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Urbanity

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  • Gabriel Ahlfeldt

Abstract

I define a composite amenity that provides aesthetic and consumption value to local residents: Urbanity. A novel data set of geo-tagged photos shared in internet communities serves as a proxy for urbanity. From the spatial pattern of house prices and photos I identify the value of urbanity in two of the largest European cities, Berlin and London. I find an elasticity of indirect utility with respect to urbanity of about 1%. The aggregated willingness to pay equates to about $1 bn per year in each city or, on average, 1.5% of household income. The results demonstrate the important role cities paly as centers of leisure, consumption and beauty.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriel Ahlfeldt, 2013. "Urbanity," CESifo Working Paper Series 4533, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4533
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt & Stephen J. Redding & Daniel M. Sturm & Nikolaus Wolf, 2015. "The Economics of Density: Evidence From the Berlin Wall," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 2127-2189, November.
    2. Hans R. A. Koster & Jos N. van Ommeren & Piet Rietveld, 2016. "Historic amenities, income and sorting of households," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 203-236.
    3. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Georgios, Kavetsos, 2010. "Form or Function? The Impact of New Football Stadia on Property Prices in London," MPRA Paper 25003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen, 2005. "Valuing rail access using transport innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 148-169, January.
    5. Patrick Bajari & Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "Estimating Housing Demand With an Application to Explaining Racial Segregation in Cities," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 20-33, January.
    6. 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..
    7. Gabriel Ahlfeldt, 2011. "If Alonso Was Right: Modeling Accessibility And Explaining The Residential Land Gradient," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 318-338, May.
    8. Brueckner, Jan K., 1987. "The structure of urban equilibria: A unified treatment of the muth-mills model," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 821-845, Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    amenities; consumer city; hedonic analysis; photography geography; property prices;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General

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