How Information Affects Support for Education Spending: Evidence from Survey Experiments in Germany and the United States

50 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2016

See all articles by Martin R. West

Martin R. West

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Philipp Lergetporer

University of Innsbruck

Katharina Werner

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2016

Abstract

We study whether current spending levels and public knowledge of them contribute to transatlantic differences in policy preferences by implementing parallel survey experiments in Germany and the United States. In both countries, support for increased education spending and teacher salaries falls sharply when respondents receive information about existing levels. Treatment effects vary by prior knowledge in a manner consistent with information effects rather than priming. Support for salary increases is inversely related to salary levels across American states, suggesting that salary differences between the two countries could explain Germans’ lower support for increases. Information about the tradeoffs between different categories of education spending shifts preferences away from class-size reduction and towards alternative purposes.

Suggested Citation

West, Martin R. and Woessmann, Ludger and Lergetporer, Philipp and Werner, Katharina, How Information Affects Support for Education Spending: Evidence from Survey Experiments in Germany and the United States (November 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22808. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2865543

Martin R. West (Contact Author)

Harvard Graduate School of Education ( email )

6 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich
Germany
++49 89 9224 1699 (Phone)
++49 89 9224 1460 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/link/woessmann_l.htm

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Schackstr. 4
Munich, 80539
Germany

Philipp Lergetporer

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, 6020
Austria

Katharina Werner

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

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