Neighbourhood Effects as Indirect Effects: Evidence from a Dutch Case Study on the Significance of Neighbourhood for Employment Trajectories


  • The author would like to thank Joos Droogleever Fortuijn, Wouter van Gent, Edith de Meester, Willem Boterman and the anonymous IJURR referees for their useful suggestions and comments on previous versions of this article.


One of the key challenges in the study of neighbourhood effects on work is to understand the pathways through which disadvantaged neighbourhoods impact the employment opportunities of residents. Endogenous explanations for neighbourhood effects focus on social life in these neighbourhoods, identifying mechanisms of social isolation, deviant work ethics and neighbourhood disorder. This article studies these mechanisms in a low-income neighbourhood in the Netherlands. The case study shows that unfavourable socioeconomic outcomes can be indirect and unintended consequences of actions and choices in everyday life that are not directly concerned with work. Nevertheless, these individual actions and choices reflect local social practices that are influenced by the marginalized context in which residents lead their lives.