Happy in the Hood? The Impact of Residential Segregation on Self‐Reported Happiness

28 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2016

See all articles by Chris M. Herbst

Chris M. Herbst

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Public Affairs

Joanna Lucio

Arizona State University - School of Public Affairs

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2016

Abstract

Previous research consistently finds that racially based residential segregation is associated with poor economic, health, and social outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between residential segregation and self‐reported happiness. Using panel data from the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH), we begin by estimating ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions of happiness on a measure of MSA‐level segregation, controlling for a rich set of individual, neighborhood, regional, and state characteristics. The OLS results suggest that increased segregation is associated with a reduction in happiness among blacks. To deal more appropriately with the potential endogeneity of location choice, we extend the methodology to fully exploit the panel structure of the NSFH and incorporate individual fixed effects into the happiness equation. Contrary to the OLS results, our fixed effects estimates imply that blacks are happier in more segregated metropolitan areas. The paper discusses the implications of these results within the context of current integration policies.

Suggested Citation

Herbst, Chris M. and Lucio, Joanna, Happy in the Hood? The Impact of Residential Segregation on Self‐Reported Happiness (June 2016). Journal of Regional Science, Vol. 56, Issue 3, pp. 494-521, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2790382 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jors.12263

Chris M. Herbst (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Box 870603
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Joanna Lucio

Arizona State University - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

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