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School choice: understanding the trade-off between travel distance and school quality

Sylvia Y. He () and Genevieve Giuliano ()
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Sylvia Y. He: The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Genevieve Giuliano: University of Southern California

Transportation, 2018, vol. 45, issue 5, 1475-1498

Abstract: Abstract Children are traveling longer distances to school, and the share traveling by car is increasing. This paper examines the effects of school attributes on school choice, which in turn gives rise to travel distance and mode choice. It is well known that school quality is capitalized into residential land values. Households willing and able to pay price premiums may choose to live closer to good-quality schools. In contrast, households with less ability to pay are likely to live in places with schools of lower quality. The California public school system has an open enrollment policy, which allows students to transfer out of their neighbourhood school when places are available. When this option is exercised, students may travel longer distances to school compared with students who attend their neighbourhood schools. We used travel diary data from the 2001 Post Census Regional Household Travel Survey to model school destination choices for K-12 students in the Los Angeles region, California. Parents may choose to send their children to neighbourhood schools, other schools within their home district, or out-of-district schools. We find that location, school quality, and other school features influence the probability of a school being chosen, and the extent to which these factors influence choice varies depending on the characteristics of the residential district and the attributes of the household.

Keywords: Children; Choice policy; Public education; School quality; School transportation; Travel behavior (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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