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The Impact of Residential Mobility on Measurements of Neighbourhood Effects
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.
2011 (English)In: Housing Studies, ISSN 0267-3037, E-ISSN 1466-1810, Vol. 26, no 4, 501-519 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Neighbourhoods and cities are dynamic; their characteristics and relative positions change over time due to constant moves in and out. However, neighbourhood effect theory and most attempts to quantitatively estimate neighbourhood effects seem to treat neighbourhoods as if they were static. This paper argues that such a view is not only strange but may also result in biased estimates. Four methodological challenges are highlighted that are directly related to mobility: (1) measures of exposure time; (2) neighbourhood change; (3) selection bias; and (4) endogeneity. These are all topics worthy of scholarly interest in themselves, but also challenges that all neighbourhood effect studies must address to convincingly argue that their results are indicative of causal relationships-results of neighbourhood transmission mechanisms-and not just statistical correlations. The paper discusses how and to what extent these challenges have been met by the quantitative neighbourhood effect literature and gives directions to future research. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]   Copyright of Housing Studies is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxfordshire: Taylor & Francis (Routledge) , 2011. Vol. 26, no 4, 501-519 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-159183DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2011.559753ISI: 000290684600002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-159183DiVA: diva2:443188
Available from: 2011-09-23 Created: 2011-09-23 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Residential Mobility and Neighbourhood Effects: A Holistic Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Residential Mobility and Neighbourhood Effects: A Holistic Approach
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The number of studies estimating neighbourhood effects has increased rapidly during the last two decades. Although results from these studies vary, a majority find at least small effects. But to what extent can we trust these estimates? Neighbourhood effect studies face many serious methodological challenges, of which some are related to the fact that people move. The mobility of individuals may cause neighbourhoods to change over time, result in exposure times that are too short and seriously bias estimates. These methodological problems have not been given enough attention in the neighbourhood effect literature: no study controls for them all, and implications of mobility are rarely included in theoretical discussions of neighbourhood effects.

In a comprehensive summary and five different papers, I argue that the two scholarly fields of residential mobility and neighbourhood effect studies are intrinsically connected and that any arbitrary separation between the two is both conceptually problematic and risks leading to erroneous conclusions. Studies of neighbourhood effects must address the problems caused by mobility, before it can be convincingly argued that results actually show neighbourhood effects. To do this, longitudinal data are necessary. Furthermore, the connection between the two fields may also have implications for studies of residential mobility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. i-vii, 52 p.
Geografiska regionstudier, ISSN 0431-2023 ; 88
neighbourhood effect, residential mobility, selection, method, bias
National Category
Social Sciences Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-160428 (URN)978-91-506-2246-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-09, Universitetshuset, sal IV, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2011-11-18 Created: 2011-10-24 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved

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