Distance to Schools and Equal Access in School Choice Systems
Mariana Laverde ()
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Mariana Laverde: Yale University
No 2022-002, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group
This paper studies the limits of school choice policies in the presence of residential segregation. Using data from the Boston Public Schools choice system, I show that white prekindergarteners are assigned to higher-achieving schools than minority students, and that cross-race school achievement gaps under choice are no lower than would be generated by a neighborhood assignment rule. To understand why choicebased assignments do not reduce gaps in school achievement, I use data on applicants' rank-order choices to estimate preferences over schools, and consider a series of counterfactual assignments. I find that half of the gap in school achievement between white and Black or Hispanic students is explained by minorities' longer travel distance to high-performing schools. Differences in demand parameters explain a smaller fraction of the gap, while algorithm rules have no effect.
Keywords: Boston Public Schools; residential segregation; school achievement; achievement gaps (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J15 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm, nep-des and nep-ure
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Laverd ... ols-equal-access.pdf First version, January 3, 2022 (application/pdf)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hka:wpaper:2022-002
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