Andreoli F., Mussini M., Prete V., Zoli C. (2020)

Urban Poverty : Measurement Theory and evidence from American cities. Journal of Economic Inequality



We characterize axiomatically a new index of urban poverty that i) captures aspects of
the incidence and distribution of poverty across neighborhoods of a city, ii) is related to
the Gini index and iii) is consistent with empirical evidence that living in a high poverty
neighborhood is detrimental for many dimensions of residents’ well-being. Widely
adopted measures of urban poverty, such as the concentrated poverty index, may
violate some of the desirable properties we outline. Furthermore, we show that changes
of urban poverty within the same city are additively decomposable into the contribution
of demographic, convergence, re-ranking and spatial effects. We collect new evidence
of heterogeneous patterns and trends of urban poverty across American metro areas
over the last 35 years.