nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2007‒06‒23
ten papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Accessibility and Environmental Quality: Inequality in the Paris Housing Market By André de Palma; Kiarash Motamedi; Nathalie Picard; Paul Waddell
  2. Urban Economies and Productivity By Baldwin, John R.; Beckstead, Desmond; Brown, W. Mark; Rigby, David
  3. Türkiye’de Bölgesel Yenilik Sistemi ve Devlet Üniversiteleri By Aykut Lenger
  4. Detection of Local Interactions from the Spatial Pattern of Names in France By Head, Charles Keith; Mayer, Thierry
  5. The Political Economy of Housing Supply:Homeowners, Workers, and Voters By Francois Ortalo-Magne; Andrea Prat
  6. Locational determinants of the ICT sector across Italy By A. Lasagni; F. Sforzi
  7. Using the British Household Panel Survey to explore changes in housing tenure in England By Tom Sefton
  8. Efficient Estimation of the SemiparametricSpatial Autoregressive Model By Peter M Robinson
  9. History and Industry Location: Evidence from German Airports By Redding, Stephen J; Sturm, Daniel M; Wolf, Nikolaus
  10. The Swedish Housing Market: Better Allocation via Less Regulation By Felix Hüfner; Jens Lundsgaard

  1. By: André de Palma (University of Cergy-Pontoise and Ecole Nationale de Ponts et Chaussées, France); Kiarash Motamedi (University of Cergy-Pontoise, France); Nathalie Picard (University of Cergy-Pontoise, France); Paul Waddell (University of Washington, USA)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine empirically the market for local amenities in the Paris metropolitan region. We find first that there is considerable inequality in the spatial distribution of these local amenities, including accessibility, environmental and social indicators. We use a spatial representation and Lorenz curves to examine the degree of inequality in these amenities, and this provides evidence that some amenities (or disamenities) are much more inequitably distributed than others. The most extremely unequally distributed amenities are noise (due to its concentration near airports), “Redevelopment Areas”, presence of water (lakes and rivers) and forests, and presence of train and subway stations. Some indicators, such as the “Poulit accessibility” measure, were by contrast remarkably constant over the region. We recognize that local amenities should be capitalized into the housing market, and explore the willingness to pay of households for these amenities within the Paris region using alternative specifications of a location choice model. One of the core questions we examine is the spatial scale of the amenity effects and how this is captured in a location choice context. By estimating models at both a commune and at a grid cell level, we obtain new insights into how households in the Paris region trade off amenities against each other and against housing cost. We find that the residential location choice model fits the data moderately better at the smaller scale of the grid cell compared to the commune.
    Keywords: Inequality, efficiency, local public goods, residential location, integrated model, transportation modelling, Paris area.
    JEL: R23 R41
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Baldwin, John R.; Beckstead, Desmond; Brown, W. Mark; Rigby, David
    Abstract: Productivity levels and productivity growth rates vary significantly over space. These differences are perhaps most pronounced between countries, but they remain acutely evident within national spaces as economic growth favors some cities and regions and not others. In this paper, we map the spatial variation in productivity levels across Canadian cities and we model the underlying determinants of that variation. We have two main goals. First, to confirm the existence, the nature and the size of agglomeration economies, that is, the gains in efficiency related to the spatial clustering of economic activity. We focus attention on the impacts of buyer-supplier networks, labour market pooling and knowledge spillovers. Second, we identify the geographical extent of knowledge spillovers using information on the location of individual manufacturing plants. Plant-level data developed by the Micro-economic Analysis Division of Statistics Canada underpin the analysis. After controlling for a series of plant and firm characteristics, analysis reveals that the productivity performance of plants is positively influenced by all three of Marshall's mechanisms of agglomeration (Marshall, 1920). The analysis also shows that the effect of knowledge spillovers on productivity is spatially circumscribed, extending, at most, only 10 km beyond individual plants. The reliance of individual businesses on place-based economies varies across the sectors to which the businesses are aggregated. These sectors are defined by the factors that influence the process of competition'access to natural resources, labour costs, scale economies, product differentiation, and the application of scientific knowledge. Neither labour market pooling, buyer-supplier networks nor knowledge spillovers are universally important across all sectors. This paper provides confirmation of the importance of agglomeration, while also providing evidence that external economies are spatially bounded and not universally im
    Keywords: Business performance and ownership, Manufacturing, Regional and urban profiles
    Date: 2007–06–18
  3. By: Aykut Lenger (Department of Economics, Ege University)
    Abstract: (This paper is in Turkish) This paper investigates the role of state played in the regional innovation systems through state universities and legal and institutional setup in Turkey. After a discussion of the lack of regional perspective in policy-making until very recently, the paper examines two salient laws that have ramifications for regional economics. The technology development regions/centers, university-industry joint research centers and state universities on account of public research undertaken in and their role in the mentioned centers/regions seem to be key elements in regional innovation systems. The econometric analysis forwarded that each of these elements has a positive and statistically significant effect on the patenting performance of regions.
    JEL: R1 O18 O31
    Date: 2007–05
  4. By: Head, Charles Keith; Mayer, Thierry
    Abstract: Using data on name distributions in 95 French departments observed from 1946 to 2002, we investigate spatial and social mechanisms behind the transmission of parental preferences. Drawing inspiration from recent work on social interactions, we develop a simple discrete choice model that predicts a linear relationship between choices by agents in one location and the choices made in neighbouring areas. We explain the shares of parents that give their children Saint, Arabic, and American-type names. In a second exercise we examine the effect of distance between locations on differences in name-type shares. In our last exercise we consider dissimilarity in actual names rather than name-types. Using Manhattan Distances as our metric, we find a steady and substantial decline in the importance of geographic distance. Meanwhile, differences in class and national origins have increasing explanatory power.
    Keywords: Conformity; Cultural transmission; Diffusion; Geography; Neighbourhood effects; Social economics
    JEL: D19 F15 R10
    Date: 2007–06
  5. By: Francois Ortalo-Magne; Andrea Prat
    Abstract: Equilibrium of the housing market depends on a complex set of interactions between: (1)individual location decisions; (2) individual housing investment; (3) collective decisions onurban growth. We embed these three elements in a model of a dynamic economy with twosources of friction: ill-de…ned property rights on future land development and uninsurableshocks a¤ecting labor productivity. We characterize the feedback between the households’desire to invest in housing as a hedge against the risk of rent ‡uctuations and their supportfor supply restrictions once they own housing. The model generates an ine¢ ciently lowsupply of housing in equilibrium. The model also rationalizes the persistence of housingundersupply: the more restricted the initial housing supply, the smaller the city size selectedby the voting process. We use the model to study the e¤ects of a number of policies andinstitutional changes.
    Keywords: Housing Supply, Housing Demand, Regulatory Policies, Political Economy.
    JEL: R31 R21 R38 D72
    Date: 2007–01
  6. By: A. Lasagni; F. Sforzi
    Abstract: Is the rapid growth of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) activities shaping new local specialization and industrial concentration? Does the analysis of local economic conditions help to explain the formation of “places” specialized in ICT? We use 2001 Census data by Local Labour Systems (LLS) to investigate the characteristics of ICT specialization in Italy. Our investigation is based on a cross-sectional regression model using data for 686 LLS in which the dependent variable is an index of ICT local employment concentration. The measure of concentration we adopted is the location quotient (LQ) index. The LLS specialized in ICT activities in Italy account for 7.3% of total LLS. They are distributed all over the country, although those with highest LQ values are mainly in North-west and Central-south Italy. Our regression analysis provides the following results. The general econometric specification, i.e. that applied to all LLS, supports a positive and significant relationship between LLS specialized in some manufacturing industries (machinery, equipment and instruments; petrochemicals, rubber and plastic products; transport equipment; and paper, publishing and printing) or business services and relatively high localization of ICT employment. Besides, the model indicates that for LLS characterized by manufacturing SMEs there is a low probability of attaining a greater-than-the-national-average ICT employment specialization. These econometric results are in line with the general opinion that product specialization of Italian industries (the so-called “Made in Italy”) and SMEs are less likely to be involved in ICT diffusion to business. Nevertheless, this pattern of results does not justify the interpretation that the industrial districts (where SMEs employment has the largest share) are at the origin of inadequate ICT diffusion to business in Italy. In fact, when the analysis is focused on industrial districts the results are slightly different. In particular, the variable SMEs does not produce a significant coefficient, while textile and clothing industries show a positive association with ICT, even though significant only at 10% level. What is the main policy implication of these empirical findings? National government’s policy makers should become aware that industrial districts are an appropriate instrument to promote the development of the ICT sector, although so far they have been neglected. "
    Keywords: Information and Communication Technologies, Local Labour Systems, geographical concentration, local specialization
    JEL: L60 O14 R12 O52
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Tom Sefton
    Abstract: Very little information exists about households' longer-term movements between tenures. Some cross-section datasets include information on length of stay in any residence but we have no systematic study of movement over time. This study uses the British Household Panel Study to examine movements by households over a ten-year period - 1994/5 and 2004/5. Changes in tenure are related to key life events - leaving home, marriage, having children, widowhood and retirement. The great majority of owner-occupiers remained in that tenure. This was somewhat less for those experiencing divorce or unemployment. Most public housing tenants remained in that tenure over the ten-year period especially the elderly and the unemployed or those outside the labour market. About a quarter moved into owner-occupation and half of those through the right to buy their dwelling. The analysis looks at the associations between moving into work and residential mobility, in particular the slower rate at which social tenants move back into employment.
    Keywords: housing tenure, residential mobility, social housing
    JEL: R31
    Date: 2007–02
  8. By: Peter M Robinson
    Abstract: Efficient semiparametric and parametric estimates are developed for aspatial autoregressive model, containing nonstochastic explanatoryvariables and innovations suspected to be non-normal. The main stress ison the case of distribution of unknown, nonparametric, form, where seriesnonparametric estimates of the score function are employed in adaptiveestimates of parameters of interest. These estimates are as efficient asones based on a correct form, in particular they are more efficient thanpseudo-Gaussian maximum likelihood estimates at non-Gaussiandistributions. Two different adaptive estimates are considered. One entails astringent condition on the spatial weight matrix, and is suitable only whenobservations have substantially many "neighbours". The other adaptiveestimate relaxes this requirement, at the expense of alternative conditionsand possible computational expense. A Monte Carlo study of finite sampleperformance is included.
    Keywords: Spatial autoregression, Efficient estimation, Adaptive estimation,Simultaneity bias.© The author. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs,may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including © notice, isgiven to the source.
    JEL: C13 C14 C21
    Date: 2007–02
  9. By: Redding, Stephen J; Sturm, Daniel M; Wolf, Nikolaus
    Abstract: A central prediction of a large class of theoretical models is that industry location is not necessarily uniquely determined by fundamentals. In these models, historical accident or expectations determine which of several steady-state locations is selected. Despite the theoretical prominence of these ideas, there is surprisingly little systematic evidence on their empirical relevance. This paper exploits the combination of the division of Germany after the Second World War and the reunification of East and West Germany as an exogenous shock to industry location. We focus on a particular economic activity and establish that division caused a shift of Germany's air hub from Berlin to Frankfurt and there is no evidence of a return of the air hub to Berlin after reunification. We develop a body of evidence that the relocation of the air hub is not driven by a change in economic fundamentals but is instead a shift between multiple steady-states.
    Keywords: Economic Geography; German Division; German Reunification; Industry Location
    JEL: F14 F15 N74
    Date: 2007–06
  10. By: Felix Hüfner; Jens Lundsgaard
    Abstract: While several sectors in the economy have been deregulated, the Swedish housing market remains distorted, hindering an optimal matching of supply and demand. In the rental market the rent setting framework with its focus on cost-based rents in the public sector prevents a price response, leading to long queues in some regions and vacancies in others. Many Swedes that would have preferred otherwise are driven into the owner-occupied segment, where prices are increasing strongly, and rising above an estimated fundamental value. The supply of new dwellings is made more difficult by an uncompetitive construction industry, coupled with cumbersome planning regulations and few incentives for municipalities to issue more land. On the fiscal side, real estate taxes are below neutral levels, implying an indirect subsidy to housing. This paper presents a review of the recent steps to abolish real estate taxes and also proposes comprehensive reform of regulations in the rental housing sector. This paper relates to the OECD Economic Survey of Sweden 2007 ( <P>Le marché du logement suédois : Moins réglementer pour obtenir une meilleure allocation des ressources <BR>Alors que plusieurs secteurs de l’économie ont été déréglementés, le marché suédois du logement reste soumis à de fortes distorsions qui entravent un rapprochement optimal de l’offre et de la demande. Sur le marché locatif, les loyers sont essentiellement fonction de ceux que pratique le secteur public dans l’optique des coûts, ce qui empêche une réaction normale des prix et crée de longues files d’attente dans certaines régions, tandis que des logements restent vacants dans d’autres. Un grand nombre de Suédois sont contraints malgré eux d’accéder à la propriété, avec des prix en forte hausse, et augmentant au dessus d’une valeur fondamentale estimée. L’offre de logements neufs subit les effets négatifs d’un manque de concurrence dans le secteur de la construction, se doublant de très strictes règles d’urbanisme et d’une faible incitation des communes à classer de nouveaux terrains en zone constructible. Sur le plan fiscal, l’impôt foncier est déjà inférieur au niveau de neutralité, ce qui veut dire que le logement est indirectement subventionné. Ce document passe en revue de manière critique les récentes étapes pour supprimer les taxes foncières et propose également une réforme compréhensive des réglementations du secteur locatif. Ce document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Suède 2007 (
    Keywords: Sweden, Suède, house prices, prix des logements, housing taxation, impôt foncier, rent regulation, réglementation du secteur locatif, rental housing, marché locatif, housing supply, offre de logements
    JEL: D12 D61 H11 H21 H31
    Date: 2007–06–11

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