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Racial Segregation and Public School Expenditure

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  • La Ferrara, Eliana
  • Mele, Angelo

Abstract

This paper explores the effect of racial segregation on public school expenditure in US metropolitan areas and school districts. Our starting point is the literature that relates public good provision to the degree of racial fragmentation in the community. We argue that looking at fragmentation alone may be misleading and that the geographic distribution of different racial groups needs to be taken into account. Greater segregation is associated with more homogeneity in some subareas and more heterogeneity in others, and this matters if decisions on spending are taken at aggregation levels lower than the MSA. For given fragmentation, the extent of segregation conveys information on households’ possibility to sort into relatively more or less homogeneous jurisdictions. We account for the potential endogeneity of racial segregation and find that the latter has a positive impact on average public school expenditure both at the MSA and at the district level. At the same time, increased segregation leads to more inequality in spending across districts of the same MSA, thus worsening the relative position of poorer districts.

Suggested Citation

  • La Ferrara, Eliana & Mele, Angelo, 2006. "Racial Segregation and Public School Expenditure," CEPR Discussion Papers 5750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5750
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
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    Cited by:

    1. Battaglia, Marianna & Chabé-Ferret, Bastien & Lebedinski, Lara, 2017. "Segregation and Fertility: The Case of the Roma in Serbia," IZA Discussion Papers 10929, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1872-1911, August.
    4. Uslaner, Eric, 2011. "Contact, Diversity, and Segregation," SULCIS Working Papers 2011:5, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
    5. Andreoni, James & Payne, A. Abigail & Smith, Justin & Karp, David, 2016. "Diversity and donations: The effect of religious and ethnic diversity on charitable giving," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 47-58.
    6. Speciale, Biagio, 2012. "Does immigration affect public education expenditures? Quasi-experimental evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 773-783.
    7. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Nuhu, Ahmed Salim, 2015. "Ethnic Diversity and Educational Attainment," EconStor Conference Papers 125567, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    8. Marianna Battaglia & Lara Lebedinski, 2014. "The Curse of Low Aspirations: Remedial Education and Perceived Returns to Education of Roma People," Working Papers. Serie AD 2014-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    9. Thomas Masterson & Ajit Zacharias & Fernando Rios-Avila & Edward N. Wolff, 2017. "The Great Recession and Racial Inequality: Evidence from Measures of Economic Well-Being," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_880, Levy Economics Institute.
    10. Elena Fumagalli & laura Fumagalli, 2009. "Like oil and water or chocolate and peanut butter? Ethnic diversity and social participation of young people in England," Working Papers 2009_21, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    11. Mele, Angelo, 2013. "Poisson indices of segregation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 65-85.
    12. Hinrichs, Peter, 2014. "An Empirical Analysis of Racial Segregation in Higher Education," Working Paper 1435, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public school expenditure; racial fragmentation; segregation;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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