Home buyers exercise school choice when shopping for a private residence due to its location in a public school district or attendance area. In this quantitative study of one Connecticut suburban district, we measure the effect of elementary school test scores and racial composition on home buyers’ willingness to purchase single-family homes over a 10-year period, controlling for house and neighbor- hood characteristics. Overall, while both test scores and race explain home prices, we found that the influence of tests declined while race became nearly seven times more influential over our decade-long period of study. Our interpretation of the results draws on the shifting context of school accountability, the Internet, and racial dynamics in this suburb over time.
Dougherty, Jack; Harrelson, Jeffrey; Maloney, Laura; Murphy, Drew; Smith, Russell; Snow, Michael; and Zannoni, Diane, "School Choice in Suburbia: Test Scores, Race, and Housing Markets" (2009). Papers and Publications. Paper 1.