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White Suburbanization And African-American Home Ownership, 1940-1980


  • Robert A. Margo

    () (Department of Economics, Boston University and NBER)

  • Leah Platt Boustan

    () (Department of Economics, UCLA and NBER)


Between 1940 and 1980, the rate of homeownership among African-American households increased by close to 40 percentage points. Most of this increase occurred in central cities. We show that rising black homeownership was facilitated by the filtering of the urban housing stock as white households moved to the suburbs, particularly in the slower growing cities of the Northeast and Midwest. Our OLS and IV estimates imply that up to one half of the national increase in black homeownership over the period can be attributed to white suburbanization.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert A. Margo & Leah Platt Boustan, 2011. "White Suburbanization And African-American Home Ownership, 1940-1980," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-024, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2011-024

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Collins, William J., 2004. "The housing market impact of state-level anti-discrimination laws, 1960-1970," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 534-564, May.
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    8. Leah Platt Boustan, 2010. "Was Postwar Suburbanization "White Flight"? Evidence from the Black Migration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 417-443.
    9. Karen A. Kopecky & Richard M. H. Suen, 2010. "A Quantitative Analysis Of Suburbanization And The Diffusion Of The Automobile," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1003-1037, November.
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    14. Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "The Benefits of the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17, pages 37-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    17. Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat, 2007. "The Wrong Side(s) of the Tracks Estimating the Causal Effects of Racial Segregation on City Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 13343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel K. Fetter, 2014. "The Twentieth-Century Increase in U.S. Home Ownership: Facts and Hypotheses," NBER Chapters,in: Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective, pages 329-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • N92 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand


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