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Gentrification and Neighborhood Housing Cycles: Will America's Future Downtowns be Rich?

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  • Jan K. Brueckner
  • Stuart S. Rosenthal

Abstract

This paper identifies a new factor, the age of the housing stock, that affects where high- and low-income neighborhoods are located in U.S. cities. High-income households, driven by a high demand for housing services, will tend to locate in areas of the city where the housing stock is relatively young. Because cities develop and redevelop from the center outward over time, the location of these neighborhoods varies over the city’s history. The model predicts a suburban location for the rich in an initial period, when young dwellings are found only in the suburbs, while predicting eventual gentrification once central redevelopment creates a young downtown housing stock. Empirical work indicates that if the influence of spatial variation in dwelling ages were eliminated, longstanding central city/suburban disparities in neighborhood economic status would be reduced by up to 50 percent. Model estimates further predict that between 2000 and 2020, central-city/suburban differences in economic status will widen somewhat in smaller cities but narrow sharply in the largest American cities as they become more gentrified.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan K. Brueckner & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2005. "Gentrification and Neighborhood Housing Cycles: Will America's Future Downtowns be Rich?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1579, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1579
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brueckner, Jan K., 1980. "Residential succession and land-use dynamics in a vintage model of urban housing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 225-240, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2005. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 345-375, April.
    4. Brueckner, Jan K. & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Zenou, Yves, 1999. "Why is central Paris rich and downtown Detroit poor?: An amenity-based theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-107, January.
    5. Braid, Ralph M., 2001. "Spatial Growth and Redevelopment with Perfect Foresight and Durable Housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 425-452, May.
    6. Aaronson, Daniel, 2001. "Neighborhood Dynamics," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-31, January.
    7. Rosenthal Stuart S. & Helsley Robert W., 1994. "Redevelopment and the Urban Land Price Gradient," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 182-200, March.
    8. Coulson, N Edward & Bond, Eric W, 1990. "A Hedonic Approach to Residential Succession," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 433-444, August.
    9. Wheaton, William C, 1977. "Income and Urban Residence: An Analysis of Consumer Demand for Location," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 620-631, September.
    10. Kern, Clifford R., 1981. "Upper-income renaissance in the city: Its sources and implications for the city's future," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 106-124, January.
    11. 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.
    12. Braid, Ralph M., 1986. "The comparative statics of a filtering model of housing with two income groups," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 437-448, August.
    13. Brueckner, Jan K., 1981. "A dynamic model of housing production," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 1-14, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    spatial expansion of cities; housing cycles; urban expansion;

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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