Why Are Wal-Mart and Target Next-Door Neighbors?
One of the most notable changes in the U.S. retail market over the past twenty years has been the rise of Big Box stores, retail chains characterized by physically large stores selling a wide range of consumer goods at discount prices. A growing literature has examined the impacts of Big Box stores on other retailers and consumers, but relatively little is known about how Big Box stores choose locations. Because Big Box stores offer highly standardized products and compete primarily on price, it is likely that they will seek to establish spatial monopolies, far from competitor stores. In this ...
Have Distressed Neighborhoods Recovered? Evidence from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program
During the 2007-2009 housing crisis, concentrations of foreclosed and vacant properties created severe blight in many cities and neighborhoods. The federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was established to help mitigate distress in hard-hit areas by funding the rehabilitation or demolition of troubled properties. This paper analyzes housing market changes in areas that received investments during the second round of NSP funding, focusing on seven large urban counties. Grantees used NSP to invest in census tracts with high rates of distressed and vacancy properties, and tracts that ...
Which Way to Recovery? Housing Market Outcomes and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program
To help communities recover from the foreclosure crisis, Congress enacted a set of policies known as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). NSP's objective was to mitigate the impact of foreclosures on neighboring properties, through reducing the stock of distressed properties and removing sources of visual blight. This paper presents evidence on production outcomes achieved through the second round of NSP funding (NSP2), and discusses the housing market context under which the program operated from 2010 to 2013. Two key findings emerge. First, local grantees undertook quite different ...
Is Los Angeles Becoming Transit Oriented?
Over the past 20 years, local and regional governments in the Los Angeles metropolitan area have invested significant resources in building rail transit infrastructure that connects major employment centers. One goal of transit infrastructure is to catalyze the development of high density, mixed-use housing and commercial activity within walking distance of rail stations, referred to as Transit Oriented Development (TOD). This project examines the quantity, type, and mix of economic activity that has occurred around newly built rail stations in Los Angeles over the past 20 years. ...
What are the Perceived Barriers to Homeownership for Young Adults?
As the U.S. emerges from the Great Recession, there is concern about slowing rates of new household formation and declining interest in homeownership, especially among younger households. Potential reasons that have been posited include tight mortgage credit and housing supply, changing preferences over tenure in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, and weak labor markets for young workers. In this paper, we examine how individual housing choices, and the stated motivations for these choices, reflect local housing affordability and individual financial circumstances, focusing particularly on ...
Does Zoning Help or Hinder Transit-Oriented (Re)Development?
Despite its reputation as a car-oriented city, the Los Angeles metropolitan area has made substantial investments in developing rail transit since 1990. In cities with older "legacy" rail systems, the built environment has developed over time around fixed transit infrastructure, creating land use patterns oriented towards long-standing rail stations. By contrast, rail stations in Los Angeles were added to an already dense built environment, with auto oriented zoning and established land use patterns. In this paper we ask whether redevelopment is occurring around Los Angeles? rail stations, ...
Fewer Vacants, Fewer Crimes? Impacts of Neighborhood Revitalization Policies on Crime
The relationship between neighborhood physical environment and social disorder, particularly crime, is of critical interest to urban economists and sociologists, as well as local governments. Over the past 50 years, various policy interventions to improve physical conditions in distressed neighborhoods have also been heralded for their potential to reduce crime. Urban renewal programs in the mid-20th century and public housing redevelopment in the 1990s both subscribed to the idea that signs of physical disorder invite social disorder. More recently, the federal Neighborhood Stabilization ...
Are Central Cities Poor and Non-White?
For much of the 20th century, America's central cities were viewed as synonymous with economic and social hardship, often used as proxy for low-income communities of color. Since the 1990s, however, many metropolitan areas have seen a resurgence of interest in central city neighborhoods. Theoretical models of income sorting lead to ambiguous predictions about where households of different income levels will live within metropolitan areas. In this paper, we explore intra-city spatial patterns of income and race for U.S. metropolitan areas, focusing particularly on the locations of low-income ...
Assessing the Severity of Rent Burden on Low-Income Families
To assess the rent burden on families, we analyze housing expenditures of renters using the American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS). In this note, we have shown that the lowest-income families face severe rent burdens.
Are Central Cities Poor and Non-White?
In the U.S., geography has long been viewed as a proxy for income and race.