The Impact of Income and Immigration on Residential Segregation: An Examination of Hispanic/White and Black/White Segregation in the 1990s

Faculty: Jan Blustein and Dick Netzer
Team: Andrew Brent, Erin Massey, Veronica Neville, Natalie Price, Cheng Yen Tsao
Year: 2004
This study utilizes 1990 and 2000 Census data to examine the impact of income and immigration on residential segregation in the 1990s. The Capstone team confirms what researchers found in the 1980s: an increase in median Black income has only a slight, negative effect on Black residential segregation. However, the results refute earlier findings that Hispanics enjoy a substantial decrease in segregation as their median income increases. Rather, the effect of an increase in Hispanic income is barely larger than the effect of an increase in Black income on Black segregation. Furthermore, the results show that immigration factors significantly increase the degree of variation explained for Hispanic segregation but do little to explain Black segregation. Based on these findings, increasing minority income might do little to lessen residential segregation, though the team does not negate its importance in equalizing housing opportunities for minorities. Policymakers should develop updated, relevant policies that can either lessen the negative effects of or combat the causes of Hispanic and Black segregation.