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The Moving to Opportunity Demonstration’s Impact on Health and Well-being Among High Dosage Participants

Shawn Moulton, Laura R. Peck, and Keri-Nicole Dillman

White Paper

March 19, 2013

We estimate the impact of the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) Fair Housing Demonstration Program for the subset of participants who spent more than half of their follow-up time in low poverty neighborhoods. Using the methodological approach developed in Peck (2003), we find that those who spend more time in lower poverty neighborhoods experience higher levels of neighborhood and housing quality, lower levels of psychological distress and depressive symptoms among adults, and higher levels of general health among children relative to their control group counterparts. MTO’s impact on these “high dosage” participants is larger in magnitude than ITT and TOT impact estimates produced by prior studies. Further, while prior work found no evidence that neighborhoods affect overall child health, we find that parents who spend more time in lower poverty neighborhoods are significantly more likely to report very good or excellent child health.