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Race, Ethnicity, and Discriminatory Zoning

Author

Listed:
  • Allison Shertzer
  • Tate Twinam
  • Randall P. Walsh

Abstract

Zoning has been cited as a discriminatory policy tool by critics, who argue that ordinances are used to deter the entry of minority residents into majority neighborhoods through density restrictions (exclusionary zoning) and locate manufacturing activity in minority neighborhoods (environmental racism). However, identifying discrimination in these regulations is complicated by the fact that land use and zoning have been co-evolving for nearly a century in most American cities, rendering residential sorting and inequitable treatment observationally equivalent. We employ a novel approach to overcome this challenge, studying the introduction of comprehensive zoning in Chicago. Using fine-scale spatial data on pre-existing land uses and the locations of minority neighborhoods, we find evidence of a pre-cursor to exclusionary zoning that was applied to black neighborhoods. We also find strong evidence of inequitable treatment of both southern black and immigrant neighborhoods with both appearing to have been targeted for increased levels of industrial use zoning.

Suggested Citation

  • Allison Shertzer & Tate Twinam & Randall P. Walsh, 2014. "Race, Ethnicity, and Discriminatory Zoning," NBER Working Papers 20108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20108
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:7:1033-1041_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Allison Shertzer & Tate Twinam & Randall P. Walsh, 2016. "Race, Ethnicity, and Discriminatory Zoning," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 217-246, July.
    3. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2008. "Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 478-497, August.
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    7. McMillen, Daniel P. & McDonald, John F., 1999. "Land use before zoning: The case of 1920's Chicago," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 473-489, July.
    8. Jonathan T. Rothwell, 2011. "Racial Enclaves and Density Zoning: The Institutionalized Segregation of Racial Minorities in the United States," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 290-358.
    9. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    10. Daniel P. McMillen & John F. McDonald, 2002. "Land Values In A Newly Zoned City," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 62-72, February.
    11. repec:taf:vhimxx:v:49:y:2016:i:4:p:187-197 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gyourko, Joseph & Molloy, Raven, 2015. "Regulation and Housing Supply," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Allison Shertzer & Tate Twinam & Randall P. Walsh, 2016. "Race, Ethnicity, and Discriminatory Zoning," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 217-246, July.
    3. repec:eee:regeco:v:73:y:2018:i:c:p:155-169 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Shertzer, Allison & Twinam, Tate & Walsh, Randall P., 2018. "Zoning and the economic geography of cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 20-39.
    5. Anthony Yezer & William Larson & Weihua Zhao, 2018. "An Examination of the Link between Urban Planning Policies and the High Cost of Housing and Labor," Working Papers 2018-6, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations

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