Miren Lafourcade gave a presentation on February 25, 2022 at the Workshop on Regional and Urban Economics organized by the Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED) and the Department of Economics at the University of Bern.She presented a work in progress entitled “Place-Based Policies: Opportunity for Deprived Schools or Zone-and-Shame Effect?“, joint with Manon Garrouste (University of Lille).

Abstract: Even though place-based urban policies channel large transfers toward low-income neighborhoods, the degree to which they provide disadvantaged residents with more opportunities is still a matter of debate. This paper leverages the quasi-experimental discontinuity design provided by an urban policy reform in France, that redrew the map of neighborhoods eligible for public subsidies on the basis of a clear poverty cut-off, to assess the effect of place-based urban policies on parental school choices. Results show that middle schools located in neighborhoods that “entered” the new urban zoning, because they had a median income below the poverty cut-off, experienced a significant drop in pupils’ attendance from families living in the school district, relative to middle schools located in counterfactual neighborhoods lying above the poverty cut-off. This “zone-and-shame” effect is triggered by families of both high and medium socioeconomic status, who adopt avoidance strategies benefiting either to public schools located outside the urban zoning or to private schools. Conversely, middle schools located in neighborhoods that “exited” the urban zoning regained pupils’ attendance, at least temporarily, but from disadvantaged families only.

The workshop program can be downloaded here.