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Driving to opportunity: Local rents, wages, commuting, and sub-metropolitan quality of life

David Albouy () and Bert Lue

Journal of Urban Economics, 2015, vol. 89, issue C, 74-92

Abstract: We examine variation in local rents, wage levels, commuting costs, household characteristics, and amenities within metropolitan areas, for 2071 areas covering the United States, by density and central-city status. We demonstrate the sensibility of estimating wage levels by workplace, not residence, and recover decentralized rent gradients that fall with commuting costs. We construct and map a willingness-to-pay index, which indicates the quality of life typical households receive from local amenities when households are similar, mobile, and informed. This index varies considerably within metros, and is typically high in areas that are dense, suburban, sunny, mild, safe, entertaining, and have elevated school-funding.

Keywords: Quality of life; Commuting costs; Rent gradients; Wage gradients; Residential sorting; Amenities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H4 J3 Q5 R1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:juecon:v:89:y:2015:i:c:p:74-92

DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2015.03.003

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