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Bodegas or Bagel Shops? Neighborhood Differences in Retail and Household Services


  • Rachel Meltzer

    (The New School, New York, NY, USA)

  • Jenny Schuetz

    (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA)


Social scientists studying the disadvantages of poor urban neighborhoods have focused on the quality of publicly provided amenities. However, the quantity and quality of local private amenities, such as grocery stores and restaurants, can also have important quality-of-life implications for neighborhood residents. In the current article, the authors develop neighborhood-level metrics of “retail access†and analyze how retail services vary across New York City neighborhoods by income and by racial composition. The authors then examine how retail services change over time, particularly in neighborhoods undergoing rapid economic growth. Results indicate that lower income and minority neighborhoods have fewer retail establishments, smaller average establishments, a higher proportion of “unhealthy†restaurants, and in certain cases, less diversity across retail subsectors. In addition, the rate of retail growth between 1998 and 2007 has been particularly fast in neighborhoods that were initially lower valued and experienced relatively high housing price appreciation compared with the city overall.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Meltzer & Jenny Schuetz, 2012. "Bodegas or Bagel Shops? Neighborhood Differences in Retail and Household Services," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 26(1), pages 73-94, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:26:y:2012:i:1:p:73-94

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark van Duijn & Jan Rouwendal & Ruben van Loon, 2014. "Urban Resilience: Store Location Dynamics and Cultural Heritage," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1158, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Schuetz, Jenny, 2015. "Why are Walmart and Target Next-Door neighbors?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 38-48.
    3. repec:gam:jagris:v:7:y:2017:i:9:p:76-:d:111987 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jenny Schuetz & Richard K. Green, 2014. "Is The Art Market More Bourgeois Than Bohemian?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 273-303, March.
    5. Kahn, Matthew E. & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Cities and the Environment," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Schuetz, Jenny & Kolko, Jed & Meltzer, Rachel, 2012. "Are poor neighborhoods “retail deserts”?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 269-285.
    7. repec:eee:regeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:52-73 is not listed on IDEAS


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