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Title: White Flight from Asian Immigration: Evidence from California Schools
Authors: Tseng, Tammy
Advisors: Boustan, Leah
Department: Economics
Certificate Program: Center for Statistics and Machine Learning
Class Year: 2019
Abstract: Studies of White flight from non-White minorities rarely distinguish Asians as a unique minority group. However, Asians' heterogeneous economic and educational outcomes may imply that Asian immigrants induce a differential response in White residents than other minorities do. I propose a theoretical model of White school district residence decisions which assumes that Asian inflows generate two countervailing effects: a negative amenity arising from White racial distaste, and a positive amenity arising from positive peer effects of Asians in schools. Net flight is determined by the degree of White response to each of these effects. I employ a common shift-share immigration instrument to address endogeneity in Asian settlement and find that in a reasonable subset of California public school districts between 2001-2016, each new Asian student causes approximately 1.5 White peers to leave, on average. The magnitude of flight implies both that White racial distaste for Asians exists, beyond racially-agnostic housing price effects, and that the magnitude of Whites' racial distaste outweighs the positive preference they have for any improvements in school quality that higher Asian enrollment also generates. An additional contribution of this paper is to show that the shift-share immigration instrument, when decomposed into only Asian components, fails to work over the time period that a significant share of immigration literature has used in predicting aggregate US inflows.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Economics, 1927-2020

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