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Quality of life, firm productivity, and the value of amenities across Canadian cities

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  • David Albouy
  • Fernando Leibovici
  • Casey Warman

Abstract

We estimate qualityoflife and productivity differences across Canada's metropolitan areas in a hedonic generalequilibrium framework. These are based on the estimated willingnesstopay of heterogeneous households and firms to locate in various cities, which differ in their wage levels, housing costs, and land values. Using 2006 Canadian Census data, our metropolitan qualityoflife estimates are somewhat consistent with popular rankings, yet find Canadians care more about climate and culture. Quality of life is highest in Victoria for anglophones, Montreal for francophones, and Vancouver for allophones, and lowest in more remote cities. Toronto is Canada's most productive city; Vancouver is the overall most valuable city.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 46 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 379-411

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:46:y:2013:i:2:p:379-411

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Postal: Canadian Economics Association Prof. Steven Ambler, Secretary-Treasurer c/o Olivier Lebert, CEA/CJE/CPP Office C.P. 35006, 1221 Fleury Est Montréal, Québec, Canada H2C 3K4
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  1. Albouy, David, 2012. "Evaluating the efficiency and equity of federal fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 824-839.
  2. Casey Warman, 2007. "Ethnic enclaves and immigrant earnings growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 401-422, May.
  3. Patricia E. Beeson & Randall W. Eberts, 1987. "Identifying productivity and amenity effects in interurban wage differentials," Working Paper 8707, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  4. Coulombe, S., 2000. "New Evidence of Convergence Across Canadian Provinces: the Role of Urbanization," Working Papers 0002e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  5. Beeson, Patricia E., 1991. "Amenities and regional differences in returns to worker characteristics," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 224-241, September.
  6. David Albouy, 2008. "Are Big Cities Bad Places to Live? Estimating Quality of Life across Metropolitan Areas," NBER Working Papers 14472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Chen, Yong & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2008. "Local amenities and life-cycle migration: Do people move for jobs or fun?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 519-537, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Coulombe, S., 2000. "New Evidence of Convergence Across Canadian Provinces: the Role of Urbanization," Working Papers 0002e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  10. Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Smart Cities: Quality of Life, Productivity, and the Growth Effects of Human Capital," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 324-335, May.
  11. David Albouy, 2009. "What Are Cities Worth? Land Rents, Local Productivity, and the Capitalization of Amenity Values," NBER Working Papers 14981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Serge Coulombe & Frank C. Lee, 1995. "Convergence across Canadian Provinces, 1961 to 1991," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4a), pages 886-98, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Albouy, David, 2012. "Evaluating the efficiency and equity of federal fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 824-839.
  2. Thomas Murray & David Maddison & Katrin Rehdanz, 2013. "Do Geographical Variations In Climate Influence Life-Satisfaction?," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 4(01), pages 1350004-1-1.

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