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Hurricane Katrina as an Experiment in Housing Mobility and Neighborhood Effects: Were the Relocated Poor Black Evacuees Better-Off?

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  • Gregory Price

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Abstract

Hurricane Katrina induced hundreds of thousands of New Orleans citizens to evacuate and relocate to different neighborhoods. Some of these evacuees moved to neighborhoods with poverty rates lower than the one they left in New Orleans. With survey data on a small sample of black Katrina evacuees who registered for absentee voter ballots, this paper explores whether or not there were improvements in the welfare of black evacuees—neighborhood effects—as a result of moving to neighborhoods with a lower poverty rate. With data from a small sample of relocated Katrina evacuees, we provide matching estimates of the short-run treatment effect of different types of changes in neighborhood poverty on five different measures of individual welfare. Treatment parameter estimates reveal—conditional upon the change in origin to destination neighborhood poverty rate—positive neighborhood effects mostly for black evacuees who did not move from high poverty to low poverty neighborhoods, but could have. Our results suggest that at least in the short-run, antipoverty policies based on housing mobility and changing the poverty characteristics of neighborhoods are not necessarily effective in improving the welfare of poor black households. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s12114-012-9151-5
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal The Review of Black Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 40 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 121-143

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Handle: RePEc:spr:blkpoe:v:40:y:2013:i:2:p:121-143

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Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/12114
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Related research

Keywords: Housing mobility; Poverty; Race; Treatment effects; I30; I32; J15; J18;

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  1. Durlauf, S.N., 1992. "A Theory of Persistent Income Inequality," Papers 47, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  2. Aliprantis, Dionissi, 2012. "Assessing the evidence on neighborhood effects from Moving to Opportunity," Working Paper 1122R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Gregory Price & William Spriggs & Omari Swinton, 2011. "The Relative Returns to Graduating from a Historically Black College/University: Propensity Score Matching Estimates from the National Survey of Black Americans," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 103-130, June.
  4. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  5. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  6. Rhiannon Patterson, 2008. "Neighborhood Effects on High-School Drop-Out Rates and Teenage Childbearing: Tests for Non-Linearities, Race-Specific Effects, Interactions with Family Characteristics, and Endogenous Causation using ," Working Papers 08-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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