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Abstract

The socioeconomic model of racial segregation is evaluated in terms of the impact of monthly contract rent and family income on the housing patterns of blacks and nonblacks. On the basis of 1970 census tract data for four metropolitan areas--Newark, Detroit, Dallas and San Francisco-Oakland--the analysis is carried out using Taeuber's index of dissimilarity and the method of indirect standardization. The results indicate that the socioeconomic model helps to explain racial segregation when rent differences between blacks and nonblacks are analyzed as the cause. Analysis by family income, however, indicates that for many black families the problem is not that they lack the income to rent higher priced apartments outside minority neighborhoods. It is suggested that the apartment rental industry may have continued to guide many black families into minority or changing neighborhoods. The article concludes with a critique of Taeuber's methods. His approach is limited by its inability to efficiently examine the simultaneous effects of several important independent variables.

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