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Valuing School Quality Via School Choice Reform

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  • Stephen Machin
  • Kjell Salvanes

Abstract

Among policymakers, educators and economists there remains a strong, sometimes heated, debate on the extent to which good schools matter. This is seen, for instance, in the strong trend towards establishing accountability systems in education in many countries across the world. In this paper, in line with some recent studies, we value school quality using house prices. We, however, adopt a rather different approach to other work, using a policy experiment regarding pupils' choice to attend high schools to identify the relationship between house prices and school performance. We exploit a change in school choice policy that took place in Oslo county in 1997, where the school authorities opened up the possibility for every pupil to apply to any of the high schools in the county without having to live in the school's catchment area (the rule that applied before 1997). Our estimates show evidence that parents substantially value better performing schools since the sensitivity of housing valuations to school performance falls significantly by over 50% following the school choice reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Machin & Kjell Salvanes, 2010. "Valuing School Quality Via School Choice Reform," CEE Discussion Papers 0113, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0113
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    File URL: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/ceedps/ceedp113.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gibbons, Steve & Machin, Stephen, 2003. "Valuing English primary schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 197-219, March.
    2. Black, Sandra E. & Machin, Stephen, 2011. "Housing Valuations of School Performance," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    3. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
    4. Bogart, William T. & Cromwell, Brian A., 2000. "How Much Is a Neighborhood School Worth?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 280-305, March.
    5. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 588-638, August.
    6. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2013. "Valuing school quality using boundary discontinuities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 15-28.
    7. Stephen Gibbons & Stephen Machin, 2008. "Valuing school quality, better transport, and lower crime: evidence from house prices," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 99-119, spring.
    8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    9. Bogart, William T. & Cromwell, Brian A., 1997. "How Much More is a Good School District Worth?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(2), pages 215-32, June.
    10. Bogart, William T. & Cromwell, Brian A., 1997. "How Much More Is a Good School District Worth?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 50(2), pages 215-232, June.
    11. 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.
    12. John Ries & Tsur Somerville, 2010. "School Quality and Residential Property Values: Evidence from Vancouver Rezoning," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 928-944, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rasmus Landersø & James J. Heckman, 2017. "The Scandinavian Fantasy: The Sources of Intergenerational Mobility in Denmark and the US," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(1), pages 178-230, January.
    2. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:63:y:2018:i:c:p:100-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:5:p:654-688 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:oup:cesifo:v:64:y:2018:i:2:p:150-175. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Boustan, Leah Platt, 2013. "Local public goods and the demand for high-income municipalities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 71-82.
    6. Schneider, Kerstin & Schuchart, Claudia & Weishaupt, Horst & Riedel, Andrea, 2012. "The effect of free primary school choice on ethnic groups — Evidence from a policy reform," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 430-444.
    7. Oskari Harjunen & Mika Kortelainen & Tuukka Saarimaa, 2018. "Best Education Money Can Buy? Capitalization of School Quality in Finland," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 64(2), pages 150-175.
    8. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2013. "The Power of Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 4119, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. repec:mab:wpaper:23 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Schwartz, Amy Ellen & Voicu, Ioan & Horn, Keren Mertens, 2014. "Do choice schools break the link between public schools and property values? Evidence from house prices in New York City," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 1-10.
    11. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:6:p:1075-:d:102126 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Torberg Falch & Astrid Marie Jorde Sandsør & Bjarne Strøm, 2017. "Do Smaller Classes Always Improve Students’ Long-run Outcomes?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(5), pages 654-688, October.
    13. Falch, Torberg & Naper, Linn Renée, 2013. "Educational evaluation schemes and gender gaps in student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 12-25.
    14. Chung, Il Hwan, 2015. "School choice, housing prices, and residential sorting: Empirical evidence from inter-and intra-district choice," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 39-49.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    School choice; school performance; house prices;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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