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Assessing the evidence on neighborhood effects from moving to opportunity

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  • Dionissi Aliprantis

Abstract

Trying to learn about neighborhood effects from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) housing mobility experiment by focusing on its program effects obfuscates the evidence on neighborhood effects from MTO. This paper shows that using Intent-to-Treat (ITT) and Treatment-on-the-Treated (TOT) program effects from MTO to indirectly draw conclusions about neighborhood effects (1) offers no advantage for learning about neighborhood effects over directly estimating neighborhood effects, and (2) answers an ill-posed question as a result of allowing central identifying assumptions to be made implicitly. Focusing attention on directly specifying and estimating models of neighborhood effects, the paper presents empirical evidence that MTO only identifies effects from moves between neighborhoods of low quality. These results have broad implications for the way program effects are used to learn about parameters of other models, and they have not been sufficiently addressed in the literature to interpret the evidence from MTO as a test of Wilson (1987).

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  • Dionissi Aliprantis, 2012. "Assessing the evidence on neighborhood effects from moving to opportunity," Working Papers (Old Series) 1233, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:1233
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    Cited by:

    1. Dionissi Aliprantis & Daniel Kolliner, 2015. "Neighborhood Poverty and Quality in the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue April.
    2. Dionissi Aliprantis & Daniel R. Carroll, 2018. "Neighborhood dynamics and the distribution of opportunity," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(1), pages 247-303, March.
    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. Rebecca Diamond & Tim McQuade, 2019. "Who Wants Affordable Housing in Their Backyard? An Equilibrium Analysis of Low-Income Property Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1063-1117.
    5. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2014. "What Is the Equity-Efficiency Tradeoff when Maintaining Wells in Rural Haiti?," Working Papers (Old Series) 1424, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    6. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2013. "Covariates and causal effects: the problem of context," Working Papers (Old Series) 1310, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    7. Dionissi Aliprantis & Hal Martin, 2020. "Neighborhood Sorting Obscures Neighborhood Effects in the Opportunity Atlas," Working Papers 202037, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    8. Aliprantis, Dionissi & Kolliner, Daniel, 2015. "Neighborhood Poverty and Quality in the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue April.
    9. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2011. "Community-Based Well Maintenance in Rural Haiti," OVE Working Papers 0611, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
    10. Thomas A. Garrett, 2011. "A Federal Reserve System conference on research in applied microeconomics," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 93(Nov), pages 455-462.
    11. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2013. "Human capital in the inner city," Working Papers (Old Series) 1302, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    12. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2017. "Human capital in the inner city," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 1125-1169, November.
    13. Dionissi Aliprantis & Francisca Richter, 2012. "Local average neighborhood effects from moving to opportunity," Working Papers (Old Series) 1208, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    14. Dionissi Aliprantis & Daniel R. Carroll & Eric R. Young, 2019. "What Explains Neighborhood Sorting by Income and Race?," Working Papers 201808R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    15. Matthew Klesta & Frank Manzo & Francisca Richter & Mark S. Sniderman, 2013. "Low-income-rental-housing programs in the Fourth District," Working Papers (Old Series) 1311, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    16. 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.
    17. 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housing policy; Poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General

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