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Amenities and the Social Structure of Cities

Author

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  • Carl Gaigné

    (INRA, UMR1302, SMART-LERECO Rennes (France) and CREATE, Laval University, Quebec (Canada))

  • Hans R.A. Koster

    (Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands))

  • Fabien Moizeau

    (Université de Rennes 1, CREM UMR CNRS 6211, Condorcet Center and Institut Universitaire de France)

  • Jacques-François Thisse

    (CORE-UCL (Belgium), NRU Higher School of Economics (Russia) and CEPR)

Abstract

We develop a new model of a "featureful" city in which locations are differentiated by two attributes, that is, the distance to employment centers and the accessibility to given amenities, and we show how heterogeneous households in income are sorted out across the urban space. Under Stone-Geary preferences, the spatial income distribution is governed by a location-quality index which reflects the interaction between the amenity and commuting cost functions. The residential equilibrium typically involves the spatial separation of households sharing similar incomes. Using data on Dutch cities, we show that there is a causal relationship between the amenity level and consumer income, suggesting that richer households sort themselves into high amenity locations. We do not find strong evidence that employment accessibility leads to income segregation, suggesting that the standard monocentric city model without amenities is a poor predictor of the social structure of cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Gaigné & Hans R.A. Koster & Fabien Moizeau & Jacques-François Thisse, 2017. "Amenities and the Social Structure of Cities," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2017-07, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  • Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:2017-07
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    Cited by:

    1. Hans R.A. Koster & Jos van Ommeren, 2017. "Place-based policies and the housing market," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-008/VIII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 10 Aug 2018.
    2. repec:eee:energy:v:152:y:2018:i:c:p:627-639 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:regeco:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:35-56 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social stratification; income; amenities; commuting;

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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