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Why Do The Poor Live In Cities?

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

More than 17 percent of households in American central cities live in poverty; in American suburbs, just 7.4 percent of households live in poverty. The income elasticity of demand for land is too low for urban poverty to be the result of wealthy individuals' wanting to live where land is cheap (the traditional urban economics explanation of urban poverty). Instead, the urbanization of poverty appears to be the result of bettter access to public transportation in central cities, and central city governments favoring the poor (relative to suburban governments).

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Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1891.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1891
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Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/journals/hier

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  1. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 159-169, May.
  2. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Baum-Snow, Nathaniel & Kahn, Matthew E., 2000. "The effects of new public projects to expand urban rail transit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 241-263, August.
  4. Small, K.A. & Gomez-Ibanez, J.A., 1996. "Urban Transportation," Papers 95-96-4, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  5. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Arnott, Richard J & MacKinnon, James G, 1978. "Market and Shadow Land Rents with Congestion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(4), pages 588-600, September.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why is There More Crime in Cities?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1746, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. 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.
  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 620-31, September.
  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. Joseph Gyourko & Richard Voith, 1997. "Does the U.S. tax treatment of housing promote suburbanization and central city decline?," Working Papers 97-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  12. 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.
  13. Blank, Rebecca M., 1988. "The effect of welfare and wage levels on the location decisions of female-headed households," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 186-211, September.
  14. 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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