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Beyond concentrated poverty

Research Achievements

Beyond concentrated poverty

In the first comprehensive study of mixed-income neighborhoods in the US, trainee Laura Tach identifies two neglected questions of sociological and policy significance: Why are mixed-income neighborhoods so scarce, and what difference would it make if they became more common? It turns out, as Tach shows, that mixed-income neighborhoods *have* become increasingly common features of the metropolitan landscape since 1970, accounting for almost 1/5 of all census tracts by 2000. Yet few mixed-income neighborhoods remain stably mixed across decades. Tach shows in that places where income differences and status markers overlap, such as racial-ethnic differences, low and high income residents have little meaningful contact with each other, and friction occurs in places where they do have contact. Recognizing the social and temporal fragility of economically integrated neighborhoods may be key for policy that effectively supports, rather than undermines, them.