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Youth Criminal Behavior in the Moving to Opportunity Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Jeffrey R. Kling

    (Princeton University and NBER)

  • Jens Ludwig

    (Georgetown University)

  • Lawrence F. Katz

    (Harvard University and NBER)

Abstract

The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) demonstration assigned housing vouchers via random lottery to low-income public housing residents in five cities. We use the exogenous variation in residential locations generated by the MTO demonstration to estimate the effects of neighborhoods on youth crime and delinquency. We find that the offer to relocate to lowerpoverty areas reduces the incidence of arrests among female youth for violent crimes and property crimes, and increases self-reported problem behaviors and property crime arrests for male youth -- relative to a control group. Female and male youth move through MTO into similar types of neighborhoods, so the gender difference in MTO treatment effects seems to reflect differences in responses to similar neighborhoods. Within-family analyses similarly show that brothers and sisters respond differentially to the same new neighborhood environments with more adverse effects for males. Males show some short-term improvements in delinquent behaviors from moves to lower-poverty areas, but these effects are reversed and gender differences in MTO treatment effects become pronounced by 3 to 4 years after random assignment.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2004. "Youth Criminal Behavior in the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," Working Papers 6, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:482
    as

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    File URL: http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/handle/88435/dsp01tq57nr02d
    File Function: First version, 2004
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effects of Police on Crime: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1244-1250, September.
    2. 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, pages 655-679.
    3. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    4. Heckman, James, 2001. "Accounting for Heterogeneity, Diversity and General Equilibrium in Evaluating Social Programmes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages 654-699, November.
    5. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-1295, December.
    6. Howard S. Bloom, 1984. "Accounting for No-Shows in Experimental Evaluation Designs," Evaluation Review, , vol. 8(2), pages 225-246, April.
    7. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 155-189.
    8. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. 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..
    9. Anderson, David A, 1999. "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 611-642, October.
    10. Levitt, Steven D, 1997. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 270-290.
    11. Ludwig, Jens, 1999. "Information and inner city educational attainment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 17-30, February.
    12. 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.
    13. Laub, John H., 1981. "Ecological considerations in victim reporting to the police," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 9(6), pages 419-430.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press.
    2. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1982. "Test scores, educational opportunities, and individual choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 35-63.
    3. Bruce Sacerdote, 2004. "What Happens When We Randomly Assign Children to Families?," NBER Working Papers 10894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01m613mx58m is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig, 2005. "Assigning Deviant Youths to Minimize Total Harm," NBER Working Papers 11390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Lawrence F. Katz & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2004. "Moving to Opportuntiy 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..
    7. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1982. "Test scores, educational opportunities, and individual choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 35-63.
    10. repec:pri:cheawb:kling_mto481 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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