John R. Logan

Department of Sociology
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Brown University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2020Income Segregation: Up or Down, and for Whom?
with Andrew Foster, Hongwei Xu, Wenquan Zhang: w27045
Reports of rising income segregation have been brought into question by the observation that post-2000 estimates are upwardly biased due to a reduction in the sample sizes on which they are based. Recent studies have offered estimates of this “sample-count” bias using public data. We show here that there are two substantial sources of systematic bias in estimating segregation levels: bias associated with sample size and bias associated with using weighted sample data. We rely on new correction methods using the original census sample data for individual households to provide more accurate estimates. Family income segregation rose markedly in the 1980s but only selectively after 1990. For some categories of families, segregation declined after 1990. There has been an upward trend for famili...
August 2017The Uptick in Income Segregation: Real Trend or Random Sampling Variance
with Andrew Foster, Jun Ke, Fan Li: w23656
Recent studies have reported a reversal of an earlier trend in income segregation in metropolitan regions, from a decline in the 1990s to an increase in the 2000-2010 decade. This finding reinforces concerns about the growing overall income inequality in the U.S. since the 1970s. Yet the evidence may be systematically biased to show an upward trend because the effective sample for the American Community Survey (ACS) is much smaller than it was for Census 2000, to which it is being compared. There is a possibility that the apparent changes in disparities across census tracts result partly from a higher level of sampling variation and bias due to the smaller sample. This study uses 100% microdata from the 1940 census to simulate the impact of different sampling rates on estimates of several ...

Published: John R. Logan & Andrew Foster & Jun Ke & Fan Li, 2018. "The Uptick in Income Segregation: Real Trend or Random Sampling Variation?," American Journal of Sociology, vol 124(1), pages 185-222.

NBER Videos

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

Contact Us