Income Inequality: Economic Segregation and Children's Educational Attainment
AbstractHouseholds became more geographically segregated by income in the United States between 1970 and 1990. Research shows that growing up in a poor neighborhood is associated with worse outcomes for children. This suggests that economic segregation may be harmful to children. Economic inequality also increased between 1970 and 1980. Theoretical arguments suggest that the increase in inequality led to the increase in segregation. Using 1970, 1980 and 1990 Census data, I find that an increase in income inequality at the state level is associated with an increased in economic segregation between census tracts in the state. However, economic inequality between households in the same census tract hardly changed between 1970 and 1990. I then combine Census data with data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamic to show that given a constant level of economic inequality in a state, an increase in economic segregation between tracts in the same state increases affluent children's educational attainment but reduces poor children's educational attainment. Therefore segregation between census tracts increases inequality in educational attainment and may therefore increase inequality in the next generation. Economic inequality within census tracts has little effect on high or low-income children's educational attainment.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago in its series Working Papers with number 0026.
Date of creation: Nov 2000
Date of revision:
economic inequality; educational attainment; economic segregation;
Other versions of this item:
- Susan E. Mayer, 2000. "Income Inequality, Economic Segregation and Children's Educational Attainment," JCPR Working Papers 209, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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- Patrick Bayer & Hanming Fang & Robert McMillan, 2011.
"Separate When Equal? Racial Inequality and Residential Segregation,"
11-09, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- Bayer, Patrick & Fang, Hanming & McMillan, Robert, 2005. "Separate When Equal? Racial Inequality and Residential Segregation," Working Papers 9, Yale University, Department of Economics.
- Patrick Bayer & Hanming Fang & Robert McMillan, 2005. "Separate When Equal? Racial Inequality and Residential Segregation," NBER Working Papers 11507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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