IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/jeurec/v16y2018i5p1618-1668..html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does Additional Spending Help Urban Schools? An Evaluation Using Boundary Discontinuities

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen Gibbons
  • Sandra McNally
  • Martina Viarengo

Abstract

This study exploits spatial anomalies in school funding policy in England to provide new evidence on the impact of resources on student achievement in urban areas. Anomalies arise because the funding allocated to Local Education Authorities (LEA) depends, through a funding formula, on the ‘additional educational needs’ of its population and prices in the district. However, the money each school receives from its LEA is not necessarily related to the school's own specific local conditions and constraints. This implies that neighbouring schools with similar intakes, operating in the same labour market, facing similar prices, but in different LEAs, can receive very different incomes. We find that these funding disparities give rise to sizeable differences in pupil attainment in national tests at the end of primary school, showing that school resources have an important role to play in improving educational attainment, especially for lower socio-economic groups. The design is geographical boundary discontinuity design which compares neighbouring schools, matched on a proxy for additional educational needs of its students (free school meal entitlement – FSM), in adjacent districts. The key identification requirement is one of conditional ignorability of the level of LEA grant, where conditioning is on geographical location of schools and their proportion of FSM children.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally & Martina Viarengo, 2018. "Does Additional Spending Help Urban Schools? An Evaluation Using Boundary Discontinuities," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(5), pages 1618-1668.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:16:y:2018:i:5:p:1618-1668.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeea/jvx038
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
    2. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
    3. Roy Roy, 2004. "Impact of School Finance Reform on Resource Equalization and Academic Performance: Evidence from Michigan," Working Papers 8, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs, Education Research Section..
    4. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
    5. Jo Blanden, 2009. "How Much Can We Learn from International Comparisons of Intergenerational Mobility?," CEE Discussion Papers 0111, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    6. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2013. "Valuing school quality using boundary discontinuity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 45246, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Henry G. Overman, 2011. "Assessing the Effects of Local Taxation using Microgeographic Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 1017-1046, September.
    8. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 588-638, August.
    9. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    10. Fack, Gabrielle & Grenet, Julien, 2010. "When do better schools raise housing prices? Evidence from Paris public and private schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 59-77, February.
    11. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement: New Evidence from Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285.
    12. Joshua Hyman, 2017. "Does Money Matter in the Long Run? Effects of School Spending on Educational Attainment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 256-280, November.
    13. Holmlund, Helena & McNally, Sandra & Viarengo, Martina, 2010. "Does money matter for schools?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1154-1164, December.
    14. Patrick J. Bayer & Robert McMillan, 2010. "Choice and Competition in Education Markets," Working Papers 10-47, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    15. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Costas Meghir, 2010. "Resources and Standards in Urban Schools," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 365-393.
    16. David Bell & Robert F. Elliott & Ada Ma & Anthony Scott & Elizabeth Roberts, 2007. "The Pattern And Evolution Of Geographical Wage Differentials In The Public And Private Sectors In Great Britain," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 75(4), pages 386-421, July.
    17. Krueger, Alan B & Whitmore, Diane M, 2001. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 1-28, January.
    18. Cushing, Brian J., 1984. "Capitalization of interjurisdictional fiscal differentials: An alternative approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 317-326, May.
    19. 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.
    20. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Ludger Wößmann, 2008. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 279-308, May.
    21. West, Anne, 2009. "Redistribution and financing schools in England under Labour: are resources going where needs are greatest?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 23893, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    22. Alan Krueger & Diane Whitmore, 1999. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Working Papers 806, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    23. Simon Burgess & Ellen Greaves & Anna Vignoles & Deborah Wilson, 2009. "Parental choice of primary school in England: what ‘type’ of school do parents choose?," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/224, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    24. C. Kirabo Jackson & Rucker C. Johnson & Claudia Persico, 2016. "The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(1), pages 157-218.
    25. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally, 2013. "The Effects of Resources Across School Phases: A Summary of Recent Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp1226, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    26. Jonathan Guryan, 2001. "Does Money Matter? Regression-Discontinuity Estimates from Education Finance Reform in Massachusetts," NBER Working Papers 8269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
    28. Cho, Hyunkuk & Glewwe, Paul & Whitler, Melissa, 2012. "Do reductions in class size raise students’ test scores? Evidence from population variation in Minnesota's elementary schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 77-95.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Four concerns about schools at the top of the election agenda
      by Sandra McNally, Professor in the School of Economics at University of Surrey in The Conversation on 2015-03-24 11:23:12

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Gibbons & Olmo Silva & Felix Weinhardt, 2017. "Neighbourhood Turnover and Teenage Attainment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 746-783.
    2. Stephen Gibbons & Henry G. Overman, 2012. "Mostly Pointless Spatial Econometrics?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 172-191, May.
    3. Eyles, Andrew & Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra, 2017. "Unexpected school reform: Academisation of primary schools in England," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 108-121.
    4. Gibbons, Steve & Overman, Henry G. & Patacchini, Eleonora, 2015. "Spatial Methods," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 115-168, Elsevier.
    5. Monique De Haan, 2017. "The Effect of Additional Funds for Low‐ability Pupils: A Non‐parametric Bounds Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(599), pages 177-198, February.
    6. Nicolai T. Borgen & Lars J. Kirkebøen & Andreas Kotsadam & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2022. "Do funds for more teachers improve student outcomes?," Discussion Papers 982, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    7. Nicoletti, Cheti & Rabe, Birgitta, 2012. "The effect of school resources on test scores in England," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-13, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Bassey Okon Ebi & Peter Samuel Ubi, 2017. "Education Expenditure and Access to Education: Case Study of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Declaration in Nigeria," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 7(5), pages 290-298.
    9. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally, 2012. "The Evaluation of English Education Policies," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 219(1), pages 15-25, January.
    10. Jules Gazeaud & Claire Ricard, 2021. "Conditional Cash Transfers and the Learning Crisis : Evidence from Tayssir Scale-up in Morocco," Working Papers hal-03137463, HAL.
    11. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Gill Wyness, 2013. "Education in a Devolved Scotland: A Quantitative Analysis," CEP Reports 30, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    12. D’Inverno, Giovanna & Smet, Mike & De Witte, Kristof, 2021. "Impact evaluation in a multi-input multi-output setting: Evidence on the effect of additional resources for schools," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 290(3), pages 1111-1124.
    13. Gibbons, Stephen & Overman, Henry G. & Nathan, Max, 2014. "Evaluating spatial policies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59230, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Silliman, Mikko, 2017. "Targeted Funding, Immigrant Background, and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Helsinki's “Positive Discrimination†Policy," Working Papers 91, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    15. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Nikhil Jha, 2016. "Educational Achievement and the Allocation of School Resources," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 49(3), pages 251-271, September.
    16. Ruth Lupton & Polina Obolenskaya, 2013. "Labour's Record on Education: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 1997-2010," CASE - Social Policy in a Cold Climate Working Paper 03, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    17. Gordon L. Clark, 2014. "Roepke Lecture in Economic Geography—Financial Literacy in Context," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(1), pages 1-23, January.
    18. Andrew Eyles & Stephen Gibbons & Piero Montebruno, 2020. "Covid-19 school shutdowns: what will they do to our children's education?," CEP Covid-19 Analyses cepcovid-19-001, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    19. Greaves, Ellen & Sibieta, Luke, 2019. "Constrained optimisation? Teacher salaries, school resources and student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    20. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally, 2013. "The Effects of Resources Across School Phases: A Summary of Recent Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp1226, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    21. repec:cep:spccrr:01 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Lupton, Ruth & Hills, John & Stewart, Kitty & Vizard, Polly, 2013. "Labour’s social policy record: policy, spending and outcomes 1997-2010," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51070, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Hægeland, Torbjørn & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2012. "Pennies from heaven? Using exogenous tax variation to identify effects of school resources on pupil achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 601-614.
    2. Holmlund, Helena & McNally, Sandra & Viarengo, Martina, 2010. "Does money matter for schools?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1154-1164, December.
    3. Thompson, Paul N., 2016. "School district and housing price responses to fiscal stress labels: Evidence from Ohio," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 54-72.
    4. Graham McKee & Katharine Sims & Steven Rivkin, 2015. "Disruption, learning, and the heterogeneous benefits of smaller classes," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1267-1286, May.
    5. Gigliotti, Philip & Sorensen, Lucy C., 2018. "Educational resources and student achievement: Evidence from the Save Harmless provision in New York State," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 167-182.
    6. Han, Joseph & Ryu, Keunkwan, 2017. "Effects of class size reduction in upper grades: Evidence from Seoul, Korea," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 68-85.
    7. Matthew M. Chingos & Kenneth A. Couch, 2013. "Class Size and Student Outcomes: Research and Policy Implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 411-438, March.
    8. Yang, Minseok & Lee, Ho Jun, 2022. "Do school resources reduce socioeconomic achievement gap? Evidence from PISA 2015," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    9. Stephen Gibbons & Sandra McNally, 2013. "The Effects of Resources Across School Phases: A Summary of Recent Evidence," CEP Discussion Papers dp1226, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Marie Connolly & Catherine Haeck, 2018. "Le lien entre la taille des classes et les compétences cognitives et non cognitives," CIRANO Project Reports 2018rp-18, CIRANO.
    11. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2013. "Valuing school quality using boundary discontinuities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 15-28.
    12. Maximilian Bach & Stephan Sievert, 2019. "Birth Cohort Size Variation and the Estimation of Class Size Effects," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1817, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Justman, Moshe, 2018. "Randomized controlled trials informing public policy: Lessons from project STAR and class size reduction," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 167-174.
    14. Luigi Benfratello & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Gilberto Turati, 2015. "Tracking in the Tracks in the Italian Schooling: Inequality Patterns in an Urban Context," Working papers 030, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    15. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2013. "Valuing school quality using boundary discontinuity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 45246, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Christian A. L. Hilber, 2017. "The Economic Implications of House Price Capitalization: A Synthesis," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 45(2), pages 301-339, April.
    17. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    18. Eric Brunner & Joshua Hyman & Andrew Ju, 2020. "School Finance Reforms, Teachers' Unions, and the Allocation of School Resources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 473-489, July.
    19. Maria De Paola & Michela Ponzo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2013. "Class size effects on student achievement: heterogeneity across abilities and fields," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 135-153, March.
    20. Christopher Jepsen, 2015. "Class size: Does it matter for student achievement?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 190-190, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:16:y:2018:i:5:p:1618-1668.. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/jeea .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Oxford University Press (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://academic.oup.com/jeea .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.