nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2006‒10‒07
25 papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Biases in cross-space comparisons through cross-time price indexes: The case of Russia By Gluschenko, Konstantin
  2. A Spatio-Temporal Model of House Prices in the US By Sean Holly; M. Hashem Pesaran; Takashi Yamagata
  3. Predictdion in the Panel Data Model with Spatial Correlation: The Case of Liquor By Badi H. Baltagi; Dong Li
  4. Spatial Time-Series Modeling: A review of the proposed methodologies By Yiannis Kamarianakis; Poulicos Prastacos
  6. Determinants of long-run regional productivity: the role of R&D, human capital and public infrastructure By Raffaello Bronzini; Paolo Piselli
  7. Russia’s common market takes shape: Price convergence and market integration among Russian regions By Gluschenko, Konstantin
  8. Regional growth strategies: fiscal versus institutional governmental policies By Ingrid Ott; Susanne Soretz
  11. Tax competition, location, and horizontal foreign direct investment By Kristian Behrens; Pierre M. Picard
  12. Effects of WTO membership on income distribution and labour movement in China – A CGE analysis By Wang, Jiao; Mayes, David; Wan, Guanghua
  13. Sustainability and Cities as Systems of Innovation By Björn Johnson; Martin Lehmann
  14. Technical Efficiency and Contractual Incentives: the Case of Urban Public Transport in France By William Roy
  15. Water Infrastructures Facing Sustainable Development Challenges: Integrated Evaluation of Impacts of Dams on Regional Development in Morocco By Paola Minoia; Anna Brusarosco
  16. The Recent Evolution and Impact of Tourism in the Mediterranean: The Case of Island Regions, 1990-2002 By Jaume Garau Taberner; Carles Manera
  17. La part modale des transports en commun dans les villes du monde : une analyse de la base UITP sur les systèmes de transports urbains de 100 villes du monde By Iragaël Joly; Sophie Masson; Romain Petiot
  18. Quelles avancées permettent les techniques de frontière dans la mesure de l'efficience des exploitants de transport urbain ? By Julien Lévêque; William Roy
  19. Modes de gestion et efficience des opérateurs dans le secteur des transports urbains de personnes By Luc Baumstark; Claude Ménard; William Roy; Anne Yvrande-Billon
  20. Productividad y estructura productiva en Andalucía: un análisis comparativo a nivel sectorial By Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez
  21. The Impact of Stadium Announcements on Residential Property Values: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Dallas-Fort Worth By Carolyn A. Dehring; Craig A. Depken, II; Michael R. Ward
  22. Las disparidades económicas intermunicipales en la provincia de Cádiz: un análisis desde la óptica de la convergencia By Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez
  23. Lobbying at the local level: Social assets in Russian firms By Juurikkala, Tuuli; Lazareva, Olga
  24. Mapping Diversity in Milan. Historical Approaches to Urban Immigration By John Foot
  25. Foreigners and the City: An Historiographical Exploration for the Early Modern Period By Donatella Calabi

  1. By: Gluschenko, Konstantin (Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering, Siberian Branch of the Russian)
    Abstract: Lacking data on price levels across locations (countries, national regions, etc.) for cross-space comparisons, researchers resort to local consumer price indexes (CPIs) over time to evaluate these levels. This approach unfortunately fails to specify, even generally, the exactness of such proxies. Worse, the method is silent on whether the results are consistent, at least qualitatively, with those obtained using actual price levels. This paper aims to find an answer empirically, using data across Russian regions. Through comparison of CPI-proxied price levels with direct evaluations of regional price levels (i.e. Surinov spatial price indexes and the costs of a purchasing power basket), biases that distort the qualitative pattern of inter-regional differences are identified. Cross-region distributions for real income (calculated with CPI-proxied and directly evaluated price levels) for several points in time are estimated and compared. The CPI-induced biases are found to generally overstate inter-regional disparities.
    Keywords: consumer price index; spatial price index; real income; nonhomothetic prefer-ences; Russia; Russian regions
    JEL: C43 E31 P22 R19
    Date: 2006–08–18
  2. By: Sean Holly; M. Hashem Pesaran; Takashi Yamagata
    Abstract: In this paper we model the dynamic adjustment of real house prices using data at the level of US States. We consider interactions between housing markets by examining the extent to which real house prices at the State level are driven by fundamentals such as real income, as well as by common shocks, and determine the speed of adjustment of house prices to macroeconomic and local disturbances. We take explicit account of both cross sectional dependence and heterogeneity. This allows us to find a cointegrating relationship between house prices and incomes and to identify a small role for real interest rates. Using this model we examine the role of spatial factors, in particular the effect of contiguous states by use of a weighting matrix. We are able to identify a significant spatial effect, even after controlling for State specific real incomes, and allowing for a number of unobserved common factors.
    Keywords: House Price, Cross Sectional Dependence, Spatial Dependence
    JEL: C21 C23
    Date: 2006–09
  3. By: Badi H. Baltagi (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1020); Dong Li
    Abstract: This paper considers the problem of prediction in a panel data regression model with spatial autocorrelation in the context of a simple demand equation for liquor. This is based on a panel of 43 states over the period 1965-1994. The spatial autocorrelation due to neighboring states and the individual heterogeneity across states is taken explicitly into account. We compare the performance of several predictors of the states demand for liquor for one year and five years ahead. The estimators whose predictions are compared include OLS, fixed effects ignoring spatial correlation, fixed effects with spatial correlation, random effects GLS estimator ignoring spatial correlation and random effects estimator accounting for the spatial correlation. Based on RMSE forecast performance, estimators that take into account spatial correlation and neterogeneity across the states perform the best for one year ahead forecasts. However, for two to five years ahead forecasts, estimators that take into account the heterogeneity across the states yield the best forecasts.
    Keywords: prediction, spatial correlation, panel data, liquor demand
    JEL: C21 C23 C53
    Date: 2006–07
  4. By: Yiannis Kamarianakis (Department of Economics, University of Crete); Poulicos Prastacos (Regional Analysis Division, Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas)
    Abstract: This paper discusses three modelling techniques, which apply to multiple time series data that correspond to different spatial locations (spatial time series). The first two methods, namely the Space-Time ARIMA (STARIMA) and the Bayesian Vector Autoregressive (BVAR) model with spatial priors apply when interest lies on the spatio-temporal evolution of a single variable. The former is better suited for applications of large spatial and temporal dimension whereas the latter can be realistically performed when the number of locations of the study is rather small. Next, we consider models that aim to describe relationships between variables with a spatio-temporal reference and discuss the general class of dynamic space-time models in the framework presented by Elhorst (2001). Each model class is introduced through a motivating application.
    Keywords: spatial time-series, space-time models, STARIMA, Bayesian Vector Autoregressions
    Date: 2006–03
  5. By: Yiannis Kamarianakis (Regional Analysis Division, Institute of Applied and Computational Mathematics, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas)
    Abstract: Despite the fact that the amount of datasets containing long economic time series with a spatial reference has significantly increased during the years, the presence of integrated techniques that aim to describe the temporal evolution of the series while accounting for the location of the measurements and their neighboring relations is very sparse in the econometric literature. This paper shows how the Hierarchical Bayesian Space Time model presented by Wikle, Berliner and Cressie (Environmental and Ecological Statistics, l998) for temperature modeling, can be tailored to model relationships between variables that have both a spatial and a temporal reference. The first stage of the hierarchical model includes a set of regression equations (each one corresponding to a different location) coupled with a dynamic space-time process that accounts for the unexplained variation. At the second stage, the regression parameters are endowed with priors that reflect the neighboring relations of the locations under study; moreover, the spatio-temporal dependencies in the dynamic process for the unexplained variation are being established. Putting hyperpriors on previous stages’ parameters completes the Bayesian formulation, which can be implemented in a Markov Chain Monte Carlo framework. The proposed modeling strategy is useful in quantifying the temporal evolution in relations between economic variables and this quantification may serve for excess forecasting accuracy.
    Keywords: space-time models
    Date: 2006–03
  6. By: Raffaello Bronzini (Bank of Italy); Paolo Piselli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the long-run relationship between regional total factor productivity, R&D, human capital and public infrastructure between 1980 and 2001. We take advantage of recent developments panel cointegration techniques that control for endogeneity of regressors to estimate cointegration vectors. Empirical evidence shows that there exists a long-run equilibrium between productivity level and the three kinds of capital; among them, human capital turns out to have the strongest impact on productivity. Regional productivity is found also to be positively affected by R&D activity and public infrastructure of neighbouring regions. Finally, results of the Granger-causality tests support the hypothesis that human capital and infrastructure Granger-cause productivity in the long-run while the opposite is not true; only for R&D stock is the bi-directional causality found.
    Keywords: Total factor productivity, research and development, public infrastructure, human capital, panel cointegration
    JEL: O4 O18 R11 C23
    Date: 2006–09
  7. By: Gluschenko, Konstantin (Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering, Siberian Branch of the Russian)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the spatial structure of goods market integration in Russia, characterizing regions into three states: (a) integrated, (b) not integrated but trending toward integration, and (c) not integrated and not trending toward integration. Using time series of the cost of a staples basket across 75 regions of Russia for 1994-2000, I exploit a nonlinear cointegration relationship with an asymptotically subsiding trend to capture movement toward integration. The analysis suggests that 36% of Russian regions were integrated with the national market over 1994-2000, 44% were in the process of integrating with the national market, and 20% of regions were not integrated and not trending toward integration.
    Keywords: market integration; law of one price; price dispersion; convergence; Russian regions
    JEL: C32 P22 R10 R15
    Date: 2006–06–22
  8. By: Ingrid Ott (Institute of Economics, University of Lüneburg); Susanne Soretz (Institute of Economics, Leibnitz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the growth impact of fiscal and institutional governmental policies in a regional context. The government provides a productive input that is complementary to private capital. Institutional policies include the decision about the type of public input as well as on the size of the region as determined by the number of firms. Fiscal policies decide on the extent of the public input. Private capital accumulation incurs adjustment costs that depend upon the ratio between private and public investment. After deriving the decentralized equilibrium, fiscal and institutional policies as well as their interdependencies and welfare implications are discussed. Due to the feedback effects both policies may not be determined interdependently. It is also shown that depending on the region`s size different types of the public input maximize growth.
    Keywords: Fiscal and institutional policy, regional growth, adjustment costs, congested public inputs
    JEL: O41 H40 H54 R13
    Date: 2006–09–22
  9. By: Siva Athreya (Indian Statistical Institute); Rohini Somanathan (Delhi School of Economics)
    Abstract: We show how an optimization algorithm can be used to approximately quan-tify the costs to users of spatial misallocation in centrally provided public goods. This method can be employed to evaluate the large programs of public good construction that have been central features of economic plans in many developing countries. We apply these methods to the allocation of post-offices in an administrative block of South India between 1981-1991 and find that more appropriate choices for post office locations could have reduced aggregate costs of travel to citizens in this area by at least 20%.
    JEL: H41 C61
    Date: 2006–08
  10. By: Jose Ceron; Javier Suarez (CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros)
    Abstract: This paper examines the experience of fourteen developed countries for which there are about thirty years of quarterly inflation-adjusted housing price data. Price dynamics is modelled as a combination of a country-specific component and a cyclical component is a two-state variable captures previously undocumented changes in the volatility of real housing price increases. These volatility phases are quite persistent (about six years,on average) and occur with about the same unconditional frequency over time. In line with previous studies, the mean of real housing price increases can be predicted to be larger when lagged values of those increases are large, real GDP growth is high, unemployment falls, and interest rates are low or have declined. Our findings have important implications for risk management in regard to residential property markets.
    Keywords: Housing prices, cycles, volatility, Markov switching.
    JEL: E32 G15 R31
    Date: 2006–01
  11. By: Kristian Behrens (CORE, Université catholique de Louvain, 34 voie du Roman Pays, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium); Pierre M. Picard (Université catholique de Louvain; Belgium; and University of Manchester, UK)
    Abstract: We develop a model of capital tax/subsidy competition in which imperfectly competitive firms choose both the number and the location of the plants they operate. The endogenous presence of horizontal multinationals is shown to attenuate the "race to the bottom" and yields some results that are opposite to traditional findings in the tax competition literature. First, in the presence of horizontal multinationals, increasing subsidies decrease firms' profits by exacerbating price competition due to more firms "going multinationa"’. Second, instead of being always subsidized, capital may actually be taxed in equilibrium. Third, taxes/subsidies become strategically independent policy instruments, instead of being strategic complements. Last, there may exist multiple equilibria with either low or high subsidies.
    Keywords: capital tax competition; international trade; horizontal multinationals; foreign direct investment; imperfect competition
    JEL: F12 F23 H27 H73 R12
    Date: 2006–10
  12. By: Wang, Jiao (London South Bank University, now at Access Economics (Australia)); Mayes, David (Bank of Finland); Wan, Guanghua (UNU-WIDER)
    Abstract: Using a CGE model (PRCGEM) updated to 2002, the paper explores how WTO membership could affect earnings in 40 industries across 31 regions (and 8 regional blocks) of China during the period 2002–2007. Taking into account labour movement between regions within China, the direct contribution of WTO membership to overall economic growth and development is predicted to be small, with a rise in real GDP of only 6.48% short term and 5.6% long term. However, structural economic change and the WTO shock should increase regional output, especially in the established coastal economies. Regional labour movement is found to increase 69.2% at the completion of economic structural reforms. A slight decrease in the Gini coefficient for income inequality is also anticipated.
    Keywords: applied CGE modelling; China; WTO; labour movement; inequality
    JEL: C68 O18 R12 R23
    Date: 2005–12–30
  13. By: Björn Johnson; Martin Lehmann
    Abstract: Cities often constitute relevant environments for interactive learning and innovation potentially capable of tackling sustainability problems. In this paper we ask if the concept of systems of innovation can increase our understanding of city dynamics and help promoting the sustainable development of cities. Through a combination of the innovation system approach and the perspective of creative cities, we argue that a slightly modified concept – sustainable city systems of innovation – may be helpful in this context. To underline this, we discuss certain ‘city-traits’ of sustainability and conclude that the new concept may be of special use for urban quality development and management.
    Keywords: Sustainability; innovation systems; creative city; urban quality; sustainable city systems of innovation
    JEL: O31 O15
    Date: 2006
  14. By: William Roy (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: This paper studies the relative performances of contractual arrangements used in the French local public transport industry. Levels of inefficiency are estimated with a production frontier approach. The results confirm the theoretical properties of incentive contracts that lead to better technical efficiency.
    Keywords: Contracts ; Contractual Incentives ; Contractual arrangements ; Efficiency ; Performance ; Urban Public Transport ; Public service governance ; France
    Date: 2006–10–04
  15. By: Paola Minoia (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia); Anna Brusarosco (Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia)
    Abstract: During the past century, large hydraulic infrastructures have been considered as the most effective tools for increasing water supply and rationalise water management. According to this approach, large infrastructures are seen as catalysts for territorial development and economic progress. More recently, international surveys of results of water supply policies and performances of large dams, show that these structures need to be integrated in more comprehensive Integrated Water Resource Management strategies at catchments’ scale, to promote equitable and sustainable regional development. The aim of this communication is to present the role of large hydraulic infrastructures within the regional development dynamics with particular attention to the Sebou basin in Morocco, in order to assess some relevant impacts on local communities and their ecosystems. The Sebou region is one of the most important basins in Morocco, in the context of the national strategies and policies of management of water resources, established by the Water Law of 1995. The development of hydraulic infrastructures in the Sebou Basin begun in 1935, with construction of a complex of ten large dams and nine small dams, to provide water for agriculture, domestic and industrial use, and to generate hydropower and control floods, in line with the national water policies that, from the 1960s onwards, looked at large dams as core infrastructures for regional development. A critical view will be given about the coherence of this strategy with the sustainability principles.
    Keywords: Water Policy, Morocco, Dams, Sustainable Development, Impacts
    JEL: Q25 Q28
    Date: 2006–08
  16. By: Jaume Garau Taberner (Universitat de les Illes Balears); Carles Manera (Universitat de les Illes Balears)
    Abstract: This paper aims to analyse one of the world’s top tourist destinations, the Mediterranean, and, more specifically, the evolution and impact of mass tourism on its western islands (Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Malta and the Balearic Islands) throughout the final decade of the 20th century. Firstly a general overview of world tourism is given, followed by an analysis of tourism in the Mediterranean. In continuation, an in-depth study is made of the evolution and impact of tourism on the aforementioned islands. Finally, the economic impact of tourism specialisation is examined in these island regions.
    Keywords: Mediterranean, Balearic Islands, Malta, Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica, Destination Lifecycle, Mass Tourism, IMEDOC
    JEL: L83 N70
    Date: 2006–08
  17. By: Iragaël Joly (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); Sophie Masson (OMI - Organisations – Marchés – Institutions - [Université de Reims - Champagne Ardenne]); Romain Petiot (GEREM - Groupe d'Étude et de Recherche en Économie Mathématique - [Université de Perpignan])
    Abstract: La base UITP « The millenium Cities Database » apporte une information rare sur un ensemble d'agglomérations du monde. Notre analyse s'appuie sur la base de données UITP, afin de dresser un état des lieux de l'usage des transports collectifs dans les agglomérations. La base est l'outil fondamental nous permettant d'observer les systèmes d'organisation des transports urbains. L'analyse produite ici, illustre le clivage existant entre la mobilité à « l'européenne » et la mobilité à « l'américaine ». Elle explore les relations possibles entre, la part de marché des transports collectifs des agglomérations et d'une part, les conditions géographiques et économiques des agglomérations, et d'autre part, les caractéristiques et les performances des systèmes de transports urbains.
    Keywords: Analyse de l'organisation des transports urbain ; système de transport urbain ; base de données (UITP) ; comparaison internationale
    Date: 2006–08–03
  18. By: Julien Lévêque (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); William Roy (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: Cette communication traite de la mesure de l'efficience des exploitants de transport collectif urbain. Nous proposons une approche par frontières que nous comparons à l'utilisation traditionnelle de ratios de productivité. Une revue de la littérature nous permet de préciser nos choix méthodologiques en faveur de frontières paramétriques stochastiques et de spécifier notre modèle, compte tenu des particularités du secteur étudié. A partir de données collectées par le CERTU, nous estimons une frontière de production concernant 135 réseaux de transport urbain sur la période 1995-2002. Nous discutons des facteurs explicatifs de l'inefficience (notamment la taille des petits réseaux) et des élasticités (rendements d'échelle, élasticités de substitution). Nous montrons les enrichissements qu'apportent les frontières dans les mesures d'efficience.
    Keywords: frontières stochastiques ; transport urbain ; efficience ; productivité ; élasticité ; fonction de production ; translog
    Date: 2006–10–04
  19. By: Luc Baumstark (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); Claude Ménard (ATOM - Analyse Théorique des Organisations et des Marchés - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I]); William Roy (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); Anne Yvrande-Billon (ATOM - Analyse Théorique des Organisations et des Marchés - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I])
    Abstract: Ce rapport, qui résulte de la coopération du centre d'Analyse Théorique des Organisations et des Marchés (ATOM) et du Laboratoire d'Economie des Transports (LET), analyse sous l'angle de la théorie des coûts de transaction les modes de gestion alternatifs des services de transports publics urbains en France et propose une estimation de leurs performances relatives mesurées en termes d'efficience technique. Les résultats obtenus à partir d'un échantillon de 135 réseaux (hors petits réseaux et réseaux disposant de modes lourds), observés sur la période 1995-2002, montrent que le mode de gouvernance et la forme contractuelle retenus influent significativement sur la propension des acteurs du secteur à optimiser la quantité de services fournis.
    Keywords: Partenariat public-privé ; contrat ; productivité ; coûts de transaction ; transport collectif urbain
    Date: 2006–10–04
  20. By: Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez (Universidad de Cádiz)
    Abstract: El objetivo fundamental de este trabajo es analizar la evolución de la productividad aparente del trabajo y la incidencia que, sobre ésta, ha tenido la productividad sectorial y la estructura y especialización productiva en Andalucía para el periodo 1980-2000, comparándola con el conjunto de las regiones españolas. Además, también hemos pretendido llevar a cabo la descomposición de las diferencias existentes entre la productividad del empleo de Andalucía y la del conjunto de las regiones españolas en los componentes sectorial, regional y asignativo, con el fin de explicar los rasgos principales de las disparidades existentes en la productividad del empleo. El examen realizado ha permitido determinar cuáles son las diferencias más relevantes en la eficiencia productiva a nivel sectorial entre Andalucía y el conjunto de las regiones españolas, lo que sin duda abre la posibilidad de identificar algunos rasgos diferenciales y autóctonos en la estructura productiva de Andalucía sobre los que se podrían llevar a cabo acciones con el fin de intentar remover los obstáculos que están impidiendo la convergencia en el nivel de desarrollo andaluz en el contexto de las regiones españolas y europeas.
    Keywords: apparent productivity of employment, sectorial structure, productivity of the capital, capitalization of employment.
    JEL: D24 E22 O47 R11
    Date: 2006
  21. By: Carolyn A. Dehring (Department of Insurance, Legal Studies and Real Estate, The University of Georgia); Craig A. Depken, II (Department of Economics, University of Texas at Arlington); Michael R. Ward (Department of Economics, University of Texas at Arlington)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of a potential new sports venue on residential property values, focusing on the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys' search for a new host city in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We find that residential property values in the city of Dallas increased following the announcement of a possible new stadium in the city of Dallas. At the same time, property values fell throughout the rest of Dallas County, which would have paid for the proposed stadium. These patterns reversed when the Dallas stadium proposal was abandoned. Subsequently, a series of announcements regarding a new publicly-subsidized stadium in nearby Arlington, Texas, had a deleterious effect on residential property values in Arlington. In aggregate, average property values declined approximately 1.5% relative to the surrounding area before stadium construction commenced. This decline was almost equal to the anticipated household sales tax burden, suggesting that the average expected amenity effect of hosting the Cowboys in Arlington was not significantly different from zero.
    Keywords: economic impact, event studies, sports, property values, stadiums
    JEL: L83 R53 H73
    Date: 2006–09
  22. By: Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez (Universidad de Cádiz)
    Abstract: En este trabajo tratamos de, por un lado, poner de manifiesto cuál ha sido la evolución de las disparidades económicas territoriales en el interior de la provincia de Cádiz en el periodo 1991-2000 partiendo del hecho de que los distintos municipios han experimentado tasas de crecimientos desiguales en relación con el Valor Añadido Bruto y la población, que se han traducido en un comportamiento también diferenciado de las desigualdades en VAB por habitante; y, por otro lado, analizar algunos factores explicativos de las disparidades económicas municipales en la provincia de Cádiz, tales como la aglomeración de población, la productividad y la estructura sectorial.
    Keywords: Economic disparities, economic inequalities, productivity of employment, sectorial structure.
    JEL: D31 O18 O47 R30
    Date: 2006
  23. By: Juurikkala, Tuuli (BOFIT); Lazareva, Olga (Centre for Economic and Financial Research, Moscow)
    Abstract: IIn the planned economy firms were made responsible for providing their workers with so-cial services, such as housing, day care and medical care. In the transforming Russia of the 1990s, social assets were to be transferred from industrial enterprises to the public sector. The law on divestment provided little more than general principles. Thus, for a period of several years, property rights concerning a major part of social assets, most notably hous-ing, were not properly defined, as transfer decisions were largely left to the local level players. Strikingly, the time when assets were divested varied considerably across firms. In this paper we utilize recent survey data from 404 medium and large industrial enterprises in 40 Russian regions and apply survival data analysis to explore the determinants of dives-titure timing. Our results show that in municipalities with higher shares of own revenues in their budget and thus weaker fiscal incentives, firms used their social assets as leverage to extract budget assistance and other forms of preferential treatment from local authorities. We also find evidence that less competitive firms were using social assets to cushion them-selves from product market competition. At the same time, we do not find any role for lo-cal labor market conditions in the divestment process.
    Keywords: housing divestment; lobbying; firms; muncipalities; Russia
    Date: 2006–04–13
  24. By: John Foot (University College London)
    Abstract: An historical and spatial approach is crucial to the understanding of any city. Waves of immigration and population movements from different sources have constructed the cultural mix of this financial, industrial and market city over time. To focus just on the new foreign immigration into Milan over the last 25 years or so risks omitting the deep historical fissures created by previous (and bigger) waves of population movements – the traces left by these populations in the urban fabric and their role in subjective experience. Moreover, the historical and spatial comparison of various types and moments of population movement can help us to understand the changes to this city at macro and micro-levels. This paper uses a mixture of approaches in order to understand and map diversity in Milan, its province and its region. It is intended as a discussion paper to be looked at in conjunction with the work and arguments laid out in other research projects and published work. Methodologies used in this paper range from straightforward historical research (using documents and archives) to photography, micro-history (the examination of one small area – in this case one housing block) and oral historical interviews.
    Keywords: Immigration, Urban Space, Periphery (Periferia), Memory, Housing
    Date: 2006–08
  25. By: Donatella Calabi (Università IUAV di Venezia)
    Abstract: This paper will focus on the physical traces left by different minorities in the European city of the early modern age. Looking to the urban context in the main important ports and commercial centers we can find violent conflicts, traditional uses, as well as new urban strategies by the governors to keep together (for economic and social purposes) city-dwellers and foreigners. The invention of specific buildings and the effect on the architectural language is often quite visible and a mean of cultural exchanges.
    Keywords: City, History of Architecture, Modern Age, Foreigners, Minorities
    Date: 2006–09

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