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Why Do The Poor Live In Cities? The Role of Public Transportation

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

More than 19 percent of people in American central cities are poor. In suburbs, just 7.5 percent of people live in poverty. The income elasticity of demand for land is too low for urban poverty to come from wealthy individuals' wanting to live where land is cheap (the traditional explanation of urban poverty). A significant income elasticity for land exists only because the rich eschew apartment living, and that elasticity is still too low to explain the poor's urbanization. The urbanization of poverty comes mainly from better access to public transportation in central cities.

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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/2958224/why%20do%20the%20poor%20live%20in%20cities.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 2958224.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Urban Economics
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2958224
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  1. Alex Anas & Richard Arnott & Kenneth A. Small, 1998. "Urban Spatial Structure," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1426-1464, September.
  2. 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.
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  9. 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.
  10. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2004. "Sprawl and urban growth," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 56, pages 2481-2527 Elsevier.
  11. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1997. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," NBER Working Papers 5881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. de Bartolome, Charles A. M. & Ross, Stephen L., 2003. "Equilibria with local governments and commuting: income sorting vs income mixing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-20, July.
  14. Edwin S. Mills & Luan Sende Lubuele, 1997. "Inner Cities," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 727-756, June.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Calfee, John & Winston, Clifford, 1998. "The value of automobile travel time: implications for congestion policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 83-102, July.
  18. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  19. 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.
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