Does Government Investment in Local Public Goods Spur Gentrification? Evidence from Beijing



In Beijing, the metropolitan government has made enormous place-based investments to increase green space and to improve public transit. We examine the gentrification consequences of such public investments. Using unique geocoded real estate, new restaurant count data and demographic data by neighborhood, we document that the construction of the Olympic Village and two recent major subway systems have led to increased new housing supply in the vicinity of these areas, higher local prices and an increased quantity of nearby private chain restaurants. Recent time trends in local resident income and human capital attainment support the claim that these investments have caused local gentrification.