The Brookings Institution just published a report on black-white segregation in major US cities. The chart below plots a segregation index, taken from the Brookings report, against a conservatism index, taken from the paper by Tausanovitch and Warshaw (2014). The value of the segregation index is equal to the fraction of blacks that would have to move neighbourhoods in order to match the distribution of whites. The conservatism index is based on aggregation of opinion poll data from different US cities.
The Pearson correlation is r = –.46 (p = 0.002). This remains unchanged when controlling for the fraction black: β = –.46 (p = 0.001). Regular readers may recall a previous post reporting that the black/white incarceration rate ratio tends to be higher in Northern states. Other evidence indicates that progressive cities tend to be less affordable, exhibit higher income inequality, and have greater black-white inequality. In all these cases, of course, it is not precisely obvious which way causality is running. More restrictive planning regulations in progressive cities might be one culprit.