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A silver lining to white flight? White suburbanization and African–American homeownership, 1940–1980

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  • Boustan, Leah P.
  • Margo, Robert A.

Abstract

Between 1940 and 1980, the homeownership rate among metropolitan African–American households increased by 27 percentage points. Nearly three-quarters of this increase occurred in central cities. We show that rising black homeownership in central cities was facilitated by the movement of white households to the suburban ring, which reduced the price of urban housing units conducive to owner-occupancy. Our OLS and IV estimates imply that 26 percent of the national increase in black homeownership over the period is explained by white suburbanization.

Suggested Citation

  • Boustan, Leah P. & Margo, Robert A., 2013. "A silver lining to white flight? White suburbanization and African–American homeownership, 1940–1980," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 71-80.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:78:y:2013:i:c:p:71-80
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2013.08.001
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    3. Prottoy A. Akbar & Sijie Li & Allison Shertzer & Randall P. Walsh, 2019. "Racial Segregation in Housing Markets and the Erosion of Black Wealth," NBER Working Papers 25805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Xu, Hangtian, 2020. "Land Price Fluctuations, Commercial-Residential Segregation, and Gentrification," MPRA Paper 98844, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Kulkarni, Nirupama & Malmendier, Ulrike, 2022. "Homeownership segregation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 123-149.
    6. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Ross, Stephen L., 2015. "Change and Persistence in the Economic Status of Neighborhoods and Cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 1047-1120, Elsevier.
    7. Ilenia Epifani & Rosella Nicolini, 2017. "Modelling population density over time: how spatial distance matters," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 602-615, April.
    8. Jeffrey Zabel, 2014. "Unintended Consequences: The Impact of Proposition 2½ Overrides on School Segregation in Massachusetts," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 9(4), pages 481-514, October.
    9. Battaglia, Marianna & Chabé-Ferret, Bastien & Lebedinski, Lara, 2021. "Segregation, fertility, and son preference: the case of the Roma in Serbia," Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(2), pages 233-260, June.
    10. Benjamin Austin & Edward Glaeser & Lawrence Summers, 2018. "Jobs for the Heartland: Place-Based Policies in 21st-Century America," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 49(1 (Spring), pages 151-255.
    11. Hanlon, W.Walker & Heblich, Stephan, 2022. "History and urban economics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    12. Xu, Hangtian, 2019. "The burst of the real estate bubble as a promoter of gentrification in Tokyo and Osaka, 1980–2017," MPRA Paper 96803, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Malone, Thom & Redfearn, Christian L., 2018. "Shocks & ossification: The durable hierarchy of neighborhoods in U.S. metropolitan areas from 1970 to 2010," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 94-121.
    14. Ran Abramitzky, 2015. "Economics and the Modern Economic Historian," NBER Working Papers 21636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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