Research Title: Suburbanization and the Changing Geographic Scale of Spatial Segregation in Mexico
After reform and expansion of the country’s housing finance system in the early 1990s, Mexican cities have expanded at a rapid rate through the construction of large-scale suburban housing developments. One important feature of the housing system is the dominance of the government’s housing provident fund in mortgage lending. Mortgages are issued through housing developers rather than to individuals and only formally employed individuals – roughly 60 per cent of the country’s workers – are eligible (Monkkonen, 2011a). This project seeks to understand how the change in urban growth patterns has affected patterns of socioeconomic segregation in Mexican cities, especially in regards to geographic scale. This will be done using recently developed indexes of segregation that are explicitly spatial (Reardon and O’Sullivan, 2004). For multiple sizes of neighbourhoods, I will measure and compare segregation of socioeconomic groups using small area (city block) census data from 1990, 2000 and 2010. After indexes are calculated for the 100 largest cities in these three time periods, the changes in scale will be modelled as a function of a number of factors, including the prevalence of mortgage finance, which varies across cities and is exogenous to urban growth patterns.