The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Residential Segregation

  • Jacob L. Vigdor
Reference work entry


Housing market equilibria display residential segregation when there are systematic disparities in the physical location of households belonging to different racial, ethnic, socio-economic, or other social groups. Historically, segregation has often been enforced through non-market processes such as legal restrictions. Modern segregation, by contrast, is largely driven by cross-group differences in willingness to pay for housing in group enclaves. Segregation often generates social concern, particularly when the segregated group is of low socio-economic status. Empirical studies, including a few based on randomized mobility experiments, suggest that there are negative consequences of growing up in an enclave neighbourhood.


Census data Dissimilarity index Ethnic identity Ghettoes Housing markets Immigration Inequality Internal migration Racial segregation Residential integration Residential segregation Socio-economic segregation Spatial mismatch hypothesis Spectral segregation index Tipping Zoning 

JEL Classifications

J15 R21 R29 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob L. Vigdor
    • 1
  1. 1.