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

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

Experimental estimates from Moving to Opportunity (MTO) show no significant impacts of moves to lowerâ€poverty neighborhoods on adult economic selfâ€sufficiency four to seven years after random assignment. The authors disagree with Clampetâ€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. Clampetâ€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.

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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/2766959/katz_neighbor1.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 2766959.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in American Journal of Sociology
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2766959
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Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  5. Tamás Bartus, 2005. "Estimation of marginal effects using margeff," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(3), pages 309-329, September.
  6. 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.
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