DemSem: Peter Rich (Cornell University), “Policy Backlash or Structural Inertia? A Micro-Macro Causal Analysis of White Residential Decline from Desegregating City School Districts Between 1970 and 1990”

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8417 Sewell Social Sciences Building 1180 Observatory Drive Madison, WI 53706
@ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm
DemSem full semester schedule

From Dr. Rich:

“The changing racial composition of city school districts over the 1970s and 1980s is often attributed to desegregation policies that propelled White families to move to the suburbs. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, I test this causal hypothesis directly by following family residential sorting before, during, and after desegregation plans were implemented. I find evidence that local desegregation plans indeed triggered White flight from city school districts, but this is only part of the story. Using microsimulations to examine the scale of this effect on population change, I uncover a surprising sociological twist–one that corrects simplistic narratives about this period and that holds lessons for contemporary policy debates.”