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Who Gentrifies Low-Income Neighborhoods?

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  • Terra McKinnish
  • Randall Walsh
  • Kirk White

Abstract

This paper uses confidential Census data, specifically the 1990 and 2000 Census Long Form data, to study the demographic processes underlying the gentrification of low-income urban neighborhoods during the 1990's. In contrast to previous studies, the analysis is conducted at the more refined census-tract level with a narrower definition of gentrification and more closely matched comparison neighborhoods. The analysis is also richly disaggregated by demographic characteristic, uncovering differential patterns by race, education, age and family structure that would not have emerged in the more aggregate analysis in previous studies. The results provide no evidence of displacement of low-income non-white households in gentrifying neighborhoods. The bulk of the increase in average family income in gentrifying neighborhoods is attributed to black high school graduates and white college graduates. The disproportionate retention and income gains of the former and the disproportionate in-migration of the latter are distinguishing characteristics of gentrifying U.S. urban neighborhoods in the 1990's.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14036.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14036

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  1. John M. Clapp & Stephen L. Ross, 2002. "Schools and Housing Markets: An Examination of School Segregation and Performance in Connecticut," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2002-08, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Jan K. Brueckner & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2005. "Gentrification and Neighborhood Housing Cycles: Will America’s Future Downtowns Be Rich?," Working Papers 050611, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  3. Bond, E.W. & Coulson, N.E., 1988. "A Hedonic Approach To Residential Succession," Papers, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics 2-88-1, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  4. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2008. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 177-218, 02.
  5. Elvin K Wyly & Daniel J Hammel, 2004. "Gentrification, segregation, and discrimination in the American urban system," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(7), pages 1215-1241, July.
  6. Sweeney, James L., 1974. "A commodity hierarchy model of the rental housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 288-323, July.
  7. Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2008. "Old homes, externalities, and poor neighborhoods. A model of urban decline and renewal," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 816-840, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M., 2011. "Blessing or curse? Appreciation, amenities and resistance to urban renewal," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 32-45, January.
  2. Ingrid Gould Ellen & Katherine M. O'Regan, 2010. "How Low Income Neighborhoods Change: Entry, Exit and Enhancement," Working Papers 10-19, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. H. Spencer Banzhaf & Randall P. Walsh, 2010. "Segregation and Tiebout Sorting: Investigating the Link between Investments in Public Goods and Neighborhood Tipping," NBER Working Papers 16057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gabriel Ahlfeldt, 2010. "Blessing or Curse? Appreciation, Amenities and Resistance around the Berlin "Mediaspree"," Working Papers 032, Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg.
  5. McKinnish, Terra & White, T. Kirk, 2011. "Who moves to mixed-income neighborhoods?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 187-195, May.
  6. Schuetz, Jenny & Kolko, Jed & Meltzer, Rachel, 2012. "Are poor neighborhoods “retail deserts”?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 269-285.
  7. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2010. "Is urban decay bad? Is urban revitalization bad too?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 277-289, November.
  8. Ellen, Ingrid Gould & O'Regan, Katherine M., 2011. "How low income neighborhoods change: Entry, exit, and enhancement," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 89-97, March.
  9. Daniel Hartley & T. William Lester, 2013. "The long-term employment impacts of gentrification in the 1990s," Working Paper 1307, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

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