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Not too close, not too far: Urbanisation and life satisfaction along the urban hierarchy

Camilla Lenzi and Giovanni Perucca
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Camilla Lenzi: Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Giovanni Perucca: Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Urban Studies, 2021, vol. 58, issue 13, 2742-2757

Abstract: Empirical evidence on the effect of urbanisation on individual self-reported well-being generally points to a negative effect of urbanisation and city size, at least in most developed economies. This article aims to re-assess this conclusion by claiming that this approach overlooks the fact that a city’s positive externalities may expand well beyond the urban boundaries, as postulated in urban economics theory. Based on survey data on self-reported life satisfaction derived from different waves of Eurobarometer surveys in the period 2005–2010 covering 21 European Union member countries, the article empirically verifies the existence of a positive association between urbanisation and individual well-being, depending on the proximity to settings of higher rank in the urban hierarchy. In particular, it shows that the higher the distance from a city larger than the one of residence of the respondent, the lower the probability of being satisfied with life.

Keywords: agglomeration; borrowed size; cohesion; development; diversity; life satisfaction; segregation; urbanisation; é›†è š; 规模借用; å‡ è šåŠ›; å ‘å±•; å¤šæ ·æ€§; ç”Ÿæ´»æ»¡æ„ åº¦; 隔离; 城市化 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/0042098020962397

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Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:58:y:2021:i:13:p:2742-2757