Socioeconomic Status, Race, and Public Support for School Integration

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  • Bell, Elizabeth (Miami University)
Publication Date
  • Abstract

    Polling data routinely indicates broad support for the concept of diverse schools, but integration initiatives—both racial and socioeconomic—regularly encounter significant opposition. We leverage a nationally-representative survey experiment to provide novel evidence on public support for integration initiatives. Specifically, we present respondents with a hypothetical referendum where we provide information on two policy options for assigning students to schools: 1) A residence-based assignment option and 2) An option designed to achieve stated racial/ethnic or socioeconomic diversity targets, with respondents randomly assigned to the racial/ethnic or socioeconomic diversity option. After calculating public support and average willingness-to-pay, our results demonstrate a clear plurality of the public preferring residence-based assignment to the racial diversity initiative, but a near-even split in support for residence-based assignment and the socioeconomic integration initiative. Moreover, we find that the decline in support for race-based integration, relative to the socioeconomic diversity initiative, is entirely attributable to white and Republican respondents.

This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Has version
    DOI: 10.3886/E128741V1

Update Metadata: 2020-12-13 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-12-13