NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Prottoy Akbar

University of Pittsburgh
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Department of Economics
4901 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Pittsburgh

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2019Racial Segregation in Housing Markets and the Erosion of Black Wealth
with Sijie Li, Allison Shertzer, Randall P. Walsh: w25805
Housing is the most important asset for the vast majority of American households and a key driver of racial disparities in wealth. This paper studies how residential segregation by race eroded black wealth in prewar urban areas. Using a novel sample of matched addresses from prewar American cities, we find that over a single decade rental prices soared by roughly 50 percent on city blocks that transitioned from all white to majority black. Meanwhile, pioneering black families paid a 28 percent premium to buy a home on a majority white block. These homes then lost 10 percent of their original value as the block became majority black. These findings strongly suggest that segregated housing markets cost black families much of the gains associated with migrating to the North.
November 2018Mobility and Congestion in Urban India
with Victor Couture, Gilles Duranton, Adam Storeygard: w25218
We develop a methodology to estimate robust city level vehicular mobility indices, and apply it to 154 Indian cities using 22 million counterfactual trips measured by a web mapping service. There is wide variation in mobility across cities. An exact decomposition shows this variation is driven more by differences in uncongested mobility than congestion. Under plausible assumptions, a one standard deviation improvement in uncongested speed creates much more mobility than optimal congestion pricing. Denser and more populated cities are slower, only in part because of congestion. Urban economic development is correlated with better (uncongested and overall) mobility despite worse congestion.
 
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