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Effects of decentralization on school resources: Sweden 1989-2002

  • Mörk, Eva

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

  • Ahlin, Åsa

Sweden has undertaken major national reforms of its school sector which, consequently, has been classified as one of the most decentralized ones in the OECD. This paper investigates whether school resources became more unequally distributed across municipalities in connection with the reforms and if local tax base, grants, and preferences affected local school resources differently as decentralization took place. Using municipal data the paper studies how per pupil spending and the teacher-pupil ratio has evolved over the period 1989–2002, separating between three different waves of decentralization. As nothing much has happened with per pupil spending, the teacher-pupil ratio has become more evenly distributed across municipalities. Municipal tax base affects per pupil spending in the same way regardless of whether the school sector is centralized or decentralized, but has a smaller effect on teacher-pupil ratio after the reforms. The less targeted grants are, the fewer teachers per pupil do the municipalities employ. The results for local preferences are less clear cut.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2007:9.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 24 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2007_009
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. Hanna Ågren & Matz Dahlberg & Eva Mörk, 2007. "Do politicians’ preferences correspond to those of the voters? An investigation of political representation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 137-162, January.
  2. 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.
  3. David Card & Abigail A. Payne, 1997. "School Finance Reform, the Distribution of School Spending, and the Distribution of SAT Scores," Working Papers 766, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Robert L. Manwaring & Steven M. Sheffrin, . "Litigation, School Finance Reform, And Aggregate Educational Spending," Department of Economics 96-05, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  5. Jeffrey A. Mills & Sourushe Zandvakili, 1999. "Statistical Inference via Bootstrapping for Measures of Inequality," Macroeconomics 9902003, EconWPA.
  6. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
  7. Ahlin, Åsa, 2003. "Does School Competition Matter? Effects of a Large-Scale School Choice Reform on Student Performance," Working Paper Series 2003:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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