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In recent years, there has been a substantial amount of empirical work done on the causes of residential segregation. Nevertheless, better understanding of to what extent ethnic groups choose to live in the proximity of each other, or to what extent segregation is forced upon them is imperative. Prior research on self-segregation either focused on discovering underlying motivations for self-segregation, or the effect of stated preferences on observed patterns of segregation, whereas few studies directly link motivations, preferences, and segregation to one another in more detail. This article seeks to clarify mechanisms driving self-segregation, subsequently relating self-segregation to actual residential segregation. The results suggest that preferences for coethnic neighbors, driven mostly by interethnic prejudice, contribute to observed residential isolation to a certain extent. In some cases, perceived and experienced hostility and discrimination toward ethnic minorities stimulate self-segregation as well, while interethnic contact decreases it.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9906.2007.00344.x

Affiliations: Delft University of Technology

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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