Minority Representation in Local Government

60 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Brian Beach

Brian Beach

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics

Daniel Jones

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public & International Affairs

Tate Twinam

University of Washington, Bothell

Randall Walsh

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

Does minority representation in a legislative body differentially impact outcomes for minorities? To examine this question, we study close elections for California city council seats between white and nonwhite candidates. We find that nonwhite candidates generate differential gains in housing prices in majority nonwhite neighborhoods. This result, which is not explained by correlations between candidate race and political affiliation or neighborhood racial composition and income, suggests that increased representation can reduce racial disparities. Our results strengthen with increased city-level segregation and councilmember pivotality. Regarding mechanisms, we observe changes in business patterns and policing behavior, which may help explain our results.

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Suggested Citation

Beach, Brian and Jones, Daniel and Twinam, Tate and Walsh, Randall, Minority Representation in Local Government (October 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w25192. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3274418

Brian Beach (Contact Author)

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics ( email )

Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

Daniel Jones

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public & International Affairs ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15260-0001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://danielbjones.weebly.com

Tate Twinam

University of Washington, Bothell ( email )

18115 Campus Way NE
Bothell, WA 98011
United States

Randall Walsh

University of Pittsburgh - Department of Economics ( email )

4901 Wesley Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

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