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搬家能带来健康还是财富? [Copy link] 中文

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This post was edited by ttt222 at 2012-10-8 19:42


项新的研究表明,搬离贫困社区无助于低收入家庭脱贫,但却能使他们更健康、更快乐。
Moving low-income families out of poor neighborhoods doesn't help the families escape poverty, according to a new study, but it does make them healthier and happier.

在《科学》杂志(Science)近期发表的一篇论文中,来自芝加哥大学(University of Chicago)、哈佛大学(Harvard)及其他机构的研究人员分析、阐述了“搬家寻找新机会”(Moving to Opportunity)项目的成效。该项目是一项施行于20世纪90年代的实验性联邦住房计划,它通过向两千多个低收入家庭提供住房补贴券来帮助他们从贫困社区搬到不同收入阶层的混合社区居住。在此次研究中,对照组为人口统计学特征相似但没有获得住房补贴券帮助的家庭。
In a paper published this week in the journal Science, researchers from the University of Chicago, Harvard and other institutions, studied the effects of Moving to Opportunity, an experimental federal housing program in the 1990s that offered housing vouchers to more than 2,000 low-income families so they could move from impoverished areas into mixed-income neighborhoods. A separate control group had similar demographics but didn't move to mixed-income neighborhoods with the help of vouchers.


Jonathan Hanson for The Wall Street Journal
自从搬到郊区以后,奥利弗就开始学习,她的目标
是成为一名药物滥用顾问。

“搬家寻找新机会”项目旨在提高人们的受教育程度和收入水平,它为母亲及其孩子提供了一些途径来获得更舒适的住房、更优质的学校、更好的工作机会及社交网络。然而,在这些方面,这些举措基本没有收到预期的效果。项目参与者的确搬进了条件更好的房子及安全性更高的社区,但他们在经济与教育方面的获益甚微。
The program aimed to boost education and income, by giving mothers and their children access to better housing and schools, as well as better job opportunities and social networks. By those measures, it largely failed. Participants moved to better housing and safer neighborhoods, but they showed minimal economic or educational gains.


尽管如此,研究人员发现,该项目在改善家庭成员生活状况方面却效果显著。与留在原处未搬迁的家庭相比,项目参与者中患有糖尿病、极端肥胖与焦虑症的人数比例大幅下滑。不仅如此,搬迁的家庭对生活总体上也感到更为满意──研究人员称,这一点至关重要。
But the program nonetheless had a pronounced effect on families' lives, researchers found. Participants had significantly lower rates of diabetes, extreme obesity, anxiety and stress than those who stayed behind. They were also much happier with their lives overall -- something researchers said was particularly important.


该研究的首席作者、芝加哥大学经济学家简斯•路德维格(Jens Ludwig)说,“人们一直关注一个家庭所居住的社区在经济与教育方面对于家庭的影响,但事实证明它在这两方面影响都不是很大。人们一直以来所关注且担心的其实并不全面,帮助贫困家庭远不止是提高他们的收入这么简单。”
'We don't see very important neighborhood effects on those two outcomes that people have focused on,' said University of Chicago economist Jens Ludwig, the study's lead author. 'But the things that people had been focused on and worried about with neighborhoods aren't the full story. Helping poor families is about a lot more than just increasing their income.'


尽管搬进更安全的社区会在很大程度上改变人们的生活,但如果你搬入的地方是各种族杂居区,情况则会不同。近几十年来,虽然美国社会的种族隔离逐渐消融,但人们又开始依照经济状况划分贫富等级,越来越多的贫民聚集在某一片区,这种情况令人担忧。研究人员发现,从生活质量上看,过去四十年来,贫困阶层居住集中程度的加剧几乎抵消了美国穷人的收入增长。
While moving to safer neighborhoods made a big difference in peoples' lives, however, moving to less racially segregated ones didn't. That is worrisome because even as the U.S. has become less racially segregated in recent decades, it has become economically segregated, with poor people increasingly concentrated in certain neighborhoods. From a quality-of-life standpoint, the researchers found, the increase in poverty concentration over the past 40 years has almost canceled out the gains in income among poorer Americans.


路德维格说,“不断扩大的贫富等级隔离现象带给家庭的负面影响基本抵消了穷困家庭收入增长所带来的益处。”
'The adverse effects on poor families from growing economic segregation basically undermines all the gains they've experienced in income,' Mr. Ludwig said.


塞布丽娜•奥利弗(Sabrina Oliver)原先居住在巴尔的摩市中心,这一带的犯罪活动十分猖獗,她回家时还会在自家的门廊上撞见毒贩。她的女儿患有严重的哮喘,奥利弗自己也消沉绝望、无法工作。但她最为担心的,还是处在青春期的儿子。
Sabrina Oliver's inner-city Baltimore neighborhood was so crime-ridden, she would come home to find drug dealers on her porch. Her daughter suffered from severe asthma and Ms. Oliver herself was too depressed to work. Most of all, she said, she worried about her teenage son.

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奥利弗说,“我不希望他和这一带的孩子交朋友。你会因此失去你的孩子,他们的命运不是坐牢就是死。”'I didn't want him to become friends with the neighborhood kids,' Ms. Oliver said. 'You lose your kids that way, either to death or prison.'


三年前,奥利弗和她的家人通过巴尔的摩流动住房计划(Baltimore Housing Mobility Program)搬到了郊区。这个项目已实施了近十年,旨在帮助贫困家庭搬入更好的社区居住。现在,奥利弗的儿子能够跟上学校的学习了,女儿的严重哮喘几乎痊愈了,而奥利弗自己也半工半读,一边兼职工作,一边上大学,目标是成为一名药物滥用顾问。奥利弗说,良好的居住环境、优质的空气和学校,这些都让我们的生活有了翻天覆地的变化。但搬家的影响远不止于此。
Then three years ago, Ms. Oliver and her family were able to move to the suburbs through the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program, a nearly decade-old effort to help poor families move to better neighborhoods. Now, her son is passing his classes, her daughter's asthma has all but disappeared, and Ms. Oliver herself is working part-time and going to college to become a substance-abuse counselor. The improved housing, air and schools all have made a big difference, Ms. Oliver said, but the impact of the move goes beyond that.


奥利弗说,“你看到所有的家庭都在正常、有序地运转:父母出门去工作,孩子们去上学。我认为我的孩子不会沦为社会福利机构的收容对象了,因为我的生活彻底改变了,他们看到了我身上的变化。”
'You see families function in a normal way, where the parents go off to work, the kids go off to school,' she said. 'I don't think that my children will be a recipient of social services because my life has changed drastically and they see the change in me.'


美国公民自由联盟(American Civil Liberties Union)马里兰州分会的房地产律师芭芭拉•塞缪尔斯(Barbara Samuels)参与监管了巴尔的摩流动住房计划的实施,她认为奥利弗的经历并不为奇。她说,“周围的环境会让你产生一种无望无助、身体受压的感觉。”
Barbara Samuels, a housing attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, which helps oversee the Baltimore program, said Ms. Oliver's story isn't unusual. 'There's kind of a sense of hopelessness, of being literally almost physically oppressed by your surroundings,' she said.


塞缪尔斯和其他的专家都认为,“搬家寻找新机会”只能在某种程度上让参与者在经济上获益。因为对于那些想搬进真正的中产阶级社区、享受优质教育服务的家庭而言,住房补贴券只是杯水车薪。举例来说,正是有了巴尔的摩流动住房计划,奥利弗全家才得以从巴尔的摩市搬到安娜•阿伦德郡(Anne Arundel County),而“搬家寻找新机会”项目在这一点上根本帮不了她。
Ms. Samuels -- and other experts -- say Moving to Opportunity notched limited economic benefits in part because the housing vouchers were too small for families to move to truly middle-class communities with better schools. For example, under the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program, Ms. Oliver was able to leave Baltimore altogether and move to Anne Arundel County, something she couldn't have done under the Moving to Opportunity initiative.


此次研究的作者之一、哈佛大学经济学家劳伦斯•卡茨(Lawrence Katz)也认同研究对象中的大多数家庭都没能够如愿搬进更好的学区。他说,是其它一些项目(如提供职业培训的项目)帮助参与者提高了收入。
Harvard economist Lawrence Katz, one of the study's authors, agreed that most families in the study hadn't been able to move to better school districts, as initially hoped. And he said that other programs, such as ones that offer job training, have been able to boost people's earnings.


卡茨说,“找到一份好工作可能跟你到底住在哪儿真没什么关系。”
'Success at getting a better job really isn't about exactly where you live,' Mr. Katz said.


近些年来,一些经济学家一直在关注人们的快乐指数和其他一些衡量幸福感的标准,因为像财富、收入这样的传统计量标尺无法全面反映人的这种感受。在论文刊发于《科学》期刊的这项研究中,工作人员就要求参与者采用常规的三分标准为自己的幸福感打分。
In recent years, some economists have focused on happiness and other measures of subjective well-being that aren't fully captured by traditional gauges of wealth and income. For the Science study, participants were asked to rate their happiness on a commonly used three-point scale.


与过去的调查结果相比,这一次研究人员发现,从幸福感的角度出发,社区贫困程度降低13个百分点与年收入增加13,000美元带给人的喜悦感是一样的。而对于家庭平均年收入仅为20,000美元的阶层来说,13,000美元的涨幅无疑是很惊人的。
Comparing those findings with past studies, the researchers found that in terms of happiness, a 13-percentage-point drop in neighborhood poverty was the equivalent of a $13,000 increase in annual income -- a dramatic increase for a population with average household income of just $20,000.


来源:华尔街日报中文版

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