IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/19922.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Driving to Opportunity: Local Rents, Wages, Commuting Costs and Sub-Metropolitan Quality of Life

Author

Listed:
  • David Albouy
  • Bert Lue

Abstract

We examine variation in local wage levels, housing costs, and commuting costs for 2071 areas covering the United States within and across metropolitan areas. In an equilibrium model of residential and workplace choice, we use these measures to construct a willingness-to-pay index for a typical household. When households are sufficiently homogeneous and mobile, this index indicates the perceived value of local household amenities, or “quality of life.” Wage levels vary little within metropolitan areas relative to across them, while individual characteristics that predict wages vary more within, suggesting patterns about sorting. Quality of life varies as much within metros as across them, and is typically high in areas that are dense, suburban, mild, safe, entertaining, and have higher school-funding.

Suggested Citation

  • David Albouy & Bert Lue, 2014. "Driving to Opportunity: Local Rents, Wages, Commuting Costs and Sub-Metropolitan Quality of Life," NBER Working Papers 19922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19922
    Note: EEE LS PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19922.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
    2. McMillen, Daniel P. & Singell, Larry Jr., 1992. "Work location, residence location, and the intraurban wage gradient," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 195-213, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2011. "Anatomy of the Beginning of the Housing Boom: U.S. Neighborhoods and Metropolitan Areas, 1993-2009," NBER Working Papers 17374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 588-638, August.
    6. Brueckner, Jan K., 1982. "A test for allocative efficiency in the local public sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 311-331, December.
    7. Petitte, Ryan A. & Ross, Stephen L., 1999. "Commutes, Neighborhood Effects, and Compensating Differentials: Revisited," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-24, July.
    8. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-1278, December.
    9. Brownstone, David & Small, Kenneth A., 2005. "Valuing time and reliability: assessing the evidence from road pricing demonstrations," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 279-293, May.
    10. Roback, Jennifer, 1988. "Wages, Rents, and Amenities: Differences among Workers and Regions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 23-41, January.
    11. Stephanie Riegg Cellini & Fernando Ferreira & Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "The Value of School Facility Investments: Evidence from a Dynamic Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 215-261.
    12. Nathaniel Baum-Snow & Ronni Pavan, 2012. "Understanding the City Size Wage Gap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 88-127.
    13. Shihe Fu & Stephen L. Ross, 2010. "Wage Premia in Employment Clusters: Agglomeration or Worker Heterogeneity?," Working Papers 10-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    14. Kim, Dongsoo & Liu, Feng & Yezer, Anthony, 2009. "Do inter-city differences in intra-city wage differentials have any interesting implications?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 203-209, November.
    15. Lucie Schmidt & Paul N. Courant, 2006. "Sometimes Close Is Good Enough: The Value Of Nearby Environmental Amenities," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(5), pages 931-951.
    16. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1989. "The Importance of Local Fiscal Conditions in Analyzing Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1208-1231, October.
    17. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Ross, Amanda, 2010. "Violent crime, entrepreneurship, and cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 135-149, January.
    18. Straszheim, Mahlon R., 1984. "Urban agglomeration effects and employment and wage gradients," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 187-207, September.
    19. Zax, Jeffrey S., 1991. "Compensation for commutes in labor and housing markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 192-207, September.
    20. Oates, Wallace E, 1969. "The Effects of Property Taxes and Local Public Spending on Property Values: An Empirical Study of Tax Capitalization and the Tiebout Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(6), pages 957-971, Nov./Dec..
    21. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    22. 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 443-452, August.
    23. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent, 2008. "Spatial wage disparities: Sorting matters!," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 723-742, March.
    24. repec:oup:restud:v:85:y:2018:i:1:p:663-694. is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Sanghoon Lee & Jeffrey Lin, 2018. "Natural Amenities, Neighbourhood Dynamics, and Persistence in the Spatial Distribution of Income," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(1), pages 663-694.
    26. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
    27. Nicolai V. Kuminoff & V. Kerry Smith & Christopher Timmins, 2013. "The New Economics of Equilibrium Sorting and Policy Evaluation Using Housing Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1007-1062, December.
    28. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    29. McDuff, DeForest, 2011. "Demand substitution across US cities: Observable similarity and home price correlation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-14, July.
    30. Pope, Jaren C., 2008. "Fear of crime and housing prices: Household reactions to sex offender registries," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 601-614, November.
    31. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 1999. "Crime and the Timing of Work," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 311-330, March.
    32. Kelly C. Bishop & Alvin D. Murphy, 2011. "Estimating the Willingness to Pay to Avoid Violent Crime: A Dynamic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 625-629, May.
    33. Gautier, Pieter A. & Siegmann, Arjen & Van Vuuren, Aico, 2009. "Terrorism and attitudes towards minorities: The effect of the Theo van Gogh murder on house prices in Amsterdam," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 113-126, March.
    34. Gyourko, Joseph & Kahn, Matthew & Tracy, Joseph, 1999. "Quality of life and environmental comparisons," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 1413-1454 Elsevier.
    35. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 1996. "Commutes, Neighborhood Effects, and Earnings: An Analysis of Racial Discrimination and Compensating Differentials," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-83, July.
    36. 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.
    37. Lucas W. Davis, 2004. "The Effect of Health Risk on Housing Values: Evidence from a Cancer Cluster," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1693-1704, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Iris Claus & Les Oxley & Siqi Zheng & Cong Sun & Ye Qi & Matthew E. Kahn, 2014. "The Evolving Geography Of China'S Industrial Production: Implications For Pollution Dynamics And Urban Quality Of Life," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 709-724, September.
    2. Rappaport, Jordan, 2014. "A quantitative system of monocentric metros," Research Working Paper RWP 14-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, revised 01 May 2014.
    3. Rappaport, Jordan, 2014. "Monocentric city redux," Research Working Paper RWP 14-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:nbr:nberwo:19922. 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: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.