Bobos in Paradise: Urban Politics and the New Economy

51 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2015

See all articles by Gilles Saint-Paul

Gilles Saint-Paul

University of Toulouse I - GREMAQ-IDEI; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

This paper provides some elements to explain the observed takeover in some urban areas of a new kind of elite associated with new economy jobs, also known as "bourgeois bohème" (bobos). This takeover has been associated with greater investment in urban amenities and "clean" means of transport, with adverse effects on commuting time. The model allows us to explain those developments by productivity is growth in the new economy, and by the differences in production processes between the new and old economies. The consequences of bobo takeover for house prices and employment of unskilled service workers are also discussed. A bunkerized equilibrium in which skilled workers in the old economy no longer reside in the city and have been replaced by service workers is studied. In such an equilibrium urban amenities are at their maximum and commuting flows have been eliminated. For some parameter values, bobos are better-off under bunkerization, in which case they may gain by favoring it with a "diversity" subsidy for unskilled workers to reside in the city.

Keywords: new economy, urban amenities, bobos, residential choice, local public goods, urban voting models, bunkerization

JEL Classification: H7, R3, R4, R5

Suggested Citation

Saint-Paul, Gilles, Bobos in Paradise: Urban Politics and the New Economy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9423. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2675480

Gilles Saint-Paul (Contact Author)

University of Toulouse I - GREMAQ-IDEI ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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