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

  • David Albouy

    ()

    (University of Michigan)

  • Fernando Leibovici

    ()

    (New York University)

  • Casey Warman

    ()

    (Queen`s University)

This paper presents the first hedonic general-equilibrium estimates of quality-of-life and firm productivity differences across Canadian cities, using data on local wages and housing costs. These estimates account for the unobservability of land rents and geographic differences in federal and provincial tax burdens. Quality of life estimates are generally higher in Canada’s larger cities: Victoria, Vancouver are the nicest overall, particularly for Anglophones, while Montreal and Ottawa are the nicest for Francophones. These estimates are positively correlated with estimates in the popular literature and may be explained by differences in climate. Toronto is Canada’s most productive city; Vancouver, the overall most valued city.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1287.pdf
File Function: First version 2012
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1287.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1287
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Web page: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Smart Cities: Quality of Life, Productivity, and the Growth Effects of Human Capital," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 324-335, May.
  5. 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.
  6. Albouy, David, 2012. "Evaluating the efficiency and equity of federal fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 824-839.
  7. 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.
  8. Coulombe, S., 2000. "New Evidence of Convergence Across Canadian Provinces: the Role of Urbanization," Working Papers 0002e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  9. Casey Warman, 2006. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Earnings Growth," Working Papers 1261, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  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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