nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2010‒05‒08
eight papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. State of the Cities (National Urban Policy Report) By HUD - PD&R
  2. Human Capital Externalities and Employment Differences across Metropolitan Areas of the U.S. By Winters, John V
  3. The Social Cost of Road Congestion in Ile-de-France Region (and France): Empirical Evidences from the Paris Ring-Road By Martin Koning
  4. Local Labor Markets By Moretti, Enrico
  5. Property Value Assessment Growth Limits, Tax Base Erosion and Regional In-Migration By Skidmore, Mark; Tosun, Mehmet S.
  6. Retornos a la educación en Argentina. Estructura regional. By Jorge A. Paz
  7. Transition, Structural Divergence,and Performance: Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union over 2000-2007 By Cornia, Giovanni Andrea
  8. Differences in Quality of Life Estimates Using Rents and Home Values By Winters, John V

  1. By: HUD - PD&R
    Abstract: State of the Cities (National Urban Policy Report)
    JEL: R50
  2. By: Winters, John V
    Abstract: It has been well documented that employment outcomes often differ considerably across areas. This paper examines the extent to which the local human capital level, measured as the share of adults with a college degree, has positive external effects on labor force participation and employment for U.S. metropolitan area residents. We find that the local human capital level has positive externalities on participation for women, but an inconsistent effect on participation for men. However, the local human capital level reduces unemployment for both men and women. We also find that less educated workers generally receive the largest external benefits.
    Keywords: employment; unemployment; human capital externalities; agglomeration
    JEL: J21 J24 R23
    Date: 2010–05–01
  3. By: Martin Koning (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: The aim of this article was to assess specific problems concerning traffic congestion access to the city of Paris. First, we attempted to evaluate the evolution of the congestion cost for the Paris Ring-Road (PRR), the major urban highway surrounding the French capital, during the period from 2000-2007. A speed-density methodology was implemented which enabled us to differentiate the external costs of road congestion between speed-classes of 5 km/h. These results were useful to subsequently propose the order of magnitude of time losses at national and regional scales, as well as marginal pricing schemes which could potentially be used in order to correct road congestion externality on the PRR. Our empirical investigation concluded that, in 2007, the PRR was more costly for central Paris area (130 M€) compared to that of seven years earlier (117 M€). The deterioration of traffic conditions, symbolized by the mean speed fall (- 5.2 %), dominates the infrastructure least used (- 2.2 %). Based on these figures, the social cost of road congestion is thought to reach about 0.2 % of the French GDP. This ratio becomes three times higher once reported on a regional scale and underlines that road congestion is an important issue for Ile-de-France. Finally, despite their analytical limitations, the proposed taxes clearly illustrate the challenges related to road-pricing strategies.
    Keywords: Paris Ring-Road, Road Congestion, Speed-Density Relationship, Road-Pricing
    Date: 2010–03–10
  4. By: Moretti, Enrico (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: I examine the causes and the consequences of differences in labor market outcomes across local labor markets within a country. The focus is on a long-run general equilibrium setting, where workers and firms are free to move across localities and local prices adjust to maintain the spatial equilibrium. In particular, I develop a tractable general equilibrium framework of local labor markets with heterogenous labor. This framework is useful in thinking about differences in labor market outcomes of different skill groups across locations. It clarifies how, in spatial equilibrium, localized shocks to a part of the labor market propagate to the rest of the economy through changes in employment, wages and local prices and how this diffusion affects workers' welfare. Using this framework, I address three related questions. First, I analyze the welfare consequences of productivity differences across local labor markets. I seek to understand what happens to the wage, employment and utility of workers with different skill levels when a local economy experiences a shift in the productivity of a group of workers. Second, I analyze the causes of productivity differences across local labor markets. To a large extent, productivity differences within a country are unlikely to be exogenous. I review the theoretical and empirical literature on agglomeration economies, with a particular focus on studies that are relevant for labor economists. Finally, I discuss the implications for policy.
    Keywords: wages, general equilibrium
    JEL: J00
    Date: 2010–04
  5. By: Skidmore, Mark (Michigan State University); Tosun, Mehmet S. (University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: In 1994 a limit on the growth of property values for tax purposes was imposed in Michigan. One consequence of the newly imposed assessment growth cap was an emerging differential in tax prices between potential new property owners and long-time property owners. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of this growing tax price differential on migration patterns. Using county level data on migration activity over the 1994-2006 period, we present evidence that differential tax prices resulting from the assessment growth cap have reduced in-migration.
    Keywords: property tax, tax base erosion, regional migration, Michigan
    JEL: H71 H73 J61
    Date: 2010–04
  6. By: Jorge A. Paz (Instituto de Estudios Laborales y del Desarrollo Económico (IELDE), Facultad de Ceiencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Argentina)
    Abstract: En este trabajo se estiman retornos a la educación en Argentina y se exploran algunas hipótesis derivadas del marco teórico-conceptual propuesto por el trabajo de Knigth (1979) y Beccaria (1986), según el cual es importante incorporar consideraciones acerca de la estructura productiva en la cual se insertan los ocupados. Los datos provienen de la Encuesta Permanente de Hogares, modalidad puntual y corresponden al período 1995-2003. La metodología consiste en estimar funciones de Mincer total y por regiones y computar los retornos, tanto bajo la hipótesis de retornos lineales por año de educación, como así también por máximo nivel alcanzado. El resultado más relevante es la relativa uniformidad de los retornos a la educación entre las regiones que se compararon y el diferencial regional en cuanto al efecto que introduce la consideración del sesgo por inserción laboral de los ocupados. También pudo constatarse una disparidad entre géneros en los retornos corregidos por sesgo.
    Keywords: Retornos a la educación, capital humano, Argentina
    JEL: J24 R19
    Date: 2009–12
  7. By: Cornia, Giovanni Andrea
    Abstract: During the socialist era the communist regime attempted to reduce development differentials among states and social classes. In contrast, during the last 20 years, the economies in transition experienced considerable divergence in the economic, social, demographic and political areas. As a result, these countries can now be grouped into four structurally different clusters alternatively dependent on manufactured exports, high- and low-tech services, commodities exports, and migrant remittances. Between 2000 and 2007, the cluster with the fastest growth was not that which most reformed its economy and institutions, but that of commodity exporters where, however, life expectancy improved far less than in other clusters.
    Keywords: structural transformation, divergence, performance, country clusters
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Winters, John V
    Abstract: Implicit values of amenities and the quality of life in an area can be measured by differences in “real wages” across areas, where real wages are computed as nominal wages adjusted for the cost of living. Computing cost of living differences involves several important issues, most important being how housing prices should be measured. Previous researchers typically have used some combination of rental payments and homeowner housing values. This paper examines differences in quality of life estimates for U.S. metropolitan areas using, alternatively, rents and housing values. We find that the two measures of quality of life are highly correlated. Value-based estimates, however, are considerably more dispersed than rent-based estimates, likely because of the recent bubble in the housing market and because housing values often provide an imperfect measure of the present user cost of housing. Researchers should be cautious in using housing values to construct quality of life estimates.
    Keywords: quality of life; amenities; rents; housing; wages
    JEL: R13 R21 R23
    Date: 2010–04–15

This nep-geo issue is ©2010 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.