Urban Revival in America, 2000 to 2010
81 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2017 Last revised: 23 Apr 2022
Date Written: November 2017
This paper documents and explains the striking rise in the proclivity of college-educated individuals to reside near city centers since 2000. We show that this recent urban revival is driven almost entirely by younger college graduates in larger cities. With a residential choice model, we quantify the role of jobs, amenities, and house prices in explaining this trend. We find that the rising taste of young college graduates for non-tradable service amenities like restaurants and nightlife accounts for more than 40 percent of their movement toward city centers. Complementary data shows a corresponding rise in young college graduate expenditures on and trips to non-tradable services. We then link changes in both consumption and urbanization to secular trends of top income growth and delayed family formation amongst young college graduates.
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