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Working Paper No. 304: Segregation in Urban Areas: A Literature Review

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Företagandets villkor, Marcos Demetry, Nationalekonomi, Uppsala universitet
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Abstract

This literature review outlines research on how individual preferences can lead to segregation, even in the absence of discriminatory policy and other constraints. From Schelling’s (1971) Spatial Proximity model comes the theoretical conclusion that moderate preferences for own-group neighbors (e.g. immigrants or natives) may lead to complete segregation between the two groups over time. Schelling’s Bounded Neighborhood model provides the theoretical conclusion that the stable equilibrium reached (e.g. an ‘all immigrant’ or ‘all native’ neighborhood) ultimately depends on the initial distribution of agents and their relative speeds of movement. This is because in the unstable, integrated, equilibrium an apparently insignificant event can set in motion an irreversible process toward segregation by tipping the distribution one way or another. Both models highlight how well-intentioned individual preferences may result in undesirable aggregate outcomes, whereby good intentions and some level tolerance toward others are not enough to prevent the self-segregation mechanism. The review also covers several key empirical applications and limitations in research in this field.

Demetry, M. (2017). Segregation in Urban Areas: A Literature Review. Ratio Working Paper No. 304. Stockholm: Ratio.

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Working Paper No. 304: Segregation in Urban Areas: A Literature Review
Working paperPublication
Demetry, M.
Publication year

2017

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

This literature review outlines research on how individual preferences can lead to segregation, even in the absence of discriminatory policy and other constraints. From Schelling’s (1971) Spatial Proximity model comes the theoretical conclusion that moderate preferences for own-group neighbors (e.g. immigrants or natives) may lead to complete segregation between the two groups over time. Schelling’s Bounded Neighborhood model provides the theoretical conclusion that the stable equilibrium reached (e.g. an ‘all immigrant’ or ‘all native’ neighborhood) ultimately depends on the initial distribution of agents and their relative speeds of movement. This is because in the unstable, integrated, equilibrium an apparently insignificant event can set in motion an irreversible process toward segregation by tipping the distribution one way or another. Both models highlight how well-intentioned individual preferences may result in undesirable aggregate outcomes, whereby good intentions and some level tolerance toward others are not enough to prevent the self-segregation mechanism. The review also covers several key empirical applications and limitations in research in this field.

Working Paper No. 304: Segregation in Urban Areas: A Literature Review
Working paperPublication
Demetry, M.
Publication year

2017

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

This literature review outlines research on how individual preferences can lead to segregation, even in the absence of discriminatory policy and other constraints. From Schelling’s (1971) Spatial Proximity model comes the theoretical conclusion that moderate preferences for own-group neighbors (e.g. immigrants or natives) may lead to complete segregation between the two groups over time. Schelling’s Bounded Neighborhood model provides the theoretical conclusion that the stable equilibrium reached (e.g. an ‘all immigrant’ or ‘all native’ neighborhood) ultimately depends on the initial distribution of agents and their relative speeds of movement. This is because in the unstable, integrated, equilibrium an apparently insignificant event can set in motion an irreversible process toward segregation by tipping the distribution one way or another. Both models highlight how well-intentioned individual preferences may result in undesirable aggregate outcomes, whereby good intentions and some level tolerance toward others are not enough to prevent the self-segregation mechanism. The review also covers several key empirical applications and limitations in research in this field.

Ratio Working Paper No. 349: Industrial conflict in essential services in a new era – Swedish rules in a comparative perspective
Working paperPublication
Karlson, N.
Publication year

2021

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

This paper examines whether the Swedish regulatory system of dealing with industrial conflicts that affect essential services need an update or reform. Are the existing rules effective in a world where many essential services are upheld by many interdependent agents in complex systems where every single node becomes critical for the functioning of the system, and where the essential service activities could be either private or public? A comparative study is conducted with the corresponding regulatory systems of the United Kingdom, Germany, and Denmark.
The conclusion is that Sweden is a special case. The Swedish protection against and readiness in dealing with societally harmful industrial conflicts in essential services is weaker than in the countries of comparison. Just as in relation to other threats to essential services, it is not sustainable to claim that just because such a threat is not currently present, there would be no need for preparedness.
There are many alternative ways to handle this. Desirable methods should both prevent harmful conflicts from erupting and end conflicts that have grown harmful to society at a later stage. The labour market organisations should have a mutual interest in reforming the rules.

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