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Join us on November 11 at 12 p.m. in Middlebush 212 as Dr. Favero presents his latest findings. 


Local Competition Over School Resources: The Search for Scarce Talent among Geographically Proximate Governments


Funding equity is a perennial concern in education policy. Careful study of educational funding inequities can serve to inform broader discussions regarding the nature of competition among local governments (e.g., Tiebout sorting). Many US states have adopted policy reforms in recent decades that have boosted education spending in low-income school districts, and these reforms appear to have generally been effective at improving student outcomes. But we know little about whether across-the-board funding increases (that boost absolute spending levels in all districts) yield the same benefits to low-income students as the adoption of progressive funding schemes that alleviate relative funding disparities between low- and high- income districts. Theory suggests relative funding disparities may contribute to explaining outcomes because if district A starts paying its teachers more, neighboring district B may have a harder time recruiting qualified teachers, unless it can also afford to pay higher salaries. This project attempts to disentangle the effects of relative versus absolute spending levels on student success by considering the potential for local competition over scarce educational resources, such as highly-effective teachers. Alongside an empirical analysis of U.S. school districts, I discuss the broader implications of potentially negative spillover effects in labor markets for competition among local governments.

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