|School Finance Equalization Increases Intergenerational Mobility: Evidence from a Simulated-Instruments Approach|
This paper estimates the causal effect of equalizing revenues across public school districts on students' intergenerational mobility, using variation from 13 school finance reforms passed in 20 US states between 1986 and 2004. Since households sort in response to each reform, post-reform revenues are endogenous to an extent that varies across states depending on the funding formula. I address this issue with a simulated-instruments approach, which uses newly collected data on states' funding formulas to simulate revenues in the absence of sorting. I find that equalization has a large effect on mobility, especially for low-income students. I provide suggestive evidence that this effect acts through a reduction in the gap in inputs (such as the number of teachers) and in college attendance b...
|The Labor Market for Teachers Under Different Pay Schemes|
Compensation of most US public school teachers is rigid and solely based on seniority. This paper studies the labor market effects of a reform that gave school districts in Wisconsin full autonomy to redesign teacher pay schemes. Following the reform, some districts switched to flexible compensation and started paying high-quality teachers more. Teacher quality increased in these districts relative to those with seniority pay due to a change in workforce composition and an increase in effort. I estimate a structural model of this labor market to investigate the effects of counterfactual pay schemes on the composition of the teaching workforce.
|Effects of Copyrights on Science - Evidence from the US Book Republication Program|
with Petra Moser: w24255
Copyrights for books, news, and other types of media are a critical mechanism to encourage creativity and innovation. Yet economic analyses continue to be rare, partly due to a lack of experimental variation in modern copyright laws. This paper exploits a change in copyright laws as a result of World War II to examine the effects of copyrights on science. In 1943, the US Book Republication Program (BRP) granted US publishers temporary licenses to republish the exact content of German-owned science books. Using new data on citations, we find that this program triggered a large increase in citations to German-owned science books. This increase was driven by a significant reduction in access costs: Each 10 percent decline in the price of BRP book was associated with a 43 percent increase in c...