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Black and White Preferences for Neighborhood Racial Composition


  • George C. Galster


The research investigates the existence, nature and magnitude of the preferences of races to voluntarily "self-segregate" into particular areas of urban housing markets. Housing market theory is employed to develop a model showing how housing price variations "within" a group can provide unambiguous evidence of their preferences for neighborhood racial composition. The model is operationalized in a multiple regression specification wherein the variations in a given racial group's housing prices become a function of the dwelling's attributes and the attributes of the neighborhood (including quality, status, stability and density) as well as housing submarket location and racial composition. The size and statistical significance of the coefficient of the last attribute provides the evidence sought.The regressions are estimated using two micro-household data bases from St. Louis (1967) and Wooster, Ohio (1975), and results compared. Results show that St. Louis black owners had an aversion to larger black proportions within black submarket neighborhoods, with .7% lower housing prices associated with a 1% higher percentage black. Racial effects for black owners in preponderantly white areas and for black renters in all areas were statistically insignificant. St. Louis whites of both tenures did not demonstrate aversion to neighborhoods with higher percentages of blacks as long as they remained 25% black or less. In areas 25-50% black, however, white prices were 1.5% lower for owners and 3.2% lower for renters per 1% higher proportion black. Such associations continued in majority-black areas, although the magnitudes of the price effect became progressively smaller. Wooster whites showed an aversion to living in neighborhoods having even a few percent of blacks, with prices 11% lower for owners and 7% lower for renters in such areas compared to all-white ones. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

Suggested Citation

  • George C. Galster, 1982. "Black and White Preferences for Neighborhood Racial Composition," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 10(1), pages 39-66.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:10:y:1982:i:1:p:39-66

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. David M. Brasington & Diane Hite & Andres Jauregui, 2015. "House Price Impacts Of Racial, Income, Education, And Age Neighborhood Segregation," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 442-467, June.
    2. Brian A. Cromwell, 1990. "Prointegrative subsidies and their effect on housing markets: do race- based loans work?," Working Paper 9018, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    3. George H. Lentz & Ko Wang, 1998. "Residential Appraisal and the Lending Process: A Survey of Issues," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 15(1), pages 11-40.
    4. Bayer, Patrick & Fang, Hanming & McMillan, Robert, 2014. "Separate when equal? Racial inequality and residential segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 32-48.
    5. Robert Bifulco & Helen F. Ladd & Stephen Ross, 2007. "Public School Choice and Integration: Evidence from Durham, North Carolina," Working papers 2007-41, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2008.
    6. Ihlanfeldt, Keith R. & Scafidi, Benjamin, 2002. "Black Self-Segregation as a Cause of Housing Segregation: Evidence from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 366-390, March.
    7. John Reifel, 1994. "Black-white housing price differentials: Recent trends and implications," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 67-93, June.

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