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Is There "White Flight" into Private Schools? Evidence From the National Educational Longitudinal Survey


  • Robert W. Fairlie
  • Alexandra M. Resch


Using a recently released confidential dataset from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), we find some evidence of "white flight" from public schools into privateschools partly in response to minority schoolchildren. We also examine whether "white flight" is from all minorities or only from certain minority groups, delineated by race or income. We find that white families are fleeing public schools with large concentrations of poor minority schoolchildren. In addition, the clearest flight appears to occur from poor black schoolchildren. The results for "white flight" from Asians and Hispanics are less clear.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert W. Fairlie & Alexandra M. Resch, 2000. "Is There "White Flight" into Private Schools? Evidence From the National Educational Longitudinal Survey," JCPR Working Papers 211, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:211

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Figlio, David N. & Stone, Joe A., 2001. "Can Public Policy Affect Private School Cream Skimming?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 240-266, March.
    2. John Conlon & Mwangi Kimenyi, 1991. "Attitudes towards race and poverty in the demand for private education: The case of Mississippi," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 5-22, December.
    3. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1976. "School Desegregation, "Tipping," and Private School Enrollment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 11(1), pages 28-50.
    4. Buddin, Richard J. & Cordes, Joseph J. & Kirby, Sheila Nataraj, 1998. "School Choice in California: Who Chooses Private Schools?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 110-134, July.
    5. Lankford, Hamilton & Wyckoff, James, 1992. "Primary and secondary school choice among public and religious alternatives," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 317-337, December.
    6. Lankford R. H. & Lee E. S. & Wyckoff J. H., 1995. "An Analysis of Elementary and Secondary School Choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 236-251, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schneeweis, Nicole, 2015. "Immigrant concentration in schools: Consequences for native and migrant students," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 63-76.
    2. Gerdes, Christer, 2010. "Does Immigration Induce ‘Native Flight’ from Public Schools? Evidence from a large scale voucher program," SULCIS Working Papers 2010:1, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
    3. Robert Fairlie, 2002. "Private schools and “Latino flight” from black schoolchildren," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(4), pages 655-674, November.
    4. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2014. "Integrated public education, fertility and human capital," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 166-180, April.
    5. David M. Brasington & Diane Hite, 2014. "School Choice: Supporters And Opponents," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 76-92, January.
    6. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2008. "Involuntary Integration in Public Education, Fertility and Human Capital," Working Papers 2008-07, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    7. Francisco Martínez Mora, 2004. "Opting-out and income mixing in urban economies:the role of neighborhood effects," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/67, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    8. William Clark & Regan Maas, 2012. "Schools, Neighborhoods and Selection: Outcomes Across Metropolitan Los Angeles," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(3), pages 339-360, June.

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