Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between house price levels, school performance, and the racial and ethnic composition of Connecticut school districts between 1995 and 2000. A panel of Connecticut school districts over both time and labor market areas is used to estimate a simultaneous equations model describing the determinants of these variables. Specifically, school district changes in price level, school performance, and racial and ethnic compositions depend upon each other, labor market wide changes in these variables, and the deviation of each school district from the overall metropolitan area. The specification is based on the differencing of dependent variables, as opposed to the use of level or fixed effects models and lagging level variables beyond the period over which change is considered; as a result the model is robust to persistence in the sample. Identification of the simultaneous system arises from the presence of multiple labor market areas in the sample, and the assumption that labor market changes in a variable due not directly influence the allocation of households across towns within a labor market area. We find that towns in labor markets that experience an inflow of minority households have greater increases in percent minority if those towns already ahve a substantial minoritypopulation. We find evidence that this sorting proces is reflected in housing price changes in the low priced segment of the housing market, not in the middle and upper segments.

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