Long-Term Neighborhood Effects on Low-Income Families: Evidence from Moving to Opportunity

Scholarly Edition

We examine long-term neighborhood effects on low-income families using data from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) randomized housing-mobility experiment. This experiment offered to some public-housing families but not to others the chance to move to less-disadvantaged neighborhoods. We show that ten to 15 years after baseline, MTO: (i) improves adult physical and mental health; (ii) has no detectable effect on economic outcomes or youth schooling or physical health; and (iii) has mixed results by gender on other youth outcomes, with girls doing better on some measures and boys doing worse. Despite the somewhat mixed pattern of impacts on traditional behavioral outcomes, MTO moves substantially improve adult subjective well-being.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

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

Published Date

  • 2013