How Much Is Your Neighbourhood Worth?

We pay not for the neighborhood itself, but for the access the neighborhood affords us to other people, as well as jobs and or amenities. (cityLab)

New study exemines the willingness to pay the amount of the paycheck for rent and its relationship with the characteristics of the neighbourhoods and amenities provided in those in US.

Driving to Opportunity: Local Rents, Wages, Commuting, and Sub-Metropolitan Quality of Life by David Albouya and Bert Lueb

The study reveals many important aspects which people are taking into consideration while prefering to live in a neighbourhood.

According to the research, people are willing to pay the most for three things:

People will pay more for better, well-funded schools.
People will pay more to live in less dangerous places.
People will pay for access to more bars and restaurants. (cityLab)

The research provides important clues regarding commodification of urban space and access right to urban spatial infrastructure. Details of the researach can be found here.

However, the study does an audacious move by identifying the “willingness-to-pay” with “quality of life” by calling their index as quality of life index.

We combine the rent, wage, and commuting differentials to estimate average local willingness-to-pay – or, “quality of life” – from Eq. (Albouya and Lueb)

Athough it is very true that the access right to urban infrastructure is a part of the quality of life, it is also very controversial to call the index of willingness-to-pay as the index of quality of life .

(Image Credit: CityLab)


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