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Why Do the Poor Live in Cities?

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

Abstract

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 better access to public transportation in central cities, and central city governments favoring the poor (relative to suburban governments).

Suggested Citation

  • Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do the Poor Live in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 7636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7636
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    References listed on IDEAS

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