East side story : historical pollution and persistent neighborhood sorting
MetadataShow full item record
Why are the East sides of former industrial cities like London or New York poorer and more deprived? We argue that this observation is the most visible consequence of the historically unequal distribution of air pollutants across neighborhoods. In this paper, we geolocate nearly 5,000 industrial chimneys in 70 English cities in 1880 and use an atmospheric dispersion model to recreate the spatial distribution of pollution. First, individual-level census data show that pollution induced neighborhood sorting during the course of the nineteenth century. Historical pollution patterns explain up to 15% of within-city deprivation in 1881. Second, these equilibria persist to this day even though the pollution that initially caused them has waned. A quantitative model shows the role of non-linearities and tipping-like dynamics in such persistence.
Heblich , S , Trew , A & Zylberberg , Y 2016 ' East side story : historical pollution and persistent neighborhood sorting ' School of Economics and Finance Discussion Paper , no. 1613 , University of St Andrews , St Andrews .
Working or discussion paper
Copyright (c) 2016, the authors
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.