Nina Guyon - Can Residential Social Segregation Be Reduced? Evidence from a French Desegregation Policy

Melbourne Institute Seminar

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Barbara Broadway

bhanel@unimelb.edu.au

Title: Can Residential Social Segregation Be Reduced? Evidence from a French Desegregation Policy

Abstract: Residential social segregation matters as it may lead to a socially inefficient equilibrium because of peer effects and geographical discrimination. This paper focuses on a French national urban policy aiming at decreasing social segregation in poor neighborhoods by demolishing poor quality social housing to reconstruct new buildings meant for richer households. Using a difference-in-differences strategy with unaffected poor neighborhoods as a control, together with very geographically-precise income tax data, I show that the policy decreased the prevalence of poverty in treated neighborhoods. This impact seems mostly due to demolitions targeting the poorest buildings, and not to richer households moving in. I then show that this led to an overall decrease in residential social segregation in treated metropolitan areas that is also noticeable at school

Presenter: Dr Nina Guyon, University of Singapore

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