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Publication Spotlight: 11/2018

Take a look at a recent Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs publication:

Social Justice Implications of Municipal Transportation Apportionments in Massachusetts: A Case of Disparate Impact by Obed Pasha

Document Type: Article

Publication Date: October 2018


The question of how social justice interacts with transportation has inspired a long-standing and partisan debate in the U.S., mostly focusing on social exclusion and inequitable distribution of resources. This study adds to this literature by empirically analyzing the extent to which municipal transportation apportionments in Massachusetts put marginalized groups at a disadvantage. An analysis of seven-year data of 351 municipalities in Massachusetts receiving reimbursable grants through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Chapter 90 program show that municipalities with a higher percentage of non-white individuals received less apportionment through the program. While these disparities exist for African-American, Asian, and Hispanic populations, they are found to be incidental, not deliberate. Lagged effects show that Massachusetts is investing in municipalities with higher percentage of marginalized individuals to reduce this historic resource gap. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

To see all Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs publications go to our Engaged Scholarship page.