According to the so-called “polarisation hypothesis“, urban industrial societies may experience increasing occupational and residential segregation. This intra-urban polarisation process is thought to be evoked by global and regional eco-nomic restructuring, particularly by an increasing importance of the service sector in large, globalised cities. So far, however, research has failed to show if such an intra-city polarisation process should be expected only in some of the most important cities of the global urban hierarchy or in any type of urban agglomeration. In order to analyse the basic causal interdependencies thought to shape current changes in the composition of the urban structure, future research needs to incorporate harmonised comparative information, which a. covers a comprehensive range of urban regions, preferably of different countries, an b. includes information both on an aggregate, neighbourhood, but also on an individual level. This paper aims at taking a first step in this direction by analysing neighbourhood stratification processes in urban regions in Germany. This re-search is based on (i) German regional and municipal statistics, and (ii) micro-data from the German Socio-economic panel (GSOEP).
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