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Urbanity

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  • Gabriel Ahlfeldt

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 European cities, 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 $1 bn per year in each city or, on average, 1.5% of household income. The results demonstrate the important role cities paly as centers of leisure, consumption and beauty.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-12/cesifo1_wp4533.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4533.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4533

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Related research

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

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References

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  1. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2012. "The Economics of Density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall," SERC Discussion Papers 0118, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  2. Patrick Bajari & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Estimating Housing Demand with an Application to Explaining Racial Segregation in Cities," NBER Working Papers 9891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Georgios Kavetsos, 2011. "Form or Function? The Impact of New Football Stadia on Property Prices in London," SERC Discussion Papers 0087, 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. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Steve Gibbons & Stephen Machin, 2004. "Valuing Rail Access Using Transport Innovations," CEP Discussion Papers dp0611, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Gabriel M Ahlfeldt, 2013. "If we build it, will they pay? Predicting property price effects of transport innovations," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 45(8), pages 1977-1994, August.
  9. Hans R. A. Koster & Piet Rietveld & Jos Van Ommeren, 2013. "Historic Amenities, Income and Sorting of Households," SERC Discussion Papers 0124, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  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..
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