Although the U.S. poverty rate was the same in 2000 as it was in 1970, the geographic distribution of the poor has become more concentrated. A higher concentration of poor in poor neighborhoods is a concern because it may mean the poor are exposed to fewer opportunities that affect their outcomes in life, like employment and income. We show where and how poverty has become more concentrated in the United States, and who is most likely to be affected.
AUTHORS: Zenker, Mary; Aliprantis, Dionissi
Neighborhood Poverty and Quality in the Moving to Opportunity Experiment
Researchers suspect that some of the disparities that exist in such outcomes as health, employment, and education might be attributable to inequality of opportunity as determined by neighborhood environments. We study census data to identify neighborhood characteristics in addition to poverty that might help to explain these disparities. We focus on the Moving to Opportunity housing-relocation experiment and show that because program participants typically moved from one predominately black neighborhood to another, their new low-poverty neighborhoods may have provided little to no change in neighborhood quality. These circumstances are helpful in understanding how results from the Moving to Opportunity program should inform views of neighborhood effects.
AUTHORS: Kolliner, Daniel; Aliprantis, Dionissi
Which Poor Neighborhoods Experienced Income Growth in Recent Decades?
Why has average income grown in some poor neighborhoods over the past 30 years and not in others? We explore that question and find that low-income neighborhoods that experienced large improvements in income over the past three decades tended to be located in large, densely populated metro areas that grew in income and population. Residential sorting?changes in population and demographics within neighborhoods?could help to explain this relationship
AUTHORS: Fee, Kyle; Aliprantis, Dionissi
The concentration of poverty within metropolitan areas
Not only has poverty recently increased in the United States, it has also become more concentrated. This Commentary documents changes in the concentration of poverty in metropolitan areas over the last decade. The analysis shows that the concentration of poverty tends to be highest in northern cities, and that wherever overall poverty or unemployment rates went up the most over the course of the decade, the concentration of poverty tended to increase there as well.
AUTHORS: Oliver, Nelson; Aliprantis, Dionissi; Fee, Kyle
The growing difference in college attainment between women and men
Workers with more education typically earn more than those with less education, and the difference has been growing in recent decades. Not surprisingly, the percentage of the population going after and getting a college degree has been rising as well. Since the late 1970s, though, the increase in college attainment has stalled for men and gathered steam for women. Among college-age individuals, more women now graduate than men. Changes in labor market incentives appear to explain the increased investment in education made by women. But men?s investments in education have been much less responsive to the same incentives
AUTHORS: Aliprantis, Dionissi; Dunne, Timothy; Fee, Kyle
The Consequences of Exposure to Violence during Early Childhood
We investigate the impact that exposure to violence in childhood has on an individual?s propensity to engage in risky behaviors later in life and their probability of dying young. We document that black young males in the United States are exposed to much more violence in early childhood than their white counterparts. We also show that exposure to violence has a strong relationship with a host of undesirable later outcomes, and that relationship tends to be the same regardless of race, household income, mother?s educational attainment, or family structure.
AUTHORS: Chen, Anne; Aliprantis, Dionissi
The Opioid Epidemic and the Labor Market
Drug overdoses now account for more deaths in the United States than traffic deaths or suicides, and most of the increase in overdose deaths since 2010 can be attributed to opioids--a class of drugs that includes both prescription pain relievers and illegal narcotics. We look at trends in drug use and overdose deaths to document how the opioid epidemic has evolved over time and to determine whether it could be large enough to impact the labor force.
AUTHORS: Chen, Anne; Aliprantis, Dionissi
Racial Inequality, Neighborhood Effects, and Moving to Opportunity
Moving to Opportunity (MTO) was a housing mobility program designed to investigate neighborhood effects, the influences of the social and physical environment on human development and well-being. Some of the results from MTO have been interpreted as evidence that neighborhood effects are not as strong as earlier evidence had indicated. This Commentary discusses new research suggesting that neighborhood effects are, on the contrary, as strong and policy relevant as suspected before the experiment. This Commentary also discusses why the interpretation of the MTO data is important: If neighborhood effects drive outcomes, then addressing racial inequality requires concerted efforts beyond ending racial discrimination.
AUTHORS: Aliprantis, Dionissi
What Is Behind the Persistence of the Racial Wealth Gap?
Most studies of the persistent gap in wealth between whites and blacks have investigated the large gap in income earned by the two groups. Those studies generally concluded that the wealth gap was ?too big? to be explained by differences in income. We study the issue using a different approach, capturing the dynamics of wealth accumulation over time. We find that the income gap is the primary driver behind the wealth gap and that it is large enough to explain the persistent difference in wealth accumulation. The key policy implication of our work is that policies designed to speed the closing of the racial wealth gap would do well to focus on closing the racial income gap.
AUTHORS: Carroll, Daniel R.; Aliprantis, Dionissi
When should children start school?
Kindergarten-entrance-age effects are difficult to identify due to the nonrandom allocation of entrance-age and simultaneous relative-age effects. This paper presents evidence that instrumental variable frameworks do not identify age effects for the youngest children of a cohort using the results of statistical tests for essential heterogeneity in initial enrollment decisions. Restricting attention to the oldest children in a cohort yields a sample with quasirandom variation in entrance and relative ages. This variation is used to identify the parameters of education production functions in which both entrance and relative ages are inputs for achievement. Estimates of entrance-age parameters from the ECLS-K data set are positive, large, and persist until the spring of third grade. Relative-age parameters are smaller, tend to be negative, and fade-out for math achievement by third grade. For the average child in our sample these estimates imply that both an earlier entrance cutoff date and an earlier birthdate will increase achievement if the child remains eligible. There is extreme heterogeneity in effects by gender and home environment, and these results are likely to be the most relevant for policy.
AUTHORS: Aliprantis, Dionissi