nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2005‒02‒01
nine papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Planning and Scheduling Transportation Vehicle Fleet in a Congested Traffic Environment By KERBACHE, Laoucine; VAN WOENSEL, Tom
  2. School Vouchers Italian Style By Brunello, Giorgio; Checchi, Daniele
  3. Federal Oversight, Local Control, and the Specter of "Resegregation" in Southern Schools By Charles T. Clotfelter; Helen F. Ladd; Jacob L. Vigdor
  4. Residential Segregation in General Equilibrium By Patrick Bayer; Robert McMillan; Kim Rueben
  5. Water, Water, Everywhere: Municipal Finance and Water Supply in American Cities By David Cutler; Grant Miller
  6. Urban Growth and Housing Supply By Edward L. Glaeser; Joseph Gyourko; Raven E. Saks
  7. Free to Move: Migration, Tax Competition and Redistribution By Woojin Lee
  8. Social Integration of Older Immigrants in 21st Century America By Janet Wilmoth
  9. Using Hit Rates to Test for Racial Bias in Law Enforcement: Vehicle Searches in Wichita By Nicola Persico; Petra Todd

  1. By: KERBACHE, Laoucine; VAN WOENSEL, Tom (Eindhoven University of Technology)
    Abstract: Transportation is a main component of supply chain competitiveness since it plays a major role in the inbound, inter-facility, and outbound logistics. In this context, assigning and scheduling vehicle routing is a crucial management problem. Despite numerous publications dealing with efficient scheduling methods for vehicle routing, very few addressed the inherent stochastic nature of travel times in this problem. In this paper, a vehicle routing problem with time windows and stochastic travel times due to potential traffic congestion is considered. The approach developed introduces mainly the traffic congestion component based on queueing theory. This is an innovative modeling scheme to capture the stochastic behavior of travel times. A case study is used both to illustrate the appropriateness of the approach as well as to show that time-independent solutions are often unrealistic within a congested traffic environment which is often the case on the european road networks
    Keywords: transportation; vehicle fleet; planning; scheduling; congested traffic
    JEL: R41
    Date: 2004–12–01
  2. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padua, CESifo and IZA Bonn); Checchi, Daniele (University of Milan and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: School vouchers introduced recently in some Italian regions have lowered the cost of private schools. On one side, we provide evidence that Italian private schools may be selected for different reasons than quality considerations. On the other side, by exploiting individual data on voucher applicants, we present evidence that the percentage of voucher applicants is higher the higher the average quality of private schools, which we explain with the fact that better quality schools provide better services to students, including information and consulting on vouchers. We show that enrolment in private schools responds sluggishly to changes in tuition induced by vouchers. Under stringent assumptions, we estimate the slopes of demand and supply of private education in the largest Italian region, Lombardy, during the first two years since implementation of a voucher scheme, and provide a quantitative assessment of the long-term impact of vouchers on tuition fees and enrolment in private schools.
    Keywords: school vouchers, Italy
    JEL: I22
    Date: 2005–01
  3. By: Charles T. Clotfelter; Helen F. Ladd; Jacob L. Vigdor
    Abstract: Analyzing data for the 100 largest school districts in the South and Border states, we ask whether there is evidence of "resegregation" of school districts and whether levels of segregation can be linked to judicial decisions. We distinguish segregation measures indicating the extent of racial isolation from those indicating the degree of racial imbalance across schools. For the period 1994 to 2004 the trend in only one measure of racial isolation is consistent with the hypothesis that districts in these regions are resegregating. Yet the increase in this measure appears to be driven by the general increase in the nonwhite percentage in the student population rather than policy-determined increases in racial imbalance. Racial imbalance itself shows no trend over this period. Racial imbalance is nevertheless associated with judicial declarations of unitary status, suggesting that segregation in schools might have declined had it not been for the actions of federal courts. This estimated relationship is subject to a lag, which is in keeping with the tendency for courts to grant unitary status only if districts agree to limit their own freedom to reassign students.
    JEL: I28
    Date: 2005–01
  4. By: Patrick Bayer; Robert McMillan; Kim Rueben
    Abstract: Black households in the United States with high levels of income and education (SES) typically face a stark tradeoff when deciding where to live. They can choose neighborhoods with high levels of public goods or a high proportion of blacks, but very few neighborhoods combine both, a fact we document clearly. In the face of this constraint, we conjecture that racial sorting may dramatically lower the consumption of local public goods by high-SES blacks. To shed light on this, we estimate a model of residential sorting using unusually detailed restricted Census microdata, then use the estimated preferences to simulate a counterfactual world in which racial factors play no role in household residential location decisions. Results from this exercise provide the first evidence that sorting on the basis of race gives rise to significant reductions in the consumption of local public goods by black and high-SES black households in particular. These consumption effects lead to significant losses of welfare and are likely to have important intergenerational implications.
    JEL: H0 J7 R0 R2
    Date: 2005–01
  5. By: David Cutler; Grant Miller
    Abstract: The construction of municipal water systems was a major event in the history of American cities %u2013 bringing relief from disease, providing resources to combat fires, attracting business investment, and promoting development generally. Although the first large-scale municipal water system in the United States was completed in 1801, many American cities lacked waterworks until the turn of the twentieth century. This paper investigates the reason for the century-long delay and the subsequent frenzy of waterworks construction from 1890 through the 1920s. We propose an explanation that emphasizes the development of local public finance. Specifically, we highlight the importance of municipal bond market growth as a facilitator of debt finance. We argue that this explanation is superior to others put forward in the literature, including disease knowledge, the presence of externalities, municipal population density, natural monopoly, contracting difficulties, corruption costs, and growth in the supply of civil engineers.
    JEL: N4 I1 H4
    Date: 2005–01
  6. By: Edward L. Glaeser; Joseph Gyourko; Raven E. Saks
    Abstract: Cities are physical structures, but the modern literature on urban economic development rarely acknowledges that fact. The elasticity of housing supply helps determine the extent to which increases in productivity will create bigger cities or just higher paid workers and more expensive homes. In this paper, we present a simple model that provides a framework for doing empirical work that integrates the heterogeneity of housing supply into urban development. Empirical analysis yields results consistent with the implications of the model that differences in the nature of house supply across space are not only responsible for higher housing prices, but also affect how cities respond to increases in productivity.
    JEL: R0
    Date: 2005–01
  7. By: Woojin Lee (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: We study a model of tax competition between two countries when both skilled and unskilled workers make their migration decisions simultaneously and wages are endogenously determined. If both factors of production are allowed to migrate freely and when the demand for skilled labor is not so elastic, the problem typically predicted in the literature of tax competition that increased mobility of production factors will pose a severe threat to redistribution possibility is less acute than it might first appear. The equilibrium tax rate can be not only positive but also increasing in the degree of mobility of unskilled workers. This is mainly because an initial change in migration flows induced by an increase in the tax rate brings about a higher wage for skilled workers and a lower wage for unskilled workers, which offsets the initial adverse effect. We also show that in contrast to the conventional wisdom in the literature of tax competition decreasing the tax rate invites not only skilled workers but also unskilled workers; unskilled workers always chase skilled workers at the equilibrium. JEL Categories: D50, F21, H30
    Keywords: globalization, mobility, tax competition, redistribution, fiscal externality, political economy
    Date: 2005–01
  8. By: Janet Wilmoth (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)
    Abstract: There are various reasons for the burgeoning interest in detailed research into the determinants of social well-being among older immigrants in this country. As a result of shifting federal government policies, the total volume of immigrants has increased significantly, the countries from which they migrate have changed, and more immigrant families have brought their parents into the United States than ever before. Consequently, the older adult population is becoming more diverse due in part to the aging-in-place of younger immigrants and an increasing number of immigrants who are older upon arrival in the United States. These trends create challenges for social service providers, who are encountering language and cultural differences among their clients for which they are unprepared. This report provides an overview of research about older adult immigrants in the United States that my colleagues and I have conducted over the past few years. Various demographic and cultural aspects of today's immigrants that differ from the past are described. The importance of social integration to older immigrants' well-being is considered. Then some intriguing research about the "new immigrants" is summarized and additional areas for future research are suggested.
    JEL: I38 J11 J14 J15
    Date: 2004–10
  9. By: Nicola Persico (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania); Petra Todd (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: This paper considers the use of outcomes-based tests for detecting racial bias in the context of police searches of motor vehicles. It shows that the test proposed in Knowles, Persico and Todd (2001) can also be applied in a more general environment where police officers are heterogenous in their tastes for discrimination and in their costs of search and motorists are heterogeneous in their benefits and costs from criminal behavior. We characterize the police and motorist decision problems in a game theoretic framework and establish properties of the equilibrium. We also extend of the model to the case where drivers’ characteristics are mutable in the sense that drivers can adapt some of their characteristics to reduce the probability of being monitored. After developing the theory that justifies the application of outcomes-based tests, we apply the tests to data on police searches of motor vehicles gathered by the Wichita Police department. The empirical findings are consistent with the notion that police in Wichita choose their search strategies to maximize successful searches, and not out of racial bias.
    Keywords: Racial Profiling, Crime, Police, Wichita
    JEL: J70 K42
    Date: 2005–01–12

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