Studies of School Expenditure and School Outcomes

The following is a list of studies since 2000 that employed sophisticated statistical methods to analyse the impact of changes in non-capital school expenditure on student achievement. The list is drawn from a new meta-analysis of the studies published by the US National Bureau of Economic Reseach. All but one of the 25 studies found positive effects of increases in school expenditure on student achievement. There can be no doubt that money matters in education.

Abott, C., Kogan, V., Lavertu, S., and Peskowitz, Z. (2020). School District Operational Spending and Student Outcomes: Evidence from Tax Elections in Seven States. Journal of Public Economics, 183: 104142.

Baron, E. J. (2020). School Spending and Student Outcomes: Evidence from Revenue Limit Elections in Wisconsin. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (forthcoming). Available at SSRN.

Biasi, B. (2019). School Finance Equalization Increases Intergenerational Mobility: Evidence from a Simulated-Instruments Approach. Working Paper No. 25600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.

Brunner, E., Hyman, J., and Ju, A. (2020). School Finance Reforms, Teachers’ Unions, and the Allocation of School Resources. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 102(3): 473-489.

Candelaria, C. A. and Shores, K. A. (2019). Court-Ordered Finance Reforms in the Adequacy Era: Heterogeneous Causal Effects and Sensitivity. Education Finance and Policy, 14(1): 31-60.

Card, D. and Payne, A. A. (2002). School Finance Reform, the Distribution of School Spending, and the Distribution of Student Test Scores. Journal of Public Economics, 83(1): 49-82.

Carlson, D. and Lavertu S. (2018). School Improvement Grants in Ohio: Effects on Student Achievement and School Administration, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 40(3): 287–315.

Cascio, E. U., Gordon, N., and Reber, S. (2013). Local Responses to Federal Grants: Evidence from the Introduction of Title I in the South. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 5(3): 126-159.

Clark, M. A. (2003). Education Reform, Redistribution, and Student Achievement: Evidence from the Kentucky Education Reform Act., Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, New Jersey.

Gigliotti, P. and Sorensen, L. C. (2018). Educational Resources and Student Achievement: Evidence from the Save Harmless Provision in New York State. Economics of Education Review, 66: 167-182.

Guryan, J. (2001). Does Money Matter? Regression-Discontinuity Estimates from Education Finance Reform in Massachusetts. NBER Working Paper No. 8269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.

Hyman, J. (2017). Does Money Matter in the Long Run? Effects of School Spending on Educational Attainment. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 9(4): 256-280.

Jackson, C. K., Johnson, R. C., and Persico, C. (2016). The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 131(1): 157-218.

Johnson, R. C. and Jackson, C. K. (2019). Reducing Inequality through Dynamic Complementarity: Evidence from Head Start and Public School Spending. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 11(4): 310-349.

Jackson, C. K., Wigger, C., and Xiong, H. (2018). Do School Spending Cuts Matter? Evidence from the Great Recession. Working Paper No. 24203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.

Johnson, R. C. (2015). Follow the Money: School Spending from Title I to Adult Earnings. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 1(3): 50-76.

Kogan, V., Lavertu, S., and Peskowitz, Z. (2017). Direct Democracy and Administrative Disruption. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 27(3): 381-399.

Kreisman, D. and Steinberg, M. P. (2019). The Effect of Increased Funding on Student Achievement: Evidence from Texas’s Small District Adjustment. Journal of Public Economics, 176: 118-141.

Lafortune, J., Rothstein, J., and Schanzenbach, D. W. (2018). School Finance Reform and the Distribution of Student Achievement. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 10(2): 1-26.

Lee, K.-G. and Polachek, S. W. (2018). Do school budgets matter? The Effect of Budget Referenda on Student Dropout Rates. Education Economics, 26(2): 129-144.

Miller, C. L. (2018). The Effect of Education Spending on Student Achievement: Evidence from Property Values and School Finance Rules. Working Paper.

Papke, L. E. (2008). The Effects of Changes in Michigan’s School Finance System. Public Finance Review, 36(4): 456-474.

Rauscher, E. (2020). Delayed Benefits: Effects of California School District Bond Elections on Achievement by Socioeconomic Status. Sociology of Education, 93(2): 110-131.

Roy, J. (2011). Impact of School Finance Reform on Resource Equalization and Academic Performance: Evidence from Michigan. Education Finance and Policy, 6(2): 137-167.

Weinstein, M. G., Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A. E., and Chalico, L. (2009). Does Title I Increase Spending and Improve Performance? Evidence from New York City. Working Paper 09-09, Institute for Education and Social Policy, New York University.

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