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Are Whites Still Fleeing? Racial Patterns and Enrollment Shifts in Urban Public Schools, 1987-1996

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  • Charles T. Clotfelter

    (Duke University)

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    Abstract

    The effect of interracial contact in public schools on the enrollment of whites has been an important concern in assessments of desegregation since the 1970s. It has been feared that “white flight”-meaning exit from or avoidance of racially mixed public schools-could undermine the racial contact that desegregation policy seeks to enhance. This study examines this question using recent data. It also expands coverage from large urban districts to entire metropolitan areas, paying attention to the spatial context within which enrollment decisions are made. To do so, it examines data for 1987 and 1996 on racial composition and enrollment in all schools and school districts in 238 metropolitan areas. The study finds that white losses appear to be spurred both by interracial contact in districts where their children attend school and by the opportunities available in metropolitan areas for reducing that contact. These findings apply with remarkable consistency to large and small districts in both large and small metropolitan areas. Implications for metropolitan segregation are examined. © 2001 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.2022
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 199-221

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:20:y:2001:i:2:p:199-221

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    1. 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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
    2. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1978. "Alternative Measures of School Desegregation: A Methodological Note," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(3), pages 373-380.
    3. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1998. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," NBER Working Papers 6779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1979. "Urban school desegregation and declines in white enrollment: A reexamination," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 352-370, July.
    5. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1999. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(4), pages 487-504.
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    1. repec:cep:sticas:101 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. William Easterly, 2009. "Empirics of Strategic Interdependence: The Case of the Racial Tipping Point," NBER Working Papers 15069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2008. "Involuntary Integration in Public Education, Fertility and Human Capital," Working Papers, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics 2008-07, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    4. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2011. "Integrated Public Education, Fertility and Human Capital," CESifo Working Paper Series 3545, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. William Clark & Regan Maas, 2012. "Schools, Neighborhoods and Selection: Outcomes Across Metropolitan Los Angeles," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 339-360, June.
    6. Simon Burgess & Deborah Wilson & Ruth Lupton, 2005. "Parallel lives? Ethnic segregation in schools and neighbourhoods," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 6255, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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