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Centralization, Fiscal Federalism and Privte School Attendance

  • Nechyba, Thomas J.

This paper uses a computational general equilibrium model to analyze the impact of public school finance regimes on rates of private school attendance. It is shown that, when viewed in such a general equilibrium context, state intervention in local financed systems can have somewhat unexpected and counterintuitive effects on the level of private school attendance. In particular, the common perception that centralization of public school finance will necessarily lead to greater private school attendance is no longer correct when general equilibrium forces are taken into account, even when that centralization involves an extreme equalization of the kind observed in California. Furthermore, if centralization occurs through less dramatic means that allow for some remaining discretion on the part of local districts, declines in private school attendance become much more unambiguous and pronounced. These results then weaken the speculation that low exit rates to private schools in centralizing states imply that general public school quality does not drop as a result of such centralization.

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Paper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 02-11.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:02-11
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  1. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1998. "Public Education and Income Distribution: A Dynamic Quantitative Evaluation of Education-Finance Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 813-33, September.
  2. Thomas A. Downes, 1996. "Do Differences in Heterogeneity and Intergovernmental Competition Help Explain Variation in the Private School Share? Evidence From Early California Statehood," Public Finance Review, , vol. 24(3), pages 291-318, July.
  3. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Dennis Epple & Holger Sieg, 1999. "Estimating Equilibrium Models of Local Jurisdictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 645-681, August.
  5. Thomas J. Nechyba, 1996. "Local Property and State Income Taxes: The Role of Interjurisdictional Competition and Collusion," NBER Working Papers 5419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  7. Oates, Wallace E, 1969. "The Effects of Property Taxes and Local Public Spending on Property Values: An Empirical Study of Tax Capitalization and the Tiebout Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(6), pages 957-71, Nov./Dec..
  8. Lee, J.-W. & Barro, R.J., 1998. "Schooling Quality in a Cross Section of Countries," Papers 659, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  9. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  11. 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.
  12. Brunner, Eric & Sonstelie, Jon & Thayer, Mark, 2001. "Capitalization and the Voucher: An Analysis of Precinct Returns from California's Proposition 174," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 517-536, November.
  13. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano, 2000. "Neighborhood Schools, Choice, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Thomas J. Nechyba, 1996. "A Computable General Equilibrium Model of Intergovernmental Aid," NBER Working Papers 5420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Do Private Schools Provide Competition for Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 4978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Murray, Sheila E & Evans, William N & Schwab, Robert M, 1998. "Education-Finance Reform and the Distribution of Education Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 789-812, September.
  18. Downes, Thomas A. & Schoeman, David, 1998. "School Finance Reform and Private School Enrollment: Evidence from California," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 418-443, May.
  19. Nechyba, Thomas J. & Strauss, Robert P., 1998. "Community choice and local public services: A discrete choice approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 51-73, January.
  20. Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 1979. "Market models of local government: Exit, voting, and the land market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 319-337, July.
  21. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2000. "Mobility, Targeting, and Private-School Vouchers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 130-146, March.
  22. Silva, Fabio & Sonstelie, Jon, 1995. "Did Serrano Cause a Decline in School Spending," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 199-215, June.
  23. James Heckman & Anne Layne-Farrar & Petra Todd, 1995. "Does Measured School Quality Really Matter? An Examination of the Earnings-Quality Relationship," NBER Working Papers 5274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Thomas J. Nechyba, 1996. "Existence of Equilibrium and Stratification in Local and Hierarchical Tiebout Economies with Property Taxes and Voting," NBER Technical Working Papers 0190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2001. "All School Finance Equalizations Are Not Created Equal," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1189-1231, November.
  26. Hamilton, Bruce W. & Macauley, Molly K., 1991. "Determinants and consequences of the private -- Public school choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 282-294, May.
  27. Amy B. Schmidt, 1992. "Private School Enrollment in Metropolitan Areas," Public Finance Review, , vol. 20(3), pages 298-320, July.
  28. 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.
  29. Epple, Dennis & Filimon, Radu & Romer, Thomas, 1993. "Existence of voting and housing equilibrium in a system of communities with property taxes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 585-610, November.
  30. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
  31. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1996. "Income Distribution, Communities, and the Quality of Public Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 135-64, February.
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