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School Segregation, Educational Attainment and Crime: Evidence from the end of busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

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Listed:
  • Stephen B. Billings
  • David J. Deming
  • Jonah E. Rockoff

Abstract

We study the impact of the end of race-based busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools ("CMS") on academic achievement, educational attainment, and young adult crime. In 2001, CMS was prohibited from using race in assigning students to schools. School boundaries were redrawn dramatically to reflect the surrounding neighborhoods, and half of its students received a new assignment. Using addresses measured prior to the policy change, we compare students in the same neighborhood that lived on opposite sides of a newly drawn boundary. We find that both white and minority students score lower on high school exams when they are assigned to schools with more minority students. We also find decreases in high school graduation and four-year college attendance for whites, and large increases in crime for minority males. The impacts on achievement and attainment are smaller in younger cohorts, while the impact on crime remains large and persistent for at least nine years after the re-zoning. We show that compensatory resource allocation policies in CMS likely played an important role in mitigating the impact of segregation on achievement and attainment, but had no impact on crime. We conclude that the end of busing widened racial inequality, despite efforts by CMS to mitigate the impact of increases in segregation.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen B. Billings & David J. Deming & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2012. "School Segregation, Educational Attainment and Crime: Evidence from the end of busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg," NBER Working Papers 18487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18487
    Note: CH DAE ED
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    Cited by:

    1. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2013. "Human capital in the inner city," Working Paper 1302, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    2. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1160-y is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Caetano, Gregorio & Maheshri, Vikram, 2017. "School segregation and the identification of tipping behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 115-135.
    4. Jason M. Fletcher & Stephen L. Ross & Yuxiu Zhang, 2013. "The Determinants and Consequences of Friendship Composition," NBER Working Papers 19215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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