The Economic Impact of Charter Schools an Empirical Study

Open Access
Eisenhut, Lindsay Anne
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Sung Jae Jun, Thesis Supervisor
  • Diane Marie Henderson, Honors Advisor
  • Bee Yan Roberts, Faculty Reader
  • charter schools
  • regression analysis
  • economics
This paper examines whether or not charter schools impact the economies of local communities across the nation. This question is answered by analyzing the relationship between charter schools and annual public charity expenses, which serve as a measure for economic development within a community. Charter schools, like traditional public schools, receive tax-dollars from the district and state according to the number of students attending. Data from 465 counties over a ten year period were analyzed using various fixed effects regression models. Empirical analysis suggests that, under certain conditions, the existence of charter schools influences annual public charity expenses in the local community. Therefore, one may conclude that in certain communities charter schools are viewed as assets and encourage local investment. This paper outlines the various relationships tested and reveals under which conditions charter schools are likely to impact the economies of local communities. The results of the analysis indicate that in counties with a mean Hispanic population, an increase in the number of charter schools leads to an increase in annual public charity expenses.