Diversity sucks

Northwest Florida Daily News: How much does a neighborhood affect the poor?

The program, called Moving to Opportunity, was administered by HUD. A private firm called Abt Associates was contracted to track participants. Researchers at Harvard, Princeton, Northwestern and other institutions played a role in designing studies related to the program and analyzing the data.

When the program was launched, housing vouchers were seen as a promising antidote to urban poverty. Researchers had pinpointed ghettos as a culprit in the worsening fortunes of many poor, minority families. Free them from the poisonous cocktail of drugs and crime brewing in city ghettos, scholars reasoned, and the families would have a chance to leave poverty behind.

But results show that may only partially be true. “It would have been wonderful to have discovered the magic bullet,” says Jeffrey Liebman, a Harvard economist who has studied the program.

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