Ingrid Gould Ellen
Paulette Goddard Professor of Urban Policy and Planning; Director, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy

Ingrid Gould Ellen, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, is Director of the Urban Planning Program at NYU Wagner and Director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. She joined the NYU Wagner faculty in the fall of 1997 and presently teaches courses in microeconomics, urban economics, and urban policy. Professor Ellen's research interests center on urban social and economic policy. She is author of Sharing America's Neighborhoods: The Prospects for Stable Racial Integration (Harvard University Press, 2000) and has written numerous journal articles and book chapters related to housing policy, community development, and school and neighborhood segregation. Before coming to NYU, Professor Ellen held visiting positions at the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution. She attended Harvard University, where she received a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics, an M.P.P., and a Ph.D. in public policy.

Semester Course
Spring 2014 URPL-GP.2608.001 Urban Economics

Required for M.U.P. students.

Note: CORE-GP.1011 (Statistical Methods for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Management) must be taken prior to OR concurrently with this course.

The field of urban economics addresses a wide variety of questions and topics. At the most general level, the field introduces space into economic models and studies the location of economic activity. Urban economics typically addresses four sets of questions, and this course is organized around these four areas. The first set of questions focuses on the development of urban areas. Why do cities exist and why do some grow more rapidly? How can local governments encourage such growth? The second set of questions addresses patterns of development within metropolitan areas. Why do certain parts of metropolitan areas grow more rapidly than others? How do firms and households decide where to locate within given metropolitan areas? What determines the price of land, and how do these prices vary across space? The third set of questions concerns the spatial dimensions of urban problems. In this class, we will focus on poverty, housing, and inner-city economic development. Finally, the course will study the spatial aspects of local government policy and explore the inter-relationships between city and suburban governments.


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Spring 2014 URPL-GP.2608.002 Urban Economics

Required for M.U.P. students.

Note: CORE-GP.1011 (Statistical Methods for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Management) must be taken prior to OR concurrently with this course.

The field of urban economics addresses a wide variety of questions and topics. At the most general level, the field introduces space into economic models and studies the location of economic activity. Urban economics typically addresses four sets of questions, and this course is organized around these four areas. The first set of questions focuses on the development of urban areas. Why do cities exist and why do some grow more rapidly? How can local governments encourage such growth? The second set of questions addresses patterns of development within metropolitan areas. Why do certain parts of metropolitan areas grow more rapidly than others? How do firms and households decide where to locate within given metropolitan areas? What determines the price of land, and how do these prices vary across space? The third set of questions concerns the spatial dimensions of urban problems. In this class, we will focus on poverty, housing, and inner-city economic development. Finally, the course will study the spatial aspects of local government policy and explore the inter-relationships between city and suburban governments.


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Spring 2014 URPL-GP.2616.001 Colloquium on the Law, Politics, and Economics of Urban Affairs

This course, taught jointly by faculty at NYU Law and Wagner, offers students an opportunity to explore the theoretical underpinnings of the leading current debates about critical urban policy issues.  For spring 2014, the course will focus on the challenges of economic and racial segregation in both neighborhoods and schools.   The primary focus of the colloquium are discussions of works in progress by scholars from around the country, working in such disciplines as planning, law, public policy, and economics. In colloquium weeks, students participate in an in-depth discussion of the paper with the author. Students submit short papers critiquing selected works in progress. In alternate weeks, students meet with faculty to discuss supplemental readings and learn the background necessary to understand each paper.


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Fall 2013 CORE-GP.1018.001 Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis

The primary purpose of the microeconomics core course is to enable you to use microeconomic thinking, concepts and tools in your professional public service work. Accomplishing this also requires refreshing and strengthening your quantitative skills.

The course begins with the basics of supply and demand and market operations, and uses this as the context for considering consumer and organizational decisions within a given market structure. The course builds to applying economic analysis to a variety of public issues such as the effects of taxation, the market structure of health care, the impacts of the minimum wage, the effects of international trade and various approaches to environmental externalities.

By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the economic context and analysis of a public problem, use economic concepts in managerial and policy decisions, and progress to second level courses confident of your understanding of microeconomics and its tools.


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Spring 2013 URPL-GP.2608.002 Urban Economics

Required for M.U.P. students.

Note: CORE-GP.1011 (Statistical Methods for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Management) must be taken prior to OR concurrently with this course.

The field of urban economics addresses a wide variety of questions and topics. At the most general level, the field introduces space into economic models and studies the location of economic activity. Urban economics typically addresses four sets of questions, and this course is organized around these four areas. The first set of questions focuses on the development of urban areas. Why do cities exist and why do some grow more rapidly? How can local governments encourage such growth? The second set of questions addresses patterns of development within metropolitan areas. Why do certain parts of metropolitan areas grow more rapidly than others? How do firms and households decide where to locate within given metropolitan areas? What determines the price of land, and how do these prices vary across space? The third set of questions concerns the spatial dimensions of urban problems. In this class, we will focus on poverty, housing, and inner-city economic development. Finally, the course will study the spatial aspects of local government policy and explore the inter-relationships between city and suburban governments.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2013 URPL-GP.2616.001 Colloquium on the Law, Politics, and Economics of Urban Affairs

This course, taught jointly by faculty at NYU Law and Wagner, offers students an opportunity to explore the theoretical underpinnings of the leading current debates about critical urban policy issues.  For spring 2014, the course will focus on the challenges of economic and racial segregation in both neighborhoods and schools.   The primary focus of the colloquium are discussions of works in progress by scholars from around the country, working in such disciplines as planning, law, public policy, and economics. In colloquium weeks, students participate in an in-depth discussion of the paper with the author. Students submit short papers critiquing selected works in progress. In alternate weeks, students meet with faculty to discuss supplemental readings and learn the background necessary to understand each paper.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2012 CORE-GP.1018.005 Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis

The primary purpose of the microeconomics core course is to enable you to use microeconomic thinking, concepts and tools in your professional public service work. Accomplishing this also requires refreshing and strengthening your quantitative skills.

The course begins with the basics of supply and demand and market operations, and uses this as the context for considering consumer and organizational decisions within a given market structure. The course builds to applying economic analysis to a variety of public issues such as the effects of taxation, the market structure of health care, the impacts of the minimum wage, the effects of international trade and various approaches to environmental externalities.

By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the economic context and analysis of a public problem, use economic concepts in managerial and policy decisions, and progress to second level courses confident of your understanding of microeconomics and its tools.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2011 URPL-GP.2608.002 Urban Economics

Required for M.U.P. students.

Note: CORE-GP.1011 (Statistical Methods for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Management) must be taken prior to OR concurrently with this course.

The field of urban economics addresses a wide variety of questions and topics. At the most general level, the field introduces space into economic models and studies the location of economic activity. Urban economics typically addresses four sets of questions, and this course is organized around these four areas. The first set of questions focuses on the development of urban areas. Why do cities exist and why do some grow more rapidly? How can local governments encourage such growth? The second set of questions addresses patterns of development within metropolitan areas. Why do certain parts of metropolitan areas grow more rapidly than others? How do firms and households decide where to locate within given metropolitan areas? What determines the price of land, and how do these prices vary across space? The third set of questions concerns the spatial dimensions of urban problems. In this class, we will focus on poverty, housing, and inner-city economic development. Finally, the course will study the spatial aspects of local government policy and explore the inter-relationships between city and suburban governments.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2010 CORE-GP.1018.003 Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis

The primary purpose of the microeconomics core course is to enable you to use microeconomic thinking, concepts and tools in your professional public service work. Accomplishing this also requires refreshing and strengthening your quantitative skills.

The course begins with the basics of supply and demand and market operations, and uses this as the context for considering consumer and organizational decisions within a given market structure. The course builds to applying economic analysis to a variety of public issues such as the effects of taxation, the market structure of health care, the impacts of the minimum wage, the effects of international trade and various approaches to environmental externalities.

By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the economic context and analysis of a public problem, use economic concepts in managerial and policy decisions, and progress to second level courses confident of your understanding of microeconomics and its tools.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 URPL-GP.2608.001 Urban Economics

Required for M.U.P. students.

Note: CORE-GP.1011 (Statistical Methods for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Management) must be taken prior to OR concurrently with this course.

The field of urban economics addresses a wide variety of questions and topics. At the most general level, the field introduces space into economic models and studies the location of economic activity. Urban economics typically addresses four sets of questions, and this course is organized around these four areas. The first set of questions focuses on the development of urban areas. Why do cities exist and why do some grow more rapidly? How can local governments encourage such growth? The second set of questions addresses patterns of development within metropolitan areas. Why do certain parts of metropolitan areas grow more rapidly than others? How do firms and households decide where to locate within given metropolitan areas? What determines the price of land, and how do these prices vary across space? The third set of questions concerns the spatial dimensions of urban problems. In this class, we will focus on poverty, housing, and inner-city economic development. Finally, the course will study the spatial aspects of local government policy and explore the inter-relationships between city and suburban governments.


Download Syllabus
Spring 2010 URPL-GP.2608.001 Urban Economics

Required for M.U.P. students.

Note: CORE-GP.1011 (Statistical Methods for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Management) must be taken prior to OR concurrently with this course.

The field of urban economics addresses a wide variety of questions and topics. At the most general level, the field introduces space into economic models and studies the location of economic activity. Urban economics typically addresses four sets of questions, and this course is organized around these four areas. The first set of questions focuses on the development of urban areas. Why do cities exist and why do some grow more rapidly? How can local governments encourage such growth? The second set of questions addresses patterns of development within metropolitan areas. Why do certain parts of metropolitan areas grow more rapidly than others? How do firms and households decide where to locate within given metropolitan areas? What determines the price of land, and how do these prices vary across space? The third set of questions concerns the spatial dimensions of urban problems. In this class, we will focus on poverty, housing, and inner-city economic development. Finally, the course will study the spatial aspects of local government policy and explore the inter-relationships between city and suburban governments.


Download Syllabus
Fall 2009 CORE-GP.1018.001 Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis

The primary purpose of the microeconomics core course is to enable you to use microeconomic thinking, concepts and tools in your professional public service work. Accomplishing this also requires refreshing and strengthening your quantitative skills.

The course begins with the basics of supply and demand and market operations, and uses this as the context for considering consumer and organizational decisions within a given market structure. The course builds to applying economic analysis to a variety of public issues such as the effects of taxation, the market structure of health care, the impacts of the minimum wage, the effects of international trade and various approaches to environmental externalities.

By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the economic context and analysis of a public problem, use economic concepts in managerial and policy decisions, and progress to second level courses confident of your understanding of microeconomics and its tools.


Download Syllabus
  Projects
Century Ideas for Affordable Housing in New York City
Description
Effect of Neighborhood Change on NYCHA Residents
Description
Improving Decision Making Tools for Resilience
Description
Integration Research Initiative (integration 2.0)
Description
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Technical Assistance
Description
Support for Research on Mixed-Income Neighborhoods
Description
Date Publication/Paper
2014

I.G. Ellen et al. 2014. The State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods in 2013 Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, New York University
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Abstract

The State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods in 2013 report , published annually by the NYU Furman Center, provides a compendium of data and analysis about New York City’s housing, land use, demographics, and quality of life indicators for each borough and the city’s 59 community districts.

The report combines timely and expert analysis of NYU Furman Center researchers with data transparency. It is presented in three parts:

Part 1: Focus on Economic Inequality

Each year, the State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods describes, contextualizes, and provides analysis on a pressing and policy-relevant issue affecting New York City. In 2013, the report focuses on economic inequality in New York City, analyzing changes over time in the distribution of the city’s income, economic segregation of city residents, and the neighborhood environments experienced by people of different incomes.

Part 2: City-Wide Analysis

The City-Wide Analysis provides a broad, longitudinal analysis of the New York City's housing and neighborhoods. The chapter is divided into five parts: land use and the built environment; homeowners and their homes; renters and their homes; income and workers; and neighborhood services and conditions.

Part 3: City, Borough, and Community District Data

The data section provides current and historical statistics for over 50 housing, neighborhood, and socioeconomic indicators at the city, borough, and community district levels. It also includes indicator definitions and rankings; methods; and an index of New York City’s Community Districts and Sub-Borough Areas.

Ingrid Gould Ellen, Josiah Madar, and Max Weselcouch 2014. The Foreclosure Crisis and Community Development: Exploring the Foreclosed Stock in Hard-Hit Neighborhoods Housing Studies, forthcoming
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Abstract

As the foreclosure crisis continues, many communities are faced with a glut of properties that have completed the foreclosure process and are now owned by banks or other mortgage lenders. These properties, referred to as “real estate owned (REO),” often sit vacant for extended periods and, recent studies suggest, depress neighboring property values. They also impose significant costs on local governments, which must try to address the risk of crime, fire, and blight that vacant buildings pose. In addition, many worry that REO properties sold to unscrupulous short-term investors hasten neighborhood decline.

In this article we shed new light on the “REO problem” by studying the stock of REO properties at the neighborhood level in three urban areas: Fulton County, Georgia (which includes Atlanta), Miami-Dade County, Florida, and New York City. Using a combination of longitudinal administrative data sets on foreclosure filings, auction sales, and property transactions provided by local government sources, we identify every property transfer into REO ownership in recent years and all subsequent transfers of these properties. To explore the ongoing neighborhood and community development challenges, we divide census tracts into four groups based on their concentrations of REO properties as of the end of 2011. We then compare these neighborhood types across several dimensions. Because we use a uniform methodology for all three areas, we are also able to compare neighborhood groups across jurisdictions with the metrics we calculate.

We find several neighborhoods in Fulton County and Miami-Dade County with extremely high concentrations of REO properties as of the end of 2011, including some tracts with more than 100 REO properties. In New York City, however, REO concentrations are generally much lower, and no census tract had more than 12 REO properties. In all three jurisdictions, the neighborhoods with relatively high concentrations of REO properties are generally not the most distressed areas of their regions in terms of poverty and unemployment, but are still high-poverty and potentially vulnerable. Moreover, they are disproportionately black, highlighting the uneven impact the foreclosure crisis may be having on communities. Importantly, we find that that the number of REO properties in the hardest-hit neighborhoods of each area was declining as of the end of 2012 (or 2011, our latest year of data in Miami-Dade County), generally in line with the countywide or citywide trend in REO inventories, and that investors did not account for an appreciably higher proportion of purchasers of REO properties in the hardest-hit neighborhoods. Furthermore, few of the properties that were purchased by investors appear to have been “flipped” within a short period. On the other hand, we also find that those REO properties that remained in these cities as of the end of 2012 or 2011 (including those in hard-hit neighborhoods) had been in REO for a longer duration than was typical one year earlier, so the composition of the REO stock may shifting towards more problematic properties. Additionally, in Fulton County’s hardest-hit tracts REO properties made up about 40 percent of all sales in 2012, so were likely still exerting significant downward pressure on housing prices. Finally while the National Stabilization Program (NSP) may be improving neighborhoods in other ways, we find that only a negligible share of the REO sales in the hardest-hit tracts of Fulton and Miami-Dade Counties in 2010 and 2011 were to non-profit entities and developers using NSP funds.

Ingrid Gould Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz, and Keren Horn 2014. Do Housing Choice Voucher Holders Live Near Good Schools Journal of Housing Economics 23(1), 2014: 28-40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhe.2013.11.005
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Abstract

The Housing Choice Voucher program was created, in part, to help low income households reach a broader range of neighborhoods and schools. Rather than concentrating low income households in designated developments, vouchers allow families to choose their housing units and neighborhoods. In this project we explore whether low income households use the flexibility provided by vouchers to reach neighborhoods with high performing schools. Unlike previous experimental work, which has focused on a small sample of voucher holders constrained to live in low-poverty neighborhoods, we look at the voucher population as a whole and explore the broad range of neighborhoods in which they live. Relying on internal data from HUD on the location of assisted households, we link each voucher holder in the country to the closest elementary school within their school district. We compare the characteristics of the schools that voucher holders are likely to attend to the characteristics of those accessible to other households receiving place based housing subsidies, other similar unsubsidized households and fair market rent units within the same state and metropolitan area. These comparisons provide us with a portrait of the schools that children might have attended absent HUD assistance. In comparison to other poor households in the same metropolitan areas, we find that the schools near voucher holders have lower performing students than the schools near other poor households without a housing subsidy. We probe this surprising finding by exploring whether differences between the demographic characteristics of voucher holders and other poor households explain the differences in the characteristics of nearby schools, and whether school characteristics vary with length of time in the voucher program. We also examine variation across metropolitan areas in the relative quality of schools near to voucher holders and whether this variation is explained by economic, socio-demographic or policy differences across cities.

Ingrid Gould Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Patrick Sharkey, and Johanna Lacoe 2014. High Stakes in the Classroom, High Stakes on the Street: The Effects of Community Violence on Students’ Standardized Test Performance Sociological Science, forthcoming
View working paper
Abstract

This paper examines the effect of exposure to violent crime on students’ standardized test performance among a sample of students in New York City public schools. To identify the effect of exposure to community violence on children’s test scores, we compare students exposed to an incident of violent crime on their own blockface in the week prior to the exam to students exposed in the week after the exam. The results show that such exposure to violent crime reduces performance on English Language Arts assessments, and no effect on Math scores. The effect of exposure to violent crime is most pronounced among African Americans, and reduces the passing rates of black students by approximately 3 percentage points.

Bostic, R. and Ellen, I.G 2014. Introduction: Special issue on housing policy in the United States J. Housing Econ. (2014), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhe.2014.02.001
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Abstract

The recent housing crisis has spawned much reflection among academics, practitioners and policy-makers regarding both the causes and the consequences of this upheaval, especially in the market for owner-occupied homes. But many questions remain. This special issue of the Journal of Housing Economics features a series of articles that seeks to answer some of these questions, with attention given to both the ownership and rental markets. We hope the nine articles in this issue help to provide some insights for both policy makers and researchers.

2013

De la Roca, Jorge, Ingrid Gould Ellen and Katherine M. O'Regan. 2013. Race and neighborhoods in the 21st century: What does segregation mean today? Regional Science and Urban Economics (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2013.09.006
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Abstract

Noting the decline in segregation between blacks and whites over the past several decades, some recent work argues that racial segregation is no longer a concern in the 21st century. In response, this paper revisits some of the concerns that John Quigley raised about racial segregation and neighborhoods to assess their relevance today. We note that while segregation levels between blacks and whites have certainly declined, they remain quite high; Hispanic and Asian segregation have meanwhile remained unchanged. Further, our analysis shows that the neighborhood environments of minorities continue to be highly unequal to those enjoyed by whites. Blacks and Hispanics continue to live among more disadvantaged neighbors, to have access to lower performing schools, and to be exposed to more violent crime. Further, these differences are amplified in more segregated metropolitan areas.

Ellen, I.G. & O'Flaherty, B. 2013. How New York Housing Policies Are Different -- and Maybe Why In Andrew Beveridge and David Halle, New York City-Los Angeles: The Uncertain Future. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Abstract

Almost everyone says New York City is exceptional, and many people think that housing is one of the most exceptional aspects of New York life. But New York’s housing conditions are not so different from those in other large US cities, or at least not in the ways that are commonly believed. Policies, not conditions, are what truly set New York’s housing market apart.  Our aim in this chapter is to describe New York City’s policies, to explore how and why they differ from those in Los Angeles and other large cities, and whether they have shaped how New York City’s housing market has weathered the recent downturn. The policies we consider are public housing, in rem properties, other subsidized housing, rent regulation, housing allowances, city capital subsidies for construction and rehabilitation, special needs housing, local tax structures, and building codes. Do unusual housing market conditions lead to these unusual policies? Do some common factors cause both unusual policies and conditions? Naturally, we cannot answer these questions definitively. But we can offer some alternative explanations.

Ellen, Ingrid, Katherine O’Regan and Keren Horn 2013. Why Do Higher Income Households Move Into Low Income Neighborhoods: Pioneering or Thrift? Urban Studies, September 2013; vol. 50, 12: pp. 2478-2495.
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Abstract

This paper offers several hypotheses about which US higher-income households choose to move into low-income neighbourhoods and why. It first explores whether the probability that a household moves into a relatively low-income neighbourhood (an RLIN move) varies with predicted household and metropolitan area characteristics. Secondly, it estimates a residential choice model to examine the housing and neighbourhood preferences of the households making such moves. Thirdly, it explores responses to survey questions about residential choices. Evidence is found that, in the US, households who place less value on neighbourhood services and those who face greater constraints on their choices are more likely to make an RLIN move. No evidence is found that households making RLIN moves are choosing neighbourhoods that are more accessible to employment. Rather, it is found that households making RLIN moves appear to place less weight on neighbourhood amenities than other households and more weight on housing costs.

2012

Ellen, Ingrid Gould and Horn, Keren Mertens. 2012. Do Federally Assisted Households Have Access to High Performing Public Schools? Poverty & Race Research Action Council
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Abstract

A family’s housing unit provides more than simply shelter. It also provides a set of neighborhood amenities and a package of local public services, including, most critically, a local school. Yet housing and education policymakers rarely coordinate their efforts, and there has been little examination of the schools that voucher holders or other assisted households actually reach. In this project we describe the elementary schools nearest to households receiving four different forms of housing assistance in the country as a whole, in each of the 50 states, and in the 100 largest metropolitan areas.We compare the characteristics of these schools to those accessible to other comparable households. We pay particular attention to whether voucher holders are able to reach neighborhoods with higher performing schools than other low-income households in the same geographic area.

 

In brief, we find that assisted households as a whole are more likely to live near low-performing schools than other households. Surprisingly, Housing Choice Voucher holders do not generally live near higher performing schools than households receiving other forms of housing assistance, even though the voucher program was created, in part, to help low-income households reach a broader range of neighborhoods and schools. While voucher holders typically live near schools that are higher performing than those nearest to public housing tenants, they also typically live near schools that are slightly lower performing than those nearest to households living in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and Projectbased Section 8 developments and lower performing than those nearest to other poor households.

Been, V., S. Dastrup, I.G. Ellen, B. Gross, A. Hayashi, S. Latham, M. Lewit, J. Madar, V. Reina, M. Weselcouch, and M. Williams. 2012. State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods 2011 Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, New York University
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Abstract

The Furman Center is pleased to present the 2011 edition of the State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods. In this annual report, the Furman Center compiles statistics on housing, demographics and quality of life in the City, its five boroughs and 59 community districts.This year we examine the distribution of the burden of New York City’s property tax, analyze the changing racial and ethnic makeup of city neighborhoods, evaluate the state of mortgage lending in New York City, and compare federally-subsidized housing programs across the five most populous U.S. cities.

Ellen, Ingrid, Katherine O’Regan and Michael C. Lens 2012. American Murder Revisited: Do Housing Vouchers Cause Crime? Housing Policy Debate 22(4):1-22
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Abstract

Potential neighbors often express worries that Housing Choice Voucher holders heighten crime. Yet, no research systematically examines the link between the presence of voucher holders in a neighborhood and crime. Our article aims to do just this, using longitudinal, neighborhood-level crime, and voucher utilization data in 10 large US cities. We test whether the presence of additional voucher holders leads to elevated crime, controlling for neighborhood fixed effects, time-varying neighborhood characteristics, and trends in the broader sub-city area in which the neighborhood is located. In brief, crime tends to be higher in census tracts with more voucher households, but that positive relationship becomes insignificant after we control for unobserved differences across census tracts and falls further when we control for trends in the broader area. We find far more evidence for an alternative causal story; voucher use in a neighborhood tends to increase in tracts that have seen increases in crime, suggesting that voucher holders tend to move into neighborhoods where crime is elevated.

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2012. Racial Segregation in Multiethnic Schools: Adding Immigrants to the Analysis In William Tate, Ed., Research on Schools, Neighborhoods and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility. Rowman and Littlefield Publishing. 2012, pp. 67-82.
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Abstract

Racial segregation in America's schools remains persistently and disturbingly high, despite decades of institutional and policy changes. This paper considers one recent change common to many urban school districts - immigration - and examines whether and how the presence of a large number of immigrant students affects racial segregation. Exploiting a student-level data set including all elementary and middle school students in New York City's public schools, sixteen percent of whom are immigrants, we conduct a series of descriptive and exploratory analysis of possible avenues of influence. While it is unclear ex ante, both theoretically and compositionally, whether the presence of immigrants should increase or decrease inter-racial interaction, our results point to a decrease. Racial stratification of foreign-born students is generally higher than that of their native-born counterparts, and this is not solely attributable to income or language-skill differences. And while this heightened segregation decreases with time in the school system, the foreign-born/native-born differential is never eliminated. Importantly, we do find that there are very large differences within the immigrant population. Thus, the effect of immigrants on patterns of racial interaction in any district will depend crucially not only on the race of the immigrants, but also on their particular country of origin.

Ellen, Ingrid, Johanna Lacoe and Claudia Sharygin 2012. Do Foreclosures Cause Crime? Furman Center
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Abstract

Foreclosures affect not only individual homeowners, but also the crime levels of the surrounding neighborhood. This study found that neighborhoods with concentrated foreclosures see an uptick in crime for each foreclosure notice issued. These effects are pronounced in hardest hit neighborhoods; that is, those with concentrated foreclosures. The report suggests that policing and community stabilizing efforts should prioritize areas with concentrated foreclosures, especially those where crime rates are already moderate to high.

Ellen, Ingrid, Gregory Ingram and Yu-Hung Hong 2012. Comment on ‘The Mediocrity of Government Subsidies to Mixed-Income Housing Projects’ International Land Policy.  Cambridge, Mass: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, forthcoming

Ingrid Ellen 2012. Economics of Housing Market Segmentation International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home
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Abstract

Over the years, economists have debated the extent to which the assumption of a single housing market in a city or region is reasonable. Some have argued that in estimating housing prices, the housing market should be stratified into a series of separate submarkets, divided by structure type, neighbourhood, and potentially race and ethnicity. Still, even to the extent that these submarkets are distinct, they are clearly related. Households exhibit some flexibility in their choices, and prices in one sector clearly affect demand in other sectors to some degree. The debate about segmentation is really about degree – about how large the cross-price elasticity is between different types of housing.

Ellen, Ingrid, Katherine O’Regan and Keren Horn 2012. Pathways to Integration: Examining Changes in the Prevalence of Racially Integrated Neighborhoods Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 14(3)33-53
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Abstract

Few researchers have studied integrated neighborhoods, yet these neighborhoods offer an important window into broader patterns of segregation.  We explore changes in racial integration in recent decades using decennial census tract data from 1990, 2000, and 2010.  We begin by examining changes in the prevalence of racially integrated neighborhoods and find significant growth in the presence of integrated neighborhoods during this time period, with the share of metropolitan neighborhoods that are integrated increasing from just under 20 percent to just over 30 percent.  We then shed light on the pathways through which these changes have occurred.  We find both a small increase in the number of neighborhoods becoming integrated for the first time during this period and a more sizable increase in the share of integrated neighborhoods that remained integrated.  Finally, we offer insights about which neighborhoods become integrated in the first place and which remain stably integrated over time.

2011

Ellen, Ingrid, Michael C. Lens, and Katherine O’Regan 2011. Neighborhood Crime Exposure Among Housing Choice Voucher Households
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Ellen, Ingrid, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Brian McCabe, and Colin Chellman 2011. Does City-Subsidized, Owner-Occupied Housing Improve School Quality? Evidence from New York Journal of the American Planning Association, 77(2), 2011: 127-141.

Ellen, Ingrid and Keren Horn 2011. Creating a Metric of Educational Opportunity for Assisted Households

Ellen, Ingrid, Vicki Been, Sewin Chan, and Josiah Madar 2011. Decoding the Foreclosure Crisis: Causes, Responses and Consequences  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 30 (2011): 388-396.

Ellen, Ingrid and Katherine O’Regan 2011. How Neighborhoods Change: Entry, Exit, and Enhancement Regional Science and Urban Economics, 41 (2), 2011: 89-97.
Abstract

 

This paper examines whether the economic gains experienced by low-income neighborhoods in the 1990s followed patterns of classic gentrification (as frequently assumed) -- that is, through the in migration of higher income white, households, and out migration (or displacement) of the original lower income, usually minority residents, spurring racial transition in the process. Using the internal Census version of the American Housing Survey, we find no evidence of heightened displacement, even among the most vulnerable, original residents. While the entrance of higher income homeowners was an important source of income gains, so too was the selective exit of lower income homeowners. Original residents also experienced differential gains in income and reported greater increases in their satisfaction with their neighborhood than found in other low-income neighborhoods. Finally, gaining neighborhoods were able to avoid the losses of white households that non-gaining low income tracts experienced, and were thereby more racially stable rather than less.

Ellen, Ingrid, Vicki Been, Sewin Chan, and Josiah Madar. 2011. Negative Equity, Yes, But Not the Whole Story. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 30 (2011): 398-400.

Bean, Vicky, Ingrid Ellen, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Leanna Stiefel and Meryle Weinstein 2011. Does Losing Your Home Mean Losing Your School? Effects of Foreclosure on the School Mobility of Children Regional Science and Urban Economics, 41(4), 2011: 407-414.
Abstract

In the last few years, millions of homes around the country have entered foreclosure, pushing many families out of their homes and potentially forcing their children to move to new schools. Unfortunately, despite considerable attention to the causes and consequences of mortgage defaults, we understand little about the distribution and severity of these impacts on school children. This paper takes a step toward filling that gap through studying how foreclosures in New York City affect the mobility of public school children across schools. A significant body of research suggests that, in general, switching schools is costly for students, though the magnitude of the effect depends critically on the nature of the move and the quality of the origin and destination schools.

Ellen, Ingrid and Vicki Been (eds.) 2011. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research: Special Issue on Rental Housing Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research

Chellman, Colin, Ingrid Ellen, Brian McCabe, Amy Ellen Schwartz and Leanna Stiefel 2011. Does Municipally Subsidized Housing Improve School Quality? Evidence from New York City Journal of the American Planning Association, 77 (2): 127-141.
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Abstract

Problem: Policymakers and community development practitioners view increasing subsidized owner-occupied housing as a mechanism to improve urban neighborhoods, but little research studies the impact of such investments on community amenities.

Purpose: We examine the impact of subsidized owner-occupied housing on the quality of local schools and compare them to the impacts of city investments in rental units.

Methods: Using data from the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), we estimate three main sets of regressions, exploring student characteristics, school resources, and school outcomes.

Results and conclusions: The completion of subsidized owner-occupied housing is associated with a decrease in schools’ percentage of free-lunch eligible students, an increase in schools’ percentage of White students, and, controlling for these compositional changes, an increase in scores on standardized reading and math exams. By contrast, our results suggest that investments in rental housing have little, if any, effect.

Takeaway for practice: Policies promoting the construction of subsidized owner-occupied housing have solidified in local governments around the country. Our research provides reassurance to policymakers and planners who are concerned about the spillover effects of subsidized, citywide investments beyond the households being directly served. It suggests that benefits from investments in owner occupancy may extend beyond the individual level, with an increase in subsidized owner-occupancy bringing about improvements in neighborhood school quality.

Ellen, Ingrid and Katherine O'Regan 2011. Exploring Changes in Low-Income Neighborhoods in the 1990s In Harriet Newburger, Eugenia Birch and Susan Wachter, Eds., Neighborhood and Life Chances: How Place Matters in Modern America.  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, pp. 103-121.

Ellen, Ingrid and Katherine O'Regan 2011. Gentrification: Perspectives of Economists and Planners In Nancy Brooks, Kieran Donaghy, and Gerrit Knaap, Eds., Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming

Ellen, Ingrid and Mark Willis 2011. Improving U.S. Housing Finance through Reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: A Framework for Evaluating Alternatives In Marvin Smith and Susan Wachter, Eds., The American Mortgage System: Rethink, Recover, Rebuild. Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming.

Ellen, Ingrid, John Napier Tye, and Mark Willis 2011. The Secondary Market for Housing Finance in the United States: A Brief Overview In Marvin Smith and Susan Wachter, Ed., The American Mortgage System: Rethink, Recover, Rebuild. Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming.

2010

Ellen, I.G. & O'Flaherty, B. (eds.). 2010. How to House the Homeless Russell Sage Foundation Press
Abstract

How to House the Homeless, editors Ingrid Gould Ellen and Brendan O’Flaherty propose that the answers entail rethinking how housing markets operate and developing more efficient interventions in existing service programs. The book critically reassesses where we are now, analyzes the most promising policies and programs going forward, and offers a new agenda for future research. How to House the Homeless makes clear the inextricable link between homelessness and housing policy. Contributor Jill Khadduri reviews the current residential services system and housing subsidy programs. For the chronically homeless, she argues, a combination of assisted housing approaches can reach the greatest number of people and, specifically, an expanded Housing Choice Voucher system structured by location, income, and housing type can more efficiently reach people at-risk of becoming homeless and reduce time spent homeless. Robert Rosenheck examines the options available to homeless people with mental health problems and reviews the cost-effectiveness of five service models: system integration, supported housing, clinical case management, benefits outreach, and supported employment. He finds that only programs that subsidize housing make a noticeable dent in homelessness, and that no one program shows significant benefits in multiple domains of life. Contributor Sam Tsemberis assesses the development and cost-effectiveness of the Housing First program, which serves mentally ill homeless people in more than four hundred cities. He asserts that the program’s high housing retention rate and general effectiveness make it a viable candidate for replication across the country. Steven Raphael makes the case for a strong link between homelessness and local housing market regulations—which affect housing affordability—and shows that the problem is more prevalent in markets with stricter zoning laws. Finally, Brendan O’Flaherty bridges the theoretical gap between the worlds of public health and housing research, evaluating the pros and cons of subsidized housing programs and the economics at work in the rental housing market and home ownership. Ultimately, he suggests, the most viable strategies will serve as safety nets—“social insurance”—to reach people who are homeless now and to prevent homelessness in the future. It is crucial that the links between effective policy and the whole cycle of homelessness—life conditions, service systems, and housing markets—be made clear now. With a keen eye on the big picture of housing policy, How to House the Homeless shows what works and what doesn’t in reducing the numbers of homeless and reaching those most at risk.

Ellen, Ingrid, Vicki Been, Adam Gordon, Jack Lienke, and Aaron Yowell 2010. Building Environmentally Sustainable Communities: A Framework for Inclusivity Furman Center and Urban Institute
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Ellen, I.G. & O'Regan, K. 2010. Welcome to the Neighborhood: What Can Regional Science Contribute to the Study of Neighborhoods? JOURNAL OF REGIONAL SCIENCE, VOL. 50, NO. 1, 2010, pp. 363-379
Abstract

We argue in this paper that neighborhoods are highly relevant for the types of issues at the heart of regional science. First, residential and economic activity takes place in particular locations, and particular neighborhoods. Many attributes of those neighborhood environments matter for this activity, from the physical amenities, to the quality of the public and private services received. Second, those neighborhoods vary in their placement in the larger region and this broader arrangement of neighborhoods is particularly important for location choices, commuting behavior and travel patterns. Third, sorting across these neighborhoods by race and income may well matter for educational and labor market outcomes, important components of a region's overall economic activity. For each of these areas we suggest a series of unanswered questions that would benefit from more attention. Focused on neighborhood characteristics themselves, there are important gaps in our understanding of how neighborhoods change - the causes and the consequences. In terms of the overall pattern of neighborhoods and resulting commuting patterns, this connects directly to current concerns about environmental sustainability and there is much need for research relevant to policy makers. And in terms of segregation and sorting across neighborhoods, work is needed on better spatial measures. In addition, housing market causes and consequences for local economic activity are under researched. We expand on each of these, finishing with some suggestions on how newly available data, with improved spatial identifiers, may enable regional scientists to answer some of these research questions.

Ellen, I.G. & O'Regan, K. 2010. Crime and Urban Flight Revisited: The Effect of the 1990s Drop in Crime on Cities Journal of Urban Economics, 68 (3):247-259.
Abstract

The ‘flight from blight' and related literatures on urban population changes and crime have primarily considered times of high or increasing crime rates. Perhaps the most cited recent work in this area, Cullen and Levitt (1999), does not extend through 1990s, a decade during which crime rates declined almost continuously, to levels that were lower than experienced in decades. This paper examines whether such declines contributed to city population growth and retention (abated flight). Through a series of population growth models that attempt to identify causality through several strategies (including instrumental variables) we find at best weak evidence that overall city growth is affected by changes in crime. We find no evidence that growth is differentially sensitive to reductions in crime, as compared to increases. Focusing more narrowly on within MSA migration, residential decisions that are more likely to be sensitive to local conditions, we do find evidence supporting abatement of ‘flight' - that is, lower levels of crime in central cities in the 1990s are associated with lower levels of migration to the suburbs. This greater ability to retain residents already in the city does not appear to be accompanied by a greater ability to attract new households from the suburbs, or from outside of the metropolitan area.

Ellen, I.G., Schwartz, A.E., McCabe, B. & Chellman, C. 2010. Do Public Schools Disadvantage Students Living in Public Housing? Urban Affairs Review, 46 (1):68-89.
Abstract

In the United States, public housing developments are predominantly located in neighborhoods with low median incomes, high rates of poverty and disproportionately high concentrations of minorities. While research consistently shows that public housing developments are located in economically and socially disadvantaged neighborhoods, we know little about the characteristics of the schools serving students in these neighborhoods.

In this paper, the authors examine the characteristics of elementary and middle schools attended by students living in public housing developments in New York City. Using the proportion of public housing students attending each elementary and middle school as their weight, they calculate the weighted average of school characteristics to describe the typical school attended by students living in public housing. They then compare these characteristics to those of the typical school attended by other students throughout the city in an effort to assess whether public schools systematically disadvantage students in public housing in New York City. 

Their  results are decidedly mixed. On one hand, they find no large differences between the resources of the schools attended by students living in public housing and the schools attended by their peers living elsewhere in the city; on the other hand, they find significant differences in student characteristics and outcomes. The typical school attended by public housing students has higher poverty rates and lower average performance on standardized exams than the schools attended by others. These school differences, however, fail to fully explain the performance disparities: they find that students living in public housing score lower, on average, on standardized tests than their schoolmates living elsewhere -- even though they attend the same school. These results point to a need for more nuanced analyses of policies and practices in schools, as well as the outside-of-school factors that shape educational success, to identify and address the needs of students in public housing.

2009

Ellen, I.G. & O'Regan, K. 2009. Crime and US Cities: Recent Patterns and Implications Annals of the American Academy of Social and Political Science.  The Shape of the New American City.

Ingrid Ellen, Katherine O'Regan, Ioan Voicu 2009. Siting, Spillovers, and Segregation: A Re-examination of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program In Edward Glaeser and John Quigley, Eds. Housinmg Markets and the Economy: Risk, Regulation, Policy; Essays in Honor of Karl Case. Cambridge, Mass: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, pp. 233-267.
Abstract

The timing of this volume could not be more opportune. It is based on a 2007 conference to honor the work of Karl "Chip" Case, who is renowned for his scientific contributions to the economics of housing and public policy. The chapters analyze risk in the housing market, the regulation of housing markets by government, and other issues in U.S. housing policy. Chapters investigate derivative markets; the role that home equity insurance can play in reducing risk; the role that the regulation of government-sponsored enterprises has played in extending credit to home purchasers in low-income neighborhoods; and the growth in the market for subprime mortgages. The impact of local zoning regulations on housing prices and new construction is also considered. This is a must read during a time of restructuring our nation’s system of housing finance.

Ellen, Ingrid, Vicki Been and Josiah Madar. 2009. The High Cost of Segregation: Exploring Racial Disparities in High Cost Lending Fordham Urban Law Journal, v.36, 361-93  

Ellen, Ingrid, Amy Ellen Schwartz and Ioan Voicu. 2009. The Impact of Business Improvement Districts on Property Values: Evidence from New York City Brookings Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs, 2007: 1-39

2008

Ellen, I.G., Schuetz, J. & Been, V. 2008. The Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Foreclosures Journal of Housing Economics, 17(4): 306-319
Abstract

As the national mortgage crisis has worsened, an increasing number of communities are facing declining housing prices and high rates of foreclosure. Central to the call for government intervention in this crisis is the claim that foreclosures not only hurt those who are losing their homes to foreclosure, but also harm neighbors by reducing the value of nearby properties and in turn, reducing local governments’ tax bases. The extent to which foreclosures do in fact drive down neighboring property values has become a crucial question for policy-makers. In this paper, we use a unique dataset on property sales and foreclosure filings in New York City from 2000 to 2005 to identify the effects of foreclosure starts on housing prices in the surrounding neighborhood. Regression results suggest that above some threshold, proximity to properties in foreclosure is associated with lower sales prices. The magnitude of the price discount increases with the number of properties in foreclosure, but not in a linear relationship.

O'Regan, K. & Ellen, I.G., Conger, D. 2008. Immigration and Urban Schools: The Dynamics of Demographic Change in the Nation's Largest School District Education and Urban Society 41(3):  295-316.
Abstract

The authors use a rich data set on New York City public elementary schools to explore how changes in immigrant representation have played out at the school level, providing a set of stylistic facts about the magnitude and nature of demographic changes in urban schools. They find that while the city experienced an overall increase in its immigrant representation over the 5 years studied, its elementary schools did not. Although the average school experienced little change during this period, a significant minority of schools saw sizable shifts. The change does not mirror the White flight and 'tipping' associated with desegregation but rather suggests a tendency to stabilize, with declines in immigrant enrollments concentrated in schools with larger immigrant populations at the outset. The authors also find that changes in the immigrant shares influence the composition of the school's students, and that overall school demographic changes do not mirror grade-level changes within schools.

Ingrid Ellen, Amy Allen Schwartz, Leanna Stiefel 2008. Do Economically Integrated Neighborhoods Have Economically Integrated Schools? Howard Wial, Ha; Wolman and Margery Austin Turner, Eds, Urban and Regional Policy and it's Effects. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press, pp 191-205.
Abstract

The goal of this book, the first in a series, is to bring policymakers, practitioners, and scholars up to speed on the state of knowledge on various aspects of urban and regional policy. What do we know about the effectiveness of select policy approaches, reforms, or experiments on key social and economic problems facing cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas? What can we say about what works, what doesn’t, and why? And what does this knowledge and experience imply for future policy questions?

The authors take a fresh look at several different issues (e.g., economic development, education, land use) and conceptualize how each should be thought of. Once the contributors have presented the essence of what is known, as well as the likely implications, they identify the knowledge gaps that need to be filled for the successful formulation and implementation of urban and regional policy.

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K. & Conger, D. 2008. Dynamics of School Demographic Change: Immigrant Students and New York City Education and Urban Society.

O'Regan, K. & Ellen, I.G. 2008. Reversal of Fortunes: Low Income Neighborhoods in the 1990s Urban Studies, 45: 845-869.
Abstract

This paper offers new empirical evidence about the prospects of lower-income, US urban neighbourhoods during the 1990s. Using the Neighborhood Change Database, which offers a balanced panel of census tracts with consistent boundaries from 1970 to 2000 for all metropolitan areas in the US, evidence is found of a significant shift in the fortunes of lower-income, urban neighbourhoods during the 1990s. There was a notable increase in the 1990s in the proportion of lower-income and poor neighbourhoods experiencing a gain in economic status. Secondly, in terms of geographical patterns, it is found that this upgrading occurred throughout the country, not just in selected regions or cities. Finally, it is found that the determinants of changes in lower-income, urban neighbourhoods shifted during the 1990s. In contrast to earlier decades, both the share of Blacks and the poverty rate were positively related to subsequent economic gain in these neighbourhoods during the 1990s.

Ellen, Ingrid G. 2008. Spillovers and Subsidized Housing: The Impact of Subsidized Rental Housing on Neighborhoods In Revisiting Rental Housing.  Edited by Belsky, E. and Nicolas Retsinas. Washington, DC, Brookings Institution Press.
Abstract

Leading housing researchers build upon decades of experience, research, and evaluation to inform our understanding of the nations rental housing challenges and what can be done about them. It thoughtfully addresses not only present issues affecting rental housing, but also viable solutions.

Ellen, I.G. 2008. Understanding Segregation in the Year 2000 Segregation: The Rising Costs for America. Edited by James H. Carr and Nandinee Kutty. Routledge,
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Abstract

Segregation: The Rising Costs for America documents how discriminatory practices in the housing markets through most of the past century, and that continue today, have produced extreme levels of residential segregation that result in significant disparities in access to good jobs, quality education, homeownership attainment and asset accumulation between minority and non-minority households.The book also demonstrates how problems facing minority communities are increasingly important to the nations long-term economic vitality and global competitiveness as a whole. Solutions to the challenges facing the nation in creating a more equitable society are not beyond our ability to design or implement, and it is in the interest of all Americans to support programs aimed at creating a more just society.The book is uniquely valuable to students in the social sciences and public policy, as well as to policy makers, and city planners.

2007

Ellen, I.G. & O'Flaherty, B. 2007. Social Programs and Household Size: Evidence from New York Population Research and Policy Review Vol. 26 No. 4.
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Abstract

What determines how many adults live in a house? How do people divide themselves up among households? Average household sizes vary substantially, both over time and in the cross-section. In this paper, we describe how a variety of government policies affect living arrangements, intentionally or not. Using data from a survey of households in New York City, we find that these incentives appear to have an impact. Specifically, households receiving these housing and income subsidies are smaller on average (measured by number of adults). The impacts appear to be considerably larger than those that would occur if the programs were lump-sum transfers. Small average household size can be extremely expensive in terms of physical and environmental resources, higher rents, and possibly homelessness. Thus, we encourage policymakers to pay greater heed to the provisions built into various social policies that favor smaller households.

Gedal, M. & Been, V., Ellen, I.G., Voicu, I. 2007. The Impact of Supportive Housing on Surrounding Neighborhoods 2nd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper, July
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Abstract

Communities across New York City and around the nation commonly oppose proposals to open supportive housing in their neighborhoods because of fear that the housing will decrease the quality of life in the neighborhood, and lead to reductions in property values. This study aims to give supportive housing providers and local government officials the  objective, credible information they need to guide policy decisions and to respond to opponents' fears and arguments. Using a difference-in-difference regression model to isolate the effect of supportive housing from more general macro and micro market trends and neighborhood variations, this paper examines the impact that almost 14,000 units of supportive housing created in New York City over the past twenty five years have had on their host neighborhoods over time.

In a preliminary analysis, we find little evidence that supportive housing facilities diminish the value of surrounding properties. We find evidence that prices of properties surrounding supportive housing facilities are lower than comparable properties in the same neighborhood prior to the opening of the facility, and that this gap tends to narrow following the opening of a facility. Specifically, the preliminary analysis suggests that modestly-sized supportive housing developments (which are typical in New York City) may have small, positive impacts on neighboring property values, though these positive impacts decline as project size increases. Very large facilities may have negative impacts on the surrounding neighborhood.

 

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. & Ellen, I.G. 2007. Disentangling the Racial Test Score Gap: Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Winter 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p7-30, 24p.
Abstract

We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size-implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps. © 2006 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Ellen, I.G., Schwartz, A.E., Voicu, I. & Schill, M.H. 2007. Does Federally Subsidized Rental Housing Depress Neighborhood Property Values? Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Spring 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p257-280, 24p.
Abstract

Few communities welcome federally subsidized rental housing, with one of the most commonly voiced fears being reductions in property values. Yet there is little empirical evidence that subsidized housing depresses neighborhood property values. This paper estimates and compares the neighborhood impacts of a broad range of federally subsidized rental housing programs, using rich data for New York City and a difference-in-difference specification of a hedonic regression model. We find that federally subsidized developments have not typically led to reductions in property values and have, in fact, led to increases in some cases. Impacts are highly sensitive to scale, though patterns vary across programs.

Ellen, I.G. 2007. How Integrated Did We Become During the 1990s? Fragile Rights in Cities. edited by John M. Goering, Rowman and Littlefield.
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Abstract

How fair are this country's urban housing markets and how effective has the government been at what it is charged to do in ensuring open and diverse housing options for this country's minority groups? Fragile Rights within Cities: Government, Housing, and Fairness offers a rich, multi-disciplinary assessment of the complex interface of housing, fairness, and government programs aimed at enforcing one of this nation's hallmark civil rights laws - the right to fair and open housing.

2006

Ellen, I.G. & Voicu, I. 2006. Nonprofit Housing and Neighborhood Spillovers Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol 25, No. 1, pp 31-52.
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Abstract

Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in U.S. housing policy, a role typically justified by the claim that their housing investments produce significant neighborhood spillover benefits. However, little work has actually been done to measure these neighborhood impacts. This paper compares the neighborhood spillover effects of city-supported rehabilitation of rental housing undertaken by nonprofit and for-profit developers, using data from New York City. To measure these benefits, we use increases in neighboring property values, estimated from a difference-in-difference specification of a hedonic regression model. We study the impacts of about 43,000 units of city-supported housing completed during the 1980s and 1990s, and our sample of property transactions includes nearly 300,000 individual sales. We find that both nonprofit and for-profit projects generate significant, positive spillover effects. This finding in itself is significant, given the widespread skepticism about the impact of subsidized housing on neighborhoods. We also find some differences across sectors. First, the impact of nonprofit housing remains stable over time, whereas the effect of for-profit housing declines with time. Second, while large for-profit and nonprofit developments deliver similar benefits, in the case of small projects, for-profit developments generate greater impacts than their nonprofit counterparts. These differences are consistent with theoretical predictions. In particular, in the presence of information asymmetries with respect to housing quality, the nondistribution constraint should lead nonprofits to deliver more durable housing, by softening incentives to shirk on quality and maintenance. Meanwhile, the fact that scale makes a difference to nonprofit impacts may reflect the capacity problems often faced by smaller nonprofits.

2005

Schwartz, A.E., Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H. & Voicu, I. 2005. The External Effects of Place-Based Subsidized Housing New York: Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy,
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Abstract

Prior research has provided little evidence that subsidized housing investments generate significant external benefits to their neighborhoods. This paper revisits the external effects of subsidized housing, exploring the case of New York City. Relying on geocoded administrative data, we estimate a difference-in-difference specification of a hedonic regression model. We find significant and sustained external benefits. Spillovers increase with project size, and decrease with distance from the project sites and with the proportion of units in multi-family, rental buildings. Our results are robust to alternative specifications. Some of the benefit appears due to the effect of the replacement of existing disamenity.

2004

Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Voicu, I. 2004. The Role of Cities in Providing Housing Assistance: A New York Perspective In Amy Ellen Schwartz, ed., City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer. Northampton, Mass: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.,
Abstract

In a festschrift to Netzer-a public finance economist well known for his research on state and local taxation, urban public services, and nonprofit organizations-eight chapters apply microeconomics to problems facing urban areas and use statistical analysis to gain insight into practical solutions. The essays look at alternative methods of financing urban government, such as a land value tax and the impact of sales and income taxes on property taxation; at government expenditures, including housing subsidies; and at subsidies to nonprofit arts groups as well as the role of the nonprofit sector in providing K-12 education. Of interest to the fields of public finance, urban economics, and public administration.

Bhalla, C., Voicu, I., Meltzer, R., Ellen, I.G. & Been, V. 2004. The State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods 2004 New York: Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy,
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Abstract

The State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods 2004 provides an overview of housing and neighborhood conditions in the City and summarizes recent developments in policy, law, and research related to housing.

2003

Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Voicu, I. 2003. Housing Production Subsidies and Neighborhood Revitalization: New York City’s Ten Year Capital Plan for Housing Economic Policy Review, June 2003, pages 71-85.
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Abstract

A perennial question in housing policy concerns the form that housing assistance should take. Although some argue that housing assistance should be thought of as a form of income support and advocate direct cash grants to needy households, others favor earmarked assistance—but they differ over whether subsidies should be given to the recipients as vouchers or to developers as production subsidies. The appropriate composition of housing assistance has recently taken on particular import. In 2000, Congress created the Millennial Housing Commission and gave it the task of evaluating the “effectiveness and efficiency” of methods to promote housing through the private sector. As part of its mandate, the commission is examining changes to existing programs as well as the creation of new production programs to increase affordable housing. This paper reexamines the debate over the appropriate form of housing assistance.

Ellen, I.G. & Turner, M. 2003. What Have We Learned from HUDs Moving to Opportunity Program? In John M. Goering and Judith D. Feins, eds., Choosing a Better Life? A Social Experiment in Leaving Poverty Behind: Evaluation of the Moving to Opportunity Program. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press,
Abstract

As the centerpiece of policymakers' efforts to "deconcentrate" poverty in urban America, the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) project gave roughly 4,600 volunteer families the chance to move out of public housing projects in deeply impoverished neighborhoods in five cities-Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Researchers wanted to find out to what extent moving out of a poor neighborhood into a better-off area would improve the lives of public housing families. Choosing a Better Life? is the first distillation of years of research on the MTO project, the largest rigorously designed social experiment to investigate the consequences of moving low-income public housing residents to low-poverty neighborhoods. In this book, leading social scientists and policy experts examine the legislative and political foundations of the project, analyze the effects of MTO on lives of the families involved, and explore lessons learned from this important piece of U.S. social policy.

2002

Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Susin, S. 2002. Building Homes, Reviving Neighborhoods: Spillovers from Subsidized Construction of Owner-Occupied Housing in New York City Journal of Housing Research 12(2), pp. 185�216. Reprinted in Eric Belsky, ed., Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.
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Abstract

This article examines the impact of two New York City homeownership programs on surrounding property values. Both programs, Nehemiah Program and the Partnership New Homes program subsidize the construction of affordable owner-occupied homes in distressed neighborhoods. We use a geocoded data set that includes every property transaction in the City from 1980 to 1999.

Our analysis relies on a difference-in-difference approach. Specifically, we compare the prices of properties in small rings surrounding the Partnership and Nehemiah sites with prices of comparable properties that are in the same ZIP code but outside the ring. We then examine whether the magnitude of this difference changes after the completion of a homeownership development. Our results show that during the past two decades prices of properties in the rings surrounding the homeownership projects have risen relative to their ZIP codes. Results suggest that part of that rise is attributable to the affordable homeownership programs.

 

Ellen, I.G., O'Regan, K., Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L. 2002. Immigrant Children and Urban Schools: Evidence from New York City on Segregation and its Consequences for Schooling Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs,
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Abstract

Immigrant children represent a large and growing proportion of school children in the United States, especially in urban areas. An estimated 10.4 percent of the U.S. population is now foreign-born (the highest percentage since 1930); and in central cities, the proportion has risen to 16 percent (Lollock 2001; Schmidley and Gibson 1997). Yet we know surprisingly little about the experience or isolation levels of foreign-born students. While there is considerable research on the degree to which racial minorities are isolated in U.S. schools and on the disturbing consequences of this segregation, there is no parallel research concerning immigrants.
The goal of this paper is to begin to examine this issue, looking at evidence from New York City. In particular, we address two main questions. First, how segregated are immigrant students in New York's schools and how does that segregation vary across groups with differing language skills and from different regions of the world? Second, to the extent we do see segregation, how different are the schools attended by immigrant children (either overall or from particular regions) in terms of student characteristics, teachers, and funding levels?
New York City is an especially apt place to study immigrant students because the city's public schools educate so many immigrants, from such a broad range of countries (over 200), speaking a great diversity of languages (over 120). In addition, we have been able to assemble an extraordinarily detailed data set, which allows us to exploit the richness that New York City's student body provides.
The paper is organized as follows. In the first section we review the literature on school segregation and explore the ways in which segregation might affect immigrant students. In section two we describe our data and provide a brief statistical portrait of immigrant students in New York City. In section three, we lay out the methods and hypotheses to be explored in this paper, while in section four we present our analysis of segregation of immigrant students. Section five concludes.

Ellen, I.G., Schill, M.H., Schwartz, A.E. & Voicu, I. 2002. Revitalizing Inner-City Neighborhoods: New York City's Ten Year Plan for Housing Housing Policy Debate 13(3),
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Abstract

This article examines the impact of New York City's Ten-Year Plan on the sale prices of homes in surrounding neighborhoods. Beginning in the mid-1980s, New York City invested $5.1 billion in constructing or rehabilitating over 180,000 units of housing in many of the city's most distressed neighborhoods. One of the main purposes was to spur neighborhood revitalization.

In this article, we describe the origins of the Ten-Year Plan, as well as the various programs the city used to implement it, and estimate whether housing built or rehabilitated under the Ten-Year Plan affected the prices of nearby homes. The prices of homes within 500 feet of Ten-Year Plan units rose relative to those located beyond 500 feet, but still within the same census tract. These findings are consistent with the proposition that well-planned project based housing programs can generate positive spillover effects and contribute to efforts to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods.

 

Ellen, I.G. & Hempstead, K. 2002. Telecommuting and the Demand for Urban Living: A Preliminary Look at White-Collar Workers Urban Studies 39(4),
Abstract

With recent advances in communications technology, telecommuting appears to be an increasingly viable option for many workers. For urban researchers, the key question is whether this growing ability to telecommute is altering residential location decisions and leading households to live in smaller, lower-density and more remote locations. Using the Work Schedules supplement from the 1997 Current Population Study, this paper explores this question. Specifically, it examines the prevalence of telecommuting, explores the relationship between telecommuting and the residential choices of white-collar workers and, finally, speculates about future impacts on residential patterns and urban form.
2001

Ellen, I.G., Mijanovich, T. & Dillman, K. 2001. Neighborhood Effects on Health: Exploring the Links and Assessing the Evidence Journal of Urban Affairs, 23(3-4):391-408.
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Abstract

This article is an extensive review of the relationship between neighborhood and health and methodological challenges. The authors categorize the ways neighborhood might affect health in three ways: direct threats created by the neighborhood's environment; indirect threats through neighborhood influences on health-related behavior; and quality and availability of heath care services. The authors review evidence linking five health outcomes to residence in a neighborhood: 1) low birthweight and infant mortality; 2) physical health of children, discussing cockroach allergen, mites, mold, heating, and asthma, lead and central nervous system damage, and influences on behaviors; 3) physical health of adults, discussing increased risk of death and cardiovascular disease by neighborhood characteristics; 4) differences in health behaviors by neighborhood characteristics; and 5) mental health and neighborhoods, discussing violence and ambient social hazards such as gang activity, drug dealing, and property damage. Four challenges of studying neighborhood effects on health are described. The first is distinguishing between neighborhood and individual effects. Individual characteristics are likely influenced by the neighborhood in which an individual lives. Consequently, to the extent that researchers adjust for these individual characteristics, the importance of neighborhood is underestimated. To the extent that residents self-select into neighborhoods on the basis of individual characteristics (e.g., preference for a healthy environment), the effect of the neighborhood may be overestimated. The second is measuring relevant neighborhood characteristics. These characteristics often do not explain exactly what it is about a neighborhood that affects health. Definitions of neighborhood boundaries (e.g., census tracts) are often imperfect. In addition, many studies measure neighborhood characteristics at a single point and do not consider how long a person has lived in a particular neighborhood. The third challenge is capturing nonlinear effects. Neighborhood effects may exhibit a threshold effect or interact with individual characteristics. The fourth challenge is measuring relevant health outcomes.

2000

Ellen, I.G. 2000. Race-Based Neighborhood Projection: A Proposed Framework for Understanding New Data on Racial Integration Urban Studies 37(9), Aug 2000, pp. 1513-1533.
Abstract

This paper outlines the race-based, neighbourhood projection hypothesis which holds that, in choosing neighbourhoods, households care less about present racial composition than they do about expectations about future neighbourhood conditions, such as school quality, property values and crime. Race remains relevant, however, since households tend to associate a growing minority presence with structural decline. Using a unique data-set that links households to their neighbourhoods, this paper estimates both exit and entry models and then constructs a simple simulation model that predicts the course of racial change in different communities. Doing so, the paper concludes that the empirical evidence is more consistent with the race-based projection hypothesis than with other common explanations for neighbourhood racial transition.

Ellen, I.G. 2000. A New White Flight? The Dynamics of Neighborhood Change in the 1980s in Nancy Foner, Ruben G. Rumbaut, and Steven J. Gold, eds., Immigration Research for a New Century: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. New York City: Russell Sage Foundation, pp. 423-441.
Abstract

The rapid rise in immigration over the past few decades has transformed the American social landscape, while the need to understand its impact on society has led to a burgeoning research literature. Predominantly non-European and of varied cultural, social, and economic backgrounds, the new immigrants present analytic challenges that cannot be wholly met by traditional immigration studies. Immigration Research for a New Century demonstrate show sociology, anthropology, history, political science, economics, and other disciplines intersect to answer questions about today's immigrants. In Part I, leading scholars examine the emergence of an interdisciplinary body of work that incorporates such topics as the social construction of race, the importance of ethnic self-help and economic niches, the influence of migrant-homeland ties, and the types of solidarity and conflict found among migrant populations. The authors also explore the social and national origins of immigration scholars themselves, many of whom came of age in an era of civil rights and ethnic reaffirmation, and may also be immigrants or children of immigrants. Together these essays demonstrate how social change, new patterns of immigration, and the scholars' personal backgrounds have altered the scope and emphases of the research literature,allowing scholars to ask new questions and to see old problems in new ways. Part II contains the work of a new generation of immigrant scholars, reflecting the scope of a field bolstered by different disciplinary styles. These essays explore the complex variety of the immigrant experience, ranging from itinerant farmworkers to Silicon Valley engineers. The demands of the American labor force, ethnic, racial, and gender stereotyping, and state regulation are all shown to play important roles in the economic adaptation of immigrants. The ways in which immigrants participate politically, their relationships among themselves, their attitudes toward naturalization and citizenship, and their own sense of cultural identity are also addressed. Immigration Research for a New Century examines the complex effects that immigration has had not only on American society but on scholarship itself, and offers the fresh insights of a new generation of immigration researchers.

Ellen, I.G. 2000. Is Segregation Bad for Your Health? The Case of Low Birth Weight Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs 2000, pp. 203-229.
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Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between racial segregation and racial disparities in the prevalence of low birth weight. The paper has two parallel motivations. First, the disparities between black and white mothers in birth outcomes are large and persistent. In 1996, 13 percent of infants born in the United States to black mothers weighed less than 2,500 grams (5.5 pounds, or low birth weight), compared with just 6.3 percent of all infants born to white mothers. And the consequences may be grave. Low birth weight is a major cause of infant mortality and is associated with greater childhood illness and such developmental disorders as cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness, epilepsy, chronic lung disease, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder. 1 Given the strong connection between race and residence in this country, it seems plausible that residential location may shape these differentials.

Second, while there is a growing literature on the costs of racial segregation, it has largely focused on economic outcomes such as education and employment. This paper aims to develop a fuller understanding of the costs of racial segregation by considering birth outcomes as well as such behaviors as tobacco and alcohol use among pregnant mothers. As Glaeser emphasizes (in his paper in this volume), information, ideas, and values are often transmitted through face-to-face interaction, and thus their transmission may be blocked by segregation. This includes information related to job openings and may include information and norms related to behavior and care during pregnancy.

Adopting in large part the methodology of David Cutler and Edward L. Glaeser, the paper thus examines how levels of racial segregation affect the birth outcomes of black mothers. 2 It examines influences on both black and nonblack mothers in an attempt to identify the differential effect of segregation on black mothers.

Ellen, I.G. & Schwartz, A.E. 2000. No Easy Answers Brookings Review, Summer 2000, Vol. 18 Issue 3, p44, 4p.
Abstract

Discusses the strategies applied to foster economic growth among cities in the United States. Measurement of the impact of economic development programs; Effectiveness of infrastructure investments to boost economic growth; Impact of tax cuts on economy; Development of sports stadiums and arenas.

Ellen, I.G. 2000. Sharing America's Neighborhoods: The Prospects for Stable, Racial Integration Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
Abstract

This work looks at the state of racial integration in America's neighbourhoods, revealing that although many areas are integrated, many also unravel quickly. The author examines the root causes of these racial changes, arguing the case for modest government intervention. The first part of this book presents a fresh and encouraging report on the state of racial integration in America's neighbourhoods. It shows that while the majority are indeed racially segregated, a substantial and growing number are integrated, and remain so for years. Still, many integrated neighbourhoods do unravel quickly, and the second part of the book explores the root causes. Instead of panic and "white flight" causing the rapid breakdown of racially integrated neighbourhoods, the author argues, contemporary racial change is driven primarily by the decision of white households not to move into integrated neighbourhoods for reasons unrelated to race. Such "white avoidance" is largely based on the assumptions that integrated neighbourhoods quickly become all black and that the quality of life in them declines as a result. The author concludes that while this explanation may be less troubling than the more common focus on racial hatred and white flight, there is still a good case for modest government intervention to promote the stability of racially integrated neighbourhoods. The final chapter offers some guidelines for policymakers to follow in crafting effective policies.
1999

Ellen, I.G. 1999. Spatial Stratification within U.S. Metropolitan Areas Metropolitan Governance and Urban Problems. Edited by Altshuler, Alan and William Morrill, Harold Wolman, Faith Mitchell. Washington: National Academy Press, pp. 192-212.
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Abstract

The New Americans sheds light on one of the most controversial issues of the decade. This book identifies the economic gains and losses from immigration -- for the nation, states, and local areas -- and provides a foundation for public discussion and policymaking. Three key questions are explored: -- What is the influence of immigration on the overall economy, especially national and regional labor markets?-- What are the overall effects of immigration on federal, state, and local government budgets?-- What effects will immigration have on the future size and makeup of the nation's population over the next 50 years?The New Americans examines what immigrants gain by coming to the United States and what they contribute to the country, the skills of immigrants and those of native-born Americans, the experiences of immigrant women and other groups, and much more. It offers examples of how to measure the impact of immigration on government revenues and expenditures -- estimating one year's fiscal impact in California, New Jersey, and the United States and projecting the long-run fiscal effects on government revenues and expenditures. Also included is background information on immigration policies and practices and data on where immigrants come from, what they do in America, and how they will change the nation's social fabric in the decades to come.

1998

Ellen, I.G. 1998. Stable, Racial Integration in the Contemporary United States: An Empirical Overview Journal of Urban Affairs 20 (1), pp. 27-42.
Abstract

Part of a special section on stable racial integration. A study was conducted to examine the extent and stability of racial integration in the U.S. Findings indicated that although integrated neighborhoods containing blacks and whites are considerably less stable than more homogeneous communities, a majority remains integrated over time. In addition, integration appears to be growing more viable, with racially integrated communities having a higher probability of being stable during the 1980s than the 1970s.

1997

Ellen, I.G. & Turner, M. 1997. Does Neighborhood Matter? Assessing Recent Evidence Housing Policy Debate 8(4), pp. 833-866.
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Abstract

This article synthesizes findings from a wide range of empirical research into how neighborhoods affect families and children. It lays out a conceptual framework for understanding how neighborhoods may affect people at different life stages. It then identifies methodological challenges, summarizes past research findings, and suggests priorities for future work.

Despite a growing body of evidence that neighborhood conditions play a role in shaping individual outcomes, serious methodological challenges remain that suggest some caution in interpreting this evidence. Moreover, no consensus emerges about which neighborhood characteristics affect which outcomes, or about what types of families may be most influenced by neighborhood conditions. Finally, existing studies provide little empirical evidence about the causal mechanisms through which neighborhood environment influences individual outcomes. To be useful to policy makers, future empirical research should tackle the critical question of how and for whom neighborhood matters.

 

Ellen, I.G. 1997. Welcome neighbors? Brookings Review, Winter 1997, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p18, 4p.
Abstract

Focuses on the author's idea of applying lessons learned from the experience of stable integrated neighborhoods to strengthen cities. Theories that explain why some mixed neighborhoods remain integrated; Testing the theory; Policy implications; How the real story about America's neighborhoods is less pessimistic and more dynamic than they tended to believe.

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