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Gentrification and Residential Mobility in Philadelphia

50 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2015  

Lei Ding

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Jackelyn Hwang

Princeton University

Eileen E Divringi

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Date Written: 2015-10-15

Abstract

Gentrification has provoked considerable debate and controversy about its effects on neighborhoods and the people residing in them. This paper draws on a unique large-scale consumer credit database to examine the mobility patterns of residents in gentrifying neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia from 2002 to 2014. We find significant heterogeneity in the effects of gentrification across neighborhoods and subpopulations. Residents in gentrifying neighborhoods have slightly higher mobility rates than those in nongentrifying neighborhoods, but they do not have a higher risk of moving to a lower-income neighborhood. Moreover, gentrification is associated with some positive changes in residents’ financial health as measured by individuals’ credit scores. However, when more vulnerable residents (low-score, longer-term residents, or residents without mortgages) move from gentrifying neighborhoods, they are more likely to move to lower-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods with lower values on quality-of-life indicators. The results reveal the nuances of mobility in gentrifying neighborhoods and demonstrate how the positive and negative consequences of gentrification are unevenly distributed.

Keywords: Gentrification, Residential mobility, Credit scores, Displacement

JEL Classification: D14, J11, J6, R23

Suggested Citation

Ding, Lei and Hwang, Jackelyn and Divringi, Eileen E, Gentrification and Residential Mobility in Philadelphia (2015-10-15). FRB of Philadelphia Working Paper No. 15-36. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2675379

Lei Ding (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

Jackelyn Hwang

Princeton University

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States

Eileen E Divringi

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

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