Cover: An Econometric Study of Public School Expenditure Variations across States, 1951-1967.

An Econometric Study of Public School Expenditure Variations across States, 1951-1967.

Published 1972

by Stephen M. Barro

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback21 pages $20.00

Nine sets of annual data on state school finances are used to test a theory of expenditure determination by public school districts. The results support implications of the theory regarding effects of personal income, state and federal aid, the relative price of education, the pupil/population ratio, and enrollment growth on per pupil spending. A population density variable and a South vs. non-South regional variable, both included on the basis of earlier results, also affect spending significantly. The nine cross-sectional equations are generally consistent, but there are some structural shifts over time and the hypothesis of coefficient homogeneity is not supported. Consequently, a pooled equation that allows for such shifts explicitly provides the most useful predictive model. Policy applications of the results are limited by (1) omission of some "taste variables" that affect spending, (2) uncertainty about differential state responses to aid, and (3) the absence of price data for individual states. 21 pp. Ref.

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.