Structural versus Ethnic Dimensions of Housing Segregation

33 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2016 Last revised: 23 Apr 2016

Richard H. Sander

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Yana Kucheva

The City College of New York

Date Written: March 1, 2016

Abstract

Racial residential segregation is still very high in many American cities. Some portion of segregation is attributable to socioeconomic differences across racial lines; some portion is caused by purely racial factors, such as preferences about the racial composition of one’s neighborhood or discrimination in the housing market. Social scientists have had great difficulty disaggregating segregation into a portion that can be explained by interracial differences in socioeconomic characteristics (what we call structural factors) versus a portion attributable to racial and ethnic factors. What would such a measure look like? In this paper, we draw on a new source of data to develop an innovative structural segregation measure that shows the amount of segregation that would remain if we could assign households to housing units based only on non-racial socioeconomic characteristics. This inquiry provides vital building blocks for the broader enterprise of understanding and remedying housing segregation.

Suggested Citation

Sander, Richard H. and Kucheva, Yana, Structural versus Ethnic Dimensions of Housing Segregation (March 1, 2016). US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP-16-22; UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2757794

Richard H. Sander (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

Yana Kucheva

The City College of New York ( email )

160 Convent Ave
New York, NY 10039
United States

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