The Interaction of Individual Preferences and Economic Differentials in the Generation of Racial Segregation: An Agent-Based Model
Elizabeth Roberto, Yale University
This paper explores the effect of individual actions and economic differentials on racial segregation using empirically-calibrated agent-based simulations. The basic simulation model is based on Thomas Schelling's spatial proximity model. It features neighborhood preferences about race, and racial segregation emerges as households move to satisfy their preferences. Two variants of the basic model feature preferences about income instead of race, and preferences about income as well as race. In each model, I vary the strength of the correlation between household income and race, and analyze how the strength of the correlation and type of preference affect the dynamics of racial segregation. Results show that if preferences are based on race, the correlation does not affect racial segregation; if preferences based on income, a stronger correlation is associated with higher racial segregation; and if preferences are based on race and income, a stronger correlation is associated with lower the racial segregation.
Presented in Poster Session 4