Abstract

The combined influence of the Great Migration of African Americans and the civil rights movement propelled the drive for fair housing legislation, which attempted to curb overt discrimination in housing markets. This drive culminated in the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. By that time, 57 percent of the U.S. population and 41 percent of the African American population already resided in states with a fair housing law. This article uses hazard models to analyze the diffusion of state fair housing legislation and to shed new light on the combination of economic and political forces that facilitated the laws' adoption. Outside the South, states with larger union memberships, more Jewish residents, and more NAACP members passed fair housing laws sooner than others. Including controls for a variety of competing factors does not undermine the estimates, and historical accounts of the legislative campaigns support the article's interpretation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8034
Print ISSN
0145-5532
Pages
pp. 15-49
Launched on MUSE
2006-04-12
Open Access
No
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