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Effects of decentralization on school resources: Sweden 1989-2002

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  • Mörk, Eva

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Ahlin, Åsa

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mörk, Eva & Ahlin, Åsa, 2007. "Effects of decentralization on school resources: Sweden 1989-2002," Working Paper Series 2007:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2007_009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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..
    5. Mills, Jeffrey A & Zandvakili, Sourushe, 1997. "Statistical Inference via Bootstrapping for Measures of Inequality," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 133-150, March-Apr.
    6. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2001. "All School Finance Equalizations are Not Created Equal," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1189-1231.
    7. Robert Manwaring & Steven Sheffrin, 1997. "Litigation, School Finance Reform, and Aggregate Educational Spending," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, pages 107-127.
    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.
    10. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ahmad, Ehtisham & Brosio, Giorgio, 2009. "Decentralization and local service provision: what do we know?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 38347, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Miki Miyaki, 2015. "Public nursery school costs and the effects of the funding reforms in Japan," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 15-27, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    3. Ahlin, Åsa & Mörk, Eva, 2008. "Effects of decentralization on school resources," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 276-284, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school resources; school finance reform; decentralization; grant reform;

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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