School Bond Referendum, Capital Expenditure, and Student Achievement

NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2886666

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 17(4)

47 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2016 Last revised: 24 Nov 2017

See all articles by Kai Hong

Kai Hong

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD); New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Date Written: August 9, 2017

Abstract

In the United States, the reform of the financial system of capital expenditure is under consideration, as people believe the current system through local referenda contributes to inequality in student achievement across school districts. Several studies using a regression discontinuity design (RDD) find zero to modest positive effects of capital expenditures on student achievement; however, these studies identify only the effect of capital expenditure financing by a marginally passed bond with a vote share at the cutoff. In this paper I estimate the average effect of capital expenditure on student achievement by incorporating a latent factor model into the existing RDD framework, and comparing school districts that are similar in their underlying confounding variables, namely preferences for educational investment. The results show that, on average, capital expenditure financed by a passed bond does not have significantly effect on student achievement.

Keywords: capital expenditure, student achievement, latent factor, bond referendum

JEL Classification: I22, H54

Suggested Citation

Hong, Kai, School Bond Referendum, Capital Expenditure, and Student Achievement (August 9, 2017). NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2886666. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2886666 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2886666

Kai Hong (Contact Author)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) ( email )

1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
United States

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

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