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White Suburbanization and African-American Home Ownership, 1940-1980

  • Leah Platt Boustan
  • Robert A. Margo

Between 1940 and 1980, the homeownership rate among metropolitan African-American households increased by 27 percentage points. Nearly three-quarters of this increase occurred in central cities. We show that rising black homeownership in central cities was facilitated by the movement of white households to the suburban ring, which reduced the price of urban housing units conducive to owner-occupancy. Our OLS and IV estimates imply that 26 percent of the national increase in black homeownership over the period is explained by white suburbanization.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16702.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as "A Silver Lining to White Flight? White Suburbanization and African-American Homeownership, 1940-1980," with Robert A. Margo. Journal of Urban Economics, 2013.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16702
Note: DAE
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  1. Collins, William J. & Margo, Robert A., 2001. "Race and Home Ownership: A Century-Long View," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 68-92, January.
  2. Leah Platt Boustan, 2007. "Was Postwar Suburbanization "White Flight"? Evidence from the Black Migration," NBER Working Papers 13543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
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  8. Collins, William J., 2004. "The housing market impact of state-level anti-discrimination laws, 1960-1970," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 534-564, May.
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  10. Green, Richard K. & White, Michelle J., 1997. "Measuring the Benefits of Homeowning: Effects on Children," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 441-461, May.
  11. Karen A. Kopecky & Richard M. H. Suen, 2009. "A Quantitative Analysis of Suburbanization and the Diffusion of the Automobile," Working Papers 200901, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2009.
  12. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 177-218, 02.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "The Benefits of the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17, pages 37-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Elizabeth Oltmans Ananat, 2007. "The Wrong Side(s) of the Tracks Estimating the Causal Effects of Racial Segregation on City Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 13343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Dietz, Robert D. & Haurin, Donald R., 2003. "The social and private micro-level consequences of homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 401-450, November.
  17. William J. Collins, 2003. "The Housing Market Impact of State-Level Anti-Discrimination Laws, 1960-970," NBER Working Papers 9562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. William J. Collins & Robert A. Margo, 2011. "Race and Home Ownership from the Civil War to the Present," NBER Working Papers 16665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2004. "Testing the spatial mismatch hypothesis using inter-city variations in industrial composition," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 505-532, September.
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