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Who Gentrifies Low-Income Neighborhoods?

Author

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  • Terra McKinnish
  • Randall Walsh
  • Kirk White

Abstract

This paper uses confidential Census data, specifically the 1990 and 2000 Census Long Form data, to study the demographic processes underlying the gentrification of low-income urban neighborhoods during the 1990's. In contrast to previous studies, the analysis is conducted at the more refined census-tract level with a narrower definition of gentrification and more closely matched comparison neighborhoods. The analysis is also richly disaggregated by demographic characteristic, uncovering differential patterns by race, education, age and family structure that would not have emerged in the more aggregate analysis in previous studies. The results provide no evidence of displacement of low-income non-white households in gentrifying neighborhoods. The bulk of the increase in average family income in gentrifying neighborhoods is attributed to black high school graduates and white college graduates. The disproportionate retention and income gains of the former and the disproportionate in-migration of the latter are distinguishing characteristics of gentrifying U.S. urban neighborhoods in the 1990's.

Suggested Citation

  • Terra McKinnish & Randall Walsh & Kirk White, 2008. "Who Gentrifies Low-Income Neighborhoods?," NBER Working Papers 14036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14036
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ingrid Gould Ellen & Katherine O'Regan, 2008. "Reversal of Fortunes? Lower-income Urban Neighbourhoods in the US in the 1990s," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 45(4), pages 845-869, April.
    2. John M. Clapp & Stephen L. Ross, 2004. "Schools and Housing Markets: An Examination of School Segregation and Performance in Connecticut," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(499), pages 425-440, November.
    3. 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.
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    5. Sweeney, James L., 1974. "A commodity hierarchy model of the rental housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 288-323, July.
    6. Jan K. Brueckner & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2009. "Gentrification and Neighborhood Housing Cycles: Will America's Future Downtowns Be Rich?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 725-743, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2008. "Old homes, externalities, and poor neighborhoods. A model of urban decline and renewal," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 816-840, May.
    9. Elvin K Wyly & Daniel J Hammel, 2004. "Gentrification, segregation, and discrimination in the American urban system," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(7), pages 1215-1241, July.
    10. 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

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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