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School Quality and Property Values: Re-examining the Boundary Approach

  • Paramita Dhar

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Stephen L. Ross

    (University of Connecticut)

This paper examines the hypothesis that the strong reduction in the effect of school quality on housing prices from the inclusion of boundary fixed affects can be attributed to uncertainty associated with school assignment near attendance zone boundaries, rather than unobserved neighborhood attributes. We examine this hypothesis using repeated cross-sections of housing transactions near school district boundaries in Connecticut since these boundaries are primarily town boundaries and for the most part have not changed in many decades. However, once we control for the across boundary neighborhood quality differences that are likely to arise over time with permanent boundaries, we find fairly small effects of test scores on property values; findings that are very similar to the findings of traditional studies based on attendance zone boundaries.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2009-37.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision: May 2010
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2009-37
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Haurin, Donald R. & Brasington, David, 1996. "School Quality and Real House Prices: Inter- and Intrametropolitan Effects," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 351-368, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Gibbons, Steve & Machin, Stephen, 2003. "Valuing English primary schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 197-219, March.
  4. Reback, Randall, 2005. "House prices and the provision of local public services: capitalization under school choice programs," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 275-301, March.
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