Racial Preferences and Racial Residential Segregation: Findings from Analyses Using Minimum Segregation Models

Mark Fossett, Texas A&M University

I use minimum segregation measures--model-based measures that register the minimum level of segregation that can be achieved without violating the ethnic preferences of the populations residing in the city--to explore the implications of preferences for segregation. I develop formulations that take account of group's preferences separately and jointly. I develop methods yielding minimum segregation outcomes on multiple dimensions of segregation simultaneously both when preferences are homogeneous and when preferences are heterogeneous. I find that the implications of a group's preferences for segregation are complicated and vary with the racial composition of the city, the preferences held by other groups, and the "shape" of the preference distributions involved. I also find that model-based assessments suggest preferences may have important implications for racial segregation in urban areas including the surprising result that seemingly "tolerant" preferences held by minority populations can give rise to high levels of residential segregation.

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Presented in Session 162: New Findings on Segregation