Poster Paper: It’s the Journey, not the Destination: The Effect of School Travel Mode on Student Achievement

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Regency Ballroom (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Ryan Yeung, Hunter College, City University of New York and Phuong Nguyen, University of Iowa

In 1969, 41 percent of children either walked or biked to school. By 2009, according to data from the National Household Travel Survey, only 13 percent of children still walked or biked to school (Hoffman, 2009). In this study, we examine the effect of transport mode to school on a child’s academic achievement using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99. As mode choice is not randomly assigned, evaluating the effect of mode choice on achievement is a methodological challenge. We rely on instrumental variables regression to isolate the effect of mode on achievement. Our results suggest children who are dropped off from private vehicles, and to a lesser extent walk or bike to school, have higher test scores than children who ride the bus.