Handbook of Urban Geography
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Handbook of Urban Geography

Edited by Tim Schwanen and Ronald van Kempen

This collection brings together the latest thinking in urban geography. It provides a comprehensive overview of topical issues and draws on experiences from across the world. Chapters have been prepared by leading researchers in the field and cover themes as diverse as urban economies, inequalities and diversity, conflicts and politics, ecology and sustainability, and information technologies. The Handbook offers a valuable resource for students and researchers interested in cities and the urban in geography and across the wider social sciences.
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Chapter 18: Neighbourhood effects on social outcomes

Sako Musterd, Roger Andersson and George Galster


Residents, academics, and policy makers frequently believe that certain neighbourhood compositions impact on opportunities of those who are exposed to them. Social outcomes such as those connected to employment, levels of education and income and the risk of becoming involved in illegal activity, are frequently seen as influenced by the neighbourhood one is living in. However, isolating the so-called ‘neighbourhood effect’ on social outcomes from other impacts on these outcomes is not trivial. In this chapter we address some of the challenges researchers and policy makers are confronted with when getting involved in ‘neighbourhood effects’ debates. Challenges include conceptual issues related to the types of contexts (residential, work, school) and types of compositions (social or other); questions related to the scales to consider, and how to approach the temporal dimension; issues about what mechanisms would produce the effects; and methodological issues (data types, model choices, sources of bias, detecting thresholds).

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