Did suburbanization cause residential segregation? Evidence from U.S. metropolitan areas
Population suburbanization has been long held as a cause for increasing racial residential segregation in US metropolitan areas. This paper hypothesizes that rapid suburbanization between 1960 and 2000 has caused an increase in racial residential segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas. Using the 1947 national interstate highway plan as an instrument for suburbanization and decennial Census data from 1960 to 2000, this paper finds that central city population decline (suburbanization) causes racial residential segregation in a metropolitan area to rise. Estimation results from both long difference and panel regressions are robust to an array of specifications. Had there been no suburbanization between 1960 and 2000, racial residential segregation on average would have declined by about 4 percentage points more than what is observed in the data.
Volume (Year): 9 (2015)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
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