The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
Ellen, Ingrid Gould and Horn, Keren Mertens. 2012. Do Federally Assisted Households Have Access to High Performing Public Schools? Poverty & Race Research Action Council.
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.
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, 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. Segmented Housing Markets. Encyclopedia of Housing and Home.
Ellen, Ingrid, Michael C. Lens, and Katherine O’Regan 2011. Neighborhood Crime Exposure Among Housing Choice Voucher Households.
Ellen, Ingrid, Vicki Been, Adam Gordon, Jack Lienke, and Aaron Yowell 2011. Building Environmentally Sustainable Communities: A Framework for Inclusivity. (Under Review).
Ellen, Ingrid, Johanna Lacoe and Claudia Sharygin 2011. Do Foreclosures Cause Crime? (Under Review).
Ellen, Ingrid and Brendan O’Flaherty 2011. How New York Housing Policies Differ from Those in Los Angeles and Other Large U.S. Cities.. (Under Review).
Ellen, Ingrid, Katherine O’Regan and Keren Horn 2011. Urban Pioneers: When Do Higher Income Households Choose Lower Income Neighborhoods? (Under Review).
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, Katherine O’Regan and Michael C. Lens 2011. Memphis Murder Revisited: Do Housing Vouchers Cause Crime? (Under Review).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ellen, I.G. & O'Flaherty, B. (eds.). 2010. How to House the Homeless. Russell Sage Foundation Press.
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, 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
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.
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.
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.
Ellen, I.G. & O'Flaherty, B. 2010. How New York Housing Policies Are Different -- and Maybe Why. In Irwin Garfinkel and Marcia Meyers, eds., The Welfare State in New York City. New York City: Russell Sage Foundation.
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.
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.
Ellen, I.G., Schuetz, J. & Been, V. 2008. The Neighborhood Effects of Concentrated Foreclosures. Journal of Housing Economics, 17(4): 306-319.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. New York: Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 185ï¿½216. Reprinted in Eric Belsky, ed., Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ellen, I.G. 1998. Stable, Racial Integration in the Contemporary United States: An Empirical Overview. Journal of Urban Affairs 20 (1), pp. 27-42.
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.
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.
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.