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Hedonism vs. nihilism: No arbitrage and tests of urban economic models

  • Berliant, Marcus
  • McMillen, Daniel P.

We present two notions of “no arbitrage” in urban economic models and show that there is no model satisfying both. The standard hedonic housing model of urban economics and its generalizations are consistent with the first of these, but inconsistent with the second. We present a model consistent with the second notion of “no arbitrage” and a continuum of models consistent with neither notion that are observationally equivalent to the standard model, even if the utility function of consumers is known. Only one of these is the standard model. Thus, the available tests of the standard model cannot provide much evidence of its validity. Finally, we examine nonlinear price systems consistent with the second notion of "no arbitrage" and their welfare consequences.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 118-131

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:36:y:2006:i:1:p:118-131
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521346627 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Berliant, Marcus & Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y. & Wang, Ping, 1990. "On welfare theory and urban economics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 245-261, September.
  3. Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William R. Zame, 1999. "Clubs and the Market," Discussion Papers 99-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    • Bryan Ellickson & Birgit Grodal & Suzanne Scotchmer & William R. Zame, 1999. "Clubs and the Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1185-1218, September.
  4. Kau, James B. & Sirmans, C. F., 1979. "Urban land value functions and the price elasticity of demand for housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 112-121, January.
  5. Coulson, E., 1990. "Really Useful Tests Of The Monocentric Model," Papers 1-90-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  6. McMillen, Daniel P., 2003. "The return of centralization to Chicago: using repeat sales to identify changes in house price distance gradients," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 287-304, May.
  7. Deacon, Robert T & Sonstelie, Jon, 1985. "Rationing by Waiting and the Value of Time: Results from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 627-47, August.
  8. Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1975. "A model of equilibrium with differentiated commodities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 263-295.
  9. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1986. "The short-run and long-run benefits of environmental improvement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 61-81, June.
  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. McMillen, Daniel P., 1990. "Consistent estimation of the urban land value function," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 285-293, May.
  12. Coulson, N. Edward, 1989. "The empirical content of the linearity-as-repackaging hypothesis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 295-309, May.
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