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Racial Residential Segregation in American Cities

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  • Leah Platt Boustan

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Leah Platt Boustan, 2013. "Racial Residential Segregation in American Cities," NBER Working Papers 19045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19045
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. 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.
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    5. 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, September.
    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:1114-:d:140098 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wong, Maisy, 2014. "Estimating the distortionary effects of ethnic quotas in Singapore using housing transactions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 131-145.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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