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Reducing inequality: Neighborhood and school interventions

Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act and the declaration of the War on Poverty, much has changed for the better in the United States, but substantial racial inequality persists. Large gaps remain between African Americans and whites in earnings, employment, family income, health, life expectancy, incarceration, teen pregnancy, educational attainment, and academic achievement. Substantial gaps also remain between Hispanics and whites in economic and educational outcomes. Differences in socioeconomic status are increasingly linked to differences in neighborhoods and schools. Although residential racial segregation has substantially decreased since 1970, residential economic segregation has increased sharply, particularly for blacks and Hispanics, and school segregation by family income has risen. With rising economic inequality in recent decades, the effects of which socioeconomic status one is born into are magnified. In this article I use findings from two largescale projects, the Moving to Opportunity demonstration and the Harlem Children’s Zone, to examine the effects of neighborhood and school interventions on health, education, risky behaviors, and economic outcomes.


Housing, Housing Assistance, Inequality & Mobility, Neighborhood Effects, Place, Racial/Ethnic Inequality