Emerson, Michael O., Chai, Karen T., & Yancey, George
Does Race Matter in Residential Segregation? Exploring the Preferences of White Americans
Examines whites' stated residential preferences,not just for African American neighbors but also for Hispanics and Asians, to determine relationships between race and residential segregation.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Sociological Review
Vol. 66, No. 6, pp. 922-935
- When the group in a neighborhood is Asian, race does not appear to exert an influence on Whites' stated likelihood of buying a home.
- Crime and educational quality matter, but the percentage of Hispanics in the neighborhood has no significant effect on Whites' home purchasing decisions.
- There is a significant negative effect of Black composition on Whites' reported likelihood of buying a house.
- About one-quarter of Whites said they would be very likely to buy a house when the racial composition was 15 percent Black or less. But when the neighborhood exceeded 65 percent Black, essentially no Whites said they would be very likely to buy the house, even when crime was low, school quality was high, and housing values were increasing.
- The higher the percentage of Blacks in the zip code of actual residence, the less likely respondents are to buy the home, net of other variables. But the higher the percentage of non-Whites in the respondents' circle of friends, the more likely they are to buy the home.
- There was an additional effect when the respondent actually had children under 18. In such cases, neighborhood importance increased, as it shapes who the respondent's children will interact with, where the children are likely to go to school, and other social- and cultural-capital- building opportunities.
- The negative effect of an increasing percentage of Blacks on the stated likelihood of buying a home is greater when whites have children under 18 than when they do not.
- For Whites with children under 18, the estimated coefficient for percent black is three times the size of that for Whites without children under 18.
Journal Article Historical Analysis
Geographic Location, Housing, Neighborhood, Race, Residential Segregation
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Conducted national-level factorial telephone experiment with 1,663 randomly selected, non-Hispanic, White participants over the age of 17.
- Conducted from October 1999 to April 200) using random digit dialing, achieved a 53 percent response rate.
- Respondents were told they are house hunting, that they have two children in school, and that they have found a house more desirable than any other house. Furthermore, this house is both affordable and located conveniently near work.
- Respondents are then randomly selected to be told about one of four main context variables: public school quality, property value, % minority, quality of other homes, and crime rate and asked how likely or unlikely they would be to purchase the home (using a 6-point scale).
- DV: Likelihood of purchasing home described in experiment
- IV: Respondent characteristics, context variables described in scenario, racial composition of friends, formal education, marital status, number of children, immigrant status, region, racial composition of respondents' zip code