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Urban Revival in America, 2000 to 2010

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  • Victor Couture
  • Jessie Handbury

Abstract

This paper documents and explains the striking rise in the proclivity of college-educated individuals to reside near city centers since 2000. We show that this recent urban revival is driven almost entirely by younger college graduates in larger cities. With a residential choice model, we quantify the role of jobs, amenities, and house prices in explaining this trend. We find that the rising taste of young college graduates for non-tradable service amenities like restaurants and nightlife accounts for more than 40 percent of their movement toward city centers. Complementary data shows a corresponding rise in young college graduate expenditures on and trips to non-tradable services. We then link changes in both consumption and urbanization to secular trends of top income growth and delayed family formation amongst young college graduates.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Couture & Jessie Handbury, 2017. "Urban Revival in America, 2000 to 2010," NBER Working Papers 24084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24084
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    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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