November 2011

IZA DP No. 6106: The Effect of School Construction on Test Scores, School Enrollment, and Home Prices

published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2014, 120 , 18-31

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.