Traps and Stepping Stones: Neighborhood Dynamics and Family Well-Being
Studies of context effects - for example, effects of neighborhoods, schools, kinship units, or all of these - on human behavior and well-being now span the social sciences and pose some of the most daunting analytic problems faced by social researchers. Understanding such effects is particularly important as metropolitan areas in the U.S. face continued economic restructuring and large-scale demographic change from migration, aging, and other forces, and as policymakers and researchers seek to understand and respond to increased economic inequality and its consequences. To date, however, almost all relevant research has either studied processes of neighborhood change (hinting at possible effects on individuals and families) or of human development (including possible effects of neighborhood characteristics). This theoretical essay argues strongly for integrating these largely separate enterprises and outlines basic frameworks for doing so. I discuss three dynamic functions - neighborhood change, individual exposure to risks and resources, and life course transitions - that contribute to neighborhood effects and use simple Markovian risk models to illustrate the importance of housing choices and outcomes over time. Neighborhoods may be thought of as traps, stepping stones, or springboards for families navigating the life course, not just stable, upgrading, or declining (in traditional terms). As such, efforts to leverage neighborhood context to improve child and family well-being must consider how housing mobility relates to other family strategies for getting by, getting ahead, and propelling the next generation. Keywords: neighborhood effects, contextual models, risk analysis, housing mobility, human development, poverty, segregation.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138|
Web page: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/index.htm
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Margery Austin Turner & Stephen L. Ross, 2003. "Discrimination in Metropolitan Housing Markets: Phase 3 - Native Americans," Working papers 2003-43, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2000.
00-05-028, Santa Fe Institute.
- David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-872.
- S. N. Durlauf, .
"A Framework for the Study of Individual Behavior and Social Interactions,"
Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers
1220-01, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "A framework for the study of individual behavior and social interactions," Working papers 16, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Mary Jo Bane & David T. Ellwood, 1986. "Slipping into and out of Poverty: The Dynamics of Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-23.
- Richard V. Burkhauser, 2001. "What Policymakers Need to Know about Poverty Dynamics," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 757-759.
- Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2004.
"Is Housing Unaffordable? Why Isn't It More Affordable?,"
Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series
qt1vp9j3k0, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
- John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2004. "Is Housing Unaffordable? Why Isn't It More Affordable?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 191-214, Winter.
- Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp04-015. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.