Eric Brunner

MPA and MPP Program Director

Professor, Department of Public Policy

Primary Research Theme

People and the City

Secondary Research Themes

Economic and Community Development

Recent Cities-related Projects

  • The Effects of Career and Technical Education: Evidence from the Connecticut Technical High School System: We examine the effect of admission to 16 stand-alone technical high schools within the Connecticut Technical High School System (CTHSS) on student educational and labor market outcomes. To identify the causal effect of admission on student outcomes, we exploit the fact that CTHSS utilizes a score-based admissions system and identify the effect of admission using a regression discontinuity approach. We find that male students attending one of the technical high schools are approximately 10 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school and 8 percentage points less likely to attend college, although there is some evidence that the negative effects on college attendance fade over time. We also find that male students attending a technical high school have quarterly earnings that are approximately 31% higher. Analyses of potential mechanisms behind these results reveal that male students that attend a technical high school have higher 9th grade attendance rates and higher 10th grade test scores. We find little evidence that attending a technical high school affects the educational or labor outcomes of women.

Selected Urban-Related Publications

“School Finance Reforms, Teachers’ Unions, and the Allocation of School Resources,” (with Josh Hyman and Andrew Ju), Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming.

“Teacher Labor Market Responses to Statewide Reform: Evidence from Michigan,” (with Josh Cowen, Katherine Strunk and Steve Drake), Education Evaluation & Policy Analysis, forthcoming.

“State Collective Bargaining Laws and Public-Sector Pay,” (with Andrew Ju), ILR Review, 2019, 72(2), 480-508.

“Gentrification and Failing Schools: The Unintended Consequences of School Choice under NCLB,” (with Steve Billings and Steve Ross), Review of Economics and Statistics, 2018, 100(1), 65-77.

“Information, Tax Salience and Support for School District Bond Referenda,” (with Bill Simonsen and Mark Robbins), Public Budgeting & Finance, 2018, 38(4), 52-73

“The Impact of Georgia’s Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax on the Fiscal Behavior of Local School Districts,” (with David Schwegman), National Tax Journal, 2017, 70(2), 295-328.

“Intergenerational Conflict and the Political Economy of Higher Education Funding,” (with Erik Johnson), Journal of Urban Economics, 2016, 91, 73-87.

“Homeowners, Renters and the Political Economy of Property Taxation,” (with Becky Simonsen and Steve Ross), Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2015, 53, 38-49.