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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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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11507
Note: ED PE
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  1. Bayer, Patrick & McMillan, Robert & Rueben, Kim S., 2004. "What drives racial segregation? New evidence using Census microdata," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 514-535, November.
  2. 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.
  3. Durlauf, S.N., 1992. "A Theory of Persistent Income Inequality," Papers 47, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Vincent P. Miller & John M. Quigley, 1990. "Segregation by Racial and Demographic Group: Evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 27(1), pages 3-21, February.
  6. 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.
  7. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2000. "Black Residential Centralization and the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 110-134, July.
  8. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Kim Rueben, 2004. "Residential Segregation in General Equilibrium," Working Papers 885, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  9. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," NBER Working Papers 5163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Steven Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Product Quality and Market Size," NBER Working Papers 9675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Cutler, David & Vigdor, Jacob & Glaeser, Edward, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Scholarly Articles 2770033, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2003. "Residential segregation and preference misalignment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 587-609, November.
  14. Harsman, Bjorn & Quigley, John M., 1993. "The Spatial Segregation of Ethnic and Demographic Groups: Comparative Evidence from Stockholm and San Francisco," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt910306b7, University of California Transportation Center.
  15. 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.
  16. Rajiv Sethi & Rohini Somanathan, 2001. "Racial Income Disparities and the Measurement of Segregation," Urban/Regional 0107001, EconWPA.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan, 2005. "Racial Sorting and Neighborhood Quality," NBER Working Papers 11813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Susan E. Mayer, 2000. "Income Inequality: Economic Segregation and Children's Educational Attainment," Working Papers 0026, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  21. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  22. 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.
  23. Benabou, R., 1991. "Location, Education, and Production," Working papers 582, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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