Dividing Lines: Racial Segregation across Local Government Boundaries
Journal of Economic Literature
no. 3, September 2023
We describe the empirical relationship between local government boundaries and residential segregation in the United States. First, we study recent changes in the distribution of segregation within and between local governments in all metropolitan areas,
using census block data on residential demographics over the period 1990–2020. We find that segregation across local government boundaries explains a substantial share of racial stratification, which has changed only little over the last thirty years. Next, we
use spatial regression discontinuity methods to distinguish between household sorting due to neighborhood amenities and public goods provided by local governments. The prevalence of demographic discontinuities at local government boundaries suggest
that between-jurisdiction segregation patterns cannot be explained solely by proximity to neighborhood amenities. We discuss implications for policy, showing that both between-jurisdiction segregation and jurisdictional discontinuities can partly explain the correlation between total segregation and racial gaps in educational outcomes.
Monarrez, Tomás, and David Schönholzer.
"Dividing Lines: Racial Segregation across Local Government Boundaries."
Journal of Economic Literature,
State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
Education and Inequality
Returns to Education
Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics