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Searching for the Best Neighborhood: Mobility and Social Interactions

  • Yannis M. Ioannides

    ()

  • Giulio Zanella

    ()

The paper seeks to contribute to the social interactions literature by exploiting data on individuals’ 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 levels of census tracts and of counties from the 2000 US Census. We control for numerous individual characteristics and neighborhood attributes and find, consistently with neighbourhood 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 production of human capital and the transmission of parents’ cultural traits, and to move into neighborhoods which instead exhibit desirable such attributes.

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File URL: http://www.econ-pol.unisi.it/quaderni/533.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 533.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:533
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  1. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Discrete choice with social interactions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Neal, Derek, 1999. "The Complexity of Job Mobility among Young Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 237-61, April.
  3. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Zabel, Jeffrey E., 2008. "Interactions, neighborhood selection and housing demand," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 229-252, January.
  4. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
  5. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. George J. Borjas & Stephen G. Bronars & Stephen J. Trejo, 1992. "Self-Selection and Internal Migration in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. William Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2000. "Interactions-Based Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Working Papers 07-27, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Weitzman, Martin L, 1979. "Optimal Search for the Best Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 641-54, May.
  10. Manski, C.F., 1990. "The Selection Problem," Working papers 90-12, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  11. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," NBER Working Papers 11577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  13. 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.
  14. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "The Long-Run Consequences of Living in a Poor Neighborhood," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt9np9p7m5, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  15. Alexandre Mas & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Peers at Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 112-45, March.
  16. 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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  19. Giulio Zanella, 2007. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions and Endogenous Memberships," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(1), pages 122-153, 03.
  20. 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.
  21. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
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  25. John Kennan & James R. Walker, 2003. "The Effect of Expected Income on Individual Migration Decisions," NBER Working Papers 9585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. 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.
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  28. 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.
  29. 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.
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