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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 4:24 AM
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Kids Raised in Walkable Cities Earn More Money As Adults

Kids Raised in Walkable Cities Earn More Money As Adults

RICHARD FLORIDA OCTOBER 24, 2019

A new study finds that even considering other factors, the walkability of a child’s neighborhood has a direct correlation to increased adult earnings.


A woman and a child walk in New York, the city with the highest score for walkability given at walkscore.com. A new study finds that growing up in a walkable neighborhood can increase upward economic mobility for children. David Delgado/Reuters

The benefits of walkable neighborhoods are many and varied. People who live in walkable neighborhoods are more active, healthier, have more time to spend with family and friends, and report higher levels of happiness and subjective well-being.

Now, add another big benefit to the list: Children who live in walkable neighborhoods have higher levels of upward economic mobility.

That’s the key finding from a new study published in the American Psychologist. The study, “The Socioecological Psychology of Upward Social Mobility,” by psychologists at Columbia University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, looks at the effect of growing up in a walkable community on the economic mobility of children. The walkability measure comes from Walk Score. The economic mobility measure is based on the detailed data developed by economist Raj Chetty and his research team. Their data cover more than 9 million Americans born between 1980 and 1982 and gauges the probability that children from households in the bottom fifth of the income distribution will reach the top fifth by age 30.

The more walkable an area is, the more likely Americans whose parents were in the lowest income quintile are to be in the highest quintile by their 30s.
The new study looks at walkability across more than 380 commuting zones, the basic unit used by Chetty’s team, which are similar to metro areas. It examines the effect of walkability in light of five key factors—school quality, income inequality, race, social capital (measured through community and civic participation), and the share of families with single parents—that Chetty and others have found to be associated with economic mobility.

Walkability has a sizable effect on upward economic mobility, according to the study. Indeed, walkability accounted for 11 percent of the additional variance in economic mobility above and beyond these five key factors. (Statistically speaking, the size of the R2 for their model increased from .41 without walkability to .52 with walkability added to the five factors).

...

https://www.citylab.com/life/2019/10...DXXmTm24d-4V2c
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 4:27 AM
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Well, you get to know how to talk to people and how to get to know more people and have a better social network in cities than suburbia where nobody talks to anybody and you have to drive to everything.
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 4:29 AM
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Cool.

My kids are gonna be rich!!!!!!!
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 4:59 AM
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Never mind. Guess it pays to read the article before jumping in.
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 12:47 PM
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Walkscore doesn't measure walkability; it measures geographic proximity to stuff. So the study is nonsense.

It would be more accurate to say "kids raised in proximity to amenities earn more money as adults" which sounds intuitively correct, especially because immigrants tend to be most concentrated in such locales, and immigrants tend to have much higher economic mobility than native-born.
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 1:41 PM
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Or put another way, poor people who get priced out of walkable areas are f*cked. The study just looked at the bottom income bracket. I wonder if the results would be less pronounced for people in middle or higher income brackets that are less reliant on community services.
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 1:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave8721 View Post
Or put another way, poor people who get priced out of walkable areas are f*cked. The study just looked at the bottom income bracket.
Kids in the South Bronx and East LA almost certainly have higher economic mobility than in rural Mississippi and West Virginia, but probably more because of a wealth of resources, supports and immigrant drive, moreso than walkability.
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 2:07 PM
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So kiddos that live in expensive cities, with lots of jobs that pay more because of the high CoL, earn more when they get a job, than kids that live in places without lots of jobs.

Wow, who knew?!
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 3:23 PM
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Kdis Raised in wealthy families earn more as adults.

Obviously
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 3:54 PM
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How do they measure the walkability of a neighborhood in the early 1980s?
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 6:40 PM
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Walkability IS a resource that helps low income people. It lessens the friction that comes from parents’ unavailability and work hours and commute costs.
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 8:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
Cool.

My kids are gonna be rich!!!!!!!
...and your sons will have stronger thighs, your daughters well-rounded calves; it's all good.
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Old Posted Nov 7, 2019, 9:49 PM
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Kids in growing up upwardly mobile areas regardless of walkability will earn more money as adults. Like Crawford said, it's access to amenities.
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Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 12:30 AM
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does this control for ses from the get go?

because wealthier families are gonna have wealthier kids regardless of where they live.
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Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 7:51 AM
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I wonder if some sort of governmental policy (e.g. better funding for schools in central cities, the rise of cities in the past few decades in general...) is responsible.
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Last edited by SFBruin; Nov 8, 2019 at 8:12 AM.
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Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 8:24 PM
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For those of you challenged in the art of reading comprehension, let me pull out this quote for you (bolding added by me):

Quote:
"Or simply put, children who grow up in walkable communities fare better economically, controlling for a wide range of economic factors as well as the related characteristics of those neighborhoods."
I've have an anecdote-based opinion that "city kids" are more social and better talkers than non-city-kids. My concept of "city kid" is roughly analogous to being raised in a walkable area, even though in the referenced study they tried to control for whether it was urbanity or walkability that mattered. And the two biggest determinants for income, other than education, are math skills and "soft skills," which include being able to talk to people easily and be generally social. Math gets you into engineering, finance, and, to a lesser extent, medicine, and soft skills get you into leadership and sales. Notice that every category I listed is a high-earner category. If you want relative assurance that your career will pay you well, go in to finance, management, engineering, sales, or medicine. And the lawyers who earn the most are the ones who can bring in business - and bringing in business requires social skills.

I will agree that there are challenges using WalkScore stats to measure walkability, but proximity to amenities, the primary feeder into WalkScores, is a decent proxy for walkability, even if it's not a perfect corollary. I doubt there is a perfect corollary, but WalkScore and proximity are decent.
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Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 9:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emathias View Post
I will agree that there are challenges using WalkScore stats to measure walkability, but proximity to amenities, the primary feeder into WalkScores, is a decent proxy for walkability, even if it's not a perfect corollary. I doubt there is a perfect corollary, but WalkScore and proximity are decent.
agreed.

it's far from perfect, but areas with higher walkscores generally align with areas of higher quality traditional urbanism/walkability, as their heat maps typically indicate.


source: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/w...kability_.html

in the map above, the little pearls of yellow/green in the western burbs of chicago are the traditional village centers built up around metra commuter rail stations over the past 150 years, and they are indeed more walkable and more traditionally urban than the surrounding areas of more typical suburban development patterns.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Nov 8, 2019 at 9:25 PM.
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Old Posted Nov 8, 2019, 9:57 PM
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Okay, again. How exactly do they backdate "Walk Scores" to the 1980s? Many places have much different "Walk Scores" than they would have had in the 1980s.
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Old Posted Nov 9, 2019, 4:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
Well, you get to know how to talk to people and how to get to know more people and have a better social network in cities than suburbia where nobody talks to anybody and you have to drive to everything.
People may drive more in suburbia, but they do talk to each other too.
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