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Empirics of Strategic Interdependence: The Case of the Racial Tipping Point

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  • William Easterly

Abstract

The Schelling model of a "tipping point" in racial segregation, in which whites flee a neighborhood once a threshold of nonwhites is reached, is a canonical model of strategic interdependence. The idea of "tipping" explaining segregation is widely accepted in the academic literature and popular media. I use census tract data for metropolitan areas of the US from 1970 to 2000 to test the predictions of the Schelling model and find that this particular model of strategic interaction largely fails the tests. There is more "white flight" out of neighborhoods with a high initial share of whites than out of more racially mixed neighborhoods

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15069.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Publication status: published as William Easterly, 2009. "Empirics of Strategic Interdependence: The Case of the Racial Tipping Point," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, Berkeley Electronic Press, vol. 9(1).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15069

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  1. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2007. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation," NBER Working Papers 13052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. George Galster, 1988. "Residential segregation in American cities: A contrary review," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 93-112, May.
  3. Roland Benabou, 1993. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  5. Benabou, Roland, 1993. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 619-52, August.
  6. Cutler, David & Vigdor, Jacob & Glaeser, Edward, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Scholarly Articles 2770033, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Card, David & Rothstein, Jesse, 2007. "Racial segregation and the black-white test score gap," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2158-2184, December.
  8. Charles T. Clotfelter, 2001. "Are Whites Still Fleeing? Racial Patterns and Enrollment Shifts in Urban Public Schools, 1987-1996," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(2), pages 199-221.
  9. Steven N. Durlauf, 1992. "A Theory of Persistent Income Inequality," NBER Working Papers 4056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1999. "Are Whites Still "Fleeing"? Racial Patterns and Enrollment Shifts in Urban Public Schools, 1987-1996," NBER Working Papers 7290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Aaronson, Daniel, 2001. "Neighborhood Dynamics," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-31, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Dana Schüler & Julian Weisbrod, 2006. "Ethnic Fractionalization, Migration and Growth," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 148, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  2. David Card, 2007. "How Immigration Affects U.S. Cities," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0711, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Gregorio Caetano & Vikram Maheshri, 2013. "School Segregation and the Identification of Tipping Behavior," Working Papers, Department of Economics, University of Houston 2013-252-50, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  4. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 177-218, 02.
  5. Geoffrey Heal & Howard Kunreuther, 2010. "Social Reinforcement: Cascades, Entrapment, and Tipping," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 86-99, February.

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