Tuesday, September 25, 2012

[EQ] Neighborhood Effects on the Long-Term Well-Being of Low-Income Adults

Neighborhood Effects on the Long-Term Well-Being of Low-Income Adults

Jens Ludwig1,2,*, Greg J. Duncan 3, Lisa A. Gennetian 4, Lawrence F. Katz 2,5, Ronald C. Kessle r6,
Jeffrey R. Kling 2,7, Lisa Sanbonmatsu 2

1 Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago, USA.

2 National Bureau of Economic Research, USA.

3 School of Education, University of California, USA.

4 The Brookings Institution,  Washington, DC, USA.

5 Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA.

6 Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, USA.

7 Congressional Budget Office, Washington, DC USA.

Science 21 September 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6101 pp. 1505-1510



“…….Nearly 9 million Americans live in extreme-poverty neighborhoods, places that also tend to be racially segregated and dangerous. Yet, the effects on the well-being of residents of moving out of such communities into less distressed areas remain uncertain.

Using data from Moving to Opportunity, a unique randomized housing mobility experiment, we found that moving from a high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhood leads to long-term (10- to 15-year) improvements in adult physical and mental health and subjective well-being, despite not affecting economic self-sufficiency

A 1–standard deviation decline in neighborhood poverty (13 percentage points) increases subjective well-being by an amount equal to the gap in subjective well-being between people whose annual incomes differ by $13,000—a large amount given that the average control group income is $20,000.

Subjective well-being is more strongly affected by changes in neighborhood economic disadvantage than racial segregation, which is important because racial segregation has been declining since 1970, but income segregation has been increasing….”

Moving and the Neighborhood Glass Ceiling.

Robert J. Sampson. Science 21 September 2012: 1464-1465.



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