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Neighborhood Effects on the Long-Term Well-Being of Low-Income Adults From All Five Sites of the Moving to Opportunity Experiment, 2008-2010 [Public Use Data] (ICPSR 34563)
Principal Investigator(s): Ludwig, Jens, University of Chicago. Harris School of Public Policy, and National Bureau of Economic Research; Duncan, Greg, University of California-Irvine. School of Education; Gennetian, Lisa, New York University. Institute of Human Development and Social Change, and National Bureau of Economic Research; Katz, Lawrence R., Harvard University. Department of Economics, and National Bureau of Economic Research; Kessler, Ronald, Harvard University. Harvard Medical School. Department of Health Care Policy; Kling, Jeffrey R., National Bureau of Economic Research; Sanbonmatsu, Lisa, National Bureau of Economic Research
Nearly 9 million Americans live in extreme-poverty neighborhoods, places that also tend to be racially segregated and dangerous. Yet, the effects on the well-being of residents of moving out of such communities into less distressed areas remain uncertain. Moving to Opportunity (MTO) is a randomized housing experiment administered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development that gave low-income families living in high-poverty areas in five cities the chance to move to lower-poverty areas. Families were randomly assigned to one of three groups:
1. The low-poverty voucher (LPV) group (also called the experimental group) received Section 8 rental assistance certificates or vouchers that they could use only in census tracts with 1990 poverty rates below 10 percent. The families received mobility counseling and help in leasing a new unit. One year after relocating, families could use their voucher to move again if they wished, without any special constraints on location.
2. The traditional voucher (TRV) group (also called the Section 8 group) received regular Section 8 certificates or vouchers that they could use anywhere; these families received no special mobility counseling.
3. The control group received no certificates or vouchers through MTO, but continued to be eligible for project-based housing assistance and whatever other social programs and services to which they would otherwise be entitled.
Families were tracked from baseline (1994-1998) through the long-term evaluation survey fielding period (2008-2010) with the purpose of determining the effects of "neighborhood" on participating families. These particular files include data from the 3,273 adult interviews completed as part of the MTO long-term evaluation and are comprised of variables analyzed for the article "Neighborhood Effects on the Long-Term Well-Being of Low-Income Adults" that was published in the journal Science on September 21, 2012. Using data from the long-term evaluation, the article reports that moving from a high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhood leads to long-term (10- to 15-year) improvements in adult physical and mental health and subjective well-being, despite not affecting economic self-sufficiency. Subjective well-being is more strongly affected by changes in neighborhood economic disadvantage than racial segregation, which is important because racial segregation has been declining since 1970, but income segregation has been increasing. The files submitted here contain all outcomes and mediators analyzed for the article as well as a variety of demographic and other baseline measures that were controlled for in the analysis.
These data are flagged as replication datasets and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.
The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.
Ludwig, Jens, Greg Duncan, Lisa Gennetian, Lawrence R. Katz, Ronald Kessler, Jeffrey R. Kling, and Lisa Sanbonmatsu. Neighborhood Effects on the Long-Term Well-Being of Low-Income Adults From All Five Sites of the Moving to Opportunity Experiment, 2008-2010 [Public Use Data]. ICPSR34563-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-03-14. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34563.v2
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34563.v2
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health (R01-MH077026)
- University of Chicago's Center for Health Administration Studies
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- Russell Sage Foundation
- Smith Richardson Foundation
- Spencer Foundation
- Annie E. Casey Foundation
- National Science Foundation (SES-0527615)
- United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (C-CHI-00808)
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (P30-AG012810, R01-AG031259, and P01-AG005842-22S1)
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (R49-CE000906)
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01-HD040404 and R01-HD040444)
- National Opinion Research Center. Population Research Center (R24-HD051152-04 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)
- United States Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences (R305U070006)
Scope of Study
Date of Collection:
Universe: The cells included in the files represent data from the 3,273 interviews conducted with adult participants in the MTO program as part of the MTO long-term survey (2008-2010) that were analyzed for the Science article. At the study's outset, these adults came from low-income families with children recruited from public housing in highly distressed neighborhoods in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.
Data Types: aggregate data, experimental data, survey data
Data Collection Notes:
The zipped package contains Stata, Word, and PDF files, which provide data, tables, and figures used in the publication.
These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult Jens Ludwig (firstname.lastname@example.org) if further information is desired.
Sample: The sampling frame for selection into the long-term survey sample was one adult from each of the 4,604 households who were randomized through the MTO program between 1994 and 1998. One "sample adult" was identified from each household by giving priority to female adults who were more likely to be caretakers of the children. The priority order for selecting both the MTO interim and final evaluation samples was: female heads of the core household, female spouses of the core household head, female baseline heads, female spouses of the baseline head, and finally, non-female heads of the core households. Note that the baseline head is often but not always the same person as the sample adult. For the long-term survey, the sample adults from all low-poverty voucher and control group households were selected for interview and, for budgetary reasons, the sample adults from only a random two-thirds of the traditional voucher group households were selected for interview. Youth ages 10 to 20 in the households were also interviewed, however, the data used for the Science article only includes adult respondents.
All analysis of the data should be weighted using the total survey weight. The cell-level file includes a separate weight for each outcome and mediator measure that is the sum of weights for all observations in the cell with valid data for the measure (for example, wt_happy_scale123_ad is the weight for the subjective well-being scale measure, mn_happy_scale123_ad. In the pseudo-individual file, mn_f_wt_totsvy is the average of the total survey weight variable for all observations in the cell.
In the original individual-level file, the total survey weight (f_wt_totsvy) is calculated as the product of three component weights:
1. Randomization ratio weight - At the start of the MTO program, random assignment (RA) ratios were set to produce equal numbers of leased-up families in the low-poverty and traditional voucher groups based on expected lease-up rates. The initial ratios were "8 to 3 to 5": eight low-poverty voucher group families to three traditional voucher families to five control families. During the demonstration program, these RA ratios were adjusted to accommodate higher than anticipated lease up rates among low-poverty voucher group families. This weight ensures that the proportion of families in a given site is the same across all three treatment groups. This component weight value ranges from 0.59 to 2.09.
2. Survey sample selection weight - For budgetary reasons, adults from only a random two-thirds of traditional voucher group households were selected for the long-term survey interview sample (while adults from all low-poverty voucher and control group families were selected), so this component weights up the selected traditional voucher group adults so that they are representative of all traditional voucher group adults. This weight component is equal to the inverse probability of selection into the subsample (~1.52).
3. Phase 2 subsample weight - The long-term survey data collection was completed as a two-phase process. In the first phase, we sought to interview all selected respondents. Phase 2 of fielding was triggered when the response rate reached approximately 74 percent. In the second phase, we subsampled a random 35 percent of the remaining sample and only sought interviews with the selected subsample of respondents. This weight component is equal to the inverse probability of selection into the subsample (~2.86).
Response Rates: The overall effective response rate (ERR) for the adult survey was 89.6 percent, and the ERRs by MTO treatment group were similar: 90.8 percent for the low-poverty voucher group, 86.6 percent for the traditional voucher group, and 90.0 percent for the control group.
Presence of Common Scales: The DSM-IV depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder measures included on the dataset were assessed via the World Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Interview (see Kessler and Ustun (2004) for more information). The survey also included the Kessler 6 (K6), which consists of six questions and is the most widely used scale of nonspecific psychological distress in the literature (see Furukawa et al. (2003) and Kessler et al. (2003) for more information). Furukawa, T. A., Kessler, R. C., Slade, T., and Andrews, G. (2003). The performance of the K6 and K10 screening scales for psychological distress in the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being. Psychological Medicine, 33(2), 357-362. Kessler, R. C., Barker, P. R., Colpe, L. J., Epstein, J. F., Gfroerer, J. C., Hiripi, E., Howes, M. J., et al. (2003). Screening for serious mental illness in the general population. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60(2), 184-189. Kessler, R. C., and Ustün, T. B. (2004). The World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative Version of the World Health Organization (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 13(2), 93-121.
Original ICPSR Release: 2013-02-28
- 2013-03-14 Updated "MTO_Baseline_Survey.pdf" included in the *.zip file, per PI request.
- Citations exports are provided above.
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