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Tiebout Sorting and Neighborhood Stratification

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  • Patrick Bayer
  • Robert McMillan

Abstract

Tiebout's classic 1956 paper has strong implications regarding stratification across and within jurisdictions, predicting in the simplest instance a hierarchy of internally homogeneous communities ordered by income. Typically, urban areas are less than fully stratified, and the question arises how much departures from standard Tiebout assumptions contribute to observed within-neighborhood mixing. This paper quantifies the separate effects on neighborhood stratification of employment geography (via costly commuting) and preferences for housing attributes. It does so using an equilibrium sorting model, estimated with rich Census micro-data. Simulations based on the model using credible preference estimates show that counterfactual reductions in commuting costs lead to marked increases in racial and education segregation and, to a lesser degree, increases in income segregation, given that households now find it easier to locate in neighborhoods with like households. While turning off preferences for housing characteristics increases racial segregation, especially for blacks, doing so reduces income segregation, indicating that heterogeneity in the housing stock serves to stratify households based on ability-to-pay. Further, we show that differences in housing also help accentuate differences in the consumption of local amenities.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan, 2011. "Tiebout Sorting and Neighborhood Stratification," NBER Working Papers 17364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17364
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe Jehiel & Laurent Lamy, 2018. "A Mechanism Design Approach to the Tiebout Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(2), pages 735-760.
    2. Weizeng Sun & Siqi Zheng & Yuming Fu, 2016. "Local Public Service Provision and Spatial Inequality in Chinese Cities," ERSA conference papers ersa16p799, European Regional Science Association.
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    4. BOUSSELIN Audrey, 2017. "Childcare, maternal employment and residential location," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-05, LISER.
    5. Enrico Moretti & Daniel J. Wilson, 2017. "The Effect of State Taxes on the Geographical Location of Top Earners: Evidence from Star Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 1858-1903, July.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:1114-:d:140098 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Ross, Stephen L., 2015. "Change and Persistence in the Economic Status of Neighborhoods and Cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    8. Gregory Verdugo, 2016. "Public housing magnets: public housing supply and immigrants’ location choices," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 237-265.
    9. Florent Dubois, 2017. "The Sources of Segregation," Working Papers halshs-01524506, HAL.
    10. Christoph Basten & Maximilian Ehrlich & Andrea Lassmann, 2017. "Income Taxes, Sorting and the Costs of Housing: Evidence from Municipal Boundaries in Switzerland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(601), pages 653-687, May.
    11. Gravel, Nicolas & Oddou, Rémy, 2014. "The segregative properties of endogenous jurisdiction formation with a land market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 15-27.
    12. repec:eee:pubeco:v:158:y:2018:i:c:p:12-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Essi Eerola & Tuukka Saarimaa, 2017. "Delivering Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Quality: A Comparison of Place- and Tenant-Based Programs," CESifo Working Paper Series 6674, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Mark van Duijn & Jan Rouwendal, 2015. "Sorting based on Urban Heritage and Income: Evidence from the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-030/VIII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 19 Mar 2018.
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    18. Hamilton, Timothy L. & Phaneuf, Daniel J., 2015. "An integrated model of regional and local residential sorting with application to air quality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 71-93.
    19. Christoph Basten & Maximilian von Ehrlich & Andrea Lassmann, 2014. "Income Taxes, Sorting, and the Costs of Housing," KOF Working papers 14-362, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
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    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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