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What Can We Learn about Neighborhood Effects from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment?

Author

Listed:
  • Katz, Lawrence
  • Duncan, Greg J.
  • Kling, Jeffrey R.
  • Kessler, Ronald C.
  • Ludwig, Jens
  • Sanbonmatsu, Lisa
  • Liebman, Jeffrey B.

Abstract

Experimental estimates from Moving to Opportunity (MTO) show no significant impacts of moves to lower†poverty neighborhoods on adult economic self†sufficiency four to seven years after random assignment. The authors disagree with Clampet†Lundquist and Massey's claim that MTO was a weak intervention and therefore uninformative about neighborhood effects. MTO produced large changes in neighborhood environments that improved adult mental health and many outcomes for young females. Clampet†Lundquist and Massey's claim that MTO experimental estimates are plagued by selection bias is erroneous. Their new nonexperimental estimates are uninformative because they add back the selection problems that MTO's experimental design was intended to overcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Katz, Lawrence & Duncan, Greg J. & Kling, Jeffrey R. & Kessler, Ronald C. & Ludwig, Jens & Sanbonmatsu, Lisa & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2008. "What Can We Learn about Neighborhood Effects from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment?," Scholarly Articles 2766959, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2766959
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    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/2766959/katz_neighbor1.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
    2. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130.
    3. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    4. Jens Ludwig & Greg J. Duncan & Paul Hirschfield, 2001. "Urban Poverty and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 655-679.
    5. Mark E. Votruba & Jeffrey R. Kling, 2004. "Effects of Neighborhood Characteristics on the Mortality of Black Male Youth: Evidence From Gautreaux," Working Papers 870, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 607-654.
    7. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    8. Elizabeth Ty Wilde & Robinson Hollister, 2007. "How close is close enough? Evaluating propensity score matching using data from a class size reduction experiment," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 455-477.
    9. Ludwig, Jens & Duncan, Greg J. & Pinkston, Joshua C., 2005. "Housing mobility programs and economic self-sufficiency: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 131-156, January.
    10. Charles Michalopoulos & Howard S. Bloom & Carolyn J. Hill, 2004. "Can Propensity-Score Methods Match the Findings from a Random Assignment Evaluation of Mandatory Welfare-to-Work Programs?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 156-179, February.
    11. Shroder, Mark, 2002. "Locational Constraint, Housing Counseling, and Successful Lease-up in a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 315-338, March.
    12. John F. Kain, 1968. "Housing Segregation, Negro Employment, and Metropolitan Decentralization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 175-197.
    13. Tamás Bartus, 2005. "Estimation of marginal effects using margeff," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(3), pages 309-329, September.
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    Citations

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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. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2017. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," NBER Working Papers 23017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren, 2016. "The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility I: Childhood Exposure Effects," NBER Working Papers 23001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Daniel Lichter, 2013. "Integration or Fragmentation? Racial Diversity and the American Future," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(2), pages 359-391, April.
    5. Goran Serdareviæ & Petr Teplý, 2011. "The Efficiency of EU Merger Control During the Period 1990–2008," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 61(3), pages 252-276, July.
    6. Fenne M. Pinkster, 2014. "Neighbourhood Effects as Indirect Effects: Evidence from a Dutch Case Study on the Significance of Neighbourhood for Employment Trajectories," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(6), pages 2042-2059, November.
    7. Jens Ludwig & Jeffrey R. Kling & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2011. "Mechanism Experiments and Policy Evaluations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 17-38, Summer.
    8. Julia Burdick-Will & Jens Ludwig, 2010. "Neighborhood and Community Initiatives," NBER Chapters,in: Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, pages 303-321 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Junfu Zhang, 2011. "Tipping And Residential Segregation: A Unified Schelling Model," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 167-193, February.
    10. Bryan S. Graham, 2016. "Identifying and Estimating Neighborhood Effects," NBER Working Papers 22575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Schuetz, Jenny & Spader, Jonathan & Cortes, Alvaro, 2016. "Have distressed neighborhoods recovered? Evidence from the neighborhood stabilization program," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 30-48.
    12. 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.
    13. Seals, Richard Alan & Stern, Liliana V., 2013. "Cognitive ability and the division of labor in urban ghettos: Evidence from gang activity in U.S. data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 140-149.
    14. Jens Ludwig, 2012. "Long-term effects of neighborhood environments on low-income families: a summary of results from the Moving to Opportunity experiment," Sciences Po publications 4, Sciences Po.
    15. Jonathan T. Rothwell & Douglas S. Massey, 2015. "Geographic Effects on Intergenerational Income Mobility," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(1), pages 83-106, January.
    16. Sara B. Heller & Brian A. Jacob & Jens Ludwig, 2010. "Family Income, Neighborhood Poverty, and Crime," NBER Chapters,in: Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, pages 419-459 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Ludwig, Jens & Duncan, Greg J. & Katz, Lawrence F. & Kessler, Ronald & Kling, Jeffrey R. & Gennetian, Lisa A. & Sanbonmatsu, Lisa, 2012. "Neighborhood Effects on the Long-Term Well-Being of Low-Income Adults," Scholarly Articles 11870359, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    18. Galster, George & Santiago, Anna & Stack, Lisa & Cutsinger, Jackie, 2016. "Neighborhood effects on secondary school performance of Latino and African American youth: Evidence from a natural experiment in Denver," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 30-48.
    19. Aughinbaugh, Alison & Rothstein, Donna S., 2015. "Do cognitive skills moderate the influence of neighborhood disadvantage on subsequent educational attainment?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 83-99.
    20. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2017. "Assessing the evidence on neighborhood effects from Moving to Opportunity," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 925-954, May.
    21. Astell-Burt, Thomas & Feng, Xiaoqi & Kolt, Gregory S. & Jalaludin, Bin, 2015. "Does rising crime lead to increasing distress? Longitudinal analysis of a natural experiment with dynamic objective neighbourhood measures," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 68-73.
    22. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0606-y is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Angel, Stefan & Bittschi, Benjamin, 2014. "Housing and health," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-079, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    24. 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.
    25. Islam, TM Tonmoy, 2013. "Childhood neighborhood conditions and the persistence of adult income," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 684-693.

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