IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/edfpol/v2y2007i4p341-375.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does School District Consolidation Cut Costs?

Author

Listed:
  • William Duncombe

    (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)

  • John Yinger

    () (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)

Abstract

Consolidation has dramatically reduced the number of school districts in the United States. Using data from rural school districts in New York, this article provides the first direct estimation of consolidation's cost impacts. We find economies of size in operating spending: all else equal, doubling enrollment cuts operating costs per pupil by 61.7 percent for a 300-pupil district and by 49.6 percent for a 1,500-pupil district. Consolidation also involves large adjustment costs, however. These adjustment costs, which are particularly large for capital spending, lower net cost savings to 31.5 percent and 14.4 percent for a 300-pupil and a 1,500-pupil district, respectively. Overall, consolidation makes fiscal sense, particularly for very small districts, but states should avoid subsidizing unwarranted capital projects. © 2007 American Education Finance Association

Suggested Citation

  • William Duncombe & John Yinger, 2007. "Does School District Consolidation Cut Costs?," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 341-375, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:2:y:2007:i:4:p:341-375
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/edfp.2007.2.4.341
    Download Restriction: Access to PDF is restricted to subscribers.

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-229, April.
    2. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Estimating the social return to higher education: evidence from longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 175-212.
    3. Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
    4. W. Lee Hansen & Burton A. Weisbrod, 1969. "The Distribution of Costs and Direct Benefits of Public Higher Education: The Case of California," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 4(2), pages 176-191.
    5. Pechman, Joseph A, 1972. "Note on the Intergenerational Transfer of Public Higher-Education Benefits," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 256-259, Part II, .
    6. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
    7. Gordon C. Winston & Yen, I.C., 1995. "Costs, Prices, Subsidies, and Aid in U.S. Higher Education," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-32, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    8. Hansen, W Lee, 1970. "Income Distribution Effects of Higher Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(2), pages 335-340, May.
    9. Gordon C. Winston, 1995. "Capital and Capital Service Costs in 2700 US Colleges and Universities," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-33, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    10. W. Lee Hansen & Burton A. Weisbrod, 1971. "On the Distribution of Costs and Benefits of Public Higher Education: Reply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 6(3), pages 363-374.
    11. Hartman, Robert W, 1972. "Equity Implications of State Tuition Policy and Student Loans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 142-171, Part II, .
    12. Johnson, George E, 1984. "Subsidies for Higher Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 303-318, July.
    13. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1999. "General Equilibrium Cost Benefit Analysis of Education and Tax Policies," NBER Working Papers 6881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Gary A. Moore, 1978. "Equity Effects of Higher Education Finance and Tuition Grants in New York State," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 13(4), pages 482-501.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. repec:ces:ifodre:v:24:y:2016:i:04:p:45-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Roesel, Felix, 2017. "Do mergers of large local governments reduce expenditures? – Evidence from Germany using the synthetic control method," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, pages 22-36.
    3. Felix Rösel, 2016. "Sparen Gebietsreformen Geld? - Ein Überblick über aktuelle Studien," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 23(04), pages 45-49, August.
    4. Phuong Nguyen-Hoang, 2014. "Tax Increment Financing and Education Expenditures: The Case of Iowa," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, pages 515-540.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school district consolidation;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

    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:tpr:edfpol:v:2:y:2007:i:4:p:341-375. 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: (Kristin Waites). General contact details of provider: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/ .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.