The effect of school construction on test scores, school enrollment, and home prices

Other title(s): The effect of school construction on test scores, school enrollment, and home prices

Author(s): Neilson, Christopher; Zimmerman, Seth

Organisation(s): Institute for the Study of Labor

Date: 2011

Pages: 44 p.

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This paper provides new evidence on the effect of school construction projects on home prices, academic achievement, and public school enrollment. Taking advantage of the staggered implementation of a comprehensive school construction project in a poor urban district, we find that, by six years after building occupancy, $10,000 of per-student investment in school construction raised reading scores for elementary and middle school students by 0.027 standard deviations. For a student receiving the average treatment intensity this corresponds to a 0.21 standard deviation increase. School construction also raised home prices and public school enrollment in zoned neighborhoods.

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