Empirics of Strategic Interdependence: The Case of the Racial Tipping Point

47 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2009 Last revised: 5 Sep 2010

See all articles by William Easterly

William Easterly

New York University - Department of Economics

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Date Written: June 2009

Abstract

The Schelling model of a "tipping point" in racial segregation, in which whites flee a neighborhood once a threshold of nonwhites is reached, is a canonical model of strategic interdependence. The idea of "tipping" explaining segregation is widely accepted in the academic literature and popular media. I use census tract data for metropolitan areas of the US from 1970 to 2000 to test the predictions of the Schelling model and find that this particular model of strategic interaction largely fails the tests. There is more "white flight" out of neighborhoods with a high initial share of whites than out of more racially mixed neighborhoods

Suggested Citation

Easterly, William, Empirics of Strategic Interdependence: The Case of the Racial Tipping Point (June 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15069. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1418927

William Easterly (Contact Author)

New York University - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

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