nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2009‒02‒14
28 papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Spatial Filtering and Eigenvector Stability: Space-Time Models for German Unemployment Data By Roberto Patuelli; Daniel A. Griffith; Michael Tiefelsdorf; Peter Nijkamp
  2. What makes start-ups out of unemployment different? By Schanne, Norbert; Weyh, Antje
  3. "Ripple Effects” and Forecasting Home Prices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix By Rangan Gupta; Stephen M. Miller
  4. Mega-Events and Housing Costs: Raising the Rent while Raising the Roof? By Dennis Coates; Victor Matheson
  5. Metropolitan Regions and Product Innovation By Bjerke, Lina; Karlsson, Charlie
  6. A Reconsideration of the NAS Rule from an Industrial Agglomeration Perspective By Tomoya Mori; Tony E. Smith
  7. Regional heterogeneity in wage distributions. Evidence from Spain. By Elisabet Motellón; Enrique López-Bazo; Mayssun El-Attar
  8. Youth Redeveloping Derelict and Underused Historical City Areas: Evidence from a Survey of Real Estate Developers By Paolo Rosato; Anna Alberini; Valentina Zanatta; Margaretha Breil
  9. New Firm Formation and Economic Development in a Globalizing Economy By Koster, Sierdjan; Karlsson, Charlie
  10. Agglomeration and population aging in a two region model of exogenous growth By Theresa Grafeneder-Weissteiner; Klaus Prettner
  11. Which is the Right Dose of EU Cohesion Policy for Economic Growth? By Hagen, Tobias; Mohl, Philipp
  12. Geographic Proximity and Firm-University Innovation Linkages: evidence from Great Britain By Laura Abramovsky; Helen Simpson
  13. Sources of Welfare Disparities across and within Regions of Brazil: Evidence from the 2002-03 Household Budget Survey By Skoufias, Emmanuel; Katayama, Roy
  14. Human Capital, Economic Growth, and Regional Inequality in China By Belton Fleisher; Haizheng Li; Min-Qiang Zhao
  15. Regional Financial System and the Financial Structure of Small Firms By Prashanth Mahagaonkar; Swayan Chaudhuri
  16. A Quantitative Analysis of Suburbanization and the Diffusion of the Automobile By Kopecky, Karen A.; Suen, Richard M. H.
  17. Economic Geography: A Review of the Theoretical and Empirical Literature By Stephen J. Redding
  18. Regulation and efficiency in Italian local public transport: the regional differences By Chiara Bentivogli; Roberto Cullino; Diana Marina Del Colle
  19. Global Banking and Local Markets By Pietro Alessandrini; Andrea Filippo Presbitero; Alberto Zazzaro
  20. Can Multicultural Urban Schools in Sweden Survive Freedom of Choice Policy? By Bunar, Nihad
  21. Distribution of Local Government Revenue Sources and Citizen Well-Being By Amanor-Boadu, Vincent; Zereyesus, Yacob A.; Ross, Kara
  22. Proximity and Innovation in Italian SMEs By Morone, Piergiuseppe; Petraglia, Carmelo; Testa, Giuseppina
  23. Valuing Homeownership By Khalid Sekkat; Ariane Szafarz
  24. The Italian mortgage market: characteristics, evolution and regional differences. Evidence from a bank survey By Paola Rossi
  25. Prices of residential property in Italy: constructing a new indicator By Salvatore Muzzicato; Roberto Sabbatini; Francesco Zollino
  26. Stadium Architecture and Regional Economic Development: International Experience and the Plans of Durban By Wolfgang Maennig; Florian Schwarthoff
  27. Income Poverty and Multidimensional Deprivation: Lessons from Cross-Regional Analysis By Luis Ayala; Antonio Jurado; Jesús Pérez-Mayo
  28. Learning divides across the Italian regions: Some evidence from national and international surveys By Pasqualino Montanaro

  1. By: Roberto Patuelli (Institute for Economic Research (IRE), University of Lugano, Switzerland; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA), Italy); Daniel A. Griffith (School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, USA); Michael Tiefelsdorf (School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, USA); Peter Nijkamp (Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: Regions, independent of their geographic level of aggregation, are known to be interrelated partly due to their relative locations. Similar economic performance among regions can be attributed to proximity. Consequently, a proper understanding, and accounting, of spatial liaisons is needed in order to effectively forecast regional economic variables. Several spatial econometric techniques are available in the literature, which deal with the spatial autocorrelation in geographically-referenced data. The experiments carried out in this paper are concerned with the analysis of the spatial autocorrelation observed for unemployment rates in 439 NUTS-3 German districts. We employ a semi-parametric approach – spatial filtering – in order to uncover spatial patterns that are consistently significant over time. We first provide a brief overview of the spatial filtering method and illustrate the data set. Subsequently, we describe the empirical application carried out: that is, the spatial filtering analysis of regional unemployment rates in Germany. Furthermore, we exploit the resulting spatial filter as an explanatory variable in a panel modelling framework. Additional explanatory variables, such as average daily wages, are used in concurrence with the spatial filter. Our experiments show that the computed spatial filters account for most of the residual spatial autocorrelation in the data.
    Keywords: spatial filtering, eigenvectors, Germany, unemployment
    JEL: C33 E24 R12
    Date: 2009–01
  2. By: Schanne, Norbert (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Weyh, Antje (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "'What makes start-ups out of unemployment different?' To answer this question we formulate a theoretical sketch for start-up activity out of unemployment. Furthermore, we estimate spatial autoregressive models for the regional start-up rates out of unemployment as well as out of employment with German data from 1999 to 2004 at the NUTS3-level. Characteristics describing the populations of potential entrepreneurs as well as agglomeration externalities have a similar impact on both start-up rates. They are, however, affected in different ways by the regional wage level and the probability of entrepreneurial success. Moreover, the local impact of these determinants is amplified by spatial spillover and spatial feedback effects in particular for the start-up rate out of unemployment." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Unternehmensgründung - Determinanten, Arbeitslose, berufliche Selbständigkeit, regionale Faktoren, Lohnhöhe, Persönlichkeitsmerkmale, regionale Verteilung
    JEL: C31 J23 M13 R12
    Date: 2009–01–29
  3. By: Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Stephen M. Miller (Department of Economics, 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
  4. By: Dennis Coates (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County); Victor Matheson (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between hosting mega-events such as the Super Bowl, Olympics, and World Cup and rental housing prices in host cities. If mega-events are amenities for local residents, then rental housing prices can serve as a proxy for estimating residents’ willingness to pay for these amenities. An analysis of rental prices in a panel of American cities from 1993-2005 fails to find a consistent impact of mega-events on rental prices. When controls are placed on the regression models to account for nationwide annual fluctuations in rental prices, mega-events generally exhibit little impact on rental prices in cities as a whole and are as likely to reduce rental prices as increase them. Somewhat stronger evidence exists, however, that mega-events affect rental prices outside of the center city in a fundamentally different manner than in the city core.
    Keywords: sports, stadiums, franchises, impact analysis, mega-event, housing
    JEL: L83 O18 R53
    Date: 2009–02
  5. By: Bjerke, Lina (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Karlsson, Charlie (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: In smaller countries, the non-metropolitan regions are to a substantial degree linked together with the metropolitan regions through various networks. The national infrastructure and transport networks are often organised with the metropolitan region as the central hub. This creates a number of dependencies between the metropolitan region and the non-metropolitan regions in a small country. In this paper we focus on the role that metropolitan regions play for the renewal of the export base in the non-metropolitan regions in a small country. The analytical part can be divided into three main parts: i) the role of the Stockholm metropolitan region for the renewal of the export base in the rest of Sweden between 1997 and 2003; ii) which non-metropolitan regions gain renewal of their export base; and iii) what factors can explain the spatial distribution of these gains. The results show that distance has little to do with the potential success of an export products diffused from Stockholm. Instead, regional characteristics such as a large manufacturing sector, educational level, size of public and/or agricultural sector, and access to producer services have a larger influential potential.
    Keywords: metropolitan regions; exports; product innovation; networks; diffusion
    JEL: D85 F10 R10 R11 R12
    Date: 2009–01–28
  6. By: Tomoya Mori (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University); Tony E. Smith (Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: An empirical regularity designated as the Number-Average Size (NAS) Rule was first identified for the case of Japan by Mori, Nishikimi and Smith [71], and has since been extended to the US by Hsu [50]. This rule asserts a negative log-linear relation between the number and average population size of cities where a given industry is present, i.e., of industry-choice cities. Hence one of its key features is to focus on the presence or absence of industries in each city, rather than the percentage distribution of industries across cities. But despite the strong empirical regularity of this rule, there still remains the statistical question of whether such location patterns could simply have occurred by chance. Indeed, chance occurrences of certain industry-choice cities may be quite likely if, for example, one includes cities where only a single industrial establishment happens to appear. An alternative approach to industry-choice cities is proposed in a companion paper, Mori and Smith [73], which is based on industrial clustering. More specifically, this approach utilizes the statistical procedure developed in Mori and Smith [72] to identify spatially explicit patterns of agglomeration for each industry. In this context, the desired industry-choice cities are taken to be those (economic) cities that constitute at least part of a significant spatial agglomeration for the industry. With respect to these cluster-based industry-choice cities, the central objective of the present paper is to reconfirm the persistence of the NAS Rule between the years 1981 and 2001, as first observed in Mori et al. [71]. Indeed the NAS Rule is in some ways stronger under this new definition of industry-choice cities in that none of outlier industries in the original analysis show any significant agglomeration, and hence can be excluded from the present analysis. A second objective is to show that there has been a substantial churning of the industry mix in individual cities between these two time periods, and hence that persistence of the NAS Rule is even more remarkable in this light. Finally, these persistence results are extended to both the Rank Size Rule and the Hierarchy Principle of Christaller [13], which were shown in Mori et al. [71] to be intimately connected to the NAS Rule.
    Date: 2009–02
  7. By: Elisabet Motellón (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Enrique López-Bazo (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Mayssun El-Attar (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona and European University Institute.)
    Abstract: Regional differences in real wages have been shown to be both large and persistent in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as in the economies of other countries. Empirical evidence suggests that wage differentials adjusted for the cost of living cannot only be explained by the unequal spatial distribution of characteristics determining earnings. Rather, average wage gap decomposition reveals the important contribution made by regional heterogeneity in the price assigned to these characteristics. This paper proposes a method for assessing regional disparities in the entire wage distribution and for decomposing the effect of differences across regions in the endowments and prices of the characteristics. The hypothesis forwarded is that the results from previous studies obtained by comparing average regional wages may be partial and non-robust. Empirical evidence from a matched employer-employee dataset for Spain confirms marked differences in wage distributions between regions, which do not result from worker and firm characteristics but from the increasing role of regional differences in the return to human capital.
    Keywords: Regional Labour Markets, Human Capital, Wage Gap Decomposition, Counterfactual Distributions
    Date: 2009–02
  8. By: Paolo Rosato (University of Trieste); Anna Alberini (University of Maryland); Valentina Zanatta (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice); Margaretha Breil (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, FEEM)
    Abstract: Infill redevelopment—the transformation of previously used urban sites—is generally regarded as an important way to attain environmental and urban sustainability goals. At many locales, however, such urban renewal, community development, and tax revenue goals must be reconciled with historic preservation objectives. Are economic incentives and regulatory relief useful tools for encouraging reuse of abandoned or underutilized urban sites with historic buildings? Answering this question is of key importance for many European cities and for older US cities, and has important implications in terms of urban sustainability and “smart growth” initiatives. We use conjoint choice experiments to explore the relative importance of economic incentives, regulatory relief, land use and property regime offerings at underutilized historical sites in Venice, Italy. We survey real estate developers and investors, and ask them to choose between pairs of hypothetical projects in three Venice locations, as well as between one of these projects and the alternative to do a development project elsewhere. Statistical models of the responses to these choice questions indicate that respondents are sensitive to the price of acquiring the land (and hence to any policies that influence prices), and especially sensitive to the property regime that would be granted to developers and investors and to the allowable land use. Contrary to expectations, our respondents were insensitive to tightening or relaxing the stringency of building conservation restrictions. Our findings sound a common theme with Howland (2004), who warns that redevelopment of previously used sites in Baltimore is impaired by obsolete land uses, zoning and infrastructure (but not by suspected or actual contamination). We conclude that the City should focus on offering land uses and property regimes that are more in tune with developer demand.
    Keywords: conjoint choice experiments, real estate developers, building conservation restrictions, redevelopment incentives, brownfields, infill redevelopment
    JEL: Z1 R52
    Date: 2009
  9. By: Koster, Sierdjan (Urban and Regional Studies Institute, Groningen University); Karlsson, Charlie (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of how globalization can impact on new firm formation and its consequence on regional economic development. Although there is a large body of research on new firm formation, the economic context in which new firm formation takes place has received considerably less attention. Globalization, changes conditions for new firm formation and it may change the role of new firm formation in economic development. The main conclusion of this review is that there is very little concrete understanding about if and how globalization actually impacts on new firm formation. Thus, the conclusion of this paper is probably best read as suggestions for research that addresses the issue of new firm formation in a globalizing economy. We distinguish two main avenues for research. The first avenue is on the firm level and is concerned with the issue to what extent new firms are actually influenced by globalization. The second avenue is on the regional level and addresses the question if and how globalization will impact on the regional distribution of new firm formation. Although globalization may open up the world market for many regions, it is uncertain whether this will lead to a reshuffle of economic development, for example governed by developments in new firm formation. Competition is fierce and it is a question of which regions are ready to take the opportunities that globalization offers.
    Keywords: New Firm Formation; Economic Development; Regional Development; Globalizing; Economy; Innovation; Productivity; Growth; Employment Growth
    JEL: L10 M13 O10 R11
    Date: 2009–01–28
  10. By: Theresa Grafeneder-Weissteiner (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics & B.A.); Klaus Prettner (Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: This article investigates the effects of introducing demography into the New Economic Geography. We generalize the constructed capital approach, which relies on infinite individual planning horizons, by introducing mortality. The resulting overlapping generation framework with heterogeneous individuals allows us to study the effects of aging on agglomeration processes by analytically identifying the level of trade costs that triggers catastrophic agglomeration. Interestingly, this threshold value is rather sensitive to changes in mortality. In particular, the introduction of a positive mortality rate makes the symmetric equilibrium more stable and therefore counteracts agglomeration tendencies. In sharp contrast to other New Economic Geography approaches, this implies that deeper integration is not necessarily associated with higher interregional inequality.
    JEL: C61 F12 F15
    Date: 2009–02
  11. By: Hagen, Tobias; Mohl, Philipp
    Abstract: The current empirical literature on the impact of EU Cohesion Policy on the economic growth rates of the European regions mainly relies on functional form assumptions. However, it is ex ante not clear which functional form is appropriate with regard to the relationship between structural funds pay- ments and regional economic growth. In order to avoid such assumptions, this paper applies the method of generalized propensity score (GPS) to a sample of 122 NUTS-1 and NUTS-2 EU-15 regions for the time period 1995{2005, which leads to the estimation of a dose-response function, as proposed by Hirano and Imbens (2004). Our results indicate that structural funds payments have a positive, but not statistically significant, impact on the regions' average three-year growth rates. This implies that it does not matter which \dose" of structural funds payments a region receives.
    Keywords: EU structural funds, economic growth, continuous treatment, dose-response function
    JEL: C21 I38 R11
    Date: 2008
  12. By: Laura Abramovsky; Helen Simpson
    Abstract: We investigate evidence for spatially mediated knowledge transfer from university research. We examine whether firms locate their R&D labs in proximity to university research departments, and whether those that do are more likely to co-operate with, or source information from universities in the course of their innovative activities. We find evidence that pharmaceutical firms locate their R&D facilities near to frontier chemistry research departments, consistent with accessing localised knowledge spillovers, but also linked to the presence of science parks. In industries such as chemicals and vehicles there is less evidence of immediate co-location with universities, but those innovative firms that do locate near to relevant research departments are more likely to engage with universities.
    Keywords: Innovation, Geography, spillovers, public research
    JEL: O3 R11 R13 I23
    Date: 2008–06
  13. By: Skoufias, Emmanuel (The World Bank); Katayama, Roy (The World Bank)
    Abstract: Brazil's inequalities in welfare and poverty across and within regions can be accounted for by differences in household attributes and returns to those attributes. This paper uses Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions at the mean as well as at different quantiles of welfare distributions on regionally representative household survey data (2002-03 Household Budget Survey). The analysis finds that household attributes account for most of the welfare differences between urban and rural areas within regions. However, comparing the lagging Northeast region with the leading Southeast region, differences in returns to attributes account for a large part of the welfare disparities, in particular in metropolitan areas, supporting the presence of agglomeration effects in booming areas.
    Keywords: Brazil; Leading and Lagging Regions; Welfare; Poverty; Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions
    JEL: I31 O15 O18 R10 R23 R58
    Date: 2009–02–02
  14. By: Belton Fleisher (Department of Economics, Ohio State University); Haizheng Li (School of Economics, Georgia Institute of Technology); Min-Qiang Zhao (Department of Economics, Ohio State University)
    Abstract: We show how regional growth patterns in China depend on physical,, human, and infrastructure capital; foreign direct investment (FDI); and market reforms, especially the reforms that followed Deng Xiaoping’s South Trip in 1992 those that resulted from serious hardening of budget constraints of state enterprises around 1997. We find that FDI had a much larger effect on TFP growth before 1994 than after, and we attribute this to the encouragement of and increasing success of private and quasi-private enterprises. We find that human capital positively affects output per worker and productivity growth in our cross-provincial study. Moreover, we find both direct and indirect effects of human capital on TFP growth. The direct effect is hypothesized to come from domestic innovation activities, while the indirect impact is a spillover effect of human capital on TFP growth. We conduct cost-benefit analysis of hypothetical investments in human capital and infrastructure. We find that, while investment in infrastructure generates higher returns in the developed, eastern regions than in the interior, investing in human capital generates slightly higher or comparable returns in the interior regions. We conclude that human capital investment in less-developed areas can improve economic efficiency, neither investment strategy is a magic bullet for reducing China’s regional income disparities.
    JEL: O15 O18 O47 O53
    Date: 2008–08
  15. By: Prashanth Mahagaonkar (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany); Swayan Chaudhuri (Newcastle University)
    Abstract: The capital structure of firms is known to be different not only due to firm characteristics but also to the sources of capital. Therefore, there is a need to understand the supply side effects on a firm´s capital structure. A small firm´s choice of financing sources may be limited by the supply-side financial endowment of the region. Small firms are known to be heavily reliant on internal finance and the quantity and price channels are expected to drive usage of debt. Our findings on 2000 small firms in England show that the quantity and price channels might work only for supply of very local capitals. Firms tend to prefer internal finance when semi-local or national institutions show higher commercial operational distance in their region. These results point out that semi-local and national institutions tend to drive away usage of debt due to monitoring costs or credit rationing, while very local institutions increase the usage of debt through quantity or price channels.
    Keywords: capital structure, regional financial system, information asymmetries, geography
    JEL: G24 G32 E5 N2 O18
    Date: 2009–02–01
  16. By: Kopecky, Karen A.; Suen, Richard M. H.
    Abstract: Suburbanization in the U.S. between 1910 and 1970 was concurrent with the rapid diffusion of the automobile. A circular city model is developed in order to access quantitatively the contribution of automobiles and rising incomes to suburbanization. The model incorporates a number of driving forces of suburbanization and car adoption, including falling automobile prices, rising real incomes, changing costs of traveling by car and with public transportation, and urban population growth. According to the model, 60 percent of postwar (1940-1970) suburbanization can be explained by these factors. Rising real incomes and falling automobile prices are shown to be the key drivers of suburbanization.
    Keywords: automobile; suburbanization; population density gradients; technological progress
    JEL: O11 N12 R12 E10
    Date: 2009–01–05
  17. By: Stephen J. Redding
    Abstract: This paper reviews the new economic geography literature, which accounts for the unevendistribution of economic activity across space in terms of a combination of love of varietypreferences, increasing returns to scale and transport costs. After outlining the canonical coreand periphery model, the paper examines the empirical evidence on three of its centralpredictions: the role of market access in deter- mining factor prices, the related home marketeffect in which demand has a more than proportionate effect on production, and the potentialexistence of multiple equilibria. In reviewing the evidence, we highlight issues ofmeasurement and identification, alternative potential explanations, and remaining areas forfurther research.
    Keywords: New economic geography, market access, home market effect, multiple equilibria
    JEL: F12 F14 O10
    Date: 2009–01
  18. By: Chiara Bentivogli (Banca d'Italia); Roberto Cullino (Banca d'Italia); Diana Marina Del Colle (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects on local public transport of the reform begun in the late nineties, using data from a recent Bank of Italy survey. There are still substantial differences across Italy’s regions, and the level of efficiency is far from the original aims of the reform. Although almost all Italian regional councils formally aligned the local legislation to the new national rules, actual compliance with the deeper logic of the reform has been limited so far. Competitive tendering for the selection of local service providers have seldom been used, while auctions have usually been won by local public incumbents. Albeit limited, efficiency gains are larger wherever the reform has been implemented more thoroughly and the variables influencing public transport demand more carefully taken into account. The share of the population that uses public transport has not increased even in major cities, and the low share of users (by international standards) has gone hand in hand with a negative overall evaluation of service quality. Fares are still much lower than unit costs.
    Keywords: Regulation, Local Public Transport
    JEL: H40 K23 L33 L43 L92
    Date: 2008–09
  19. By: Pietro Alessandrini (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Department of Economics, MoFiR); Andrea Filippo Presbitero (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Department of Economics, MoFiR); Alberto Zazzaro (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Department of Economics, MoFiR)
    Abstract: In the early 1990s, a widely-shared opinion among scholars and practitioners was that the importance of physical proximity between banks and borrowers would be doomed to drastically decrease over time and, put in extreme terms, the end of banking geography would become a real possibility. However, the empirical evidence show an unrelenting importance of local credit markets for small borrowers and local economic development. In the paper, we selectively review the literature on the real effects of bank consolidation and produce new evidence on the role of headquarter-to-branch functional distance on relationship lending.
    Keywords: Functinal distance, Global banking development, Local banking
    JEL: G21 G34 R12 R51
    Date: 2008–10
  20. By: Bunar, Nihad (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)
    Abstract: The aim of this article is to describe and analyze how a number of multicultural urban schools in the Swedish cities of Stockholm and Malmö identify, understand and respond to the competition they have been exposed to on the emerging educational quasi-market. Based on interviews with school leaders and research on a wide range of secondary literature it is possible to identify three types of competitors: “white” schools, ordinary and religious/ethnic free schools and neighboring multicultural schools. The responding strategies vary from the logic of resignation and condemnation of parents for making “wrong” choices to a critical redefinition of pedagogical practices towards minority students and the equivocal alliances. I argue that the competition as an exclusive incentive for school development, as proposed by the neoliberal educationalists, only partly has proven its aptitude. If the education system is to maintain its transformative capacity then interventions are needed in the very basis of the structure of inequality that generates social differences; in the way the educational market is organized as well as; in the multicultural urban schools’ daily operations and communications with their local communities.
    Keywords: school choice; multicultural urban schools; competition; resignation
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2009–02–04
  21. By: Amanor-Boadu, Vincent; Zereyesus, Yacob A.; Ross, Kara
    Abstract: The paper aims at examining how sources and distribution of revenue at the local government level influence the economic well-being of citizens. The results of this study help to illuminate the effect of revenue sources on local government efforts on economic development and their capacity to influence the well-being of their citizens. We hypothesized that the distribution of local government revenue influenced the wealth status of its citizens. Three empirical proxy measures for citizen well-being were used in the estimation of three different panel data models. Results from the estimations suggest that local government revenue generated from its citizens (e.g., taxes, insurance and charges) have more influence on citizen well-being than non-citizen generated revenue sources (e.g., inter-governmental transfers). The analysis provides insights into how economic development policies may be conceived in local governments, especially small communities, to ensure sustained economic prosperity of its citizens.
    Keywords: Local government, revenues, tax, citizen well-being, Community/Rural/Urban Development,
    Date: 2009
  22. By: Morone, Piergiuseppe; Petraglia, Carmelo; Testa, Giuseppina
    Abstract: Abstract: In this paper we assess the relevance of both knowledge creation and diffusion processes in affecting Italian SMEs’ propensity to innovate. In doing so a knowledge production function (KPF) is estimated for a representative sample of small and medium manufacturing firms over the period 1998-2003. To account for endogeneity of R&D effort in the KPF, we estimate a Heckman selection model on R&D decisions and obtain two main results. First, we do not find the probability of being engaged in intramural R&D activities to be significantly related to firm size. Second, for those firms engaged in R&D activities, the intensity of R&D effort increases with firm size. Then, the KPF is estimated for three different samples of firms using a standard probit where the probability that SMEs will innovate depends upon intramural R&D effort, regional and industrial spillovers and a vector of interaction and control variables. The main results obtained from this second set of regressions are the following: first, we find the probability to innovate to be positively related to sectoral spillovers, the magnitude of such impact being decreasing in firms’ size. Second, knowledge diffusion via geographical proximity enhances the probability of the recipient firm to innovate only if it has an appropriate endowment of human capital.
    Keywords: Innovation; knowledge; spillovers; firm size
    JEL: L6 O3 C25
    Date: 2008–12–05
  23. By: Khalid Sekkat (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels and DULBEA, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.); Ariane Szafarz (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels and DULBEA, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.)
    Abstract: Housing tenure decision combines financial, economic and socio-psychological factors. This paper considers the global premium associated to homeownership. On the one hand, homeownership is associated to private benefits of being a landlord. On the other hand, overinvestment in housing is harmful to diversification and distorts portfolio management. This trade-off, similar to the one associated to corporate private benefits of control, is the cornerstone of our theoretical model. Furthermore, the empirical implementation of the model exhibits a homeownership premium for houses in the Brussels Region reaching at least 9% of the housing price. The findings are robust to several methodological refinements.
    Keywords: Homeownership, tenure choice, housing, real-estate.
    JEL: R21 E21 G11
    Date: 2009–02
  24. By: Paola Rossi (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: The paper reviews the supply of different mortgage instruments to Italian households by means of data obtained from a survey conducted in 2007 by the Bank of Italy over more than 300 banks. The results document significant innovations in housing finance in the last five years: a greater variety of mortgage products is supplied, along with a widespread easing of borrowing constraints facing households. The supply of new products is already routinely provided by large and medium banks, while it is spreading among local cooperative banks. It is significantly higher among banks which have adopted credit scoring techniques to select clients.
    Keywords: mortgages, financial innovation, credit scoring
    JEL: G21 D14 R21
    Date: 2008–06
  25. By: Salvatore Muzzicato (Banca d'Italia); Roberto Sabbatini (Banca d'Italia); Francesco Zollino (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: We present a new indicator of house prices in Italy, with more extensive geographical and time coverage. The new indicator now makes it possible to analyze medium- and long-term trends with satisfactory representation of the Italian housing market. It also allows for timely updating, for prompt assessment of housing input both to the business cycle and to inflationary pressures. We offer a preliminary identification, based solely on graphical inspection, of four different property price cycles since the late 1960s; the latest began at the end of the 1990s and signaled a slowdown since 2006. Finally, we tentatively assess the effect of including transactions in dwellings in the Italian HICP basket according to the net acquisition approach, which apparently results in about a quarter point of additional inflation each year since 2000.
    Keywords: business cycle, housing market, property prices, inflation measures
    JEL: E31 E32 R21 R31
    Date: 2008–08
  26. By: Wolfgang Maennig (University of Hamburg); Florian Schwarthoff (GMP Gerkan Marg & Partners International)
    Abstract: For the FIFA World Cup 2010, South Africa plans to invest heavily. The positive economic effects that the country is hoping for stand in contrast to almost all statistical ex-post studies. This contribution emphasises that these results, usually from research under-taken in the USA, can only be generalised to a limited degree. The density of sports venues in developed countries is so high, that the marginal effects of new stadia are necessarily limited. We also emphasise that stadium design around the world was not hitherto adequately targeted towards positive economic effects. The example of Durban and its plans for a new “iconic” stadium is used to illustrate fundamental principles of stadium design and their embedding in a re-urbanisation process that have to be undertaken in order to consciously achieve positive regional economic effects.
    Keywords: stadium architecture, regional economics, sports economics, World Cup, Durban
    JEL: L83
    Date: 2008–08
  27. By: Luis Ayala (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos); Antonio Jurado (Universidad de Extremadura); Jesús Pérez-Mayo (Universidad de Extremadura)
    Abstract: The study of multidimensional deprivation has become one of the most relevant lines of research in the analysis of low-income households. The search for significant relationships between multidimensional deprivation and income poverty has been a central issue and most empirical studies have found a very weak link. This paper aims at examining the possibility of an aggregation bias in national studies, which could conceal the diversity of experiences and patterns to be found in the different regions. Latent class models are used to define deprivation indices and the Spanish Survey on Income and Living Conditions is used. The results seem to show that the absence of significant relationships between both phenomena also appears when the sample of household is disaggregated regionally. Nonetheless, the decomposition of these two phenomena’s determinants reveals some common explanatory factors.
    Keywords: poverty, multidimensional deprivation, regional analysis, EUSILC.
    JEL: I31 I32
    Date: 2009
  28. By: Pasqualino Montanaro (Banca d'Italia)
    Abstract: Student performance has been tested by various surveys at the international level in recent years, using different aims and methodologies. On the basis of a comparative analysis, this paper aims to describe the differences in performance between Italian regions, subjects and ages or grades. All the surveys revealed significant gaps in performance across the Italian regions, with students in the South being far behind those in the North in all the subjects surveyed (reading, mathematics, science). This gap is particularly marked in technical (“istituti tecnici”) and vocational (“istituti professionali”) schools. Also the degree of disparity in scores is higher in the South. The geographical divides increase with grade: the gaps between North and South are more mitigated at the earlier grades and concentrated among students with a low parental background. Student achievement is strongly correlated with the socio-cultural and economic conditions of the family. However, this relationship seems to be sharper at the earlier grades, while it vanishes at the upper secondary school level, when the type-of-program and school effects have much greater impact. Finally, this paper also suggests that marks (or final grades) given internally by schools do not reflect the real levels of proficiency, and do not, therefore, distinguish good students from bad ones.
    Keywords: quality of education, international assessments, regional disparities
    JEL: I20 I21
    Date: 2008–06

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