LAW M526

Housing Segregation, Housing Discrimination, and the Evolution of Public Policy

A growing body of evidence suggests that high levels of housing segregation in the U.S. are the root cause of persistent black/white gaps in mortality, employment, cognitive skills and general well-being. Over the past sixty years, the federal government has undertaken an array of distinct fair housing policies; ironically, these policies have often had substantial on-the-ground effects while leaving segregation itself largely intact. This seminar explores these issues in some depth, combining legal and policy materials with social science research. Black/white segregation is compared with the experiences of Hispanics, Asians, and low-income whites. A central goal of the seminar is to give students some exposure to the way social science research is done, how it factors into the development of policy, and how law and social science shape one another. We will read and compare relevant work by historians, sociologists, psychologists, and economists, as well as judges and legal academics.  Students will write a paper (satisfying SAW) that connects social science work with policy analysis – including, if they wish, original empirical work. Options are available for planning and other non-law students on the winter/spring quarter schedule.

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