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Empirics of Strategic Interdependence: The Case of the Racial Tipping Point

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  • Easterly William

    ()
    (New York University)

Abstract

The Schelling model of a “tipping point" in racial segregation, in which whites flee a neighborhood once a threshold of nonwhites is reached, is a canonical model of strategic interdependence. The idea of “tipping" explaining segregation is widely accepted in the academic literature and popular media. I use census tract data for metropolitan areas of the U.S. from 1970 to 2000 to test the predictions of the Schelling model and find that this particular model of strategic interaction largely fails the tests. There is more “white flight" out of neighborhoods with a high initial share of whites than out of more racially mixed neighborhoods.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 1-35

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:25

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  1. Durlauf, Steven N, 1996. " A Theory of Persistent Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 75-93, March.
  2. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
  3. George Galster, 1988. "Residential segregation in American cities: A contrary review," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 93-112, May.
  4. David Card & Jesse Rothstein, 2005. "Racial Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap," Working Papers 93, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  5. Bénabou, Roland, 1993. "Heterogeneity, Stratification and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 815, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 177-218, 02.
  8. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  9. Charles T. Clotfelter, 2001. "Are Whites Still Fleeing? Racial Patterns and Enrollment Shifts in Urban Public Schools, 1987-1996," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 199-221.
  10. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1999. "Are Whites Still "Fleeing"? Racial Patterns and Enrollment Shifts in Urban Public Schools, 1987-1996," NBER Working Papers 7290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Aaronson, Daniel, 2001. "Neighborhood Dynamics," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-31, January.
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Cited by:
  1. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2007. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation," NBER Working Papers 13052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gregorio Caetano & Vikram Maheshri, 2013. "School Segregation and the Identification of Tipping Behavior," Working Papers 2013-252-50, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  3. Dana Schüler & Julian Weisbrod, 2006. "Ethnic Fractionalization, Migration and Growth," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 148, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Geoffrey Heal & Howard Kunreuther, 2010. "Social Reinforcement: Cascades, Entrapment, and Tipping," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 86-99, February.
  5. David Card, 2007. "How Immigration Affects U.S. Cities," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0711, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

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