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Are big cities bad places to live? estimating quality of life across metropolitan areas. Working Paper 14472, National Bureau of Economic Research

By David Albouy, Patricia Beeson, Jeff Biddle, Dan Black and Glenn Blomquist

Abstract

Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) provided generous financial assistance. Any mistakes are my The standard revealed-preference estimate of a city’s quality of life is proportional to that city’s cost-of-living relative to its wage-level. Adjusting estimates to account for federal taxes, nonhousing costs, and non-labor income produces more plausible quality-of-life estimates than in the previous literature. Unlike previous estimates, adjusted quality-of-life measures successfully predict how housing costs rise with wage levels, are positively correlated with popular “livability” rankings and stated preferences, and do not decrease with city size. Mild seasons, sunshine, hills, and coastal proximity account for most inter-metropolitan quality-of-life differences. Amendments to quality-of-life measures for labor-market disequilibrium and household heterogeneity provid

Topics: Quality of life, city size, real wages, cost-of-living, f
Year: 2008
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