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Political-economic determinants of education reform: Evidence on interest groups and student outcomes

Vigile Marie Fabella

European Journal of Political Economy, 2017, vol. 48, issue C, 144-161

Abstract: Education reforms come in two general types: access and quality reforms. Access reforms provide more educational opportunities, while quality reforms improve educational effectiveness. This paper investigates empirically the factors affecting the enactment of these two kinds of reforms in public primary and secondary education. By using a novel dataset of U.S. state legislation from 2008 to 2013, we find that both access and quality reforms are more likely in times of bad educational outcomes. Moreover, this is the first study documenting that teachers' union strength correlates positively with access reforms and negatively with quality reforms. Our results also shed light on the way teachers' unions promote their political interests: both lobbying and contributions are effective at opposing undesired reforms, but contributions have an extra effect of influencing the enactment of desired reforms.

Keywords: Political economy; Education; Reform; Interest groups; Access; Quality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I28 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

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