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American Economic Review: Vol. 101 No. 3 (May 2011)

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Race and Home Ownership from the End of the Civil War to the Present

Article Citation

Collins, William J., and Robert A. Margo. 2011. "Race and Home Ownership from the End of the Civil War to the Present." American Economic Review, 101(3): 355-59.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.3.355

Abstract

We present new estimates of home ownership for black and white households from 1870 to 2007. Black ownership increased by 46 percentage points, whereas white ownership increased by 20 points. Remarkably, 25 of the 26 point narrowing occurred between 1870 and 1910. Part of this early convergence is accounted for by falling white ownership due to movement out of agriculture, but most is accounted for by post-emancipation gains among blacks. After 1910, white and black households increased ownership, but the racial gap barely changed. We discuss the influence of residential segregation, public policy, and permanent income on the ownership gap.

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Authors

Collins, William J. (Vanderbilt U)
Margo, Robert A. (Boston U)

JEL Classifications

J15: Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination
N31: Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
N32: Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: U.S.; Canada: 1913-
R21: Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics: Housing Demand
R23: Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics
R31: Housing Supply and Markets


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