Theses Master's

“Racial Residential Segregation and Interracial Economic Disparities” Revisited

Meiklejohn, Mark

Housing segregation and economic disparities between races continue to be urgent issues in the United States in spite of other progress made in the area of racial inequality. Housing segregation has been demonstrated again and again, in studies both old and new, to be related to a series of adverse conditions for minority communities. Individuals in segregated black neighborhoods, for instance, are more likely to be poor, to be unhealthy, and to be under-educated. These outcomes are not accidents and are not inevitable. This paper seeks to understand the causes and effects of residential segregation and particularly its relationship to economic inequities. In 1987, George Galster published an article entitled “Residential Segregation and Interracial Economic Disparities.” This paper, written nearly three decades ago, sought to understand these same issues. Dr. Galster developed a statistical technique to shed light on the mechanics of these disparities. He measured the effects of residential and occupational discrimination; white self segregation; and job and housing market characteristics on residential segregation and economic disparities. With only slight alterations that are described in detail later on, this thesis replicates the methodology described in Galster’s 1987 paper with the most recent available data. The hypothesis presented is that in spite of objective social progress in race relations in other areas, the dynamics of residential segregation and economic disparities have remained more or less unchanged. The numbers do not bear this out, however. Instead, an important transformation appears to have taken place. Having been unable to rule out the null hypothesis, the implications are less clear and objective than could be hoped. Nevertheless, the 3 migration of whites back into urban areas in recent years and the effects of gentrification may help explain some of the deviation from the predicted values.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Freeman, Lance M.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 24, 2016