Jackelyn Hwang

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Stanford University
Areas of Expertise:
  • Cities & Regions
  • Housing
  • Race & Ethnicity

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About Jackelyn

Hwang’s research focuses on the relationship between how neighborhoods change and the persistence of neighborhood inequality by race in U.S. cities. Drawing on innovative measures of neighborhood characteristics, her recent projects examine the role of racial and ethnic contexts in shaping how gentrification evolves and how the recent subprime lending and foreclosure crisis unfolded in U.S. cities. She has collaborated with the Joint Center for Housing Studies, the Legal Services Center at Harvard University, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.


"Gentrification and Residential Mobility in Philadelphia," (with Lei Ding and Eileen Divringi), Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Working Paper Series, forthcoming.

Draws on a unique large-scale consumer credit database to examine the mobility patterns of residents in gentrifying neighborhoods in the city of Philadelphia from 2002 to 2014. Results show that vulnerable residents (low-score, longer-term residents, or residents without mortgages) in gentrifying neighborhoods are no more likely to move out of their neighborhoods, but when they do move, they are more likely to move to lower-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods with lower values on quality-of-life indicators.

"The Social Construction of a Gentrifying Neighborhood: Redefining and Resisting Identity and Boundaries" Urban Affairs Review 52, no. 1 (2016): 98-128.

Documents how gentrifiers and non-gentrifiers socially construct their changing neighborhood in distinct and unequal ways.  Discusses the gentrifiers’ neighborhood identity and boundaries excluded non-gentrifiers, and the non-gentrifiers’ socially constructed neighborhood was eventually displaced, having implications for the reproduction of inequality as neighborhoods change.

"Racial and Spatial Targeting: Segregation and Subprime Lending within and across Metropolitan Areas" (with Michael Hankinson and Kreg Steven Brown). Social Forces 93, no. 3 (2015): 1081-1108.

Demonstrates how residents in predominantly minority neighborhoods in highly segregated metropolitan areas were more likely to receive subprime loans in the recent housing crisis compared to minority neighborhoods in less segregated metropolitan areas. Reflects the high degree of spatially concentrated subprime loans in minority areas in highly segregated metropolitan contexts.

"Pioneers of Gentrification:Transformation in Global Neighborhoods in Urban America in the Late Twentieth Century" Demography 53, no. 1 (2016): 189-213.

Demonstrates that the influx of Asians, and, under certain conditions, Hispanics, predict early gentrification in the late twentieth century. Discusses how low-income, predominantly black neighborhoods and neighborhoods that became Asian and Hispanic enclaves remained ungentrified despite the growth of gentrification. Results suggest that the rise of immigration after 1965 brought pioneers to many low-income central-city neighborhoods, spurring gentrification in some neighborhoods and forming ethnic enclaves in others.

"Divergent Pathways of Gentrification: Racial Inequality and the Social Order of Renewal in Chicago Neighborhoods" (with Robert J. Sampson). American Sociological Review 79, no. 4 (2014): 726-751.
Uses newly collected data from Google Street View on gentrification to analyze how gentrifying Chicago neighborhoods fare over time. Results show that race plays a significant role in the degree to which neighborhoods undergo renewal in Chicago, reinforcing durable patterns of urban inequality and revealing the limits of stated preferences for racial diversity.

In the News

Jackelyn Hwang quoted on using Street View images to examine the role of race in the process of gentrification and neighborhood transformation in Richard Florida, "The Complex Relationship between Data and Cities" City Lab, May 18, 2016.
Jackelyn Hwang's research on Gene DembyJackelyn Hwang, "In Chicago, Neighborhoods That Are More Black Don't Gentrify," NPR, August 8, 2014.
Jackelyn Hwang's research on the gentrification of a neighborhood in South Philadelphia discussed in Richard FloridaJackelyn Hwang, "How Gentrifiers Change the Definition of a Neighborhood," City Lab, March 6, 2015.
Jackelyn Hwang quoted on gentrification in Cassie Owens, "When Gentrification’s Neighborhood Name Game Runs into True Identity" Next City, March 17, 2015.
"Black Men and the Struggle for Work," Jackelyn Hwang (with James M. Quane and William Julius Wilson), Education Next, Spring 2015.
Jackelyn Hwang's research on the pros and cons of gentrification and displacement discussed in Richard FloridaJackelyn Hwang, "The Closest Look Yet at Gentrification and Displacement," Citylab, November 2, 2015.
"A New View of Gentrification," Jackelyn Hwang (with Robert J. Sampson), Interview with Peter Reuell, Harvard Gazette, August 1, 2014.
"The Urban Jobs Crisis: Paths toward Employment for Low-Income Blacks and Latinos," Jackelyn Hwang (with James M. Quane and William Julius Wilson), Harvard Magazine, May/June 2013.
"Google Street View Shows That Gentrification in Chicago Has Largely Bypassed Poor Minority Neighborhoods, Reinforcing Urban Inequality," Jackelyn Hwang (with Robert J. Sampson), USA Politics and Policy, London School of Economics Blog, July 9, 2014.