School Boards and Education Production: Evidence from Randomized Ballot Order

Ying Shi, John D. Singleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine the causal influence of educators elected to the school board on local education production. The key empirical challenge is that school board composition is endogenously determined through the electoral process. To overcome this, we develop a novel research design that leverages California’s randomized assignment of the order that candidate names appear on election ballots. We find that an additional educator elected to the school board reduces charter schooling and increases teacher salaries in the school district relative to other board members. We interpret these findings as consistent with educator board members shifting bargaining in favor of teachers’ unions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-472
Number of pages35
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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