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Race and Home Ownership, 1900 to 1990

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  • William J. Collins
  • Robert A. Margo

Abstract

The historical evolution of racial differences in income in the 20th century United States has been examined intensively by economists, but the evolution of racial differences in wealth has been examined far less. This paper uses IPUMS data to study trends in racial differences in home ownership since 1900. At the turn of the century approximately 20 percent of black adult males (ages 20 to 64) owned their homes, compared with 46 percent of white men, a gap of 26 percentage points. By 1990, the black home ownership rate had increased to 52 percent and the racial gap had fallen to 19.5 percentage points. All of the long-term rise in the rate of black home ownership, and almost all of the corresponding long-term decline in the racial gap, occurred after 1940, with the majority of both changes concentrated in the 1960 to 1980 period. We also use the IPUMS to study trends in race differences in the incidence of mortgages, and in the value of owner-occupied housing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7277.

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Date of creation: Aug 1999
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Publication status: published as Collins, William J. and Robert A. Margo. "Race And Home Ownership: A Century-Long View," Explorations in Economic History, 2001, v38(1,Jan), 68-92.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7277

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  1. Maloney, Thomas N., 1994. "Wage Compression and Wage Inequality Between Black and White Males in the United States, 1940–1960," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(02), pages 358-381, June.
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  3. Higgs, Robert, 1982. "Accumulation of Property by Southern Blacks before World War I," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 725-37, September.
  4. Blau, Francine D & Graham, John W, 1990. "Black-White Differences in Wealth and Asset Composition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 321-39, May.
  5. William J. Collins, 2001. "Race, Roosevelt, and Wartime Production: Fair Employment in World War II Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 272-286, March.
  6. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  7. Terrell, Henry S, 1971. "Wealth Accumulation of Black and White Families: The Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, American Finance Association, vol. 26(2), pages 363-77, May.
  8. John J. Donohue III & James Heckman, 1991. "Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," NBER Working Papers 3894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  10. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  11. Margo, Robert A., 1992. "Explaining the postwar suburbanization of population in the United States: The role of income," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 301-310, May.
  12. Robert A. Margo, 1983. "Accumulation of Property by Southern Blacks Before World War I: Commentand Further Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Kristopher S. Gerardi & Paul S. Willen, 2008. "Subprime mortgages, foreclosures, and urban neighborhoods," Public Policy Discussion Paper, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 08-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Conlin, Michael & Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Chapman, Gabrielle, 2013. "Voluntary disclosure and the strategic behavior of colleges," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 48-64.

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