Litigation, School Finance Reform, And Aggregate Educational Spending
The United States has traditionally financed elementary and secondary education through property taxation. In the past two decades, litigation in many states has triggered educational reform movements designed to reduce the inequalities in educational expenditures across districts inherent in a property tax financed system. While these movements have been successful in reducing inequalities, there are some who argue that this movement has had adverse affects on the level of educational spending. If, indeed, this is the case, then there would be trade-offs between reductions in inequality and the level of investment in education. In this paper, we use a panel data set across all the states from 1970-1990 to examine the role of litigation and educational finance reform in determining the level of education funding in a flexible, dynamic setting. This allows us to analyze the determinants of educational spending and to assess the differential impacts of litigation and reform movements across states. The dynamics are driven by four effects - an income effect, a state control effect, a state budget effect, and a base effect. An important finding of our work is that litigation and reform have differential effects across the states, in some cases leading to increases while in other cases decreases in spending. We supplement our empirical research with a closer examination of several case studies.
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- Manwaring, R.L. & Sheffrin, S.M., 1994. "The Effects of Education Equalization Litigation on the Levels of Funding: An Empirical Analysis," Papers 94-14, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
- Rothstein, Paul, 1992. "The demand for education with 'power equalizing' aid : Estimation and simulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 135-162, November.
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- 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 1141-77, September.
- Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
- 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.
- Fernández, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1999. "Education finance reform and investment in human capital: lessons from California," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 327-350, December.
- Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1997. "Eudcation Finance Reform and Investment in Human Capital : Lessons from California," Working Papers 97-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- 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.
- Fischel, William A., 1989. "Did Serrano Cause Proposition 13?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(4), pages 465-73, December.
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