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School Desegregation and Urban Change: Evidence from City Boundaries

  • Leah Platt Boustan

I examine changes in the city-suburban housing price gap in metropolitan areas with and without court-ordered desegregation plans over the 1970s, narrowing my comparison to housing units on opposite sides of district boundaries. Desegregation of public schools in central cities reduced the demand for urban residence, leading urban housing prices and rents to decline by 6 percent relative to neighboring suburbs. Aversion to integration was due both to changes in peer composition and to student reassignment to nonneighborhood schools. The associated reduction in the urban tax base imposed a fiscal externality on remaining urban residents. (JEL H75, I21, I28, J15, R23, R31)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 85-108

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:1:p:85-108
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.1.85
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  1. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation Of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599, May.
  2. William J. Collins & Robert A. Margo, 2004. "The Economic Aftermath of the 1960s Riots: Evidence from Property Values," NBER Working Papers 10493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & William J. Collins & Albert Yoon, 2006. "Evaluating the Role of Brown v. Board of Education in School Equalization, Desegregation, and the Income of African Americans," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 213-248.
  4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:125:y:2010:i:1:p:445-482 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1975. "The Effect of School Desegregation on Housing Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(4), pages 446-51, November.
  6. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:2:p:775-805 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Nathaniel Baum-Snow & Byron F. Lutz, 2011. "School Desegregation, School Choice, and Changes in Residential Location Patterns by Race," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3019-46, December.
  8. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1613-1634, December.
  9. Leah Platt Boustan, 2007. "Escape from the City? The Role of Race, Income, and Local Public Goods in Post-War Suburbanization," NBER Working Papers 13311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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