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Household Location in English Cities

David Cuberes (), Jennifer Roberts and Cristina Sechel ()

No 2019001, Working Papers from The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper is the first to test an amenity-based sorting model for cities in England. We use individual level data on urban households for the period 2011-2016, combining this with data on local amenities to explore household location under both monocentric and polycentric assumptions about city structure. On average we find that there is no systematic relationship between income and household distance to the ‘city centre’, once neighbourhood amenities and other household characteristics are taken into account. Household heterogeneity is important, and as well as influencing location directly, we also find interactions between the effects of household characteristics and local amenities. There are also important differences between cities in England; for example higher income households seem to live further from the city centre in Birmingham, but closer to it in Newcastle. Our results reveal some important differences to the US evidence that has dominated this literature. Migrant status is important in England, and on average migrants live much closer to the city centre than non-migrants, but race per se does not seem to influence household location. Also it appears that in England only the employed (and those above the poverty line) are influenced by the availability of public transport; which is in direct opposition to the US evidence. Overall we conclude that the standard urban land use model provides a partial explanation of how households sort by income in cities, but that the role of amenities and household heterogeneity is large and warrants more attention.

Keywords: cities; household location; income; amenities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R20 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
Date: 2019-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-mig and nep-ure
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