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What Happens When You Give Money to Panhandlers? The Case of Downtown Manhattan

Gwendolyn Dordick; Brendan Andrew O'Flaherty; Jakob Brounstein; Srishti Sinha; Jungsoo Yoo

Title:
What Happens When You Give Money to Panhandlers? The Case of Downtown Manhattan
Author(s):
Dordick, Gwendolyn
O'Flaherty, Brendan Andrew
Brounstein, Jakob
Sinha, Srishti
Yoo, Jungsoo
Date:
Type:
Reports
Department(s):
Economics
Persistent URL:
Geographic Area:
New York (State)--New York--Manhattan
Abstract:
We study panhandling in Downtown Manhattan. Surprisingly few people panhandle there at any given moment: about 8-10 people on average at a busy time, in a small area with an economy the size of Latvia’s. The redevelopment of Ground Zero and the resulting surge in economic activity—including the opening of North America’s tallest building—changed where panhandlers operated within the neighborhood, but did not significantly increase panhandling overall. The response was muted because the labor supply of panhandlers appears to be inelastic. On the other hand, good places to panhandle are relatively abundant. Hence the benefits of the boom in economic activity accrued mainly to incumbent panhandlers themselves; as would the benefits of greater donor generosity.
Subject(s):
Economics--Sociological aspects
Begging
Poverty--Government policy
Poverty--Public opinion
Item views
231
Metadata:
text | xml
Suggested Citation:
Gwendolyn Dordick, Brendan Andrew O'Flaherty, Jakob Brounstein, Srishti Sinha, Jungsoo Yoo, , What Happens When You Give Money to Panhandlers? The Case of Downtown Manhattan, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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