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'Neighbourhood effects': can we measure them and does it matter?


  • Lupton, Ruth


Renewed interest in disadvantaged neighbourhoods is generating increasing research activity. Current work includes qualitative community studies and quantitative investigations of area effects on individual outcomes. This paper criticises the contribution of area effects research to date. Methodological and data constraints mean that quantitative studies often operationalise a weak conception of neighbourhood that does not reflect the understanding gained from qualitative work. These constraints present a barrier to testing specific theories that might usefully inform policy, while exaggerated claims are made about the policy relevance of more generic work. The paper concludes that area effects should be accorded less significance in the broad debate on area-based policy. Multi-disciplinary work is needed to develop studies that can influence the design of specific programmes.

Suggested Citation

  • Lupton, Ruth, 2003. "'Neighbourhood effects': can we measure them and does it matter?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6327, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6327

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard V. Burkhauser & Mary C. Daly, 1998. "Disability and work: the experiences of American and German men," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 17-29.
    2. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
    3. Tania Burchardt, 2000. "The Dynamics of Being Disabled," CASE Papers case36, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    4. Bardasi, Elena & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Rigg, John A., 2000. "Disability, work and income: a British perspective," ISER Working Paper Series 2000-36, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    5. Stephen Jenkins & John Ermisch & Robert Wright, 1990. "'Adverse selection' features of poverty amongst lone mothers," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 11(2), pages 76-89, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ive Marx & Brian Nolan & Javier Olivera, 2014. "The Welfare State and Anti-Poverty Policy in Rich Countries," Working Papers 1403, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    2. Tunstall, Rebecca & Green, Anne & Lupton, Ruth & Watmough, Simon & Bates, Katie, 2014. "Does poor neighbourhood reputation create a neighbourhood effect on employment? The results of a field experiment in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 55913, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Marinus C. Deurloo & Sjoerd De Vos, 2008. "Measuring Segregation At The Micro Level: An Application Of The M Measure To Multi-Ethnic Residential Neighbourhoods In Amsterdam," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 99(3), pages 329-347, July.
    4. Raushan, Rajesh & Mutharayappa, R., 2014. "Neighbourhood development and caste distribution in rural India," Working Papers 326, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
    5. David J. Madden, 2014. "Neighborhood as Spatial Project: Making the Urban Order on the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 471-497, March.

    More about this item


    neighbourhood area effects;

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General


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