Freedom from the Tyranny of Neighbourhood: Rethinking Socio-Spatial Context Effects

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    Theory behind neighbourhood effects suggests that different geographies and scales affect individual outcomes. We argue that neighbourhood effects research needs to break away from the tyranny of neighbourhood and consider alternative ways to measure the wider socio-spatial context of people, placing individuals at the centre of the approach. We review theoretical and empirical approaches to place and space from a multitude of disciplines and the geographical scopes of neighbourhood effects mechanisms. Ultimately, we suggest ways in which micro-geographic data can be used to operationalise socio-spatial context for neighbourhood effects, where data pragmatism should be supplanted by a theory-driven data exploration.Unexpectedly, children who lived in an affluent neighbor-hood throughout childhood were most likely to engage in delinquent behavior.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBonn
    PublisherForschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit/ Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

    Publication series

    NameIZA Discussion Paper No. 11416


    • neighbourhood effects
    • socio-spatial context
    • micro-geographic data
    • bespoke neighbourhoods
    • spatial scale


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