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The Housing Market Impact of State-Level Anti-Discrimination Laws, 1960-970

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  • William J. Collins

Abstract

This paper measures the housing market impact of state-level anti-discrimination laws in the 1960s using household-level and census-tract data. State-level fair-housing' laws attempted to bar discrimination on the basis of race, religion, and national origin in the sale, rental, and financing of housing, and they were the direct antecedents of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. Their influence on the housing market outcomes of African Americans has not been assessed in previous work by economists, but policy variation across states during the 1960s provides an opportunity to pursue such estimates. During the 1960s, blacks' housing market outcomes improved relative to whites', and the proportion of exclusively white census tracts declined markedly. But I find little evidence that the fairhousing laws contributed to those changes. Rather, the bulk of the evidence indicates that the laws' effects on blacks' housing market outcomes, on residential segregation, and on the value of property in predominantly nonwhite neighborhoods were negligible.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9562.

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Date of creation: Mar 2003
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Publication status: published as Collins, William J. "The Housing Market Impact Of State-Level Anti-Discrimination Laws, 1960-1970," Journal of Urban Economics, 2004, v55(3,May), 534-564.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9562

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991. "Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-43, December.
  4. David Neumark & Wendy A. Stock, 2001. "The Effects of Race and Sex Discrimination Laws," NBER Working Papers 8215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. William M. Landes, 1968. "The Economics of Fair Employment Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 507.
  6. John Yinger, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Consumer Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 23-40, Spring.
  7. Collins, William J. & Margo, Robert A., 2000. "Residential segregation and socioeconomic outcomes: When did ghettos go bad?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 239-243, November.
  8. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-61, April.
  9. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1994. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," NBER Working Papers 4956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Cutler, David M & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-72, August.
  11. Collins, William J. & Margo, Robert A., 2001. "Race and Home Ownership: A Century-Long View," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 68-92, January.
  12. Courant, Paul N., 1978. "Racial prejudice in a search model of the urban housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 329-345, July.
  13. John F. Kain & John M. Quigley, 1975. "Housing Markets and Racial Discrimination: A Microeconomic Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kain75-1, October.
  14. Courant, Paul N. & Yinger, John, 1977. "On models of racial prejudice and urban residential structure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 272-291, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Leah Platt Boustan & Robert A. Margo, 2011. "White Suburbanization and African-American Home Ownership, 1940-1980," NBER Working Papers 16702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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