The Distributional Effects of School Open-Enrollment on Housing Prices

Christelle Khalaf, North Carolina State University

Open-enrollment policies weaken the ties between where individuals live and where they may attend public school. While these policies have the potential to reduce inequality and to generate better matches between schools and students, the inherent uncertainty of where a child will be able to attend school could generate a social welfare loss. We present a theoretical model illustrating how school open-enrollment might lead to an average decline in housing prices. Further, we hypothesize that these policies will have a heterogeneous effect on the housing price distribution. We test these predictions using transaction data from the American Housing Survey. Preliminary results confirm that states implementing open enrollment policies experience a relative drop in average housing prices. We document the heterogeneity in treatment effects as predicted by the model.

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 Presented in Session P8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, and Inequality/Gender, Race and Ethnicity