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Urbanity

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  • Gabriel M. Ahfeldt
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    Abstract

    I define a composite amenity that provides aesthetic and consumption value to local residents: Urbanity. A novel data set of geo-tagged photos shared in internet communities serves as a proxy for urbanity. From the spatial pattern of house prices and photos I identify the value of urbanity in two of the largest cities in Europe: Berlin and London. I find an elasticity of indirect utility with respect to urbanity of about 1%. The aggregated willingness-to-pay equates to about $1bn per year in each city. The results demonstrate the important role cities play as centers of leisure, consumption, and beauty.

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    File URL: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/textonly/SERC/publications/download/sercdp0136.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0136.

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    Date of creation: May 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0136

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    Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

    Related research

    Keywords: Amenities; consumer city; hedonic analysis; photography geography; property prices;

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    1. McMillen, Daniel P., 1996. "One Hundred Fifty Years of Land Values in Chicago: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 100-124, July.
    2. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen, 2005. "Valuing rail access using transport innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 148-169, January.
    3. Gabriel Ahlfeldt, 2011. "If We Build, Will They Pay? Predicting Property Price Effects of Transport Innovations," SERC Discussion Papers 0075, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    4. Liv Osland & Inge Thorsen, 2008. "Effects on housing prices of urban attraction and labor-market accessibility," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 40(10), pages 2490-2509, October.
    5. Dennis Epple & Brett Gordon & Holger Sieg, 2010. "A New Approach to Estimating the Production Function for Housing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 905-24, June.
    6. Albert Saiz, 2010. "The Geographic Determinants of Housing Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1253-1296, August.
    7. Clapp, John M., 1979. "The substitution of urban land for other inputs," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 122-134, January.
    8. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Georgios, Kavetsos, 2010. "Form or Function? The Impact of New Football Stadia on Property Prices in London," MPRA Paper 25003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Morris A. Davis & François Ortalo-Magné, 2007. "Household Expenditures, Wages, Rents," CESifo Working Paper Series 2156, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    11. Gabriel Ahlfeldt, 2011. "If Alonso Was Right: Modeling Accessibility And Explaining The Residential Land Gradient," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 318-338, 05.
    12. Brueckner, Jan K., 1987. "The structure of urban equilibria: A unified treatment of the muth-mills model," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 821-845 Elsevier.
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