Dr. Sarah Cordes's research and teaching interests are in the areas of education and urban policy, school finance, and applied quantitative methods. Drawing on frameworks across the disciplines of education, public policy, and economics, she uses large, administrative datasets from multiple national, state, and local agencies to explore complex issues around school choice, mobility, housing, and geography. Her work in these areas is united by an emphasis on understanding connections between where students live and where they go to school, how these connections shape educational inequities, and identifying policies to address disparate outcomes. Her current work focuses on the role of transportation in school choice, the effects of charter school expansion on traditional public school teacher turnover, the effects of racial home-ownership gaps on achievement gaps, and the effects of school choice on student mobility. Dr. Cordes’s work has been funded by the Institute for Education Sciences, the Russell Sage and William T. Grant Foundations, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Research Interests

  • Economics of Education
  • Educational Policy
  • Finance

Courses Taught




EDAD 5403

Economics of Education


EDAD 8635

Current Issues and Policies


EDAD 8635

Education Policy Analysis


EDUC 8402

Policy Analysis


HDCE 4302

Economics for Education


Selected Publications

  • Cordes, S.A., Schwartz, A.E., & Elbel, B. (2023). The Effects of Owner-Occupied Housing on Student Outcomes: Evidence from NYC. Reg Sci Urban Econ, 98. Netherlands. doi: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2022.103857

  • Cordes, S.A., Han, J., & Schwartz, A. (2022). Housing, Neighborhoods, and Education. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance. Oxford Research Encyclopedias. Retrieved from

  • Seifert, S., Porter, L., Cordes, S.A., & Wohlstetter, P. (2022). Pursuing Diversity: The Context, Practices, and Diversity Outcomes of Intentionally Diverse Charter Schools. Teachers College Record: the Voice of Scholarship in Education, 124(12), pp. 95-134. SAGE Publications. doi: 10.1177/01614681221150546

  • Cordes, S.A., Rick, C., & Schwartz, A.E. (2022). Do Long Bus Rides Drive Down Academic Outcomes? EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION and POLICY ANALYSIS. doi: 10.3102/01623737221092450

  • Schwartz, A.E., Horn, K.M., Ellen, I.G., & Cordes, S.A. (2020). Do Housing Vouchers Improve Academic Performance? Evidence from New York City. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 39(1), pp. 131-158. doi: 10.1002/pam.22183

  • Cordes, S.A., Weinstein, M., Rick, C., & Schwartz, A.E. (2020). Why doesn't everyone get a bus? Understanding inequities in school bus transportation across schools and students in New York City. Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, 7(3), pp. 40-49. Retrieved from

  • Cordes, S.A., Schwartz, A.E., & Stiefel, L. (2019). The Effect of Residential Mobility on Student Performance: Evidence From New York City. American Educational Research Journal, 56(4), pp. 1380-1411. doi: 10.3102/0002831218822828

  • Cordes, S.A., Leardo, M., Rick, C., & Schwartz, A.E. (2019). Can school buses drive down (chronic) absenteeism? In M.A. Gottfried & E.L. Hutt (Eds.), Absent from School Understanding and Addressing Student Absenteeism. Harvard Education Press. Retrieved from