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Does Urban Public Housing Diminish the Social Capital and Labor Force Activity of Its Tenants?

  • David A. Reingold

    (School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University)

  • Gregg G. Van Ryzin

    (School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, City University of New York)

  • Michelle Ronda

    (Graduate Center, City University of New York)

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    This paper investigates the effect of urban public housing on the social capital and labor force activity of its tenants using cross-sectional survey data from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality (MSCUI). A structural equation model of the hypothesized direct and indirect effects of public housing and neighborhood disadvantage on social capital and labor force activity is specified and fitted to these data. The modeling results suggest that urban public housing is strongly associated with neighborhood disadvantage but has little or no direct effect on either social capital or labor force activity. And while public housing may have indirect effects on social capital and labor force activity through neighborhood poverty, these indirect effects appear to be small. These findings have implications for the current emphasis in urban public housing policy on moving residents into the private housing market and reducing poverty concentration. © 2001 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 485-504

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:20:y:2001:i:3:p:485-504
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    1. J. Currie & A. Yelowitz, . "Are Public Housing Projects Good For Kids?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1152-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    2. Janet Currie & Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1998. "Public Housing and Labor Supply," JCPR Working Papers 52, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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