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How Economic Segregation Affects Children's Educational Attainment

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  • Susan E. Mayer

Abstract

Economic segregation increased in the United States between 1970 and 1990. Three hypotheses suggest that this would affect low-income children's educational attainment. The political economy of school funding and predicts that economically segregated school districts reduce the educational attainment of low-income children. Two other hypotheses emphasize the effect of inequality within neighborhoods. But they produce opposite predictions about the effect of economic segregation on educational attainment. None of the hypothesis provides a firm prediction about the effect of economic segregation on overall educational attainment. I combine Census data with data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamic to show that an increase in economic segregation between census tracts in the same state hardly changes overall educational attainment but it exacerbates inequality between high-income and low-income children. With overall inequality held constant changes in economic inequality within census tracts have little effect on low-income children's educational attainment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago in its series Working Papers with number 0118.

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Date of creation: Jul 2001
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Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:0118

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Keywords: economic inequality; economic segregation; educational attainment; low-income children;

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References

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  1. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "Labor Market Effects of School Quality: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 736, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Cutler, David M & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-72, August.
  3. David Card & A. Abigail Payne, 1998. "School Finance Reform, the Distribution of School Spending, and the Distribution of SAT Scores," NBER Working Papers 6766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
  5. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  6. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326, February.
  7. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  8. Susan E. Mayer, 2001. "How the Growth in Income Inequality Increased Economic Segregation," Working Papers 0117, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  9. repec:fth:prinin:357 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Durlauf, Steven N, 1996. " A Theory of Persistent Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 75-93, March.
  11. Thomas Downes & David Figlio, 1998. "School Finance Reforms, Tax Limits, and Student Performance: Do Reforms Level-Up or Dumb Down?," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9805, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  12. Hanushek, E.A.omson, W., 1996. "Assessing the Effects of School Resources on Student Performance : An Update," RCER Working Papers 424, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
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Cited by:
  1. Krista Perreira & Kathleen Harris & Dohoon Lee, 2006. "Making it in America: High school completion by immigrant and native youth," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 511-536, August.
  2. Linda Loubert, 2005. "Discrimination in education financing," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 17-27, March.
  3. Lugo, Maria Ana, 2011. "Heterogenous peer effects, segregation and academic attainment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5718, The World Bank.
  4. Oberwittler, Dietrich, 2007. "The effects of ethnic and social segregation on children and adolescents: Recent research and results from a German multilevel study," Discussion Papers, Programme on Intercultural Conflicts and Societal Integration (AKI) SP IV 2007-603, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  5. Miguel Vargas Román, 2012. "Economic Residential Segregation and Educational Achievements: Evidence from Chile," ERSA conference papers ersa12p170, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Li, Jing, 2012. "Economic segregation and urban growth," MPRA Paper 41050, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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