nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2006‒08‒19
five papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Regional-Local Dimension of Russia's Fiscal Equalization By Jorge Martinez-Vazquez; Andrey Timofeev
  2. Assessing benefits of slum upgrading programs in second-best settings By Dasgupta, Basab; Lall, Somik V.
  3. Geography Rules Too! Economic Development and the Geography of Institutions By Maarten Bosker; Harry Garretsen
  4. Regional Decentralization in Spain: Vertical Imbalances and Revenue Assignments By Julio López Laborda; Carlos Monasterio Escudero
  5. Desigualdad y Pobreza entre las Regiones Argentinas: Un Análisis de Microdescomposiciones By Héctor Zacaria; Juan Ignacio Zoloa

  1. By: Jorge Martinez-Vazquez (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies); Andrey Timofeev (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies)
    Abstract: National equalization policies often are concerned with the quality and accessibility of services delivered at the lowest level (or local) government. When these policies are implemented in a hierarchical fashion through the intermediate level governments, national equalization policies need to take into account possible offsetting effects originating on regional or provincial government policies. In this paper, we examine recent fiscal equalization outcomes for about 2,000 Russian local governments to assess and explain the extent of equalization differences between and within regions. In particular, we examine the claim that intraregional policies should be blamed for rising disparities in local fiscal outcomes despite Russia 's federal government efforts to equalize sub-national government finances.
    Keywords: Russia's Fiscal Equalization, equalization differences, local fiscal, sub-national government finances
    Date: 2006–05–01
  2. By: Dasgupta, Basab; Lall, Somik V.
    Abstract: Slum upgrading programs are being used by national and city governments in many countries to improve the welfare of households living in slum and squatter settlements. These programs typically include a combination of improvements in neighborhood infrastructure, land tenure, and building quality. In this paper, the authors develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to compare the effectiveness of alternative slum upgrading instruments in a second-best setting with distortions in the land and credit markets. They numerically test the model using data from three Brazilian cities and find that the performance of in situ slum upgrading depends on the severity of land and credit market distortions and how complementary policy initiatives are being implemented to correct for these problems. Pre-existing land supply and credit market distortions reduce the benefit-cost ratios across interventions, and change the rank ordering of preferred interventions. In the light of these findings, it appears that partial equilibrium analysis used in typical cost-benefit work overstates the stream of net benefits from upgrading interventions and may in fact propose a misleading sequence of interventions.
    Keywords: Banks & Banking Reform,Urban Housing,Urban Slums Upgrading,Urban Services to the Poor,Economic Theory & Research
    Date: 2006–08–01
  3. By: Maarten Bosker; Harry Garretsen
    Abstract: To explain cross-country income differences, research has recently focused on the so-called deep determinants of economic development, notably institutions and geography. This paper sheds a different light on these determinants. We use spatial econometrics to analyse the importance of the geography of institutions. We show that it is not only absolute geography, in terms of for instance climate, but also relative geography, the spatial linkages between countries, that matters for a country’s gdp per capita. Apart from a country’s own institutions, institutions in neighboring countries turn out to be relevant as well. This finding is robust to various alternative specifications.
    JEL: F43 O11
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Julio López Laborda (Universidad de Zaragoza); Carlos Monasterio Escudero (Universidad de Oviedo)
    Abstract: This chapter provides an overview of the key issues in public economics arising from the process of territorial decentralization that has taken place in Spain since the restoration of democracy and ratification of the Constitution of 1978, which resulted in the emergence of the “ Autonomic State ”. The first section of this chapter focuses on the assignment of competencies between central and regional levels of government and explains in detail the methodology used to quantify the “effective cost” of the services devolved to the Autonomous Communities (hereinafter ACs). We have paid special attention to health services, which are the most significant item for regional budgets in quantitative terms. The second section deals with revenue assignment and describes the two systems established to finance regional expenditures. These two systems are the “ordinary system” (régimen común), which is applied in the majority of the ACs, and the “charter system” (régimen foral), which is based on the historical rights accorded to the Basque Country and Navarre . The last section gives an appraisal of the decentralization process and notes some emerging issues of debate.
    Keywords: Regional Decentralization,Spain, Vertical Imbalances, Revenue Assignments, régimen común, régimen foral
    Date: 2006–01–01
  5. By: Héctor Zacaria (Universidad Nacional de La Plata); Juan Ignacio Zoloa (Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
    Abstract: Las regiones argentinas presentan diferencias en su estructura poblacional y también en la forma en que retribuyen a los distintos factores. Este trabajo estudia cómo esas diferencias afectan la distribución del ingreso y la pobreza, aplicando técnicas de microdescomposición. La utilización de dichas técnicas permite cuantificar la contribución de cada uno de los determinantes de los ingresos, a tales diferencias. Los resultados de este trabajo sugieren una fuerte heterogeneidad entre las regiones, encontrándose las causas de las diferentes tasas de pobreza y desigualdad, principalmente en los retornos a la educación, la brecha salarial entre hombres y mujeres y a los distintos niveles de empleo.
    Keywords: Distribución, pobreza, descomposiciones, educación, ingresos, desempleo, Argentina.
    JEL: C14 C15 C24 D31 I21 I32 J23 J31
    Date: 2006–07

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