A Life Course Approach to Understanding Neighbourhood Effects

14 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2016

See all articles by Elise de Vuijst

Elise de Vuijst

Delft University of Technology

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

Reinout Kleinhans

Delft University of Technology

Abstract

Many theories on so-called neighbourhood effects – effects of the residential context on individual outcomes such as employment, education, and health – implicitly, or explicitly suggest lagged effects, duration effects, or for example, intergenerational effects of neighbourhoods. However, these temporal dimensions of neighbourhood effects receive only limited attention in the empirical literature, largely because of a lack of suitable data. The increasing availability of geo-coded, longitudinal, individual-level data now leads to more research which takes these temporal dimensions and time effects into account. This paper argues that it is time for an overarching framework to better understand the temporal dimension of neighbourhood effects.We propose a conceptual model that uses the life course approach as a framework to integrate the various elements of time in current neighbourhood effects theories. The life course approach emboldens the study of full individual life course biographies over time, taking into consideration multiple parallel life careers (such as education, household, housing, work, and leisure) and their relative importance to individual outcomes. A large advantage of the life course approach to neighbourhood effects is that it does not only allow us to incorporate residential neighbourhoods into individual biographies, but also allows us to study the effects of (and interactions with) other social and spatial contexts on individual outcomes.

Keywords: neighbourhood effects, neighbourhood histories, life course approach, temporal dimension, contextual effects

JEL Classification: I30, J60, P46, R23

Suggested Citation

de Vuijst, Elise and van Ham, Maarten and Kleinhans, Reinout, A Life Course Approach to Understanding Neighbourhood Effects. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10276. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2861021

Elise De Vuijst (Contact Author)

Delft University of Technology ( email )

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

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

Reinout Kleinhans

Delft University of Technology ( email )

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