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East Side Story: Historical Pollution and Persistent Neighborhood Sorting

Stephan Heblich (), Alex Trew () and Yanos Zylberberg ()

No 201613, Discussion Paper Series, School of Economics and Finance from School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews

Abstract: Why are the east sides of formerly industrial cities often the more deprived? Using individual-level census data together with newly created historical pollution patterns derived from the locations of 5,000 industrial chimneys and an atmospheric model, we show that this results from the persistence of neighborhood sorting that ?rst emerged during the Industrial Revolution when prevailing winds blew pollution eastwards. Past pollution explains up to 20% of the observed neighborhood segregation in 2011, even though coal pollution stopped in the 1970s. A quantitative model identi?es the role of non-linearities and tipping-like dynamics underlying this persistence.

Keywords: Neighborhood Sorting; Historical Pollution; Deprivation; Per- sistence; Environmental Disamenity. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R23 Q53 N90 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene, nep-env, nep-evo, nep-his and nep-ure
Date: 2016-11-01, Revised 2018-03-20
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