Why Do the Poor Live in Cities?

61 Pages Posted: 21 May 2000 Last revised: 12 Mar 2013

See all articles by Edward L. Glaeser

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jordan Rappaport

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2000

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

Glaeser, Edward L. and Kahn, Matthew E. and Rappaport, Jordan, Why Do the Poor Live in Cities? (April 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7636. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=228112

Edward L. Glaeser (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California ( email )

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Jordan Rappaport

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City ( email )

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