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Schelling's Spatial Proximity Model of Segregation Revisited

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  • Romans Pancs
  • Nicolaas J. Vriend

Abstract

Schelling [1969, 1971a, 1971b, 1978] presented a microeconomic model showing how an integrated city could unravel to a rather segregated city, notwithstanding relatively mild assumptions concerning the individual agents' preferences, i.e., no agent preferring the resulting segregation. We examine the robustness of Schelling's model, focusing in particular on its driving force: the individual preferences. We show that even if all individual agents have a strict preference for perfect integration, best-response dynamics will lead to segregation. What is more, we argue that the one-dimensional and two-dimensional versions of Schelling's spatial proximity model are in fact two qualitatively very different models of segregation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 with number 63.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf3:63

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Keywords: Neighborhood segregation; Myopic Nash Equilibria; Best-response dynamics; Markov chain; Limit-behavior;

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  1. J. Barkley Rosser, 1999. "On the Complexities of Complex Economic Dynamics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 169-192, Fall.
  2. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  3. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
  4. Lawrence Blume, 1996. "Population Games," Game Theory and Information 9607001, EconWPA.
  5. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1998. "What Has Economics to Say about Racial Discrimination?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 91-100, Spring.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Jose Scheinkman, 2000. "Non-Market Interactions," NBER Working Papers 8053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  8. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Discrete choice with social interactions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
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