We merge metropolitan-level measures of racial discrimination in housing markets derived from two national housing audit studies, along with tract-level 1980 census data, with the 1979-1985 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the impact of housing discrimination on patterns of residential mobility between neighborhoods of varying racial composition. We find no evidence that housing discrimination in the metropolitan area impedes African Americans' mobility into whiter neighborhoods. Contrary to expectations, in multivariate analyses based on black movers, the level of housing discrimination is positively associated with the percentage of the population that is white in the tract of destination. Housing discrimination against African Americans is positively associated with the rate at which mobile white households move into whiter census tracts. These findings imply that eliminating racial discrimination by real estate and rental agents will fail to increase black residential mobility into racially-mixed and predominantly white neighborhoods. For both black and white households, life-cycle factors, such as age, children, and home ownership, impede mobility out of the current neighborhood. Conditional upon moving, socioeconomic resources, such as education and income, facilitate mobility into whiter neighborhoods.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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