This paper considers the effect of textbook funding on school-level test performance by using a quasi-experimental setting in the United States. I consider a lawsuit in California that provided a one-time payment of $96.90 per student for textbooks if schools fell below a threshold of academic performance. Exploiting this variation with a regression discontinuity (RD) design, I find that textbook funding has significant positive effects on school-level achievement in elementary schools and has a high benefit-per-dollar. In contrast to elementary schools, I find no effect in middle and high schools though these estimates are very imprecise.
Holden, Kristian L.
"Buy the Book? Evidence on the Effect of Textbook Funding on School-Level Achievement."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
Analysis of Education
Educational Finance; Financial Aid
Education and Inequality
Education: Government Policy