cover image Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City

Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City

Paul Jargowsky, Rudolf Steiner. Russell Sage Foundation Publications, $43.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87154-405-6

High-poverty neighborhoods in the U.S., whether black ghettos, Hispanic barrios or poor white districts, doubled in population between 1970 and 1990, concludes Jargowsky in this alarming report, a rigorous study packed with charts, tables, 1990 census data and his own extensive fieldwork. The single most important determinant of ghetto destitution, he finds, is the level of economic opportunity--when jobs are abundant during boom periods, poverty in these areas sharply decreases. Other poverty-generating factors cited by the author are mediocre education in inner-city schools, segregation by race and income, and the flight of the black middle class out of very poor neighborhoods. Assistant professor of political economy at the University of Texas, Jargowsky cogently refutes the theory that a ""culture of poverty"" thwarts upward mobility. His careful analysis of enterprise zones, job-creation strategies, local economic development schemes and housing and tax policies rounds out an essential handbook for policy makers, a major contribution to public debate over ways to reverse indigence. (Apr.)