Date of Award

12-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Sociology

Major Professor

Asafa Jalata

Committee Members

Stan L. Bowie, Harry F. Dahms, Victor Ray

Abstract

This study comparatively examines the differential house value outcomes from 1980 to 2010 in four Tennessee cities between African American homeowners and White American homeowners because of racial policies in the United States. The racial composition of geographical space within the housing market impacts this significant form of wealth for most Americans. Since wealth and racial inequality remain significantly high in the United States, continued scholarship on this topic is warranted to see if patterns have experienced a positive or negative change over time. By concentrating on a 1980-2010 time period, this study rejuvenates a historical perspective of racialized policies and practices impacting property values differentially. The State of Tennessee’s four major cities were examined, using decennial census data to quantify house values. Over four decennial time periods, the Tennessee home values between African American and White American homeowners showed significant (>45%) differences. Over the 40-year period, White American home values have consistently exceeded African American home values. In Chattanooga, White American homes were valued higher by $10,715 (1980), $19,007 (1990), $36,193 (2000), and $73,590 (2010), respectively. In Knoxville, White American homes were valued higher by $10,234 (1980), $25,199 (1990), $50,338 (2000), and $90,335 (2010), respectively. In Memphis, White American homes were valued higher by $20,002 (1980), $37,021 (1990), $67,323 (2000), and $103,259 (2010), respectively. In Nashville, White American homes were valued higher by $38,815 (1990), $74,682 (2000), and $107,535 (2010), respectively, with data not available for 1980. These results are relevant to economic and housing policy makers working on housing-related issues in Tennessee.

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