Protecting the Right to Discriminate: The Second Great Migration and Racial Threat in the American West

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Authors Tyler Reny, Benjamin Newman
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Taking advantage of a unique event in American history, the Second Great Migration, we explore whether the rapid entry of African Americans into nearly exclusively White contexts triggered “racial threat” inWhite voting behavior in the state of California.Utilizing historical administrative data, we find that increasing proximity to previously White areas experiencing drastic Black population growth between 1940 to 1960 is associated with significant increases in aggregate White voter support for a highly racially-charged ballot measure, Proposition 14, which legally protected racial discrimination in housing. Importantly, we find that this result holds when restricting the analysis to all-White areas with high rates of residential tenure and low rates of White population growth. These latter findings indicate that this relationship materializes in contexts where a larger share of White voters were present during the treatment and exercised residential-choice before the treatment commenced, which is suggestive of a causal effect.
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language R

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