This study estimates the effect of living in a very deprived neighbourhood, as identified by a high density of social housing, on the educational attainment of fourteen years old (9th grade) students in England. Neighbourhoods with markedly high concentrations of social housing have very high unemployment and extremely low qualification rates, as well as high building density, rooms over-crowding and low house prices. In order to identify the causal impact of neighbourhood deprivation on pupil attainments, I exploit the timing of moving into these neighbourhoods. The timing of a move can be taken as exogenous because of long waiting lists for social housing in high-demand areas. This is a new strategy that by-passes the usual sorting and reflection problems. Using this approach, there is no evidence for otherwise negative effects, which has potentially wide-ranging implications for social housing policy
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