Explaining Racial Differences:A Study of City-to-Suburb Residential Mobility
AbstractAlthough black city-to-suburb residential mobility increased markedly during the 1970s, the rate of outmovement by whites was still much higher. In this article we examine empirically three explanations for this continuing racial difference in suburbanization: (1) socioeconomic differences between the white and black central city populations, (2) racially motivated outmovement by whites (white flight), and (3) abnormally low outmovement by blacks (black retention). Using 1974-1976 Annual Housing Survey data from 35 large SMSAs, we begin by replicating Frey's (1979) analysis of white outmovement during the late 1960s. We then modify the model and apply it to black outmovement. We conclude from our analysis that black retention, attributable to actual or anticipated racial discrimination against blacks, is responsible for most of the white-black gap in rates of city-to-suburb movement. The other two explanations play only secondary roles.