Gentrification and Displacement in New York City, Revisited
Gentrification has become commonplace in major American cities in the early 21st century. Many scholars worry that increased housing market pressures leads to displacement of low-income residents. Displacement is associated with a host of negative outcomes, such as health and education. Despite much discussion of gentrification and displacement, relatively few studies attempt to quantify the relationship. I analyze the relationship between living in a gentrifying neighborhood and the probability of displacement in New York City for low- and middle-income renters. Using census data, I identify gentrifying neighborhoods and a comparable group of non-gentrifying neighborhoods at the sub-borough level. With the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey, I track where households live and move from at the sub-borough level, along with the reason they gave for moving. I find that living in a gentrifying neighborhood is associated with a higher likelihood of displacement compared to living in a persistently low-income neighborhood. Given this finding, lawmakers should consider both short-term and long-term ways to alleviate displacement pressures from gentrification.
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