Working Papers (Research Network)

Quality of Life in Urban Neighborhoods in Costa Rica

CODE: R-563
AUTHOR(s): Hall, Luis J. , Madrigal, Roger , Robalino, Juan
PUBLISHED: October 2008
RELATED TOPICS: Poverty Reduction and Labor


This paper considers valuation of amenities in urban neighborhoods and satisfaction with those neighborhoods and life in general. First, rents are used to estimate the price of neighborhood amenities in San Jose, which explains 39% of the standardized variation of rents. Some districts rank very high in housing characteristics but poorly in neighborhood amenities, while others rank poorly in housing characteristics but high in neighborhood amenities, suggesting that indirect policy measures might reduce inequality in urban areas by improving neighborhood amenities. Second, the paper explores differences in the valuation of amenities by calculating prices in different urban areas. In more sparsely populated urban areas, distance to national parks becomes less important, but distance to primary roads becomes more important. Finally, housing and safety satisfaction represent the key components of life satisfaction.

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