could not be attributed to other factors such as socioeconomic, family compositional or residential location differences between blacks and whites.
In sum, we have demonstrated that racial differences in housing quality and tenure are not entirely the result of racial differences in economic resources, household composition or residential location. Rather, there is a net penalty associated with being black. The data do suggest that the significance of race declined between 1960 and 1977, as Wilson ( 1978) proposed, but that race remains a salient factor in the housing market. To the extent that the net effect of race represents racial discrimination in the housing market, we have evidence that discrimination has decreased over time but has not been eliminated. However, we have not directly studied racial discrimination, so we must draw conclusions cautiously. Nevertheless, a variety of recent local and national studies of the housing market show that if similar blacks and whites seek housing, they are often treated differently. Whites are typically provided with more information about the housing market than blacks, while blacks are steered to all-black or largely- black areas ( Pearce, 1976; Saltman, 1975). In a 1977 national study of racial discrimination, sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and conducted in each of 40 metropolitan areas, approximately 300 whites and 300 blacks in matched pairs shopped for advertised housing ( Wienk et al., 1979). If a black visited four rental agents, he or she could expect to encounter at least one instance of racial discrimination 72 percent of the time. If a black visited four sales agents, he or she would expect to encounter at least one instance of discrimination 48 percent of the time. These practices of discrimination, we believe, help to account for the persistence of racial differences in housing quality and tenure described in this paper.
This is a revision of a paper presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, in Denver, Colorado, April 10-12, 1980. We wish to thank
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Publication information: Book title: Race, Ethnicity, and Minority Housing in the United States. Contributors: Jamshid A. Momeni - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1986. Page number: 36.
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