Miren Lafourcade (RITM, Université Paris-Saclay) is the laureate of a €339,578 research grant awarded by the French National Agency for Research (ANR), for her research project “Urban Neighborhoods and Economic Opportunities” co-piloted with Gabrielle Fack (PSL-Université Paris-Dauphine).
This project aims at analyzing the drivers of urban segregation in France over the past 50 years, and its long-term consequences on the different generations of individuals settling in or transiting through low-income neighborhoods. France is particularly suited to study these questions, as it is a frontrunner country both in experiencing neighborhood dynamics induced by large population flows and in implementing place-based policies to mitigate the effects of such dynamics. Furthermore, the post-1960 period covers defining historical moments that led to a subsequent transformation of French cities: the large (im)migration waves triggered by French decolonization, the construction of unprecedented suburban housing compounds commonly known as “Grands ensembles”, and the strong de-industrialization and globalization processes in the aftermath of oil crises. These historical shocks offer a unique opportunity to leverage exogenous drivers of residential choices and aggregate neighborhood composition, and to provide a causal assessment of the impact of neighborhoods on individuals’ opportunities. The “URBOPP” project will not only give new insights into the effect of neighborhoods on individuals’ life chances but also evaluate public policies likely to help low-income residents step out of spatial poverty traps.