IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Why Do Households Without Children Support Local Public Schools?

  • Christian A. L. Hilber
  • Christopher J. Mayer

While residents receive similar benefits from many local government programs, only about one-third of all households have children in public schools. We argue that capitalization of school spending into house prices can encourage residents to support spending on schools, even if the residents themselves will never have children in schools. We identify a proxy for the extent of capitalization-the supply of land available for new development-and show that in response to a plausibly exogenous spending shock in Massachusetts, towns with little undeveloped land have larger changes in house prices, but smaller changes in quantity (construction). Towns with little available land also spend more on schools. We extend these results using data from school districts in 46 states, showing that per pupil spending is positively related to the percentage of developed land. This positive correlation persists only in districts where the median resident is a homeowner and is stronger in districts with more elderly residents who do not use school services and have a shorter expected duration in their home. These findings support models in which house price capitalization encourages more efficient provision of public services and may explain why some elderly residents support school spending.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w10804.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10804.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Hilber, Christian and Christopher Mayer. "Why do households without children support local public schools? Linking house price capitalization to school spending." Journal of Urban Economics 65, 1 (January 2009): 74-90.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10804
Note: ED PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Brasington, David M., 2002. "Edge versus center: finding common ground in the capitalization debate," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 524-541, November.
  2. Bogart, William T. & Cromwell, Brian A., 1997. "How Much More is a Good School District Worth?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(2), pages 215-32, June.
  3. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1991. "The Structure of Local Public Finance and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 774-806, August.
  4. Robert J. Shiller, 1991. "Arithmetic Repeat Sales Price Estimators," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 971, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "Owner-occupied housing as a hedge against rent risk," Working Papers 05-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Bogart, William T. & Cromwell, Brian A., 2000. "How Much Is a Neighborhood School Worth?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 280-305, March.
  7. Yinger, John, 1982. "Capitalization and the Theory of Local Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 917-43, October.
  8. Karl E. Case & Christopher J. Mayer, 1995. "Housing price dynamics within a metropolitan area," Working Papers 95-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "The Incentive Effects of Property Taxes on Local Governments," NBER Working Papers 4987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David M. Cutler & Douglas W. Elmendorf & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1993. "Demographic Characteristics and the Public Bundle," NBER Working Papers 4283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation Of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599, May.
  12. Stephen Malpezzi, 1994. "Housing Prices, Externalities, and Regulation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 94-08, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  13. Hoxby, Caroline M, 1998. "How Much Does School Spending Depend on Family Income? The Historical Origins of the Current School Finance Dilemma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 309-14, May.
  14. Edelson, Noel M., 1976. "Voting equilibria with market-based assessments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 269-284.
  15. Linda T. M. Bui & Christopher J. Mayer, 2003. "Regulation and Capitalization of Environmental Amenities: Evidence from the Toxic Release Inventory in Massachusetts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 693-708, August.
  16. Capozza, Dennis R. & Helsley, Robert W., 1989. "The fundamentals of land prices and urban growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 295-306, November.
  17. James M. Poterba, 1997. "Demographic structure and the political economy of public education," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
  18. Christopher J. Mayer & C. Tsuriel Somerville, . "Land Use Regulation and New Construction," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 331, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  19. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Shapiro, Perry, 1982. "Micro-Based Estimates of Demand Functions for Local School Expenditures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1183-1205, September.
  20. Hamilton, Bruce W, 1976. "Capitalization of Intrajurisdictional Differences in Local Tax Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 743-53, December.
  21. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  22. Brueckner, Jan K., 1982. "A test for allocative efficiency in the local public sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 311-331, December.
  23. Bradbury, Katharine L. & Mayer, Christopher J. & Case, Karl E., 2001. "Property tax limits, local fiscal behavior, and property values: evidence from Massachusetts under Proposition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 287-311, May.
  24. Dee, Thomas S, 2000. "The Capitalization of Education Finance Reforms," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 185-214, April.
  25. Ross, Stephen & Yinger, John, 1999. "Sorting and voting: A review of the literature on urban public finance," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 47, pages 2001-2060 Elsevier.
  26. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Weimer, David L. & Wolkoff, Michael J., 2001. "School Performance and Housing Values: Using Non-Contiguous District and Incorporation Boundaries to Identify School Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 2), pages 231-54, June.
  28. Stull, William J. & Stull, Judith C., 1991. "Capitalization of local income taxes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 182-190, March.
  29. Joseph Gyourko & Richard Voith, . "The Price Elasticity of the Demand for Residential Land," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 329, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  30. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1931, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  31. Oded Palmon & Baron A. Smith, 1998. "New Evidence on Property Tax Capitalization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1099-1128, October.
  32. Barrow, Lisa & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2004. "Using market valuation to assess public school spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1747-1769, August.
  33. Wildasin, David E., 1979. "Local public goods, property values, and local public choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 521-534, October.
  34. William D. Nordhaus, 1980. "Oil and Economic Performance in industrial Countries," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(2), pages 341-400.
  35. Oates, Wallace E. & Schwab, Robert M., 1988. "Economic competition among jurisdictions: efficiency enhancing or distortion inducing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 333-354, April.
  36. Harris, Amy Rehder & Evans, William N. & Schwab, Robert M., 2001. "Education spending in an aging America," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 449-472, September.
  37. Bruce, Donald & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1999. "Fundamental Tax Reform and Residential Housing," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 249-271, December.
  38. Sprunger, Philip & Wilson, John Douglas, 1998. "Imperfectly Mobile Households and Durable Local Public Goods: Does the Capitalization Mechanism Work?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 468-492, November.
  39. Gyourko, Joseph & Kahn, Matthew & Tracy, Joseph, 1999. "Quality of life and environmental comparisons," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 1413-1454 Elsevier.
  40. Richard K. Green & Stephen Malpezzi & Stephen K. Mayo, 2005. "Metropolitan-Specific Estimates of the Price Elasticity of Supply of Housing, and Their Sources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 334-339, May.
  41. Hwang, Min & Quigley, John M., 2006. "Economic Fundamentals in Local Housing Markets: Evidence from U.S. Metropolitan Regions," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt79d325cm, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  42. Hoyt, William H., 1999. "Leviathan, local government expenditures, and capitalization," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 155-171, March.
  43. ., 1998. "Capital," Chapters, in: The Elgar Companion to Classical Economics, chapter 15 Edward Elgar.
  44. Blomquist, Glenn C & Berger, Mark C & Hoehn, John P, 1988. "New Estimates of Quality of Life in Urban Areas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 89-107, March.
  45. Brueckner, Jan K. & Joo, Man-Soo, 1991. "Voting with capitalization," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 453-467, November.
  46. Donald Haurin & David Brasington, 1996. "The Impact of School Quality on Real House Prices: Interjurisdictional Effects," Working Papers 010, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  47. Sonstelie, Jon C. & Portney, Paul R., 1978. "Profit maximizing communities and the theory of local public expenditure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 263-277, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10804. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.