Is Mississippi Really the Worst State to Live in? A Spatial Equilibrium Approach to Ranking Quality of Life

24 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2008 Last revised: 12 Sep 2008

See all articles by Maury Granger

Maury Granger

Jackson State University - Department of Economics, Finance and General Business

Gregory Price

Morehouse College - Department of Economics; School of Business, Langston University

Date Written: July 1, 2008

Abstract

Quality-of-life rankings could induce economic development and planning policy makers into wastefully committing too many resources into attracting human and physical capital if they are based on a methodology that is atheoretical and biased in its approach to accounting for what individuals value as contributing to their quality of life in the places they live. An alternative theoretically coherent and unbiased approach to measuring quality-of-life in particular locations is to recognize that a significant amount of what individuals value in the places they optimally choose to live is unobservable, and is reflected in the difference between amenity-adjusted housing prices and income. We implement a ranking scheme consistent with this notion, and find that in contrast to a ranking of states in terms of quality-of-life that uses an explicit amenity accounting method, states typically rated as being among the lowest in terms of being livable, move up the rankings substantially. Relative to a standard explicit amenity accounting quality-of-life measure, our spatial equilibrium measures better explain the location choices of individuals, as measured by net migration

Suggested Citation

Granger, Maury D. and Price, Gregory, Is Mississippi Really the Worst State to Live in? A Spatial Equilibrium Approach to Ranking Quality of Life (July 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1154261 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1154261

Maury D. Granger

Jackson State University - Department of Economics, Finance and General Business ( email )

JSU Box 17760
Jackson, MS
United States
601-979-2679 (Phone)

Gregory Price (Contact Author)

Morehouse College - Department of Economics ( email )

830 Westview Drive, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30314
United States

School of Business, Langston University ( email )

701 Sammy Davis Jr Dr
Langston, OK 73050
United States

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