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Was Postwar Suburbanization "White Flight"? Evidence from the Black Migration

  • Leah Platt Boustan

Residential segregation by jurisdiction generates disparities in public services and education. The distinctive American pattern - in which blacks live in cities and whites in suburbs - was enhanced by a large black migration from the rural South. I show that whites responded to this black influx by leaving cities and rule out an indirect effect on housing prices as a sole cause. I instrument for changes in black population by using local economic conditions to predict black migration from southern states and assigning predicted flows to northern cities according to established settlement patterns. The best causal estimates imply that each black arrival led to 2.7 white departures.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13543.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13543.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Publication status: published as Leah Platt Boustan, 2010. "Was Postwar Suburbanization "White Flight"? Evidence from the Black Migration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 417-443, February.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13543
Note: DAE LS
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  24. Leah Platt Boustan, 2007. "Escape from the City? The Role of Race, Income, and Local Public Goods in Post-War Suburbanization," NBER Working Papers 13311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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