Advertisement

The Notable and the Null: Using Mixed Methods to Understand the Diverse Impacts of Residential Mobility Programs

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter provides a unique contribution to the neighbourhood effects literature by demonstrating that data from in-depth interviews is capable of revealing some of the mechanisms behind unexpected quantitative findings. Such a mixed methods approach is regarded a major step forward in neighbourhood effects research. The chapter describes and attempts to explain unexpected findings from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) program (mental health improvements which were not originally anticipated); a weak ‘treatment’ effect for many families (initial and subsequent moves to segregated, economically declining areas instead of higher opportunity neighbourhoods); “null” findings where large effects on individual outcomes were expected instead (MTO was primarily designed to enhance the employment prospects of adults and to improve the educational outcomes of children, but no effects on employment and education were found); and a set of conflicting findings (moves to low poverty neighbourhoods were found to be beneficial to girls, but harmful for boys). The use of mixed methods has shown how the potential of MTO-based policy approaches is limited by structural barriers, and the dynamics of poor families’ beliefs, backgrounds and constraints.

Keywords

Public Housing School Quality Experimental Mover Affluent Neighbourhood Interim Evaluation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Borkan, J. M. (2004). Mixed methods studies: A foundation for primary care research. Annals of Family Medicine, 2(1), 4–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Clampet-Lundquist, S. (2011). Teens, mental health, and Moving to Opportunity. In E. Birch, H. Newburger, & S. Wachter (Eds.), Neighborhood and life chances: How place matters in modern America (pp. 204–220). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  3. Clampet-Lundquist, S., Edin, K., Kling, J., & Duncan, G. J. (2011). Moving teenagers out of high-risk neighborhoods: How girls fare better than boys. American Journal of Sociology. Google Scholar
  4. DeLuca, S., & Dayton, E. (2009). Switching social contexts: The effects of housing mobility and school choice programs on youth outcomes. Annual Review of Sociology, 35, 457–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. DeLuca, S., & Rosenblatt, P. (2010). Does moving to better neighborhoods lead to better schooling opportunities? Parental school choice in an experimental housing voucher program. Teachers College Record, 112(5), 1443–1491.Google Scholar
  6. Elder, G. H. (1998). The life course as developmental theory. Child Development, 69(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
  7. Galster, G. (2011). The mechanism(s) of neighbourhood effects: Theory, evidence, and policy implications. In M. van Ham, D. Manley, N. Bailey, L. Simpson, & D. Maclennan (Eds.), Neighbourhood effects research: New perspectives. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  8. Gibson-Davis, C. M., & Duncan, G. J. (2005). Qualitative/quantitative synergies in a random assignment program. In T. Weisner (Ed.), Discovering successful pathways in children’s development: New methods in the study of childhood and family life(pp. 283–303). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Grogger, J. (2003). The effects of time limits, the EITC, and other policy changes on welfare use, work, and income among female-headed families. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 85(2), 394–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Katz, L., Kling, J., & Liebman, J. (2001). Moving to opportunity in Boston: Early results of a randomized mobility experiment. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116(2), 607–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Keels, M. (2009). Unpacking the null effects of relocating poor children into non-poor neighborhoods: Focus on school experiences. Working paper under review.Google Scholar
  12. Kennedy, S. D., & Finkel, M. (1994). Section 8 rental voucher and rental certificate utilization study: Final report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research.Google Scholar
  13. Kissane, R., & Clampet-Lundquist, S. (2010). Exploring the social ties and social capital of families after moving to opportunity. Working paper under review.Google Scholar
  14. Kling, J., Liebman, J., & Katz, L. (2005). Bullets Don’t Got No Name: Consequences of fear in the Ghetto. In T. S. Weisner (Ed.), Discovering successful pathways in children’s development: Mixed methods in the study of childhood and family life (pp. 243–281). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kling, J., Liebman, J., & Katz, L. (2007). Experimental analysis of neighborhood effects. Econometrica, 75(1), 83–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ludwig, J., Ladd, H. F., & Duncan, G. J. (2001). Urban poverty and educational outcomes. Brookings Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs, 2, 147–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ludwig, J., Liebman, J. B., Kling, J. R., Duncan, G. J., Katz, L. F., & Kessler, R. C. (2008). Can we learn about neighborhood effects from the moving to opportunity experiment? American Journal of Sociology, 114(1), 107–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mathews, J. (2007). Neighborhoods’ effect on grades challenged. Washington Post, August 14, 2007.Google Scholar
  19. Mendenhall, R. (2004). Black women in Gautreaux’s housing desegregation program: The role of neighborhoods and networks in economic independence. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Northwestern University.Google Scholar
  20. Mendenhall, R., DeLuca, S., & Duncan, G. (2006). Neighborhood resources, racial segregation, and economic mobility: Results from the Gautreaux program. Social Science Research, 35(4), 892–923.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Orr, L., Feins, J., Jacob, R., Beecroft, E., Sanbonmatsu, L., Katz, L., et al. (2003). Moving to opportunity interim impacts evaluation. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.Google Scholar
  22. Popkin, S. J., Harris, L. E., & Cunningham, M. K. (2001). Families in transition: A qualitative analysis of the MTO experience. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  23. Popkin, S. J., Katz, B., Cunningham, M. K., Brown, K. D., Gustafson, J., & Turner, M. A. (2004). A Decade of HOPE VI: Research findings and policy challenges. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute & The Brookings Institution. http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411002_HOPEVI.pdf.
  24. Popkin, S. J., Leventhal, T., & Weismann, G. (2010). Girls in the hood: How safety affects the life chances of low-income girls. Urban Affairs Review, 45(6), 715–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Popkin, S. J., Rosenbaum, J. E., & Meaden, P. M. (1993). Labor market experiences of low-income black women in middle-class suburbs: Evidence from a survey of Gautreaux program participants. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 12(3), 556–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rosenbaum, J. E., DeLuca, S., & Tuck, T. (2005). Crossing borders and adapting: Low-income Black families in Suburbia. In X. de Souza Briggs (Ed.), The geography of opportunity: Race and housing choice in metropolitan America (pp. 150–175). Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  27. Rosenbaum, J. E., Reynolds, L., & DeLuca, S. (2002). How do places matter? The geography of opportunity, self-efficacy, and a look inside the black box of residential mobility. Housing Studies, 17(1), 71–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rosenbaum, J. E., & Zuberi, A. (2010). Comparing residential mobility programs: Design elements, neighborhood placements and outcomes in MTO and Gautreaux. Housing Policy Debate, 20(1), 27–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rosenblatt, P., & DeLuca, S. (2010). We don’t live outside, we live in here: Residential mobility decisions of low-income families. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Atlanta.Google Scholar
  30. Rubinowitz, L. S., & Rosenbaum, J. E. (2000). Crossing the class and color lines: From public housing to white suburbia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  31. Sanbonmatsu, L., et al. (2006). Neighborhoods and academic achievement: Results from the moving to opportunity experiment. The Journal of Human Resources, 41(4), 649.Google Scholar
  32. Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin.Google Scholar
  33. Shroder, M. (2002). Locational constraint, housing counselling, and successful lease-up in a randomized housing voucher experiment. Journal of Urban Economics, 51, 315–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Small, M. L. (2011). How to conduct a mixed methods study: Recent trends in a rapidly growing literature. Annual Review of Sociology. Google Scholar
  35. Small, M. L., & Feldman, J. (2011). Ethnographic evidence, heterogeneity, and neighbourhood effects after moving to opportunity. In M. van Ham, D. Manley, N. Bailey, L. Simpson, & D. Maclennan (Eds.), Neighbourhood effects research: New perspectives. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  36. Turney, K., Clampet-Lundquist, S., Edin, K., Kling, J. R., & Duncan, G. (2006). Neighborhood effects on barriers to employment: Results from a randomized housing mobility experiment in Baltimore. Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs, 137–187. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  3. 3.Department of Comparative Human DevelopmentUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.African American Studies and SociologyUniversity of lllinoisUrbanaUSA

Personalised recommendations