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Big-city life (dis)satisfaction? The effect of living in urban areas on subjective well-being

David Loschiavo ()

No 1221, Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area

Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of big-city life on individuals' well-being. Combining data on Italian municipalities' characteristics with individual-level survey data, I find that city size negatively affects subjective well-being. This association is not driven by omitted variable bias or by spatial sorting of citizens. Commute time accounts for most of the differences in subjective well-being among cities of different size. There is suggestive evidence that the negative effect of commuting on well-being is caused by reduced time availability for fostering personal relationships and engaging in leisure activities. This finding suggests that interventions reducing the amount of time people spend in an unpleasant state can spur agglomeration economies and their contribution to aggregate productivity and growth.

Keywords: subjective well-being; urbanization; commute time (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D60 I3 R23 R41 H54 J61 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo, nep-hap and nep-ure
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_1221_19

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