51st Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "New Challenges for European Regions and Urban Areas in a Globalised World", 30 August - 3 September 2011, Barcelona, Spain
Local amenities are an important factor in the location choice of households. Heterogeneity in preferences of households tends to sort households over different locations which satisfy best their preferences given their constraints. In this paper, we analyze the effect of cultural heritage on the location choice of households using a residential sorting model. Cultural heritage is often a determining factor of the specific atmosphere of a location and is valued as such by its residents. Since the attractiveness of a residential location may be affected by amenities in the surrounding locations, spatial econometrics is used to deal with these interdependencies. Our model accounts for unobserved characteristics of locations, heterogeneity of households and spatial correlation between the observed (and unobserved) attractiveness of locations. The results show, for instance, that the willingness to pay of highly educated households to reside in municipalities close to a high concentration of cultural heritage is higher than other types of households.