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How Information Affects Support for Education Spending: Evidence from Survey Experiments in Germany and the United States

Author

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  • Martin R. West
  • Ludger Woessmann

    ()

  • Philipp Lergetporer

    ()

  • Katharina Werner

Abstract

To study whether current spending levels and public knowledge of them contribute to transatlantic differences in policy preferences, we implement parallel survey experiments in Germany and the United States. In both countries, support for increased education spending and teacher salaries falls when respondents receive information about existing levels. Treatment effects vary by prior knowledge in a manner consistent with information effects rather than priming. Support for salary increases is inversely related to salary levels across American states, suggesting that salary differences could explain much of Germans’ lower support for increases. Information about the tradeoffs between specific spending categories shifts preferences from class-size reduction towards alternative purposes.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin R. West & Ludger Woessmann & Philipp Lergetporer & Katharina Werner, 2016. "How Information Affects Support for Education Spending: Evidence from Survey Experiments in Germany and the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6192, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6192
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Philipp Lergetporer & Guido Schwerdt & Katharina Werner & Ludger Woessmann, 2016. "Information and Preferences for Public Spending: Evidence from Representative Survey Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 5938, CESifo.
    10. Althaus, Scott L., 1998. "Information Effects in Collective Preferences," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 92(3), pages 545-558, September.
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    15. Michael B. Henderson & Philipp Lergetporer & Paul E. Peterson & Katharina Werner & Martin R. West & Ludger Woessmann, 2015. "Is Seeing Believing? How Americans and Germans Think about their Schools," ifo Working Paper Series 202, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Grewenig, Elisabeth & Lergetporer, Philipp & Simon, Lisa & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2018. "Can Online Surveys Represent the Entire Population?," IZA Discussion Papers 11799, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Educational inequality and public policy preferences: Evidence from representative survey experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    3. Busemeyer, Marius R. & Lergetporer, Philipp & Woessmann, Ludger, 2018. "Public opinion and the political economy of educational reforms: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 161-185.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    policy preferences; cross-country comparison; Germany; United States; education spending; information; survey experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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