NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

John D. Singleton

University of Rochester
Department of Economics
Harkness Hall
P.O. Box 270156
Rochester, NY 14627

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2017School Boards and Student Segregation
with Hugh Macartney: w23619
This paper provides the first causal evidence about how elected local school boards affect student segregation across schools. The key identification challenge is that the composition of a school board is potentially correlated with unobserved determinants of school segregation, such as the pattern of household sorting and the degree to which boards are geographically constrained in defining zones of attendance. We overcome this issue using a regression discontinuity design at the electoral contest level, exploiting quasi-random variation from narrowly-decided elections. Such an approach is made possible by a unique dataset, which combines matched information about North Carolina school board candidates (including vote shares and political affiliation) with time-varying district-level raci...
 
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