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Moving Toward Integration

Richard Sander, Yana Kucheva, and Jonathan Zasloff

Reducing residential segregation is the best way to reduceracial inequality in the United States. African American employment rates,earnings, test scores, even longevity all improve sharply as residentialintegration increases. Yet far too many participants in our policy andpolitical conversations have come to believe that the battle to integrateAmerica’s cities cannot be won. Richard Sander, Yana Kucheva, and JonathanZasloff write that the pessimism surrounding desegregation in housing arisesfrom an inadequate understanding of how segregation has evolved and how policyinterventions have already set many metropolitan areas on the path tointegration.

Scholars have debated for decades whether America’s fairhousing laws are effective. Moving toward Integration provides the mostdefinitive account to date of how those laws were shaped and implemented andwhy they had a much larger impact in some parts of the country than others. Ituses fresh evidence and better analytic tools to show when factors likeexclusionary zoning and income differences between blacks and whites posesubstantial obstacles to broad integration, and when they do not.

Through its interdisciplinary approach and use of rich newdata sources, Moving toward Integration offers the first comprehensive analysisof American housing segregation. It explains why racial segregation has beenresilient even in an increasingly diverse and tolerant society, and itdemonstrates how public policy can align with demographic trends to achievebroad housing integration within a generation.

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