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Labor market experiences of low-income black women in middle-class suburbs: Evidence from a survey of gautreaux program participants


  • Susan J. Popkin
  • James E. Rosenbaum
  • Patricia M. Meaden


This article reports on a highly unusual experiment in racial and economic integration, the Gautreaux program. This program helps black families who are either current or former residents of public housing move into subsidized housing in Chicago and its suburbs. Surveying a random sample of 332 participants, we find that suburban movers are significantly more likely to have a job post-move than city movers, even among those who had never had a job before moving. Multivariate analysis shows that these differences are significant even after controlling for respondents' previous work history, human capital, and personal characteristics. These results suggest that low-income urban blacks experience significant gains in employment by moving to middle-class suburbs. Thus, housing assistance may be an effective alternative to traditional welfare-to-work programs.

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  • Susan J. Popkin & James E. Rosenbaum & Patricia M. Meaden, 1993. "Labor market experiences of low-income black women in middle-class suburbs: Evidence from a survey of gautreaux program participants," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 556-573.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:12:y:1993:i:3:p:556-573 DOI: 10.2307/3325306

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Price, Richard & Mills, Edwin, 1985. "Race and residence in earnings determination," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-18, January.
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    1. Katherine M. O'Regan & John M. Quigley, 1996. "Spatial effects upon employment outcomes: the case of New Jersey teenagers," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue May, pages 41-64.
    2. Stephen L. Ross, 2009. "Social Interactions within Cities: Neighborhood Environments and Peer Relationships," Working papers 2009-31, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    3. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross & Giorgio Topa, 2008. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 1150-1196, December.
    4. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross, 2006. "Identifying Individual and Group Effects in the Presence of Sorting: A Neighborhood Effects Application," Working papers 2006-13, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2009.
    5. repec:mpr:mprres:1881 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01cr56n0997 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Lahr, Michael L. & Gibbs, Robert M., 2002. "Mobility of Section 8 families in Alameda County," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 187-213, September.
    8. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01qz20ss50t is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Susan Clampet-Lundquist & Greg J. Duncan & Kathryn Edin & Jeffrey R. Kling & Kristin Turney, 2006. "Neighborhood Effects on Barriers to Employment: Results From a Randomized Housing Mobility Experiment in Baltimore," Working Papers 890, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. Topa, Giorgio & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Neighborhood and Network Effects," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    11. Valerie Preston & Sara McLafferty, 1999. "articles: Spatial mismatch research in the 1990s: progress and potential," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 78(4), pages 387-402.
    12. Votruba, Mark Edward & Kling, Jeffrey R., 2009. "Effects of neighborhood characteristics on the mortality of black male youth: Evidence from Gautreaux, Chicago," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 814-823, March.
    13. 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..
    14. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Lawrence F. Katz & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2004. "Moving to Opportuntiy and Tranquility: Neighborhood Effects on Adult Economic Self-sufficiency and Health from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," Working Papers 247, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    15. 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..
    16. repec:pri:cepsud:107kling is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:pri:cheawb:kling_mto481 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Frenette, Marc & Picot, Garnett & Sceviour, Roger, 2004. "When do they leave? The dynamics of living in low-income neighbourhoods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 484-504, November.
    19. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2008. "Neighborhoods, Economic Self-Sufficiency, and the MTO Program," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt1nd2t0pw, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
    20. Micere Keels & Greg Duncan & Stefanie Deluca & Ruby Mendenhall & James Rosenbaum, 2005. "Fifteen years later: Can residential mobility programs provide a long-term escape from neighborhood segregation, crime, and poverty," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(1), pages 51-73, February.
    21. Vartanian, Thomas P., 1999. "Locational effects on AFDC exits: Examining local labor markets," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 607-631.
    22. Michael Stavrianos & Lucia Nixon, 1998. "The Effect of Welfare Reform on Able-Bodied Food Stamp Recipients," Mathematica Policy Research Reports f806bb2237d04d4bae2bdf6a8, Mathematica Policy Research.
    23. Manuel Pastor, Jr. & Ara Robinson Adams, 1996. "Keeping Down With The Joneses: Neighbors, Networks, And Wages," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 26(2), pages 116-145, Fall.
    24. Greg Duncan & Stephen W. Raudenbush, 1998. "Neighborhoods and Adolescent Development: How Can We Determine the Links?," JCPR Working Papers 59, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.

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