Everybody Needs Good Neighbours? Evidence from Students’ Outcomes in England


  • We thank Peter Fredriksson, Rachel Griffith, Hilary Hoynes, Rucker Johnson, Larry Katz, Jens Ludwig, Richard Murphy, Marianne Page, Stephen Ross and participants at Bocconi University, Bremen University – Integration and Inequality in Educational Institutions 2010 Meeting, CEP Annual Conference 2010, CEP Labour Workshop, CEE Informal Meetings, CEIS-Tor Vergata, ‘Educational Governance and Finance Workshop’ June 2012 in Asker, Harris School-Chicago University, Harvard University, HECER Finland, IFAU Uppsala, SERC Annual Conference 2010, SOLE Annual Meeting 2011, UC Berkeley, University of Bologna, University of Milan Bicocca, University of Stockholm, the Workshop on ‘The Economics of the Family and Child Development’ June 2010 at the University of Stavanger and ZEW workshop ‘Education and Equality of Opportunity’ October 2012 in Mannheim for helpful comments and suggestions. Weinhardt also gratefully acknowledges ESRC funding (Ref: ES/F022166/1 and ES/J003867/1). We are responsible for any remaining errors or omissions.
  • Correction Note: This article was first published online on the 4th of April 2013, under a subscription publication licence. The article has since been made OnlineOpen, and the copyright line and licence statement was therefore updated in August 2014.


We use administrative data to estimate the effect of neighbourhood composition on teenagers’ educational and behavioural outcomes in England. We exploit a unique research design based on changes over time in neighbourhood composition experienced by residentially immobile students, where these changes arise purely through residential migration among other students in our data set. The complete coverage of our data allows investigating heterogeneity and non-linearities in the effect of neighbourhood composition at an unprecedented level. Our results show that changes in neighbourhood composition have no effects on test scores but some effects on behavioural outcomes, which are heterogeneous for boys and girls.