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Valuing School Quality Using Boundary Discontinuities

Author

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  • Stephen Gibbons
  • Stephen Machin
  • Olmo Silva

Abstract

Existing research shows that house prices respond to local school quality as measured by average test scores. However, higher test scores could signal better quality teaching and academic value-added, or higher ability, sought-after intakes. In our research, we show decisively that value-added drives households' demand for good schooling. However, prior achievement - linked to the background of children in school - also matters. In order to identify these effects, we improve the boundary discontinuity regression methodology by matching identical properties across admissions authority boundaries; by allowing for boundary effects and spatial trends; by re-weighting our data towards transactions that are closest to district boundaries; by eliminating boundaries that coincide with major geographical features; and by submitting our estimates to a number of novel falsification tests. Our results survive this battery of experiments and show that a one-standard deviation change in either school average value-added or prior achievement raises prices by around 3%.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Gibbons & Stephen Machin & Olmo Silva, 2012. "Valuing School Quality Using Boundary Discontinuities," CEE Discussion Papers 0132, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0132
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    File URL: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/ceedps/ceedp132.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card & Martin D. Dooley & A. Abigail Payne, 2010. "School Competition and Efficiency with Publicly Funded Catholic Schools," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 150-176, October.
    2. David Brasington & Donald R. Haurin, 2006. "Educational Outcomes and House Values: A Test of the value added Approach," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 245-268.
    3. Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Henry G. Overman, 2011. "Assessing the Effects of Local Taxation using Microgeographic Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 1017-1046, September.
    4. Clapp, John M. & Nanda, Anupam & Ross, Stephen L., 2008. "Which school attributes matter? The influence of school district performance and demographic composition on property values," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 451-466, 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. Fack, Gabrielle & Grenet, Julien, 2010. "When do better schools raise housing prices? Evidence from Paris public and private schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 59-77, February.
    7. Downes, Thomas A. & Zabel, Jeffrey E., 2002. "The impact of school characteristics on house prices: Chicago 1987-1991," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-25, July.
    8. Ian Davidoff & Andrew Leigh, 2008. "How Much do Public Schools Really Cost? Estimating the Relationship between House Prices and School Quality," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(265), pages 193-206, June.
    9. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Fernando Ferreira & Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "The Value of School Facilities: Evidence from a Dynamic Regression Discontinuity Design," Working Papers 1104, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Education Research Section..
    10. Dennis N. Epple & Richard Romano, 2003. "Neighborhood Schools, Choice, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of School Choice, pages 227-286 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Cushing, Brian J., 1984. "Capitalization of interjurisdictional fiscal differentials: An alternative approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 317-326, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:63:y:2018:i:c:p:100-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Stephen Gibbons & Susana Mourato & Guilherme Resende, 2014. "The Amenity Value of English Nature: A Hedonic Price Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(2), pages 175-196, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    House prices; school quality; boundary discontinuities;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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