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School desegregation, school choice and changes in residential location patterns by race
This paper examines the residential location and school choice responses to desegregation of large public school districts. Unique data and variation in the timing of desegregation orders facilitate the analysis. The 16 percent decline in white public enrollment due to desegregation primarily led to migration to suburban districts in the South and increased private enrollment in other regions. Desegregation caused black public enrollment to increase by 20 percent outside the South largely due to population changes. The spatial distributions of responses by race to desegregation orders closely match those predicted by a model of residential location and private school choice.
AUTHORS: Lutz, Byron F.; Baum-Snow, Nathaniel
Accounting for Central Neighborhood Change, 1980-2010
Neighborhoods within 2 km of most central business districts of U.S. metropolitan areas experienced population declines from 1980 to 2000 but have rebounded markedly since 2000 at greater pace than would be expected from simple mean reversion. Statistical decompositions reveal that 1980-2000 departures of residents without a college degree (of all races) generated most of the declines while the return of college educated whites and the stabilization of neighborhood choices by less educated whites promoted most of the post-2000 rebound. The rise of childless households and the increase in the share of the population with a college degree, conditional on race, also promoted 1980-2010 increases in central area population and educational composition of residents, respectively. Estimation of a neighborhood choice model shows that changes in choices to live in central neighborhoods primarily reflect a shifting balance between rising home prices and valuations of local amenities, though 1980-2000 central area population declines also reflect deteriorating nearby labor market opportunities for low skilled whites. Rising 1980-2000 central neighborhood home prices were about equally offset by rising amenity valuations among college educated whites; declining amenity valuations reinforced rising home prices to incentivize departures of other demographic groups from central neighborhoods during this period. Greater increases in amenity valuations after 2000 encouraged college educated whites to move in and other whites to remain but were not large enough to offset rising housing costs for minorities.
AUTHORS: Baum-Snow, Nathaniel; Hartley, Daniel
The Long-Run Effects of Neighborhood Change on Incumbent Families
A number of prominent studies examine the long-run effects of neighborhood attributes on children by leveraging variation in neighborhood exposure through household moves. However, much neighborhood change comes in place rather than through moving. Using an urban economic geography model as a basis, this paper estimates the causal effects of changes in neighborhood attributes on long-run outcomes for incumbent children and households. For identification, we make use of quasi-random variation in 1990-2000 and 2000-2005 skill specific labor demand shocks hitting each residential metro area census tract in the U.S. Our results indicate that children in suburban neighborhoods with a one standard deviation greater increase in the share of resident adults with a college degree experienced a 0.4 to 0.7 standard deviation improvement in credit outcomes 12-17 years later. Since parental outcomes are not affected, we interpret these results as operating through neighborhood effects. Finally, we provide evidence that most of the estimated effects operate through public schools.
AUTHORS: Baum-Snow, Nathaniel; Hartley, Daniel; Kwan Ok , Lee