nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2005‒06‒27
eleven papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Employing Travel Costs to Compare the Use Value of Competing Cultural Organizations By Boter, Jaap; Rouwendal, Jan; Wedel, Michel
  2. A spatial economic perspective on language acquisition : segregation, networking and assimilation of immigrants By Florax, Raymond J.G.M.; Graaff, Thomas de; Waldorf, Brigitte S.
  3. Spatial Evolution of Social Norms in a Common-Pool Resource Game By Joëlle Noailly; Cees A. Withagen; Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh
  4. Social Capital, R&D and Industrial Districts By Massimiliano Mazzanti; Giulio Cainelli; Susanna Mancinelli
  6. Cognitive maps in spatial economics: A multidisciplinary approach By Nathalie GAUSSIER (IERSO, IFReDE-GRES); Philippe LAROQUE ETIS neurocybernetics team (UMR CNRS 8051); Nicolas CUPERLIER ETIS neurocybernetics team (UMR CNRS 8051); Mathias QUOY ETIS neurocybernetics team (UMR CNRS 8051); Sorin MOGA ENST Brest; Philippe GAUSSIER ETIS neurocybernetics team (UMR CNRS 8051)
  7. The Spatial Dimension of Segregation: A Case Study in Four French Urban Areas, 1990-1999 By Frédéric GASCHET (IERSO, IFReDE-GRES); Julie LE GALLO (IERSO, IFReDE-GRES)
  8. Inequality in the Access to Secondary Education and Rural Poverty in Bangladesh: An Analysis of Household and School Level Data By Ahmad, Alia; Hossain, Mahabub; Bose , Manik Lal
  9. The Q theory and the Swedish housing market –an empirical test By Berg, Lennart; Berger, Tommy
  10. Death and the City: Chicago's Mortality Transition, 1850-1925 By Joseph P. Ferrie; Werner Troesken
  11. Local Life and Municipal Services in Spain at the Beginning of the 20 th Century. By Gregorio Núñez

  1. By: Boter, Jaap (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Rouwendal, Jan; Wedel, Michel
    Abstract: Since recently, a number of studies have applied non-market valuation techniques to measure the value of cultural goods. All studies are single case applications and rely mostly on stated preferences, such as contingent valuation techniques. We compare the relative value of multiple, competing goods and show how revealed preferences, in particular travel costs, may be used for this. In addition, we account for heterogeneity. Using a unique transaction database with the visiting behavior of 80,821 Museum Cardholders to 108 Dutch museums, we propose a latent class application of a logit model to account for the different distances of museums to the population and for differences in willingness-to-travel.
    Keywords: museums; non-market valuation; revealed preferences; travel cost method
    Date: 2004
  2. By: Florax, Raymond J.G.M. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Graaff, Thomas de; Waldorf, Brigitte S.
    Abstract: Immigration and multiculturalism are at the heart of modern western societies. The issue of language acquisition of immigrants is intrinsically linked to immigration. We formally link language acquisition of immigrants to the relative size of the immigrant stock, employing a microeconomic trading framework. Our model allows for spatial interaction going beyond the immigrant's area of residence, and explicitly incorporates spatial segregation. In addition, behavioral differences of immigrants with respect to their level of assimilation into the host country as well as differences in networking within their own ethnic community are accounted for. We test our model for four non-western immigrant groups in the Netherlands using two different spatial scale levels. The empirical results reveal that there is only ambiguous support for the inverse relationship between size of the immigrant community and language acquisition or language proficiency in The Netherlands. We find instead, that there is strong support for language acquisition and understanding being positively influenced by assimilation to the host country's culture.
    Keywords: Immigration; segregation; networks; assimilation, language
    JEL: J15 J61 R12 R23
    Date: 2004
  3. By: Joëlle Noailly (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Cees A. Withagen (Free University and Tilburg University); Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh (Free University)
    Abstract: We study the conditions for the emergence of cooperation in a spatial common-pool resource game. We consider three types of agents: cooperators, defectors and enforcers. The role of enforcers is to punish defectors for overharvesting the resource. Agents are located around a circle and they only observe the actions of their two nearest neighbors. Their payoffs are determined by both local and global interactions and they modify their actions by imitating the strategy in their neighborhood with the highest payoffs on average. Using theoretical and numerical analysis, we find that a large diversity of equilibria exists in this game. In particular, we derive conditions for the occurrence of equilibria in which the three strategies coexist. We also discuss the stability of these equilibria. Finally, we show that introducing resource dynamics favors the occurrence of cooperative equilibria.
    Keywords: Common property, Evolutionary game theory, Local interactions game, Self-organization, Cooperation
    JEL: C72 Q2
    Date: 2005–05
  4. By: Massimiliano Mazzanti (University of Ferrara); Giulio Cainelli (University of Bari and CERIS-CNR); Susanna Mancinelli (University of Ferrara)
    Abstract: The main idea behind this paper is that social capital is not, as generally suggested by the socio-economic literature, an individual attitude towards something which does not imply privately appropriable economic benefits. Actually, SC might and should be interpreted as a public component of an investment which implies private and public benefits entangled with each other. In order to put forward this idea, a dynamic theoretical model that assumes social capital as the public component of the impure public good R&D is developed. It shows that the ‘civic culture’ of the district area in which the firm works is not sufficient as an incentive to increase its investment in social capital, because this investment strictly depends on the economic convenience of investing in the impure public good. Social capital /networking dynamics might positively and complementarily evolve only if the opportunity cost of investing in innovation is sufficiently low. We consequently focus our attention on a specialized industrial district located in the Emilia Romagna region – the biomedical district of Mirandola (Modena) – characterised by a strong pattern of innovative activity. Using a proxy for innovative activity as dependant variable, we observe that R&D and networking/social capital arise as complementary driving forces for innovation outputs. When empirical evidence confirms that this complementarity plays a key role, and consequently strong links exist between market and non-market dynamics relating to firms, the role for policy actions targeted to social capital is larger. The policy effort should be targeted toward both market and non-market characteristics taken together, rather than solely to the production of (local) public goods (social capital) or innovation inputs as independent elements of firm processes. The input of SC alone is not sufficient to ensure innovation and growth: economic incentives matter. On the other hand, whenever SC dynamics are crucial for R&D private investments, the effect of economic incentives depends on the presence and degree of their complementarity.
    Keywords: Social capital, R&D, Technological innovation, Industrial districts
    JEL: O32 D92 H49
    Date: 2005–06
  5. By: Julia Darby; V. Anton Muscatelli; Graeme Roy
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the established literature on fiscal consolidations (e.g. Alesina and Perotti, 1995, 1997, Alesina et al, 1998) by investigating the distinct behaviour of central and sub-central tiers of government during general government consolidation attempts. In the light of different degrees of decentralisation across OECD countries, and the different responsibilities devolved to sub-central tiers, we believe that this approach offers an illuminating insight into the analysis of fiscal consolidations and their success. We show that the involvement of the sub-central tiers of government is crucial to achieving cuts in expenditure, particularly in relation to the overall size of the government wage bill. In addition, central governments appear to exert a strong influence on the expenditure of subcentral tiers through their grant allocations, and control of these allocations appears to have a considerable impact upon the overall success of consolidation attempts. Finally we demonstrate that there is a skewness in cuts towards sub-central capital expenditure both when central governments cut grant allocations and when sub-central governments engage in lone consolidation attempts.
  6. By: Nathalie GAUSSIER (IERSO, IFReDE-GRES); Philippe LAROQUE ETIS neurocybernetics team (UMR CNRS 8051); Nicolas CUPERLIER ETIS neurocybernetics team (UMR CNRS 8051); Mathias QUOY ETIS neurocybernetics team (UMR CNRS 8051); Sorin MOGA ENST Brest; Philippe GAUSSIER ETIS neurocybernetics team (UMR CNRS 8051)
    Abstract: If mental maps are a well-known subject in spatial analysis, they suffer from the difficulties to make them an operational concept. Nowadays, the development of cognitive science opens up new perspectives. Thanks to an association of spatial economists, roboticists and computer scientists in the context of a CNRS project “Geomatics, Space, Territories and Mobilities”, we show that it is possible to simulate cognitive maps that fit both with non-metric and situated properties. The paper works on a common assumption that space is central to understand individual strategies. It puts forward the idea that spatial visual information is central to spatial situated action. As a consequence, cognitive maps are built with endogenous preferences and exhibit interesting characteristics to better comprehend situated rationality. As an example, we show that a cognitive agent that means agent with a cognitive map, is able to solve spatial compromise without optimising any a priori known resources on a geographic map.
    Keywords: Cognitive maps; neural networks; learning; economics issues; multidisciplinary system
    JEL: D00 R10
    Date: 2005
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the intra-urban spatial segregation in terms of socio-professional categories in four French urban areas: Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux and Dijon. Two questions are investigated. First, how does spatial segregation vary across the four urban poles? Second, what are the spatial patterns of segregation within each urban pole? In order to answer these questions, we compute spatial global segregation indices for socio-professional categories in each urban area, together with entropy indices, which are local segregation indices that reflect the diversity within each unit and that can be mapped to show the spatial variations of segregation among the units of the four urban poles. The results highlight the self-segregation of the managers, the specific features of Paris and the complex spatial distribution of segregation.
    Keywords: segregation, French urban areas, entropy index
    JEL: J15 J41 R14
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Ahmad, Alia (Department of Economics, Lund University); Hossain, Mahabub (Social Sciences Division, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)); Bose , Manik Lal (Social Sciences Division, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI))
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between different levels of education and poverty through an analysis of household-level data from 60 villages in Bangladesh. First of all, it depicts the overall trend in school enrollment at primary and secondary level between 1988-2000, and confirms the inequality that exists in the access to education at post-primary level. This is followed by a presentation of income and occupation data that show a strong positive correlation with the level of education. In the second part, an income function analysis has been done to assess the impact of education along with other determinants. Marginal returns to upper secondary and primary level of education have been found to be higher than lower secondary education. The third part analyzes the effects of education on child/woman ratio, and on the secondary school participation rate of male and female children. Both poverty and low education have positive but weak effect on child/woman ratio. On the other hand, school participation rates are strongly affected by the income status of the household and education of father and mother. Mother´s education has stronger effect on girls´ enrollment in seconadry schools. Lastly, the analysis of school-level data confirms the findings from household survey such as the absence of gender gap at primary level and higher proportion of girls in some secondary schools. The unexpectedly high promotion rates in secondary schools suggest that the schools are more concerned about government financial support than the quality of education. High degree of private tuition among secondary school teachers also points toward inequality in the access to quality education that impairs the ability of the poor to complete the secondary level.
    Keywords: poverty; returns to secondary education; inequality
    JEL: I20 I21
    Date: 2005–06–15
  9. By: Berg, Lennart (Department of Economics); Berger, Tommy (Institute for Housing and Urban Research)
    Abstract: We argue that major changes in economic policy have resulted in a more market driven demand for housing investment in Sweden as a result of changes in policy during the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s. The used investment theory is Tobin’s transparent Q theory. Our results indicate, for the last period of the sample (1993-2003 quarterly data) that a high degree of correlation between the Q ratio and the (logarithm of) two different variables for housing investment exist. An error correction regression model, controlling for structural breaks, indicates also a stable long run relationship could be detected for the logarithm of building starts and the Q ratio between 1993-2003 but not between 1981-1992.
    Keywords: Tobin's Q; housing investment; error correction model; structural break
    JEL: E22 R21
    Date: 2005–06–15
  10. By: Joseph P. Ferrie; Werner Troesken
    Abstract: Between 1850 and 1925, the crude death rate in Chicago fell by 60 percent, driven by reductions in infectious disease rates and infant and child mortality. What lessons might be drawn from the mortality transition in Chicago, and American cities more generally? What were the policies that had the greatest effect on infectious diseases and childhood mortality? Were there local policies that slowed the mortality transition? If the transition to low mortality in American cities was driven by forces largely outside the control of local governments (higher per capita incomes or increases in the amount and quality of calories available to urban dwellers from rising agricultural productivity), then expensive public health projects, such as the construction of public water and sewer systems, probably should have taken a back seat to broader national policies to promote overall economic growth. The introduction of pure water explains between 30 and 50 percent of Chicago%u2019s mortality decline, and that other interventions, such as the introduction of the diphtheria antitoxin and milk inspection had much smaller effects. These findings have important implications for current policy debates and economic development strategies.
    JEL: N0 N9
    Date: 2005–06
  11. By: Gregorio Núñez (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History (University of Granada) and “Grupo de Estudios Históricos sobre la Empresa”)
    Abstract: The interpretation that still prevails of the political and economic history of Spain at the beginning of the century, emphasizes the basically rural and backward character of a society that grew and was modernized very slowly. Even as late as 1932-1936, during the Second Republic in Spain, political backwardness, industrial underdevelopment and engrained agrarian conflict are common factors stressed by many authors and, in contrast, there was a lack of a solid alternative politically and economically rooted in their as yet minority urban middle classes.3 And «perhaps the sole outstanding fact in 1898 was the extent and unanimity of the malaise in the middle class» [PAN-MONTOJO, 1998, p.262]. Recently these ideas are being revised in search of «more subtle interpretations of the political reality which is more prosaic, but not for that reason less complex». Political historians such as Forner and García argued that political fraud, corruption and backwardness cannot explain completely and convincingly early 20 th century Spain. On the contrary, they suggest that the implicit critical factor in the so-called «vieja política» (old politics) was a more general lack of civic maturity, that might have filled the established rules of the political game with democratic content [FORNER & GARCÍA, 1992, pp. 41 y ss.]; but in fact Spanish society only gradually began to fill this gap. They also add that, in such a process of growing maturity, cities played, as should be expected, a fundamental role.
    Keywords: City and Town Life - Spain - History, Cities and Towns - Economic History – Spain – 1878-1944, Urban Life – Spain – 1878-1944, Urban policy, Urbanization - Spain.
    Date: 2005–06–16

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