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IES Grant

Title: The Effects of Disadvantaged Schools and Neighborhoods on the Education of Low-Income Youth
Center: NCER Year: 2007
Principal Investigator: Duncan, Greg Awardee: Northwestern University, Chicago
Program: Unsolicited and Other Awards      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $600,000
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305U070006

Co-Principal Investigators: Jeffrey Kling (Brookings & National Bureau of Economic Research); Jens Ludwig (University of Chicago & National Bureau of Economic Research)

Purpose: This research team seeks to address the substantial variation across neighborhoods of different socio-economic compositions in graduation rates, achievement test scores, and other education outcomes. The researchers will try to find out how neighborhood contexts affect youth education outcomes over the long term, and what the primary mechanisms are through which neighborhoods influence youth education outcomes. The objective is to produce evidence that will help guide the development of education and social policies designed to improve the life chances of low-income youth living in some of our nationís most disadvantaged urban communities.

Key Measures: Measures of school outcomes include 45-minute achievement tests based on those developed by the Educational Testing Service. These schooling measures complement administrative data that researchers will collect from student-level school records, as well as survey measures of related youth outcomes that may affect school success including mental and physical health, risky and delinquent behavior, and labor market involvement. Measures related to schooling will complement other youth outcomes captured by MTO youth surveys with funding from other sources.

Project: The researchers will provide rigorous estimates of the long-term causal effects of neighborhoods on schooling outcomes, drawing on data from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) randomized housing-mobility experiment. MTO researchers randomly assigned low-income minority families living in public housing in five cities into three groups. Each group was offered different types of assistance to move to less disadvantaged neighborhoods. The researchers will expand the scope of long-term follow-up surveys administered to MTO youth who will be ages 10-20 at the end of 2007, 10 years after random assignment occurred, and 5 years after outcomes were measured in their earlier study of the MTO experiment. The expansion of the original MTO study will include more detailed questions about school outcomes, including diploma completion, GED, dropout, post-secondary enrollments, school grades, and performance on reading and math tests; student and parent inputs, such as absences and time spent on school, or attendance at school events; and school inputs, such as academic track assignment.

Products: The outcomes of this research will include a long-term evaluation of the MTO randomized housing experiment on youth education outcomes. Published reports of this research will also become available.


Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Kessler, R.C., Duncan, G.J., Gennetian, L.A., Katz, L.F., Kling, J.R., Sampson, N.A., ... and Ludwig, J. (2014). Associations of Housing Mobility Interventions for Children in High-Poverty Neighborhoods With Subsequent Mental Disorders During Adolescence. JAMA, 311(9), 937–947.

Ludwig, J., Duncan, G.J., Gennetian, L.A., Katz, L.F., Kessler, R.C., Kling, J.R., and Sanbonmatsu, L. (2012). Neighborhood Effects on the Long-Term Well-Being of Low-Income Adults. Science, 337(6101): 1505–1510.

Ludwig, J., Duncan, G. J., Gennetian, L. A., Katz, L. F., Kessler, R. C., Kling, J. R., and Sanbonmatsu, L. (2013). Long-Term Neighborhood Effects On Low-Income Families: Evidence From Moving To Opportunity. American Economic Review, 103(3), 226–31.

Ludwig, J., Sanbonmatsu, L., Gennetian, L., Adam, E., Duncan, G.J., Katz, L.F., ... and McDade, T.W. (2011). Neighborhoods, Obesity, and Diabetes—A Randomized Social Experiment. New England journal of medicine, 365(16), 1509–1519.

Rickford, J.R., Duncan, G.J., Gennetian, L.A., Gou, R.Y., Greene, R., Katz, L.F., ... and Sciandra, M. (2015). Neighborhood Effects on Use of African-American Vernacular English. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(38), 11817–11822.

Sciandra, M., Sanbonmatsu, L., Duncan, G J., Gennetian, L.A., Katz, L.F., Kessler, R.C., ... and Ludwig, J. (2013). Long-Term Effects of the Moving to Opportunity Residential Mobility Experiment on Crime and Delinquency. Journal of experimental criminology, 9(4), 451–489.