The Puzzle of the Optimal Social Composition of Neighborhoods
Robert C. Ellickson
Yale Law School
Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 337
THE TIEBOUT MODEL AT FIFTY: ESSAYS IN PUBLIC ECONOMICS IN HONOR OF WALLACE OATES, William A. Fischel, ed., Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2006
Commentators rightly decry the excessive segregation of American neighborhoods by race and social class. If all demographic groups were randomly distributed throughout a metropolitan area, however, there would be great diversity within each neighborhood, but no diversity among them. There is much evidence that most people, including most African Americans, would object to that outcome because it would prevent households from choosing among varying social environments. Drawing in part on Robert Putnam's distinction between bonding and bridging social capital, this paper explores the perplexing normative issue of the optimal residential distribution of different social groups.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: integration, segregation, Tiebout, exclusionary zoning, clubs
JEL Classification: D71, H73, J15, R52Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 2, 2006
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