Dynamic Models of Segregation

by Thomas C. Schelling
Journal of Mathematical Sociology ()
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Abstract

Somesegregation resultsfrom the practicesof organizations,somefrom specializedcommunication ffstems, somefrom correlation with a variable that is non-random; and some results from the interplayof individual choices.This is an abstract studyof the interactivedynamicsof discriminatory individualchoices.One model is a simulation in which individual members of two recognizable groups distribute themselves in neighborhoods defined by reference to their own locations. A second model is analytic and deals with compartmented space. A final section applies the analytics to 'neighborhood tipping.' The systemic effects are found to be overwhelming: there is no simple correspondence of individual incentive to collective results. Exaggerated separation and patterning resultfrom the dynamics of movement. Inferences about individual motives can usually not be drawn from aggregate patterns. Some unexpected phenomena, like density and vacancy, are generated. A general theory of 'tipping' begins to emerge. People

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