The McMansion Effect: Top House Size and Positional Externalities in U.S. Suburbs

69 Pages Posted: 15 May 2019 Last revised: 18 Jul 2023

See all articles by Clement Bellet

Clement Bellet

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 25, 2019

Abstract

Combining multiple waves of survey data on house satisfaction with a geolocalized data set of three million suburban houses, this paper provides direct quasi-experimental evidence of positional externalities in the field. Homeowners exposed to the construction of very large houses in their suburban county are found to be less satisfied with their own houses, but not with their neighborhoods. This effect is conditional on the visual salience of the large houses—captured by their proximity to roads. Indirect evidence on home size improvements within households supports the direct evidence of reduced experienced utility.

Keywords: Positional Goods, Relative Income Hypothesis, Housing, Subjective Wellbeing, Inequality

JEL Classification: D12, Z13, I31

Suggested Citation

Bellet, Clement, The McMansion Effect: Top House Size and Positional Externalities in U.S. Suburbs (April 25, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3378131 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3378131

Clement Bellet (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,137
Abstract Views
8,098
Rank
34,601
PlumX Metrics