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Unpacking Neighborhood Influences on Education Outcomes: Setting the Stage for Future Research

David J. Harding, Lisa Gennetian, Christopher Winship, Lisa Sanbonmatsu and Jeffrey Kling

No 16055, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We motivate future neighborhood research through a simple model that considers youth educational outcomes as a function of neighborhood context, neighborhood exposure, individual vulnerability to neighborhood effects, and non-neighborhood educational inputs -- with a focus on effect heterogeneity. Research using this approach would require three steps. First, researchers would need to shift focus away from broad theories of neighborhood effects and examine the specific mechanisms through which the characteristics of a neighborhood might affect an individual. Second, neighborhood research would need new and far more nuanced data. Third, more research designs would be needed that can unpack the causal effects, if any, of specific neighborhood characteristics as they operate through well-specified mechanisms.

JEL-codes: I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-06
Note: CH ED LS
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Published as Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances. Edited by Greg J. Duncan and Richard Murnane. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2011. 277-296.

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