Vehicle access and exposure to neighborhood poverty: Evidence from the moving to opportunity program

Casey Dawkins, Jae Sik Jeon, Rolf Pendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The geographic determinants of social and economic opportunity have received much scholarly attention. A missing link in this body of research is an emphasis on the range of factors influencing low-income households' exposure to neighborhood poverty over time. This paper examines the dynamics of exposure to neighborhood poverty for Moving to Opportunity (MTO) program participants. Our paper is unique in its emphasis on the role of vehicle access as it shapes exposure to neighborhood poverty. We find that vehicle access is an important factor shaping residential spells and transitions to low-poverty neighborhoods over time. We also find that the combined influence of a geographically-targeted residential mobility requirement and vehicle access substantially elevates a household's likelihood of accessing and staying in a low-poverty neighborhood. These findings suggest that residential mobility programs and similar efforts to spatially deconcentrate poverty should pay particular attention to the transportation needs of low-income households.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-707
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Regional Science
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

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