nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2005‒03‒13
eighteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. House prices in Norway 1819-1989 By Øyvind Eitrheim; Solveig K. Erlandsen
  2. Agglomeration economies and entrepreneurship: testing for spatial externalities in the Dutch ICT industry By Erik Stam; Frank G. van Oort
  3. Urban Transport Pricing Reform With Two Levels Of Government By Stef Proost; Akshaya Sen
  4. The value of improved road safety By Hultkrantz, Lars; Lindberg, Gunnar; Andersson, Camilla
  5. Breaking the cycle? The effect of education on welfare receipt among children of welfare recipients By ; Michael B. Coelli; ; David A. Green; ; William P. Warburton
  6. Understanding the effects of early motherhood in Britain: the effects on mothers By Alissa Goodman; Greg Kaplan; Ian Walker
  7. Immigrant health: selectivity and acculturation By ; Guillermina Jasso; ; Douglas S. Massey; ; Mark R. Rosenzweig; ; James P. Smith
  8. The effect of a large expansion of pre-primary school facilities on preschool attendance and maternal employment By Samuel Berlinski; ; Sebastian Galiani
  9. The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children By ; Arnaud Chevalier; ; Colm Harmon; ; Vincent O'Sullivan; Ian Walker
  10. Peer Effects and Textbooks in Primary Education: Evidence from Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa By Frölich, Markus; Michaelowa, Katharina
  11. On Representative Social Capital By Charles Bellemare; Sabine Kroger
  12. Cost-Effective Policies to Reduce Vehicle Emissions By Don Fullerton; Li Gan
  13. Does Whole-School Reform Boost Student Performance? The Case of New York City By Robert Bifulco; William Duncombe; John Yinger
  14. Geography, Industrial Organization, and Agglomeration By Stuart S. Rosenthal; William C. Strange
  15. Agglomeration, Labor Supply, and the Urban Rat Race By Stuart S. Rosenthal; William C. Strange
  16. Social Interaction and the Health Insurance Choices of the Elderly By Eldar Beiseitov; Jeffrey D. Kubik; John R. Moran
  17. How Much More Does a Disadvantaged Student Cost? By William D. Duncombe; John Yinger
  18. School Finance, Equivalent Educational Expenditure, and Income Distribution: Equal Dollars or Equal Chances for Success? By Kathryn Wilson; Kristina Lambright; Timothy M. Smeeding

  1. By: Øyvind Eitrheim (Norges Bank); Solveig K. Erlandsen (Norges Bank)
    Abstract: Annual house price indices for four Norwegian cities are presented for the period from 1819 to 1989. The indices are constructed on the basis of nominal housing transaction prices compiled from the real property registers of the cities. Existing Norwegian house prices indices generally cover a few decades and usually start in the mid-1980s. Hence, we present new information about Norwegian house prices for more than 160 years. The house price indices seem to fit well in with historical events and available indicators of the Norwegian economy. The overall trend in nominal house prices is upward sloping over the two centuries. However, in real terms the picture looks different, in particular in the first half of the twentieth century.
    Keywords: Economic history, house prices, repeat sales indices
    JEL: N10 E31 C81
    Date: 2004–11–11
  2. By: Erik Stam; Frank G. van Oort
    Abstract: Although there is growing evidence on the role of agglomeration economies in the formation and growth of firms, both the concepts of agglomeration economies and entrepreneurship tend to be ambiguously defined and measured in the literature. In this study, we aim to improve the conceptualisations and measures of agglomeration economies and entrepreneurship. Indicators of agglomeration economies are analysed in clearly defined urban regimes on three spatial scales in the Netherlands - national zoning, labour market connectedness, and urban size. This is done in order to uncover their effect on two entrepreneurial phases in the firm life cycle - new firm formation and the growth of incumbent firms in the relatively new ICT industry in the Netherlands. In comparison with new firm formation, the growth of incumbent firms is not so much related to spatial clustering of the ICT industry and other localized sources of knowledge economies associated with urban density. Instead, knowledge as an input for growth of incumbent firms is associated with more endogenous (firm internal) learning aspects, reflected by a significant correlate with R&D-investments. Also the effect of local ICT firm competition differs between the two types of firms: a positive effect on new firm formation, but a negative effect on incumbent firm growth. In general, agglomeration economies have stronger effects on the formation of ICT firms than on the growth of ICT firms.
    Keywords: agglomeration economies, spatial externalities, entrepreneurship, location, urban regimes, ICT industry
    JEL: D21 L25 L63 L86 M13 O18 R12 R30
  3. By: Stef Proost (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies; UCL - CORE); Akshaya Sen
    Abstract: This paper analyses two challenges in the reform of urban transport pricing. The first challenge is the construction of an optimal package of urban transport pricing instruments assuming one benevolent government level that maximizes overall welfare. We examine the welfare gains from implementing in succession better parking prices, improved public transport prices and time varying tolling. It is found that parking and tolling are the most important elements of the optimal package and that the alternative policy instruments are sub-additive in their benefits. The second problem studied is the use of these pricing instruments by different government levels. We examine a case where an urban government controls parking fees and the regional government controls the tolling. Although both government levels have different objective functions, we find that the overall efficiency losses in the Nash and Stackelberg equilibria are limited.
    JEL: R48 H71 H21
    Date: 2005–03
  4. By: Hultkrantz, Lars (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics); Lindberg, Gunnar (VTI); Andersson, Camilla (Umeå University)
    Abstract: We report the results of a contingent valuation study of the value of a serious statistical accident (VSSA) in an urban road safety context in Sweden. To account for scale bias of responses (i.e., the insensitivity of the willingness-to-pay value to the size of the risk reduction being valued) we derive a lower-bound estimate. This is computed from the willingness to pay for a private-good device or a public safety program that completely eliminates the risk of fatal and serious injury road accidents. <p> We search for values from respondents with self- reported high confidence in their answers. Our conservative estimates result in average benefits of public road-safety measures targeting serious accidents that are greater than previous studies have indicated.
    Keywords: Value of statistical life; vision zero; contingent valuation; scale bias; scope bias
    JEL: H43 I18 Q51
    Date: 2005–03–10
  5. By: ; Michael B. Coelli; ; David A. Green; ; William P. Warburton
    Abstract: We examine the impact of high school graduation on the probability individuals from welfare backgrounds use welfare themselves. Our data consists of administrative educational records for grade 12 students in a Canadian province linked with their own and their parents’ welfare records. We address potential endogeneity problems by: 1) controlling for ability using past test scores; 2) using an instrument for graduation based on school principal fixed effects; and 3) using a Heckman- Singer type unobserved heterogeneity estimator. Graduation would reduce welfare receipt of dropoutsby ½ to 3/4. Effects are larger for individuals from troubled family backgrounds and low income neighbourhoods.
    JEL: I38 I21
    Date: 2004–06
  6. By: Alissa Goodman (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Greg Kaplan (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Ian Walker (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper examines the socio-economic consequences of teenage motherhood for a cohort of British women born in 1970. We apply a number of different methodologies on the same dataset, including OLS, a propensity score matching estimator, and an instrumental variables estimator, using miscarriages as an instrument. We bound the biases introduced through IV due to non-randomness, and misreporting of the instrument. Our results are sensitive to the methodologies used. Taking only observed characteristics into account, the effects of teenage motherhood appear large and negative. The pathways are through bigger family size, and negative labour market outcomes for the mother and her partner, and are mitigated by transfers from the state through the British benefit system. Our IV estimates show that almost all these effects are reduced to zero once unobserved heterogeneity is taken into account. However our IV bounds show that biases introduced by non-randomness and misreporting of our instrument could be responsible for all of this apparent reduction in effects.
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2004–08
  7. By: ; Guillermina Jasso; ; Douglas S. Massey; ; Mark R. Rosenzweig; ; James P. Smith
    Date: 2004–01
  8. By: Samuel Berlinski (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College, London); ; Sebastian Galiani
    Abstract: We provide evidence on the impact of a large construction of pre-primary school facilities in Argentina. We estimate the causal impact of the program on preprimary school attendance and maternal labor supply. Identification relies on a differences-in-differences strategy where we combine differences across regions in the number of facilities built with differences in exposure across cohorts induced by the timing of the program. We find a sizeable impact of the program on pre-primary school participation among children aged between 3 and 5. In spite of this, we do not find much impact on maternal labor market behavior. The implicit childcare subsidy induced by the construction program only appears to have affected positively the labor market supply of the most skilled mothers.
    Date: 2004–11
  9. By: ; Arnaud Chevalier; ; Colm Harmon; ; Vincent O'Sullivan; Ian Walker (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the intergeneration transmission of education and investigates the extent to which early school leaving (at age 16) may be due to variations in permanent income, parental education levels, and shocks to income at this age. Least squares estimation reveals conventional results - stronger effects of maternal education than paternal, and stronger effects on sons than daughters. We find that the education effects remain significant even when household income is included. Moreover, decomposing the income when the child is 16 between a permanent component and shocks to income at age 16 only the latter is significant. It would appear that education is an important input even when we control for permanent income but that credit constraints at age 16 are also influential. However, when we use instrumental variable methods to simultaneously account for the endogeneity of parental education and paternal income, we find that the strong effects of parental education become insignificant and permanent income matters much more, while the effects of shocks to household income at 16 remain important. A similar pattern of results are reflected in the main measure of scholastic achievement at age 16. These findings have important implications for the design of policies aimed at encouraging pupils to remain in school longer.
    Keywords: Early school leaving, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: I20 J62
    Date: 2005–02
  10. By: Frölich, Markus (University College London, IFAU Uppsala and IZA Bonn); Michaelowa, Katharina (HWWA)
    Abstract: As opposed to many other school inputs, textbooks have frequently been demonstrated to significantly foster student achievement. Using the rich data set provided by the 'Program on the Analysis of Education Systems' (PASEC) for five francophone, sub-Saharan African countries, this paper goes beyond the estimation of direct effects of textbooks on students' learning and focuses on peer effects resulting from textbooks owned by students' classmates. Applying and extending nonparametric estimation methods from the treatment evaluation literature we separate the direct effect of textbooks from their peer effect. The latter clearly dominates but depends upon the initial level of textbook availability.
    Keywords: primary education, student achievement, evaluation, nonparametric estimation
    JEL: C14 C21 O15
    Date: 2005–03
  11. By: Charles Bellemare; Sabine Kroger
    Abstract: This paper analyzes data for a random sample drawn from the Dutch population who reveal their capacity to provide and sustain social capital by their propensity to invest and reward investments by means of an economic experiment. We have three main results. First, we find that heterogeneity in behavior is characterized by several asymmetries -- men, the young and elderly, and low educated individuals invest relatively less, but reward significantly more investments. Second, higher expected levels of investments have a positive and significant effect on the level of investments themselves, corroborating the presence of social norms. Third, we compare our results with a laboratory experiment conducted with a student sample. We find that the student sample provides a lower bound of the population level of social capital.
    Keywords: Social Capital Investments, Social Norms, Experiment, Representative Sample
    JEL: Z13 C90 C10 D39
    Date: 2005
  12. By: Don Fullerton; Li Gan
    Abstract: This paper uses an estimated demand system that accounts for heterogeneity to calculate and compare the lost consumer surplus from a higher tax on gasoline, a tax on distance, or a subsidy for buying a newer car. We introduce a view of cost-effectiveness that compares policies instead of technologies. Each tax might induce some consumers to drive less, some to switch from two vehicles to one, and some to buy a car instead of an SUV. Our model captures these behaviors. For each rate of tax, we simulate the changes in all such choices and how the new choices affect emissions. We also calculate the equivalent variation and subtract tax revenue to get deadweight loss. Finally, we take the added deadweight loss over the additional abatement as the social marginal cost of abatement, and we plot this curve for several different tax policies.
    JEL: H2 Q5
    Date: 2005–03
  13. By: Robert Bifulco (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University); William Duncombe (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University); John Yinger (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)
    Abstract: Thousands of schools around the country have implemented whole-school reform programs to boost student performance. This paper uses quasi-experimental methods to estimate the impact of whole-school reform on students' reading performance in New York City, where various reform programs were adopted in dozens of troubled elementary schools in the mid-1990s. This paper complements studies based on random assignment by examining a broad-based reform effort and explicitly accounting for implementation quality. Two popular reform programs--the School Development and Success for All--do not significantly increase reading scores but might have if they had been fully implemented. The More Effective Schools program does boost reading scores, particularly for the poorest students, but only when program "trainers" remain in the school and the students are native English speakers.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2003–09
  14. By: Stuart S. Rosenthal (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University); William C. Strange
    Abstract: This paper makes two contributions to the empirical literature on agglomeration economies. First, the paper uses a unique and rich database in conjunction with mapping software to measure the geographic extent of agglomerative externalities. Previous papers have been forced to assume that agglomeration economies are club goods that operate at a metropolitan scale. Second, the paper tests for the existence of organizational agglomeration economies of the kind studied qualitatively by Saxenian (1994). This is a potentially important source of increasing returns that previous empirical work has not considered. Results indicate that localization economies attenuate rapidly and that industrial organization affects the benefits of agglomeration.
    Date: 2003–04
  15. By: Stuart S. Rosenthal (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University); William C. Strange
    Abstract: This paper establishes the existence of a previously overlooked relationship between agglomeration and hours worked. Among non-professionals, hours worked decrease with the density of workers in the same occupation. Among professionals, a positive relationship is found. This relationship is twice as strong for the young as for the middle-aged. Moreover, young professional hours worked are shown to be especially sensitive to the presence of rivals. We show that these patterns are consistent with the selection of hard workers into cities and the high productivity of agglomerated labor. The behavior of young professionals is also consistent with the presence of keen rivalry in larger markets, a kind of urban rat race. This evidence of a rat race is nearly unique in the literature.
    JEL: J24 J44 J61
    Date: 2003–09
  16. By: Eldar Beiseitov (Department of Economics, Maxwell School, Syracuse University); Jeffrey D. Kubik (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University); John R. Moran (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)
    Abstract: Using data from the 1998 wave of the Health and Retirement Study, we examine the effect of social interactions on the health insurance choices of the elderly. We find that having more social interactions, as measured by contacts with friends and neighbors, reduces the likelihood of enrolling in a Medicare managed care plan relative to purchasing a medigap policy or having coverage through Medicare alone. Our estimates indicate that social networks are an important determinant of the health insurance choices of the elderly and provide suggestive evidence that "word-of-mouth" information sharing may have played a role in the preference of some seniors for traditional indemnity insurance over managed care.
    JEL: I11 J14
    Date: 2004–05
  17. By: William D. Duncombe (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University); John Yinger (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)
    Abstract: This paper provides a guide to statistically based methods for estimating the extra costs of educating disadvantaged students, shows how these methods are related, and compares state aid programs that account for these costs in different ways. We show how pupil weights, which are included in many state programs, can be estimated from an education cost equation, which many scholars use to obtain an education cost index, and we devise a method to estimate pupil weights directly. Using data from New York, we show that the distribution of state aid is similar with statistically based pupil weights and an educational cost index. Finally, we show that large, urban school districts with a high concentration of disadvantaged students would receive far more aid (and rich suburban districts would receive far less aid) if statistically based pupil weights were used instead of the ad hoc weights in existing state aid programs.
    JEL: C15 H52 I22 I28
    Date: 2004–07
  18. By: Kathryn Wilson; Kristina Lambright (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University); Timothy M. Smeeding (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)
    Abstract: This paper breaks new ground in the debate on school finance and equality of per pupil school expenditures. We are able to allocate expenditures per pupil at the *individual* student and family income level. This allows us to examine both student and school district characteristics and to assess several measures of equality of expenditure across the income distribution of parents and by funding sources. We find a surprising degree of equality in the actual amounts expended per child in low- vs. high-income families. But adjusting for student needs to reach equivalent education expenditures results in much greater inequality over the income distribution. Policy implications for school finance and increased equality of eduational opportunity are drawn in closing.
    JEL: I22 O15
    Date: 2004–08

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