Disentangling Area Effects: Evidence from Deprived and Non-deprived Neighbourhoods
10.1080/00420980120087162 This paper focuses on the question of whether it is worse to be poor in a poor area or in an area which is more socially mixed; in short, does living in a deprived area compound the disadvantage experienced by its residents, and do area effects contribute to social exclusion? The idea of social areas having direct or mediated effects on the lives of their residents continues to interest and challenge academic and policy debates on the effect of concentrated poverty and on the creation of more mixed and, thereby, more sustainable neighbourhood forms. However, area effects remain contentious and British research evidence is scant. Following a review of the theoretical and empirical understandings of the relationship between households and neighbourhoods, the paper presents survey data from a comparative study of deprived and socially mixed neighbourhoods in Glasgow and Edinburgh. These data provide evidence that supports the area effects thesis, in particular in relation to area reputation and employment. The paper concludes that, with certain caveats, living in areas of geographically concentrated poverty creates additional problems for residents.