Schelling's Spatial Proximity Model of Segregation Revisited

U of London Queen Mary Economics Working Paper No. 487

58 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2003

See all articles by Romans Pancs

Romans Pancs

University of London - School of Economics and Finance

Nicolaas J. Vriend

Queen Mary, University of London - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

Schelling [1969, 1971a, 1971b, 1978] presented a microeconomic model showing how an integrated city could unravel to a rather segregated city, notwithstanding relatively mild assumptions concerning the individual agents' preferences, i.e., no agent preferring the resulting segregation. We examine the robustness of Schelling's model, focusing in particular on its driving force: The individual preferences. We show that even if all individual agents have a strict preference for perfect integration, best-response dynamics will lead to segregation. What is more, we argue that the one-dimensional and two-dimensional versions of Schelling's spatial proximity model are in fact two qualitatively very different models of segregation.

JEL Classification: C72, C73, D62

Suggested Citation

Pancs, Romans and Vriend, Nicolaas J., Schelling's Spatial Proximity Model of Segregation Revisited (January 2003). U of London Queen Mary Economics Working Paper No. 487. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=375080 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.375080

Romans Pancs

University of London - School of Economics and Finance

Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Nicolaas J. Vriend (Contact Author)

Queen Mary, University of London - Department of Economics ( email )

Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7882 5096 (Phone)
+44 (0)20 8983-3580 (Fax)

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