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Jel Classification:H4 

Journal Article
Tough Choices: New Jersey Schools during the Great Recession and Beyond

This study examines the medium-term effects of the Great Recession on school finances in New Jersey using detailed school district panel data and an interrupted time series analysis. The authors find that the recession led to sharp cuts in school funding and expenditure, in spite of the federal stimulus. These cuts deepened as the stimulus abated. An analysis of variations by metropolitan area reveals that the Camden metro area, the highest poverty area reviewed, experienced considerably larger cuts in expenditures when the stimulus receded compared with other areas. The findings are ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 27 , Issue 1 , Pages 1-34

Journal Article
The Long Road to Recovery: New York Schools in the Aftermath of the Great Recession

Using rich panel data and an interrupted time-series analysis, the authors examine how the funding and expenditure dynamics of New York school districts changed in the four years after the Great Recession. Extending prior work on the immediate effects of the recession on school finances in 2009-10 in Chakrabarti, Livingston, and Setren (2015), they take a longer-term view through 2012, to document what happened when support from federal stimulus funding began to dwindle and then ended. The analysis finds that the more than $6 billion in support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 25 , Issue Dec

Report
Merit Aid, Student Mobility, and the Role of College Selectivity

In this paper, we investigate the role of college selectivity in college choice decisions (both in-state and out-of-state) of freshmen students following Georgia's HOPE scholarship program. How did HOPE affect the selectivity of colleges attended by Georgia's freshmen students? Did it induce Georgia's freshmen students who would have otherwise attended more selective out-of-state colleges to instead attend less selective in-state ones? Or was there movement to more selective ones, both in-state and out-of-state? Using student residency and enrollment data from IPEDS and selectivity data from ...
Staff Reports , Paper 641

Report
Housing markets and residential segregation: impacts of the Michigan school finance reform on inter- and intra-district sorting

Local financing of public schools in the United States leads to a bundling of two distinct choices ? residential choice and school choice ? and has been argued to increase the degree of socioeconomic segregation across school districts. A school finance reform, aimed at equalization of school finances, can in principle weaken this link between housing choice and choice of schools. In this paper, we study the impacts of the Michigan school finance reform of 1994 (Proposal A) on spatial segregation. The reform was a state initiative intended to equalize per-pupil expenditures between Michigan ...
Staff Reports , Paper 565

Journal Article
A tale of two states: the recession’s impact on N.Y. and N.J. school finances

Although schools play a crucial role in human capital formation and economic growth, relatively few studies consider the effect of recessions (and in particular the Great Recession) on schools. This article helps fill this gap by comparing and contrasting the effects of the Great Recession on school districts in New York and New Jersey. In fact, it is the first article to compare the impacts of the Great Recession on schools in different states. The authors find that the two states had very different experiences in the two years following the recession. While total school funding in New York ...
Economic Policy Review , Issue 23-1 , Pages 30-42

Report
Pandemics Change Cities: Municipal Spending and Voter Extremism in Germany, 1918-1933

We merge several historical data sets from Germany to show that influenza mortality in 1918-1920 is correlated with societal changes, as measured by municipal spending and city-level extremist voting, in the subsequent decade. First, influenza deaths are associated with lower per capita spending, especially on services consumed by the young. Second, influenza deaths are correlated with the share of votes received by extremist parties in 1932 and 1933. Our election results are robust to controlling for city spending, demographics, war-related population changes, city-level wages, and regional ...
Staff Reports , Paper 921

Working Paper
Walking a tightrope: are U. S. state and local governments on a fiscally sustainable path?

This paper develops a new measure of state and local fiscal sustainability called the "trend gap," which is based on socioeconomic and other fundamental factors and removes the short-term influence of the business cycle. The paper estimates the trend gap and finds that the nationwide per capita trend gap has been on a growing path over the past three decades, a different conclusion than found in previous studies. Social insurance and income maintenance programs have played a major role in the growth of the trend gap, while pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) plans have become ...
Working Papers , Paper 13-18

Report
Effect of constraints on Tiebout competition: evidence from a school finance reform in the United States

In 1994, Michigan enacted a comprehensive school finance reform that not only significantly increased state aid to low-spending districts, but also placed restraints on the growth of spending in high-spending districts. While a rich literature studies the impact of school finance reforms on resource equalization, test scores, and residential sorting, there is no literature yet on the impact of such reforms on resource allocation by school districts. This study begins to fill this gap. The Michigan reform affords us a unique opportunity to study the impacts of such reforms on resource ...
Staff Reports , Paper 471

Working Paper
Is Los Angeles Becoming Transit Oriented?

Over the past 20 years, local and regional governments in the Los Angeles metropolitan area have invested significant resources in building rail transit infrastructure that connects major employment centers. One goal of transit infrastructure is to catalyze the development of high density, mixed-use housing and commercial activity within walking distance of rail stations, referred to as Transit Oriented Development (TOD). This project examines the quantity, type, and mix of economic activity that has occurred around newly built rail stations in Los Angeles over the past 20 years. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-4

Report
Getting ahead by spending more? Local community response to state merit aid programs

In more than half of U.S. states over the past two decades, the implementation of merit aid programs has dramatically reduced net tuition expenses for college-bound students who attend in-state colleges. Although the intention of these programs was to improve access to enrollment for high-achieving students, it is possible that they had unanticipated effects. We analyze whether state funding for higher education and K-12 education changed as a result of program implementation, and whether local school districts attempt to counter any such changes. We employ two methodologies to study whether ...
Staff Reports , Paper 872

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