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Gentrification and pioneer businesses


  • Behrens, Kristian
  • Boualam, Brahim
  • Martin, Julien
  • Mayneris, Florian


We study gentrification at a micro-geographic scale using information on residents and businesses in New York from 1990 to 2010. We exploit atypical location decisions of businesses to identify the sectors that usually locate in wealthy neighborhoods but are overrepresented in poor soon-to-gentrify areas. These pioneer sectors - mostly cultural, recreational, and creative industries - help us to better predict gentrification at its early stage: including the presence of pioneers improves the accuracy of the prediction of future gentrifying spots by up to 200 meters. We show that pioneers foster gentrification through the types of workers they hire, their signal as to the future prospects of a neighborhood, and their effect on the subsequent arrival of consumption amenities.

Suggested Citation

  • Behrens, Kristian & Boualam, Brahim & Martin, Julien & Mayneris, Florian, 2018. "Gentrification and pioneer businesses," CEPR Discussion Papers 13296, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13296

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Victor Couture & Jessie Handbury, 2017. "Urban Revival in America, 2000 to 2010," NBER Working Papers 24084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Victor Couture & Cecile Gaubert & Jessie Handbury & Erik Hurst, 2019. "Income Growth and the Distributional Effects of Urban Spatial Sorting," NBER Working Papers 26142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Hyunjin Kim & Michael Luca, 2018. "Measuring Gentrification: Using Yelp Data to Quantify Neighborhood Change," NBER Working Papers 24952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Michael Barton, 2016. "An exploration of the importance of the strategy used to identify gentrification," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 53(1), pages 92-111, January.
    5. David Neumark & Brandon Wall & Junfu Zhang, 2011. "Do Small Businesses Create More Jobs? New Evidence for the United States from the National Establishment Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 16-29, August.
    6. repec:aea:apandp:v:108:y:2018:p:77-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Schuetz, Jenny, 2014. "Do art galleries stimulate redevelopment?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 59-72.
    8. Paul E. Carrillo & Jonathan Rothbaum, 2014. "Counterfactual Spatial Distributions," Working Papers 2014-05, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
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    10. Federico Echenique & Roland G. Fryer, 2007. "A Measure of Segregation Based on Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 441-485.
    11. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hendren & Maggie R. Jones & Sonya R. Porter, 2018. "The Opportunity Atlas: Mapping the Childhood Roots of Social Mobility," NBER Working Papers 25147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Edlund, Lena & Machado, Cecilia & Sviatschi, Maria, 2015. "Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification and the Rising Returns to Skill," IZA Discussion Papers 9502, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Raphael W. Bostic & Richard W. Martin, 2003. "Black Home-owners as a Gentrifying Force? Neighbourhood Dynamics in the Context of Minority Home-ownership," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 40(12), pages 2427-2449, November.
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    More about this item


    Gentrification; microgeographic data; New York; pioneer businesses;

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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