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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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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1999. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(4), pages 487-504.
    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. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1978. "Alternative Measures of School Desegregation: A Methodological Note," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(3), pages 373-380.
    4. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1998. "Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas," NBER Working Papers 6779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2014. "Integrated public education, fertility and human capital," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 166-180, April.
    2. Easterly William, 2009. "Empirics of Strategic Interdependence: The Case of the Racial Tipping Point," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-35, June.
    3. repec:cep:sticas:101 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2008. "Involuntary Integration in Public Education, Fertility and Human Capital," Working Papers 2008-07, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
    5. Simon Burgess & Deborah Wilson & Ruth Lupton, 2005. "Parallel lives? Ethnic segregation in schools and neighbourhoods," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6255, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. William Clark & Regan Maas, 2012. "Schools, Neighborhoods and Selection: Outcomes Across Metropolitan Los Angeles," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 339-360, June.

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