Intergenerational Dynamics of White Residential Mobility: School Desegregation and Avoidance

Peter Rich, New York University (NYU)

Recent attention has focused on whether the decisions of parents play an important role in the persistence of racial segregation. This analysis compares PSID families from 1968 through 1990 at different stages of child-rearing living in metropolitan areas that were exposed to mandated school district desegregation plans. Families were linked by Census tract to 1970 school district boundaries, which were then merged to desegregation court case data. Preliminary analyses demonstrate that mobile white families with children avoided moving to desegregating districts at a higher rate than households without children, and at a much higher rate than black families. This highlights the unique contribution of white parental behavior in shaping the segregated residential and educational landscape of the United States.

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Presented in Session 54: Residential Mobility and Dynamics of Segregation