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

50 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 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 24, 2016

Abstract

To study whether current spending levels and public knowledge of them contribute to transatlantic differences in policy preferences, we implement parallel survey experiments in Germany and the United States. In both countries, support for increased education spending and teacher salaries falls 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 could explain much of Germans’ lower support for increases. Information about the tradeoffs between specific spending categories shifts preferences from class-size reduction towards alternative purposes.

Keywords: policy preferences, cross-country comparison, Germany, United States, education spending, information, survey experiments

JEL Classification: H520, I220, D720, D830

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 24, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6192. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2887936

Martin R. West

Harvard Graduate School of Education ( email )

6 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ludger Woessmann (Contact Author)

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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