Arnold Kling  

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Timothy Taylor points to a Pew study of housing segregation by income class. Not surprisingly, it is on the rise.

the authors calculate what they call a Residential Income Segregation Index, which comes from "adding together the share of lower-income households living in a majority lower-income tract and the share of upper-income households living in a majority upper-income tract ... (The maximum possible RISI score is 200. In such a metropolitan area, 100% of lower-income and 100% of upper-income households would be situated in a census tract where a majority of households were in their same income bracket.)"

Overall, the national index rose from 32 in 1980 to 46 in 2010.

All things considered, for either year the level seems to me to be pretty low, actually. Put it this way: Suppose that you were to calculate a similar index for colleges, using the household income of the parents. I bet that you would see numbers that are much higher.

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CATEGORIES: Income Distribution

COMMENTS (7 to date)
Roger Sweeny writes:

Arnold, don't say bad things about colleges. They are run by good people, and teach the young to think correctly.

I suppose segregation by income class is a natural consequence of zoning, government land-use planning.

Alternatively, in a nation without distortions created by the state, rich and poor would probably live with more intermixture. Because the poor would seek work and the rich would seek employees.

ajb writes:

In a world in which school quality can't be maintained in heterogeneous communities and public discipline and order can't be maintained by police without fear of accusations of prejudice or racism it's not a surprise that the last resort is segregation by price and wealth.

Hugh writes:

The RISI scores quoted seem far too low to me too.

Where you have a McMansion development, you won't find any low income people at all.

Possibly the identification of "tracts" is not easy for Pew, although it comes naturally to real estate agents and buyers.

Shayne Cook writes:

@ Roger Sweeny ;)

Why those sneaky college rascals! They told me they were teaching me to think critically. I specifically recall that being one of the line items listed under "Goals" in every single syllabus they gave me (for free, I might add) at the beginning of every single course I took!

Had I known they were actually teaching me to think correctly, I might well have achieved "true enlightenment" from my college years. Not just those cheap "Certificate of Authenticity" pieces of paper they sent to me when it was over!

Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky! Sneaky CUBED!

R Richard Schweitzer writes:

Although I have a copy of the Pew Study, but have not studied its "Metropolitan Variables" closely; not enough attention has been given to the effects of land use laws,ordinances, and private (mostly development) covenants.

Land use laws include real estate and occupancy taxes.

There can be much the same skewing of the base factors as occurs due to rent controls. Examination of the statistical "beneficiaries" of rent controls by income groupings will provide some surprising [?] results.

Adam writes:

Might I suggest that America has not actually become more polarized, but that your media diet has become oversaturated with polarized political outlets?

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