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Escape from the City? The Role of Race, Income, and Local Public Goods in Post-War Suburbanization

  • Leah Platt Boustan

Affluent towns often deliver high-quality public services to their residents. I estimate the willingness to pay to live in a high-income suburb, above and beyond the demand of wealthy neighbors, by measuring changes in housing prices across city-suburban borders as the income disparity between the two municipalities changes over time. I find that a $10,000 increase in town-level median income is associated with a seven percent increase in housing values at the border. The estimated demand for high-income municipalities is primarily driven by school quality and lower property tax rates.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13311.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13311.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
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Publication status: published as “Was Postwar Suburbanization 'White Flight'? Evidence from the Black Migration.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2010.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13311
Note: DAE
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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  2. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  3. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  4. Lisa Barrow & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2002. "Using Market Valuation to Assess Public School Spending," NBER Working Papers 9054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Leah Platt Boustan, 2010. "Was Postwar Suburbanization "White Flight"? Evidence from the Black Migration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 417-443.
  6. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
  8. Leah Platt Boustan, 2012. "School Desegregation and Urban Change: Evidence from City Boundaries," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 85-108, January.
  9. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 588-638, 08.
  10. Buchanan, James M. & Goetz, Charles J., 1972. "Efficiency limits of fiscal mobility: An assessment of the tiebout model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 25-43, April.
  11. Ellickson, Bryan, 1971. "Jurisdictional Fragmentation and Residential Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 334-39, May.
  12. Calabrese, Stephen & Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas & Sieg, Holger, 2006. "Local public good provision: Voting, peer effects, and mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 959-981, August.
  13. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
  14. Dennis Epple & Holger Sieg, 1999. "Estimating Equilibrium Models of Local Jurisdictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 645-681, August.
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