NBER Publications by Owen Hearey

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

Working Papers and Chapters and Reporter Articles

September 2016Public School Quality Valuation Over the Business Cycle
with Stuart Gabriel, Matthew E. Kahn, Ryan K. Vaughn: w22668
Over the years 2000 to 2013, the Los Angeles real estate market featured a boom, a bust, and then another boom. We use this variation to test how the hedonic valuation of school quality varies over the business cycle. Following Black (1999), we exploit a regression discontinuity design at elementary school attendance boundaries to test for how the implicit price of school quality changes. We find that the capitalization of school quality is counter-cyclical. While good schools always command a price premium, this premium grows during the bust. Possible mechanisms for these findings include consumers "trading down" from private to public schools during contractions as well as the effects of reduced household mobility during downturns in raising the value of the public school option.
May 2013Urbanization in the United States, 1800-2000
with Leah Platt Boustan, Devin Bunten: w19041
This handbook chapter seeks to document the economic forces that led the US to become an urban nation over its two hundred year history. We show that the urban wage premium in the US was remarkably stable over the past two centuries, ranging between 15 and 40 percent, while the rent premium was more variable. The urban wage premium rose through the mid-nineteenth century as new manufacturing technologies enhanced urban productivity; then fell from 1880 to 1940 (especially through 1915) as investments in public health infrastructure improved the urban quality of life; and finally rose sharply after 1980, coinciding with the skill- (and apparently also urban-) biased technological change of the computer revolution. The second half of the chapter focuses instead on the location of workers and...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us