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Contact Info:
Tufts University
Department of Economics
315 Braker Hall
8 Upper Campus Rd.
Medford, MA 02155-6722
Office: 617.627.2687
Curriculum Vitae

Thomas A. Downes
Associate Professor

Ph.D. Stanford University
M.A. Stanford University
B.A. Bowdoin College

Major Awards
Alfred P. Sloan Dissertation Fellow
AEFA Young Scholars Award Recipient

Public Educational Finance and School Choice

Professor Downes received his B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Bowdoin College in 1982 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1988 and was a faculty member at Northwestern University from 1988-1994. His research focuses in part on the evaluation and construction of state and local policies to improve the delivery of publicly-provided goods and to reduce inequities in the delivery of these services, with particular attention paid to public education. Another portion of his research considers the roles of the public and private sectors in the provision of education, with the eventual goal of providing improved information on the potential outcomes of broadened school choice. Among his current research projects are work on determining the implications for student outcomes of school finance reforms and property tax limitations and on characterizing the location decisions of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). His teaching interests include state and local public finance, the economics of education, and environmental economics. He was co-editor of Midwest Approaches to School Reform, published in 1995 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Among Professor Downes' recent publications are "Understanding the Supply of Non-Profits: Modeling the Location of Private Schools" (with Shane Greenstein) in The Rand Journal of Economics, "Adjusting School Aid Formulas for the Higher Costs of Educating Disadvantaged Students" (with Thomas Pogue) in The National Tax Journal, "An Analysis of the Effect of Chicago School Reform on Student Performance" (with Jaquelyn Horowitz) in Economic Perspectives: A Review from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, "Do Limits Matter? Evidence on the Effects of Tax Limitations on Student Performance" with (Richard Dye and Therese McGuire) in the Journal of Urban Economics, and "School Finance Reform and Private School Enrollment: Evidence from California" (with David Schoeman) in the Journal of Urban Economics. In addition, Professor Downes has advised policy makers in several states; an example of this advisory work is his contribution to Educational Finance to Support High Learning Standards, the Final Report of a symposium sponsored by the New York State Board of Regents.