Schooling, Inequality, and the Impact of Government

36 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2000 Last revised: 2 Apr 2001

See all articles by Eric A. Hanushek

Eric A. Hanushek

Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Julie A. Somers

PHB Hagler Bailly, Inc.

Date Written: December 1999

Abstract

Analyses of income inequality have identified the importance of increased demand for worker skills, but characterizations of worker skills by the amount of schooling attained do not capture important aspects of the widening income distribution and of the stagnating relative wages of black workers. This paper is motivated by the possibility that schooling quality is an important component of the changing income distribution. The central analysis focuses on how governmental schooling policies particularly those related to the level and distribution of school spending affect the distribution of worker quality and of income. The substantial differences in spending across states are not significantly related to the variations in achievement growth across states. Further, the three decade old movement toward reducing the variation in school spending within states appears to have done nothing to reduce subsequent income variations of workers. Thus, the direct government policies toward school spending, as carried out in the past, have not ameliorated inequalities in incomes.

Suggested Citation

Hanushek, Eric A. and Somers, Julie A., Schooling, Inequality, and the Impact of Government (December 1999). NBER Working Paper No. w7450. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=214571

Eric A. Hanushek (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305-6010
United States
650-736-0942 (Phone)
650-723-1687 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Julie A. Somers

PHB Hagler Bailly, Inc.

One Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02141-1344
United States

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