Coping with the Great Recession: Disparate Impacts on Economic Well-Being and Mobility in Poor Neighborhoods

Robert Lerman, American University
Eugene Steuerle, Urban Institute
Sisi Zhang, Urban Institute

The Great Recession has been unusually severe both with respect to job losses and declines in home prices. Job losses are likely to hit people in poor neighborhoods hardest, while home price shocks may have exerted larger impacts on homeowners. This paper will assess how the distinctive character of the Great Recession has affected poor neighborhoods and how the impacts differed among families by initial housing status: 1) To what extent have residents of poor neighborhoods suffered more serious economic losses, including more downward economic mobility, than residents of other neighborhoods? 2) To what extent have the impacts of the housing crisis and the recession on families in low-income neighborhoods varied by whether they initially owned their home or rented? Analyses using the latest Pane Survey of Income Dynamics will generate findings of policy interest concerning housing policy and other strategies for upgrading poor neighborhoods.

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Presented in Session 204: Neighborhood Effects on Education, Health, and Economic Mobility