Does segregation create winners and losers? Residential segregation and inequality in educational attainment

Lincoln Quillian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines the effects of residential segregation on the basis of poverty status and race for high school and college completion. Segregation effects are estimated by contrasting educational outcomes among persons raised in metropolitan areas with varying levels of segregation. This metropolitan-level approach provides two advantages in evaluating segregation effects over neighborhood effects studies: it incorporates effects of residential segregation outside of the affected individuals' neighborhoods of residence and it allows evaluation of gains and losses across groups from segregation. Data are drawn from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the decennial censuses. Poor-nonpoor segregation is associated with lower rates of high school graduation among adolescents from poor backgrounds, but has no effect on rates of graduation for students from nonpoor backgrounds. Black-white segregation is associated with lower rates of high school graduation and college graduation for black students, but has no effect on graduation rates for white students. Use of proximity-adjusted segregation measures or instrumental variable estimation gives similar results. The results suggest that residential segregation harms the educational attainment of disadvantaged groups without increasing the educational attainment of advantaged groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-426
Number of pages25
JournalSocial Problems
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Educational attainment
  • Inequality
  • Neighborhood effects
  • Segregation
  • Social context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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