Does public investment improve homeowners' happiness? New evidence based on micro surveys in Beijing

Wu, W. (2014) Does public investment improve homeowners' happiness? New evidence based on micro surveys in Beijing. Urban Studies, 51(1), pp. 75-92. (doi: 10.1177/0042098013484530)

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The Beijing government has made massive investments in rail transit construction since the 2000s. While existing studies provide marginal values for rail access in the real estate market, little is known about homeowners’ happiness evaluation of such public investment. Using large-scale micro survey data, this paper estimates, in a difference-in-difference framework, the effects on homeowners’ happiness about public commuting and other residential realms of a transport improvement that altered the residence–station distance for some households, whilst leaving others unaffected. The estimation accounts for the endogeneity between the residential location choice and transport choice by using non-market (fang gai) housing with pre-determined residential location. It is found that better rail access not only provides sizeable happiness about public commuting to Beijing homeowners, but also affects their happiness in other residential realms. This finding adds to the evidence that public investment has an important role to play in influencing homeowners’ living experience.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The author would like to thank the Universities’ China Committee in London (UCCL), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (12JNYH002), the New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-110856), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41230632) for funding support.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wu, Dr Wenjie
Authors: Wu, W.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Urban Studies
ISSN (Online):1360-063X

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