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Do Neighbourhoods Influence Long-term Labour Market Success? A Comparison of Adults Who Grew up in Different Public Housing Projects

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  • Oreopoulos, Philip

Abstract

This paper examines whether long-run labour market outcomes depend on residential environment among adults who grew up in subsidized housing in Toronto. The housing program in Toronto provides a full spectrum of neighbourhood quality types to measure outcome differences, and offers a real-life example of large scale neighbourhood quality reform. A primary advantage with this approach is that, conditional on participation in public housing, residential choice is substantially limited. Families that applied for public housing could not specify which project they wished to be housed in and were constrained to what was offered based on availability at the time they applied and by family size. Unlike previous housing mobility experiments, the availability of administrative tax records are used to measure both short and long run outcomes. The results indicate almost no difference in educational attainment, adult earnings, income, and social assistance participation between children from different public housing types. Average outcomes, estimated wage distributions, and outcome correlations among unrelated project neighbours show no significant neighbourhood impact. In contrast, family differences seem to matter a great deal.

Suggested Citation

  • Oreopoulos, Philip, 2002. "Do Neighbourhoods Influence Long-term Labour Market Success? A Comparison of Adults Who Grew up in Different Public Housing Projects," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002185e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2002185e
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    File URL: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/olc-cel/olc.action?ObjId=11F0019M2002185&ObjType=46&lang=en&limit=0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh & John F. Helliwell, 2008. "Empathy and Emulation: Life Satisfaction and the Urban Geography of Comparison Groups," NBER Working Papers 14593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Warman, Casey, 2005. "Ethnic Neighbourhoods and Male Immigrant Earnings Growth: 1981 Through 1996," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005241e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    3. Hou, Feng & Picot, Garnett, 2003. "Visible Minority Neighbourhood Enclaves and Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003204e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment and unemployment; Families; households and housing; Housing and dwelling characteristics; Labour; Wages; salaries and other earnings;

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