The Effect of Spatial Stratification of Educational Quality on the Suburbanization Process in the U.S.
Abstract: This paper studies whether the spatial difference in educational quality between suburban areas and inner cities served as a driver for the suburbanization process in the U.S. In this study, I use the census tract level decennial data from year 1970 to year 2010, with census tract boundaries consistent with the 2010 boundaries. First, I sort census tract data into rural, urban and suburb... read morean types and focus on the latter two types in my analysis. Second, I define a suburbanization indicator "b" based on the suburbanization gradient model by Clark (1951). In this study, the school district level Per-Pupil Expenditure (PPE) data is served as a measurement for educational quality and is merged into the census tract datasets. I apply a census tract level fixed effect model with time trends and regress the natural log of b on the natural log of PPE, controling for other potential drivers for suburbanization including residents' educational attainment, race, poverty, income, unemployment and housing condition. Furthermore, in order to solve for the endogeneity issue in the model, I introduce the court mandated School Finance Reforms(SFRs) as exogenous shocks on PPE and draw the conclusion that a 1% higher school spending in suburbs compared to inner cities will cause a statistically and economically significant 0.214% increase in the relative population density, which measures the suburbanizaed level, on average and keeping all else equal. In addition, I test for how influential the outliers in my dataset are for the results and show that results of the model with IV implemented are not significantly influenced. This study can help policy makers in developing countries with building a healthier suburbanization process by increasing the educational quality in suburbs.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2018.
Submitted to the Dept. of Economics.
Advisor: Jeffrey Zabel.
Keywords: Economics, and Education policy.read less