Property Values and Race Riots

The Consequences of the 1960's Race Riots 
Come into View -- Looks Like Buffalo

The structure of a store that burned in the 1968 Detroit riots was standing several decades later. A study says the riots depressed incomes and property values for years.

Nostalgic pop culture recalls 1969 as the Summer of Love, but it was also the summer race riots burned through Detroit and Newark, to name only the deadliest incidents. Back in the '60s, inner-city property values were the last thing opinion elites were concerned with. But the riots of the 1960s had devastating long-term effects on the most significant assets owned by urban blacks: their homes. Those effects may still exacerbate the so-called wealth gap between blacks and whites. Her latest NYT column looks at research on the 1960s riots' long-term economic impacts. 

If anyone has information about how the riots here in Buffalo, NY have negatively impacted property values on the Eastside, please contact me.

Virginia Postrel writes the "Economic Scene" for the New York Times. Some of her recent work is archived on her blog. The full text of Virginia Postrel's article in the New York Times is available here.
The National Bureau of Economic Research picks up this thread and arrives at these conclusions. 
  • The riots had economically significant negative effects on blacks' income and employment. Further, those effects may have been larger in the long run - from 1960 to 1980 - than in the short run - from 1960 to 1970.
  • The riots significantly depressed the median value of black-owned property between 1960 and 1970, with little or no rebound in the 1970s.
Make sure to check out this related article in The Wall Street Journal.

The full text of Vanderbilt University economist Dr. Robert Margo's research on race riots and property values is available for your review. His work forms the basis for Virginia Postrel's article which appeared in last week's New York Times.

Finally, it looks like the Houston Chronicle has just picked up Virginia Postrel's article in yesterday's paper. Check it out, "Riot's of the 60's Still Impair Home Values".

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