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City Quality-of-Life Dynamics: Measuring the Costs of Growth


  • Kahn, Matthew E


Two continuing California trends are population growth and improving air quality. Sprawl at the fringe of metropolitan areas may lower quality of life by contributing to congestion, reducing open space and raising pollution levels. This article studies this claim by estimating hedonic wage and rental regressions using California 1980 and 1990 micro census data. Real rents have fallen in faster-growing areas, suggesting that the "growth causes degradation" hypothesis has some merit. Sprawl's damage to local quality of life would be higher if fringe growth degrades air quality and households greatly value avoiding polluted areas. The relative importance of air quality as an urban amenity is tested using data from Los Angeles county, an area where dramatic improvements in smog have taken place. While high-ozone areas feature lower rents, the ozone's capitalization suggests that it is not a key urban disamenity. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • Kahn, Matthew E, 2001. "City Quality-of-Life Dynamics: Measuring the Costs of Growth," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2-3), pages 339-352, March-May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrefec:v:22:y:2001:i:2-3:p:339-52

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrea Heuson & Wayne Passmore & Roger Sparks, 2000. "Credit scoring and mortgage securitization: do they lower mortgage rates?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:

    1. Turner, Matthew A., 2005. "Landscape preferences and patterns of residential development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 19-54, January.
    2. Christian L. Redfearn, 2007. "Urban Complexity & Parameter Instability: Assessing Amenity Capitalization in the Presence of External Heterogeneity," Working Paper 8563, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    3. Dan S. Rickman & Shane D. Rickman, 2011. "Population Growth In High‐Amenity Nonmetropolitan Areas: What'S The Prognosis?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(5), pages 863-879, December.
    4. Duranton, Gilles, 2002. "City Size Distributions as a Consequence of the Growth Process," CEPR Discussion Papers 3577, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Myung-Jin Jun, 2009. "Economic Impacts Of Seoul'S Job Decentralization: A Metropolitan Input-Output Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 311-327.
    6. Redfearn, Christian L., 2009. "How informative are average effects? Hedonic regression and amenity capitalization in complex urban housing markets," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 297-306, May.
    7. Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2012. "Integrating Regional Economic Development Analysis and Land Use Economics," Economics Working Paper Series 1203, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.

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