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Black Population Concentration and Black-White Inequality: Expanding the Consideration of Place and Space Effects

John J. Beggs, Wayne J. Villemez and Ruth Arnold
Social Forces
Vol. 76, No. 1 (Sep., 1997), pp. 65-91
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2580318
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580318
Page Count: 27
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Black Population Concentration and Black-White Inequality: Expanding the Consideration of Place and Space Effects
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Abstract

For over 40 years, sociologists have investigated the relationship between the concentration of black population in a geographic area and the relative economic standing of blacks in that area. These tests of what has come to be called the "visibility-discrimination hypothesis" have established that concentration of black population in an area is positively related to black-white inequality in that area. In this article, we extend the consideration of the place effects and consider space effects by (1) tapping effects of normative structures in the spatial context of a local area on black-white inequality in the local area, (2) measuring the effects of the concentration of black population in adjacent areas on black-white inequality in the focal area, (3) controlling for spatial dependence in inequality when examining these processes, and (4) examining the effects of these place and space factors on both occupational and wage inequality, so that their effects can be compared between the two outcomes and effects on wage inequality can be assessed net of occupation effects. After testing our model with data on local labor market areas, we conclude by examining the implications of our analysis for future studies of the visibility-discrimination hypothesis and for the general use of models that examine the effects of local place.

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