Differential Pathways of Neighborhood Change and Perceived Neighborhood Reputation

Lydia Wileden , University of Michigan

Within the study of neighborhood change processes, researchers have generally under-theorized the importance of reputation as a key measure and mechanism of neighborhood evolution. To correct for this, this paper seeks to understand how neighborhoods’ demographic and economic trajectories between 1980 and 2016 influence contemporary perceptions of neighborhood reputation. Using newly-collected data on neighborhood knowledge and reputation from an online panel of respondents in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., this paper examines how substantively different pathways of neighborhood change influence the reputational hierarchy of neighborhoods within a given city. Initial results examining static neighborhood characteristics and aggregate measures of neighborhood change offer a puzzle, alternately emphasizing the importance of contemporary racial composition or longitudinal economic change as the most significant determinants of neighborhood prestige. Future research will clarify these results using group based trajectory models to reveal how typologies of neighborhood change pathways influence neighborhood reputation.

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 Presented in Session 3. Change and Stability in American Neighborhood