"Elusive Equity" chronicles South Africas efforts to fashion a racially equitable state education system from the ashes of apartheid.
Documenting ten years of reform efforts in New Zealand, this is the first book to provide detailed quantitative and qualitative analysis of the effects of school reform programs on an entire school system.
Documenting ten years of reform efforts in New Zealand, this is the first book to provide detailed quantitative and qualitative analysis of the effects of school reform programs on an entire school system.
Documenting ten years of reform efforts in New Zealand, this is the first book to provide detailed quantitative and qualitative analysis of the effects of school reform programs on an entire school system.
This outstanding selection of Helen Ladd's work provides an overview of the policy-oriented research she has conducted in the area of state and local public finance during the past twenty-five years.
Identifies and measures the impact in broad national trends such as the urbanization of poverty, the shift from manufacturing to services, and middle-class flight to the suburbs. (Politcs/Current Events)
This book substitutes rigorous and systematic analysis for the undocumented claims that have characterized the debate on "redlining"-the denial of mortgage money to poorer neighborhoods.
Also published in The Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), 2007. Forthcoming in the Journal of Human Resources.
Also published in The Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), 2007.
Also published in The Journal of Human Resources.
Also published in teh American Law and Economics Review.
Â© 2015 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. The proportion of students taking a first algebra course in middle school has doubled over the past generation and there have been calls to make eighth grade algebra universal. We use significant policy shifts in the timing of algebra in two large North Carolina districts to infer the impact of accelerated entry into algebra on student performance in math courses as students progress through high school. We find no evidence of a positive mean impact of acceleration in any specification and significant negative effects on performance in both Algebra I and the traditional followup course, Geometry. Accelerating algebra to middle school appears benign or beneficial for higherperforming students but unambiguously harmful to the lowest performers. We consider whether the effects reflect the reliance on less-qualified teachers and conclude that this mechanism explains only a small fraction of the result.
Does differential access to computer technology at home compound the educational disparities between rich and poor? Would a program of government provision of computers to early secondary school students reduce these disparities? We use administrative data on North Carolina public school students to corroborate earlier surveys that document broad racial and socioeconomic gaps in home computer access and use. Using within-student variation in home computer access, and across-ZIP code variation in the timing of the introduction of high-speed Internet service, we also demonstrate that the introduction of home computer technology is associated with modest, but statistically significant and persistent negative impacts on student math and reading test scores. Further evidence suggests that providing universal access to home computers and high-speed Internet access would broaden, rather than narrow, math and reading achievement gaps. Â© 2014 Western Economic Association International.
This study examines the community-wide effects of two statewide early childhood policy initiatives in North Carolina. One initiative provides funding to improve the quality of child care services at the county level for all children between the ages of 0 to 5, and the other provides funding for preschool slots for disadvantaged four-year-olds. Differences across counties in the timing of the rollout and in the magnitude of the state financial investments per child provide the variation in programs needed to estimate their effects on schooling outcomes in third grade. We find robust positive effects of each program on third-grade test scores in both reading and math. These effects can best be explained by a combination of direct benefits for participants and spillover benefits for others. Our preferred models suggest that the combined average effects on test scores of investments in both programs at 2009 funding levels are equivalent to two to four months of instruction in grade 3. Â© 2013 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Community colleges are complex organizations and assessing their performance, though important, is difficult. Compared to 4-year colleges and universities, community colleges serve a more diverse population and provide a wider variety of educational programs that include continuing education and technical training for adults, and diplomas, associates degrees, and transfer credits for recent high school graduates. Focusing solely on the latter programs of North Carolina's community colleges, we measure the success of each college along two dimensions: attainment of an applied diploma or degree; or completion of the coursework required to transfer to a 4-year college or university. We address three questions. First, how much variation is there across the institutions in these measures of student success? Second, how do these measures of success differ across institutions after we adjust for the characteristics of the enrolled students? Third, how do our measures compare to the measures of success used by the North Carolina Community College System? Although we find variation along both dimensions of success, we also find that part of this variation is attributable to differences in the kinds of students who attend various colleges. Once we correct for such differences, we find that it is not possible to distinguish most of the system's colleges from one another along either dimension. Top-performing institutions, however, can be distinguished from the most poorly performing ones. Finally, our adjusted rates of success show little correlation either to measurable aspects of the various colleges or to the metrics used by the state. Â© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
We use North Carolina data to explore whether the quality of teachers in the lower elementary grades (K-2) falls short of teacher quality in the upper grades (3-5) and to examine the hypothesis that school accountability pressures contribute to such quality shortfalls. Our concern with the early grades arises from recent studies highlighting how children's experiences in those years have lasting effects on their later outcomes. Using two credentials-based measures of teacher quality, we document within-school quality shortfalls in the lower grades, and show that the shortfalls increased with the introduction of No Child Left Behind. Consistent with that pattern, we find that schools responded to accountability pressures by moving their weaker teachers down to the lower grades and stronger teachers up to the higher grades. These findings support the view that accountability pressure induces schools to pursue actions that work to the disadvantage of children in the lower grades.Â© 2013 Association for Education Finance and Policy.
Since 1990, Latin American immigrants to the United States have dispersed beyond traditional gateway regions to a number of "new destinations." Both theory and past empirical evidence provide mixed guidance as to whether the children of these immigrants are adversely affected by residing in a nontraditional destination. This study uses administrative public school data to study over 2,800 8- to 18-year-old Hispanic youth in one new destination, North Carolina. Conditional on third-grade socioeconomic indicators, Hispanic youth who arrive by age 9 and remain enrolled in North Carolina public schools close achievement gaps with socioeconomically similar White students by sixth grade and exhibit significantly lower high school dropout rates. Their performance resembles that of first-generation youth in more established immigration gateways.
Current U.S. policy initiatives to improve the U.S. education system, including No Child Left Behind, test-based evaluation of teachers, and the promotion of competition are misguided because they either deny or set to the side a basic body of evidence documenting that students from disadvantaged households on average perform less well in school than those from more advantaged families. Because these policy initiatives do not directly address the educational challenges experienced by disadvantaged students, they have contributed little-and are not likely to contribute much in the future-to raising overall student achievement or to reducing achievement and educational attainment gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Moreover, such policies have the potential to do serious harm. Addressing the educational challenges faced by children from disadvantaged families will require a broader and bolder approach to education policy than the recent efforts to reform schools. Â© 2012 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
This quantitative study examines the relationship between teachers' perceptions of their working conditions and their intended and actual departures from schools. Based on rich administrative data for North Carolina combined with a 2006 statewide survey administered to all teachers in the state, the study documents that working conditions are highly predictive of teachers' intended movement away from their schools, independent of other school characteristics such as the racial mix of students. Moreover, school leadership, broadly defined, emerges as the most salient dimension of working conditions. Although teachers' perceptions of their working conditions are less predictive of one-year actual departure rates than of intended rates, their predictive power is still on a par with that of other school characteristics. The models are estimated separately for elementary, middle and high school teachers and generate some policy-relevant differences among the three levels. Â© 2011 AERA.
Although a relatively new idea in the U.S., weighted student funding (WSF) for individual schools has a long history in the Netherlands. This country of about 16.5 million people has been using a version of WSF for all its primary schools (serving children from age 4 to 12) for 25 years. In this article we describe and evaluate the Dutch system and explore what insights there might be for the U.S., taking into account the very different cultural and normative contexts of the two countries. We find that, compared to those with few weighted students, Dutch schools with high proportions of weighted students have almost 60 percent more teachers per pupil as well as more support staff per teacher. Even these large resource advantages, however, are not sufficient by themselves to eliminate all quality shortfalls in the high-weight schools, where quality is measured by school policies and practices. We conclude that weighted student funding for schools within districts in the U.S. is not likely to deliver the same highly progressive funding patterns as in the Netherlands because of the complex, multilayered U.S. education system and the absence of a political consensus in favor of generous weights. Â© 2011 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Research has consistently shown that teacher quality is distributed very unevenly among schools, to the clear disadvantage of minority students and those from low-income families. Using North Carolina data on the length of time individual teachers remain in their schools, we examine the potential for using salary differentials to overcome this pattern. We conclude that salary differentials are a far less effective tool for retaining teachers with strong preservice qualifications than for retaining other teachers in schools with high proportions of minority students. Consequently large salary differences would be needed to level the playing field when schools are segregated. This conclusion reflects our finding that teachers with stronger qualifications are both more responsive to the racial and socioeconomic mix of a school's students and less responsive to salary than are their less-qualified counterparts when making decisions about remaining in their current school, moving to another school or district, or leaving the teaching profession. Â© 2011 Association for Education Finance and Policy.
We use data on statewide end-of-course tests in North Carolina to examine the relationship between teacher credentials and student achievement at the high school level. We find compelling evidence that teacher credentials, particularly licensure and certification, affects student achievement in systematic ways and that the magnitudes are large enough to be policy relevant. Our findings imply that the uneven distribution of teacher credentials by race and socioeconomic status of high school students-a pattern we also document-contributes to achievement gaps in high school. In addition, some troubling findings emerge related to the gender and race of the teachers. Â© 2010 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.
Although the federal No Child Left Behind program judges the effectiveness of schools based on their students' achievement status, many policy analysts argue that schools should be measured, instead, by their students' achievement growth. Using a 10-year student-level panel data set from North Carolina, we examine how school-specific pressure associated with status and growth approaches to school accountability affect student achievement at different points in the prior-year achievement distribution. Achievement gains for students below the proficiency cut point emerge in schools failing either type of accountability standard, with the effects clearer for math than for reading. In contrast to prior research highlighting the possibility of educational triage, we find little or no evidence that failing schools in North Carolina ignore the students far below proficiency under either approach. Importantly, we find that the status, but not the growth, approach reduces the reading achievement of higher performing students. Our analysis suggests that the distributional effects of accountability pressure depend not only on the type of pressure for which schools are held accountable (status or growth), but also the tested subject. Â© 2010 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Using evidence from Durham, North Carolina, we examine the impact of school choice programs on racial and class-based segregation across schools. Reasonable assumptions about the distribution of preferences over race, class, and school characteristics suggest that the segregating choices of students from advantaged backgrounds are likely to outweigh any integrating choices by disadvantaged students. The results of our empirical analysis are consistent with these theoretical considerations. Using information on the actual schools students attend and on the schools in their assigned attendance zones, we find that schools in Durham are more segregated by race and class as a result of school choice programs than they would be if all students attended their geographically assigned schools. In addition, we find that the effects of choice on segregation by class are larger than the effects on segregation by race. Â© 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Using student-level data from Durham, North Carolina, we examine the potential impact of school choice programs on the peer environments of students who remain in their geographically assigned schools. We examine whether the likelihood of opting out of one's geographically assigned school differs across groups and compare the actual peer composition in neighborhood schools to what the peer composition in those schools would be under a counterfactual scenario in which all students attend their geographically assigned schools. We find that many advantaged students have used school choice programs in Durham to opt out of assigned schools with concentrations of disadvantaged students and to attend schools with higher achieving students. Comparisons of actual peer compositions with the counterfactual scenario indicate only small differences in peer composition for nonchoosers on average. More substantial differences in peer environment emerge, however, for students in schools with concentrations of disadvantaged students and schools located near choice schools attractive to high achievers. The results suggest that expansions of parental choice may have significant adverse effects on the peer environments of a particularly vulnerable group of students.
Using data for North Carolina public school students in grades 3 to 8, we examine achievement gaps between white students and students from other racial and ethnic groups. We focus on cohorts of students who stay in the state's public schools for all six years. While the black-white gaps are sizable and robust, both Hispanic and Asian students tend to gain on whites as they progress in school. Beyond simple mean differences, we find that the racial gaps in math between low-performing students have tended to shrink as students progress through school, while those for high-performing students have generally widened. Â© 2009 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
On average, black students in the United States achieve at lower levels than white students do. Recent evidence from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) indicates, for example, that in 2004 the gap between thirteen-year-old black and white students was about 0.6 standard deviation in reading and about 0.8 in math. To be sure, such gaps were far larger in the 1970s, when they exceeded a full standard deviation in both subjects. The gaps fell dramatically during the 1970s and 1980s, increased during the early 1990s, and then fell again between 1999 and 2004. These ups and downs notwithstanding, the persistence of these gaps is cause for significant policy concern for reasons discussed elsewhere in this book and in Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips (1998). This volume has drawn attention to school-related trends such as in the racial segregation of the schools and the widening disparities in teacher qualifications between black and white students, especially at the elementary level, that may have stalled the convergence of the black and white test scores in the 1990s (see Vigdor and Ludwig, chapter 5, and Corcoran and Evans, chapter 6, this volume). This chapter picks up from that analysis and asks what educational policies might be pursued moving forward to help reduce the black-white test score gap, or at least to offset some of the other trends that may tend to widen it, such as rising income and social inequality. Of particular interest for this review are school policies and strategies that have been proposed or justified-at least in part-on the basis of their potential for reducing black-white test score gaps. As will become apparent, not all the proposed strategies are likely to be effective in that regard and their net effect on the size of the gap is likely to be relatively small. This discussion is divided into five sets of policy strategies. The first two focus on teachers, but from quite different perspectives. One set relates to the assignment of students to schools, with attention to how racial segregation of students affects the quality of teachers for black students relative to white students. The other focuses on more direct interventions designed to improve the quality of the teachers of black students. The third set includes the nonteacher strategies of reducing class size and implementing whole school reform. The fourth and fifth sets emerge from a more systemic view of the educational challenge and are designed to change the incentives throughout the education system. Included here are both top-down accountability strategies designed to hold schools accountable for the performance of their students and bottom up strategies such as increased parental choice and competition designed either to improve schooling options for certain groups of students or to make use of market type pressures to improve educational outcomes. The main thrust of this chapter is that though none of the strategies discussed here is likely to be powerful enough to offset the powerful nonschool social forces that contribute to the racial achievement gap, school related strategies are a necessary component of any overall effort to reduce such gaps. Moreover, the failure of education policy makers to be vigilant about the aspects of the problem over which they do have some control could well lead to even greater gaps in the future or to lost opportunities to reduce them. Copyright Â© 2008 by Russell Sage Foundation.
For a three-year time period beginning in 2001, North Carolina awarded an annual bonus of $1800 to certified math, science and special education teachers working in public secondary schools with either high-poverty rates or low test scores. Using longitudinal data on teachers, we estimate hazard models that identify the impact of this differential pay by comparing turnover patterns before and after the program's implementation, across eligible and ineligible categories of teachers, and across eligible and barely-ineligible schools. Results suggest that this bonus payment was sufficient to reduce mean turnover rates of the targeted teachers by 17%. Experienced teachers exhibited the strongest response to the program. Finally, the effect of the program may have been at least partly undermined by the state's failure to fully educate teachers regarding the eligibility criteria. Our estimates most likely underpredict the potential outcome of a program of permanent salary differentials operating under complete information. Â© 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Between 2001 and 2004, the state of North Carolina gave an annual salary bonus of $1,800 to certified math, science, and special education teachers in a set of low-performing and/or high-poverty secondary schools. Eligible teachers were to continue receiving the bonus as long as they continued in the school. In a survey of teachers and principals, the authors find evidence that school personnel favor the use of monetary incentives to increase the attractiveness of their workplace but were skeptical that the amount of the bonus would be sufficient to reduce the high turnover rates in their schools. Preliminary evidence on turnover rates supports this skepticism. Given that the survey evidence reveals widespread misunderstanding of the retention incentives incorporated into the program, the authors conclude that the bonus program was hampered by a series of flaws in design and implementation. Â© 2008 Sage Publications.
We use a rich administrative dataset from North Carolina to explore questions related to the relationship between teacher characteristics and credentials on the one hand and student achievement on the other. Though the basic questions underlying this research are not new-and, indeed, have been explored in many papers over the years within the rubric of the "education production function"-the availability of data on all teachers and students in North Carolina over a 10-year period allows us to explore them in more detail than has been possible in previous studies. We conclude that a teacher's experience, test scores and regular licensure all have positive effects on student achievement, with larger effects for math than for reading. Taken together the various teacher credentials exhibit quite large effects on math achievement, whether compared to the effects of changes in class size or to the socio-economic characteristics of students.
Using panel data that track individual students from year to year, we examine the effects of charter schools in North Carolina on racial segregation and black-white test score gaps. We find that North Carolina's system of charter schools has increased the racial isolation of both black and white students, and has widened the achievement gap. Moreover, the relatively large negative effects of charter schools on the achievement of black students is driven by students who transfer into charter schools that are more racially isolated than the schools they have left. Our analysis of charter school choices suggests that asymmetric preferences of black and white charter school students (and their families) for schools of different racial compositions help to explain why there are so few racially balanced charter schools. Â© 2006 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Helen Ladd takes a comparative look at policies that the world's industrialized countries are using to assure a supply of high-quality teachers. Her survey puts U.S. educational policies and practices into international perspective. Ladd begins by examining teacher salaries - an obvious, but costly, policy tool. She finds, perhaps surprisingly, that students in countries with high teacher salaries do not in general perform better on international tests than those in countries with lower salaries. Ladd does find, however, that the share of underqualified teachers in a country is closely related to salary. In high-salary countries like Germany, Japan, and Korea, for example, only 4 percent of teachers are underqualified, as against more than 10 percent in the United States, where teacher salaries, Ladd notes, are low relative to those in other industrialized countries. Teacher shortages also appear to stem from policies that make salaries uniform across academic subject areas and across geographic regions. Shortages are especially common in math and science, in large cities, and in rural areas. Among the policy strategies proposed to deal with such shortages is to pay teachers different salaries according to their subject area. Many countries are also experimenting with financial incentive packages, including bonuses and loans, for teachers in specific subjects or geographic areas. Ladd notes that many developed countries are trying to attract teachers by providing alternative routes into teaching, often through special programs in traditional teacher training institutions and through adult education or distance learning programs. To reduce attrition among new teachers, many developed countries have also been using formal induction or mentoring programs as a way to improve new teachers' chances of success. Ladd highlights the need to look beyond a single policy, such as higher salaries, in favor of broad packages that address teacher preparation and certification, working conditions, the challenges facing new teachers, and the distribution of teachers across geographic areas.
Administrative data on fifth grade students in North Carolina shows that more highly qualified teachers tend to be matched with more advantaged students, both across schools and in many cases within them. This matching biases estimates of the relationship between teacher characteristics and achievement; we isolate this bias in part by focusing on schools where students are distributed relatively evenly across classrooms. Teacher experience is consistently associated with achievement; teacher licensure test scores associate with math achievement. These returns display a form of heterogeneity across students that may help explain why the observed form of teacher-student matching persists in equilibrium. Â© 2006 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.
Analyzing data for the 100 largest districts in the South and Border states, we ask whether there is evidence of "resegregation" of school districts and whether levels of segregation can be linked to judicial decisions. We distinguish segregation measures based on racial isolation from those based on racial imbalance. Only one measure of racial isolation suggests that districts in these regions experienced resegregation between 1994 and 2004, and changes in this measure appear to be driven largely by the rising nonwhite percentage in the student population rather than by district policies. Although we find no time trend in racial imbalance over this period, we find that variations in racial imbalance across districts are nonetheless associated with judicial declarations of unitary status, suggesting that segregation in schools might have declined had it not been for the actions of federal courts. Â© 2006 Oxford University Press.
A major task of South Africa's new government in 1994 was to design a more racially equitable education system. This article evaluates progress towards this goal using three concepts of equity: equal treatment by race, equal educational opportunity, and educational adequacy. The authors find that the country moved quickly towards a race-blind system, including race-blind policies for allocating state funds to schools. Progress measured by the other two criteria, however, has been constrained by the legacy of apartheid, including poor facilities and lack of human capacity in schools serving black students, and by policies concerning school fees. The article concludes with some thoughts on the future outlook.
Recent discussions of school choice have revived arguments that the decentralization of governing institutions can enhance the quality of public services by increasing the participation of intended beneficiaries in the production of those services. We use data from the Schools and Staffing Survey to examine the extent to which the decentralization of authority to charter schools induces parents to become more involved in their children's schools. We find that parents are indeed more involved in charter schools than in observationally similar public schools, especially in urban elementary and middle schools. Although we find that this difference is partly attributable to measurable institutional and organizational factors, we also find that charter schools tend to be established in areas with above-average proportions of involved parents, and we find suggestive evidence that, within those areas, it is the more involved parents who tend to select into charter schools. Thus, while the institutional characteristics of charter schools do appear to induce parents to become more involved in their children's schools, such characteristics are only part of the explanation for the greater parental involvement in charter schools than in traditional public schools. Â© The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
This paper focuses on one potentially important contributor to the achievement gap between black and white students, differences in their exposure to novice teachers. We present a model that explores the pressures that may lead school administrators to distribute novice teachers unequally across or within schools. Using a rich micro-level data set provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, we find that novice teachers are distributed among schools and among classrooms within schools in a way that disadvantages black students. Â© 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Administrative data from North Carolina are used to explore the extent to which that state's relatively sophisticated school-based accountability system has exacerbated the challenges that schools serving low-performing students face in retaining and attracting high-quality teachers. Most clear are the adverse effects on retention rates, and hence on teacher turnover, in such schools. Less clear is the extent to which that higher turnover has translated into a decline in the average qualifications of the teachers in the low-performing schools. Other states with more primitive accountability systems can expect even greater adverse effects on teacher turnover in low-performing schools. Â© 2004 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Central to the argument for more competition in education is that it will induce schools to provide higher quality education at no greater cost. This article sheds new light on this issue by measuring how competition among New Zealand's schools affected student learning as perceived by teachers and principals. The analysis builds on the fact that New Zealand's introduction of full parental choice in 1992 increased competitive pressures more for some schools than for others. With careful attention to various potential threats to validity, we conclude that competition - as perceived by teachers generated negative effects on the quality of student learning and other aspects of schooling in New Zealand's elementary schools.
Surprisingly little is known about the impact of school-based accountability systems, which are one component of the larger standards-based reform effort in education. Using two waves of survey data from a random sample of school principals in North Carolina, the authors investigate the reported behavioral responses of principals to that state's highly touted accountability system. Their analysis indicates that the state's ABCs program is a powerful tool for changing the behavior of school principals in both intended and unintended ways. Because of its power, the authors conclude that policy makers should use such a tool cautiously.
New Zealand's 10-year experience with self-governing schools operating in a competitive environment provides new insights into school choice initiatives now being hotly debated in the United States with limited evidence. This article examines how New Zealand's system of parental choice of schools played out in that country's three major urban areas with particular emphasis on the sorting of students by ethnic and socioeconomic status. The analysis documents that schools with large initial proportions of minorities (Maori and Pacific Island students in the New Zealand context) were at a clear disadvantage in the educational market place relative to other schools and that the effect was to generate a system in which gaps between the "successful" and the "unsuccessful" schools became wider. Â© 2001 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
The observation that the elderly may be less willing to support K-12 education than other voters raises the specter of decreasing support for schools as the US population ages. In this article, we examine that support using a national panel of counties over time. Building on earlier models estimated for state level data, we conclude that the direct differential effect within each county of the presence of elderly households is not distinguishable from zero but that the elderly have the potential to affect spending on education indirectly through where they live. To the extent that the elderly live in counties with low proportions of children, the tax price of education in other counties is higher which could in turn reduce financial support for education in those counties. Thus one cannot predict the impact of an increasing share of the elderly on education spending without paying attention to how the elderly are likely to be distributed among counties relative to children. Â© 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article provides an overview of an experimental residential relocation program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development known as Moving to Opportunity (MTO), currently in operation in five U.S. cities: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Because families are randomly assigned to three groups, each of which receives a different bundle of housing services, MTO provides a unique opportunity to learn more about the effects of concentrated urban poverty on the outcomes of families. Yet residential relocation can be an effective anti-poverty strategy only if families successfully relocate and if their new neighborhoods translate into improved labor-market, educational, or other outcomes. We illustrate the potential as well as the limits of residential relocation policies by focusing on the relationship between the housing market and educational opportunities in the Baltimore demonstration site.
Consistent with the current emphasis on performance-based accountability in K-12 education, several states and a few local districts have introduced school-based incentive programs. This paper provides one of the few evaluations of the effects of such programs on student outcomes. Using a panel data set for schools in large Texas cities, it measures the gains in student performance in Dallas relative to those in other cities. It finds positive and relatively large effects for Hispanic and white seventh graders, but not for black students. Potentially positive effects also emerge for drop-out rates and principal turnover rates.[JEL I20].
North Carolina state election law gives county election boards broad authority to determine the form of the ballot used in federal, state, and local races. This paper examines the extent to which ballot formats appear to be strategically chosen and the impact of ballot design on 1992 North Carolina elections. Our results indicate that the form of the ballot influenced the decisions of some voters in statewide races in 1992 and that the design of the ballot may have been chosen strategically by county election boards dominated by the members of one party. Â© 1996 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
This paper examines the legitimacy of concerns of local residents about the adverse fiscal impacts of population growth. The conceptual discussion shows that economic theory provides no clear prediction of the impact of population growth on per capita spending. Based on a national data set of large countries, simple d descriptive analysis indicates that greater population growth is associated with higher per capita current spending and interest outlays. More detailed analysis both of 1978-1985 changes and of 1985 levels of current spending indicates that higher growth-related per capita spending primarily reflects the combined effects of greater density and increased local spending shares. In sum, established residents in fast- growing areas may experience declines in service quality as well as rising local tax burdens. Â© 1994.
Recent policy interest in managing local population growth has drawn attention to the fiscal pressures that population growth imposes on local governments. This paper uses 1985 data for 247 large county areas to determine the separate impacts on local government spending of two dimensions of residential development patterns, the rapidity of population growth and the intensity of land use as measured by gross residential densities. Based on a regression model that controls for other determinants of per capita spending, this study provides careful estimates of the nonlinear impacts of population growth and population density on three types of local government spending: current account spending, capital outlays and spending on public safety. -from Author
Jurisdiction-wide property revaluation, like many administrative reforms, may have unintended consequences. This paper examines one such potential consequence. By pooling 18-year time series for each of 39 Massachusetts cities (17 of which revalued) and 270 Massachusetts towns (202 of which revalued), we examine the hypothesis that politicians take advantage of the confusion generated by revaluation and raise property taxes by more than they otherwise would have. We observe such a response in cities but not in towns and attribute this difference to differences in their governmental structures. Â© 1982.
The recent decline of many industrial cities in the NE and the rapid growth of cites in the SW have forcefully drawn attention to the fiscal implications of population change. Although the major urban areas receive most of the attention, other smaller cities confront many of the same issues. This paper focuses on these smaller cities with the specific purpose of determining the impact of population change on per capita local public expenditures.-from Author
Â© Cambridge University Press 2013. I enrolled in my first economics course in 1963, my freshman year at Wellesley College, which was then, and still is, only for women. On the first day of class, my thirty freshman classmates and I eagerly awaited the arrival of our teacher. When she entered the classroom, she immediately announced that, as the chair of the department, she got to choose which section to teach, and she chose ours. Her intent was to share with us her excitement about the field and to send a signal that economics was very much an appropriate field for women. The teacher was Carolyn Shaw Bell, who later founded the American Economic Associationâ€™s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession. That first course inspired me to join the ranks of Wellesley FEMs â€“ her term for female economics majors. Little did I understand at the time the intellectual opportunities that were then opening up for me. My Life History I was raised as a provincial New Englander. My parents, all my grandparents, and many of my great-grandparents lived in New England, with most of them spending much of their lives in the Boston area. The men in the family all went to Harvard College, and my mother and two of my aunts went to Wellesley College in a Boston suburb. It was clear to me that Boston was the center of the universe, and for men a Harvard degree was the key to a successful life. When I was ready for college, the choice was obvious. I applied early decision to Wellesley, without considering any other place. Later when I was ready for graduate school, I applied only to Harvard.