Attendance Boundary Policies and the Limits to Combating School Segregation
Mikkel Høst Gandil
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (Forthcoming)
What is the efficacy of redrawing school attendance boundaries as a desegregation policy?
To provide causal evidence on this question we employ novel data with unprecedented
detail on the universe of Danish children and exploit changes in attendance boundaries over
time. Households defy reassignments to schools with lower socioeconomic status. There
is a strong social gradient in defiance, as resourceful households are more sensitive to the
student composition of new schools. We simulate school assignment policies and find that
boundary changes that reassign areas to a highly disadvantaged school are ineffective at
altering the socioeconomic composition at the disadvantaged school.