NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Liang Zhang

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Working Papers

August 2002Why Do School District Budget Referenda Fail?
with Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Randy A. Ehrenberg, Christopher L. Smith: w9088
Our paper analyzes historical data for New York State on the percentagee of school budget proposals that are defeated each year and panel data that we have collected on budget vote success for indvidual school districts in the state. We find that changes in state aid matter, but not as much as one might expect. Defeating a budget proposal in one year neither increases nor decreases the likelihood that voters will defeat a proposal the next year. Districts whose school board members have longer terms have lower probabilities of having their budget proposals defeated. Finally, measures of school district educational and financial performance do not appear to influence budget vote outcomes.

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