Francesco Agostinelli, University of Pennsylvania. "On the Spatial Determinants of Educational Access"
Department seminar. Francesco Agostinelli is an Assistant Professor at the Economics Department at University of Pennsylvania. He will present the paper: "On the Spatial Determinants of Educational Access".
We study the role of local institutions—that is, school boundaries, school transportation provision, and zoning restrictions—in determining inequalities of educational opportunities for children. Motivated by our empirical findings on how the demand for both neighborhoods and schools responds to quasi-experimental variation in school quality and transportation, we build and estimate a spatial equilibrium model of residential sorting and school choice. We use the estimated model to analyze three policies that aim to improve educational access to economically disadvantaged children: expanding school choice, providing housing vouchers, and upzoning residential neighborhoods. We find that the success of school choice expansion is contingent on integrating transportation services, and that the common assumption in the school choice literature of policy-invariant residential location would lead to opposite implications for the equilibrium change in school composition. The voucher program benefits eligible families, but the benefits fade in equilibrium as the policy is implemented on a large scale. Finally, upzoning is an effective policy in lowering inequality in school composition via a reduction in neighborhood income segregation.