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Achieving Escape Velocity: Neighborhood and School Interventions to Reduce Persistent Inequality

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  • Roland G. Fryer
  • Lawrence F. Katz

Abstract

This paper reviews the evidence on the efficacy of neighborhood and school interventions in improving the long-run outcomes of children growing up in poor families. We focus on studies exploiting exogenous sources of variation in neighborhoods and schools and which examine at least medium-term outcomes. Higher-quality neighborhoods improve family safety, adult subjective well-being and health, and girls' mental health. But they have no detectable impact on youth human capital, labor market outcomes, or risky behaviors. In contrast, higher-quality schools can improve children's academic achievement and can have longer-term positive impacts of increasing educational attainment and earnings and reducing incarceration and teen pregnancy.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland G. Fryer & Lawrence F. Katz, 2013. "Achieving Escape Velocity: Neighborhood and School Interventions to Reduce Persistent Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 232-237, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:232-37 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.232
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brian A. Jacob, 2004. "Public Housing, Housing Vouchers, and Student Achievement: Evidence from Public Housing Demolitions in Chicago," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 233-258.
    2. 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.
    3. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    4. Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "The Long-Run Consequences of Living in a Poor Neighborhood," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 1533-1575.
    5. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, 2011. "Are High-Quality Schools Enough to Increase Achievement among the Poor? Evidence from the Harlem Children's Zone," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 158-187, July.
    6. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2011. "The Long-Term Impacts of Teachers: Teacher Value-Added and Student Outcomes in Adulthood," NBER Working Papers 17699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Lipscomb & Joshua Haimson & Albert Y. Liu & John Burghardt & David R. Johnson & Martha Thurlow, "undated". "Preparing for Life After High School: The Characteristics and Experiences of Youth in Special Education. Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012. Volume 1: Comparisons with Other," Mathematica Policy Research Reports a16b0d64d0d04173b3289e0ff, Mathematica Policy Research.
    2. Del Bello, Carlo L. & Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Neighborhood Effects in Education," IZA Discussion Papers 8956, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Arbel, Yuval & Bar-El, Ronen & Tobol, Yossi, 2017. "Equal Opportunity through Higher Education: Theory and Evidence on Privilege and Ability," IZA Discussion Papers 10564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Claudia Olivetti & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2016. "Mothers, Peers and Gender Identity," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 904, Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. Stephen Lipscomb & Joshua Haimson & Albert Y. Liu & John Burghardt & David R. Johnson & Martha Thurlow, "undated". "Preparing for Life After High School: The Characteristics and Experiences of Youth in Special Education. Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012. Volume 2: Comparisons Across Dis," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 13d5f88c29d54074bc88fa130, Mathematica Policy Research.
    6. Leonardo Bursztyn & Robert Jensen, 2015. "How Does Peer Pressure Affect Educational Investments?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(3), pages 1329-1367.
    7. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 855-902, April.
    8. Stephen Lipscomb & Joshua Haimson & Albert Y. Liu & John Burghardt & David R. Johnson & Martha Thurlow, "undated". "Preparing for Life After High School: The Characteristics and Experiences of Youth in Special Education. Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012. Volume 1: Comparisons with Other," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 1a1d1354da7f43a58e7057ffb, Mathematica Policy Research.
    9. Stephen Lipscomb & Joshua Haimson & Albert Y. Liu & John Burghardt & David R. Johnson & Martha Thurlow, "undated". "Preparing for Life After High School: The Characteristics and Experiences of Youth in Special Education. Findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012. Volume 2: Comparisons Across Dis," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 42643a6d0ee049f8af74a6cc2, Mathematica Policy Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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