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MEASURING THE EFFECT OF NEIGHBORHOOD ON HUMAN BEHAVIORS: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES George Galster Hilberry Professor of Urban Affairs Wayne State University.

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Presentation on theme: "MEASURING THE EFFECT OF NEIGHBORHOOD ON HUMAN BEHAVIORS: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES George Galster Hilberry Professor of Urban Affairs Wayne State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 MEASURING THE EFFECT OF NEIGHBORHOOD ON HUMAN BEHAVIORS: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES George Galster Hilberry Professor of Urban Affairs Wayne State University Detroit, USA presentation at Uppsala University Sweden June 9, 2011

2 OVERVIEW: QUESTIONS ADDRESSED What Are the Main Methodological Challenges of Quantifying Effects of Neighborhood on Human Behaviors? How Can We Overcome These Methodological Challenges? What Are Promising Future Directions? George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

3 Main Methodological Challenges of Quantifying Effects of Neighborhood Defining Neighborhood Measuring Neighborhood Characteristics Measuring Neighborhood Dosage Measuring Dosage-Response Relationship Selection Endogeneity George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

4 Main Methodological Challenges of Quantifying Effects of Neighborhood: 1 Defining Neighborhood: CHALLENGES: What is the appropriate scale? Does appropriate scale vary by causal mechanism of neighborhood effect presumed? George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

5 How Overcome Challenge of Defining Neighborhood ? RESPONSE: Operationalize neighborhood at different administrative district or bespoke scales; test relationships at various scales (Musterd & Andersson; Van Ham & Manley) BUT: multiple mechanisms likely George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

6 Main Methodological Challenges of Quantifying Effects of Neighborhood:2 Measuring Neighborhood Characteristics: CHALLENGE: Lack direct measures of causal mechanisms (exception: Kalter, Vidal: social capital & networks) What we can usually measure: Highly correlated characteristics of neighd socioeconomic & demographic profiles George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

7 How Overcome Challenge of Measuring Neighborhood Character? RESPONSE: factor analysis (disadvantage index-Jivraj; Bailey); proxy variables (collective efficacy-Sampson et al. BUT: ecological factors not constant over time; proxies may be weak; measures of some mechanisms totally lacking George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

8 Main Methodological Challenges of Quantifying Effects of Neighborhood:3 Measuring Dosage of Neighborhood: CHALLENGE: Frequency of individuals exposure Duration of individuals exposure Intensity of individuals exposure Consistency of individuals exposure Trajectory of individuals exposure George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

9 How Overcome Challenge of Measuring Neighborhood Dosage? RESPONSE: routine activity space analysis(Blasius and Friedrichs) Annual measures of exposure (Musterd- Galster-Andersson) BUT: insufficient to measure all above dimensions of dosage George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

10 Main Methodological Challenges of Quantifying Effects of Neighborhood:4 Measuring Neighborhood Dosage-Response Relationship: CHALLENGE: Threshold / Non-Linear relationship? Timing of relationship? ( Lag? Cumulative?) Durability? (effects persistent or decay over time?) Generality? (many responses? Only one?) Universality? (across people & developmental stages?) Interactions / Antidotes? (with extra- neighd treatments?) Buffers? (Family/ community responses?) George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

11 How Overcome Challenge of Measuring Neighd Dosage-Response? RESPONSE: non-linear modeling (many authors) experiments with lags & cumulative exposures (Sampson & Raudenbush; Galster, Andersson, & Musterd) George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

12 Main Methodological Challenges of Quantifying Effects of Neighborhood: 5 Selection: CHALLENGE: Behavior it = a + b[Observed it ] +c[Unobserved it ] + d[Neighborhd it ] + e [Neighborhood] Unobserved Behavior George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

13 How Overcome Challenge of Selection? RESPONSE 1: Econometric adjustments to non-experimental panel datasets: Modeling Selection Explicitly Differencing Fixed – Effects; Random - Effects Sibling Comparisons Instrumental Variables George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

14 How Overcome Challenge of Selection? RESPONSE 2: Experimental, random assignment datasets : Moving To Opportunity (MTO): 1994 in 5 U.S. metros; 4,700 households Public housing / rent vouchers no aid / vouchers with aid but must locate in <10% poverty area for one year Compare groups over time BUT: many flaws in MTO George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA; presentation at Humboldt University, 2007

15 How Overcome Challenge of Selection? RESPONSE 3: Natural-experiment, quasi- random assignment panel datasets: PHA desegregation: Gautreaux (Rosenbaum et al.), Yonkers (Briggs et al.) Immigrant re-settlement (Sweden: Edin, Fredricksson, Aslund;) Social housing allocation: Denver-USA (Galster & Santiago); Canada (Oreopolis) George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

16 Main Methodological Challenges of Quantifying Effects of Neighborhood: 6 Endogeneity: CHALLENGES: Reflection Problem in cross-sectional samples (Manski); Simultaneity of Choosing Home Own/Rent Status, Mobility Status, Neighborhood Characteristics (Galster) Endogenous Selection (Hedman) George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

17 Endogenity: Reflection Problem aggregate neighborhood characteristics individuals characteristics in neighd Or: Individuals characteristics when aggregated neighborhood aggregate characteristics George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

18 Endogeneity: Simultaneous Neighborhd, Tenure, Longevity Choices Neighd choiceTenure choice Mobility Behavioral Outcomes George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA; But it is not so simple as controlling for mobility and tenure choice…

19 Endogeneity: Simultaneous Neighborhd, Tenure, Longevity Choices Simultaneity: Neighd choiceTenure choice Mobility Behavioral Outcomes George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

20 Endogenous Selection Behavior it =f([Observed it ], [Neighborhood it ], e1) [Neighborhood it ]=f([Observed it ], Behavior it,e2) [Neighborhood] Behavior George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

21 How Overcome Challenge of Endogeneity? RESPONSE: [Random & Natural Experiments] Instrumental Variables (IVs) (Hedman & Galster) –upcoming session Model mobility, tenure choice, neighborhood choice, neighborhood effects holistically-IVs (Galster, Marcotte, Mandell, Wolman) BUT: weak IVs, unavailable data sources George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

22 Promising Future Directions: 1 (1)Exploit Longitudinal Social Register Data (Andersson; Hedman, Galster [SWE]; Musterd [NETH]) Allows GIS-specified, individual-centered bespoke neighborhoods to be defined and their characteristics measured precisely and comprehensively Fixed- Effects models estimated with varying time structures control for selection George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

23 Promising Future Directions: 2 (2) Exploit natural experiments -Overcomes endogeneity and initial neighd selection challenges without econometric fixes of questionable power -BUT: these advantages weaken as time after initial assignment passes George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

24 CONCLUSION: Challenges of Quantifying Effects of Neighborhood Defining Neighborhood Measuring Neighborhood Characteristics Measuring Neighborhood Dosage Measuring Dosage-Response Relationship Selection Endogeneity George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA; presentation at Humboldt University, 2007

25 CONCLUSION: Overcoming Methodological Challenges Defining Neighborhood: analyze various scales Measuring Neighborhood Characteristics: factor analysis, proxy variables Measuring Dosage: routine activity space analysis Measuring Dosage-Response Relationship: non-linear modeling, lag/cumulative models Selection: Econometric fixes; random-assignment experiments; natural experiments Endogeneity: as above George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

26 CONCLUSION: Promising New Directions Exploit longitudinal social register datasets Exploit natural experiments George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

27 THANK YOU-GOOD LUCK TO US ALL; QUESTIONS? George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;

28 THANK YOU; QUESTIONS? REFERENCES Galster, G. (2001). On the Nature of Neighborhood, Urban Studies 38(12), Galster, G. (2002). An Economic Efficiency Analysis of Deconcentrating Poverty Populations. Journal of Housing Economics 11, Galster, G. (2003) Investigating Behavioral Impacts of Poor Neighborhoods: Towards New Data and Analytic Strategies. Housing Studies 18(3), Galster, G. (2005). Neighborhood Mix, Social Opportunities, and the Policy Challenges of an Increasingly Diverse Amsterdam. Amsterdam, Netherlands: University of Amsterdam, Dept. of Geography, Planning, and International Development Studies; available at: Galster, G. (2007) Neighbourhood social mix as a goal of housing policy: A theoretical analysis. European Journal of Housing Policy 7(1), pp Galster, G. (2007). Should Policy Strive for Social Mix in Neighborhoods? A Review of the European Evidence Base. Housing Studies 22 (4): Galster, G., Andersson, R., Musterd, S., & Kauppinen, T. (2008). The Effect of Neighborhood Income Distribution on Individuals Income Prospects. Journal of Urban Economics 63: Galster, G., Andersson, R., Musterd, S. (forthcoming). Who Is Affected by Neighbourhood Income Mix? Gender, Age, Family, Employment and Income Differences. Urban Studies Galster, G., Cutsinger, J. & Malega, R. (2006). The Social Costs of Concentrated Poverty: Externalities to Neighboring Households and Property Owners and the Dynamics of Decline, paper presented at The Future of Rental Housing conference, Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University, Nov. 14. Galster, G. Marcotte, D., Mandell, M. Wolman, H. & Augustine, N. (2007). Effects of Childhood Poverty on Young Adult Fertility, Education, and Incomes. Housing Studies 22 (5): Galster, G., Quercia, R. & Cortes, A. (2000). Identifying Neighborhood Thresholds: An Empirical Exploration, Housing Policy Debate 11(3), Galster, G., Tatian, P., Santiago, A., Pettit, K. & Smith, R. (2003). Why NOT in My Back Yard? The Neighborhood Impacts of Assisted Housing. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University / Center for Urban Policy Research Press. Galster, G., & Zobel, A. (1998). Will dispersed housing programmes reduce social problems in the US? Housing Studies, 13(5), George Galster, Wayne State University, Detroit, USA;


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