Why Do Higher-income Households Choose Low-income Neighbourhoods? Pioneering or Thrift?

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Abstract

This paper offers several hypotheses about which US higher-income households choose to move into low-income neighbourhoods and why. It first explores whether the probability that a household moves into a relatively low-income neighbourhood (an RLIN move) varies with predicted household and metropolitan area characteristics. Secondly, it estimates a residential choice model to examine the housing and neighbourhood preferences of the households making such moves. Thirdly, it explores responses to survey questions about residential choices. Evidence is found that, in the US, households who place less value on neighbourhood services and those who face greater constraints on their choices are more likely to make an RLIN move. No evidence is found that households making RLIN moves are choosing neighbourhoods that are more accessible to employment. Rather, it is found that households making RLIN moves appear to place less weight on neighbourhood amenities than other households and more weight on housing costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2478-2495
Number of pages18
JournalUrban Studies
Volume50
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies

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