The influence of neighbourhood effects on education decisions in a nationally funded education system : the case of Australia
Empirical papers studying the effects of neighbourhood characteristics on socio-economic variables have predominantly used US data. We argue that the local nature of the US schooling system means that neighbourhood effects on education decisions may act through fiscal or social channels. We use data for a nationally funded public schooling system to identify neighbourhood effects in an environment where the level of school funding is independent of neighbourhood composition. We identify two different types of neighbourhood effects on school dropout. First, teenagers are more likely to dropout if the average dropout rate in the neighbourhood is high. Second, teenagers are more likely to dropout if they live in neighbourhoods with a high percentage of adults with vocational qualifications.