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Does Public School Spending Raise Intergenerational Mobility?: Evidence from U.S. School Finance Reforms

Listed author(s):
  • Sungoh Kwon

    (University of Connecticut)

Registered author(s):

    It is generally believed that equality of opportunity can be achieved through high qual-ity public schools. This paper examines the causal e˙ect of public school spending on intergenerational mobility by exploiting U.S. court-mandated school finance reforms. I utilize college attendance rate and intergenerational income mobility that Chetty et al. (2014) construct based on administrative tax records. Event study and instru-mental variable models show that students are more likely to attend college due to additional resources in public schools. Reform-induced spending increases also improve intergenerational mobility of advantaged children, but have little impact on mobility of disadvantaged children. In fact, the gap in the mean income rank between advan-tage and disadvantage children widens. The heterogeneity by county characteristics suggests that the school spending e˙ect may be mitigated by negative environments in high poverty area.

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    File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2017-06.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2017-06.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: May 2017
    Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2017-06
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063

    Phone: (860) 486-4889
    Fax: (860) 486-4463
    Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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    1. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Chaudhary, Latika, 2009. "Education inputs, student performance and school finance reform in Michigan," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 90-98, February.
    3. Andrea Ichino & Loukas Karabarbounis & Enrico Moretti, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Intergenerational Income Mobility," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(1), pages 47-69, 01.
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    5. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2014. "Academic Performance and College Dropout: Using Longitudinal Expectations Data to Estimate a Learning Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 601-644.
    6. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Joydeep Roy, 2011. "Impact of School Finance Reform on Resource Equalization and Academic Performance: Evidence from Michigan," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(2), pages 137-167, April.
    8. Papke, Leslie E., 2005. "The effects of spending on test pass rates: evidence from Michigan," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 821-839, June.
    9. C. Kirabo Jackson & Rucker C. Johnson & Claudia Persico, 2016. "The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(1), pages 157-218.
    10. T. A. Downes & D. N. Figlio, "undated". "School Finance Reforms, Tax Limits, and Student Performance: Do Reforms Level Up or Dumb Down?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1142-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    11. C. Kirabo Jackson & Rucker Johnson & Claudia Persico, 2014. "The Effect of School Finance Reforms on the Distribution of Spending, Academic Achievement, and Adult Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 20118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2015. "Is universal child care leveling the playing field?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 100-114.
    13. Murray, Sheila E & Evans, William N & Schwab, Robert M, 1998. "Education-Finance Reform and the Distribution of Education Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 789-812, September.
    14. 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.
    15. Downes, Thomas A., 1992. "Evaluating the Impact of School Finance Reform on the Provision of Public Education: The California Case," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(4), pages 405-419, December.
    16. Jonathan Guryan, 2001. "Does Money Matter? Regression-Discontinuity Estimates from Education Finance Reform in Massachusetts," NBER Working Papers 8269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Downes, Thomas A., 1992. "Evaluating the Impact of School Finance Reform on the Provision of Public Education: The California Case," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(4), pages 405-19, December.
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