The Role of the Local Opportunity Structure on Intergenerational Neighborhood Attainment

Jeremy Pais, University of Connecticut

This study examines the role of the local opportunity structure on the intergenerational process of neighborhood attainment. Of central interest are the direct and indirect effects of stemming from prior levels of residential segregation on the neighborhood attainments of future generations—the so called legacy effects. Additional opportunity structure characteristics involve contemporary macro-structural changes that have impacted the geography of rich and poor in every major American city—e.g., economic restructuring, labor market segmentation, immigration, suburban sprawl, and municipal fragmentation. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics merged with U.S. Census data, this study employs multilevel structural equations models to adjudicate the relative explanatory position of the most salient theories in the urban poverty literature.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment