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Searching for the Best Neighborhood: Mobility and Social Interactions

  • Yannis Ioannides
  • Giulio Zanella

The paper seeks to contribute to the social interactions literature by exploiting data on individual's self- selection into neighborhoods. We study a model in which households search for the best location in the presence of neighborhood effects in the formation of children's human capital and in the process of cultural transmission. We use micro data from the PSID which we have merged, using geocodes, with contextual information at the leves of census tracts and of counties from the 2000 US Census. We control for numerous individual characteristics and neighborhood attributes and find, consistently with neighborhood effects models, that households with children, but not those without, are more likely to move out of neighborhoods whose attributes are not favorable to the productin of human capital and the transmission of parents' cultural traits, and to move into neighborhoods which instead exhibit desireable such attributes.

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File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/research/documents/2008/ioannidesMobility.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0720.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0720
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  2. Durlauf, Steven N., 2004. "Neighborhood effects," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 50, pages 2173-2242 Elsevier.
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  13. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
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  16. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 1999. "Power Couples: Changes in the Locational Choice of the College Educated, 1940-1990," NBER Working Papers 7109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  20. M. L. Weitzman, 1978. "Optimal Search for the Best Alternative," Working papers 214, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  22. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
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  25. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2000. "Interactions-Based Models," Working Papers 00-05-028, Santa Fe Institute.
  26. Calabrese, Stephen & Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas & Sieg, Holger, 2006. "Local public good provision: Voting, peer effects, and mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 959-981, August.
  27. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  28. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  29. Bowles, Samuel, 1970. "Migration as Investment: Empirical Tests of the Human Investment Approach to Geographical Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(4), pages 356-62, November.
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