Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Neighborhood Effects on High School Graduation

Kyle Crowder, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Scott J. South, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

Research into the effects of neighborhood characteristics on children’s behavior has burgeoned in recent years, but these studies have generally adopted a limited conceptualization of the spatial and temporal dimensions of neighborhood effects. We use longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and techniques of spatial data analysis to examine how both the socioeconomic characteristics of extralocal neighborhoods—neighborhoods surrounding the immediate neighborhood of residence—and the duration of exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the childhood life course influence the likelihood of graduating from high school. At least among whites, socioeconomic disadvantage in the immediate neighborhood reduces the likelihood of completing high school, but disadvantage in extralocal neighborhoods increases high school graduation rates. Extralocal neighborhood disadvantage suppresses the influence of disadvantage in the immediate neighborhood so that controlling for extralocal conditions provides greater support for the neighborhood effects hypothesis than has been observed previously.

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Presented in Session 27: Spatial Demography