Residential Mobility and Social Sorting

William A. V. Clark, University of California, Los Angeles

In this paper I examine the residential selections that households make when they change residences and in particular the relationship between their choices and their socioeconomic status. I evaluate outcomes across neighborhoods grouped into deciles and quintiles of advantage/disadvantage. Resources - income or ownership, and education play important roles in the neighborhood outcomes and by inference affect the selection process. As we know, and as is demonstrated in this study, households on the whole move short distances within cities and thus where you begin has an important impact on your ability to move up or conversely down the socio-spatial scale. The research finds modest evidence for greater satisfaction with moves up the hierarchy. Family status and ethnicity constrain outcomes and highlight the difficulty of neighborhood or household interventions to improve outcomes.

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Presented in Poster Session 7