nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2009‒01‒31
nineteen papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Research universities and regional high-tech firm start-ups and exit By De Silva, Dakshina G.; McComb, Robert P.
  2. Emerging innovation modes and (regional) innovation systems in the Czech Republic By Pavla Zizalova
  3. Bifurcations in Regional Migration Dynamics By Berliant, Marcus; Kung, Fan-chin
  4. "Ripple Effects" and Forecasting Home Prices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix By Rangan Gupta; Stephen M. Miller
  5. Spatial Analysis in Veterans Cemetery Location By Terance J. Rephann
  6. Multigroup and multilevel residential segregation: the U.S. case, 1989-2005 By Ricardo Mora; Javier Ruiz-Castillo
  7. Technological Catch-up or Neoclassical Convergence? Identifying the Channels of Convergence for Italian Regions By Scoppa, Vincenzo
  8. Gis, ricerca geografica e pianificazione urbanistica: una applicazione sul centro storico di Benevento By Giorgia, Iovino
  9. Effets de voisinage et localisation : la ségrégation urbaine est-elle inéluctable ?. By Fabien Moizeau; Jean-Philippe Tropeano; Jean-Christophe Vergnaud
  10. Does public housing occupancy increase unemployment? By Florence Goffette-Nagot; Claire Dujardin
  11. Rivalry and Learning Among Clustered and Isolated Firms By Boari, Cristina; Fioretti, Guido; Odorici, Vincenza
  12. A Discrete-Choice Model Approach to Optimal Congestion Change By Strøm, Steinar; Vislie, Jon
  13. Which Households Are Most Distant from Health Centers in Rural China? Evidence from a GIS Network Analysis By John Gibson; Xiangzheng Deng; Geua Boe-Gibson; Scott Rozelle; Jikun Huang
  14. Rental Housing and Crime: The Role of Property Ownership and Management By Terance J. Rephann
  15. Estimating the Structural Demand for Irish Housing By Addison-Smyth, Diarmaid; McQuinn, Kieran; O' Reilly, Gerard
  16. Momentum traders in the housing market: survey evidence and a search model By Monika Piazzesi; Martin Schneider
  17. Hotel Tax Collections and a Local Mega-Event By Dennis Coates
  18. Community Colleges and Local Economic Development By Terance J. Rephann
  19. Identifying and Forecasting House Price Dynamics in Ireland By D'Agostino, Antonello; McQuinn, Kieran; O' Reilly, Gerard

  1. By: De Silva, Dakshina G.; McComb, Robert P.
    Abstract: If localized knowledge spillovers are present in the university setting, higher rates of both start-ups and/or survival than in the broader economy would be observed in areas that are geographically proximate to the university. Using a fully-disclosed Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages for Texas for the years 1999:3-2006:2, this paper analyzes start-ups and exit rates for high-tech firms in Texas. We find that there is evidence that the presence of a research institution will affect the likelihood of technology start-ups. However, results suggest that geographic proximity to knowledge centers does not reduce hazard rates.
    Keywords: Entry and Survival; R & D; Regional; Urban; and Rural Analyses.
    JEL: R53 O18 R12
    Date: 2009–01–26
  2. By: Pavla Zizalova (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: Innovation studies literature has put high importance to sectoral and regional patterns of innovations. This research effort is based upon the argument that industries as well as regions represent quite homogeneous entities with respect to firms’ innovation strategies. To the contrary, evolutionary approaches assign more importance to firms’ heterogeneity and hence look for groups of firms characterised by similar innovation strategies cutting across the traditional boundaries. The purpose of this paper is to characterize the innovation strategies of Czech firms using explanatory factor analysis and thus first contribute to a better understanding of innovative activities and second, explore whether the identified divergence in innovation patterns can be attributed to the localized conditions or whether it is rather firmspecific. Finally, the paper will discuss the implications of these findings for the literature on territorial systems of innovation, particularly the question how the systems should be delineated, as well as implications for (regional) innovation policy.
    Keywords: innovation, regional systems of innovation, factor analysis.
    Date: 2009–01
  3. By: Berliant, Marcus; Kung, Fan-chin
    Abstract: The tomahawk bifurcation is used by Fujita et al. (1999) in a model with two regions to explain the formation of a core-periphery urban pattern from an initial uniform distribution. Baldwin et al. (2003) show that the tomahawk bifurcation disappears when the two regions have an uneven population of immobile agricultural workers. Thus, the appearance of this type of bifurcation is the result of assumed exogenous model symmetry. We provide a general analysis in a regional model of the class of bifurcations that have crossing equilibrium loci, including the tomahawk bifurcation, by examining arbitrary smooth parameter paths in a higher dimensional parameter space. We find that, in a parameter space satisfying a mild rank condition, generically in all parameter paths this class of bifurcations does not appear. In other words, conclusions drawn from the use of this bifurcation to generate a core-periphery pattern are not robust. Generically, this class of bifurcations is a myth, an urban legend.
    Keywords: Bifurcation; Genericity Analysis; Migration Dynamics
    JEL: F12 C61 R23
    Date: 2009–01–28
  4. By: Rangan Gupta (University of Pretoria); Stephen M. Miller (University of Connecticut and University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
    Abstract: We examine the time-series relationship between housing prices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. First, temporal Granger causality tests reveal that Los Angeles housing prices cause housing prices in Las Vegas (directly) and Phoenix (indirectly). In addition, Las Vegas housing prices cause housing prices in Phoenix. Los Angeles housing prices prove exogenous in a temporal sense and Phoenix housing prices do not cause prices in the other two markets. Second, we calculate out-of-sample forecasts in each market, using various vector autoregessive (VAR) and vector error-correction (VEC) models, as well as Bayesian, spatial, and causality versions of these models with various priors. Different specifications provide superior forecasts in the different cities. Finally, we consider the ability of theses time-series models to provide accurate out-of-sample predictions of turning points in housing prices that occurred in 2006:Q4. Recursive forecasts, where the sample is updated each quarter, provide reasonably good forecasts of turning points.
    Keywords: Ripple effect, housing prices, forecasting
    JEL: C32 R31
    Date: 2009–01
  5. By: Terance J. Rephann (Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service)
    Abstract: The National Cemetery Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has funded a relatively large number of new national and state veterans cemeteries in recent years to meet the burial needs of a growing number of aging veterans. This paper examines the history of this agency and the evolving role that spatial analysis has played in identifying appropriate locations for new cemeteries. It also examines some of the spatial assumptions used in cemetery planning and tests these assumptions in Virginia. Data from two Virginia state veterans cemeteries are examined to determine appropriate veterans cemetery service area boundaries. Finally, a location-allocation model is used to determine the best locations for a new veterans cemetery in Virginia.
    Keywords: cemetery; veterans; location
    JEL: R53 J11
    Date: 2008–04–26
  6. By: Ricardo Mora; Javier Ruiz-Castillo
    Abstract: This paper presents a multigroup and multilevel approach to the study of residential segregation for the public school population in U.S. urban areas in 1989 and 2005. The multigroup approach includes Native Americans, Hispanics, Asians, blacks and whites. The multilevel approach distinguishes neighborhoods, cities, and regions, leading to notions of within-cities, between-cities, and between-regions residential segregation. Measures of these notions are computed using the Mutual Information, or M segregation index. The decomposability properties of the M index are exploited for two purposes: first, to identify the smallest set of regions in the U.S. which include similar states in terms of racial mix; and second, to establish the precise relationship between our measurements and the classic residential segregation literature that focuses on pairwise comparisons. Among the empirical results, three findings should be highlighted. First, the set of regions and racial groups for whom between-regions and between-cities segregation is important differs from the set for whom the within-cities component dominates. Second, minorities’ segregation declines but their population share goes up, while whites’ population share declines but their segregation index increases. Third, the portion of segregation disregarded by the traditional pairwise approach is large in all cases and increasing in the case of withincities segregation between whites and blacks.
    Keywords: Multigroup segregation, Multilevel segregation, Residential segregation, Mutual information, Entropy indices
    Date: 2008–12
  7. By: Scoppa, Vincenzo
    Abstract: We investigate whether Italian regions have converged in terms of output per worker because of physical capital accumulation, human capital accumulation or thanks to technological catch-up. In order to identify channels of convergence we adopt the methodology recently proposed by Wong (2007) and Feyrer (2007) which combine growth accounting with convergence regressions. Merging two datasets of regional economic accounts (ISTAT and CRENoS) to obtain longer time series, we show that convergence has been realized mainly thanks to technological catch-up and, to some extent, through human capital accumulation. On the other hand, physical capital has been a factor of divergence. These results are robust to model specifications, sets of data and alternative assumptions on parameters value.
    Keywords: Absolute and Conditional Convergence; Channels of Convergence Technological Catch-up; Capital Accumulation; Italian regions
    JEL: O47 E23 E13
    Date: 2009–01–27
  8. By: Giorgia, Iovino (CELPE (Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy), University of Salerno, Italy)
    Abstract: In this paper we report some results related to a new Geographical Information System for the historical center of the town of Benevento, created with financial support from the Region of Campania (POP action 5.4.2 for cataloguing and appreciation of cultural assets). Supplementing extensive official data sources with our own direct investigations, we organize the resulting information into three main archives: territorial, historico-artistic, socio-economic. Each of these archives is in turn divided in a series of files that comprise of graphic and alphanumeric databases on specific topics. For example, the territorial archive includes: boundaries, urban planning, territorial divisions, land register, and so on; whereas the socio-economic archive includes databases on population, houses, commercial activities, building use, traffic density, etc., organized according to historical periods and geographical scales. We provide many examples to illustrate how the specific architecture of this GIS facilitates the search of thematic pathways, which can be used advantageously not only to support territorial planning for diverse purposes (such as regulation of economic activities and public services or re-qualification of cultural heritage), but it is also valuable for scholarly research and scientific analysis.
    Keywords: GIS; urban planning; historic city centre; cultural assets
    Date: 2008–12–30
  9. By: Fabien Moizeau (CREM - Université de Rennes1); Jean-Philippe Tropeano (GAEL (INRA) - Université Pierre Mendès France); Jean-Christophe Vergnaud (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: In this paper, we provide a theoretical framework for exploring the consequences of neighborhood informational effects - identified as role models - so as to deduce the urban configuration. With this aim, we have developed an overlapping generations model of community formation. When young, an individual must choose whether to invest in education or not. The crucial feature of our framework is that children assess the economic pay-off of education by observing the experience of the older genneration residing in their neighborhood. When an adult, an individual who cares about her offspring's income must choose the family's location. We show that there exist two urban configurations. (i) An integrated city may occur where the socio-economic composition of each neighborhood makes its inhabitants well informed and therefore willing to invest in education. (ii) A segregated city may emerge where socio-economic segreegation makes the inhabitants of poor communities be misinformed about the benefits of education.
    Keywords: Credibility, commitment, monetary policy, fiscal policy, policy mix.
    JEL: D31 D82 I2 J24 R1
    Date: 2008–09
  10. By: Florence Goffette-Nagot (GATE, University of Lyon, CNRS, ENS-LSH, Centre Léon Bérard, France); Claire Dujardin (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE)
    Abstract: In order to test for the effect of public housing occupancy on unemployment, we estimate a simultaneous probit model of unemployment and public housing. On a first sample, we instrument public housing with the gender composition of children. On a second sample, the instrument is the share of public housing at the city level. We also perform a robustness check that consists in measuring the correlation between unobservables that could explain the effect of public housing on unemployment. As the corresponding level of correlation is low, this check reinforces our result of no effect of public housing on unemployment.
    Keywords: Public housing, unemployment, simultaneous probit models, instrumental variables
    JEL: R2 J64
    Date: 2008
  11. By: Boari, Cristina; Fioretti, Guido; Odorici, Vincenza
    Abstract: In this paper explore the relationships between rivalry and geographical proximity at the very level of contacts between individual firms. In particular, we wish to highlight the influence of geographical proximity on rival identification, on the comparison of their knowledge, and on the consequent elaboration of a strategy. In order to reproduce the interactions between firms, we made use of an agent-based model (ABM) where the strategic choices of rival firms are derived from general assumptions on competitive behavior and learning processes. Aim of the model is to investigate the co-evolution of firms' knowledge, strategies and performances. Substantial empirical evidences claim that firms located in geographical clusters are more likely to learn and innovate than isolated firms.
    Keywords: Industrial Clusters; Industrial Districts; Knowledge Development; Rivalry
    JEL: L25 R19 R39
    Date: 2008–12–31
  12. By: Strøm, Steinar (University of Turin); Vislie, Jon (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)
    Abstract: We model the choice of transportation mode in a simplified Hotelling-like city, with a fixed number of total travellers, fixed road capacity and with no trade-off between when to travel and the time spent in a queue. A person that chooses to take her own car will inflict a congestion cost on all travellers. To get the travellers to internalise these external costs, a congestion charge has to be imposed. We derive an optimal congestion charge within in a discrete-choice framework, with a benevolent government maximising expected tax-adjusted social surplus. The congestion charge to be imposed on private driving, beyond the opportunity cost – equal to the fare on public transportation – is shown to be a weighted average of a Ramsey-like term (capturing the goal to raise public revenue) and a Pigou-term capturing the environmental cost of a person’s private driving. This property is similar to the optimal environmental tax derived by Sandmo (1975). However, the behavioural assumption underlying the present framework is quite different from the standard theory of consumer choice adopted by Sandmo.
    Keywords: Discrete choice; urban transport; congestion; congestion charges
    JEL: D11 H23 L13 L91
    Date: 2008–04–10
  13. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato); Xiangzheng Deng (Chinese Academy of Sciences); Geua Boe-Gibson (University of Waikato); Scott Rozelle; Jikun Huang
    Abstract: In this paper we have two objectives - one empirical; one methodological. Although China’s leaders are beginning to pay attention to health care in rural China, there are still concerns about access to health services. To examine this issue, we use measures of travel distances to health services to examine the nature of coverage in Shaanxi Province, our case study. The mean distance by road to the nearest health center is still more than 6 kilometers. When we use thresholds for access of 5 and 10 kilometers we find that more than 40 (15) percent of the rural population lives outside of these 5 (10) kilometer service areas for health centers. The nature of the access differs by geographical region and demographic composition of the household. The methodological contribution of our paper originates from a key feature of our analysis in which we use Geographic Information System (GIS) network analysis methods to measure traveling distance along the road network. We compare these measures to straight-line distance measures. Road distances (produced by network analysis) produce measures (using means) that are nearly twice as great as straight-line distances. Moreover, the errors in the measures (that is, the difference between road distances and straight-line distances) are not random. Therefore, traditional econometric methods of ameliorating the effects of measurement errors, such as instrument variables regression, will not produce consistent results when used with straight-line distances.
    Keywords: health access; measurement error; network analysis
    JEL: I12 O15
    Date: 2008–12–31
  14. By: Terance J. Rephann (Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service)
    Abstract: This paper examines how residential rental property ownership characteristics affect crime. It examines the incidence and frequency of disturbances, assaults, and drug possession and distribution using police incident report data for privately owned rental properties. Results show that a small percentage of rental properties generate incident reports. Count model regressions indicate that the distance that the owner resides from the rental property, size of rental property holdings, tenant Section 8 voucher use, and neighborhood owner-occupied housing rates are associated with reported violations. The paper concludes with recommendations about local government policies that could help to reduce crime in rental housing.
    Keywords: crime; rental housing; management; count model
    JEL: R29 K42
    Date: 2008–01–30
  15. By: Addison-Smyth, Diarmaid (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland); McQuinn, Kieran (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland); O' Reilly, Gerard (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)
    Abstract: After 10 years of unprecedented increases in both prices and activity levels, the Irish housing market appears to be entering a period of some uncertainty. In the early part of 2007, Irish house prices, for the first time in recent history, experienced negative growth rates - leading indicators within the housing sector would suggest that house building is already beginning to contract, with future levels expected to be somewhat below the record level of construction in 2006. The sustained increase in housing construction prompted by the rapid increase in prices has resulted in the Irish construction sector assuming a position of considerable importance within the overall economy. Arguably, any significant slowdown in housing activity could have far-reaching domestic consequences. In this paper, we use a recently developed model of the housing sector to gauge what the structural level of demand is for Irish housing.
    Date: 2008–03
  16. By: Monika Piazzesi; Martin Schneider
    Abstract: This paper studies household beliefs during the recent US housing boom. The first part presents evidence from the Michigan Survey of Consumers. To characterize the heterogeneity in households' views about housing and the economy, we perform a cluster analysis on survey responses at different stages of the boom. The estimation always finds a small cluster of households who believe it is a good time to buy a house because house prices will rise further. The size of this "momentum" cluster doubled towards the end of the boom. The second part of the paper provides a simple search model of the housing market to show how a small number of optimistic investors can have a large effect on prices without buying a large share of the housing stock.
    JEL: E0 G1 G12 R2 R21 R31
    Date: 2009–01
  17. By: Dennis Coates (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
    Abstract: Cities compete for the opportunity to host events that draw large crowds of visitors. The argument is that these visitors bring with them lots of spending in hotels and restaurants, providing jobs for workers in the service industry, and generating sales tax revenues for the city. In many places, there is also a separate tax on hotel and motel accommodations. Indeed, taxes on accommodations are one example of jurisdictions exporting their tax burdens, as people who pay the accommodations taxes are visitors. This paper looks for the beneficial impact of a megaevent by focusing on the accommodations tax collections in and around the jurisdiction that hosts the event.
    Keywords: sports, South Carolina, NASCAR, college football, tourism
    JEL: L83
    Date: 2009–01
  18. By: Terance J. Rephann (Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service)
    Abstract: Community colleges are an important and growing segment of the U.S. higher education market. However, few ex post studies of their local economic development impacts are available. This paper presents a quasi-experimental control group analysis of a group of twenty-one counties where community colleges were established during the 1970s and 1980s. It shows that community college counties have a stimulating effect on the state and local government employment sector. However, it does not confirm the existence of more widespread earning and employment impacts.
    Keywords: community colleges; economic development; quasi-experimental
    JEL: R11 R53 I23
    Date: 2008–11–15
  19. By: D'Agostino, Antonello (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland); McQuinn, Kieran (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland); O' Reilly, Gerard (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)
    Abstract: While increased attention has, of late, focussed on models of house prices, few,if any, studies have examined house prices from a purely forecasting perspective. However, the need for accurate and timely forecasts of house prices has grown as the rate of house price inflation is more and more important to policy discussions such as those governing decisions on inflation. This is further underscored with the development of financial markets products based on houseprice index. In this paper, we propose that a simple univariate moving average (MA) model can provide optimal forecasts of Irish house price inflation when compared with a suite of standard forecasting and structural house price models. This result echoes similar recent findings for forecasts of US inflation rate.
    Date: 2008–06

This nep-geo issue is ©2009 by Vassilis Monastiriotis. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.