Where Should We Live?
AbstractOne of the central topics in recent empirical work on subjective well-being is that of comparisons to a reference group, over a variety of domains of economic and social life. One such reference group is neighbours. Any resulting spatial spillovers that are identified have potential implications for the welfare-maximising degree of spatial segregation. In this paper, we summarise some recent findings with respect to geographical comparisons of income, unemployment, health and religion, and present some new results regarding spatial spillovers in marriage. The resulting predictions regarding spatial segregation differ sharply according to the domain under consideration. While work in this area remains very preliminary, subjective well-being data may well help to both identify spillovers from neighbours, and inform about individuals’ location decisions.
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