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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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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.4.1.85
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
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  1. 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.
  2. Orley Ashenfelter & William Collins & Albert Yoon, 2005. "Evaluating the Role of Brown vs. Board of Education in School Equalization, Desegregation, and the Income of African Americans," Working Papers 880, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Angrist, Joshua & Lang, Kevin, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," IZA Discussion Papers 976, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  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. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. 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.
  8. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805, 05.
  9. Elizabeth Cascio & Nora Gordon & Ethan Lewis & Sarah Reber, 2010. "Paying for Progress: Conditional Grants and the Desegregation of Southern Schools," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 445-482, February.
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