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 locate manufacturing activity in minority neighborhoods (environmental racism) and deter the entry of minority residents into good neighborhoods using density restrictions (exclusionary zoning). However, empirically documenting such discriminatory behavior is complicated by the fact that zoning and land use have been co-evolving for nearly a century in most American cities, rendering discrimination and sorting 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 the location of African Americans and immigrants across the city along with maps of pre-existing land use, we find strong evidence of environmental racism. Both southern black and immigrant neighborhoods appear to have been targeted for increased levels of industrial use zoning. We also find evidence of a pre-cursor to modern day exclusionary zoning.

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Number of Pages in PDF File: 54

working papers series


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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