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Quality of life, firm productivity, and the value of amenities across Canadian cities

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  • David Albouy
  • Fernando Leibovici
  • Casey Warman

Abstract

We estimate quality‐of‐life and productivity differences across Canada's metropolitan areas in a hedonic general‐equilibrium framework. These are based on the estimated willingness‐to‐pay of heterogeneous households and firms to locate in various cities, which differ in their wage levels, housing costs, and land values. Using 2006 Canadian Census data, our metropolitan quality‐of‐life estimates are somewhat consistent with popular rankings, yet find Canadians care more about climate and culture. Quality of life is highest in Victoria for anglophones, Montreal for francophones, and Vancouver for allophones, and lowest in more remote cities. Toronto is Canada's most productive city; Vancouver is the overall most valuable city. Qualité de vie, productivité des entreprises, et la valeur des avantages dans les diverses villes canadiennes. On évalue les différences entre la qualité de vie et la productivité des entreprises entre les zones métropolitaines au Canada à l'aide d'un cadre d'analyse d'équilibre général hédonique. Ces métriques sont basées sur l'estimation de la volonté de payer de ménages et d'entreprises hétérogènes pour se localiser dans diverses villes, qui diffèrent tant pour ce qui est des niveaux de salaires, des coûts de l'habitation, et des prix des terrains. A l'aide des données du recensement canadien de 2006, on construit des évaluations de la qualité de vie des diverses zones métropolitaines qui s'arriment convenablement aux ordonnancements en vogue, mais on découvre que les Canadiens portent une attention particulière au climat et à la culture. La qualité de vie est la plus élevée à Victoria pour les anglophones, à Montreal pour les francophones, et à Vancouver pour les allophones, et la plus faible pour les villes éloignées des grands centres. Toronto est la ville la plus productive; Vancouver est généralement la plus appréciée.

Suggested Citation

  • David Albouy & Fernando Leibovici & Casey Warman, 2013. "Quality of life, firm productivity, and the value of amenities across Canadian cities," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 46(2), pages 379-411, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:46:y:2013:i:2:p:379-411
    DOI: 10.1111/caje.12017
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    Cited by:

    1. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Gobillon, Laurent, 2015. "The Empirics of Agglomeration Economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.),Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 247-348, Elsevier.
    2. David Albouy & Alex Chernoff & Chandler Lutz & Casey Warman, 2019. "Local Labor Markets in Canada and the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages 533-594.
    3. Antoine Bonleu, 2017. "Sun, Regulation and Local Social Networks," Working Papers halshs-01502604, HAL.
    4. Gustavo A. García, 2019. "Agglomeration economies in the presence of an informal sector: the Colombian case," Revue d'économie régionale et urbaine, Armand Colin, vol. 0(2), pages 355-388.
    5. Jørn Rattsø & Hildegunn E Stokke, 2015. "Handling amenities in income taxation: Analysis of tax distortions in a migration equilibrium model," Working Paper Series 16315, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    6. Francesco Andreoli & Alessandra Michelangeli, 2014. "Welfare Measures to Assess Urban Quality of Life," Working Papers 278, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2014.
    7. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques†François Thisse & Xiwei Zhu, 2018. "Does Technological Progress Magnify Regional Disparities?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(2), pages 647-663, May.
    8. Thomas Murray & David Maddison & Katrin Rehdanz, 2013. "Do Geographical Variations In Climate Influence Life-Satisfaction?," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 4(01), pages 1-21.
    9. Albouy, David, 2012. "Evaluating the efficiency and equity of federal fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 824-839.
    10. Norbert Hiller & Oliver Lerbs, 2015. "The capitalization of non-market attributes into regional housing rents and wages: evidence on German functional labor market areas," Review of Regional Research: Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer;Gesellschaft für Regionalforschung (GfR), vol. 35(1), pages 49-72, February.
    11. Huang, Daisy J. & Leung, Charles K. & Qu, Baozhi, 2015. "Do bank loans and local amenities explain Chinese urban house prices?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 19-38.
    12. Jørn Rattsø & Hildegunn E. Stokke, 2017. "National income taxation and the geographic distribution of population," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(5), pages 879-902, September.
    13. Paul Frijters & Benno Torgler & Grace Gao & Daniel Melser, 2016. "Revealed Preference Measures of Quality of Life in Australia's Urban and Regional Areas," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 92, pages 15-29, June.
    14. Fredrik Carlsen & Stefan Leknes, 2019. "The paradox of the unhappy, growing city: reconciling evidence," Discussion Papers 907, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    15. Roberto Gallardo del Angel, 2017. "A Quality of Life Index of Mexican cities: An equalizing-difference approach," EconoQuantum, Revista de Economia y Negocios, Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Economico Administrativas, Departamento de Metodos Cuantitativos y Maestria en Economia., vol. 14(1), pages 73-98, Enero-Jun.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

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