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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Krugman Katz Horatio Alger William Julius Wilson moving to Opportunity Horatia Alger and Sprawl

Krugman has a fascinating post noting how there is more intergenerational class mobility in denser cities.  He asks if sprawl killed Horatio Alger

I say he should look up Katz et al on the Moving to Opportunity Experiment

There is honest to God experimental evidence related to Horatio Alger his sister Horatia Alger, sprawl and W.J Wilson -- the moving to opportunity experiment.  This starts with people in the projects who want section 8 housing vouture.  Then a lottery some lose and get back in line waiting for a voucher, some win a regular voucher and some win a special on which can be used only in low poverty areas .  The results are special vouchur causes differences from the controls larger than regular voucher.  The vouchers are good for girls an bad for boys.  The bad for boys part is quite strong with a  higher probability of being arrested.

Google scholar Larry Katz.  Also Brad has a summary on his blog.

A disclaimer.  The study was conducted in the late 90s. The original question is would people with the special voutures find jobs.  In the late 90s everyone did including the lottery losers stuck in the projects. Assuming the results would be the same in the roaring 90s and the terrible teens is foolish.

But enough of a glaring blaring gender difference that I would check if the low mobility sprawl effect is stronger for females than males.  If not I strongly guess the issue is that evil uh sorry Republican politicians don't regulate building or help the poor at all so non-causal correlation.  If so it ooks like sprawl killed Horatia Alger at least.

OK now stuff past his ruthless character limit.  I would guess that the bad effect on boys is related to bitter resentment of relative poverty compared to classmates etc. I guess also opportunity (more property around equals more temptation for property crimes).  Also maybe more police mean more arrests for the same rate of crimes.

The linked study is *not* the one I had in mind when I started typing.  I was thinking of an earlier interim study.  Now with more time after the lottery, the effects are smaller.  The good for girls is statistically significant mostly for psychological health, the bad for boys mostly for crime and delinquency.  You can look up the interim study and more than you coul ever read googling [Katz moving to opportunity girls boys] or much much more without the girls and boys.

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