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There Goes the Metro: How and Why Bohemians, Artists and Gays Affect Regional Housing Values

Posted: 15 Feb 2010  

Richard Florida

Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; New York University (NYU)

Charlotta Mellander

Jonkoping University

Date Written: March 2010

Abstract

It is often conjectured that artistic, bohemian and gay populations increase housing values in the neighborhoods and communities in which they reside. But these groups are small, and the evidence of their effect on housing prices is anecdotal and limited. We argue that artists, bohemians and gays affect housing values through two kinds of mechanisms: an aesthetic-amenity premium; and a tolerance or open culture premium. To examine this, we introduce a combined measure of bohemian and gay populations-the Bohemian-Gay Index. We conduct statistical analyses to test the performance of this measure against other variables expected to affect housing values-income, wages, technology and human capital. The findings indicate that the Bohemian-Gay Index has a substantial direct relation with housing values across all permutations of the model and across all region sizes. It remains positive and significant alongside variables for regional income, wages, technology and human capital. The Bohemian-Gay Index also has a substantial direct correlation with other key variables, particularly income, indicating an additional indirect effect on housing values.

Keywords: Housing, human capital, creative class, income, gay, artistic, bohemian

JEL Classification: R10, R21, Z13

Suggested Citation

Florida, Richard and Mellander, Charlotta, There Goes the Metro: How and Why Bohemians, Artists and Gays Affect Regional Housing Values (March 2010). Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 10, Issue 2, pp. 167-188, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1551713 or http://dx.doi.org/lbp022

Richard Florida (Contact Author)

Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

New York University (NYU)

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

Charlotta Mellander

Jonkoping University ( email )

Jönköping, 55111
Sweden

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