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Universities and Gentrification: The Effects of Anchor Institution Initiatives on Rates of Neighborhood Change

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This study utilized decennial United States census data from 1970 to 2010 to examine the effects of university anchor institution initiatives on gentrification in multiple cities across the country. Using a difference-in-differences approach, a gentrification composite variable for census tracts targeted by anchor initiatives is compared to the composite for similar tracts within the same city, providing plausibly causal estimates of the relationship between gentrification and the initiatives. There is evidence university anchor initiatives slow rates of gentrification, though the statistically negative effect is not large enough to override the larger trends in gentrification across time. Additionally, financial strategies tend to slow gentrification the most, while physical strategies may accelerate gentrification.

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Correspondence to Paul M. Garton.

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Garton, P.M. Universities and Gentrification: The Effects of Anchor Institution Initiatives on Rates of Neighborhood Change. Res High Educ 64, 987–1010 (2023).

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