School desegregation and urban change: Evidence from city boundaries

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30 Scopus citations


I examine changes in the city-suburban housing price gap in metropolitan areas with and without court-ordered desegregation plans over the 1970s, narrowing my comparison to housing units on opposite sides of district boundaries. Desegregation of public schools in central cities reduced the demand for urban residence, leading urban housing prices and rents to decline by 6 percent relative to neighboring suburbs. Aversion to integration was due both to changes in peer composition and to student reassignment to nonneighborhood schools. The associated reduction in the urban tax base imposed a fiscal externality on remaining urban residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-108
Number of pages24
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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