Neighborhood Sorting Obscures Neighborhood Effects in the Opportunity Atlas

27 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2020

See all articles by Dionissi Aliprantis

Dionissi Aliprantis

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Hal Martin

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Date Written: December 1, 2020

Abstract

The Opportunity Atlas (OA) is an innovative data set that ranks neighborhoods according to children’s adult outcomes in several domains, including income. Conceptually, outcomes offer new evidence about neighborhood effects when measured in isolation from neighborhood sorting. This note shows that neighborhood sorting contributes to OA estimates. We document cases where small sample sizes and changes over time can explain disagreements between OA rankings and those based on contemporaneous variables. Our results suggest caution for interpretations of the OA data set at a granular level, particularly for predictions about the outcomes of black children in high-income neighborhoods.

Keywords: neighborhood sorting, neighborhood effect, Opportunity Atlas

JEL Classification: R23, C81, J15, I38

Suggested Citation

Aliprantis, Dionissi and Martin, Hal, Neighborhood Sorting Obscures Neighborhood Effects in the Opportunity Atlas (December 1, 2020). FRB of Cleveland Working Paper, No. 20-37, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3740819 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3740819

Dionissi Aliprantis (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland ( email )

East 6th & Superior
Cleveland, OH 44101-1387
United States

Hal Martin

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland ( email )

East 6th & Superior
Cleveland, OH 44101-1387
United States

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