This project is a multi-faceted research project undertaken in collaboration by the Purdue Center for Regional Development, the Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics, and the United States Economic Research Service, financed through USDA Grant # 58-6000-5-0044. The goal of this project is to understand the interaction between individual, family, and neighborhood characteristics as they influence individual economic well-being and the intergenerational transmission of economic status, through which we can develop insight into people versus place-based policy approaches to reducing poverty.
A significant part of this project is based on the merging of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) database with a spatially harmonized version of the US Census data from 1970-2010. The development of the US Census database consists of the spatial harmonization of the sub county level census data in the U.S. since 1970. We use crosswalks developed by Brown University for census tracts, develop our own crosswalks for counties and develop procedures to fill-in spatial data for untracted areas of the U.S. for 1970 and 1980 by using satellite data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), wherever feasible. This web page contains metadata and a spatial data report on these developments. Please contact the Purdue Center for Regional Development for further inquiries.
The animated thematic maps below show distribution of race (Blacks and American Indian) and ethnicity (Hispanics) by harmonized census tracts for each decadal census from 1970 to 2010. County boundaries are overlain and census tract boundaries are subdued. Certain races and ethnicity have specific geographic concentration within the U.S.
Family background and the characteristics of an individual's neighborhood are both important factors affecting individual economic opportunity. Both have been widely studied, yet recent empirical work using data from field experiments has brought new interest to questions at the intersection of family background and neighborhood characteristics. We review these literatures, with an eye towards understanding the complementarity between intergenerational and neighborhood factors, discuss policy development in the context of multiple factors that hamper individual opportunity, and conclude with a discussion of areas for future research.
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