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Making or buying evidence: using transaction cost economics to understand decision making in public school districts

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We propose transaction cost economics theory as a tool for exploring when school administrators rely on information from two types of sources: internal sources like their own colleagues, and external sources like researchers and government agencies. The theory's application is illustrated in a comparative case study of two public school districts in Michigan. Consistent with the theory's predictions, the smaller, homogeneous, high-performing district used more external sources of information, while the larger, diverse, low-performing district used internal sources of information. We conclude by identifying some strengths and limitations of the theory, which can serve as starting points for debate.
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Keywords: ECONOMICS; RESEARCH EVIDENCE; SCHOOLS; TRANSACTION COST

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected] 3: Email: [email protected] 4: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: November 2018

This article was made available online on October 30, 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Making or buying evidence: Using transaction cost economics to understand decision making in public school districts".

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