Making Our Neighborhoods, Making Our Selves: A Review Essay
- Journal of Economic Literature (Forthcoming)
This essay reviews Making Our Neighborhoods, Making Our Selves, in which George C. Galster provides an overview of the literatures on neighborhood formation and neighborhood effects. I see two clear ways that Making Our Neighborhoods will serve as a reference strengthening these literatures. Given the state of the literature on neighborhood effects, which is often still at the stage of testing the existence and magnitude of such effects, the author's framework for classifying the types of heterogeneity we might observe in neighborhood effects will be a valuable tool for researchers. And since the literature on neighborhood formation approaches the issues from a disparate set of fields, the author's presentation of individual actors shaping neighborhood dynamics while using ideas of equilibrium, belief formation, equity and efficiency, and unpriced externalities should help unify understanding of the economic approach to neighborhood formation. While the author certainly does not shy away from race, I argue that several parts of the presentation would be clearer if they were tied more directly to racial segregation.
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