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Ethnic Drift and White Flight: A Gravity Model of Neighborhood Formation

Author

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  • Jessie Bakens

    (OIS, Municipality of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

  • Raymond Florax

    (Purdue University, United States; VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

  • Peter Mulder

    (VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

Abstract

Ethnicity has become an increasingly important factor in neighborhood formation in many developed economies. We specify a gravity model for neighborhoods to assess the role of ethnicity in intra-urban residential relocations. Migration patterns of different ethnic groups are hypothesized to depend on bilateral socioeconomic, demographic and ethnic differences between origin and destination neighborhoods. We account for heterogeneous and interdependent location preferences of natives and several immigrant groups. In addition, we incorporate friction measures of ethnic population shares and a diversity indicator to allow for nonlinear and asymmetric effects of the population composition on ethnic sorting and spatial clustering. We utilize a unique micro data set of place-to-place migrants across neighborhoods in the urban agglomerations of Amsterdam and The Hague, in The Netherlands. Our results provide evidence of ethnic drift leading to clustering of ethnic minority groups and "white flight" of native Dutch residents. Taken together, our findings suggest a preference for living among people of one's own ethnic group, but in a sufficiently diverse neighborhood. We discuss ways to extend and apply our gravity approach to further analyze intra-urban residential relocation flows.

Suggested Citation

  • Jessie Bakens & Raymond Florax & Peter Mulder, 2016. "Ethnic Drift and White Flight: A Gravity Model of Neighborhood Formation," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-062/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20160062
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Carl Gaigne & Hans R.A. Koster & Fabien Moizeau & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 2017. "Amenities and the Social Structure of Cities," HSE Working papers WP BRP 162/EC/2017, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    neighborhood formation; ethnicity; diversity; immigrants; gravity model;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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