The Twilight of the Setter? Public School Budgets in a Time of Institutional Change

21 Pages Posted: 17 May 2020

See all articles by Sean P. Corcoran

Sean P. Corcoran

New York University (NYU) - Institute for Education and Social Policy

Thomas Romer

Princeton University - Department of Political Science; Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Howard Rosenthal

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

We use a policy change that occurred in Oregon in the late 1980s to re‐visit the budget‐maximizing agenda setter theory of local public expenditure. Prior to 1987, Oregon school districts held operating levy elections with an exogenous, often zero or very low, spending reversion. From 1987 through 1990, districts experienced a “safety net” regime where the reversion was at least the previous year's nominal spending. We find that the “safety net” sharply limited the agenda setter's ability to use the reversion as a threat to obtain voter approval of relatively large expenditures.

Keywords: Agenda Contro, Domestic political economy, Macroeconomic political economy, Microfoundations of political economy, Public finance, Public goods/clubs, Referenda, Regional specialization, U.S. political economy

Suggested Citation

Corcoran, Sean P. and Romer, Thomas and Rosenthal, Howard, The Twilight of the Setter? Public School Budgets in a Time of Institutional Change (March 2017). Economics & Politics, Vol. 29, Issue 1, pp. 1-21, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3598379 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecpo.12087

Sean P. Corcoran

New York University (NYU) - Institute for Education and Social Policy ( email )

United States

Thomas Romer (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1013
United States

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Howard Rosenthal

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States

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