Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects

77 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2005 Last revised: 21 Aug 2010

See all articles by Jeffrey R. Kling

Jeffrey R. Kling

Government of the United States of America - Congressional Budget Office (CBO); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeffrey B. Liebman

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Lawrence F. Katz

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2005

Abstract

Families, primarily female-headed minority households with children, living in high-poverty public housing projects in five U.S. cities were offered housing vouchers by lottery in the Moving to Opportunity program. Four to seven years after random assignment, families offered vouchers lived in safer neighborhoods that had lower poverty rates than those of the control group not offered vouchers. We find no significant overall effects of this intervention on adult economic self-sufficiency or physical health. Mental health benefits of the voucher offers for adults and for female youth were substantial. Beneficial effects for female youth on education, risky behavior, and physical health were offset by adverse effects for male youth. For outcomes exhibiting significant treatment effects, we find, using variation in treatment intensity across voucher types and cities, that the relationship between neighborhood poverty rate and outcomes is approximately linear.

Suggested Citation

Kling, Jeffrey and Liebman, Jeffrey B. and Katz, Lawrence F., Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects (August 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11577, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=788442

Jeffrey Kling (Contact Author)

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