School Access and City Structure

Job Market Paper - Download it here

The location choices of households with children connect housing, labor, and school markets. These connections may shape the city structure, access to opportunities and the outcome of policies addressing each market separately. To study the consequences of these connections, I develop a quantitative spatial model that incorporates school choice. Parents with different skills select their residence by balancing access to schools and employment, choose a school considering its endogenous peer composition, and compete with childless households for houses and jobs. I use data from Madrid on school admissions and workers' commuting trips to estimate preferences for schools and workplaces. Combining households' location data with exogenous variation from the city's historical expansion, I estimate neighborhood preferences separately from endogenous school quality. I find that school access influences residential and job choices, decreasing segregation across parents by 15% and shifting workers towards productive areas. However, the opposite relocation of non-parents increases overall segregation. Work commuting costs concentrate skilled households in central locations, increasing school quality differences for students from high and low-skill families by 2.6% through peer effects. Finally, I show that interactions between schools and the labor market shape the effects of work-from-home and school transportation policies.

Work in progress

The Welfare Effects of Public Housing: Evidence from the Netherlands

Joint with Milena Almagro & Hans Koster

Governments worldwide invest significant amounts of money to provide affordable housing, yet little is known about the value that this provides to eligible individuals or society at large. In this project, we assess the welfare and distributional effects of subsidized rent-controlled public housing specifically targeting low-income households. To do so, we set up a dynamic spatial equilibrium framework accounting for factors such as tenure choice, wait times, housing prices and characteristics, as well as local externalities of public housing on privately-owned housing. For estimation, we first georeference electoral results from the early 20th century to isolate the supply channel of local public housing through the support for early construction programs. Then, using microdata from the Netherlands, we estimate how eligible low-income households trade-off the option of living in public housing against market-rate units. Preliminary evidence suggests that affordable housing can induce substantial spillovers on the private market, beyond direct local externalities, as demand connects the two segments of the market. This relation implies unexplored distributional consequences of the provision of public housing.