ABFM Doctoral Student Profile: David Schwegman

David J. Schwegman (Maxwell-Syracuse) will be presenting “Do Street-Level Bureaucrats Discriminate against Racial and Sexual Minorities? Evidence from a Correspondence Study of Property Assessors” in the 9:30am Friday session. He will also be presenting his job market paper “Fiscal Spillovers from Local Property Tax Relief: Evidence from New York State” in the 11am Friday session. Here is the abstract for his job market paper:

This paper investigates if state aid to one type of government affects the fiscal decisions of a different overlapping government. Specifically, I exploit the change in the tax price for education services induced by the New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) program to identify the effect of intergovernmental aid for school districts on the fiscal decisions of overlapping county governments. I find that a 10 percent reduction in the tax price for education services increases county-level spending per household by approximately 0.84 percent, property tax levies by 1.45 percent, and long-term debt per household by 0.78 percent. I then examine whether changes in county spending translated into changes in county-level outcomes. I do not find any evidence that changes in school district tax price are associated with changes in county-level outcomes. Although the limited number of outcomes I am able to examine do not capture the full range of outcomes that residents value, these results do suggest that the increase in county spending induced by STAR was not used productively. Thus, this increase in spending may not be welfare maximizing. This is the first paper to examine if there is a fiscal spillover of intergovernmental aid onto the fiscal behavior of an overlapping, non-recipient government.

His dissertation, which is chaired by Robert Bifulco, examines property tax administration and policy. David’s research interests are in state and local public finance, financial management, education policy and finance, and experimental studies of discrimination. In addition to these papers, David has several other interesting papers:

  • A solo-authored paper that examines rental market discrimination against same-sex couples, which was published in Housing Policy Debate in 2019.
  • A publication in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management that examines the effects of accountability-driven school closure on student outcomes.
  • A publication in the National Tax Journal that examines the effects of Georgia’s education specific local option sales tax on the fiscal behavior of local school districts.
  • He also has a co-authored paper on the effects of high stakes teacher evaluations on the supply and quality of new teachers with a revise and resubmit at the Journal of Public Economics.

His website can be found: https://djschweg.weebly.com/


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