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Demobilization of the Individualistic Bias: Housing Market Discrimination as a Contributor to Labor Market and Economic Inequality

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Abstract

Racial discrimination in the nation's housing markets and patterns of residential segregation have contributed to labor market inequalities and economic disparities generally. Housing values are suppressed in minority communities, undercutting wealth accumulation by nonwhite families. Job growth in suburban communities coupled with the concentration of public housing in central city communities restricts minority access to jobs. A range of institutionalized practices by housing providers and public policies by government agencies at all levels have nurtured and exacerbated racial inequalities grounded in traditional stereotypes. But a number of policy options are available to ameliorate these inequities. Eschewing individualistic explanations of racial inequality that point to personal deficiencies and cultural characteristics of minority communities, these policy recommendations—premised on a structural perspective—offer promise for reducing racial inequities in housing and related economic disparities.

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I. Negro residential segregation, 176. — II. Segregation in Detroit and Chicago, 178. — III. The distribution of negro employment, 179. — IV. Negro employment by occupation and industry, 183. — V. The level of nonwhite employment, 189. — VI. Suburbanization and negro employment, 191. — VII. Postwar dispersal of employment and population in Chicago, 192. — VIII. Conclusions, 196.
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