Digitization and Divergence: Online School Ratings and Segregation in America

45 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2018 Last revised: 24 Jul 2019

See all articles by Sharique Hasan

Sharique Hasan

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Anuj Kumar

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business

Date Written: July 23, 2019

Abstract

We analyze whether widespread online access to school-performance information affected economic and social segregation in America. We leverage the staged rollout of GreatSchools.org school ratings from 2006--2015 to answer this question. Across a range of outcomes and specifications, we find that the mass availability of school ratings has accelerated divergence in housing values, income distributions and education levels as well as the racial and ethnic composition across communities. Affluent and more educated families were better positioned to leverage this new information to capture educational opportunities in communities with the best schools. An unintended consequence of better information was less, rather than more, equity in education.

Keywords: Digitization, Schools, Inequality, Education

Suggested Citation

Hasan, Sharique and Kumar, Anuj, Digitization and Divergence: Online School Ratings and Segregation in America (July 23, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3265316 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3265316

Sharique Hasan (Contact Author)

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States

Anuj Kumar

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business ( email )

337 STZ WARRINGTON COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
GAINESVILLE, FL 32611-0001
United States
3522730587 (Phone)

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