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Who's in Charge in the Inner City? The Conflict Between Efficiency and Equity in the Design of a Metropolitan Area

  • Charles A. M. de Bartolome

    (University of Colorado)

  • Stephen L. Ross

    (University of Connecticut)

A circular metropolitan area consists of an inner city and a suburb. Households sort over the two jurisdictions based on public service levels and their costs of commuting to the metropolitan center. Using numerical simulations, we show (1) there typically exist two equilibria: one in which the poor form the majority in the inner city and the other in which the rich form the majority in the inner city; (2) there is an efficiency vs. equity trade-off as to which equilibrium is preferred; and (3) if the inner city contains only poor households, equity favors expanding the inner city to include rich households.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2002-03.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2002-03.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in the Journal of Urban Economics
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2002-03
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/
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  1. Ross, Stephen & Yinger, John, 1999. "Sorting and voting: A review of the literature on urban public finance," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 47, pages 2001-2060 Elsevier.
  2. 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.
  3. Sasaki, Komei, 1990. "Income class, modal choice, and urban spatial structure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 322-343, May.
  4. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  5. Epple, Dennis & Filimon, Radu & Romer, Thomas, 1984. "Equilibrium among local jurisdictions: toward an integrated treatment of voting and residential choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 281-308, August.
  6. Epple, Dennis & Filimon, Radu & Romer, Thomas, 1993. "Existence of voting and housing equilibrium in a system of communities with property taxes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 585-610, November.
  7. 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.
  8. Edwin S. Mills & Luan Sende Lubuele, 1997. "Inner Cities," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 727-756, June.
  9. Ellickson, Bryan, 1971. "Jurisdictional Fragmentation and Residential Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 334-39, May.
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