The Causes of Inner-City Poverty: Eight Hypotheses in Search of Reality

38 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 1999

See all articles by Michael B. Teitz

Michael B. Teitz

University of California, Berkeley

Karen Chapple

University of California, Berkeley

Abstract

Over the past 40 years, poverty among the inhabitants of U.S. inner cities has remained stubbornly resistant to public policy prescriptions. Especially for African Americans and Latinos, the gap between their economic well-being and that of the mainstream has widened despite persistent and repeated efforts to address the problem. At the same time, a continuing stream of research has sought to explain urban poverty, with a wide variety of explanations put forward as the basis for policy. This paper reviews that research, organizing it according to eight major explanations or hypotheses: structural shifts in the economy, inadequate human capital, racial and gender discrimination, adverse cultural and behavioral factors, racial and income segregation, impacts of migration, lack of endogenous growth, and adverse consequences of public policy. We conclude that all of the explanations may be relevant to urban poverty but that their significance and the degree to which they are well supported varies substantially.

JEL Classification: H59, H79

Suggested Citation

Teitz, Michael B. and Chapple, Karen, The Causes of Inner-City Poverty: Eight Hypotheses in Search of Reality. Cityscape, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=156911 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.156911

Michael B. Teitz (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Karen Chapple

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
415-642-1917 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
894
Abstract Views
5,832
rank
25,533
PlumX Metrics