IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Driving to opportunity: Local rents, wages, commuting, and sub-metropolitan quality of life

Listed author(s):
  • Albouy, David
  • Lue, Bert

We examine variation in local rents, wage levels, commuting costs, household characteristics, and amenities within metropolitan areas, for 2071 areas covering the United States, by density and central-city status. We demonstrate the sensibility of estimating wage levels by workplace, not residence, and recover decentralized rent gradients that fall with commuting costs. We construct and map a willingness-to-pay index, which indicates the quality of life typical households receive from local amenities when households are similar, mobile, and informed. This index varies considerably within metros, and is typically high in areas that are dense, suburban, sunny, mild, safe, entertaining, and have elevated school-funding.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094119015000200
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 89 (2015)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 74-92

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:89:y:2015:i:c:p:74-92
DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2015.03.003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The Credibility Revolution in Empirical Economics: How Better Research Design Is Taking the Con out of Econometrics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 3-30, Spring.
  2. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
  3. Shihe Fu & Stephen L. Ross, 2013. "Wage Premia in Employment Clusters: How Important Is Worker Heterogeneity?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 271-304.
  4. McMillen, Daniel P. & Singell, Larry Jr., 1992. "Work location, residence location, and the intraurban wage gradient," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 195-213, September.
  5. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 588-638, 08.
  6. Brueckner, Jan K., 1982. "A test for allocative efficiency in the local public sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 311-331, December.
  7. David Albouy & Andrew Hanson, 2014. "Are Houses Too Big or In the Wrong Place? Tax Benefits to Housing and Inefficiencies in Location and Consumption," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 63-96.
  8. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-1278, December.
  9. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Fernando Ferreira & Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "The Value of School Facility Investments: Evidence from a Dynamic Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 215-261.
  10. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2001. "The Determinants of Agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 191-229, September.
  11. Madden, Janice Fanning, 1985. "Urban wage gradients: Empirical evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 291-301, November.
  12. Kim, Dongsoo & Liu, Feng & Yezer, Anthony, 2009. "Do inter-city differences in intra-city wage differentials have any interesting implications?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 203-209, November.
  13. Joseph Gyourko & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2013. "Superstar Cities," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 167-199, November.
  14. Lucie Schmidt & Paul N. Courant, 2006. "Sometimes Close Is Good Enough: The Value Of Nearby Environmental Amenities," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(5), pages 931-951.
  15. Stuart A. Gabriel & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2004. "Quality of the Business Environment Versus Quality of Life: Do Firms and Households Like the Same Cities?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 438-444, February.
  16. Patrick Bajari & Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "Estimating Housing Demand With an Application to Explaining Racial Segregation in Cities," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 20-33, January.
  17. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  18. Straszheim, Mahlon R., 1984. "Urban agglomeration effects and employment and wage gradients," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 187-207, September.
  19. Zax, Jeffrey S., 1991. "Compensation for commutes in labor and housing markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 192-207, September.
  20. Robin A. Dubin & Chein-Hsing Sung, 1987. "Spatial Variation in the Price of Housing: Rent Gradients in Non-Monocentric Cities," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 24(3), pages 193-204, June.
  21. 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.
  22. Oates, Wallace E, 1969. "The Effects of Property Taxes and Local Public Spending on Property Values: An Empirical Study of Tax Capitalization and the Tiebout Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(6), pages 957-971, Nov./Dec..
  23. Eberts, Randall W., 1981. "An empirical investigation of intraurban wage gradients," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 50-60, July.
  24. Geoffrey K. Turnbull, 1992. "Location, Housing, and Leisure Demand under Local Employment," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(1), pages 62-71.
  25. Boustan, Leah Platt, 2013. "Local public goods and the demand for high-income municipalities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 71-82.
  26. Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard, 2005. "Demand Estimation with Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1239-1276, December.
  27. Aviv Nevo & Michael D. Whinston, 2010. "Taking the Dogma out of Econometrics: Structural Modeling and Credible Inference," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 69-82, Spring.
  28. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick Kline, 2013. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 897-947, April.
  29. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
  30. Beeson, Patricia E & Eberts, Randall W, 1989. "Identifying Productivity and Amenity Effects in Interurban Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(3), pages 443-452, August.
  31. repec:wyi:journl:002155 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. Kenneth A. Small & Clifford Winston & Jia Yan, 2005. "Uncovering the Distribution of Motorists' Preferences for Travel Time and Reliability," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1367-1382, 07.
  33. Nicolai V. Kuminoff & V. Kerry Smith & Christopher Timmins, 2013. "The New Economics of Equilibrium Sorting and Policy Evaluation Using Housing Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1007-1062, December.
  34. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  35. McDuff, DeForest, 2011. "Demand substitution across US cities: Observable similarity and home price correlation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-14, July.
  36. Colwell, Peter F. & Dehring, Carolyn A. & Turnbull, Geoffrey K., 2002. "Recreation Demand and Residential Location," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 418-428, May.
  37. Leigh Linden & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2008. "Estimates of the Impact of Crime Risk on Property Values from Megan's Laws," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1103-1127, June.
  38. Pope, Jaren C., 2008. "Fear of crime and housing prices: Household reactions to sex offender registries," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 601-614, November.
  39. Gordon B. Dahl, 2002. "Mobility and the Return to Education: Testing a Roy Model with Multiple Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2367-2420, November.
  40. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-872.
  41. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 1999. "Crime and the Timing of Work," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 311-330, March.
  42. Timothy, Darren & Wheaton, William C., 2001. "Intra-Urban Wage Variation, Employment Location, and Commuting Times," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 338-366, September.
  43. Kelly C. Bishop & Alvin D. Murphy, 2011. "Estimating the Willingness to Pay to Avoid Violent Crime: A Dynamic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 625-629, May.
  44. Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "Neighborhood income distributions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 435-457, November.
  45. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Mattey, Joe P. & Wascher, William L., 2003. "Compensating differentials and evolution in the quality-of-life among U.S. states," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 619-649, September.
  46. Bayer, Patrick & Timmins, Christopher, 2005. "On the equilibrium properties of locational sorting models," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 462-477, May.
  47. Gautier, Pieter A. & Siegmann, Arjen & Van Vuuren, Aico, 2009. "Terrorism and attitudes towards minorities: The effect of the Theo van Gogh murder on house prices in Amsterdam," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 113-126, March.
  48. Blomquist, Glenn C & Berger, Mark C & Hoehn, John P, 1988. "New Estimates of Quality of Life in Urban Areas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 89-107, March.
  49. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 1996. "Commutes, Neighborhood Effects, and Earnings: An Analysis of Racial Discrimination and Compensating Differentials," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-83, July.
  50. 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.
  51. Lucas W. Davis, 2004. "The Effect of Health Risk on Housing Values: Evidence from a Cancer Cluster," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1693-1704, December.
  52. Richard B. Peiser & Lawrence B. Smith, 1985. "Homeownership Returns, Tenure Choice and Inflation," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 13(4), pages 343-360.
  53. White, Michelle J., 1976. "Firm suburbanization and urban subcenters," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, October.
  54. Stephen Malpezzi & Gregory H. Chun & Richard K. Green, 1998. "New Place-to-Place Housing Price Indexes for U.S. Metropolitan Areas, and Their Determinants," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 235-274.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:89:y:2015:i:c:p:74-92. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.