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How information affects support for education spending: Evidence from survey experiments in Germany and the United States

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  • Lergetporer, Philipp
  • Schwerdt, Guido
  • Werner, Katharina
  • West, Martin R.
  • Wößmann, Ludger

Abstract

To study whether current spending levels and public knowledge of them contribute to transatlantic differences in policy preferences, we implement parallel survey experiments in Germany and the United States. In both countries, support for increased education spending and teacher salaries falls when respondents receive information about existing levels. Treatment effects vary by prior knowledge in a manner consistent with information effects rather than priming. Support for salary increases is inversely related to salary levels across American states, suggesting that higher salaries could explain much of Germans' lower support for increases. Information about the tradeoffs between specific spending categories shifts preferences from class-size reduction towards alternative purposes. Additional German experiments indicate that information effects extend to specific reform proposals and to other areas of public spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Lergetporer, Philipp & Schwerdt, Guido & Werner, Katharina & West, Martin R. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2018. "How information affects support for education spending: Evidence from survey experiments in Germany and the United States," Munich Reprints in Economics 62860, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:62860
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lergetporer, Philipp & Woessmann, Ludger, 2019. "The Political Economy of Higher Education Finance: How Information and Design Affect Public Preferences for Tuition," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 145, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    2. Elisabeth Grewenig & Philipp Lergetporer & Lisa Simon & Katharina Werner & Ludger Wößmann & Ludger Woessmann, 2018. "Can Online Surveys Represent the Entire Population?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7222, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Grewenig, Elisabeth & Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2019. "Incentives, Search Engines, and the Elicitation of Subjective Beliefs: Evidence from Representative Online Survey Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 12217, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2018. "Educational Inequality and Public Policy Preferences: Evidence from Representative Survey Experiments," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 391, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. repec:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:108-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Grewenig, Elisabeth & Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2019. "Do Party Positions Affect the Public's Policy Preferences?," IZA Discussion Papers 12249, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Busemeyer, Marius R. & Lergetporer, Philipp & Woessmann, Ludger, 2018. "Public opinion and the political economy of educational reforms: A survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 161-185.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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