University of Wisconsin–Madison
Focus and Focus+ Icon

Poverty, neighborhood, and school setting

Three panelists addressed various aspects of how neighborhoods and schools affect poverty and inequality. First, Lincoln Quillian gave an overview of the relationship between neighborhood and poverty. Based on current evidence, he concludes that neighborhood matters more for low-income families than for higher-income ones, and more for children than for adults. These findings may indicate an opportunity to reduce poverty by changing housing assistance policy. Second, David Deming discussed the implications of school segregation for school outcomes and inequality. He concludes that while academic achievement gaps can be closed by improving school practice, schools can promote social norms such as tolerance and civic participation only through integrative student assignment policies. Finally, Stephen Raudenbush considered the question of whether schooling increases or decreases social inequality. He argues that the expansion of schooling promotes equality both by equalizing access and because disadvantaged children gain more from access, and that this equalizing effect is larger for younger children than for older children.


Education & Training, Inequality & Mobility, Intergenerational Poverty, K-12 Education, Neighborhood Effects, Place, Place General