Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Robert Inman


This paper develops a simple self-selection utility model for leaving a neighborhood. This opens the door for a simple reduced form approach that leverages a hierarchical Bayesian model to obtain an annualized latent push and pull factor for each neighborhood. Posterior analysis indicates that common predictors of neighborhood quality and inputs to classical utility functions systematically under-predict the number of people who stay in a neighborhood. Such underprediction of out-migration can either be viewed as an unexplained variation due to neighborhood \loyalty" or as financial barriers to mobility. I isolate this residual, referred to as an \inertia," isolated using a quasi-experimental matching method that uses variation in push factor to isolate e ects on pull factors. I show the inertia measure can be explained by measures of financial access including distance to a bank branch, local rates of second mortgage, and redevelopment certifications. The residual from these financial measures is shown to correlate with existence of anchor institutions like charter schools. This methodology creates a robust measure of not only the local push- and pull-factors by neighborhood, but also is suggestive of an economic approach to appraising local community strength.


neighborhood studies, gentrification, geographic mobility



Date Posted: 13 November 2019


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