Distinguishing Causes of Neighborhood Racial Change: A Nearest Neighbor Design

52 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2022 Last revised: 26 Oct 2022

See all articles by Patrick J. Bayer

Patrick J. Bayer

Duke University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Marcus Casey

University of Illinois at Chicago

W. Ben McCartney

University of Virginia

John Orellana

The Graduate Center, CUNY

Calvin Zhang

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Date Written: September 2022

Abstract

Whether contemporary households consider the race of their neighbors when choosing a neighborhood is controversial. We study neighborhood choice using a novel research design that contrasts the move rate of homeowners who receive a new different-race neighbor nearby to that of homeowners who live further away on the same block. This approach isolates a component of the household move decision directly attributable to their neighbors’ identities. Both Black and white homeowners are more likely to move after receiving a new different-race neighbor in their immediate vicinity. We discuss heterogeneity in this result and implications for understanding modern neighborhood racial change.

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Suggested Citation

Bayer, Patrick J. and Casey, Marcus and McCartney, W. Ben and Orellana, John and Zhang, Calvin, Distinguishing Causes of Neighborhood Racial Change: A Nearest Neighbor Design (September 2022). NBER Working Paper No. w30487, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4229110

Patrick J. Bayer (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Marcus Casey

University of Illinois at Chicago

W. Ben McCartney

University of Virginia ( email )

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John Orellana

The Graduate Center, CUNY ( email )

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Calvin Zhang

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

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Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

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