Clotfelter, Charles T.
Are Whites Still Fleeing? Racial Patterns and Enrollment Shifts in Urban Public Schools, 1987-1996
Examines recent trends in enrollment and racial composition in urban public schools. Does desegregation contribute to white enrollment losses?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 199-221
- The study finds that "white flight" was still occurring in the 1990s.
- Three variables were consistently found to be important explanations for white enrollment losses---exposure rate to nonwhites, the accessibility to whiter districts, and the overall metropolitan growth rate.
- There was little variation in White enrollment growth across regions.
- The loss of white students is not evenly distributed, but systematically related to interracial contact and the ease of avoiding that contact.
- The study found an overall increase in school segregation, entirely due to "between district' rather than 'within district' segregation increases.
- The rate of White enrollment decline is affected by the "push" of exposure to non-Whites and the "pull" of predominantly White districts in the area.
- The district size is important. Larger districts better avoid large losses of White students.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Contact Theory , Desegregation, Racial Composition, Resegregation, Residential Segregation, White Flight
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- The principal source of data is the National Center for Education Statistics' Common Core of Data (NCES 1999).
- The data were collected for similarly defined metropolitan areas at two points in time to assess changes over that period.
- 238 metropolitan areas (3,933 districts) are in the sample.
- The dataset includes information on the racial composition of schools.
- Examine data for 1987 and 1996 on racial composition and enrollment in all schools and school districts in 238 metropolitan areas.
- DV: Change in White public school enrollment.
- IV: Measures of composition and segregation.