Urban appeal grows as workers reject long commutes.

CityLab's New York bureau chief Eric Jaffe digs into a compelling theory about why so many people desire downtown living.

It's not necessarily all the amenities that come with being in a central business district.

A group of economists has submitted an intriguing answer: a “reduced tolerance for commuting.” As well-educated, high-income, dual-breadwinner households have put in longer hours at the office, they’ve likewise become starved for the free time. And since a shorter trip to work is one of the simplest ways to make up for lost moments, they’re willing to pay handsomely for it, as reflected in soaring CBD home prices. Over time, new local amenities emerge—bike-share, cat cafes, cereal shops, what-have-you—“further fueling the gentrification process, writes Jaffe.

Read more about the case being made by Lena Edlund and Michaela Sviatchi of Columbia University and Cecilia Machado
of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, a Brazilian think tank.

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