Racial Residential Segregation Measurement Project

U of M


Consequences of Segregation

Most investigators who measure or describe racial residential segregation suggest that it has negative consequences for minorities, especially for blacks. However, until the 1990s there were few rigorous studies of the impact of racial residential segregation. In recent decades, quite a number of investigations have reported evidence showing that segregation increases and concentrates poverty among blacks, may lead to higher unemployment and lower school completion rates and apparently leads to higher mortality rates. Few of these studies specifically describe how segregation causes these effects.

Gunnar Myrdal, 1944. An American Dilemma. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Myrdal was among the first to reach a large audience with the argument that racial residential segregation limits opportunities for blacks. He did not present empirical evidence on this issue.

Lee Rainwater, 1970. Behind Ghetto Walls: Black Family Life in a Federal Slum. Chicago: Aldine Publishing.

By the late 1960s, it became clear that the massive public housing projects built in many northern cities were densely populated by female-headed poor black families, increasingly dependent upon welfare payments. This very distinguished sociologist described the situation of the black families who live in a "federal slum" in St. Louis in the 1960s.

Harold M. Rose, 1971. The Black Ghetto: A Spatial Behavioral Perspective. New York: McGraw-Hill.

This is an early statement by a then well-know urban geographer about the characteristics of the black ghettos that developed in many American cities.

Wayne J. Villemez, 1980. "Race, Class, and Neighborhood Differences in the Residential Return on Individual Resources." Social Forces 59(2), (December): 414-430.

Richard Price and Edwin Mills, 1985. "Race and Residence in Earnings Determination." Journal of Urban Economics 17: 1-18.

Douglas S. Massey, Gretchen A. Condran and Nancy Denton, 1985. "The Effects of Residential Segregation on Black Social and Economic Well-Being." Social Forces 66(1), (September): 29-56.

John E. Farley, 1985. "Disproportionate Black and Hispanic Unemployment in U.S. Metropolitan Areas." The American Journal of Economics and Sociology 46(2), (April): 129-150.

Jonathan S. Leonard, 1985. "The Interaction of Residential Segregation and Employment Discrimination." Journal of Urban Economics 21: 323-346.

Douglas S. Massey, 1985. "American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass." American Journal of Sociology 96(2), (September): 329-357.

This is the first statement of Douglas Massey's thesis that racial residential segregation played a key role in the development of a largely black urban underclass in the neighborhoods of many of the nation's largest central cities. This argument flowed from Massey's long standing interest in racial residential segregation was also linked to efforts to challenge the often misstated assertions of William Julius Wilson about the declining significance of race in the United States.

Anthony P. Polednak, 1985. Black-White Differences in Infant Mortality in 38 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas." American Journal of Public Health 81(11), (November): 1480-1482.

This is among the early studies reporting a positive correlation between a measure of black-white residential segregation in a metropolis and the infant mortality rates of blacks or the black-white gap in infant mortality.

Daniel N. Chambers, 1985. "The Racial Housing Price Differential and Racially Transitional Neighborhoods." Journal of Urban Economics 32: 214-232.

Florence Wagman Roisman and Hilary Botein, 1985. "Housing Mobility and Life Opportunities." Clearinghouse Review, (Special Issue): 335-351.

Anthony P. Polednak, 1985. "Poverty, Residential Segregation, and Black/White Mortality Ratios in Urban Areas." Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 4(4): 363-373.

Ruth D. Peterson and Lauren J. Krivo, 1985. "Racial Segregation and Black Urban Homicide." Social Forces 71: 1001-1026.

George C. Galster, 1985. "Polarization, Place and Race." North Carolina Law Review 71(5), (June): 1422-1462.

Paul A. Jargowsky, 1985. Poverty and Place: Ghettos, Barrios, and the American City. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

By the mid-1990s, Douglas Massey's idea that high levels of racial residential segregation in cities helped generate and sustain an urban black underclass were quite widely accepted although some critic doubted that there was convincing evidence about the causal link. In this book, Jargowsky carefully examines trends in the segregation of the poor and links that segregation to racial residential segregation with a close examination of the ways in which segregation was linked to urban poverty.

David M. Cutler and Edward Glaeser, 1985. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?" Quarterly Journal of Economics 112(3): 827-872.

This paper lays out the strongest empirically based argument about the negative effects of racial residential segregation for the social and economic status of blacks in American cities.

George C. Galster, 198__. "Housing Discrimination and Urban Poverty of African-Americans." Journal of Housing Research 2(2): 87-122.

George C. Galster, 1987. Residential Segregation and Interracial Economic Disparities: A Simultaneous-Equations Approach." Journal of Urban Economics 21: 22-44.

John R. Logan and Steven F. Messner, 1987. "Racial Residential Segregation and Suburban Violent Crime." Social Science Quarterly 68: 510-527.

Thomas A. LaViest, 1993. "Segregation, Poverty, and Empowerment: Health Consequences for African Americans." Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly 71(1): 41-64.

Douglas S. Massey, Andrew B. Gross and Kumiko Shibuya, 1993. "Migration, Segregation, and the Geographic Concentration of Poverty." American Sociological Review 59(3), (June): 425-445.

Edward S. Shihadeh and Nicole Flynn, 1996. "Segregation and Crime: The Effect of Black Social Isolation on the Races of Black Urban Violence." Social Forces 74: 1325-1352.

Donald P. Green, Dara Z. Strolovitch and Janelle S. Wong, 1998. "Defended Neighborhoods, Integration and Racially Motivated Crime." American Journal of Sociology 104(2), (September): 372-403.

David R. Williams, 1998. "Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Health: The Added Effects of Racism and Discrimination." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 896: 173-188.

David T. Canon, 1998. Race, Redistricting, and Representation: The Unintended Consequences of Black Majority Districts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Chiquita A. Collins and David R. Williams, 1998. "Segregation and Mortality: The Deadly Effects of Racism?" Sociological Forum 14(3): 495-523.

Douglas S. Massey and Mary J. Fischer, 1998. "How Segregation Concentrates Poverty." Ethnic and Racial Studies 23(4), (July): 670-691.

David R. Harris, 1999. 1999 "Property Values Drop When Blacks Move In, Because… Racial and Socioeconomic Determinants of Neighborhood Desirability." American Sociological Review 64, (June): 461-479.

P. Lobmayer and R. G. Wilkinson, 2001. "Inequality, Residential Segregation by Income and Mortality in US Cities." Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 56: 183-187.