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Working Papers

Distance to Schools and Equal Access in School Choice Systems   [paper]

This paper studies the limits of school choice policies in the presence of residential segregation. Using data from the Boston Public Schools choice system, I show that white prekindergarteners are assigned to higher-achieving schools than minority students, and that cross-race school achievement gaps under choice are no lower than would be generated by a neighborhood assignment rule. To understand why choice-based assignments do not reduce gaps in school achievement, I use data on applicants' rank-order choices to estimate preferences over schools, and consider a series of counterfactual assignments. I find that half of the gap in school achievement between white and Black or Hispanic students is explained by minorities' longer travel distance to high-performing schools. Differences in demand parameters explain a smaller fraction of the gap, while algorithm rules have no effect.

Work in Progress

Teacher Sorting and Student Outcomes: Evidence from a Centralized Market of Teachers, with Elton Mykerezi, Aaron Sojourner, and Aradhya Sood 

Targeting and Efficiency in the Allocation of Childcare Subsidies, with Esperanza Johnson

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