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Crowder, Kyle D; .; & South, Scott J. (2011). Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Neighborhood Effects on High School Graduation. Social Science Research, 40(1), 87-106. PMCID: PMC3003919


Research into the effects of neighborhood characteristics on children’s behavior has burgeoned in recent years, but these studies have generally adopted a limited conceptualization of the spatial and temporal dimensions of neighborhood effects. We use longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and techniques of spatial data analysis to examine how both the socioeconomic characteristics of extralocal neighborhoods—neighborhoods surrounding the immediate neighborhood of residence—and the duration of exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the childhood life course influence the likelihood of graduating from high school. Among blacks and whites, socioeconomic advantage in the immediate neighborhood increases the likelihood of completing high school, but among whites higher levels of socioeconomic advantage in extralocal neighborhoods decrease high school graduation rates. Extralocal neighborhood advantage suppresses the influence of advantage in the immediate neighborhood so that controlling for extralocal conditions provides stronger support for the neighborhood effects hypothesis than has previously been observed. Exposure to advantaged neighborhoods over the childhood life course exerts a stronger effect than point-in-time measures on high school graduation, and racial differences in exposure to advantaged neighbors over the childhood life course help to suppress a net black advantage in the likelihood of completing high school.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Science Research


Crowder, Kyle D
South, Scott J.