What Determines School Segregation? The Crucial Role of Neighborhood Factors
52 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2020 Last revised: 28 Aug 2022
Date Written: August 2020
We develop a novel strategy to identify the relative importance of school and neighborhood factors in determining school segregation. Using detailed student enrollment and residential location data, our research design compares differences in student composition between adjacent Census blocks served by different schools to analogous differences between those schools. Our findings indicate that neighborhood factors explain around 62% of racial segregation and 44% of economic segregation across all schools, playing an even more pronounced role in urban areas, where school segregation has been especially acute. These findings suggest that the involvement of urban planners is essential when attempting to confront inequality of opportunity through education.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation