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School Finance Reform and the Distribution of Student Achievement

Author

Listed:
  • Julien Lafortune
  • Jesse Rothstein
  • Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach

Abstract

We study the impact of post-1990 school finance reforms, during the so-called “adequacy” era, on absolute and relative spending and achievement in low-income school districts. Using an event study research design that exploits the apparent randomness of reform timing, we show that reforms lead to sharp, immediate, and sustained increases in spending in low-income school districts. Using representative samples from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, we find that reforms cause increases in the achievement of students in these districts, phasing in gradually over the years following the reform. The implied effect of school resources on educational achievement is large.

Suggested Citation

  • Julien Lafortune & Jesse Rothstein & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2016. "School Finance Reform and the Distribution of Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 22011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22011
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22011.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard J. Murnane & Sean F. Reardon, 2017. "Long-Term Trends in Private School Enrollments by Family Income," NBER Working Papers 23571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sungoh Kwon, 2017. "Does Public School Spending Raise Intergenerational Mobility?: Evidence from U.S. School Finance Reforms," Working papers 2017-06, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:eee:jeborg:v:143:y:2017:i:c:p:58-77 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Brian Jacob & Jesse Rothstein, 2016. "The Measurement of Student Ability in Modern Assessment Systems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 85-108, Summer.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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