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Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects

  • Jeffrey R. Kling
  • Jeffrey B. Liebman
  • Lawrence F. Katz

Families, primarily female-headed minority households with children, living in high-poverty public housing projects in five U.S. cities were offered housing vouchers by lottery in the Moving to Opportunity program. Four to seven years after random assignment, families offered vouchers lived in safer neighborhoods that had lower poverty rates than those of the control group not offered vouchers. We find no significant overall effects of this intervention on adult economic self-sufficiency or physical health. Mental health benefits of the voucher offers for adults and for female youth were substantial. Beneficial effects for female youth on education, risky behavior, and physical health were offset by adverse effects for male youth. For outcomes exhibiting significant treatment effects, we find, using variation in treatment intensity across voucher types and cities, that the relationship between neighborhood poverty rate and outcomes is approximately linear.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11577.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Revised and published in Econometrica, 75:1 (January 2007), 83-119
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11577
Note: CH LS PE
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  1. Kling, Jeffrey & Liebman, Jeffrey, 2004. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects on Youth," Working Paper Series rwp04-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Liebman, Jeffrey & Katz, Lawrence & Kling, Jeffrey, 2004. "Beyond Treatment Effects: Estimating the Relationship Between Neighborhood Poverty and Individual Outcomes in the MTO Experiment," Working Paper Series rwp04-036, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2004. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," NBER Working Papers 10777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  5. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  6. Jeffrey R. Kling & B. Jeffrey Liebman, 2004. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects on Youth," Working Papers 862, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Edgar O. Olsen, 2001. "Housing Programs for Low-Income Households," NBER Working Papers 8208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of "Acting White"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 551-583, May.
  10. Heckman, James, 2001. "Accounting for Heterogeneity, Diversity and General Equilibrium in Evaluating Social Programmes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F654-99, November.
  11. Lawrence Katz & B. Jeffrey Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," Working Papers 820, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Lawrence F. Katz & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2004. "Moving To Opportunity And Tranquility: Neighborhood Effects On Adult Economic Self-Sufficiency And Health From A Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," Working Papers 247, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  13. Jens Otto Ludwig & Greg Duncan & Paul Hirschfield, 2000. "Urban Poverty and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," JCPR Working Papers 158, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  14. David Austen-Smith & Ronald G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of 'Acting White'," Discussion Papers 1399, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Richard Arnott & John Rowse, 1982. "Peer Group Effects and Educational Attainment," Working Papers 497, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  16. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
  17. de Bartolome, Charles A M, 1990. "Equilibrium and Inefficiency in a Community Model with Peer Group Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 110-33, February.
  18. Benabou, R., 1991. "Location, Education, and Production," Working papers 582, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. J.D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens & D.B. Rubin, 1993. "Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Edgar O. Olsen, 2000. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Methods of Delivering Housing Subsidies," Virginia Economics Online Papers 351, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  21. Lawrence Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & B. Jeffrey Liebman & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2004. "Moving to Opportunity and Tranquility: Neighborhood Effects on Adult Economic Self-Sufficiency and Health From a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," Working Papers 860, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  22. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Paul Torelli, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 11334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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