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The long-term employment impacts of gentrification in the 1990s

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  • Daniel Hartley
  • T. William Lester

Abstract

In the ongoing debate over the social benefi ts and costs of gentrification, one of the key questions left largely unaddressed by the empirical literature is the degree to which gentrification impacts local labor markets. This paper begins by exploring the nature of employment change in one archetypical gentrifying neighborhood—Chicago’s Wicker Park—to motivate the central hypothesis that gentrification is associated with industrial restructuring. Next, a detailed analysis is presented on the long-term employment changes in neighborhoods that have experienced gentrification during the 1990s across a sample of 20 large central cities. Specifically, this paper uses Freeman’s (2005) definition to define tracts that experienced gentrification and compares employment outcomes in such tracts and those within a ¼ mile buffer to comparable nongentrified tracts. This analysis shows that employment grew slightly faster in gentrifying neighborhoods than other portions of the central city. However, jobs in restaurants and retail services tended to replace those lost in goods-producing industries. This process of industrial restructuring occurred at a faster rate in gentrifying areas. Thus gentrification can be considered a contributory and catalytic factor in accelerating the shift away from manufacturing with urban labor markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 1307.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:1307

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Keywords: Housing;

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  1. Guerrieri, Veronica & Hartley, Daniel & Hurst, Erik, 2013. "Endogenous gentrification and housing price dynamics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 45-60.
  2. McKinnish, Terra & Walsh, Randall & Kirk White, T., 2010. "Who gentrifies low-income neighborhoods?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 180-193, March.
  3. David Neumark & Junfu Zhang & Brandon Wall, 2005. "Employment Dynamics and Business Relocation: New Evidence from the National Establishment Time Series," PPIC Working Papers 2005.11, Public Policy Institute of California.
  4. H. Gibbs Knotts & Moshe Haspel, 2006. "The Impact of Gentrification on Voter Turnout," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(1), pages 110-121.
  5. Winifred Curran, 2004. "Gentrification and the nature of work: exploring the links in Williamsburg, Brooklyn," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(7), pages 1243-1258, July.
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