Who Gentrifies Low-Income Neighborhoods?

44 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2008 Last revised: 3 Jul 2010

See all articles by Terra McKinnish

Terra McKinnish

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Randall P. Walsh

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Kirk White

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2008

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

McKinnish, Terra and Walsh, Randall P. and White, Kirk, Who Gentrifies Low-Income Neighborhoods? (May 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14036. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1139352

Terra McKinnish (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309-0256
United States

Randall P. Walsh

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309-0256
United States
303-492-4599 (Phone)
303-492-8622 (Fax)

Kirk White

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ( email )

1301 New York Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20250
United States

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