Residential Mobility and Neighbourhood Effects: A Holistic Approach
Sammanfattning: 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.
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