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Gautreaux mothers and their children: an update


  • Stefanie DeLuca
  • Greg J. Duncan
  • Micere Keels
  • Ruby M. Mendenhall


The Gautreaux program was one of the first major residential mobility programs in the United States, providing low-income black families from public housing with opportunities to relocate to more affluent white neighborhoods in the Chicago suburbs and in other city neighborhoods. This paper reviews the most recent research on the Gautreaux families, which uses long-term administrative data to examine the effects of placement neighborhoods on the economic and social outcomes of mothers and children. We find that both Gautreaux mothers and their now-grown children were remarkably successful at maintaining the affluence and safety of their placement neighborhoods. As to the long-run economic independence of the mothers themselves, however, the new research fails to confirm the suburban advantages found in past Gautreaux research, although it does show that these outcomes were worst in the most racially segregated placement neighborhoods. With regard to the criminal records of Gautreaux children, it is found that suburban placement helped boys but not girls. Based on these results, we review possible new directions for successful mobility programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefanie DeLuca & Greg J. Duncan & Micere Keels & Ruby M. Mendenhall, 2010. "Gautreaux mothers and their children: an update," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 7-25, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:houspd:v:20:y:2010:i:1:p:7-25
    DOI: 10.1080/10511481003599829

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kling, Jeffrey & Liebman, Jeffrey, 2004. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects on Youth," Working Paper Series rwp04-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Mark E. Votruba & Jeffrey R. Kling, 2004. "Effects of Neighborhood Characteristics on the Mortality of Black Male Youth: Evidence From Gautreaux," Working Papers 870, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. Jeffrey R. Kling & Mark E. Votruba, 2004. "Effects of Neighborhood Characteristics on the Mortality of Black Male Youth: Evidence From Gautreaux," Working Papers 870, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01m613mx58m is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Galster, George & Santiago, Anna & Stack, Lisa & Cutsinger, Jackie, 2016. "Neighborhood effects on secondary school performance of Latino and African American youth: Evidence from a natural experiment in Denver," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 30-48.
    3. repec:hrv:faseco:33950779 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:33950780 is not listed on IDEAS

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