From the New York Times, Justin Wolfers writes about the research from Harvard economists, Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, and Lawrence Katz, which discusses the implication of the neighborhood which children grow up in are critical factors to determining a child’s success. In particular, this research focuses on the long-term, multi-generational benefits of programs, such as a lottery for low-income families to move into higher-income neighborhoods with government assistance.
These results were determined by using economic experiments, funded by the government, to test the effectiveness of government policy. Just like CBEAR aims to do, though CBEAR tests agri-environmental program policy effectiveness, this related research is used to inform evidence based policy, and result in more successful and beneficial government policies. Additionally, the results from this research demonstrate the extreme importance of conducting evidence based policy like this, as Chetty et al. found that while there are considerable benefits of moving to a neighborhood with lower poverty rates for children who are young, there can be unintended negative consequences of moving neighborhoods for older children. By understanding these potential consequences, it allows policy makers to be better informed to create smarter programs; a lesson which can be applied to agri-environmental programs as well.