Sociology Professor Receives NSF Grant

Scott South



Sponsor:      National Science Foundation (NSF)

Dates:            June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2015

Amount:        $105,083


Collaborative Research: Kin Location, Neighborhood Characteristics, and Residential Migration


The burgeoning evidence on the importance of neighborhood characteristics--especially their socioeconomic and racial/ethnic composition--for individual behavior and well-being directs attention to the migration processes by which families and individuals attain residence in particular types of neighborhoods.  Prior research on the determinants of moving between poor and nonpoor neighborhoods, and between neighborhoods of varying racial compositions, has for the most part neglected the potential influence of two factors: the types of neighborhoods inhabited by kin and movers' own neighborhood residential history.  The proposed project aims to remedy this neglect by using data from the 1968-2009 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, along with neighborhood-level data from four decennial U.S. censuses, to test innovative hypotheses regarding how the geographic location of nuclear and extended family members and the proportion of individuals' life-course spent in particular types of neighborhoods influence the likelihood of moving between various types of neighborhoods.  Special attention is to given to whether the effect of kin location on these inter-neighborhood migration patterns varies by sociodemographic characteristics of potential movers and their kin (e.g., age, sex, race, economic status) and whether the pronounced differences between blacks and whites and between the poor and nonpoor in the likelihood of moving between neighborhoods of varying economic and racial composition can be explained by race and class differences in the types of neighborhoods inhabited by kin and by the types of neighborhoods inhabited by potential movers earlier in their lives.