Chart of the Day: The Housing Bubble Increased Racial Segregation

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Via Suzy Khimm, here’s an interesting bit of research from Amine Ouazad and Romain Rancière. During the housing boom of the aughts, it became easier for low-income families to buy more expensive homes. Since African-American families have lower incomes than average, this suggests that the housing boom, on average, should have allowed them to move into less segregated neighborhoods.

And it did. But it also allowed white and Hispanic families to move, and it turns out that Hispanic families mostly moved into Hispanic neighborhoods:

Hispanic families have used the easier access to credit to buy houses in predominantly Hispanic neighbourhoods with the consequence of enrolling their children in schools with fewer black peers, and more Hispanic and white peers. We estimate that, because of the credit boom, black students in 2006 had 2% fewer Hispanic peers….Credit markets enabled a substantial fraction of Hispanic families to live in neighbourhoods with fewer black families, even though a substantial fraction of black families were moving to more racially integrated areas.

The chart below shows the impact of the housing boom on black household segregation. In 1997, black students in public schools had an “isolation” of 50.5%. That is, 50.5% of their peers were black. By 2007, that had dropped to 49%. But the housing boom actually slowed the rate of decline. The authors conclude that if the housing boom had never happened, black isolation would have dropped to 48%. Their conclusion: “The net effect is that credit markets increased racial segregation.” 

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate