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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 3 (May 2013)

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Achieving Escape Velocity: Neighborhood and School Interventions to Reduce Persistent Inequality

Article Citation

Fryer, Roland G. Jr., and Lawrence F. Katz. 2013. "Achieving Escape Velocity: Neighborhood and School Interventions to Reduce Persistent Inequality." American Economic Review, 103(3): 232-37.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.232

Abstract

This paper reviews the evidence on the efficacy of neighborhood and school interventions in improving the long-run outcomes of children growing up in poor families. We focus on studies exploiting exogenous sources of variation in neighborhoods and schools and which examine at least medium-term outcomes. Higher-quality neighborhoods improve family safety, adult subjective well-being and health, and girls' mental health. But they have no detectable impact on youth human capital, labor market outcomes, or risky behaviors. In contrast, higher-quality schools can improve children's academic achievement and can have longer-term positive impacts of increasing educational attainment and earnings and reducing incarceration and teen pregnancy.

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Authors

Fryer, Roland G. Jr.(Harvard U)
Katz, Lawrence F. (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

D31: Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
D63: Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
I21: Analysis of Education
I32: Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
I38: Welfare and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
J15: Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
R23: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics


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