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Racial Residential Segregation in American Cities

  • Leah Platt Boustan

This chapter examines the causes and consequences of black-white residential segregation in the United States. Segregation can arise through black self-segregation, collective action to exclude blacks from white neighborhoods, or individual mobility of white households. Historically, whites used racially restrictive covenants and violence to exclude blacks from white areas. More recently, white departures from integrated neighborhoods is a more important factor. Many studies find that blacks who live in segregated metropolitan areas have lower educational attainment and lower earnings than their counterparts in more integrated areas. This difference appears to reflect the causal effect of segregation on economic outcomes. The association between segregated environments and minority disadvantage is driven in part by physical isolation of black neighborhoods from employment opportunities and in part by harmful social interactions within black neighborhoods, especially due to concentrated poverty. The chapter ends by reviewing potential policy solutions to residential segregation, which can be classified as place-based, people-based, or indirect solutions.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19045.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Publication status: published as Racial Residential Segregation in American Cities Leah Platt Boustan The Oxford Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning Edited by Nancy Brooks, Kieran Donaghy, and Gerritā€Jan Knaap
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19045
Note: DAE
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  1. Harry J. Holzer & John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2003. "Public transit and the spatial distribution of minority employment: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 415-441.
  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. Kevin Fox Gotham, 2000. "Urban Space, Restrictive Covenants and the Origins of Racial Residential Segregation in a US City, 1900-50," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 616-633, 09.
  4. Ondrich, Jan & Stricker, Alex & Yinger, John, 1999. "Do Landlords Discriminate? The Incidence and Causes of Racial Discrimination in Rental Housing Markets," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 185-204, September.
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  6. 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.
  7. William J. Collins, 2003. "The Housing Market Impact of State-Level Anti-Discrimination Laws 1960-1970," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0304, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  8. Christopher J. Mayer & Karen Pence, 2008. "Subprime Mortgages: What, Where, and to Whom?," NBER Working Papers 14083, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Steven Raphael & Michael A. Stoll, 2000. "Can Boosting Minority Car-Ownership Rates Narrow Inter-Racial Employment Gaps," JCPR Working Papers 200, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  10. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Working Papers 07-27, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Weinberg, Bruce A., 2000. "Black Residential Centralization and the Spatial Mismatch Hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 110-134, July.
  12. Christopher J. Mayer & Karen M. Pence, 2008. "Subprime mortgages: what, where, and to whom?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. 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.
  14. Michael A. Stoll, 2006. "Job sprawl, spatial mismatch, and black employment disadvantage," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 827-854.
  15. Maisy Wong, 2013. "Estimating Ethnic Preferences Using Ethnic Housing Quotas in Singapore," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 1178-1214.
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