Why is Black-White residential segregation so persistent? Evidence on three theories from migration data

Lincoln Quillian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines the patterns of residential mobility by Whites and African Americans that contribute to continued high levels of Black-White residential segregation in American cities. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics matched with data from the decennial censuses, patterns of migration are described, modeled as a function of individual characteristics, and then used to project changes in spatial segregation that would result from hypothetical alterations in the individual characteristics of the Black and White populations. The results suggest that White avoidance of predominately Black and racially mixed neighborhoods is a very important process upholding segregation. White probabilities of moving among neighborhood types are only weakly influenced by individual characteristics, including income; Black probabilities are more strongly influenced by individual characteristics. Black moves into White neighborhoods are less frequent than White moves, but are not extremely infrequent. The article concludes that efforts to curtail segregation must consider White avoidance in addition to discrimination in housing markets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-229
Number of pages33
JournalSocial Science Research
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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