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Economic inequality and the provision of schooling

Author

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  • Thomas A. Downes
  • David N. Figlio

Abstract

This paper was presented at the conference "Unequal incomes, unequal outcomes? Economic inequality and measures of well-being" as part of session 3, "Education and crime in urban neighborhoods." The conference was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on May 7, 1999. The authors examine the empirical evidence on the relationship between school finance reform and student outcomes, review the economic literature in the field, and present new evidence of the effects of reform on community and school composition. They argue that if one's goal is to reduce income inequality substantially, one should not look to school finance reform as a particularly effective policy instrument. Even the most optimistic estimates of the impact of school finance reform on the distribution of student performance indicate that these effects are relatively small. Furthermore, the authors note that these small gains may come at a cost - the movement of higher income families into private sector schools, a development that would lead to less diversity within the public schools.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas A. Downes & David N. Figlio, 1999. "Economic inequality and the provision of schooling," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 99-110.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:y:1999:i:sep:p:99-110:n:v.5no.3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Figlio, David N. & Fletcher, Deborah, 2012. "Suburbanization, demographic change and the consequences for school finance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1144-1153.
    2. Carlton Pomeroy & Steve Jacob, 2004. "From Mangos to Manufacturing: Uneven Development and Its Impact on Social Well-being in the Dominican Republic," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 73-107, January.
    3. Ana Liberato & Carlton Pomeroy & Dana Fennell, 2006. "Well-Being Outcomes in Bolivia: Accounting for the Effects of Ethnicity and Regional Location," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 76(2), pages 233-262, April.
    4. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Justman, Moshe, 2003. "The political economy of school choice: linking theory and evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 277-308, September.

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    Keywords

    Income distribution ; Income ; Education;

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