How Segregated is Urban Consumption?
97 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2017
Date Written: September 6, 2017
We provide measures of ethnic and racial segregation in urban consumption. Using Yelp reviews, we estimate how spatial and social frictions inﬂuence restaurant visits within New York City. Transit time plays a ﬁrst-order role in consumption choices, so consumption segregation partly reﬂects residential segregation. Social frictions also have a large impact on restaurant choices: individuals are less likely to visit venues in neighborhoods demographically diﬀerent from their own. While spatial and social frictions jointly produce signiﬁcant levels of consumption segregation, we ﬁnd that restaurant consumption in New York City is only about half as segregated as residences. Consumption segregation owes more to social than spatial frictions.
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