1982 volume 14(5) pages 681 – 698
doi:10.1068/a140681

Cite as:
Smith T R, Clark W A V, 1982, "Housing market search behavior and expected utility theory: 1. Measuring preferences for housing" Environment and Planning A 14(5) 681 – 698

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Housing market search behavior and expected utility theory: 1. Measuring preferences for housing

T R Smith, W A V Clark

Received 7 January 1981, in revised form 2 July 1981

Abstract. This is the first of two papers examining housing market search in a Los Angeles market. In this paper, we derive and analyze utility functions for housing for each individual in two groups of subjects. The utility functions are derived from an experimental setting, in which house price, floor space, construction quality, and neighborhood quality are varied. The functions are found to be essentially compatible with a linear model. They are used to predict the ratings of real houses and the ratings of the expected value of future search. These ratings are compared with actual ratings obtained from subjects during search. The results suggest that the actual or predicted ratings may be employed in a direct test of a simple expected utility theory of search, and further research along these lines appears justified.

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