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Social Interaction and Urban Sprawl

  • Jan K. Brueckner


    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

  • Ann G. Largey


    (Dublin City University Business School)

Various authors, most notably Putnam (2000), have argued that low-density living reduces social capital and thus social interaction, and this argument has been used to buttress criticisms of urban sprawl. If low densities in fact reduce social interaction, then an externality arises, validating Putnam's critique. The paper tests this premise using data from the Social Capital Benchmark Survey. In the empirical work, social interaction measures for individual survey respondents are regressed on census-tract density and a host of household characteristics, using an instrumental-variable approach to control for the potential endogeneity of density.

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Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 060707.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:060707
Contact details of provider: Postal: Irvine, CA 92697-3125
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  1. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
  2. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2006. "Causes of Sprawl: A Portrait from Space," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 587-633, May.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Jed Kolko & Albert Saiz, 2000. "Consumer City," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1901, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2004, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Daniel Aaronson, . "Using Sibling Data to Estimate the Impact of Neighborhoods on Children's Educational Outcomes," IPR working papers 95-20, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  6. Eid, Jean & Overman, Henry G. & Puga, Diego & Turner, Matthew A., 2008. "Fat city: Questioning the relationship between urban sprawl and obesity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 385-404, March.
  7. Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "The Long-Run Consequences Of Living In A Poor Neighborhood," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1533-1575, November.
  8. Rainald Borck, 2005. "Social Agglomeration Externalities," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 505, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Thomas J. Nechyba & Randall P. Walsh, 2004. "Urban Sprawl," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 177-200, Fall.
  10. Jan K. Brueckner, 2005. "Urban Growth Boundaries: An Effective Second-Best Remedy for Unpriced Traffic Congestion?," Working Papers 050610, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  11. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1997. "Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 6008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. DiPasquale, Denise & Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 354-384, March.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2006. "Urban Resurgence and the Consumer City," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 43(8), pages 1275-1299, July.
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521396455 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521346627 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
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