Saturday, May 22, 2010

Local schools

This study argues for (heterogeneous buyers concentrate their buying and search; high quality private schools may be found near some low quality public schools; school quality may be regarded as a luxury good) and finds a nonlinear relationship between school quality and house prices. 

One would think that this relationship adds to the incentives of homeowners to demand high quality schools.  Fewer limits on charter schools might help.  But getting from here to there has always been a problem, especially when it comes to improving school quality.

The value added of good schools is hard to identify.  High achieving families demand good schools for their kids, but also supply important inputs to successful education. That would be another reason for a nonlinear relationship between school quality and valuation.  This piece in the May 22 Economist reports mixed results from experiments that involved paying students to perform.  It's very hard to find a substitute for the educational inputs provided a home atmosphere in which learning is encouraged and valued.


Give neighborhoods the power to tax themselves -- and fix what they want to.  Arizona is apparently trying this approach.  It resembles Bob Nelson's thinking on how to fix neighborhoods.