Too late to buy a home? School redistricting and the timing and extent of capitalization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past 50 years, a voluminous literature estimating the value of schools through capitalization in home prices has emerged. Prior research has identified capitalization using a variety of approaches including discontinuities caused by boundaries. Here, we use changes in school boundaries and the opening of a new school in Fayette County (Lexington), Kentucky to identify this capitalization. Critical to properly estimating the effect of redistricting is to account for when information on redistricting is available. We treat the information about the effects of zoning as occurring in three stages: announcement of the intent to open the new high school and redistricting, approval of the specific redistricting plan (map), and implementation (opening of the new high school and actual changes in boundaries). We find significant changes in values for homes redistricted from lower-performing schools and we find that this capitalization occurs well before implementation of the redistricting. As we show, failure to account for capitalization occurring before implementation will attenuate and even change the sign of capitalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-237
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Regional Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • difference-in-differences
  • hedonics
  • property values
  • school district
  • school quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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