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Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap

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  • Jacob Vigdor
  • Jens Ludwig

Abstract

The mid-1980s witnessed breaks in two important trends related to race and schooling. School segregation, which had been declining, began a period of relative stasis. Black-white test score gaps, which had also been declining, also stagnated. The notion that these two phenomena may be related is also supported by basic cross-sectional evidence. We review existing literature on the relationship between neighborhood- and school-level segregation and the test score gap. Several recent studies point to a statistically significant causal relationship between school segregation and the test score gap, though in many cases the magnitude of the relationship is small in economic terms. Experimental studies, as well as methodologically convincing non-experimental studies, suggest that there is little if any causal role for neighborhood segregation operating through a mechanism other than school segregation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12988.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Publication status: published as Magnuson, K. and J. Waldfogel (eds.) "Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap." Russell Sage, 2008.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12988

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Cited by:
  1. Simon Burgess & Deborah Wilson & Adam Briggs & Anete Piebalga, 2008. "Segregation and the Attainment of Minority Ethnic Pupils in England," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/204, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Robert Bifulco & Jason Fletcher & Stephen Ross, 2008. "The Effect of Classmate Characteristics on Individual Outcomes: Evidence from the Add Health," Working papers 2008-21, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2009.
  3. Wenhua Di & James C. Murdoch, 2010. "The impact of LIHTC program on local schools," Working Papers 1006, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  4. Di, Wenhua & Murdoch, James C., 2013. "The impact of the low income housing tax credit program on local schools," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 308-320.

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