Understanding the Link between Neighborhood Desires and Neighborhood Attainment

Elizabeth E. Bruch, University of Michigan

Demography has a long history of studies that use survey vignettes to assess individuals' tolerance for integrated neighborhoods. More recently, a number of scholars have used observed mobility histories to estimate models of residential choice behavior. As data sources, vignettes and observed mobility data have complimentary strengths and weaknesses. Vignettes allow respondents to choose from an unconstrained set of options, where they are not limited by affordability, racial steering, or other obstructions. Mobility data provide information on residential choice in a natural setting, and allow researchers to consider how multiple neighborhood attributes affect behavior. Thus far, these data sources have never been combined to leverage their relative strengths. I use unique data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey and the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality to estimate discrete choice models that incorporate information on both survey respondents stated preferences and observed behavior.

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Presented in Session 134: Residential Mobility, Suburbanization, and Exurbanization