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Central versus Local Education Finance: A Political Economy Approach

  • Rainald Borck

This paper models voters' preferences over central versus local education policies when there are private alternatives. Education is financed by income taxes and individuals are mobile between communities. Public education levels are chosen by majority vote. Contrary to conventional wisdom, centralisation may benefit the rich and poor, while the middle class prefer decentralised education. The model is also extended to include peer effects. Peer effects increase the support for central school finance, even in the community with good public schools.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.44135.de/dp565.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 565.

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Length: 19 p.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp565
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  1. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gérard, 1995. "The Break up of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Cohen-Zada, Danny & Justman, Moshe, 2003. "The political economy of school choice: linking theory and evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 277-308, September.
  3. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2003. "Centralization, Fiscal Federalism, and Private School Attendance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 179-204, February.
  4. Nechyba, Thomas J., 2002. "School Finance, Spatial Income Segregation and the Nature of Communities," Working Papers 02-17, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  5. JOUVET, Pierre-André & MICHEL, Philippe & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Public and private environmental spending: a political economy approach," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2060, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  7. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider & Felix Büchel, 2003. "The Effect of Central Exit Examinations on Student Achievement: Quasi-experimental Evidence from TIMSS Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 939, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1999. "Equity and Resources: An Analysis of Education Finance Systems," NBER Working Papers 7111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1995. "Education Finance Reform and Investment in Human Capital: Lessons from California," NBER Working Papers 5369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
  11. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  12. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  13. Hansen, Nico A. & Kessler, Anke S., 2001. "(Non-)Existence of Equilibria in Multicommunity Models," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 418-435, November.
  14. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  15. Stiglitz, J. E., 1974. "The demand for education in public and private school systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 349-385, November.
  16. Nechyba, Thomas J, 1999. " School Finance Induced Migration and Stratification Patterns: The Impact of Private School Vouchers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(1), pages 5-50.
  17. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
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