A silver lining to white flight for African Americans

This new research by Robert Margo, et al at the Department of Economics of Boston University explores how white flight led to increased African–American homeownership in the U.S. between 1940–1980.

Abstract: 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.

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