Zoned-In and Zoned-Out: Changes in School Attendance Zones over Time
Magdalena Bennett (University of Texas at Austin)
What happens to existing neighborhoods when new schools are built? This project aims to analyze the effect that changes in boundaries of school attendance zones have on new and existing schools, as well as neighborhoods at large. By combining housing pricing data over time, census data, school characteristics, and yearly school catchment areas, I will analyze how zones are affected by changes in their seeding neighborhoods. I will leverage new synthetic control methods to build valid causal counterfactuals in the presence of spillovers and assess the impact of changes in attendance zones on nearby areas. I will also use machine learning techniques to build individual predictions based on changes and the status quo of catchment areas to assess treatment effect heterogeneity. By shedding light on how choices of catchment areas have potential impacts on schools and neighborhoods, I expect to contribute to evidence-based policies that serve as critical input when making these decisions.