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The Economic Aftermath of the 1960s Riots in American Cities: Evidence from Property Values

  • William J. Collins


    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, NBER)

  • Robert A. Margo


    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, NBER)

In the 1960s numerous cities in the United States experienced violent, race-related civil disturbances. Although social scientists have long studied the causes of the riots, the consequences have received much less attention. This paper examines census data from 1950 to 1980 to measure the riots' impact on the value of central-city residential property, and especially on black-owned property. Both ordinary least squares and two-stage least squares estimates indicate that the riots depressed the median value of black-owned property between 1960 and 1970, with little or no rebound in the 1970s. Analysis of household-level data suggests that the racial gap in the value of property widened in riot-afflicted cities during the 1970s.

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Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0410.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0410
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