The Multigenerational Transmission of Neighborhood Disadvantage

Steven Alvarado , Cornell University
Alexandra Cooperstock, Cornell University

This paper investigates the intergenerational transmission of neighborhood disadvantage. Restricted tract-level data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort and from the Child and Young Adult cohort allow for an empirical investigation into how multiple generations of neighborhood disadvantage affects neighborhood diadvantage in adulthood. In addition to multivariate regression models, the kinship structure of these data allows for cousin fixed effects models that control for unobserved confounders operating at the extended family level. Preliminary findings demonstrate that exposure to neighborhood disadvantage in parent’s childhood and in grandchildren’s childhood increases grandchildren’s chances of living in a disadvantaged neighborhood in adulthood. Moreover, the results indirectly suggest that neighborhoods may impact inequality across four generations of a family by limiting the chilchood context of opportunity of great-grandchildren. This analysis contributes to a more robust understanding of the role that neighborhoods play in the persistence of inequality across multiple generations.

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 Presented in Session 180. Neighborhood and School Diversity: Drivers and Outcomes