Does Sprawl Reduce the Black/White Housing Consumption Gap?

Posted: 28 Jul 2001

See all articles by Matthew E. Kahn

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)


Unplanned suburban growth imposes social costs such as congestion, pollution, and open space reduction. Anti-sprawl policies are being adopted in fast growing metropolitan areas. This paper explores one potential benefit of sprawl. Sprawl increases housing affordability and this may contribute to reducing the black/white housing consumption gap.

This paper uses 1997 American Housing Survey data to measure housing consumption for blacks and whites in more and less sprawled metropolitan areas. In sprawled areas, black households do consume larger units and are more likely to own homes relative to black households who live in less sprawled areas.

Keywords: sprawl, housing, race

JEL Classification: R0, Q2

Suggested Citation

Kahn, Matthew E., Does Sprawl Reduce the Black/White Housing Consumption Gap?. Housing Policy Debate, Vol. 12, No. 1. Available at SSRN:

Matthew E. Kahn (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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