The Long-Term Effects of Moving to Opportunity on Youth Outcomes

Scholarly Edition

Evidence about the effects of neighborhood environments on children and youth is central to the design of a wide range of public policies. Armed with long-term survey data from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) for Fair Housing demonstration final impacts evaluation (Sanbonmatsu et al., 2011), we have the opportunity to understand whether neighborhood poverty and related characteristics exert an independent causal effect on the life chances of young people. Findings from analyses of youth in the long-term survey for the final impacts evaluation show that MTO had few detectable effects on a range of schooling outcomes, even for those children who were of preschool age at study entry. MTO also had few detectable effects on physical health outcomes. In other youth outcome domains, patterns of effects on youth were similar to, but more muted than, those in the interim impacts evaluation (Orr et al., 2003), with favorable patterns among female youth—particularly on mental health outcomes—and less favorable patterns among male youth.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gennetian, LA; Sciandra, M; Sanbonmatsu, L; Ludwig, J; Katz, LF; Duncan, GJ; Kling, JR; Kessler, R

Published Date

  • 2012