Where You Live and Where You Move: A Cross-City Comparison of the Effects of Gentrification and How these Effects Are Tied to Racial History

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2019-12-06

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In this thesis, I compare the effects of gentrification on two amenities, school quality and air quality, in ten cities across the United States. I look into how gentrification and being a renter can have a role in how the effects of gentrification are felt among a city’s residents and whether these effects are stronger in some cities than others. Ultimately, my goal is to see if cities that experienced a larger amount of white flight post-World War II, also exhibited greater adverse effects from gentrification on renters. I find that, in terms of school quality, renters in high white flight cities more consistently experience a downgrade in quality of schools—most likely attributed to having to move out of their gentrifying neighborhoods and into worse parts of the city—than renters in low white flight cities. This finding could be accredited to the fact that high white flight cities saw widespread de-investment across the city’s various neighborhoods that would have lowered the quality of amenities, like schools, experienced by displaced renters. Air quality, on the other hand, does not seem to consistently be affected by gentrification in a way that is related to the amount of white flight in a city—revealing that there may be other confounding variables affecting the quality of air in a city.

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Juneja, Divya (2019). Where You Live and Where You Move: A Cross-City Comparison of the Effects of Gentrification and How these Effects Are Tied to Racial History. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/20245.


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