NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Unpacking Neighborhood Influences on Education Outcomes: Setting the Stage for Future Research

David J. Harding, Lisa Gennetian, Christopher Winship, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Jeffrey R. Kling

NBER Working Paper No. 16055
Issued in June 2010
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   LS

We motivate future neighborhood research through a simple model that considers youth educational outcomes as a function of neighborhood context, neighborhood exposure, individual vulnerability to neighborhood effects, and non-neighborhood educational inputs -- with a focus on effect heterogeneity. Research using this approach would require three steps. First, researchers would need to shift focus away from broad theories of neighborhood effects and examine the specific mechanisms through which the characteristics of a neighborhood might affect an individual. Second, neighborhood research would need new and far more nuanced data. Third, more research designs would be needed that can unpack the causal effects, if any, of specific neighborhood characteristics as they operate through well-specified mechanisms.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16055

Published: Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances. Edited by Greg J. Duncan and Richard Murnane. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2011. 277-296.

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