Does metro accessibility promote happiness? Evidence from Shanghai

Authors: Wan Li*, , Bo dan, ECNU, bindong sun, ECNU
Topics: Transportation Geography, Economic Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: metro accessibility, happiness, self-selection, Shanghai
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Poydras, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Though an increasing number of scholars are evaluating rail transit benefits, there has been surprisingly few studies of the links between rail accessibility and perceived happiness. The principal objective of this paper is to assess the benefits of metro accessibility for individuals’ happiness. A key challenge to empirically answering this question is the fact that residential location is likely to be the result of self-selection i.e., personal preference, such that living around a rail station can maximize residents’ happiness. Taking advantage of the largely exogenous residential locations of those who bought their house 10 years earlier than the operation of its nearest metro station, and households living in non-market housing in Shanghai, we find proximity to a subway station robustly promotes happiness at the individual level. These results suggest that investing in urban rail transit and transit-oriented development (TOD) are promising ways to increasing happiness.

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