In recent decades, various cities in Sweden have implemented school closures as a desegregation strategy. Using simulation models calibrated with administrative data for all primary and lower secondary schools in Stockholm, Sweden, we assess the potential impact of school closure on ethnic school segregation. More specifically, we study how the characteristics of the school to be closed, the local opportunity structure for the displaced students, and the student reallocation criteria influence the effects of school closures on school segregation. Our findings show that the change in ethnic school segregation is highly dependent on reallocation criteria and local opportunity structures. Moreover, they demonstrate that the current practices associated with school closures in large urban areas (i.e., closing minority-dominated schools in minority-dominated neighborhoods) are likely to be ineffective in reducing school segregation, especially when students are reallocated to their nearest school or to schools whose composition resembles that of their former schools.
Författare: Selcan Mutgan, Eduardo Tapia