Do preferences for urban amenities really differ by skill?

Arntz, Melanie ; Brüll, Eduard ; Lipowski, Cäcilia

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-601671
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2021
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 21-045
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: R12 , R22 , R58,
Keywords (English): Urban amenities , regional policy , internal migration , skill selective migration
Abstract: City-level policies often aim at attracting skilled workers by improving urban amenities. However,due to endogeneity problems, studies relying on revealed preferences have difficulties in providingevidence for the basic premise that skilled workers place a higher value on urban amenities thanless skilled individuals. Therefore, we use a stated-preference experiment to directly examinepreferences for urban amenities. In a custom survey, we elicit hypothetical job choices betweentwo cities that differ in wages and a set of urban amenities. We find that amenities are importantdeterminants of city choice, with respondents willing to forgo a significant fraction of their wage tolive in a city with better amenities. Most strikingly, we do not find any preference heterogeneitybetween workers differing by education or creative class membership. Instead, we uncover largeheterogeneities mainly along family-related mobility constraints and unobserved dimensions. Ourresults imply that there is not much scope for amenity-oriented policies to improve the local skillmix. Rather, the urban skill bias reflects the incapability of less skilled individuals to afford livingin and moving to their preferred places, resulting in significant welfare losses.

Das Dokument wird vom Publikationsserver der Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim bereitgestellt.

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