Mixed-Income Project (MIP)

Mixed-income housing is a major policy paradigm in the U.S., but research evaluating its sources and consequences is relatively sparse. The evidence that does exist has produced conflicting results, and much of the writing about mixed-income neighborhoods, and income inequality more generally, is normative rather than analytic. Moreover, whereas proportionately few people live in planned mixed-income housing developments, mixed-income neighborhoods that are organic or “naturally occurring” are relatively more common, and yet we do not know much about their course of development—whether for individuals or at the neighborhood level.

The “Mixed-Income Project” addresses this gap in knowledge by advancing a new, more “holistic” view of the individual and aggregate dynamics of mixed-income housing.  Funded by the John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the project is led by Principal Investigators Robert J. Sampson (Harvard) and Robert D. Mare (UCLA).  The major innovation of the study was to design and collect original data on the life-course experiences of individuals living in mixed-income neighborhoods, especially naturally occurring mixed-income areas.  We selected Chicago and Los Angeles as the two data collection sites in order to draw on a rich set of preexisting longitudinal data from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods and the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Study. Over the course of three years and ending in 2013, the Mixed-Income Project (or MIP) completed re-interview surveys based on a multi-level, longitudinal study of a representative sample of over 1,000 individuals originally living in Chicago and over 1,000 individuals originally living in Los Angeles. These data were combined with twenty-five years of census data on all neighborhoods (circa 65,000) in the U.S.  Analyses are ongoing, and papers will be posted on this site as they become available.