Today’s Solutions: August 10, 2022

A couple of weeks ago we shared a story about the cognitive benefits of listening to podcasts. This was thrilling to us since several on the Optimist Daily team are dedicated podheads.  One story we listened to this week jumped out as something that we had to share – a Planet Money episode that reported on a long term study on Section 8 housing vouchers.

Way back in the 1990s, someone had the idea that the neighborhood a person resided in might affect how much money they earned over a lifetime.  In order to test this hypothesis, the US department of housing and urban development created a study that gave some recipients of supported housing benefits a mandate to move to a more affluent neighborhood.  

In 2008, they went back to see if the hypothesis proved out, and the results were nothing like they expected.  Health outcomes were better in those who had moved to richer areas, but incomes overall did not rise significantly.  Bummer. Study shelved.

However, after another decade had passed, a new group of researchers returned to the data and new tax returns to reassess.  It turns out the results were more complicated and, in fact, as they say in real estate, “location, location, location” CAN make all the difference in the world.  Now the updated results are helping shape housing policies of tomorrow. 

The link below will take you to the podcast, or you can search for Planet Money: #937: Moving to Opportunity? in your favorite podcast player.

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