Theses Doctoral

Does Mass Transit Counter the Educational Effects of Residential Segregation in the Metropolitan Area of La Paz-El Alto, Bolivia?

Llanque Zonta, Victor Eduardo

This dissertation explored the links between residential segregation, transportation policy, and education equity in the metropolitan area of La Paz-El Alto, Bolivia. Using quantitative and qualitative research methods, the study assessed whether mass transit projects counter the educational effects of residential segregation. The specific goals of the study were to: (a) measure the level of segregation that students experience in neighborhoods and schools; (b) assess disparities in school accessibility among students of different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds; and (c) to measure the effects of mass transit availability on school segregation. The results showed that students in the metropolitan area of La Paz-El Alto are highly segregated by ethnic and socioeconomic background. Moreover, neighborhoods with a higher proportion of either Indigenous or low-income students have lower levels of school accessibility. School accessibility is hindered by the limited supply of schooling and by an inefficient, unsafe, and limited public transportation system. The introduction of high-quality mass transit had a small yet statistically significant effect on school segregation. Students in the lowest third of the wealth distribution are more likely than their wealthier counterparts to change schools when mass transit becomes available. Mass transit projects have thus been a welcome addition to families’ transportation options, which highlights the significance of pairing education and transportation policies to promote greater equality of educational opportunity.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Comparative and International Education
Thesis Advisors
Cortina, Regina
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 22, 2017