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Urban Population and Amenities: The Neoclassical Model of Location

David Albouy () and Bryan Stuart

No 19919, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We analyze a neoclassical general-equilibrium model to explain cross-metro variation in population, density, and land supply based on three amenity types: quality-of-life, productivity in tradables, and productivity in non-tradables. We develop a new method to estimate elasticities of housing and land supply, and local-productivity estimates, from cross-sectional density and land-area data. From wage and housing-cost indices, the model explains half of U.S. density and total population variation, and finds that quality of life determines locations more than employment opportunities. We show how changing quality of life, relaxing land-use regulations, or neutralizing federal taxes can redistribute populations massively.

JEL-codes: H20 R12 R23 R31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
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Published as David Albouy & Bryan A. Stuart, 2020. "URBAN POPULATION AND AMENITIES: THE NEOCLASSICAL MODEL OF LOCATION," International Economic Review, vol 61(1), pages 127-158.

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Journal Article: URBAN POPULATION AND AMENITIES: THE NEOCLASSICAL MODEL OF LOCATION (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Urban Population and Amenities: The Neoclassical Model of Location (2017) Downloads
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