Equalizing Educational Opportunity Through Educational Finance Reform

UC Davis Working Paper No. 99-08

58 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2000

See all articles by Julian R. Betts

Julian R. Betts

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics; Public Policy Institute of California

John E. Roemer

Yale University - Department of Political Science; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Date Written: October 1998

Abstract

We analyze the reallocations of educational expenditures required to equalize opportunities, according to the theory of Roemer (1998). Using the NLSYM data set, we find that implementing an equal-opportunity policy across men of different races, by using educational finance as the instrument, and holding per capita educational finance fixed, would require spending six to ten times as much on black students, per capita, as on white students. Implementing an equal-opportunity policy across men from different socio-economic backgrounds, but ignoring race, does almost nothing to equalize opportunities for men of different races. Raising the school-leaving age by one year, as opposed to increasing spending per pupil directly, is a relatively inexpensive way of reducing inequality of opportunity across races, but the reduction in opportunity inequality it achieves is very small.

JEL Classification: D63, I22, I28

Suggested Citation

Betts, Julian R. and Roemer, John E., Equalizing Educational Opportunity Through Educational Finance Reform (October 1998). UC Davis Working Paper No. 99-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=214135 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.214135

Julian R. Betts (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Public Policy Institute of California

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John E. Roemer

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~jer39/

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

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