How Does School District Consolidation Affect Property Values? A Case Study of New York

William D. Duncombe, John Yinger, Pengju Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This article explores the impact of school district consolidation on house values based on house sales in upstate New York State from 2000 to 2012. By combining propensity score matching (PSM) and double-sales data to compare house value changes in consolidating and comparable school districts, we find that, except in one relatively large district, consolidation has a negative impact on house values during the years right after it occurs and that this effect then fades away and is eventually reversed. This pattern suggests that it takes time either for the advantages of consolidation to be apparent or for the people who prefer consolidated districts to move in. Finally, as in previous studies, the long-run impacts of consolidation on house values are positive in census tracts that initially have low incomes, but negative in high-income census tracts, where parents may have a relatively large willingness to retain the nonbudgetary advantages of small districts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-79
Number of pages28
JournalPublic Finance Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Consolidation
  • Hedonics
  • House values
  • Propensity score matching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Administration


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