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Long-Term Neighborhood Effects on Low-Income Families: Evidence from Moving to Opportunity

Author

Listed:
  • Jens Ludwig
  • Greg J. Duncan
  • Lisa A. Gennetian
  • Lawrence F. Katz
  • Ronald C. Kessler
  • Jeffrey R. Kling
  • Lisa Sanbonmatsu

Abstract

We examine long-term neighborhood effects on low-income families using data from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) randomized housing-mobility experiment. This experiment offered to some public-housing families but not to others the chance to move to less-disadvantaged neighborhoods. We show that ten to 15 years after baseline, MTO: (i) improves adult physical and mental health; (ii) has no detectable effect on economic outcomes or youth schooling or physical health; and (iii) has mixed results by gender on other youth outcomes, with girls doing better on some measures and boys doing worse. Despite the somewhat mixed pattern of impacts on traditional behavioral outcomes, MTO moves substantially improve adult subjective well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Jens Ludwig & Greg J. Duncan & Lisa A. Gennetian & Lawrence F. Katz & Ronald C. Kessler & Jeffrey R. Kling & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2013. "Long-Term Neighborhood Effects on Low-Income Families: Evidence from Moving to Opportunity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 226-231, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:226-31
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.226
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130.
    2. Tara Watson, 2009. "Inequality And The Measurement Of Residential Segregation By Income In American Neighborhoods," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 820-844, September.
    3. Ludwig, Jens & Duncan, Greg J. & Katz, Lawrence F. & Kessler, Ronald & Kling, Jeffrey R. & Gennetian, Lisa A. & Sanbonmatsu, Lisa, 2012. "Neighborhood Effects on the Long-Term Well-Being of Low-Income Adults," Scholarly Articles 11870359, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    5. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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