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Separate When Equal? Racial Inequality and Residential Segregation

  • Patrick Bayer
  • Hanming Fang
  • Robert McMillan

This paper hypothesizes that segregation in US cities increases as racial inequality narrows due to the emergence of middle-class black neighborhoods. Employing a novel research design based on life-cycle variations in the relationship between segregation and inequality, we test this hypothesis using the 1990 and 2000 Censuses. Indeed, increased black educational attainment in a city leads to a signifi cant rise in the number of middle-class black communities and segregation for older adults both in the cross-section and over time, consistent with our hypothesis. These fi ndings imply a negative feedback loop that inhibits reductions in racial inequality and segregation over time.

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Paper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11-09.

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Length: 50
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:11-09
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics Duke University 213 Social Sciences Building Box 90097 Durham, NC 27708-0097
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Web page: http://econ.duke.edu/

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  1. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Kim Rueben, 2004. "Residential Segregation in General Equilibrium," Working Papers 885, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  2. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2000. "Black Residential Centralization and the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 110-134, July.
  3. Rajiv Sethi & Rohini Somanathan, 2002. "Inequality and segregation," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 02-06, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  4. Susan E. Mayer, 2000. "Income Inequality, Economic Segregation and Children's Educational Attainment," JCPR Working Papers 209, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. Rajiv Sethi & Rohini Somanathan, 2001. "Racial Income Disparities and the Measurement of Segregation," Urban/Regional 0107001, EconWPA.
  6. Miller, Vincent P. & Quigley, John M., 1989. "Segregation by Racial and Demographic Group: Evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5p86d7vw, University of California Transportation Center.
  7. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
  8. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan, 2005. "Racial Sorting and Neighborhood Quality," NBER Working Papers 11813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Kim Rueben, 2002. "What Drives Racial Segregation? New Evidence Using Census Microdata," Working Papers 02-26, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. Durlauf, Steven N, 1996. " A Theory of Persistent Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 75-93, March.
  11. Shelly Lundberg & Richard Startz, 1998. "Race, Information, and Segregation," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0047, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  12. 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.
  13. Ross, Stephen L., 1998. "Racial Differences in Residential and Job Mobility: Evidence Concerning the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 112-135, January.
  14. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," NBER Working Papers 5163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Harsman Bjorn & Quigley John M., 1995. "The Spatial Segregation of Ethnic and Demographic Groups: Comparative Evidence from Stockholm and San Francisco," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-16, January.
  17. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-40, December.
  18. Berry, Steven & Waldfogel, Joel, 2005. "Product Quality and Market Size," Working Papers 1, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  19. Glenn C. Loury, 1976. "A Dynamic Theory of Racial Income Differences," Discussion Papers 225, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  20. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2003. "Residential segregation and preference misalignment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 587-609, November.
  21. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  22. Benabou, R., 1991. "Location, Education, and Production," Working papers 582, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  23. King, A Thomas & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1973. "Racial Discrimination, Segregation, and the Price of Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 590-606, May-June.
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