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The Impact of Racial Segregation on College Attainment in Spatial Equilibrium

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Abstract

This paper seeks to understand the forces that maintain racial segregation and the implications for the Black-White gap in college attainment. We incorporate race into an overlapping-generations spatial-equilibrium model with neighborhood spillovers. The model incorporates race in three ways: (i) a Black-White wage gap, (ii) an amenity externality---households care about the racial composition of their neighbors---and (iii) an additional barrier to moving for Black households. These forces quantitatively account for all of the racial segregation and 80% of the Black-White gap in college attainment in the data for the St. Louis metro area. Counterfactual exercises show that all three forces are quantitatively important. The presence of spillovers and externalities generates multiple equilibria. Although St. Louis is in the segregated equilibrium, there also exists an integrated equilibrium with a lower college gap, and we analyze a transition path between the two.

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  • Victoria Gregory & Julian Kozlowski & Hannah Rubinton, 2022. "The Impact of Racial Segregation on College Attainment in Spatial Equilibrium," Working Papers 2022-036, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 24 Jul 2023.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:94907
    DOI: 10.20955/wp.2022.036
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    racial disparities; neighborhood segregation; education; income inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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