Adrien G. Bilal
Institutional Affiliation: Princeton University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2018||Location as an Asset|
with Esteban Rossi-Hansberg: w24867
The location of individuals determines their job opportunities, living amenities, and housing costs. We argue that it is useful to conceptualize the location choice of individuals as a decision to invest in a ‘location asset.’ This asset has a cost equal to the location's rent, and a payoff through better job opportunities and, potentially, more human capital for the individual and her children. As with any asset, savers in the location asset transfer resources into the future by going to expensive locations with good future opportunities. In contrast, borrowers transfer resources to the present by going to cheap locations that offer few other advantages. As in a standard portfolio problem, holdings of this asset depend on the comparison of its rate of return with that of other assets. Dif...