Race and the value of owner-occupied housing, 1940-1990
The racial gap in the value of owner-occupied housing has narrowed substantially since 1940, but this narrowing has not been even over time or across space. The 1970s stand out as an unusual decade in which the value gap did not narrow despite continued convergence in the observed characteristics of housing. A decline in the relative value of black- owned homes in central cities appears to have offset gains elsewhere during the 1970s, and this central city decline continued into the 1980s. In further exploration of the 1970s, we find evidence of a rising propensity for higher-income blacks to live in the suburbs. We also find a positive correlation between riots in the 1960s and widening of the value gap during the 1970s in a panel of cities.
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