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Quality of Life, Firm Productivity, and the Value of Amenities across Canadian Cities

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  • David Albouy

    ()
    (University of Michigan)

  • Fernando Leibovici

    ()
    (New York University)

  • Casey Warman

    ()
    (Queen`s University)

Abstract

This paper presents the first hedonic general-equilibrium estimates of quality-of-life and firm productivity differences across Canadian cities, using data on local wages and housing costs. These estimates account for the unobservability of land rents and geographic differences in federal and provincial tax burdens. Quality of life estimates are generally higher in Canada’s larger cities: Victoria, Vancouver are the nicest overall, particularly for Anglophones, while Montreal and Ottawa are the nicest for Francophones. These estimates are positively correlated with estimates in the popular literature and may be explained by differences in climate. Toronto is Canada’s most productive city; Vancouver, the overall most valued city.

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File URL: http://www.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1287.pdf
File Function: First version 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1287.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1287

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Keywords: quality of life; firm productivity; cost-of-living; firm productivity; compensating wage differentials;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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. Serge Coulombe, 2000. "New Evidence of Convergence Across Canadian Provinces: The Role of Urbanization," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(8), pages 713-725.
  5. 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.
  6. Coulombe, S., 2000. "New Evidence of Convergence Across Canadian Provinces: the Role of Urbanization," Working Papers 0002e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  7. David Albouy, 2010. "Evaluating the Efficiency and Equity of Federal Fiscal Equalization," NBER Working Papers 16144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Casey Warman, 2006. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Earnings Growth," Working Papers 1261, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Patricia E. Beeson & Randall W. Eberts, 1987. "Identifying productivity and amenity effects in interurban wage differentials," Working Paper 8707, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Francesco Andreoli & Alessandra Michelangeli, 2014. "Welfare Measures to Assess Urban Quality of Life," Working Papers 278, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2014.
  2. David Albouy, 2010. "Evaluating the Efficiency and Equity of Federal Fiscal Equalization," NBER Working Papers 16144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Thomas Murray & David Maddison & Katrin Rehdanz, 2011. "Do Geographical Variations in Climate Influence Life Satisfaction?," Kiel Working Papers 1694, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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