Evaluating the Welfare Effects of School Quality Improvements: A Residential Sorting Approach
Constant I. Tra
University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business - Department of Economics
Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
Helen R. Neill
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
June 26, 2011
One of the primary goals of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) is that all students perform at or above proficiency levels by the end of the 2013-2014 school year. This study uses a residential sorting model to evaluate the benefits of the NCLB to Las Vegas area homeowners. While existing studies provide marginal values for various measures of school quality, these estimates provide little guidance for the benefit-cost analysis of large policies. We estimate, in a sorting framework, households’ preferences for housing characteristics, neighborhood attributes, and the proportion of proficient students in the elementary school assigned to their housing location. The estimation accounts for the endogeneity school quality using school boundary fixed effects. The welfare estimates suggest that the implementation of the NCLB provided substantial benefits to Las Vegas area households. Perhaps more surprisingly, we find that these benefits are not distributed evenly.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43
Keywords: residential sorting, school quality, welfare
JEL Classification: R21, I2working papers series
Date posted: September 30, 2011 ; Last revised: October 8, 2012
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