IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Quality of Life in Urban Neighborhoods in Colombia: The Cases of Bogotá and Medellín

  • Carlos Medina


  • Leonardo Morales


  • Jairo Nuñez


We use data from Bogotá and Medellín to describe key quality of life indicators of each city and illustrate their spatial segregation at the census sector level and present evidence that the main two Colombian cities are highly spatially segregated according to their education levels and access to education, coverage of public services, households headed by women and key demographic variables like their levels of adolescent pregnancy. Not surprisingly, our estimated quality of life indexes resemble the mentioned segregation patterns in each city. We present evidence that the spatial agglomeration is statistically significant for each of the variables enumerated. We estimate hedonic models of house values and life satisfaction for Bogotá and Medellín and find that the importance of the average level of education at the census sector level to determine house prices is striking. We also compare hedonic models for Bogotá and Medellín. Bogotá is better endowed than Medellín in the variables included in the analysis, in particular, it has higher education levels, and additionally, education is more equally distributed within census sectors. Bogotá has also better access to gas, and has in general houses with better conditions. The models based on house values and life satisfaction approaches used in this article lead to similar conclusions in the aggregate when comparing their implied quality of life indexes. Although each approach allows us to rank the specific determinants of quality of life, and these determinant depend on the approach, their implied aggregated indexes suggest that they are just different faces of the same story. From a policy perspective, the evidence suggests that redesigning the current socioeconomic stratification system in a way that still allows reaching the poorest while preventing segregation to deepen, might be among the most important challenge to face in order to improve quality of life in main Colombian cities.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Banco de la Republica de Colombia in its series Borradores de Economia with number 536.

in new window

Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bdr:borrec:536
Contact details of provider: Postal: Cra 7 # 14-78 Piso 7
Phone: (57-1) 3431111
Fax: (57-1) 2841686
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Borjas, George J., 1998. "To Ghetto or Not to Ghetto: Ethnicity and Residential Segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 228-253, September.
  2. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M. S. van Praag, 2001. "The Subjective Costs of Health Losses Due to Chronic Diseases: An Alternative Model for Monetary Appraisal," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 262, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
  4. Patrick Bayer & Hanming Fang & Robert McMillan, 2005. "Separate When Equal? Racial Inequality and Residential Segregation," NBER Working Papers 11507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
  7. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
  8. repec:bla:restud:v:63:y:1996:i:2:p:237-64 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Juan Carlos Echeverry & Ana María Ibáñez & Andrés Moya & Luis Carlos Hillón, 2005. "The Economics of Transmilenio, a Mass Transit System for Bogotá," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, January.
  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. 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..
  12. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  14. Gyourko, Joseph & Kahn, Matthew & Tracy, Joseph, 1999. "Quality of life and environmental comparisons," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 1413-1454 Elsevier.
  15. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Juan Carlos Mendieta & Jorge Andrés Perdomo, 2007. "Especificación y estimación de un modelo de precios hedónico espacial para evaluar el impacto de Transmilenio sobre el valor de la propiedad en Bogotá," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 004280, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  17. repec:bla:restud:v:68:y:2001:i:2:p:261-95 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness, Contentment and Other Emotions for Central Banks," NBER Working Papers 13622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Carlos Medina & Leonardo Morales, 2006. "Stratification and Public Utility Services in Colombia: Subsidies to Households or Distortions on Housing Prices?," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003528, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  20. Alejandro Gaviria & Carlos Medina & Leonardo Morales & Jairo Nuñez, 2008. "The Cost of Avoiding Crime: The Case of Bogotá," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 004600, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  21. Topa, Giorgio, 1997. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Working Papers 97-17, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  22. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-90, June.
  23. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  24. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  25. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
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:bdr:borrec:536. 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: (Clorith Angélica Bahos Olivera)

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.