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Neighbourhood Social Mix: Right Diagnosis; Wrong Prescription? George Galster Hilberry Professor of Urban Affairs Wayne State University Detroit USA Presentation at ENHR Plenary Toulouse, France July 6, 2011
Purposes of Presentation
Analyze: 1. “diagnosis” of social problem thought to justify social mix 2. “prescription” of social mix
Preview of Main Conclusions
There IS strong evidence base (at least in U.S.) to worry on equity and efficiency grounds about spatial concentrations of disadvantaged households However, “social mix” is complex & caveat-laden prescription to end concentrated disadvantage
Policy Rationale: Equity & Efficiency Goals EQUITY: Improves absolutely well-being of disadvantaged EFFICIENCY: Positive-Sum Outcomes for Society (aggregation of disadvantaged + advantaged) Implies : Pareto Improvements sufficient condition; Hicks-Kaldor compensation principle necessary condition : [“$$ winners” > “$$ losers”]
Crucial Feature of Concentrated Disadvantage: Are there Non-Linear Effects? If rate of social problems grows disproportionately with concentration of disadvantage a policy that reduces such concentrations can, IN THEORY yield both equity & efficiency gains
What Do U.S. Studies Of Neighbourhood Effects of Concentrated Poverty Tell Us re: Non-Linear? Rate of Social Problems in Neighbourhood
Poverty Rate in Neighbourhood 20%
Evidence from Econometric Studies of Residential Property Values and % Disadvantaged in Neigh. $ Values or Rents
(not drawn to scale)
% Poor in Neighborhood
OK, So Concentrated Disadvantage is Bad… But what about “Prescription” of Social Mix?” Three crucial caveats Desired social mix goal unspecified in precise detail Many program options; each with different benefits & costs Potential Inequities for Disadvantaged who may move from current neighborhoods as part of “mixing” process
Social Mix Policy Caveat #1
Desired social mix goal unspecified in precise detail •Composition •Concentration •Scale
Social Mix Policy Caveat #1 •Composition: On what basis(es) are we mixing people: ethnicity, race, religion, immigrant status, income, housing tenure…all, or some of the above? •Concentration: What is the amount of mixing in question? Which amounts of which groups comprise the ideal mix, or are minimally required to produce the desired outcomes? •Scale: Over what level(s) of geography should the relevant mix be measured? Does mixing at different spatial scales involve different causal processes and yield different outcomes?
Social Mix Policy Caveat #2 Many program options to achieve mix: Expand # affordable dwellings in advantaged areas via subsidized units or tenant-based subsidies for market-rate Expand # up-market rate dwellings in disadvantaged areas Develop new residential areas as socially mixed neighbourhoods
Social Mix Policy Caveat #3 Potential inequities for Disadvantaged who may move from current neighborhoods as part of “mixing” process: Loss of “bonding social capital” Loss of valuable social institutions
Review of Main Conclusions
There IS strong evidence base (at least in U.S.) to worry on equity and efficiency grounds about spatial concentrations of disadvantaged households ; “diagnosis” is valid However, “social mix” is complex & caveat-laden prescription to end concentrated disadvantage ; perhaps wrong “prescription”
And Remember: Social Mix is Not Enough! It will take a more comprehensive set of social welfare / human development interventions and supports to provide fair opportunities for all citizens, …even in a world of perfectly socially mixed neighborhoods.
Thank you for your comments and questions!
MTO Does Not Reject Neighbourhood Effects! Little initial exposure to low poverty neighbourhoods far from original ones Little sustained exposure to low poverty neighbourhoods Little variation of neighbourhood: % minority, job access, school district Prior exposure to disadvantaged neighbourhood creates indelible effects Selection bias of moves after initial random assignment
Galster, G. “Neighborhood Social Mix: Theory, Evidence, and Implications for Policy and Planning,” in Planning as if People Mattered: Looking Back to the Future, edited by Naomi Carmon and Susan Fainstein. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011 Galster, G. et al. “Does Neighborhood Income Mix Affect Earnings of Adults? New Evidence from Sweden,” Journal of Urban Economics 63 (2008): 858-870. Galster, G. et al.“The Costs of Concentrated Poverty: Neighborhood Property Markets and the Dynamics of Decline,” pp. 93-113 in N. Retsinas and E. Belsky, eds. Revisiting Rental Housing: Policies, Programs, and Priorities. Washington, DC: Brookings Inst Press, 2008 Galster, G.“Neighbourhood Social Mix as a Goal of Housing Policy: A Theoretical Analysis.” European Journal of Housing Policy 7(2007), 19-43. Galster, G. “Should Policymakers Strive for Neighborhood Social Mix? An Analysis of the Western European Evidence Base,” Housing Studies 22 (no. 4, 2007): 523-546. Friedrichs, Blasius, Galster, “Frontiers of Quantifying Neighbourhood Effects: Introduction,” Housing Studies 22 (no. 5, 2007): 627-636 Galster, G. et al. “The Influence of Neighborhood Poverty During Childhood on Fertility, Education and Earnings Outcomes,” Housing Studies 22 (2007): 723-752
Intra- and Extra-Neighbourhood Processes Potentially Related to Social Mix Intra-Neighbourhood Processes : • Social norms & values • Social control, reduced violence exposure • Peer effects, role models • Social networks • Relative deprivation, competition Extra-Neighbourhood Processes: • Job accessibility • Institutional & public service resources • Stigmatisation