Dr. Sarah Cordes' research and teaching interests are in the areas of education and urban policy, school finance, and applied quantitative methods. Her research focuses on the ways in which the urban context, including neighborhoods, housing, and charter schools, affect student outcomes. In particular, her current work explores the spillover effects of NYC charter schools on nearby public school students, the effects of residential and school mobility on student performance, and how changes in school resources influence parents' investments in their children's education. In other ongoing work, she is examining the effects of housing vouchers on student performance. She is a recent recipient of the C. Lowell Harris Dissertation Fellowship awarded by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy for her work on the relationship between school resources and parental investments.

Research Interests

  • Economics of Education
  • Educational Policy
  • Urban Education

Courses Taught




HDCE 4302

Economics for Education


EDAD 5403

Economics of Education


EDUC 5101

Critical Understanding of Social Science Research


Selected Publications

  • 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., 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. (2018). In pursuit of the common good: The spillover effects of charter schools on public school students in New York City. Education Finance and Policy, 13(4), pp. 484-512. doi: 10.1162/edfp_a_00240

  • Cordes, S.A. (2018). Charters and the common good: The spillover effects of charter schools in New York city. Education Next, 18(2), pp. 60-67. Stanford University. Retrieved from

  • Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., & Cordes, S.A. (2017). Moving matters: The causal effect of moving schools on student performance. Education Finance and Policy, 12(4), pp. 419-446. doi: 10.1162/edfp_a_00198

  • Cordes, S.A., Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., & Zabel, J. (2016). Is neighbourhood destiny? Exploring the link between neighbourhood mobility and student outcomes. Urban Studies, 53(2), pp. 400-417. doi: 10.1177/0042098014563469

  • Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., Cordes, S.A., & IFEASPIESP New York University (2015). Moving Matters: The Causal Effect of Moving Schools on Student Performance. Working Paper #01-15. Institute for Education and Social Policy. Retrieved from

  • Corcoran, S.P., Cordes, S., & Schwartz, A.E. (2014). State Education Expenditures. In M.M. Rubin & K.G. Willoughby (Eds.), Sustaining the States The Fiscal Viability of American State Governments. Boca Raton: CRC Press. Retrieved from

  • Stiefel, L. & Cordes, S.A. (2014). Measuring School Finance Equity Using School Finance Statistics. In D.J. Brewer & L.O. Picus (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Education Economics and Finance. SAGE Publications.

  • Cordes, S. & IFEASPIESP New York University (2014). Do Charter Schools Ruin Local Public Schools in Poor Neighborhoods? Evidence from New York City. Working Paper #02-14. Institute for Education and Social Policy. Retrieved from