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Journal article
Valuing School Quality via a School Choice Reform
Stephen Machin and Kjell Salvanes
January 2016
Paper No' :

Tags: house prices; school choice reform; school quality

Among policymakers, educators, and economists, there remains a strong debate on the extent to which good schools matter. In this paper, we estimate school quality valuations based upon house prices, by considering a policy reform regarding pupils' choices to attend high school. We exploit a change in school choice that occurred in Oslo county in 1997, where school authorities altered policy from one based on catchment zones to an open enrollment policy that allowed pupils to apply to any high school. Our estimates show that parents substantially value better performing schools because the sensitivity of housing valuations to school performance falls significantly (by over 50 percent) following the school choice reform that made the move to open enrollment. © 2016 the editors of The Scandinavian Journal of Economics.