IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Public School Reform, Expectations, and Capitalization: What Signals Quality to Homebuyers?


  • Velma Zahirovic-Herbert

    () (Department of Housing and Consumer Economics, University of Georgia, 213 Dawson Hall, Athens, GA 30602-3622, USA)

  • Geoffrey K. Turnbull

    () (Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3992, Atlanta, GA 30302-3992, USA)


This paper offers new evidence on how housing markets capitalize school quality information. We use school assessment measures and house transaction data from a single school district that is coterminous with a unified city-county local government to examine the effects of two school assignment policy changes. The unusual school district-city-county government structure minimizes property tax rate and public service variation across observations, reducing the source of one problem that plagues many capitalization studies. The school reassignment events reveal direct ties between school quality capitalization and households’ expectations—the latter reflected in private school enrollment and tax referendum voting. Different school performance measures convey different information to home owners. In particular, student test scores do not affect house prices when broader school performance measures are published. Prices respond to measured school improvement, but improvements in a given school are more highly valued than being reassigned to a better school.

Suggested Citation

  • Velma Zahirovic-Herbert & Geoffrey K. Turnbull, 2009. "Public School Reform, Expectations, and Capitalization: What Signals Quality to Homebuyers?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1094-1113, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:75:4:y:2009:p:1094-1113

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter T. Leeson, 2007. "Trading with Bandits," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 303-321.
    2. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-1295, December.
    3. Benson, Bruce L, 1995. "An Exploration of the Impact of Modern Arbitration Statutes on the Development of Arbitration in the United States," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 479-501, October.
    4. Oriana Bandiera, 2003. "Land Reform, the Market for Protection, and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 218-244, April.
    5. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
    6. Steven D. Levitt & Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, 2000. "An Economic Analysis of a Drug-Selling Gang's Finances," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 755-789.
    7. Garoupa, Nuno, 2007. "Optimal law enforcement and criminal organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 461-474, July.
    8. Davis, Michael L, 1988. "Time and Punishment: An Intertemporal Model of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 383-390, April.
    9. Stergios Skaperdas, 2001. "The political economy of organized crime: providing protection when the state does not," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 173-202, November.
    10. Kai Konrad & Stergios Skaperdas, 2012. "The market for protection and the origin of the state," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(2), pages 417-443, June.
    11. Baumol, William J., 1996. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive, and destructive," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-22, January.
    12. Leeson, Peter T., 2007. "Better off stateless: Somalia before and after government collapse," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 689-710, December.
    13. Hamilton, James D, 1983. "Oil and the Macroeconomy since World War II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 228-248, April.
    14. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
    15. Dowd, Kevin, 1997. "Anarchy, Warfare, and Social Order: Comment on Hirshleifer," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 648-651, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:regeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:98-116 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Thompson, Paul N., 2016. "School district and housing price responses to fiscal stress labels: Evidence from Ohio," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 54-72.
    3. Nguyen-Hoang, Phuong & Yinger, John, 2011. "The capitalization of school quality into house values: A review," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 30-48, March.
    4. Siqi Zheng & Wanyang Hu & Rui Wang, 2016. "How Much Is a Good School Worth in Beijing? Identifying Price Premium with Paired Resale and Rental Data," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 184-199, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:75:4:y:2009:p:1094-1113. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Laura Razzolini). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.