Assessing Disparity Using Measures of Racial and Educational Isolation.
We develop a local, spatial measure of educational isolation (EI) and characterize the relationship between EI and our previously developed measure of racial isolation (RI). EI measures the extent to which non-college educated individuals are exposed primarily to other non-college educated individuals. To characterize how the RI-EI relationship varies across space, we propose a novel measure of local correlation. Using birth records from the State of Michigan (2005-2012), we estimate associations between RI, EI, and birth outcomes. EI was lower in urban communities and higher in rural communities, while RI was highest in urban areas and parts of the southeastern United States (US). We observed greater heterogeneity in EI in low RI tracts, especially in non-urban tracts; residents of high RI tracts are likely to be both educationally and racially isolated. Associations were also observed between RI, EI, and gestational length (weeks) and preterm birth (PTB). For example, moving from the lowest to the highest quintile of RI was associated with a 1.11 (1.07, 1.15) and 1.16 (1.10, 1.22) increase in odds of PTB among NHB and NHW women, respectively. Moving from the lowest to the highest quintile of EI was associated with a 1.07 (1.02, 1.12) and 1.03 (1.00, 1.05) increase in odds of PTB among NHB and NHW women, respectively. This work provides three tools (RI, EI, and the local correlation measure) to researchers and policymakers interested in how residential isolation shapes disparate outcomes.
Bravo, MA; Leong, MC; Gelfand, AE; Miranda, ML
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