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Quality of Life, Firm Productivity, and the Value of Amenities across Canadian Cities

  • David Albouy
  • Fernando Leibovici
  • Casey Warman

We present hedonic general-equilibrium estimates of quality-of-life and productivity differences across Canada's metropolitan areas. These are based off of the estimated willingness-to-pay of heterogeneous households and firms to locate in various cities, which differ in their wage levels, housing costs, and land values. Using 2006 Canadian Census data, our metropolitan quality-of-life estimates are somewhat consistent with popular rankings, but find Canadians care more about climate and culture. Quality-of-life is highest in Victoria for Anglophones, Montreal for Francophones, and Vancouver for Allophones, and lowest in more remote cities. Toronto is Canada's most productive city; Vancouver is the overall most valuable city.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18103.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18103.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Publication status: published as David Albouy & Fernando Leibovici & Casey Warman, 2013. "Quality of life, firm productivity, and the value of amenities across Canadian cities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(2), pages 379-411, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18103
Note: LS PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Beeson, Patricia E & Eberts, Randall W, 1989. "Identifying Productivity and Amenity Effects in Interurban Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(3), pages 443-52, August.
  2. Jesse M. Shapiro, 2005. "Smart Cities: Quality of Life, Productivity, and the Growth Effects of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 11615, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Beeson, Patricia E., 1991. "Amenities and regional differences in returns to worker characteristics," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 224-241, September.
  4. Casey Warman, 2006. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Earnings Growth," Working Papers 1261, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Coulombe, S., 2000. "New Evidence of Convergence Across Canadian Provinces: the Role of Urbanization," Working Papers 0002e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  6. Serge Coulombe & Frank C. Lee, 1995. "Convergence across Canadian Provinces, 1961 to 1991," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4a), pages 886-98, November.
  7. Chen, Yong & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2008. "Local amenities and life-cycle migration: Do people move for jobs or fun?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 519-537, November.
  8. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1991. "The Structure of Local Public Finance and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 774-806, August.
  9. David Albouy, 2009. "What Are Cities Worth? Land Rents, Local Productivity, and the Capitalization of Amenity Values," NBER Working Papers 14981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David Albouy, 2010. "Evaluating the Efficiency and Equity of Federal Fiscal Equalization," NBER Working Papers 16144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David Albouy, 2008. "Are Big Cities Bad Places to Live? Estimating Quality of Life across Metropolitan Areas," NBER Working Papers 14472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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