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Racial climate and homeownership

Timothy F. Harris and Aaron Yelowitz ()

Journal of Housing Economics, 2018, vol. 40, issue C, 41-72

Abstract: An important question aside from outright discrimination is whether poor underlying race relations in an area might create a chilling effect on homeownership for minorities. From 2012 onward, there were a series of high-profile events in the U.S. related to police brutality which highlighted racial tension. Using Google Trends, we characterize a locality’s underlying racial climate based on search interest in these charged events. We use data from the American Community Survey prior to any of these flare-ups and show that the ownership decision for blacks is responsive to the racial climate; black homeownership in localities with the most charged racial climates is 5.6 percentage points lower than in the least charged racial climates based on a sample of movers.

JEL-codes: J15 R31 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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