Long-Term Neighborhood Effects on Low-Income Families: Evidence from Moving to Opportunity

Jens Ludwig, Greg J. Duncan, Lisa A. Gennetian, Lawrence F. Katz, Ronald C. Kessler, Jeffrey R. Kling, Lisa Sanbonmatsu

NBER Working Paper No. 18772
Issued in February 2013
NBER Program(s):   CH   HE   LS   PE

We examine long-term neighborhood effects on low-income families using data from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) randomized housing-mobility experiment, which offered some public-housing families but not others the chance to move to less-disadvantaged neighborhoods. We show that 10-15 years after baseline MTO improves adult physical and mental health; has no detectable effect on economic outcomes, youth schooling and youth physical health; and mixed results by gender on other youth outcomes, with girls doing better on some measures and boys doing worse. Despite the somewhat mixed pattern of impacts on traditional behavioral outcomes, MTO moves substantially improve adult subjective well-being.

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This paper was revised on April 10, 2013

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18772

Published: Jens Ludwig & Greg J. Duncan & Lisa A. Gennetian & Lawrence F. Katz & Ronald C. Kessler & Jeffrey R. Kling & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2013. "Long-Term Neighborhood Effects on Low-Income Families: Evidence from Moving to Opportunity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 226-31, May. citation courtesy of

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