NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Rucker Johnson

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Working Papers

May 2014The Effect of School Finance Reforms on the Distribution of Spending, Academic Achievement, and Adult Outcomes
with C. Kirabo Jackson, Claudia Persico: w20118
The school finance reforms (SFRs) that began in the early 1970s and accelerated in the 1980s caused some of the most dramatic changes in the structure of K–12 education spending in U.S. history. We analyze the effects of these reforms on the level and distribution of school district spending, as well as their effects on subsequent educational and economic outcomes. In Part One, using a newly compiled database of school finance reforms and a recently available long panel of annual school district data on per-pupil spending that spans 1967–2010, we present an event-study analysis of the effects of different types of school finance reforms on per-pupil spending in low- and high-income school districts. We find that SFRs have been instrumental in equalizing school spending between low- and h...
January 2011Long-run Impacts of School Desegregation & School Quality on Adult Attainments
w16664
This paper investigates the long-run impacts of court-ordered school desegregation on an array of adult socioeconomic and health outcomes. The study analyzes the life trajectories of children born between 1945 and 1970, and followed through 2011, using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). The PSID data are linked with multiple data sources that describe the neighborhood attributes, school quality resources, and coincident policies that prevailed at the time these children were growing up. I exploit quasirandom variation in the timing of initial court orders, which generated differences in the timing and scope of the implementation of desegregation plans during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Event study analyses as well as 2SLS and sibling-difference estimates indicate that school desegrega...

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