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What Drives Racial Segregation? New Evidence Using Census Microdata

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Author Info

  • Patrick Bayer

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Robert McMillan
  • Kim Rueben

Abstract

This paper sheds new light on the forces that drive residential segregation on the basis of race, assessing the extent to which across-race differences in other household characteristics can explain a significant portion of observed racial segregation. The central contribution of the analysis is to provide a transparent new measurement framework for understanding segregation patterns. This framework allows researchers to characterize patterns of segregation, to decompose them in meaningful ways, and to carry out partial equilibrium counterfactuals that illuminate the contributions of a variety of non-race characteristics in driving segregation. We illustrate our approach using restricted micro-Census data from the San Francisco Bay Area that provide a rich joint distribution of household and neighborhood characteristics not previously available to the research community. In contrast to findings in the prior literature, our analysis indicates that individual household characteristics can explain a considerable fraction of segregation by race, explaining almost 95% of segregation for Hispanic, over 50% for Asian, and 30% for White and Black households.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 859.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:859

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Keywords: Residential Segregation; Racial Segregation; Sorting; Housing Markets;

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References

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  1. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  2. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-90, June.
  3. Ihlanfeldt, Keith R. & Scafidi, Benjamin, 2002. "Black Self-Segregation as a Cause of Housing Segregation: Evidence from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 366-390, March.
  4. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1997. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," NBER Working Papers 5881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bertrand, M. & Luttmer, E.F.P. & Mullainathan, S., 1998. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," Papers 201, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  6. Gabriel, Stuart A & Rosenthal, Stuart S, 1989. "Household Location and Race: Estimates of Multinomial Logit Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 240-49, May.
  7. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Schafer, Robert, 1979. "Racial discrimination in the Boston housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 176-196, April.
  9. King, A Thomas & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1973. "Racial Discrimination, Segregation, and the Price of Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 590-606, May-June.
  10. Miller, Vincent P. & Quigley, John M., 1990. "Segregation by Racial and Demographic Group: Evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1839w13f, University of California Transportation Center.
  11. Chambers, Daniel N., 1992. "The racial housing price differential and racially transitional neighborhoods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 214-232, September.
  12. Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "The Long-Run Consequences Of Living In A Poor Neighborhood," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1533-1575, November.
  13. Patrick Bajari & Matthew E. Kahn, . "Why Do Blacks Live in The Cities and Whites Live in the Suburbs?," Working Papers 00007, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  14. Harsman, Bjorn & Quigley, John M., 1993. "The Spatial Segregation of Ethnic and Demographic Groups: Comparative Evidence from Stockholm and San Francisco," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt910306b7, University of California Transportation Center.
  15. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," NBER Working Papers 3788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Kim Rueben, 2004. "Residential Segregation in General Equilibrium," Working Papers 885, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  17. John Yinger, 1978. "The Black-White Price Differential in Housing: Some Further Evidence," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(2), pages 187-206.
  18. George J. Borjas, 1997. "To Ghetto or Not to Ghetto: Ethnicity and Residential Segregation," NBER Working Papers 6176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
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