New evidence on the link between housing environment and children's educational attainments
There is extensive literature that posits the hypothesis that a better housing environment enhances a child's educational attainment. However, there is little causal evidence demonstrating the presence of this effect. In this study, we examine the effect of housing environment on a child's educational attainment using census files covering the entire population of Taiwan. Because the Taiwan census data contains unique address information for every household, we try to control the neighborhood effect and unobserved family heterogeneity by comparing a child with his peers of the same age cohort in the same neighborhood. After accounting for tens of thousand area dummies, the chance of high school enrollment for teens (aged 16 and 17) and college enrollment for young adults (aged 19 and 20) is found to be positively correlated with an increase in floor space, an increase in residential stability and with homeownership, but negatively correlated to an increase in housing crowdedness and an increase in building age. Among these housing variables, residential stability and homeownership are the ones generating the largest positive effects on the child's schooling.
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