Local inequality in the geography of class-differentiated migration
Jones, Karl Joseph
Attracting affluent households and skilled labor has long been a component of local development across U.S. cities. Place attractiveness has, however, taken on a new significance over the past forty years as the diffusion of neoliberal social policy, and the development of the post-productivist economy have effectively tied the prospects of local development to the financial, social, and human capital of this select population. As prevalent as the idea may be that local development is contingent on a potentially-mobile class, there is little research on income-differentiated household migration and its local outcomes. This study considers the impact of income-differentiated household migration on locales across the U.S., and communities situated therein. Of particular interest is the relationship over time between income dispersion in place, as manifest in local income inequality and segregation, and income dispersion between places, as affected by inequality within the population of migrating households. Findings indicate that high- and low-income migration patterns are categorically distinct, affecting sociospatial fragmentation at both the local and regional level, and that class-biased approaches to local development contribute to increasing income inequality and segregation.