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The Effect of Housing Wealth on College Choice: Evidence from the Housing Boom

Michael Lovenheim () and Curtis Reynolds ()

Journal of Human Resources, 2013, vol. 48, issue 1, 1-35

Abstract: We use NLSY97 data to examine how home price variation affects the quality of postsecondary schools students attend. We find a $10,000 increase in housing wealth increases the likelihood of public flagship university enrollment relative to nonflagship enrollment by 2.0 percent and decreases the relative probability of attending a community college by 1.6 percent. These effects are driven by lower-income families, predominantly by altering student application decisions. We also find home price changes affect direct quality measures of institutions students attend. Furthermore, for lower-income students, each $10,000 increase in home prices leads to a 1.8 percent increase in the likelihood of completing college.

Date: 2013
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