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Assessing the evidence on neighborhood effects from moving to opportunity

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  • Dionissi Aliprantis

Abstract

This paper presents a new perspective on results from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) housing mobility program. Building on recent developments in the program evaluation literature, this paper defines several treatment effect parameters and then estimates and interprets these parameters using data from MTO. The evaluation framework is used to make a clear distinction between the interpretation of Intent to Treat (ITT) and Treatment on the Treated (TOT) parameters as program effects and Local Average Treatment Effect (LATE) parameters as neighborhood effects. This distinction helps to clarify that results from MTO are only informative about a small subset of neighborhood effects of interest. Tests for instrument strength show that MTO induced large changes in neighborhood poverty rates. However, it is also shown that MTO induced remarkably little variation in many of the other neighborhood and school characteristics believed to influence outcomes and that much of this variation was confined to the tails of these characteristics' national distributions. Consistent with prevailing theories of neighborhood effects, labor market and health outcomes improved when households moved to neighborhoods with characteristics at or above the national median. The evidence suggests housing mobility programs designed to induce moves to neighborhoods with characteristics in addition to or in lieu of low poverty might induce larger effects than MTO, and results point to the investigation of heterogeneity in program effects from MTO as a fruitful direction for future research.

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  • Dionissi Aliprantis, 2011. "Assessing the evidence on neighborhood effects from moving to opportunity," Working Paper 1122, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:1122
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    Cited by:

    1. Aliprantis, Dionissi & Kolliner, Daniel, 2015. "Neighborhood Poverty and Quality in the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue April.
    2. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2011. "Community-Based Well Maintenance in Rural Haiti," OVE Working Papers 0611, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
    3. Joseph G. Altonji & Richard K. Mansfield, 2014. "Group-Average Observables as Controls for Sorting on Unobservables When Estimating Group Treatment Effects: the Case of School and Neighborhood Effects," NBER Working Papers 20781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Thomas A. Garrett, 2011. "A Federal Reserve System conference on research in applied microeconomics," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 455-462.
    5. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2013. "Human capital in the inner city," Working Paper 1302, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    6. Dionissi Aliprantis & Daniel R. Carroll, 2012. "Neighborhood dynamics and the distribution of opportunity," Working Paper 1212, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 01 Feb 2013.
    7. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1160-y is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Dionissi Aliprantis & Francisca Richter, 2012. "Local average neighborhood effects from moving to opportunity," Working Paper 1208, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    9. Rebecca Diamond & Timothy McQuade, 2016. "Who Wants Affordable Housing in their Backyard? An Equilibrium Analysis of Low Income Property Development," NBER Working Papers 22204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Diamond, Rebecca & McQuade, Tim, 2015. "Who Wants Affordable Housing in Their Backyard? An Equilibrium Analysis of Low Income Property Development," Research Papers 3329, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    11. Aliprantis, Dionissi, 2014. "What Is the Equity-Efficiency Tradeoff when Maintaining Wells in Rural Haiti?," Working Paper 1424, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 27 Oct 2014.
    12. Matthew Klesta & Frank Manzo & Francisca Richter & Mark S. Sniderman, 2013. "Low-income-rental-housing programs in the Fourth District," Working Paper 1311, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    13. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2013. "Covariates and causal effects: the problem of context," Working Paper 1310, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    14. Gregory Price, 2013. "Hurricane Katrina as an Experiment in Housing Mobility and Neighborhood Effects: Were the Relocated Poor Black Evacuees Better-Off?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 121-143, June.
    15. Sebastian Galiani & Alvin Murphy & Juan Pantano, 2015. "Estimating Neighborhood Choice Models: Lessons from a Housing Assistance Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3385-3415, November.

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    Keywords

    Housing policy ; Poverty;

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