Does Race Matter in the Search for Housing? Search Strategies, Locations, and Experiences

Maria Krysan, University of Illinois at Chicago

Studies of the causes of racial residential segregation typically focus on three main factors: economics, preferences, and discrimination. But few studies examine the actual housing search procedures and experiences of individuals. Because this is one place where economics, preferences, and discrimination play themselves out, such an analysis can shed light on how these individual level decisions contribute to the perpetuation or attenuation of residential segregation. This paper takes a first step toward this larger goal by testing for: (1) racial/ethnic differences in the resources and strategies used in housing searches; (2) racial/ethnic differences in the locations where people search; (3) whether perceptions of discrimination shape the housing searches of African Americans and Latinos; and (4) whether homeowners and renters differ. I analyze data from computer assisted personal interviews in Chicago (n=783) and Detroit (n=734), which used a multi-stage area probability sample design that over-sampled African Americans and Latinos (in Chicago).

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Presented in Session 48: Residential Segregation