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Determinants of Residential Location Choice: How Important Are Local Public Goods in Attracting Homeowners to Central City Locations?


  • Isaac Bayoh
  • Elena G. Irwin
  • Timothy Haab


A hybrid conditional logit choice model is estimated using data on the characteristics and destination of homeowners who engaged in intrametropolitan moves among 17 school districts within the Columbus, Ohio area in 1995. The model is used to test the relative influence of local fiscal and public goods versus household-level characteristics in determining household location choices across central city and suburban school districts. Results provide evidence of both a "natural evolution" of households to the suburbs, due to job location, residential filtering, and household income and lifecycle effects, and "flight from blight," due to lower school quality, higher crime levels, and lower average income levels in the city. In comparing the magnitudes of these variables, we find that school quality exerts the strongest influence: a 1-percent increase in the school quality of the city district increases the probability of choosing a city residence by 3.7 percent. In contrast, the effects of household income and other individual characteristics are relatively modest. The findings provide support for a "flight from blight" suburbanization process that is dominated by differences in neighborhood quality between the city and suburbs. An implication is that investments that promote central city development and reduce suburbanization are justified on efficiency grounds if negative externalities are generated by increased concentration of poverty, crime, and low school quality. Copyright Blackwell Publishers, 2006

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  • Isaac Bayoh & Elena G. Irwin & Timothy Haab, 2006. "Determinants of Residential Location Choice: How Important Are Local Public Goods in Attracting Homeowners to Central City Locations?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 97-120.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:46:y:2006:i:1:p:97-120

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. 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.
    7. Stephen Malpezzi, 1994. "Housing Prices, Externalities, and Regulation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 94-08, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
    8. Meese, Richard A & Wallace, Nancy E, 1997. "The Construction of Residential Housing Price Indices: A Comparison of Repeat-Sales, Hedonic-Regression and Hybrid Approaches," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1-2), pages 51-73, Jan.-Marc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2013. "Determinants of the Choice of Migration Destination," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(3), pages 388-409, June.
    2. Ingrid Gould Ellen & Keren Mertens Horn & Davin Reed, 2017. "Has Falling Crime Invited Gentrification?," Working Papers 17-27, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Matz Dahlberg & Matias Eklöf & Peter Fredriksson & Jordi Jofre-Monseny, 2012. "Estimating Preferences for Local Public Services Using Migration Data," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(2), pages 319-336, February.
    4. Zaneta Kubik, 2017. "Climatic variation as a determinant of rural-to-rural migration destination choice: Evidence from Tanzania," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01599362, HAL.
    5. Bento, Antonio M. & Franco, Sofia F. & Kaffine, Daniel T., 2011. "Effectiveness of housing revitalization subsidies in the presence of zoning," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 196-206, May.
    6. Groves, Jeremy R., 2009. "The impact of positive property tax differentials on the timing of development," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 739-748, November.
    7. Bilger, Marcel & Carrieri, Vincenzo, 2013. "Health in the cities: When the neighborhood matters more than income," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-11.
    8. Zaneta Kubik, 2017. "Climatic variation as a determinant of rural-to-rural migration destination choice:Evidence from Tanzania," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 17037, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    9. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2008. "Determinants of choice of migration destination," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4728, The World Bank.
    10. Klaus Nowotny, 2016. "Are Overqualified Migrants Self-Selected? Evidence from Central and Eastern European Countries," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 303-346.
    11. Shilpi, Forhad & Sangraula, Prem & Li, Yue, 2014. "Voting with their feet ? access to infrastructure and migration in Nepal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7047, The World Bank.

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