NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Federal Oversight, Local Control, and the Specter of "Resegregation" in Southern Schools

Charles T. Clotfelter, Helen F. Ladd, Jacob L. Vigdor

NBER Working Paper No. 11086
Issued in January 2005
NBER Program(s):   ED   LE   PE

Analyzing data for the 100 largest school districts in the South and Border states, we ask whether there is evidence of "resegregation" of school districts and whether levels of segregation can be linked to judicial decisions. We distinguish segregation measures indicating the extent of racial isolation from those indicating the degree of racial imbalance across schools. For the period 1994 to 2004 the trend in only one measure of racial isolation is consistent with the hypothesis that districts in these regions are resegregating. Yet the increase in this measure appears to be driven by the general increase in the nonwhite percentage in the student population rather than policy-determined increases in racial imbalance. Racial imbalance itself shows no trend over this period. Racial imbalance is nevertheless associated with judicial declarations of unitary status, suggesting that segregation in schools might have declined had it not been for the actions of federal courts. This estimated relationship is subject to a lag, which is in keeping with the tendency for courts to grant unitary status only if districts agree to limit their own freedom to reassign students.

download in pdf format
   (481 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the March 2005 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

This paper is available as PDF (481 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11086

Published: Charles T. Clotfelter & Jacob L. Vigdor & Helen F. Ladd, 2006. "Federal Oversight, Local Control, and the Specter of "Resegregation" in Southern Schools," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 347-389.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Clotfelter w6779 Public School Segregation in Metropolitan Areas
Fryer and Levitt w11049 The Black-White Test Score Gap Through Third Grade
Hanushek and Rivkin w12651 School Quality and the Black-White Achievement Gap
Cameron and Heckman w7249 The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites
Fryer and Levitt w8975 Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us