Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2436716
 


 



Race, Ethnicity, and Discriminatory Zoning


Allison Shertzer


University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics

Tate Twinam


University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics

Randall Walsh


University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics

May 2014

NBER Working Paper No. w20108

Abstract:     
Zoning has been cited as a discriminatory policy tool by critics, who argue that ordinances are used to deter the entry of minority residents into majority neighborhoods through density restrictions (exclusionary zoning) and locate manufacturing activity in minority neighborhoods (environmental racism). However, identifying discrimination in these regulations is complicated by the fact that land use and zoning have been co-evolving for nearly a century in most American cities, rendering residential sorting and inequitable treatment observationally equivalent. We employ a novel approach to overcome this challenge, studying the introduction of comprehensive zoning in Chicago. Using fine-scale spatial data on pre-existing land uses and the locations of minority neighborhoods, we find evidence of a pre-cursor to exclusionary zoning that was applied to black neighborhoods. We also find strong evidence of inequitable treatment of both southern black and immigrant neighborhoods with both appearing to have been targeted for increased levels of industrial use zoning.

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Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

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Date posted: May 14, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Shertzer, Allison and Twinam, Tate and Walsh, Randall, Race, Ethnicity, and Discriminatory Zoning (May 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20108. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2436716

Contact Information

Allison Shertzer (Contact Author)
University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics ( email )
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
Tate Twinam
University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics ( email )
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
Randall Walsh
University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics ( email )
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
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