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The Effects of Exposure to Better Neighborhoods on Children: New Evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment

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  • Raj Chetty
  • Nathaniel Hendren
  • Lawrence F. Katz

Abstract

The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment offered randomly selected families housing vouchers to move from high-poverty housing projects to lower-poverty neighborhoods. We analyze MTO's impacts on children's long-term outcomes using tax data. We find that moving to a lower-poverty neighborhood when young (before age 13) increases college attendance and earnings and reduces single parenthood rates. Moving as an adolescent has slightly negative impacts, perhaps because of disruption effects. The decline in the gains from moving with the age when children move suggests that the duration of exposure to better environments during childhood is an important determinant of children’s long-term outcomes. (JEL I31, I38, J13, R23, R38)

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:4:p:855-902
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20150572
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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
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

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