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Political Economy of Public Education: Non-College-Bound Students

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  • Peltzman, Sam

Abstract

My previous research showed that two important changes in the political environment of public schools--growing teacher unionization and a shift of funding responsibility to state governments--adversely affected the performance of college-bound students. Here I show similar impacts for public school students who do not go to college. These effects are found in analyses of 1971-91 changes in a school performance measure derived from individual scores on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test. Comparative analysis of performance trends in different areas of the same state suggests that the adverse performance effects of teacher unionization and spending centralization stem from their impact on state educational policy rather than on the direct operation of schools. These adverse effects are also found for students in the lower tail of achievement and for black students. They are not plausibly related to broader political and social changes. Copyright 1996 by the University of Chicago.

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  • Peltzman, Sam, 1996. "Political Economy of Public Education: Non-College-Bound Students," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(1), pages 73-120, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:39:y:1996:i:1:p:73-120
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/467344
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-1177, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua Hall, 2007. "Local School Finance and Productive Efficiency: Evidence from Ohio," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 35(3), pages 289-301, September.
    2. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State versus Private Ownership," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 133-150, Fall.
    3. D. N. Figlio & J. A. Stone, "undated". "School Choice and Student Performance: Are Private Schools Really Better?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1141-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    4. Caroline M. Hoxby, 1999. "The Productivity of Schools and Other Local Public Goods Providers," NBER Working Papers 6911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jonathan Guryan, 2004. "Desegregation and Black Dropout Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 919-943, September.
    6. Christopher C. Klein, 2007. "Efficiency versus Effectiveness: Interpreting Education Production Studies," Working Papers 200703, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
    7. Hoxby, Caroline M., 1999. "The productivity of schools and other local public goods producers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-30, October.
    8. Michèle Belot & Dinand Webbink, 2010. "Do Teacher Strikes Harm Educational Attainment of Students?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(4), pages 391-406, December.
    9. Caroline M. Hoxby, 1995. "Is There an Equity-Efficiency Trade-Off in School Finance? Tiebout and a Theory of the Local Public Goods Producer," NBER Working Papers 5265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lott, Johnathan & Kenny, Lawrence W., 2013. "State teacher union strength and student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 93-103.

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