Dynamic Models of Ethnic and Economic Segregation

Elizabeth E. Bruch, University of California, Los Angeles

Sociology has a long history of carrying out studies using cross-sectional data to describe patterns of segregation in large American cities. While descriptively valuable, this work has not revealed the causal mechanisms that drive neighborhood change. Insofar as change occurs through residential and social mobility, a dynamic approach is required. I develop a model that links the residential mobility of individuals to aggregate patterns of neighborhood change, and use this model to understand how trends in inequality and mobility behavior interact to produce and maintain segregated neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Preliminary findings suggest that, given existing levels of income inequality in Los Angeles, racial and economic factors that govern residential mobility have offsetting effects on racial segregation. Given a number of unresolved modeling issues, however, these findings should be used as an illustration of this approach rather than as a substantive result.

  See paper

Presented in Session 48: Residential Segregation