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Neighbourhood Effects in Canada: A Critique

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  • Philip Oreopoulos

Abstract

A growing number of researchers and policy-makers concern themselves with the possible effects of living in areas with high concentrations of poverty. This paper provides an overview of such literature from a Canadian policy perspective. I draw three conclusions. First, household exposure to concentrated poverty is substantially less than in the United States. Second, much of the existing Canadian research on neighbourhood effects relies on regression analysis, which is prone to bias and misinterpretation. Third, the most persuasive research to date suggests that residential environment matters most to an individual's mental health and exposure to crime, but has little influence on self-sufficiency or child development. Smaller spheres of interaction, such as at the classroom or roommate level, appear to matter more.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/cpp.34.2.237
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 237-258

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:34:y:2008:i:2:p:237-258

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  1. Blume,L.E. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "The interactions-based approach to socioeconomic behavior," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 1, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  3. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2000. "Interactions-Based Models," Working Papers, Santa Fe Institute 00-05-028, Santa Fe Institute.
  4. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, 01.
  5. Picot, Garnett & Sceviour, Roger & Frenette, Marc, 2004. "How Long Do People Live in Low-income Neighbourhoods? Evidence for Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004216e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  6. Datcher, Linda P, 1982. "Effects of Community and Family Background on Achievement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 32-41, February.
  7. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. McLeod, Logan & Heisz, Andrew, 2004. "Low-income in Census Metropolitan Areas, 1980-2000," Trends and Conditions in Census Metropolitan Areas, Statistics Canada, Social Analysis and Modelling 2004001e, Statistics Canada, Social Analysis and Modelling.
  9. Curtis, Lori J. & Dooley, Martin D. & Phipps, Shelley A., 2004. "Child well-being and neighbourhood quality: evidence from the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 58(10), pages 1917-1927, May.
  10. Bryan S. Graham, 2008. "Identifying Social Interactions Through Conditional Variance Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 643-660, 05.
  11. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Kim Rueben, 2004. "An Equilibrium Model of Sorting in an Urban Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 10865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Durlauf,S.N., 2002. "Groups, social influences and inequality : a memberships theory perspective on poverty traps," Working papers, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems 18, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  13. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Alexandre Mas & Enrico Moretti, 2006. "Peers at Work," NBER Working Papers 12508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Maurin, Eric & Moschion, Julie, 2006. "The Social Multiplier and Labour Market Participation of Mothers," IZA Discussion Papers 2513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Leslie Roos & Brett Hiebert & Phongsack Manivong & Jason Edgerton & Randy Walld & Leonard MacWilliam & Janelle Rocquigny, 2013. "What is Most Important: Social Factors, Health Selection, and Adolescent Educational Achievement," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 385-414, January.
  4. Fagg, James H. & Curtis, Sarah E. & Cummins, Steven & Stansfeld, Stephen A. & Quesnel-Vallée, Amélie, 2013. "Neighbourhood deprivation and adolescent self-esteem: Exploration of the ‘socio-economic equalisation in youth’ hypothesis in Britain and Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 168-177.

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