Paul Krugman: Economic inequality is making American inner cities whiter and whiter

The top 10 percent of earners increasingly wants to live in inner cities — how can these cities preserve diversity?

Published November 30, 2015 1:11PM (EST)

Paul Krugman                              (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)
Paul Krugman (Reuters/Brendan Mcdermid)

In his column Monday, the New York Times' Paul Krugman argued that as members of the top 10 percent of earners -- the majority of whom are white -- increasingly want to "live near the center of big cities," these cities aren't merely becoming more gentrified, they're also becoming racially and ethnically homogeneous.

The only solution, Krugman asserted, is to build more lower income housing in the inner city, which is something developers are loathe to do. However, "this is an issue over which local goverments have a lot of influence." A city like New York can't do much about the influx of the wealthy into the inner city, but it can increase the supply of housing, thereby making sure "the inward migration of the elite doesn't drive out everyone else."

As Krugman asked,

What about all the people, surely a large majority, who are being priced out of America’s urban revival? Does it have to be that way?

The answer, surely, is no, at least not to the extent we’re seeing now. Rising demand for urban living by the elite could be met largely by increasing supply. There’s still room to build, even in New York, especially upward. Yet while there is something of a building boom in the city, it’s far smaller than the soaring prices warrant, mainly because land use restrictions are in the way...

Read the rest at the New York Times...

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Aol_on Corporate America Gentrification New York City Paul Krugman