Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1713406
 
 

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Are Mixed Neighborhoods Always Unstable? Two-Sided and One-Sided Tipping


David Card


University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alexandre Mas


Department of Economics and Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jesse Rothstein


University of California, Berkeley, The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy; University of California, Berkeley, College of Letters & Science, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

March 2008

Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper No. GSPP10-013

Abstract:     
A great deal of urban policy depends on the possibility of creating stable, economically and racially mixed neighborhoods. Many social interaction models – including the seminal Schelling (1971) model – have the feature that the only stable equilibria are fully segregated. These models suggest that if home-buyers have preferences over their neighborhoods’ racial composition, a neighborhood with mixed racial composition is inherently unstable, in the sense that a small change in the composition sets off a dynamic process that converges to either 0% or 100% minority share. Card, Mas, and Rothstein (2008) outline an alternative “one-sided” tipping model in which neighborhoods with a minority share below a critical threshold are potentially stable, but those that exceed the threshold rapidly shift to 100% minority composition. In this paper we examine the racial dynamics of Census tracts in major metropolitan areas over the period from 1970 to 2000, focusing on the question of whether tipping is "two-sided" or "one-sided". The evidence suggests that tipping behavior is one-sided, and that neighborhoods with minority shares below the tipping point attract both white and minority residents.

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Date posted: November 23, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Card, David and Mas, Alexandre and Rothstein, Jesse, Are Mixed Neighborhoods Always Unstable? Two-Sided and One-Sided Tipping (March 2008). Goldman School of Public Policy Working Paper No. GSPP10-013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1713406 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1713406

Contact Information

David E. Card
University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )
Room 3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
510-642-5222 (Phone)
510-643-7042 (Fax)
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Alexandre Mas
Department of Economics and Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University ( email )
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Jesse Rothstein (Contact Author)
University of California, Berkeley, The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy ( email )
2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
United States
HOME PAGE: http://gsppi.berkeley.edu/faculty/jrothstein
University of California, Berkeley, College of Letters & Science, Department of Economics ( email )
549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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