community attraction and avoidance in chicago what's race got to do with it?

We argue that the relative persistence of racial segregation is due, at least in part, to the process of residential search and the perceptions upon which those searches are based—a critical but often-ignored component of the residential sorting process. We examine where Chicago-area residents would “seriously consider” and “never consider” living, finding that community attraction and avoidance are highly racialized. Race most clearly shapes the residential perceptions and preferences of whites, and matters the least to blacks. Latinos would seriously consider moving to numerous neighborhoods, but controls for demographics and distance from the respondents’ home make Latino preferences much like those of whites. Critically, the geography of existing segregation begets further segregation: distance from current community significantly affects perceptions of the communities into which respondents might move. While neighborhood perception may cause persistent segregation, it may also offer hope for integration with appropriate policy interventions.

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