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

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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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    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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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..
    10. Tamás Bartus, 2005. "Estimation of marginal effects using margeff," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(3), pages 309-329, September.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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