DP11958-2 | Who Lives Where in the City? Amenities, Commuting and Income Sorting

Publication Date

12/05/2018

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Abstract

We study the sorting of income-heterogeneous consumers within cities. We allow for non-homothetic preferences and locations that are differentiated by their distance to employment centers and accessibility to exogenous amenities. The residential equilibrium is driven by the properties of an amenity-commuting aggregator obtained from the primitives of the model. Using micro-data on the Randstad (the Netherlands), we find that doubling the amenity level, resp. commuting time, attracts households whose incomes are 1 -2:5% higher, resp. 6 - 17:5% lower. Using the model's estimated parameters, we predict the impact of changes in accessibility to jobs and amenities on the social structure of the Randstad.