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Public School Choice and Integration: Evidence from Durham, North Carolina

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Abstract

Using evidence from Durham, North Carolina, we examine the impact of school choice programs on racial and class-based segregation across schools. Theoretical considerations suggest that how choice programs affect segregation will depend not only on the family preferences emphasized inthe sociology literature but also on the linkages between student composition, school quality and student achievement emphasized in the economics literature. Reasonable assumptions about the distribution of preferences over race, class, and school characteristics suggest that the segregating choices of students from advantaged backgrounds are likely to outweigh any integrating choices by disadvantaged students. The results of our empirical analysis are consistent with these theoretical considerations. Using information on the actual schools students attend and on the schools in their assigned attendance zones, we find that schools in Durham are more segregated by race and class as a result of school choice programs than they would be if all students attended their geographically assigned schools. In addition, we find that the effects of choice on segregation by class are larger than the ffects on segregation by race.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Working Papers with number 109.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:109

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Keywords: Racial segregation; School choice;

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  1. Ihlanfeldt, Keith R. & Scafidi, Benjamin, 2002. "Black Self-Segregation as a Cause of Housing Segregation: Evidence from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 366-390, March.
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  5. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1979. "Urban school desegregation and declines in white enrollment: A reexamination," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 352-370, July.
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  7. Cullen, Julie Berry & Jacob, Brian A. & Levitt, Steven D., 2005. "The impact of school choice on student outcomes: an analysis of the Chicago Public Schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 729-760, June.
  8. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1997. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," NBER Working Papers 5881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. King, A Thomas & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1973. "Racial Discrimination, Segregation, and the Price of Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 590-606, May-June.
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  12. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 11936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Kim Rueben, 2005. "Residential Segregation in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 11095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger & Stephanie K. Riegg, 2005. "School Quality, Neighborhoods and Housing Prices: The Impacts of school Desegregation," NBER Working Papers 11347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lankford R. H. & Lee E. S. & Wyckoff J. H., 1995. "An Analysis of Elementary and Secondary School Choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 236-251, September.
  16. Robert Bifulco & Helen F. Ladd, 2007. "School choice, racial segregation, and test-score gaps: Evidence from North Carolina's charter school program*," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 31-56.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert Bifulco & Jason Fletcher & Stephen Ross, 2008. "The Effect of Classmate Characteristics on Individual Outcomes: Evidence from the Add Health," Working papers 2008-21, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2009.
  2. Gerdes, Christer, 2010. "Does Immigration Induce 'Native Flight' from Public Schools? Evidence from a Large Scale Voucher Program," IZA Discussion Papers 4788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Claudia Schuchart & Kerstin Schneider & Horst Weishaupt & Andrea Riedel, 2011. "Welchen Einfluss hat die Wohnumgebung auf die Grundschulwahl von Eltern? Analysen zur Bedeutung von kontextuellen und familiären Merkmalen auf das Wahlverhalten," Schumpeter Discussion Papers sdp11009, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
  4. Cory Koedel & Julian R. Betts & Lorien A. Rice & Andrew C. Zau, 2009. "The Social Cost of Open Enrollment as a School Choice Policy," Working Papers 0906, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 13 Apr 2010.

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