The Effects of Physical Restructuring on the Socioeconomic Status of Neighborhoods: Selective Migration and Upgrading

19 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2017

See all articles by Merle Zwiers

Merle Zwiers

Delft University of Technology

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

Reinout Kleinhans

Delft University of Technology

Abstract

In the last few decades, urban restructuring programs have been implemented in many Western European cities with the main goal of combating a variety of socioeconomic problems in deprived neighborhoods. The main instrument of restructuring has been housing diversification and tenure mixing. The demolition of low-quality (social) housing and the construction of owner-occupied or private-rented dwellings was expected to change the population composition of deprived neighbourhoods through the in-migration of middle and high income households. Many studies have been critical with regard to the success of such policies in actually upgrading neighborhoods. Using data from the 31 largest Dutch cities for the 1999 to 2013 period, this study contributes to the literature by investigating the effects of large-scale demolition and new construction on neighborhood income developments on a low spatial scale. We use propensity score matching to isolate the direct effects of policy by comparing restructured neighborhoods to a set of control neighborhoods with low demolition rates, but with similar socioeconomic characteristics. The results indicate that large-scale demolition leads to socioeconomic upgrading of deprived neighborhoods through the in-migration of middle and high income households. We find no evidence of spillover effects to nearby neighborhoods, suggesting that physical restructuring only has very local effects.

Keywords: urban restructuring, neighborhood change, selective migration, demolition

JEL Classification: O18, P25, R23

Suggested Citation

Zwiers, Merle and van Ham, Maarten and Kleinhans, Reinout, The Effects of Physical Restructuring on the Socioeconomic Status of Neighborhoods: Selective Migration and Upgrading. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10697. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2956792

Merle Zwiers (Contact Author)

Delft University of Technology ( email )

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Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

Maarten Van Ham

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 )

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Saint Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Reinout Kleinhans

Delft University of Technology ( email )

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