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A Pecuniary Reason for Income Mixing

  • Frankel, David M.

Empirical studies have found a high degree of income mixing in American neighborhoods. We give a new explanation of this phenomenon that is based on consumer search. A low price for a given good benefits high valuation buyers more than low valuation buyers. But with search, the probability of obtaining a low price is increasing in the proportion of low valuation buyers. This gives high valuation buyers an incentive to live near low valuation buyers. With many goods, a buyer has an incentive to live near neighbors whose valuations are uncorrelated with hers.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 11925.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Urban Economics 1998,, pp. 158-169
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:11925
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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  1. Reynolds Farley, 1977. "Residential segregation in urbanized areas of the United States in 1970: An analysis of social class and racial differences," Demography, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 497-518, November.
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  8. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 237-64, April.
  9. Marvel, Howard P, 1976. "The Economics of Information and Retail Gasoline Price Behavior: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 1033-60, October.
  10. de Bartolome, Charles A M, 1990. "Equilibrium and Inefficiency in a Community Model with Peer Group Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 110-33, February.
  11. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Carlson, John A & Gieseke, Robert J, 1983. " Price Search in a Product Market," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 357-65, March.
  13. Peter Diamond, 1985. "Consumer Differences and Prices in a Search Model," Working papers 404, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Public Goods in Open Economies with Heterogeneous Individuals," NBER Working Papers 0802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Durlauf, Steven N., 1994. "Spillovers, stratification, and inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 836-845, April.
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  19. Benabou, Roland, 1994. "Human capital, inequality, and growth: A local perspective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 817-826, April.
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