NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

School Quality, Neighborhoods and Housing Prices: The Impacts of school Desegregation

Thomas J. Kane, Douglas O. Staiger, Stephanie K. Riegg

NBER Working Paper No. 11347
Issued in May 2005
NBER Program(s):   ED   LS

We study the relationship between school characteristics and housing prices in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina between 1994 and 2001. During this period, the school district was operating under a court-imposed desegregation order and redrew a number of school boundaries. We use two different sources of variation to disentangle the effect of schools and other neighborhood characteristics: differences in housing prices along assignment zone boundaries and changes in housing prices following the change in school assignments. We find systematic differences in house prices along school boundaries, although the impact of schools is only one-quarter as large as the naive cross-sectional estimates would imply. Moreover, house prices seem to react to changes in school assignments. Part of the impact of school assignments is mediated by subsequent changes in the characteristics of the population living in the school zone.

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Published: Thomas J. Kane & Stephanie K. Riegg & Douglas O. Staiger, 2006. "School Quality, Neighborhoods, and Housing Prices," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 183-212.

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