Being Poorer than the Rest of the Neighbourhood: Relative Deprivation and Problem Behaviour of Youth

22 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2016

See all articles by Jaap Nieuwenhuis

Jaap Nieuwenhuis

Zhejiang University

Maarten van Ham

Delft University of Technology - OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies; University of St. Andrews; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Rongqin Yu

University of Oxford

Susan Branje

Utrecht University

Wim Meeus

Utrecht University; Tilburg University

Pieter Hooimeijer

Utrecht University

Date Written: September 2016

Abstract

According to the neighbourhood effects hypothesis, there is a negative relation between neighbourhood wealth and youths' problem behaviour. It is often assumed that there are more problems in deprived neighbourhoods, but there are also reports of higher rates of behavioural problems in more affluent neighbourhoods. Much of this literature does not take into account relative wealth. Our central question was whether the economic position of adolescents' families relative to the neighbourhood in which they lived, was related to adolescents' internalising and externalising problem behaviour. We used longitudinal data for youths between 12-21 years of age, combined with population register data.We employ between-within models to account for time-invariant confounders, including parental background characteristics. Our findings show that for adolescents, moving to a more affluent neighbourhood was related to increased levels of depression, social phobia, aggression, and conflict with father and mother. This could be indirect evidence for the relative deprivation mechanism, but we could not confirm this, and we did not find any gender differences. The results do suggest that future research should further investigate the role of individuals' relative position in their neighbourhood in order not to overgeneralise neighbourhood effects and to find out for whom neighbourhoods matter.

Keywords: neighbourhood effects, externalising problems, internalising problems, relative deprivation, adolescents, residential mobility

JEL Classification: I30, R23

Suggested Citation

Nieuwenhuis, Jaap and van Ham, Maarten and Yu, Rongqin and Branje, Susan and Meeus, Wim and Hooimeijer, Pieter, Being Poorer than the Rest of the Neighbourhood: Relative Deprivation and Problem Behaviour of Youth (September 2016). IZA Discussion Paper No. 10220, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2846311

Jaap Nieuwenhuis (Contact Author)

Zhejiang University ( email )

38 Zheda Road
Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058
China

Maarten Van Ham

Delft University of Technology - OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 5043
2600 GA Delft
Netherlands
+31 15 278 2782 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.maartenvanham.nl

University of St. Andrews ( email )

North St
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Rongqin Yu

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Susan Branje

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Wim Meeus

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

Pieter Hooimeijer

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

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