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Neighbourhood Effects and the Welfare State. Towards a European research agenda?


  • Roger Andersson


This paper raises four broad questions related to the neighbourhood effect issue. (1) Is there really a strong relation between housing mix and social mix? (2) How does the social composition of neighbourhoods affect residents’ social interaction and behaviour? (3) Are social opportunities of individual residents related to their neighbourhood context? (4) If there is such a relation, to what extent is this produced through local social interaction? While the answer to the first question is often taken for granted, not only by planners but also by urban research, the following three have been much discussed over the last decade on both sides of the Atlantic. Most researchers hypothesise that neighbourhood effects would be less pronounced in countries like Sweden, where planning practices, social class differences, segregation patterns, and welfare state regulations substantially differ from those found in the U.S. However, recent empirical studies –based on large longitudinal datasets– confirm the extistese of neighbourhood effects also in Sweden. Future European research should not only further explore the above four questions but needs also to systematically engage with issues concerning how neighbourhoods should be defined (scale issues), the importance of time of residency in particular neighbourhoods, and how mix should be operationalised (class, ethnicity etc).

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Andersson, 2008. "Neighbourhood Effects and the Welfare State. Towards a European research agenda?," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 128(1), pages 49-63.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v128_y2008_i1_q1_p49-63

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • I39 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Other
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy


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