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Moving into the Projects: Social Housing Neighbourhoods and School Performance in England

  • Felix Weinhardt

This study estimates the effect of living in a very deprived neighbourhood, as identified by a high density of social housing, on the educational attainment of fourteen years old (9th grade) students in England. Neighbourhoods with markedly high concentrations of social housing have very high unemployment and extremely low qualification rates, as well as high building density, rooms over-crowding and low house prices. In order to identify the causal impact of neighbourhood deprivation on pupil attainments, I exploit the timing of moving into these neighbourhoods. The timing of a move can be taken as exogenous because of long waiting lists for social housing in high-demand areas. This is a new strategy that by-passes the usual sorting and reflection problems. Using this approach, there is no evidence for otherwise negative effects, which has potentially wide-ranging implications for social housing policy.

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Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0044.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0044
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

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  1. Ernst Fehr, 2003. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," Microeconomics 0305010, EconWPA.
  2. Daniel Aaronson, 1998. "Using Sibling Data to Estimate the Impact of Neighborhoods on Children's Educational Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 915-946.
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  4. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2007. "Close Neighbours Matter: Neighbourhood Effects on Early Performance at School," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1193-1215, October.
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  6. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  9. Paul Cheshire & Steve Gibbons & Ian Gordon, 2008. "Policies for Mixed Communities: A Critical Evaluation," SERC Policy Papers 002, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  10. Victor Lavy & Olmo Silva & Felix Weinhardt, 2009. "The Good, the Bad and the Average: Evidence on the Scale and Nature of Ability Peer Effects in Schools," NBER Working Papers 15600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Brian A. Jacob, 2004. "Public Housing, Housing Vouchers, and Student Achievement: Evidence from Public Housing Demolitions in Chicago," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 233-258, March.
  12. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  13. Taubman, Paul, 1989. "Role of Parental Income in Educational Attainment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 57-61, May.
  14. Steven N. Durlauf, 1992. "A Theory of Persistent Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 4056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  16. Gurmu, Shiferaw & Ihlanfeldt, Keith R. & Smith, William J., 2008. "Does residential location matter to the employment of TANF recipients Evidence from a dynamic discrete choice model with unobserved effects," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 325-351, January.
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