Racial segregation costs the United States billions of dollars a year
However, deep-rooted racial prejudice and segregation limit the nation’s potential and hamper economic growth by billions of dollars a year, according to chief economists at the financial research firm.
“Racial segregation and prejudice are costing all Americans,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, told CNN Business. âIf we focus on this problem and try to solve it, everyone benefits. “
According to Moody’s estimates, if the racial geographic makeup of all American communities matched that of the most integrated communities in the country, it would likely bring the U.S. GDP growth rate up to 2.7% from 2.4% over the course of the year. the next decade.
Using Census Bureau data, Moody’s compared the racial makeup within U.S. counties and their respective census tracts to develop a racial integration score based on the distribution of the population by race. The economists then analyzed the performance of countries’ GDP from 2009 to 2019 in addition to other factors, such as house prices, travel times, availability of credit, crime and business activity.
According to the report, integrated communities generally have better economic gains, higher house price growth, shorter travel times, greater availability of credit, lower crime and greater concentration of businesses.
“There is a lot to unravel, questions of causation, of correlation,” he said. âThere are a lot of things to think about. “
For example, noting that this research only examines data for the decade that ended in 2019, it is still unclear how the âdramatically blurredâ migration patterns of the pandemic might affect the scores and projections of integration, he said.
Some cities are stuck in “severe segregation models,” said Sheryll Cashin, a law professor at Georgetown University who wrote about housing inequality in “White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age. of Inequality â.
âWe intentionally built rich white spaces and intentionally concentrated poverty elsewhere,â she said. “It is a structural problem of intentional policies.”
And in these polar extremes, the borders have hardened in recent years, she said.
âThe so-called American dream really only works for those who can afford to buy their way into high potential areas,â she said.
Efforts to help American communities become more racially integrated are likely to come at the local level, she said, noting that municipal efforts such as expanding bus lines, creating denser neighborhoods, encouragement of greater diversity in public schools and the recreation of the public square.
“Integration is good for economies, but integration is really good for young children,” she said, noting that several studies have shown that “when young children who live in very poor environments have the possibility of moving to the middle class or either in their schools or in their neighborhoods, they do better. ”
“It’s not just a question of economics,” she said. âIt is also about the lives of children, who are our assets.