Racial Segregation

In a very brief video, Tim Harford, an economist and author of two very interesting books: The Logic of Life and The Undercover Economist, cleverly explains how a mild preference (of not wanting to get outnumbered) of  individuals in a mixed neighborhood can result in extreme segregation.

“We, as individuals, might be completely rational and tolerant, but the society that we produce together  may be neither rational nor tolerant” opines Harford, giving a nod to Thomas Schelling’s paper on racial segregation (“Models of Segregation”) that eventually got him a Nobel prize in 2005.

That a racist society (or neightborhood) does not necessarily contain racist individuals was very interesting to me. In essence, a racist society can be considered a gestalt. [A structure, configuration, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts. – Definition from MW]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 66 other followers

On Twitter


%d bloggers like this: