Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 419–441 | Cite as

Towards Conceptualizing and Empirically Examining Legacy of Place: An Exploratory Consideration of Historic Neighborhood Characteristics on Contemporary Dropout Behavior

  • Matthew J. Martinez
  • P. Johnelle Sparks
Original Research


The study presented here has two main purposes. First, we introduce a novel conceptualization of neighborhood effects that includes historical characteristics of place as independent influencers on individual outcomes. Second, we provide two empirical examples of this concept by analyzing the influence that historic neighborhood dropout and poverty rates have on contemporary dropout behavior. Using multilevel logistic models, we find that students living in neighborhoods marked with a dropout or poverty legacy are over 16% more likely to drop out compared to students living outside of these areas. The influence of legacy of place remains even when controlling for contemporary neighborhood attributes including current dropout and poverty rates. The findings set the stage for future conceptual and empirical work that considers the historical development of place as it relates to the impact that these histories have for contemporary individuals.


Legacy of place Neighborhood effects Dropout behavior 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Houston Education Research ConsortiumRice UniversityHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of DemographyThe University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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