Are Historic Districts A Backdoor for Segregation? Yes and No
37 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2021
Date Written: November 18, 2020
Historic districts preserve the heritage of designated areas and tend to attract tourism income. However, these districts also come with specific restrictions and increased housing prices that could result in segregation. We study how two historic district programs impact residential segregation in Denver. We find that home buyers are more likely to be White within historic districts, but that the official designation has no effect on this probability. Similarly, when examining seller-to-buyer housing transactions, we find that most transactions flow from White sellers to White buyers, regardless of the official designation. Thus, while historic districts tend to be more segregated than their surrounding areas, the legal restrictions and housing premium that come with historic designations do not seem to amplify this existing problem.
Keywords: Historic district, segregation, machine learning
JEL Classification: R20, R30, J15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation