Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation

52 Pages Posted: 11 May 2005

See all articles by David M. Cutler

David M. Cutler

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jacob L. Vigdor

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2005

Abstract

This paper uses decennial Census data to examine trends in immigrant segregation in the United States between 1910 and 2000. Immigrant segregation declined in the first half of the century, but has been rising steadily over the past three decades. Analysis of restricted access 1990 Census microdata suggests that this rise would be even more striking if the native-born children of immigrants could be consistently excluded from the analysis. We analyze panel and cross-sectional variation in immigrant segregation, as well as housing price patterns across metropolitan areas, to test four hypotheses of immigrant segregation. Immigration itself has surged in recent decades, but the tendency for newly arrived immigrants to be younger and of lower socioeconomic status explains very little of the recent rise in immigrant segregation. We also find little evidence of increased nativism in the housing market. Evidence instead points to changes in urban form, manifested in particular as native-driven suburbanization and the decline of public transit as a transportation mode, as a central explanation for the new immigrnt segregation.

Suggested Citation

Cutler, David M. and Glaeser, Edward L. and Vigdor, Jacob L., Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation (May 2005). Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 2071. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=721565 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.721565

David M. Cutler

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Edward L. Glaeser (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Brookings Institution

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Jacob L. Vigdor

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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