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Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education

  • Sandra E. Black

The evaluation of numerous school reforms requires an understanding of the value parents place on school quality. I use house prices to infer this value, where school quality is proxied by elementary school test scores. I do so by looking within school districts at houses located on attendance district boundaries; I am then comparing houses that differ along only one dimension: the elementary school the child attends. I thereby effectively remove the variation in neighborhood characteristics, property tax rates, and school spending. I find that parents are willing to pay 2.5% more for a 5% increase in test scores; this is approximately half the estimate one gets by running a typical hedonic housing price regression. This estimate is robust to a number of sensitivity checks.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Research Paper with number 9729.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednrp:9729
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  1. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," Working Papers 653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1996. "Labor Market Effects of School Quality: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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