Spatial Distributions of Job Accessibility, Housing Rents, and Poverty in Nairobi, Kenya

26 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2018 Last revised: 28 Nov 2018

See all articles by Shohei Nakamura

Shohei Nakamura

World Bank; World Bank

Paolo Avner

CIRED, International Research Center on Environment & Development, France

Date Written: November 26, 2018

Abstract

Whether individuals and job opportunities are well connected is a key determinant of productive urban labor markets. The overall level of job accessibility in a city depends on the locations of jobs and workers' residences, as well as transport networks. Moreover, who has good access to job opportunities hinges on the trade-off faced by households in their residential choices over job accessibility, living conditions, and housing costs. This paper empirically analyzes the spatial distributions of job accessibility, housing rents, and poverty in Nairobi, Kenya. It finds that workers and jobs are not well connected in the city: Nairobi residents can on average access fewer than 10 percent of existing jobs by foot within an hour. Even using a minibus, they can reach only about a quarter of the jobs. This paper further shows that poorer households and/or those who live in informal settlements can reach a more limited number of jobs. Living closer to job opportunities is indeed costly in Nairobi, not only because housing quality and living conditions tend to be better in such areas, but also job accessibility itself is valued as a great amenity in the housing markets, which challenges low-income households' residential location choice.

Keywords: Labor Markets, Urban Housing and Land Settlements, Urban Housing, Urban Governance and Management, Municipal Management and Reform, Transport Services, Inequality, Hydrology

Suggested Citation

Nakamura, Shohei and Avner, Paolo, Spatial Distributions of Job Accessibility, Housing Rents, and Poverty in Nairobi, Kenya (November 26, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8654, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3290987

Shohei Nakamura (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Paolo Avner

CIRED, International Research Center on Environment & Development, France ( email )

Campus du Jardin Tropical
45 bis avenue de la Belle Gabrielle
F94736 Nogent sur Marne Cedex
France

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