Microeconomic Consequences of Urban Sprawl: A Quasi-Experimental Research on Household Budgets in Poland
Purpose: The article focuses on the microeconomic aspects of urban sprawl. The aim of the article is to propose a method of analyzing household budgets in terms of identifying gains and losses in urban sprawl. The hypothesis is that urban sprawl has a beneficial effect on the financial condition of households causing the phenomenon. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research proposed a quasi-experimental approach distinguishing three stages: (1) Identification of a sample of households causing urban sprawl through questionnaire research. The questionnaire, based on PAPI method, was conducted by professionals. (2) In the databases purchased, identification of households like the sample. The financial databases of households were purchased from Central Statistical Office, Poland. Methods used: T-Test and the Gamma coefficient. (3) Comparison of identified households in the databases to the control group. The Standardized Mean Difference method and the basic income burden ratio were used. Findings: The study do not confirm the hypothesis. The net costs and benefits balance shown a significant dominance of costs, i.e., 2 categories of benefits were identified, leisure and education. 16 costs were also identified, including 5 moderate, 7 large, 4 very large. Practical Implications: Research findings can provide economic and social justification for public intervention in the field of urban sprawl. Research results can also form the basis for a system for monitoring the socio-economic consequences of urban sprawl. Originality/Value: The conducted research does not confirm literature, as the daily operations costs are lower in rural areas than in the city center. On the contrary, it has been proven that the costs of day-to-day operation of an urban sprawl household are associated with large financial losses, especially connected to the house maintenance (sewage, heating, water, electricity, waste disposal, property repairing).