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

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  • William J. Collins

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, NBER)

  • Robert A. Margo

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University, NBER)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • William J. Collins & Robert A. Margo, 2004. "The Economic Aftermath of the 1960s Riots in American Cities: Evidence from Property Values," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0410, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0410
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
    2. DiPasquale, Denise & Glaeser, Edward L., 1998. "The Los Angeles Riot and the Economics of Urban Unrest," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 52-78, January.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2005. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 345-375, April.
    4. Collins, William J. & Margo, Robert A., 2000. "Residential segregation and socioeconomic outcomes: When did ghettos go bad?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 239-243, November.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
    6. Collins, William J. & Margo, Robert A., 2003. "Race and the value of owner-occupied housing, 1940-1990," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 255-286, May.
    7. Kain, John F & Quigley, John Michael, 1972. "Housing Market Discrimination, Homeownership, and Savings Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 263-277, June.
    8. Ihlanfeldt, Keith R. & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge, 1986. "Alternative value estimates of owner-occupied housing: Evidence on sample selection bias and systematic errors," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 356-369, November.
    9. John F. Kain, 1968. "Housing Segregation, Negro Employment, and Metropolitan Decentralization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 175-197.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Passarelli & Guido Tabellini, 2017. "Emotions and Political Unrest," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 903-946.
    2. Nathaniel Baum-Snow & Byron F. Lutz, 2011. "School Desegregation, School Choice, and Changes in Residential Location Patterns by Race," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3019-3046, December.
    3. Bonnier, Evelina & Poulsen, Jonas & Rogall, Thorsten & Stryjan, Miri, 2015. "Preparing for Genocide: Community Work in Rwanda," Working Paper Series 2015:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    4. Sangnier, Marc & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2017. "Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 55-67.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Tarek A. Hassan & Ahmed Tahoun, 2014. "The Power of the Street: Evidence from Egypt's Arab Spring," NBER Working Papers 20665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Noli Brazil, 2016. "Large-Scale Urban Riots and Residential Segregation: A Case Study of the 1960s U.S. Riots," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(2), pages 567-595, April.
    7. Marc Rockmore, 2017. "The Cost of Fear: The Welfare Effect of the Risk of Violence in Northern Uganda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(3), pages 650-669.
    8. Nelly El-Mallakh & Mathilde Maurel & Biagio Speciale, 2015. "Arab Spring Protests and Women’s Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Egyptian Revolution," Working Papers 957, Economic Research Forum, revised Oct 2015.
    9. Nelly El-Mallakh & Mathilde Maurel & Biagio Speciale, 2016. "Arab Spring Protests and Women's Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Egyptian Revolution," Working Papers hal-01309651, HAL.
    10. Timothy Besley & Hannes Mueller, 2012. "Estimating the Peace Dividend: The Impact of Violence on House Prices in Northern Ireland," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 810-833, April.
    11. Cozzi, Guido & Mantovan, Noemi & Sauer, Robert M., 2013. "Does It Pay to Work for Free? Wage Returns and Gender Differences in the Market for Volunteers," IZA Discussion Papers 7697, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Bonnier, Evelina & Poulsen, Jonas & Rogall, Thorsten & Stryjan, Miri, 2015. "Preparing for Genocide: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Rwanda," SITE Working Paper Series 31, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, revised 10 Nov 2016.
    13. Bailey, Martha J. & Duquette, Nicolas J., 2014. "How Johnson Fought the War on Poverty: The Economics and Politics of Funding at the Office of Economic Opportunity," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(02), pages 351-388, June.
    14. Emmanuel Duguet & David Gray & Yannick L'Horty & Loïc du Parquet & Pascale Petit, 2017. "Labor Market Effects of Urban Riots:an experimental assessment," TEPP Working Paper 2017-03, TEPP.
    15. Sarsons, Heather, 2015. "Rainfall and conflict: A cautionary tale," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 62-72.
    16. Guido Cozzi & Noemi Mantovan & Robert M. Sauer, 2017. "Does it Pay to Work for Free? Negative Selection and the Wage Returns to Volunteer Experience," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(6), pages 1018-1045, December.
    17. repec:eee:juecon:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:136-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Sangnier, Marc & Zylberberg, Yanos, 2017. "Protests and trust in the state: Evidence from African countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 55-67.
    19. Margo, Robert A., 2016. "Obama, Katrina, and the Persistence of Racial Inequality," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 76(02), pages 301-341, June.
    20. Thomas Fujiwara & Kyle C. Meng & Tom Vogl, 2013. "Estimating Habit Formation in Voting," NBER Working Papers 19721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Braakmann, Nils, 2012. "The effect of the 2011 London riots on crime, policing and unemployment," MPRA Paper 44883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Collins, William J. & Smith, Fred H., 2007. "A neighborhood-level view of riots, property values, and population loss: Cleveland 1950-1980," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 365-386, July.
    23. Cunningham, Jamein P., 2016. "An evaluation of the Federal Legal Services Program: Evidence from crime rates and property values," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 76-90.
    24. Taylor Jaworski & Bart J. Wilson, 2013. "Go West Young Man: Self-Selection and Endogenous Property Rights," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 886-904, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civil disturbance; Watts; Detroit; Newark;

    JEL classification:

    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • N92 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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