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Sometimes Close Is Good Enough: The Value Of Nearby Environmental Amenities

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  • Lucie Schmidt
  • Paul N. Courant

Abstract

An extensive empirical literature exists, showing that variations in region-specific amenities can account for persistent differences in real wages across regions. However, this literature has considered only amenities in the same location as the household. This paper argues that environmental amenities at some distance from but accessible to urban areas may lead to negative compensating wage differentials. We use a general equilibrium framework and data from the 1995 Current Population Survey to calculate implicit amenity prices based on measures of distance to environmental amenities. Our results suggest that amenities outside the metropolitan area do generate compensating wage differentials, as workers are willing to accept lower wages to live in accessible proximity to "nice" places. This implies that these places provide a positive externality to those communities that find them accessible. The estimated effects are quantitatively important, suggesting that these externalities should be taken into account in policy making. Copyright Blackwell Publishing, Inc. 2006

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Regional Science.

Volume (Year): 46 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 931-951

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:46:y:2006:i:5:p:931-951

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  1. Donna K. Ginther & Madeline Zavodny, 2001. "Is the male marriage premium due to selection? The effect of shotgun weddings on the return to marriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 313-328.
  2. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  3. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1991. "The Structure of Local Public Finance and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 774-806, August.
  4. Gyourko, Joseph & Kahn, Matthew & Tracy, Joseph, 1999. "Quality of life and environmental comparisons," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 1413-1454 Elsevier.
  5. McGranahan, David A., 1999. "Natural Amenities Drive Rural Population Change," Agricultural Economics Reports 33955, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  6. Courant Paul N. & Deardorff Alan V., 1993. "Amenities, Nontraded Goods, and the Trade of Lumpy Countries," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 299-317, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Braakmann, Nils, 2012. "The link between non-property crime and house prices – Evidence from UK street-level data," MPRA Paper 44884, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Abildtrup, Jens & Garcia, Serge & Olsen, Søren Bøye & Stenger, Anne, 2013. "Spatial preference heterogeneity in forest recreation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 67-77.
  3. Longhi, Simonetta, 2013. "Impact of cultural diversity on wages, evidence from panel data," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 797-807.
  4. Michael Brady & Elena Irwin, 2011. "Accounting for Spatial Effects in Economic Models of Land Use: Recent Developments and Challenges Ahead," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(3), pages 487-509, March.
  5. Stephens, Heather & Partridge, Mark, 2012. "Lake Amenities, Environmental Degradation, and Great Lakes Regional Growth," MPRA Paper 43903, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Simonetta Longhi, 2011. "Impact of Cultural Diversity on Wages and Job Satisfaction in England," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2011010, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  7. Haugen, Katarina & Vilhelmson, Bertil, 2013. "The divergent role of spatial access: The changing supply and location of service amenities and service travel distance in Sweden," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 10-20.
  8. David Albouy & Bert Lue, 2014. "Driving to Opportunity: Local Rents, Wages, Commuting Costs and Sub-Metropolitan Quality of Life," NBER Working Papers 19922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Braakmann, Nils, 2009. "Is there a compensating wage differential for high crime levels? First evidence from Europe," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 218-231, November.
  10. Braakmann, Nils, 2012. "How do individuals deal with victimization and victimization risk? Longitudinal evidence from Mexico," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 335-344.
  11. Elena G. Irwin & Andrew M. Isserman & Maureen Kilkenny & Mark D. Partridge, 2010. "A Century of Research on Rural Development and Regional Issues," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(2), pages 522-553.
  12. Guangqing Chi & David Marcouiller, 2013. "Natural amenities and their effects on migration along the urban–rural continuum," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 861-883, June.
  13. repec:ese:iserwp:2011-19 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Braakmann, Nils, 2013. "Crime, health and wellbeing – Longitudinal evidence from Mexico," MPRA Paper 44885, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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