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Specifying the Determinants of Neighborhood Satisfaction:  A Robust Assessment in 24 Metropolitan Areas over Four Time Points

Abstract

"Using a sample of households nested in census tracts in 24 metropolitan areas over four time points, this study provides a robust test of the determinants of neighborhood satisfaction taking into account the census tract context.  Consistent with social disorganization theory, the presence of racial/ethnic heterogeneity and single parent households consistently reduced neighborhood satisfaction.  Those perceiving more social or physical disorder were considerably less satisfied with the neighborhood, and perceiving more crime showed an accelerating negative effect on satisfaction.  Furthermore, the effect of perceiving crime was exacerbated in tracts with a distressed labor market.  There was consistent evidence that those with more economic investment (homeowners) or social investment (married residents and parents) in the neighborhood are more satisfied.  Whereas a household’s length of residence showed a nonlinear effect of increasing satisfaction over the first five years and decreasing satisfaction beyond that point, general residential stability showed no effect."

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