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Title: Empirical essays in the economics of neighbourhoods and education
Author: Gibbons, Stephen Anthony
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2003
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This Thesis presents a series of empirical studies that investigate the community dimension to opportunity and achievement in Britain. It looks at the impacts of social interactions at the neighbourhood level, both in terms of the direct effects on educational attainments, and in terms of the impacts of implicit trade in community goods that takes place via the housing market. The research provides new empirical insights into neighbourhood effects in Britain using micro-econometric techniques and presents some new applications of semi-parametric methods. The first empirical Chapter explores the link between educational outcomes and neighbourhood of upbringing and finds evidence of direct neighbourhood impacts on early and adult achievements. Next, in Chapter 3 we use school performance data and postcode-matched spatial data to evaluate the importance of area-based factors and specific school level inputs in primary school production functions. Here we look for spatial clustering of primary school quality and urban effects on performance as evidence of school or neighbourhood social interactions. Chapter 4 investigates willingness to pay for the stock of neighbourhood human capital as a means to evaluating an upper bound to the benefits of neighbourhood and the community benefits of education. The next essay in Chapter 5 looks at a particular component of the demand for good neighbourhoods - the demand for high-performing primary schools - and shows that households are prepared to pay for technologies that improve primary school performance. Finally, Chapter 6 turns away from explicitly educational issues and explores the importance of crime and community disorder at the neighbourhood level, again using a property value model. We show that it is visible crimes signalling community disorder that matter the most, and that willingness to pay to avoid high-crime areas far exceeds the direct cost of these crimes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available