In order to characterize the socioeconomic profile of various geographic units, it is common practice to use aggregated indices. However, the process of calculating such indices requires a wide variety of variables from various data sources available concurrently. Using a number of administrative databases for 2001 and 2003, this study examines the question of whether dwelling prices in a given locality can serve as a proxy for its socioeconomic level. Based on statistical and geographic criteria, we developed a Dwelling Price Ranking (DPR) methodology. Our findings show that the DPR can serve as a good approximation for the socioeconomic cluster (SEC) calculated by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics for years when the required data was available. As opposed to the SEC, the suggested DPR indicator can easily be calculated, thus ensuring a continuum of socioeconomic index series. Both parametric and nonparametric statistical analyses have been carried out in order to examine the additional social, demographic, location, crime and security effects that are exogenous to SEC. Complementary analysis on recently published SEC series for 2006 and 2008 show that our conclusions remain valid. The proposed methodology and the obtained findings may be applicable for different statistical purposes in other countries which possess dwelling transactions data
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