July 2023 CEP Featured Article

"Are historic districts a backdoor for segregation? Yes and no"

by Jamie Bologna Pavlik and Yang Zhou



We study how historic district programs impact residential segregation in Denver. We find that homebuyers are more likely to be White within historic districts, but official historic designation has no effect on this probability. More specifically, we calculate that the predicted probability of having a White homebuyer increases from 77 to over 80 percent when the home is located within a historic district. Similarly, we find that most transactions flow from White sellers to White buyers, regardless of official designation. Thus, while historic districts tend to be more segregated, official designation does not seem to amplify this existing problem.

First published: 15 September 2022 | https://doi.org/10.1111/coep.12590

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