King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

Eco 200: integration

(individual) If all Americans preferred living in racially integrated neighborhoods, would residential neighborhoods in the United States becomme integrated? They probably would if that were the only preference Americans held. But if the preference for racially integrated neighborhoods is only ne part of their preferences, we may have a Prisoners' Dilemma.

  1. Visualize a city whose population is 50 percent black and 50 percent white. Suppose further that no one objects to living next door to someone of the opposite color, but that they all object to having neighbors of the opposite color on both sides and will move if they find themselves in that position. Will a segregated or integrated housing pattern emerge under a system of voluntary exchange? Why? If integrated housing is considered a good thing, how could it be achieved under these circumstances?

    Because randomly, people will find themselves in WBW or BWB orderings. So the middle person will move. The only replacement who will move in will make it WWW or BBB. Gradually, such clusters will become larger.

  2. It isn't as obvious but it's almost as inevitable that a severely segregated housing pattern will eventually evolve if the citizens of this city wait to move until their neighbors on four sides are of the opposite color. How could such a community give effect to the desire of each citizen to live in a racially integrated community?

    The same mechanism would happen. A community could enact rules to prevent clusters before they take shape. They could also set up a community organization that buys up houses on the market and sells them in patterns that maintain integration.

  3. Do or should residents of an area have the right to encourage or discourage purchasers in order to achieve or maintain a racially integrated neighborhood? Do they thereby violate the rights of would-be sellers and purchasers who are prevented from arranging a mutually beneficial exchange because the purchaser is the wrong color?

    Depends on how such encouragement or discouragement happens. Some methods put minimal burdens on buyers and sellers. For instance, while it does restrict free exchange, granting people the right to beat a price in order to maintain integration doesn't impose a huge burden on freedom. And in some circumstances I could support more coercive tactics.

  4. The private developer who built Starrett City in Brooklyn wanted it to be a racially integrated neighborhood. To achieve that goal, Starrett City adoped racial quotas, reflecting the percentages of different racial groups living in the area. In 1988 the Supreme Court declined to review an appellate court decision holding that the quotas violate the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibits racial discrimination in housing. Should racial discrimination by private parties that aims at achieving residential integration be illegal?

    Generally speaking, I think it should be legal.

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