My da|ra Login

Detailed view

metadata language: English

Public Use Data (2008-10) on Long-Term Neighborhood Effects on Low-Income Families (Adult Data Only) from All Five Sites of the Moving to Opportunity Experiment

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, census/enumeration data, survey data
  • Ludwig, Jens (University of Chicago. Harris School of Public Policy, and National Bureau of Economic Research)
  • Duncan, Greg (University of California-Irvine. School of Education)
  • Gennetian, Lisa (New York University. Institute of Human Development and Social Change, and National Bureau of Economic Research)
  • Katz, Lawrence (Harvard University. Department of Economics)
  • Kessler, Ronald (Harvard University. Harvard Medical School. Department of Health Care Policy)
  • Kling, Jeffrey (National Bureau of Economic Research)
  • Sanbonmatsu, Lisa (National Bureau of Economic Research)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • United States Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences
  • National Science Foundation
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging
  • National Opinion Research Center. Population Research Center
  • University of Chicago. Center for Health Administration Studies
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Russell Sage Foundation
  • Smith Richardson Foundation
  • Spencer Foundation
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
Free Keywords
living conditions; mental health; neighborhood characteristics; neighborhood conditions; neighborhoods; physical condition; poverty; poverty programs; public housing; quality of life
  • Abstract

    Nearly 9 million Americans live in extreme-poverty neighborhoods, places that also tend to be racially segregated and dangerous. Yet, the effects on the well-being of residents of moving out of such communities into less distressed areas remain uncertain. Moving to Opportunity (MTO) is a randomized housing experiment administered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development that gave low-income families living in high-poverty areas in five cities the chance to move to lower-poverty areas. Families were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) The experimental group (also called the low-poverty voucher (LPV) group) received Section 8 rental assistance certificates or vouchers that they could use only in census tracts with 1990 poverty rates below 10 percent. The families received mobility counseling and help in leasing a new unit. One year after relocating, families could use their voucher to move again if they wished, without any special constraints on location. (2) The Section 8 group (also called the traditional voucher (TRV) group) received regular Section 8 certificates or vouchers that they could use anywhere; these families received no special mobility counseling. (3) The control group received no certificates or vouchers through MTO, but continued to be eligible for project-based housing assistance and whatever other social programs and services to which they would otherwise be entitled. Families were tracked from baseline (1994-98) through the long-term evaluation survey fielding period (2008-10) with the purpose of determining the effects of "neighborhood" on participating families. This data collection contains data from the 3,273 adult interviews completed as part of the MTO long-term evaluation and are comprised of adult variables that have been analyzed. Using data from the long-term evaluation, the associated article reports that moving from a high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhood leads to long-term (10- to 15-year) improvements in adult physical and mental health and subjective well-being, despite not affecting economic self-sufficiency. The data contain all adult outcomes and mediators analyzed for the associated article as well as a variety of demographic and other baseline measures that were controlled for in the analysis.
  • Methods

    All analysis of the data should be weighted using the total survey weight. The cell-level file includes a separate weight for each outcome and mediator measure that is the sum of weights for all observations in the cell with valid data for the measure (for example, wt_ f_mh_idx_z_ad is the weight for the mental health index measure, mn_ f_mh_idx_z_ad). In the pseudo-individual file, mn_f_wt_totsvy is the average of the total survey weight variable for all observations in the cell. In the original individual-level file, the total survey weight (f_wt_totsvy) is calculated as the product of three component weights: (1) Randomization ratio weight -- at the start of the MTO program, random assignment (RA) ratios were set to produce equal numbers of leased-up families in the low-poverty and traditional voucher groups based on expected leased-up rates. The initial ratios were "8 to 3 to 5": eight low-poverty voucher group families to three traditional voucher families to five control families. During the demonstration program, these RA ratios were adjusted to accommodate higher than anticipated leased-up rates among low-poverty voucher group families. This weight ensures that the proportion of families in a given site is the same across all three treatment groups. This component weight value ranges from 0.59 to 2.09. (2) Survey sample selection weight -- for budgetary reasons, adults from only a random two-thirds of traditional voucher group households were selected for the long-term survey interview sample (while adults from all low-poverty voucher and control group families were selected), so this component weights up the selected traditional voucher group adults so that they are representative of all traditional voucher group adults. This weight component is equal to the inverse probability of selection into the subsample (~1.52). (3) Phase 2 subsample weight -- the long-term survey data collection was completed as a two-phase process. In the first phase, we sought to interview all selected respondents. Phase 2 of fielding was triggered when the response rate reached approximately 74 percent. In the second phase, we subsampled a random 35 percent of the remaining sample and only sought interviews with the selected subsample of respondents. This weight component is equal to the inverse probability of selection into the subsample (~2.86).
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: The DSM-IV depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder measures included on the dataset were assessed via the World Health Organization's Composite International Diagnostic Interview (see Kessler and Ustün (2004) for more information). The survey also included the Kessler 6 (K6), which consists of six questions and is the most widely used scale of nonspecific psychological distress in the literature (see Furukawa et al. (2003) and Kessler et al. (2003) for more information). Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) assays were used to measure diabetes. Furukawa, T. A., Kessler, R. C., Slade, T., and Andrews, G. (2003). The performance of the K6 and K10 screening scales for psychological distress in the Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being. Psychological Medicine, 33(2), 357-362. Kessler, R. C., Barker, P. R., Colpe, L. J., Epstein, J. F., Gfroerer, J. C., Hiripi, E., Howes, M. J., et al. (2003). Screening for serious mental illness in the general population. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60(2), 184-189. Kessler, R. C., and Ustün, T. B. (2004). The World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative Version of the World Health Organization (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 13(2), 93-121.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: The overall effective response rate (ERR) for the adult survey was 89.6 percent, and the ERRs by MTO treatment group were similar: 90.8 percent for the low-poverty voucher group, 86.6 percent for the traditional voucher group, and 90.0 percent for the control group.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 2008 / 2010
    Time period: 2008--2010
  • 1994 / 2010
    Collection date: 1994--2010
Geographic Coverage
  • Baltimore
  • Boston
  • California
  • Chicago
  • Illinois
  • Los Angeles
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New York (state)
  • New York City
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Adult participants in the Moving to Opportunity program.
The sampling frame for selection into the long-term survey sample was one adult from each of the 4,604 households who were randomized through the MTO program between 1994 and 1998. One "sample adult" was identified from each household by giving priority to female adults who were more likely to be caretakers of the children. The priority order for selecting both the MTO interim and final evaluation samples was: female heads of the core household, female spouses of the core household head, female baseline heads, female spouses of the baseline head, and finally, non-female heads of the core households. Note that the baseline head is often but not always the same person as the sample adult. For the long-term survey, the sample adults from all low-poverty voucher and control group households were selected for interview and, for budgetary reasons, the sample adults from only a random two-thirds of the traditional voucher group households were selected for interview.
Collection Mode
  • audio computer-assisted self interview (ACASI), computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI), computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI), face-to-face interview, telephone interview

    The zipped package contains Stata data files and PDF documentation which includes information used in the associated article.

    The datasets included are limited to the data needed to roughly replicate the findings for the associated article.

    These data are being distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigator(s) if further information is desired.

This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 34976 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Ludwig, Jens, Duncan, Greg J., Gennetian, Lisa A., Katz, Lawrence F., Kessler, Ronald C., Kling, Jeffrey R., Sanbonmatsu, Lisa. Long-term neighborhood effects on low-income families: Evidence from Moving to Opportunity. American Economic Review.103, (3), 226-231.2013.
    • ID: 10.1257/aer.103.3.226 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-16

Ludwig, Jens; Duncan, Greg; Gennetian, Lisa; Katz, Lawrence; Kessler, Ronald et. al. (2014): Public Use Data (2008-10) on Long-Term Neighborhood Effects on Low-Income Families (Adult Data Only) from All Five Sites of the Moving to Opportunity Experiment. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.