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Quality of the Business Environment Versus Quality of Life: Do Firms and Households Like the Same Cities?

  • Stuart A. Gabriel

    (University of Southern California)

  • Stuart S. Rosenthal

    (Syracuse University)

This paper develops a new measure of the quality of business environment that complements existing measures of the quality of life. An annual panel of these measures is constructed and analyzed for 37 cities from 1977 to 1995. Findings indicate that many cities attractive to firms are unattractive to households, and vice versa. In addition, the size of a city's workforce increases with improvements in the quality of the business environment. In contrast, cities most likely to be dominated by retirees are those that are less attractive to firms. Additional specifications support theoretical arguments that retirees are drawn to cities in which local attributes are capitalized into lower wages rather than higher rents. © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 438-444

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:86:y:2004:i:1:p:438-444
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  1. 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.
  2. Saikkonen, Pentti, 1991. "Asymptotically Efficient Estimation of Cointegration Regressions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(01), pages 1-21, March.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Stuart A. Gabriel & Joe P. Mattey & William L. Wascher, 1996. "Compensating differentials and evolution of the quality-of-life among U.S. states," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 96-07, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. J. Vernon Henderson & Ari Kuncoro & Matthew Turner, 1992. "Industrial Development in Cities," NBER Working Papers 4178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Kahn Matthew E., 1995. "A Revealed Preference Approach to Ranking City Quality of Life," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 221-235, September.
  8. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  9. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  10. 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.
  11. Judith I. Stallmann & Paul B. Siegel, 1995. "Attracting Retirees as an Economic Development Strategy: Looking into the Future," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 9(4), pages 372-382, November.
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