The objective of DEPRIVEDHOODS is to come to a better understanding of the relationship between socio-economic inequality, poverty and neighbourhoods. The spatial concentration of poverty within cities is of great concern to national governments, partly based on a belief in neighbourhood effects: the idea that living in deprived neighbourhoods has an additional negative effect on residents’ life chances over and above the effect of their own characteristics. This belief has contributed to the development of area-based policies designed to introduce a more ‘favourable’ socio-economic mix in deprived neighbourhoods. Despite the persistent belief in neighbourhood effects, there is surprisingly little evidence that living in deprived neighbourhoods really affects individual lives. There is little consensus on the importance of neighbourhood effects, the underlying causal mechanisms, the conditions under which they are important and the most effective policy responses. It is likely that most studies claiming to have found that poor neighbourhoods make people poor(er) only show that poor people live in poor neighbourhoods because they cannot afford to live elsewhere. DEPRIVEDHOODS will break new ground by simultaneously studying neighbourhood sorting over the life course, neighbourhood change, and neighbourhood effects, within one theoretical and analytical framework. This project will be methodologically challenging and will be the first integrated, multi-country research project on neighbourhood effects to use unique geo-referenced longitudinal data from Sweden, United Kingdom, Estonia, and The Netherlands. Special attention will be paid to the operationalization of neighbourhoods and how it affects modelling outcomes. Through its integrated and international approach, DEPRIVEDHOODS will fundamentally advance understandings of the ways in which individual outcomes interact with the neighbourhood, which will ultimately lead to more targeted and effective policy measures.
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