, Thomas S, 2000. "The Capitalization of Education Finance Reforms," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 185-214, April.
    10. Nechyba, Thomas J, 1999. " School Finance Induced Migration and Stratification Patterns: The Impact of Private School Vouchers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(1), pages 5-50.
    11. Daniel M. Koretz, 2002. "Limitations in the Use of Achievement Tests as Measures of Educators' Productivity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 752-777.
    12. Downes, Thomas A., 1992. "Evaluating the Impact of School Finance Reform on the Provision of Public Education: The California Case," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 45(4), pages 405-419, December.
    13. 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.
    14. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Kim Rueben, 2004. "An Equilibrium Model of Sorting in an Urban Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 10865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 1998. "School Finance Reform: Aid Formulas and Equity Objectives," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(2), pages 239-262, June.
    16. Holger Sieg & V. Kerry Smith & H. Spencer Banzhaf & Randy Walsh, 2004. "Estimating The General Equilibrium Benefits Of Large Changes In Spatially Delineated Public Goods," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1047-1077, November.
    17. 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.
    18. Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 1998. "School Finance Reform: Aid Formulas and Equity Objectives," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 2), pages 239-62, June.
    19. Downes, Thomas A., 1992. "Evaluating the Impact of School Finance Reform on the Provision of Public Education: The California Case," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(4), pages 405-19, December.
    20. 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.
    21. Stiglitz, J. E., 1974. "The demand for education in public and private school systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 349-385, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tra, Constant I., 2010. "A discrete choice equilibrium approach to valuing large environmental changes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 183-196, February.
    2. Debra Hevenstone & Ben Jann, 2016. "Fiscal Federalism and Tax Equalization: The potential for progressive local taxes," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 19, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.
    3. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Ross, Stephen L., 2015. "Change and Persistence in the Economic Status of Neighborhoods and Cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    4. H. Allen Klaiber & V. Kerry Smith, 2013. "Developing general equilibrium benefit analyses for social programs: an introduction and example," Chapters,in: Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis, chapter 6, pages 194-246 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Chakrabarti, Rajashri & Roy, Joydeep, 2015. "Housing markets and residential segregation: Impacts of the Michigan school finance reform on inter- and intra-district sorting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 110-132.
    6. Johnson, Erik & Walsh, Randall, 2013. "The effect of property taxes on vacation home growth rates: Evidence from Michigan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 740-750.
    7. Tomoaki Kotera & Ananth Seshadri, 2017. "Educational Policy and Intergenerational Policy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 187-207, April.
    8. Nicolai V. Kuminoff & V. Kerry Smith & Christopher Timmins, 2010. "The New Economics of Equilibrium Sorting and its Transformational Role for Policy Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 16349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Chakrabarti, Rajashri & Roy, Joydeep, 2016. "Do charter schools crowd out private school enrollment? Evidence from Michigan," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 88-103.
    10. Constant Tra, 2009. "Title: A Discrete Choice Equilibrium Approach to Valuing Large Environmental Changes," Working Papers 0922, University of Nevada, Las Vegas , Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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