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Why Do The Poor Live In Cities? The Role of Public Transportation

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  • Rappaport, Jordan
  • Kahn, Matthew E.
  • Glaeser, Edward

Abstract

More than 19 percent of people in American central cities are poor. In suburbs, just 7.5 percent of people live in poverty. The income elasticity of demand for land is too low for urban poverty to come from wealthy individuals' wanting to live where land is cheap (the traditional explanation of urban poverty). A significant income elasticity for land exists only because the rich eschew apartment living, and that elasticity is still too low to explain the poor's urbanization. The urbanization of poverty comes mainly from better access to public transportation in central cities.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 2958224.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Urban Economics
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2958224

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do The Poor Live In Cities?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1891, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Giuliano, Genevieve & Small, Kenneth A., 1991. "Subcenters in the Los Angeles Region," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt6ts0t95w, University of California Transportation Center.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2001. "Decentralized Employment and the Transformation of the American City," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1912, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S225-S258, December.
  5. Gin, Alan & Sonstelie, Jon, 1992. "The streetcar and residential location in nineteenth century Philadelphia," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 92-107, July.
  6. Calfee, John & Winston, Clifford, 1998. "The value of automobile travel time: implications for congestion policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 83-102, July.
  7. Lawrence Katz & B. Jeffrey Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," Working Papers 820, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2003. "The impact of building restrictions on housing affordability," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 21-39.
  9. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1996. "Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities," NBER Working Papers 5737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mieszkowski, Peter & Smith, Barton, 1991. "Analyzing urban decentralization : The case of Houston," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 183-199, July.
  11. Cutler, David & Vigdor, Jacob & Glaeser, Edward, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Scholarly Articles 2770033, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2004. "Sprawl and urban growth," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 56, pages 2481-2527 Elsevier.
  13. Charles A. M. de Bartolome & Stephen L. Ross, 2002. "Equilibria with Local Governments and Commuting: Income Sorting vs. Income Mixing," Working papers 2002-01, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2003.
  14. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  15. Margo, Robert A., 1992. "Explaining the postwar suburbanization of population in the United States: The role of income," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 301-310, May.
  16. Richard Arnott & Alex Anas & Kenneth Small, 1997. "Urban Spatial Structure," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 388., Boston College Department of Economics.
  17. Peter Mieszkowski & Edwin S. Mills, 1993. "The Causes of Metropolitan Suburbanization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 135-147, Summer.
  18. LeRoy, Stephen F. & Sonstelie, Jon, 1983. "Paradise lost and regained: Transportation innovation, income, and residential location," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 67-89, January.
  19. Edwin S. Mills & Luan Sende Lubuele, 1997. "Inner Cities," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 727-756, June.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Ed Glaeser's "Triumph of the City" is Published!
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2011-02-10 15:15:00
  2. Paul Krugman is a Good Urban Economist
    by Matthew Kahn in the reality-based community on 2011-03-03 00:13:11
  3. Public Transit "Speeds Up" Thanks to Information Technology
    by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-10-08 13:43:00
  4. Public Transit in Leading Asian Cities
    by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-09-08 11:52:00
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