Understanding Gentrification: a Case Study Approach

Publication Date

April 2016


Joyce Jacobsen


Economics (ECON)


English (United States)


The term “gentrification” has become ubiquitous in discussion of neighborhood change and urban policy; yet, a rarely studied – and little understood - aspect of gentrification is the extent to which it affects neighborhoods across various cities at the local level. This thesis draws on unique datasets from the U.S. Census Bureau to examine patterns of neighborhood change in gentrifying and potentially gentrifiable neighborhoods in Cleveland, Phoenix, Jacksonville, and Oklahoma City between 2000 and 2010. The results reveal significant heterogeneity in the effects of gentrification across cities. In this thesis, I also introduce an econometric model used to predict and determine why some neighborhoods gentrify and others do not. The results of the model suggest that predictors of gentrification vary by city.

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