Racial climate and homeownership

Timothy F. Harris, Aaron Yelowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


An important question aside from outright discrimination is whether poor underlying race relations in an area might create a chilling effect on homeownership for minorities. From 2012 onward, there were a series of high-profile events in the U.S. related to police brutality which highlighted racial tension. Using Google Trends, we characterize a locality's underlying racial climate based on search interest in these charged events. We use data from the American Community Survey prior to any of these flare-ups and show that the ownership decision for blacks is responsive to the racial climate; black homeownership in localities with the most charged racial climates is 5.6 percentage points lower than in the least charged racial climates based on a sample of movers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-72
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Housing Economics
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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