A Cognitively Plausible Model of Neighborhood Choice

Elizabeth E. Bruch, University of Michigan
Joffre Swait, University of Technology, Sidney

Although there have been efforts in recent years to study the linkages between individual-level residential mobility patterns and macro-level changes in spatial inequality and segregation, such studies use implausible behavioral models of how people decide whether, when and where to move. This hampers both our understanding of the individual process of residential mobility and neighborhood attainment, as well as the inferences possible from simulations linking individual mobility with macro-level outcomes. Our work aims to: (1) develop and estimate cognitively plausible models of residential choice that allows for a decision-maker with incomplete information, heuristic (simplified) strategies for both search and screening, and a multi-stage decision process; (2) use agent-based models to explore the aggregate consequences of these behavioral models for patterns of residential segregation.

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Presented in Session 119: Neighborhood Change and Residential Mobility