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Tiebout Sorting, Social Multipliers and the Demand for School Quality

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  • Patrick Bayer
  • Fernando Ferreira
  • Robert McMillan

Abstract

In many theoretical public finance models, school quality plays a central role as a determinant of household location choices and in turn, of neighborhood stratification. In contrast, the recent empirical literature has almost universally concluded that the direct effect of school quality on housing demand is weak, a conclusion that is robust across a variety of research designs. Using an equilibrium model of residential sorting, this paper closes the gap between these literatures, providing clear evidence that the full effect of school quality on residential sorting is significantly larger than the direct effect -- four times as great for education stratification, twice for income stratification. This is due to a strong social multiplier associated with heterogeneous preferences for peers and neighbors; initial changes in school quality set in motion a process of re-sorting on the basis of neighborhood characteristics that reinforces itself, giving rise to substantially larger stratification effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2004. "Tiebout Sorting, Social Multipliers and the Demand for School Quality," NBER Working Papers 10871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10871
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Ferreira, Fernando, 2010. "You can take it with you: Proposition 13 tax benefits, residential mobility, and willingness to pay for housing amenities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 661-673, October.
    3. Thomas J. Nechyba, 1999. "School Finance Induced Migration and Stratification Patterns: The Impact of Private School Vouchers," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(1), pages 5-50, January.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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