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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 significant 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 findings imply a negative feedback loop that inhibits reductions in racial inequality and segregation over time.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11507.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11507.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Publication status: published as Bayer, Patrick & Fang, Hanming & McMillan, Robert, 2014. "Separate when equal? Racial inequality and residential segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 32-48.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11507
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  13. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Kim Rueben, 2003. "What Drives Racial Segregation? New Evidence Using Census Microdata," Working Papers 859, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  14. LeRoy, Stephen F. & Sonstelie, Jon, 1983. "Paradise lost and regained: Transportation innovation, income, and residential location," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 67-89, January.
  15. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan, 2005. "Racial Sorting and Neighborhood Quality," NBER Working Papers 11813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. 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.
  18. Stuart A. Gabriel & Gary D. Painter, 2012. "Household Location And Race: A 20-Year Retrospective," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(5), pages 809-818, December.
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  23. Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat, 2011. "The Wrong Side(s) of the Tracks: The Causal Effects of Racial Segregation on Urban Poverty and Inequality," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 34-66, April.
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  27. 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.
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  30. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2000. "Black Residential Centralization and the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 110-134, July.
  31. 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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