Can Education Fight Inherited Inequity? Using Administrative Data to Measure the Direct, Intergenerational, and Interactive Impacts of Redlining and Education

Awarded Scholars:
John Anders, Trinity University
Craig Carpenter, Michigan State University
Project Date:
Dec 2021
Award Amount:

Co-funded with the JPB Foundation

“Redlining,” the discriminatory practice of refusing to provide financial services in particular communities, is an important historical factor contributing to present-day racial and ethnic segregation and associated inequalities in income, educational attainment, credit access, and other outcomes. Data limitations have prevented researchers from following individuals over the life course to better understand the effects of redlining and potential mitigators such as increased educational access. Economists John Anders and Craig Carpenter will link federal administrative data to focus on variation in housing and education access generated from redline mapping in the 1930s and the expansion of colleges in the 1960s and 1970s, leveraging both time and regional variation in college access for Blacks, and the rollout of Head Start in the late 1960s and 1970s. They will address several questions by race and gender. First, to what extent did redlining practices harm the labor market and health outcomes of individuals born into redline-mapped cities? Second, to what extent did college access improve labor market and health outcomes? Next, to what extent did desegregation of college access affect the labor market and health outcomes of individuals born into redline-mapped cities? Fourth, to what extent are these effects transmitted to the children of affected parents? And finally, to what extent did access to Head Start impact the possible intergenerational effects of the children of redlined parents?


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