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Valuing School Quality Using Boundary Discontinuities

Listed author(s):
  • Stephen Gibbons
  • Stephen Machin
  • Olmo Silva
Registered author(s):

    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%.

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    File URL: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/ceedps/ceedp132.pdf
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    Paper provided by Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE in its series CEE Discussion Papers with number 0132.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2012
    Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0132
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/publications.htm

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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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