The Economic History Review

Property and inequality: Housing dynamics in a nineteenth-century city

Volume 75 Issue 4
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Pages: 1151-1181Authors: Richard Rodger
Published online: January 9, 2022DOI: 10.1111/ehr.13138

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The internal structure of the city is analysed through the ownership, tenancy, and management of residential property using assessed rents to reflect current market value. The analysis reveals the interactions of agents, institutions, and trusts, and explores ownership in terms of gender, absenteeism, occupational categories, portfolio sizes, and values. Rents are used to develop both an index of housing affordability according to occupations, and an index of dissimilarity in rental variations within and between streets to provide a nuanced and more realistic understanding of the internal dynamics of an entire city—Edinburgh. While empirical material underpinning the analysis is place-specific, the underlying urban processes and relationships are generalizable, and provide a comprehensive overview of residential property relationships.