New evidence on racial and ethnic disparities in homeownership in the United States from 2001 to 2010

Soc Sci Res. 2013 Sep;42(5):1357-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2013.06.004. Epub 2013 Jun 17.


Using 2001-2010 homeownership data for the United States we analyze changes in racial and ethnic disparities between whites and blacks, Asians, Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics. We employ Integrated Public Use Microdata (IPUMS) combined with local credit scores and house price to income ratios. Controlling for demographic, income, wealth, employment, and housing characteristics, we find no significant differences between whites and Asians, Mexicans, or Cubans. Conversely, blacks and Puerto Ricans remain substantially disadvantaged. We conduct further analysis for the 2001-2003, 2004-2007, and 2008-2010 periods of the housing boom and collapse. Blacks and Puerto Ricans experienced decreased disparities during the peak years of the boom. Puerto Rican parity with whites continued to improve during the crash while gains among blacks eroded. The results suggest the homeownership differences between whites, Asians, Mexicans, and Cubans are apparently explained by socioeconomic status while racial disparities among blacks and Puerto Ricans evolved but continue to persist.

Keywords: Ethnic disparities; Homeownership; Housing; Puerto Ricans; Racial disparities; Recession.