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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, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4729.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4729
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  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. John M. Clapp & Stephen L. Ross, 2001. "Schools and housing markets: an examination of school segregation and performance in Connecticut," Proceedings 910, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1938, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. 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.
  6. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Néstor Gandelman & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Andrés Ham & Eduardo Lora & Martín Tetaz & Carlos Medina & Pablo Sanguinetti & Guillermo Cruces & Giorgina Piani & Lorena Alcázar &, 2010. "The Quality of Life in Latin American Cities: Markets and Perception," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 60258 edited by Bernard M.S. van Praag & Eduardo Lora & Pablo Sanguinetti & Andrew Powell, October.
  7. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  8. Michael Greenstone & Justin Gallagher, 2005. "Does Hazardous Waste Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market and the Superfund Program," Working Papers 2005.149, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. 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.
  10. 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, 07.
  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. 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.
  13. Matias Cattaneo & Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Sebastian Martinez & Rocio Titiunik, 2008. "Housing, Health and Happiness," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0074, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  17. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  18. Roger Madrigal & Juan Robalino & Luis J. Hall, 2008. "Quality of Life in Urban Neighborhoods in Costa Rica," Research Department Publications 3263, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  19. Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Happiness: A Revolution in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062771, June.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
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