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Why Have Poorer Neighbourhoods Stagnated Economically, While the Richer have Flourished? Neighbourhood Income Inequality in Canadian Cities

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  • Chen, W. H.
  • Myles, John
  • Picot, Garnett

Abstract

Higher income neighbourhoods in Canada’s eight largest cities flourished economically during the past quarter century, while lower income communities stagnated. This paper identifies some of the underlying processes that led to this outcome. Increasing family income inequality drove much of the rise in neighbourhood inequality. Increased spatial economic segregation, the increasing tendency of “like to live nearby like†, also played a role. In the end, the differential economic outcomes between richer and poorer neighbourhoods originated in the labour market, or in family formation patterns. Changes in investment, pension income, or government transfers played a very minor role. But it was not unemployment that differentiated the richer from poorer neighbourhoods. Rather, it was the type of job found, particularly the annual earnings generated. The end result has been little improvement in economic resources in poor neighbourhoods during a period of substantial economic growth, and a rise in neighbourhood income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, W. H. & Myles, John & Picot, Garnett, 2011. "Why Have Poorer Neighbourhoods Stagnated Economically, While the Richer have Flourished? Neighbourhood Income Inequality in Canadian Cities," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-21, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 21 Aug 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2011-21
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    File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2082%20-%20Chen,%20Myles%20and%20Picot.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard D. Alba & John R. Logan, 1992. "Analyzing Locational Attainments," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 20(3), pages 367-397, February.
    2. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-156, February.
    3. Burkhauser, Richard V & Smeeding, Timothy M & Merz, Joachim, 1996. "Relative Inequality and Poverty in Germany and the United States Using Alternative Equivalence Scales," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(4), pages 381-400, December.
    4. Murphy, Brian B & Wolfson, Michael, 1998. "New Views on Inequality Trends in Canada and the United States," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998124e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    5. Hatfield, M., 1997. "Concentrations of Poverty and Distressed Neighbourhoods in Canada," Papers w-97-1e, Gouvernement du Canada - Human Resources Development.
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    1. repec:kap:jgeosy:v:20:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10109-017-0255-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Masuda, Jeffrey R. & Teelucksingh, Cheryl & Zupancic, Tara & Crabtree, Alexis & Haber, Rebecca & Skinner, Emily & Poland, Blake & Frankish, Jim & Fridell, Mara, 2012. "Out of our inner city backyards: Re-scaling urban environmental health inequity assessment," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1244-1253.
    3. Alan Walks, 2014. "From Financialization to Sociospatial Polarization of the City? Evidence from Canada," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(1), pages 33-66, January.
    4. Elliot Siemiatycki, 2013. "A Smooth Ride? From Industrial to Creative Urbanism in Oshawa, Ontario," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(5), pages 1766-1784, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inequality; Neighbourhood; Poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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