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Economies of scale, school violence and the optimal size of schools

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  • J. S. Ferris
  • E. G. West

Abstract

This article argues that policy in relation to education has relied too extensively on the more easily measured costs of production to support a common conclusion of economies of scale in school and/or district size. It argues that there are external costs that increase with size but that can be measured less easily that offset this case. This would imply that the tendency within the education profession to advocate ever-larger school sizes is premature at best. To make the case, it models the choice of school size to emphasize that costs, such as school violence, born by both students and their parents but not (necessarily) by education administrators may result in school sizes that are too big from the perspective of school users. The second and third parts of the article introduces evidence to suggest that school violence is one of these external costs.

Suggested Citation

  • J. S. Ferris & E. G. West, 2004. "Economies of scale, school violence and the optimal size of schools," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(15), pages 1677-1684.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:36:y:2004:i:15:p:1677-1684 DOI: 10.1080/0003684042000266856
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert G. Chambers & Utpal Vasavada, 1983. "Testing Asset Fixity for U.S. Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 65(4), pages 761-769.
    2. Falk, Barry L., 1991. "Formally Testing the Present Value Model of Farmland Prices," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11093, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Fontnouvelle, P. de & Lence, Sergio H., 2002. "Transaction Costs and the Present Value," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5263, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    4. Susan M. Capalbo & Michael Denny, 1985. "Testing Long-Run Productivity Models for the Canadian and U.S. Agricultural Sectors," NBER Working Papers 1764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Charles B. Moss, 1997. "Returns, Interest Rates, and Inflation: How They Explain Changes in Farmland Values," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(4), pages 1311-1318.
    6. Allen M. Featherstone & Timothy G. Baker, 1987. "An Examination of Farm Sector Real Asset Dynamics: 1910–85," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 69(3), pages 532-546.
    7. Jean-Paul Chavas & Alban Thomas, 1999. "A Dynamic Analysis of Land Prices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 772-784.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Saïd Hanchane & Tarek Mostafa, 2007. "School Choice : income, Peer effect and the formation of Inequalities," Working Papers halshs-00009533, HAL.
    2. Anderson, D. Mark & Hansen, Benjamin & Walker, Mary Beth, 2013. "The minimum dropout age and student victimization," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 66-74.
    3. Leung, Ambrose & Ferris, J. Stephen, 2008. "School size and youth violence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 318-333.
    4. Tarek Mostafa & Saïd Hanchane, 2007. "Educational Quality, Communities, and Public School Choice: a Theoretical Analysis," Working Papers halshs-00177630, HAL.
    5. Wei, Hsi-Sheng & Williams, James Herbert & Chen, Ji-Kang & Chang, Hsiu-Yu, 2010. "The effects of individual characteristics, teacher practice, and school organizational factors on students' bullying: A multilevel analysis of public middle schools in Taiwan," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 137-143, January.
    6. Gabriela Schütz, 2009. "Educational institutions and equality of opportunity," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 34, April.
    7. Schwartz, Amy Ellen & Stiefel, Leanna & Wiswall, Matthew, 2016. "Are all schools created equal? Learning environments in small and large public high schools in New York City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 272-290.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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