School Finance Reform: An Empirical Test of the Economics of Public Opinion Formation
33 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 1997
Date Written: February 1997
Primary and secondary public school finance reforms that began in the 1970's have failed to correct large intrastate spending inequities in the United States. The threat of judicial activity and concern over the stagnating effect of property taxes have caused states to again look at ways in which to bring about reform. This paper uses survey data to determine characteristics significant to individual opinion formation on school finance reform. In addition to traits that proxy for self interest; measures of fiscal knowledge, political party identification, and opinions on the role of government are all found to be important. Results can be used by policymakers to determine characteristics that are consequential to an individual?s decision to support school finance reform. *Wassmer received a grant from Wayne State University?s College of Urban, Labor, and Metropolitan Affairs (CULMA) to conduct this research. CULMA's Center for Urban Studies conducted the survey used here. Pan Zuohong provided research assistance. Allen Goodman, Judy Temple, anonymous referees, and participants at various seminars offered helpful comments; remaining errors are my own.
JEL Classification: I22,H52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation