Neighborhood change and the poor : the effect of gentrification on labor market outcomes for unskilled workers in urban areas
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. The conclusions drawn by those who study gentrification have shifted in recent years; in the 1980s it was assumed that gentrification was harmful to low-income residents of up-and-coming neighborhoods (Marcuse 1986, Ley 1981). More recently, several studies have shown that gentrification does not harm the original residents of a neighborhood and, in fact, might improve their economic well-being (Freeman 2004, Freeman & Braconi 2005, Vigdor 2002). This thesis expands upon that work by using data from the 2000 Census and 2005-2009 American Community Survey (ACS), as well as the March Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS) to determine whether gentrification had a positive effect on the labor market outcomes of low-skilled residents. Using probit and OLS models, I find the relationship between gentrification and several labor market outcomes for low-educated adults to be negative and significant. The magnitudes of these effects, however, are very small; although living in a gentrified neighborhood is associated with a small decrease in labor supply, as measured by labor force participation, hours worked per week, weeks worked in the last year, estimates may be biased by the Great Recession. Further research is necessary to determine whether gentrification per se was responsible for these outcomes.
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