Impacts of Private Sector and Holc Redlining on Neighborhood Racial Change, 1940-1970

John R. Logan, Brown University
Rachel McKane, Brown University
H Jacob Carlson, Kean University

The potential impacts of redlining in the 1930s and beyond have been much debated. We will present an analysis based on 35 major cities that takes into account both private sector mortgage availability prior to the creation of HOLC redlining maps and the risk ratings assigned to neighborhoods by HOLC. The main outcome that we will evaluate is change in the African American share of the neighborhood population. Predictors will also include racial and other characteristics of the neighborhoods in 1930 and 1940 (estimated based on enumeration district census data). The analysis relies heavily on the creation of 1930-1940 ED maps for these cities and the use of GIS techniques to interpolate between EDs and neiHOLC neighborhood areas, creating a resource that has been uinavailable to previous studies. Past research suggests several different possible results: 1) that HOLC redlining added to and reinforced the effects of pre-existing private sector discrimination, 2) that HOLC ratings had no independent effect, but restrictions in private lending did influence where the growing black population became more concentrated, or 3) that other prior conditions (e.g., the 1930-1940 trajectory of racial change or the socioeconomic composition or age of housing as of 1940) were the main predictors of post-1940 change. This study is well underway, but it would be premature to state results at this time.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 67. The Production of Spatial Exclusion