FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Theses, dissertations, documentation

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 6 | 7 || 9 | 10 |   ...   | 56 |

«Moving to opportunity voluMe 14, nuMber 2 • 2012 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development | Office of Policy Development and Research ...»

-- [ Page 8 ] --

Indeed, the leading social science thinking of that time (Kain, 1968; Wilson, 1987) emphasized nonracial aspects of the isolation of high-poverty neighborhoods as critical to their apparent negative effects. Kain’s spatial mismatch theory pointed to the physical distance between the residents of such neighborhoods and the jobs for which they were qualified. Wilson’s theory stressed the departure of the African-American middle class, after the Fair Housing Act of 1968, from ghettos to which open discrimination had previously confined them. As beneficial as that departure might prove to those who had left, Wilson held that the loss of role models and community leaders had severely affected those who remained.

HUD2 proposed a rigorous experiment testing differences in outcomes between two groups of very low-income families with children, drawn from high-poverty neighborhoods in large metropolitan areas: one group that was offered counseling intended to result in a low-poverty subsidized rental placement (later known as the experimental group, or the low-poverty voucher group), and one group simply received a rent subsidy voucher with no such assistance (later known as the Section 8 group, or the traditional voucher group). Congress approved the study in the Appropriations Acts funding HUD operations in fiscal years 1992 and 1993 and authorized it in Section 152 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, deviating from the HUD language only in narrowing the target population to residents of public and assisted housing in high-poverty census tracts and in mandating both short- and long-run reporting on the results.3 The change in targeting was significant: it required greater cooperation from public housing authorities (PHAs) and project owners; furthermore, unsubsidized tenants in high-poverty neighborhoods have somewhat different incentives and might have different characteristics from their assisted neighbors.4 The Appropriations Acts provided $70 million in additional voucher funding to support the demonstration.

HUD implementation of the demonstration required further decisionmaking. First, high- and low-poverty areas had to be defined. The high-poverty criterion—40 percent or more of the census tract population—was readily available from Jargowsky and Bane (1991). HUD chose as a criterion for target tracts that less than 10 percent of the population lived below the poverty line.

HUD derived that standard from U.S. Census maps, which showed that very large portions of the landmass in most metropolitan areas were located in tracts meeting that specification, a fact that, Shroder wrote most of the original legislative language.

HUD Assistant Secretary John Weicher and Senate Appropriations staff member Bruce Katz negotiated the narrower targeting in a meeting in 1992, but neither remembers who proposed it. Both HUD Secretary Jack Kemp and Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Katz’s principal, were committed to the orderly demolition of distressed public housing without reconcentration of poverty in other places.

Giving a housing voucher to someone living in private-market housing is a fundamentally different “treatment” from giving a voucher to someone who is already living in public housing. The latter is already receiving a substantial housing subsidy, although the person has no choice about where to use it; the former is unsubsidized. For some consequences, see Jacob and Ludwig (2012) and Mills et al. (2006).

Cityscape 33Shroder and Orr

presumably, would enhance the possibility for successful placements.5 In a competitive process requiring a joint application from a PHA and a nonprofit provider of counseling services, HUD selected five metropolitan areas as demonstration sites: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.6 HUD also had to determine whether the experimental group would face any special limitations in its use of vouchers. In general, geographic limitations on the use of vouchers would expressly violate the Housing Act of 1937. The authorization for the demonstration, however, could validly be interpreted as permitting deviation from that general rule. In 1993, HUD decided that, for purposes of testing the effect of neighborhood on families, it would limit the experimental group vouchers to low-poverty census tracts.7 Without that decision, MTO would have been a test of the effect of counseling on achieving mobility to low-poverty neighborhoods. Without the constraints on use, however, many fewer low-poverty placements would have been in the sample.

HUD used an existing contract with Abt Associates Inc. to design and implement the experiment.8 The first and most important issue for the contractor was how many random-assignment groups to create. Although $70 million for vouchers, in 1992 money, was a substantial support for a social science project, the number of vouchers available would be quite limited. The appropriations supported vouchers not for 1 year, which is current practice, but for 5; given inflation, that funding pattern effectively reduced the number of new families assisted by a factor of more than five. Moreover, families with children, in general, require larger units than the voucher program average unit size, and units in metropolitan areas, especially in better neighborhoods, require more subsidy because area rents are higher than the national average. Finally, the authorizing language required that some of the vouchers be used within the regular Section 8 program rules.

Given that HUD could not furnish large numbers of eligible families with vouchers in any case, Abt9 argued that it was both ethical and scientifically necessary to have a control group that would receive neither a low-poverty nor a traditional voucher. The creation of a control group in addition to the two voucher treatment groups would allow for strong comparisons of the effect of neighborhood on low-income families with children.

Random assignment began in Baltimore in 1994 and concluded in Los Angeles in 1998. We leave the results of the experiment to other articles in this symposium. The remainder of this article concerns the following issues: (1) Was a full-blown randomized social experiment necessary, or During implementation of the demonstration, families in the experimental group with large numbers of children were allowed to use their vouchers in somewhat higher poverty tracts.

Shroder and Bill Murphy were the authors of the Notice of Funding Availability for the site competition. The selection of the 40-percent poverty standard proved not to be innocuous, because some metropolitan areas did not have large numbers of such tracts or large amounts of public and assisted housing in them. This standard worked against the selection of otherwise strong proposals from Seattle and Fort Worth, among others.

The principal policymaker was Assistant Secretary Michael Stegman.

Shroder and John Goering were the authors of the initial Statement of Work.

Orr was Abt’s principal investigator on the project.

–  –  –

could “natural experimental” or “quasi-experimental” studies have produced equally valid results?

(2) What was unique about MTO? (3) Where do we stand today regarding the concentration of poverty? Are the issues the same or are they different?

Was a Randomized Social Experiment Necessary?

The use of administrative records about families placed in different neighborhoods on a quasirandom basis has led to claims, both in the Gautreaux program and elsewhere, that the experience of those families constitutes a “quasi-experiment” or a “natural experiment.”10 Unless these phrases are stretched well beyond their intended meaning, this claim is mistaken. Housing agencies in every case used by researchers to date have not kept data on the families who refused the placement, and the families who refuse placement in a “good” neighborhood are probably different from the families who refuse placement in a “bad” one. Consequently, even if the offer of the unit was made randomly, the placement was not.

Mendenhall, DeLuca, and Duncan (2006) reported known characteristics of the Gautreaux households that actually leased up at the time the offer of a city or suburban unit occurred. Exhibit 1 displays the results.

–  –  –

observables is itself of no great importance from an evaluation perspective, because one can control for observables in multivariate analysis. Necessarily, however, one cannot control for unobserved differences that might also bias the analysis.

Differences that would normally be unobserved (because information about them is generally not collected) turned out to be important in MTO. Shroder (2002) analyzed the probability of a family in the experimental group making use of the offer of a low-poverty voucher. Exhibit 2 shows that uncertainty about liking a new neighborhood, level of comfort with sending a child to a nearly all-White school, dissatisfaction with the current neighborhood, and preferred distance from that current unit that the family head would like to move are all strongly associated, either positively or negatively, with actual lease up. These factors associated with placement might also be associated with other outcomes, such as employment and education, and could bias studies based on observational data. These attitudinal indicators would not normally be collected and, therefore,

–  –  –

researchers could not control for them. Even with all the variables shown, however, the model in exhibit 2 correctly predicts only 65 percent of lease-up outcomes. We simply do not know all the factors that affect residential decisions for a given family, and asserting that what we don’t know won’t hurt us when we analyze other outcomes would be presumptuous. The value of a large-sample randomization is to ensure that these unmeasured or unmeasurable factors will balance out among the two treatment groups and the control group.

As long as tenants can refuse a unit that is offered to them, and housing authorities do not track the families that refuse units, it is difficult to say whether differences in the realized outcomes of families who accept random placements reflect the effect of neighborhood or merely the differing unmeasured characteristics of the families themselves.11 Readers can find additional evidence on the critical importance of randomization in Kling, Liebman, and Katz (2007) and Ludwig and Kling (2007). Their evidence is entirely different from what we present here but is entirely supportive of this point. For example, Ludwig and Kling wrote that applying nonexperimental techniques to MTO data yields evidence that crime is contagious—that is, bad examples from peers in bad neighborhoods tend to cause young men to commit crimes— but that after making use of the experimental design of MTO, they find “no evidence that contagion is as important as much of the previous research would suggest…” (Ludwig and Kling, 2007: 511).

In short, a randomized social experiment was necessary to estimate the effects of neighborhood on very low-income families with children. Nonexperimental techniques cannot solve the fundamental obstacles to valid inference.

What Makes MTO Unique?

MTO was remarkable in (1) the questions it asked, (2) the depth and scope of the effects it analyzed, (3) the range and quality of data sources it tapped, and (4) the long period over which it tracked participating families. Taken together, these attributes make MTO pathbreaking social policy research.

In this section, we explore each way that MTO distinguished itself from other social research.

The Research Question The question that MTO set out to address—What is the effect of neighborhood on low-income families?—is absolutely fundamental to our understanding of the nature of poverty. At least since the 1960s, various social scientists have hypothesized that concentrated poverty engenders a “culture of poverty” that encourages shortsighted, self-defeating behavior that traps low-income families in the underclass (see Harrington, 1962; Lewis, 1959). Although the culture of poverty is not synonymous with spatial concentration of low-income residents, such concentration would at least facilitate the social isolation that is advanced as a hallmark of that culture. Although the concept of a culture of poverty is controversial among social scientists, it is at least plausible that If housing authorities both randomized placement offers and maintained good records on families who rejected them, the baseline situation would be equivalent to that of a randomized experiment.

–  –  –

the lack of community resources and successful role models in areas of concentrated poverty could undermine the motivation and aspirations of low-income families and limit their access to highquality education, jobs, and other prerequisites of a healthy, prosperous life.

Nonetheless, the personal attributes of low-income people that may serve as barriers to success— for example, low education, lack of skills and job experience, poor health—would be present regardless of their residential location. The relative contributions of personal characteristics and residential environment to the poverty problem have been an unsolved riddle since the inception of the War on Poverty in the 1960s. Unlike most demonstrations, which seek only to test some specific approach to a problem, MTO set out to help us understand the problem in the only way we could hope to—with a rigorous experimental design capable of separating the effects of neighborhood from the effects of personal characteristics.

MTO did more than that, however. It also sought to measure the effectiveness of the two principal

approaches that HUD had used throughout most of its history to address the poverty problem:

public housing and rent vouchers. This ambitious combination of basic research and policy research objectives makes MTO unique among the major social experiments of the past 40 years.

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 6 | 7 || 9 | 10 |   ...   | 56 |

Similar works:

«IJQRM Policy Formulation by Use of 11,5 QFD Techniques: A Case Study M. Philips, P. Sander and C. Govers Received October 1993 University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands The quality function deployment (QFD) theory has been developed for application in product design procedures, leading to designs that reflect customer requirements better. Moreover, QFD application to product design can achieve better communication between disciplines in a company such as marketing, design and...»

«SAMPLE POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL ANY BAPTIST CHURCH SUBJECT: CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION AND SAFETY POLICY INTRODUCTION The main objective of this policy is to provide a safe environment for the children (newborn through age seventeen) entrusted to the Church. In seeking to accomplish this objective, two other important objectives are being accomplished: the protection of the Church’s workers from false allegations as well as the reduction of the Church’s risk and liability exposure. To...»

«10 STEPS FOR INTEGRATING GENDER INTO THE POLICY-MAKING PROCESS Gender mainstreaming, by definition, involves integrating a gender perspective and gender analysis into all stages of designing, implementing and evaluating projects, policies and programmes.The 10 Steps for Gender Mainstreaming include: 1. A Mainstreaming Approach to Stakeholders: Who are the Decision-Makers? 2. Mainstreaming a Gender Agenda: What is the Issue? 3. Moving Towards Gender Equality: What is the Goal? 4. Mapping the...»

«Salt Lake Community College Policies and Procedures Manual 3.01 Cabinet Approval: INTERNAL AUDIT Board of Trustees Approval: 11/13/2013 CHAPTER # 1 POLICY # 3.01 I. POLICY The Internal Audit Department assists Salt Lake Community College in accomplishing its objectives by providing an independent appraisal of risk management, internal controls, effectiveness, efficiency, and compliance with applicable laws, regulations, rules, and procedures. Internal Audit maintains a comprehensive program of...»

«An Affiliate of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 820 First Street NE, Suite 460 Washington, DC 20002 (202) 408-1080 Fax (202) 408-8173 www.dcfpi.org DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA’S TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF) PROGRAM Overview Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federal block grant that DC and the states receive to provide income assistance, job training, and other supportive services to low-income families with children. Created by the Personal...»

«Information Technology Policy INFORMATION AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY MANUAL Information Technology Policy Information and Technology Policy (Created by the Board of Directors as a separate policy manual on April 19, 2012. Last amended January 2016). Table of Contents IT GOVERNANCE IT Oversight Body Risk Management Risk Registry Policy Management Acceptable Use Policy IT Management IT Security Training ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT Change Management Controls Physical and Environmental Controls Software...»

«IIIEE Theses 2013:05 Responsible Investment Understanding and Improving ESG Engagement with Chinese Investee Companies Kei Yau Sin Supervisors Naoko Tojo Torbjörn Brorson Thesis for the fulfilment of the Master of Science in Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management Lund, Sweden, June 2013 MESPOM Programme: Lund University – University of Manchester University of the Aegean – Central European University Erasmus Mundus Masters Course in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management MESPOM...»

«AFTER THE DAGGERS : POLITICS AND PERSUASION AFTER THE ASSASSINATION OF CAESAR Trevor Bryan Mahy A Thesis Submitted for the Degree of PhD at the University of St. Andrews Full metadata for this item is available in the St Andrews Digital Research Repository at: https://research-repository.st-andrews.ac.uk/ Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/928 This item is protected by original copyright This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License...»

«Journal of Research and Reflections in Education December 2011, Vol.5, No.2, pp 83 -104 http://www.ue.edu.pk/jrre The Process of Malaysian Smart School Policy Cycle: A Qualitative Analysis Simin Ghavifekr, Sufean Hussin, Muhammad Faizal A. Ghani Abstract: Since 1999 the Malaysian education ministry had introduced the Smart School Policy (SSP) as the government’s aspiration for technology utilization in the teaching-learning processes. The purpose of the policy was to create a vibrant learning...»

«Induction COMPANY INDUCTION POLICY AND CHECKLIST POLICY STATEMENT 1. GENERAL Company believes that all new employees MUST be given timely induction training. This training is regarded as a vital part of staff recruitment and integration into the working environment. This policy, associated procedures and guidelines define the Company’s commitment to ensure that all staff are supported during the period of induction, to the benefit of the employee and Company alike. 2. AIM It is the aim of the...»

«Conceptual evolution and policy developments in lifelong learning Edited by Jin Yang and Raúl Valdés-Cotera Conceptual evolution and policy developments in lifelong learning Edited by Jin Yang and Raúl Valdés-Cotera Published 2011 by UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning Feldbrunnenstraße 58 20148 Hamburg Germany © UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning While the programmes of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) are established along the lines laid down by the General...»


<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.theses.xlibx.info - Theses, dissertations, documentation

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.