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Intergenerational Conflict and the Political Economy of School Spending

Author

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  • Ed Baldson

    (San Diego State University)

  • Eric Brunner

    (San Diego State University)

Abstract

In this paper we use survey data to examine support among voters from different age cohorts for public school spending. The survey asked potential voters in California how they intended to vote on two initiatives, one a statewide initiative that would increase spending on public schools throughout the state and the other a local initiative that would increase spending only in the respondent’s local school district. We find that older voters without children generally oppose increases in state spending but are much more willing to support local spending. We examine two explanations for this voting pattern, namely the capitalization of local spending into housing values and intergenerational altruism. Our results do not strongly favor one explanation over the other. Consequently, we conclude that both factors (capitalization and intergenerational altruism) probably play important roles in sustaining support among older voters for local school spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Ed Baldson & Eric Brunner, 2003. "Intergenerational Conflict and the Political Economy of School Spending," Working papers 2003-24, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2003-24
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dae Il Kim, 2010. "Comment on "The Effects of Demographic Change on Public Education in Japan"," NBER Chapters,in: The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 19, pages 219-222 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Busemeyer, Marius R. & Goerres, Achim & Weschle, Simon, 2008. "Demands for redistributive policies in an era of demographic aging: The rival pressures from age and class in 15 OECD countries," MPIfG Discussion Paper 08/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    3. Tim Krieger & Jens Ruhose, 2013. "Honey, I shrunk the kids’ benefits—revisiting intergenerational conflict in OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, pages 115-143.
    4. Berardino Cesi, 2010. "Local Public Education and Childless Voting: The Arising of an “Ends with the Middle” Coalition," The IUP Journal of Public Finance, IUP Publications, vol. 0(1 & 2), pages 74-102, February .
    5. Figlio, David N. & Fletcher, Deborah, 2012. "Suburbanization, demographic change and the consequences for school finance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1144-1153.
    6. Kurban, Haydar & Gallagher, Ryan M. & Persky, Joseph J., 2015. "Demographic changes and education expenditures: A reinterpretation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 103-108.
    7. Brunner, Eric J. & Ross, Stephen L. & Simonsen, Becky K., 2015. "Homeowners, renters and the political economy of property taxation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 38-49.
    8. Cattaneo, M. Alejandra & Wolter, Stefan C., 2009. "Are the elderly a threat to educational expenditures?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 225-236, June.
    9. Saito, Hitoshi, 2017. "The effects of population ageing on public education in Japan : A reinterpretation using micro data," MPRA Paper 79848, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Rattsø, Jørn & Sørensen, Rune J., 2010. "Grey power and public budgets: Family altruism helps children, but not the elderly," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 222-234, June.
    11. Francisco Martínez Mora, 2009. "Population Ageing, Inequality and the Political Economy of Public Education," Working Papers 2009-03, FEDEA.
    12. Arvate, Paulo Roberto & Zoghbi, Ana Carolina Pereira, 2010. "Intergenerational conflict and public education expenditure when there is co-residence between the elderly and young," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1165-1175, December.
    13. Michael Hofmann & Gerhard Kempkes & Helmut Seitz, 2008. "Demographic Change and Public Sector Budgets in a Federal System," CESifo Working Paper Series 2317, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Figlio, David N. & Fletcher, Deborah, 2012. "Suburbanization, demographic change and the consequences for school finance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1144-1153.
    15. Fumio Ohtake & Shinpei Sano, 2010. "The Effects of Demographic Change on Public Education in Japan," NBER Chapters,in: The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 19, pages 193-219 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2007. "Young and old competing for public welfare services," Working Paper Series 8607, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    17. Kurban, Haydar & Gallagher, Ryan M. & Persky, Joseph J., 2012. "Estimating Local Redistribution Through Property-Tax-Funded Public School Systems," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(3), pages 629-651, September.
    18. Nguyen-Hoang, Phuong, 2013. "Tax Limit Repeal and School Spending," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 66(1), pages 117-148, March.
    19. Ueli Grob & Stefan C. Wolter, 2007. "Demographic Change and Public Education Spending: A Conflict between Young and Old?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 277-292.
    20. Sørensen, Rune J., 2013. "Does aging affect preferences for welfare spending? A study of peoples' spending preferences in 22 countries, 1985–2006," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 259-271.
    21. Hilber, Christian A.L. & Mayer, Christopher, 2009. "Why do households without children support local public schools? Linking house price capitalization to school spending," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 74-90, January.
    22. Brunner, Eric J. & Johnson, Erik B., 2016. "Intergenerational conflict and the political economy of higher education funding," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 73-87.
    23. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_381 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Francisco Martínez-Mora, 2010. "Tiebout, local school finance and the ineffciency of head taxes," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/02, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    25. Gabriel Ahlfeldt & Wolfgang Maennig & Malte Steenbeck, 2016. "Après Nous le Déluge? Direct Democracy and Intergenerational Conflicts in Ageing Societies," CESifo Working Paper Series 5779, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    School spending; intergenerational conflict; capitalization; altruism;

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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