NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

A Dynamic Model of Demand for Houses and Neighborhoods

Patrick Bayer, Robert McMillan, Alvin Murphy, Christopher Timmins

NBER Working Paper No. 17250
Issued in July 2011
NBER Program(s):   EEE   IO   PE

We develop a tractable model of neighborhood choice in a dynamic setting along with a computationally straightforward estimation approach. This approach uses information about neighborhood choices and the timing of moves to recover moving costs and preferences for dynamically-evolving housing and neighborhood attributes. The model and estimator are potentially applicable to the study of a wide range of dynamic phenomena in housing markets and cities. We focus here on estimating the marginal willingness to pay for non-marketed amenities – neighborhood racial composition, air pollution, and violent crime – using rich dynamic data. Consistent with the time-series properties of each amenity, we find that a static demand model understates willingness to pay to avoid pollution and crime but overstates willingness to pay to live near neighbors of one’s own race. These findings have important implications for the class of static housing demand models typically used to value urban amenities.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17250

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