Preferences Constrained: Racial and Ethnic Variations in Parents’ Neighborhood Choice Considerations

Andrea G. Krieg, Bowling Green State University
Raymond R. Swisher, Bowling Green State University
Danielle C. Kuhl, Bowling Green State University
Jorge Chavez, Bowling Green State University

It is critical to better understand how families come to live in particular neighborhoods given their widespread consequences for family and adolescent well-being. Using data from the Add Health Study, this paper examines race and ethnic differences in the reasons parents give for living in their current neighborhoods. In contrast to much of the residential mobility literature's focus on racial in-group preferences, this paper examines racial and ethnic differences in the salience of other neighborhood characteristics, including school quality, criminal and illegal activity, and proximity to family and friends. Controlling for social class and other factors, the preliminary findings suggest that white parents are more likely to be concerned about the quality of neighborhood schools, whereas black parents are more likely to focus on issues of crime and youth illegal activities. We also examine how the racial composition of neighborhoods and family socioeconomic status moderate these racial and ethnic differences.

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 Presented in Session P6. Migration and Urbanization/Population, Development, and the Environment