Adolescent neighborhood context and young adult economic outcomes for low-income African Americans and Latinos

George Galster, Anna Santiago, Jessica Lucero, Jackie Cutsinger
2015 Journal of Economic Geography  
We quantify how young adult employment and educational outcomes for lowincome African Americans and Latinos relate to their adolescent neighborhood conditions. Data come from surveys of Denver Housing Authority (DHA) households who lived in public housing scattered throughout Denver County. Because DHA allocations mimic random assignment to neighborhood, this program represents a natural experiment for overcoming geographic selection bias. We use the neighborhood originally offered by DHA to
more » ... ffered by DHA to instrument for neighborhood experienced during adolescence. Our control function logistic analyses found that higher percentages of foreign-born neighbors predicted higher odds of no post-secondary education and (less reliably) neither working nor attending school. Neighborhood occupational prestige predicted lower odds of young adults receiving public assistance and (less reliably) neither primarily working nor attending school. Effects differed for African Americans and Latinos. We consider potential causal processes underlying our results and suggest why they differ from those from the Moving To Opportunity demonstration. Abstract word count: 150 Text word count (including references and footnotes): 13,513
doi:10.1093/jeg/lbv004 fatcat:6uguag2henf3hjr5vtflgt6q3e