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Sharing the Blame? Local Electoral Accountability and Centralized School Finance in California

Listed author(s):
  • Marcelin Joanis

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 districts 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://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecpo.12015
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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics & Politics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 335-359

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:25:y:2013:i:3:p:335-359
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  1. Rainald Borck, 2008. "Central versus local education finance: a political economy approach," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(3), pages 338-352, June.
  2. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422.
  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. George M. Holmes, "undated". "Does school choice increase school quality?," Working Papers 0106, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2001. "All School Finance Equalizations are Not Created Equal," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1189-1231.
  7. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2003. "Centralization, Fiscal Federalism, and Private School Attendance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 179-204, February.
  8. Marcelin Joanis, 2008. "Intertwined Federalism: Accountability Problems under Partial Decentralization," Cahiers de recherche 08-22, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  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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