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The Role of Income in Environmental Justice: A National Analysis of Race, Housing Markets, and Air Pollution

By Christopher Brown

Historically, evidence has shown that minority populations in the United States suffer a disproportionate burden of pollution compared to whites. This study examines whether this burden could be the result of income disparities between whites and minorities, acting through the housing market. We look at 324 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s) in the United States as defined by the Economic and Social Research Institute. Using demographic data from the 2000 Decennial Census and pollution data from the 1999 national Air Toxic Assessments, we compare the race-income correlation in each MSA for four races (white, black, Latino, and Asian) with the race-income.

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JEL Codes: Q53, Q56 | Tagged: Environmental Justice, Income, Market Dynamics, Pollution, Race

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