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A New Way of Monitoring the Quality of Urban Life

  • Eduardo Lora
  • Andrew Powell

This paper proposes a methodology to resolve the problems that result from using a combination of objective and subjective information in evaluating urban quality of life. The paper further suggests techniques to identify and rank issues of potential importance for urban dwellers. In order to combine objective and subjective information in a coherent manner and focus on the most relevant dimensions of the quality of life in a city or neighborhood, the paper attempts to exploit the complementary nature of two approaches: the "hedonic" approach, which employs market prices for housing, and the "life satisfaction" approach, which addresses subjective well-being. Results using both approaches in selected Latin American cities are discussed and compared. The paper concludes with a discussion of potential uses of the two-pronged methodology for policy analysis.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications (Working Papers) with number 58658.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:58658
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  2. Bernard M. S. van Praag & P. Frijters & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2001. "The Anatomy of Subjective Well-Being," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 265, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Gardner, Jonathan & Andrew Oswald, 2002. "Does Money Buy Happiness? A Longitudinal Study Using Data on Windfalls," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 81, Royal Economic Society.
  4. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Working Papers 07-27, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Cattaneo, Matias D. & Galiano, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul J. & Martinez, Sebastian & Titiunik, Rocio, 2007. "Housing, health, and happiness," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4214, The World Bank.
  6. repec:dgr:uvatin:20040024 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Di Tella, Rafael & Alesina, Alberto & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," Scholarly Articles 4553007, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Eduardo Lora & Andrew Powell & Bernard M.S. van Praag & Pablo Sanguinetti, 2010. "The Quality of Life in Latin American Cities : Markets and Perception," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2452, October.
  9. 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.
  10. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  11. Guillermo Cruces & Andres Ham & Martin Tetaz, 2008. "Quality of Life in Buenos Aires Neighborhoods: Hedonic Price Regressions and the Life Satisfaction Approach," Research Department Publications 3260, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  12. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Valuing Public Goods: The Life Satisfaction Approach," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-11, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
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  16. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
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  18. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  19. Olga Lucía Acosta & Jose Alberto Guerra & David Mauricio Rivera, 2005. "Acceso de los hogares a los principales servicios públicos y sociales y percepciones de calidad sobre estos servicios," BORRADORES DE INVESTIGACIÓN 001986, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  20. John M. Clapp & Stephen L. Ross, 2002. "Schools and Housing Markets: An Examination of School Segregation and Performance in Connecticut," Working papers 2002-08, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  21. Mingche M. Li & H. James Brown, 1980. "Micro-Neighborhood Externalities and Hedonic Housing Prices," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(2), pages 125-141.
  22. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  23. John F. Kain & John M. Quigley, 1975. "Housing Markets and Racial Discrimination: A Microeconomic Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kain75-1, November.
  24. John F. Kain & John M. Quigley, 1975. "Introduction to "Housing Markets and Racial Discrimination: A Microeconomic Analysis"," NBER Chapters, in: Housing Markets and Racial Discrimination: A Microeconomic Analysis, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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