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Urban Population and Amenities

  • David Albouy
  • Bryan Stuart
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    We use a neoclassical general-equilibrium model to explain cross-metro variation in population density based on three broad amenity types: quality of life, productivity in tradables, and productivity in non-tradables. Analytically, we demonstrate the dependence of quantities on amenities through substitution possibilities in consumption and production. Our model clarifies the nature of commonly estimated elasticities of local labor supply and demand. From only differences in wages and housing costs, we explain half of the observed variation in density, especially through quality of life. We show that density information can provide or refine measures of land value and local productivity.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19919.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19919
    Note: EEE LS PE
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    23. David Albouy & Gabriel Ehrlich, 2012. "Metropolitan Land Values and Housing Productivity," NBER Working Papers 18110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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