Estimating Benefits from Regional Amenities: Internal Migration and Life Satisfaction
32 Pages Posted: 5 May 2015 Last revised: 7 May 2015
Date Written: April 1, 2015
This paper is the first to link economic theory with empirical life-satisfaction analyses referring to internal migration. We derive an extension of the Roback (1982) model to account for benefits from regional amenities in the utility function, while controlling for income, housing costs, and migration costs. Using highly disaggregated spatial panel information on people’s migration decisions and their life satisfaction for Germany, we provide an empirical investigation of the theoretical model by applying an individual fixed-effects model to rule out selection bias, while accounting for endogeneity of income. We find that short-term benefits from regional amenities represent about 21 percent of household income. These findings are robust to a number of alternative specifications.
Keywords: internal migration, regional amenities, life satisfaction, Germany
JEL Classification: A12, C33, R23
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