Bodegas or Bagel Shops? Neighborhood Differences in Retail & Household Services

52 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2010

See all articles by Rachel Meltzer

Rachel Meltzer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jenny Schuetz

Brookings Institution

Date Written: October 27, 2010

Abstract

Social scientists studying the disadvantages of poor urban neighborhoods have focused on the quality of publicly provided amenities. However, the quantity and quality of local private amenities, such as grocery stores and restaurants, can also have important quality of life implications for neighborhood residents. In the current paper, we develop neighborhood-level metrics of “retail access” and analyze how retail services vary across New York City neighborhoods by income and racial composition. We then examine how retail services change over time, particularly in neighborhoods undergoing rapid economic growth. Results indicate that lower-income and minority neighborhoods have fewer retail establishments, smaller average establishments, a higher proportion of “unhealthy” restaurants, and in certain cases, less diversity across retail sub-sectors. In addition, the rate of retail growth between 1998 and 2007 has been particularly fast in neighborhoods that were initially lower-valued and experienced relatively high housing price appreciation compared to the city overall.

Keywords: Retail, neighborhood amenities, food deserts, economic development

JEL Classification: R00, R2, R33, H71

Suggested Citation

Meltzer, Rachel and Schuetz, Jenny, Bodegas or Bagel Shops? Neighborhood Differences in Retail & Household Services (October 27, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1698927 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1698927

Rachel Meltzer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jenny Schuetz (Contact Author)

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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