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A Neighborhood-Level View of Riots, Property Values, and Population Loss: Cleveland 1950-1980

Author

Listed:
  • William J. Collins

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • Fred H. Smith

    () (Department of Economics, Davidson College)

Abstract

We undertake a case study of riots in the context of Cleveland's economic decline between 1950 and 1980. Our empirical perspective emphasizes differential changes in property values and population levels across census tracts depending on their proximity to the riots' epicenter. We find patterns that are consistent with concentrated, negative, and long-lasting effects from the 1960s riots. These estimates do not depend on whether we use a narrow or a broad categorization for "riot tracts", whether we use simple difference-in-difference measures or detailed information on the distance of each tract from the riot center, or whether we use ordinary least squares or matching estimation techniques. Moreover, the negative relationship between riots and property value trends is not merely a reflection of the pre-existing trend in value, the pre-riot racial composition of the neighborhoods, the pre-riot proportion of neighborhood residents holding manufacturing jobs, the neighborhood crime rate, nor changes in the observable characteristics of the housing stock. ClevelandÕs economic difficulties did not start with the riots. Rather, we suggest that the impact of the riots was compounded by long-run forces that were already eroding ClevelandÕs economic base.

Suggested Citation

  • William J. Collins & Fred H. Smith, 2005. "A Neighborhood-Level View of Riots, Property Values, and Population Loss: Cleveland 1950-1980," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0528, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0528
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Glaeser, Edward L. & Scheinkman, JoseA. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1995. "Economic growth in a cross-section of cities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 117-143, August.
    2. 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.
    3. William J. Collins & Robert A. Margo, 2004. "The Economic Aftermath of the 1960s Riots: Evidence from Property Values," NBER Working Papers 10493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. F. H. Smith, 2003. "Historical evidence on the monocentric urban model: a case study of Cleveland, 1915-1980," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(11), pages 729-731.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Curley Effect: The Economics of Shaping the Electorate," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-19, April.
    6. William J. Collins & Robert A. Margo, 2003. "The Labor Market Effects of the 1960s Riots," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0324, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 159-169, May.
    9. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-95-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. George C. Galster, 1990. "White Flight from Racially Integrated Neighbourhoods in the 1970s: the Cleveland Experience," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 27(3), pages 385-399, June.
    11. Kennedy, Peter E, 1981. "Estimation with Correctly Interpreted Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations [The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 801-801, September.
    12. Collins, William J. & Margo, Robert A., 2007. "The Economic Aftermath of the 1960s Riots in American Cities: Evidence from Property Values," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 849-883, December.
    13. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Bernini, 2020. "The Voice of Radio in the Battle for Equal Rights: Evidence from the U.S. South," Oxford Economic and Social History Working Papers _181, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Norling, Johannes, 2020. "Education and employment following apartheid protests," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    4. William J. Collins & Katharine Shester, 2010. "The Economic Effects of Slum Clearance and Urban Renewal in the United States," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 1013, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Civil disturbance; race; housing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • N92 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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