The Dissimilarity Index as a Tool for Accountability in Ending Racial Segregation

Racial segregation in housing has a long history in the United States. Many economic and legal structures have historically prevented African Americans in particular from acquiring decent livable housing, and have forced the Black community into substandard dwellings at exorbitant housing costs. Formal legal policies such as FHA sponsored redlining, covenants, exclusion from the GI bill, and real estate steering all contributed to and reinforced the segregation of the Black community into substandard environments. Supreme Court decisions such as Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) and Jones v. Mayer Co. (1968) outlawed the exclusion of African Americans from most communities, but race-based housing patterns were still in force by the late 1960s. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 were passed in response to the Civil Rights Movements and urban rebellions that sought to change this situation. But did they lead to change?

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The Dissimilarity Index: A Tutorial

This blog shows how to calculate the index of dissimilarity and provides examples about its possible uses in indicating levels of residential racial segregation.

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Displacement, Gentrification, and Maryland’s Purple Line Light Rail

In Maryland’s suburban counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s, the state government and a public-private partnership are spending billions of dollars to construct a new light rail rapid transit line. Who will benefit from this multi-billion dollar investment in the Purple Line light rail system? Will existing residents be displaced by upscale development and high-income households? Or can the areas adjacent to the new transit line become a national model for racial and income integration as a part of new transit-oriented development?

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Racial Disparities In Labor Markets in Colombia and the US

The differentials in labor market outcomes among races provide evidence of the systematic exclusion and discrimination to which the Black population is consistently exposed worldwide. This blog uses microdata from the Colombian Household survey and the main conclusions from Wilson and Darity (2022) to show racial labor market disparities in Colombia and the US. It also suggests that Black people can experience labor markets that have very different characteristics but end up suffering the same severe socio-economic disparities.

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Race and Recovery from Hurricane Michael: A Case Study in Florida

Following a natural disaster, homeowners and local governments try to rebuild and restore their communities, turning to personal savings, insurance settlements, and public and private disaster relief funds. However, total damages incurred by individuals and communities as a result of a disaster typically exceed these funds. This deficit leads to displacement and eventually blight. Blighted or vacant and abandoned properties are linked to increased crime, decreased property values, poor resident health, and depleted local government resources, a less than ideal ground on which to rebuild a community.

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