«Moving to opportunity voluMe 14, nuMber 2 • 2012 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development | Office of Policy Development and Research ...»
Quigley, John M., and Steven Raphael. 2008. “Neighborhoods, Economic Self-Sufficiency and the MTO Program,” Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution Press: 1–46.
Rosenbaum, James E. 1995. “Changing the Geography of Opportunity by Expanding Residential Choice: Lessons From the Gautreaux Program,” Housing Policy Debate 6 (1): 231–269.
Rubinowitz, Leonard S., and James E. Rosenbaum. 2000. Crossing the Class and Color Lines: From Public Housing to White Suburbia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Sampson, Robert J. 2012. Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Sampson, Robert J., Jeffrey D. Morenoff, and Thomas Gannon-Rowley. 2002. “Assessing ‘Neighborhood Effects’: Social Processes and New Directions in Research,” Annual Review of Sociology 28:
Sampson, Robert J., Stephen W. Raudenbush, and Felton Earls. 1997. “Neighborhoods and Violent Crime: A Multilevel Study of Collective Efficacy,” Science 277 (5328): 918–924.
Sampson, Robert J., Patrick Sharkey, and Stephen W. Raudenbush. 2008. “Durable Effects of Concentrated Disadvantage on Verbal Ability Among African-American Children.” In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105 (3): 845–852.
Sanbonmatsu, Lisa, Jens Ludwig, Larry F. Katz, Lisa A. Gennetian, Greg J. Duncan, Ronald C.
Kessler, Emma Adam, Thomas W. McDade, and Stacy Tessler Lindau. 2011. Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing Demonstration Program: Final Impacts Evaluation. Report prepared by the National Bureau of Economic Research for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research.
Sanbonmatsu, Lisa, Jordan Marvakov, Nicholas A. Potter, Fanghua Yang, Emma Adam, William J.
Congdon, Greg J. Duncan, Lisa A. Gennetian, Lawrence F. Katz, Jeffrey R. Kling, Ronald C. Kessler, Stacy Tessler Lindau, Jens Ludwig, and Thomas W. McDade. 2012. “The Long-Term Effects of Moving to Opportunity on Adult Health and Economic Self-Sufficiency,” Cityscape 14 (2): 109–136.
Sharkey, Patrick. 2010. “The Acute Effect of Local Homicides on Children’s Cognitive Performance.” In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (26): 11733–11738.
Shroder, Mark D., and Larry L. Orr. 2012. “Moving to Opportunity: Why, How, and What Next?” Cityscape 14 (2): 31–56.
Truman, Jennifer L., and Michael R. Rand. 2011. National Crime Victimization Survey: Criminal Victimization, 2010. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin.
Turner, Margery Austin. 2012. “Commentary: MTO’s Contribution to a Virtuous Cycle of Policy Experimentation and Learning,” Cityscape 14 (2): 213–218.
Turner, Margery Austin, Jennifer Comey, Daniel Kuehn, and Austin Nichols. 2011. Residential Mobility and Exposure to High-Opportunity Neighborhoods: Insights From the Moving to Opportunity Demonstration. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Votruba, Mark Edward, and Jeffrey R. Kling. 2009. “Effects of Neighborhood Characteristics on the Mortality of Black Male Youth: Evidence From Gautreaux, Chicago,” Social Science & Medicine 68 (5): 814–823.
Watson, Tara. 2009. “Inequality and the Measurement of Residential Segregation by Income in American Neighborhoods,” Review of Income and Wealth 55 (3): 820–844.
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Wilson, William Julius. 1987. The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Zimring, Franklin E. 2011. The City That Became Safe: New York’s Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control. New York: Oxford University Press.
Additional Reading Kemple, James J. 2008. Career Academies: Long-Term Impacts on Labor Market Outcomes, Educational Attainment and Transitions to Adulthood. New York: MDRC.
Maguire, Sheila, Joshua Freely, Carol Clymer, Maureen Conway, and Deena Schwartz. 2010. Tuning In to Local Labor Markets: Findings From the Sectoral Employment Impact Study. New York: Public/ Private Ventures.
Riccio, James A. 2010. Sustained Earnings Gains for Residents in a Public Housing Jobs Program: SevenYear Findings From the Jobs-Plus Demonstration. Policy brief. New York: MDRC.
28 Moving to Opportunity Acknowledgment of Extraordinary Obligations Nancy Gebler Lisa A. Gennetian Jens Ludwig Lisa Sanbonmatsu The guest editor and authors of the second, fourth, and fifth articles in this symposium (Gebler et al., Sanbonmatsu et al., and Gennetian et al.) have extraordinary obligations to acknowledge the following organizations and individuals for their contributions to the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) for Fair Housing demonstration.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided the MTO data.
Support for the long-term (10- to 15-year) MTO followup study came from the HUD Contract C–CHI–00808 to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and funding from the National Science Foundation (SES–0527615), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (R01–HD040404; R01–HD040444), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (R49–CE000906), the National Institute of Mental Health (R01–MH077026), the National Institute on Aging (P20–AG012180; R56–AG031259; P01–AG005842–22S1), the National Opinion Research Center’s Population Research Center (R24–HD051152–04 from NICHD), the University of Chicago Center for Health Administration Studies, the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (R305U070006), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to the Urban Institute.
The authors thank Todd M. Richardson, Mark D. Shroder, Kevin J. Neary, Erika Poethig, and Raphael Bostic at HUD for their support, advice, and openmindedness about the study design;
Larry L. Orr for feedback on the 10- to 15-year MTO evaluation; and Jeffrey R. Kling for his sage advice. J. Lawrence Aber, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Charles Brown, Thomas D. Cook, Kenneth Dodge, Felton Earls, Ronald Ferguson, John Goering, Christopher Jencks, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Edgar O. Olsen, Robert Sampson, Eldar Shafir, Laurence Steinberg, and Jane Waldfogel comprised the MTO study’s Technical Review Panel.
The authors also thank numerous other collaborators who assisted with a variety of substantive and methodological components of the MTO study. Conversations with Robert Whitaker of Temple University and James Meigs of Harvard University provided important insights about the analysis and interpretation of the medical findings in the long-term MTO data. Nancy Sampson and her research team at the Harvard Medical School constructed the mental health outcomes. Nicholas
Potter, Fanghua Yang, Jordan Marvakov, Matthew Sciandra, and former research assistants and analysts Alessandra Del Conte Dickovick, Santhi Hariprasad, Plamen Nikolov, Magali Fassiotto, Ijun Lai, Joe Amick, Ryan Gillette, Michael A. Zabek, and Sabrina Yusuf assisted with survey instrument development, data preparation, and analysis. Janet Stein at NBER, Michael Weis at Northwestern University, and Kari Beardsley, Sabrina Fisher, and Aida Cavalic at The Brookings Institution helped manage the numerous grants that supported this study.
The authors thank Dan Feenberg for his technical advice, Mohan Ramanujan and Len McCain for their help in supporting the technological needs of the project, and Korland Simmons for his administrative support of the project. The efforts of Nancy Gebler and the field team at the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center ensured a high-quality administration of the survey interview. Jerry Yeo and Christine Lee at the University of Chicago assisted in carrying out separate analyses that helped validate dried blood spot measures for health outcomes among MTO participants. Heidi Guyer at the Health and Retirement Study provided the dried blood spot protocols. Maryann Chandler at Flexsite Laboratories and Eric Whitsel, leader of the biology core of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, provided guidance on dried blood spot measurement and assay.
30 Moving to Opportunity
Moving to Opportunity:
Why, How, and What Next?
Mark D. Shroder U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Larry L. Orr Johns Hopkins University The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Abstract We discuss the policy background for the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) for Fair Housing demonstration experiment, the innovations in its design and implementation, and a few of the implications for future policy. We explain why a full-blown randomized experiment was necessary, in what ways MTO was unique, and whether the issues posed by concentrated poverty are the same today as when Congress first authorized the experiment.
IntroductionIn 2001, Shroder wrote the following in this journal (italics added):
Moving to Opportunity (MTO) is a demonstration designed to ensure a rigorous evaluation of the impacts of helping very low-income families with children to move from public and assisted housing in high-poverty inner-city neighborhoods to middle-class neighborhoods throughout a metropolitan area.
Poverty in the United States has become increasingly concentrated in high-poverty areas.
These concentrated high-poverty, usually urban, and frequently segregated neighborhoods are widely thought to deny their residents opportunities by denying them access to good schools, safe streets, successful role models, and good places to work… We do not know the extent to which moving the poor out of concentrated poverty neighborhoods, in fact, increases their life chances. Poor people who live in concentrated poverty may differ from other poor people both in ways that can be observed, like race
or age, and in ways that may not be observed, like aspiration or persistence. Any differences in people’s outcomes that seem to be associated with the neighborhoods in which they reside might be caused by those neighborhoods—or might be caused by unobserved factors that also affect the sorting of people into different neighborhoods. Only an experiment in which neighborhoods are allocated randomly can answer this question. (Shroder, 2001: 57) In this article, we discuss the policy background for the experiment, the innovations in its design and implementation, and a few of the policy implications, providing particular attention to the items italicized in the preceding passage from 2001.
The problem of concentrated poverty was much in the news in the early 1990s, when MTO began.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in principle, could have conducted this experiment 10 years earlier or 10 years later than it did, but Congress would not have had quite the same motivation to authorize it. In the early 1990s, gangs ruled or contested certain neighborhoods in the inner city, obtaining large illicit revenues from crack cocaine. In a background of high poverty, family disintegration, and social isolation, either the illicit revenues or the effects of the drug itself drove a tenfold increase in the rate of homicide among young African-American men in the late 1980s (Cook, 2009). Journalists like Kotlowitz (1991) and Lehman (1991) produced affecting portraits of brutality, isolation, and hopelessness oppressing another generation of young people. The idea of an underclass barely under the control of the larger society grew markedly after the Los Angeles riots of 1992, associated with the beating of Rodney King.
The subsidized housing stock was in the center of the storm. The National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing (1992) estimated that 86,000 public housing units (6 percent of the stock) were severely distressed, based on high incidences of serious crime, physical deterioration, and a constellation of management issues—high vacancy rates, high move-out rates, high refusal rates from tenants offered units, and low rates of rent collection. Much of the distressed stock was located in the center-city areas of blighted “ghetto poverty” that urban planners had no idea how to address (Jargowsky and Bane, 1991).
In certain jurisdictions, federal courts had ordered mobility programs to remedy the racial segregation of much of the public housing stock. One of these court orders came in the case of Dorothy Gautreaux et al. vs. Chicago.1 The remedy agreed upon involved a special program to locate rental units in White suburbs or generally improving city neighborhoods and to facilitate their leasing to low-income African-American families. Early followup studies with the clients of the Gautreaux initiative (for example, Kaufman and Rosenbaum, 1992; Rosenbaum, 1991; Rosenbaum et al.,
1991) appeared to show striking evidence for neighborhood effects. Low-income African-American families had moved with housing assistance to largely White neighborhoods in both the city and the suburbs, but researchers later observed considerable differences in employment and education outcomes between those who had moved to the suburbs and those who had moved to the city.
The Gautreaux case was first filed in 1966. It resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in the plaintiffs’ favor in 1976, and the first of several negotiated settlement agreements occurred in 1981.
The lead plaintiffs’ attorney in the Gautreaux case, Alexander Polikoff, approached HUD and its congressional appropriators with this evidence and broached the idea of replicating Gautreaux in one or more other cities. The idea, in general, was acceptable to both Congress and the George Bush Administration when framed in terms of poverty concentration rather than racial segregation.