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Abstract for:

Urbanity

Gabriel M.  Ahfeldt,  May 2013
Paper No' SERCDP0136: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: Amenities, consumer city, hedonic analysis, photography geography, property prices

JEL Classification: R20; R30

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: SERC Discussion Papers
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Abstract:

I define a composite amenity that provides aesthetic and consumption value to local residents: Urbanity. A novel data set of geo-tagged photos shared in internet communities serves as a proxy for urbanity. From the spatial pattern of house prices and photos I identify the value of urbanity in two of the largest cities in Europe: Berlin and London. I find an elasticity of indirect utility with respect to urbanity of about 1%. The aggregated willingness-to-pay equates to about $1bn per year in each city. The results demonstrate the important role cities play as centers of leisure, consumption, and beauty.