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Income Distribution and Public Education: A Dynamic Quantitative Evaluation of School Finance Reform

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  • Raquel Fernandez
  • Richard Rogerson

Abstract

Many states have or are considering implementing school finance reforms aimed at lessening inequality in the provision of public education across communities. These reforms will tend to have complicated aggregate effects on income distribution, intergenerational income mobility, and welfare. In order to analyze the potential effects of such reforms, this paper constructs a dynamic general equilibrium model of public education provision, calibrates it using US data, and examines the quantitative effects of a major school finance reform. The policy reform examined is a change from a system of pure local finance to one in which all funding is done at the federal level and expenditures per student are equal across communities. We find that this policy increases average income and total spending on education as a fraction of income. Moreover, there are large welfare gains associated with this policy; steady-state welfare increases by 3.2% of steady-state income.

Suggested Citation

  • Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1994. "Income Distribution and Public Education: A Dynamic Quantitative Evaluation of School Finance Reform," NBER Working Papers 4883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4883
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
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    7. Westhoff, Frank, 1977. "Existence of equilibria in economies with a local public good," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 84-112, February.
    8. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1997. "Keeping People Out: Income Distribution, Zoning, and the Quality of Public Education," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 23-42, February.
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    13. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-834, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan A. Rojas, 2004. "On the Interaction between Education and Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(4), pages 932-957, October.
    2. Fernandez, Raquel, 1997. "Odd versus even: comparative statics in multicommunity models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 177-192, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods

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