Education Spending in an Aging America

Amy Rehder Harris, William N. Evans and Robert M. Schwab , Journal of Public Economics 81(3) , 449-472 , September 2001.

In this paper we use a national panel of public school districts to study the impact of an aging population on public education spending. In contrast to previous analyses that use state-level data, we find that the elderly have only a modest overall negative effect on education spending at the district level. Our results confirm, however, that a growing share of elderly at the state level tends to depress state spending on education. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the elderly believe only higher local spending is capitalized into house values.

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