Spatial Segregation and Socio-Economic Mobility in European Cities

23 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2016

See all articles by Maarten van Ham

Maarten van Ham

Delft University of Technology - OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies; University of St. Andrews; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Tiit Tammaru

University of Tartu

Elise de Vuijst

Delft University of Technology

Merle Zwiers

Delft University of Technology

Abstract

Income inequality is increasing in European cities and this rising inequality has a spatial footprint in cities and neighbourhoods. Poor and rich people are increasingly living separated and this can threaten the social sustainability of cities. Low income people, often with an ethnic minority background, can get cut off from important social networks and mainstream society, and this can lead to social unrest. Increasing inequality and socio-economic segregation is therefore a major concern for local and national governments. Socio-economic segregation is the outcome of a combination of inequality and poverty, and the spatial organisation of urban housing markets. Poverty, and living in poverty concentration neighbourhoods is transmitted between generations and neighbourhood poverty is reproduced over time through to the residential mobility behaviour of households. Urban policy often focusses on reducing segregation through physical measures in cities, such as demolishing houses in deprived neighbourhoods and replacing them with housing for the middle classes. Such policies will not solve the underlying causes of segregation, but only redistribute poverty over cities. Policy initiatives should first of all focus on reducing inequality by creating equal opportunities for people and invest in education and training. Inclusive growth strategies should combine both people-based and area-based policy measures.

Keywords: socio-economic segregation, neighbourhood change, cities, Europe, residential mobility, social mobility, intergenerational mobility

JEL Classification: D63, D64, I32, J62, P36, P46, R23

Suggested Citation

van Ham, Maarten and Tammaru, Tiit and de Vuijst, Elise and Zwiers, Merle, Spatial Segregation and Socio-Economic Mobility in European Cities. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10277, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2861022

Maarten Van Ham (Contact Author)

Delft University of Technology - OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 5043
2600 GA Delft
Netherlands
+31 15 278 2782 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.maartenvanham.nl

University of St. Andrews ( email )

North St
Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Tiit Tammaru

University of Tartu ( email )

Elise De Vuijst

Delft University of Technology ( email )

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

Merle Zwiers

Delft University of Technology ( email )

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

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