IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Compensating Differentials and Evolution in the Quality-of-Life Among U.S. States-REVISED May 2001


  • Stuart A. Gabriel
  • Joe P. Mattey
  • William L. Wascher


This paper provides the first application of the compensating differential paradigm to the evaluation of the extent and sources of evolution in state quality-of-life. The compensating differentials approach derives from early work by Rosen (1979) and Roback (1982), who showed how to extract quality-of-life measures from compensating differentials in wages and house prices. To date, however, empirical analysis of compensating differentials generally has been cross-sectional in nature and provides little insight as to the extent or determinants of changes over time in the quality of life. In this paper, we provide estimates of the evolution in quality-of-life rankings for U.S. states over the 1981- 1990 period. Our findings indicate that the quality-of-life rankings are relatively stable across model specifications and over time for certain poorly ranked, densely-populated Midwestern and eastern industrial states and also for other high quality-of-life rural western states. However, we find substantial deterioration in quality-of-life rankings in some states that experienced rapid population growth during the decade. Reduced spending on infrastructure, increased traffic congestion, and air pollution account for the bulk of the deterioration in quality-oflife in these states. As would be expected, improvement in those same factors is shown to result in marked ascensionin quality-of-life ranks among other states.

Suggested Citation

  • Stuart A. Gabriel & Joe P. Mattey & William L. Wascher, 2001. "Compensating Differentials and Evolution in the Quality-of-Life Among U.S. States-REVISED May 2001," Working Paper 8631, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
  • Handle: RePEc:luk:wpaper:8631

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Yuming Fu & Stuart A. Gabriel, 2001. "Transistions to Private Employment: Earnings Determination, Worker Employment Preferences, and Job Turnover in Urban China," Working Paper 8636, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:luk:wpaper:8631. 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: (Chris Steins). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.