White Suburbanization and African-American Home Ownership, 1940-1980
Between 1940 and 1980, the homeownership rate among metropolitan African-American households increased by 27 percentage points. Nearly three-quarters of this increase occurred in central cities. We show that rising black homeownership in central cities was facilitated by the movement of white households to the suburban ring, which reduced the price of urban housing units conducive to owner-occupancy. Our OLS and IV estimates imply that 26 percent of the national increase in black homeownership over the period is explained by white suburbanization.
We acknowledge the able research assistance of Mary Ann Bronson and Zhuofu Song and financial support from the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA. Nathaniel Baum-Snow generously shared data with us. Comments from Stuart Rosenthal, Tara Watson, and workshop participants at the 2010 ASSA meetings, the NBER Development of the American Economy Program Meeting, the All-UC Economic History conference, Sciences Po, UC-Irvine, the UCLA KALER group, and the University of Pittsburgh are gratefully acknowledged. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
"A Silver Lining to White Flight? White Suburbanization and African-American Homeownership, 1940-1980," with Robert A. Margo. Journal of Urban Economics, 2013.