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Bureaucracy and student performance in US public schools

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  • Michael Marlow

Abstract

This paper tests the hypothesis that monopoly power of school districts allows bureaucratic expansion and fosters poor academic performance in the public school system in California. Evidence indicates that monopoly power is positively associated with employment of administrators and teachers, and therefore supports the bureaucratic expansion hypothesis. While numbers of teachers do not influence performance measures, numbers of administrators are shown to positively affect performance - results that suggest that too many teachers, but too few administrators, are employed. While bureaucracy theory may explain the resource misallocation, other reasons might include rising public pressures on hiring teachers over administrators, spending equalization policies, and the weak California economy in the period under investigation.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Marlow, 2001. "Bureaucracy and student performance in US public schools," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(10), pages 1341-1350.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:33:y:2001:i:10:p:1341-1350
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840010005229
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew Higgins & Daniel Levy & Andrew Young, 2003. "Growth and Convergence across the U.S.: Evidence from County-level Data," Emory Economics 0306, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    2. Young, Andrew T. & Higgins, Matthew J. & Levy, Daniel, 2013. "Heterogeneous convergence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 238-241.
    3. Andrew T. Young & Matthew J. Higgins & Daniel Levy, 2004. "Heterogeneity in Convergence Rates and Income Determination across U.S. States: Evidence from County-Level Data," Working Papers 2004-1, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    4. Andrew T. Young & Daniel Levy & Matthew J. Higgins, 2004. "Many Types of Human Capital and Many Roles in U.S. Growth: Evidence from County-Level Educational Attainment Data," Working Papers 2004-05, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    5. Haelermans, Carla & De Witte, Kristof, 2012. "The role of innovations in secondary school performance – Evidence from a conditional efficiency model," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 223(2), pages 541-549.

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