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Economic Wellbeing and Where We Live: Accounting for Geographical Cost-of-living Differences in the US

Leah Beth Curran, Harold Wolman, Edward W. Hill and Kimberly Furdell
Additional contact information
Leah Beth Curran: School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University, 805 21st St, NW, Washington, DC, 20052, USA, lcurran@gwu.edu
Harold Wolman: School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University, 805 21st St, NW, Washington, DC, 20052, USA, hwolman@gwu.edu
Edward W. Hill: Maxine Goodman Level College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115, USA, wed@urban.c.ruohio.edu
Kimberly Furdell: School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University, 805 21st St, NW, Washington, DC, 20052, USA, kfurdell@gwu.edu

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 13, 2443-2466

Abstract: Regional cost-of-living differences affect the quality of life that individuals and families experience in different metropolitan areas. Yet, lack of metropolitan cost-of-living indexes has left analysts without the ability to make accurate cost-of-living adjustments to measures of economic wellbeing. This paper evaluates alternative approaches to cost-of-living measurement and then applies the ACCRA cost-of-living index to various US metropolitan area datasets, including median household income, the number of people living in poverty, and family eligibility for the Free and Reduced Price School Lunch and Head Start programmes to illustrate some of the policy impacts of adjusting economic indicators of wellbeing for geographical cost-of-living differentials.

Date: 2006
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