nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2005‒07‒03
eighteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  2. Modelling the Entrepreneurial Space-Economy: an overview By Nijkamp, Peter; Wissen, Leo van
  3. On the substitution and complimentarity between telework and travel : a review and application By Graaff, Thomas de
  4. Multidimensional Evaluation of Urban Green Spaces : A Comparative Study on European Cities By Levent, Tuzin Baycan; Vreeker, Ron; Nijkamp, Peter
  5. Multicriteria evaluation and local environmental planning for sustainable tourism By De Montis, Andrea; Deplano, Giancarlo; Nijkamp, Peter
  6. Social learning, neighborhood effects, and investment in human capital By Yamauchi, Futoshi
  7. Poverty, inequality, and geographic targeting By Simler, Kenneth R.; Nhate, Virgulino
  8. Location Choice and Employment Decisions: A Comparison of German and Swedish Multinationals By Sascha O. Becker; Karolina Ekholm; Robert Jäckle; Marc-Andreas Mündler
  9. New Economic Geography meets Comecon: Regional Wages and Industry Location in Central Europe By Marius Brülhart; Pamina Koenig
  10. Race, Income, and College in 25 Years: The Continuing Legacy of Segregation and Discrimination By Alan Krueger; Jesse Rothstein; Sarah Turner
  11. Principals as Agents: Subjective Performance Measurement in Education By Brian A. Jacob; Lars Lefgren
  12. "Role of Local Communities in Economic Development: A Survey Focusing on the Export Industries in Nineteenth Century Japan"(in Japanese) By Tetsuji Okazaki; Esuke Taniyama; Masaki Nakabayashi
  13. Semiparametric Construction of Spatial Generalized Hedonic Models for Private Properties By Stefan Sebastian Fahrlaender
  14. The Continuing Practice and Impact of Discrimination By Stephen L. Ross
  15. Single Mothers, Social Capital, and Work-Family Conflict By Teresa Ciabattari
  16. Coalition Formation with Local Public Goods and Network Effect By Fan-chin Kung
  17. Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development By Fabio Sabatini
  18. Knowledge Exchange, Matching, and Agglomeration By Marcus Berliant; Robert R. Reed III; Ping Wang

  1. By: Giorgio Gobbi (Economics Research Department, Bank of Italy); Francesca Lotti (Economics Research Department, Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: During the last decades there has been a widespread relaxation of legal entry barriers into the banking industry, with potential benefits for financial integration and competition. Obstacles to banks' geographical and business expansion have been removed and branching has been substantially liberalized. This paper analyzes the determinants of entry decisions into local credit markets using a unique data set before and after deregulation of the Italian banking industry. We estimate an entry model à la Poisson and find evidence that spreads between loan and deposit rates drive entry only for newly chartered banks, but does not affect the decision to open branches of banks operating in other markets. Branching by outside banks is instead positively correlated with business opportunities in the provision of financial services which do not require the acquisition of substantial proprietary information. Both these results are consistent with the hypothesis that in credit markets incumbents have an informational advantage over new entrants.
    Keywords: Entry, deregulation, informational barriers, count data, overdispersion
    JEL: G21 L22 C25
    Date: 2004–12
  2. By: Nijkamp, Peter (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Wissen, Leo van
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to review recent contributions to the study of entrepreneurship and firm dynamics from a methodological and firm demographic perspective. Understanding the contemporary changes in business life requires a thorough understanding of structural changes in entrepreneurial behaviour and firm dynamics, both in space and in time. The spatial and temporal aspects of business life have in recent years received much attention, and a review is given here. The framework concept of the 'firm life course' is proposed in this article to integrate both dimensions. The firm life course represents the way firms organize their life path over time in sequences of critical events, decisions, and periods. The dimensions of time and space appear to be highly connected in business life. Not only is firm mobility increasing, but also are entrepreneurs increasingly acting as networkers. The emergence of virtual and dynamic networks of entrepreneurs calls for new methods of research of dealing with them. This article maps out some of the modern research trends in this domain.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; dynamics
    Date: 2004
  3. By: Graaff, Thomas de (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)
    Abstract: This paper offers a review of the scientific evidence regarding the relation between ICT and travel in general and ICT and commuting in particular. It focuses on the issue of teleworking at home and ignores other interesting phenomena as teleworking centers. The conclusions can be summarized as follows. In the short run, ICT and commuting are to be regarded as weak substitutes, although the relation differs across population groups and parts of the day. If total travel is taken into account, then the relation becomes less clear. However, there also seems to be substitution between non-commute travel and teleworking. This indicates particular recommendations for both environmental and traffic policy. The results are further illustrated by an empirical application from the Netherlands.
    Keywords: ICT; travel; commuting; teleworking
    Date: 2004
  4. By: Levent, Tuzin Baycan (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Vreeker, Ron; Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: Urban green spaces play an important role in improving quality of life and sustainability in cities and require a careful empirical assessment. Several factors such as social, economic, ecological or planning aspects, and several functions such as utilization, production, employment, education, regulation and preservation of urban green spaces form the basis for the determination of the criteria and indicators relevant for the assessment of urban green spaces. This multi-faceted ramification of urban green spaces needs therefore, a multidimensional evaluation approach in an urban policy context. The aim of this paper is to investigate the complex and heterogeneous structure of urban green spaces from a multi-faceted assessment perspective. The paper examines urban green spaces from the viewpoint of quantity and availability of urban green spaces, changes in green spaces, planning of urban green spaces, financing of urban green spaces and level of performance, on the basis of a comparison of 24 European cities by deploying a multi-criteria analysis for mixed quantitative and qualitative information, coined Regime Analysis. It aims to highlight the present situation and priorities in decision-making and to compare the green performance of European cities in the process of urban green planning and management. A comparison of urban green spaces in European cities by means of multi-criteria analysis brings to light the critical elements in the present situation and sets out choice directions based on priorities in decision-making and policy evaluation. This evaluation of several experiences in different regions and countries provides a fascinating European picture in terms of urban green planning and management.
    Keywords: urban green spaces; cities; Europe
    Date: 2004
  5. By: De Montis, Andrea (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Deplano, Giancarlo; Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: Within the framework of the certification for the environmental management system (EMS) and its total quality (i.e. ISO 14001 and VISION 2000), methodologies and research focus on innovative models for sustainable and environmentally-sound tourism. The complexity of these concepts requires the assessment of analytical schemes able to tackle conflicting situations and the subjectivity of political decisions. Thus, this paper provides insights into decision-making for a hypothetical institutional body interested in developing an objective standardized procedure for evaluating the spatial dimension of sustainable tourist development. The methodology assessed belongs to the family of multicriteria tools and is developed by the integration of the Regime method (Hinloopen and Nijkamp, 1990) with the AHP method (Saaty, 1988). The high volatility of the results is studied by means of sensitivity analysis and this leads to further reflections on the requirements of an Internet-based evaluation and learning process, grounded in a remote access debate among the stakeholders.
    Keywords: Multicriteria analysis; Sustainable tourism; Environmental planning
    Date: 2004
  6. By: Yamauchi, Futoshi
    Abstract: "This paper shows that neighborhood factors matter in schooling investments: in the face of the availability of a new technology that altered schooling returns, agents learned of the benefits of new returns to schooling from neighbors and adjusted schooling investments over time. Using household data available from the onset of the Green Revolution in India—where in some regions the diffusion of high-yielding varieties (HYVs) affected returns to schooling — the author shows that the schooling distribution of the parents' generation in a neighborhood is important to social learning and household decisions regarding child schooling investments. The study attempts to empirically identify the process of social learning and neighborhood effects on child schooling investments in a Bayesian learning model." From Text
    Keywords: Human capital ,Risk ,Social learning ,School enrollment ,technological changes ,Green Revolution ,
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Simler, Kenneth R.; Nhate, Virgulino
    Abstract: "This paper applies small area estimation techniques to Mozambican data to develop high resolution (subdistrictlevel) poverty and inequality maps...The picture that emerges is one of considerable local-level economic heterogeneity, with the poor living alongside the nonpoor. Rather than finding stark pockets of intense poverty traps in one part of the country and a relative absence of poverty in other parts, the situation is much more nuanced. This suggests that targeting antipoverty efforts on purely geographic criteria is almost certain to be inefficient, with leakages to the nonpoor and under-coverage of the significant numbers of poor households in areas that are “less poor.”" From Text
    Keywords: Inequality ,Geographic targeting ,Small area estimation ,Poverty mapping ,
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Sascha O. Becker; Karolina Ekholm; Robert Jäckle; Marc-Andreas Mündler
    Abstract: Using data for German and Swedish multinational enterprises (MNEs), this paper assesses international employment patterns. It analyzes determinants of location choice and the degree of substitutability of labor across locations. Countries with highly skilled labor forces attract German MNEs, but we find no such evidence for Swedish MNEs. This is consistent with the hypothesis that German MNEs locate production stages intensive in high-skilled labor abroad. In MNEs from either country, affiliate employment tends to substitute for employment at the parent firm. At the margin, substitutability is the strongest with respect to affiliate employment in Western Europe. A one percent larger wage gap between Germany and locations in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is estimated to be associated with 900 fewer jobs in German parents and 5,000 more jobs in affiliates located in CEE. A one percent larger wage gap between Sweden and CEE is estimated to be associated with 140 fewer jobs in Swedish parents and 260 more jobs in affiliates located in CEE.
    Keywords: Multinational enterprises; location choice; multinomial choice; labor demand; translog cost function
    JEL: F21 F23 J21 J23
    Date: 2005–05
  9. By: Marius Brülhart; Pamina Koenig
    Abstract: We analyze the internal spatial wage and employment structures of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia, using regional data for 1996-2000. A new economic geography model predicts wage gradients and specialization patterns that are smoothly related to regions' relative market access. As an alternative, we formulate a "Comecon hypothesis", according to which wages and sectoral location are not systematically related to market access except for discrete concentrations in capital regions. Our estimations confirm the ongoing relevance of the Comecon hypothesis: compared to pre-2004 EU members, Central European countries' average wages and service employment were still discretely higher in capital regions. Our results point towards an increase in relative wages and employment shares of Central Europe's provincial regions, favoring particularly those that are proximate to the large markets of incumbent EU members.
    Keywords: regional wages; industry location; transition economies; Central Europe; new economic geography
    JEL: P25 R12
    Date: 2005–01
  10. By: Alan Krueger; Jesse Rothstein; Sarah Turner
    Abstract: The rate at which racial gaps in pre-collegiate academic achievement can plausibly be expected to erode is a matter of great interest and much uncertainty. In her opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger, Supreme Court Justice O'Connor took a firm stand: "We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary . . ." We evaluate the plausibility of Justice O'Connor's forecast, by projecting the racial composition and SAT distribution of the elite college applicant pool 25 years from now. We focus on two important margins: First, changes in the black-white relative distribution of income, and second, narrowing of the test score gap between black and white students within family income groups. Other things equal, progress on each margin can be expected to reduce the racial gap in qualifications among students pursuing admission to the most selective colleges. Under plausible assumptions, however, projected economic progress will not yield nearly as much racial diversity as is currently obtained with race-sensitive admissions. Simulations that assume additional increases in black students' test scores, beyond those deriving from changes in family income, yield more optimistic estimates. In this scenario, race-blind rules approach the black representation among admitted students seen today at moderately selective institutions, but continue to fall short at the most selective schools. Maintaining a critical mass of African American students at the most selective institutions would require policies at the elementary and secondary levels or changes in parenting practices that deliver unprecedented success in narrowing the test score gap in the next quarter century.
    JEL: I2 J15 J7
    Date: 2005–06
  11. By: Brian A. Jacob; Lars Lefgren
    Abstract: In this paper, we compare subjective principal assessments of teachers to the traditional determinants of teacher compensation ¡V education and experience ¡V and another potential compensation mechanism -- value-added measures of teacher effectiveness based on student achievement gains. We find that subjective principal assessments of teachers predict future student achievement significantly better than teacher experience, education or actual compensation, though not as well as value-added teacher quality measures. In particular, principals appear quite good at identifying those teachers who produce the largest and smallest standardized achievement gains in their schools, but have far less ability to distinguish between teachers in the middle of this distribution and systematically discriminate against male and untenured faculty. Moreover, we find that a principal¡¦s overall rating of a teacher is a substantially better predictor of future parent requests for that teacher than either the teacher¡¦s experience, education and current compensation or the teacher¡¦s value-added achievement measure. These findings not only inform education policy, but also shed light on subjective performance assessment more generally.
    JEL: I0
    Date: 2005–07
  12. By: Tetsuji Okazaki (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Esuke Taniyama (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University); Masaki Nakabayashi (Faculty of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: In this paper we survey the literature on the role of communities in the development of a market economy in Japan. The role of communities has long been explored implicitly as well as explicitly in the literature on the Japanese economic history. In this survey we focus on the export industries in the early stage of the modern economic development. In the late 19th century, when the traditional legal and private institutions which had governed transactions, collapsed, and at the same time the modern institutions were still underdeveloped, it was highly possible that problems due to information asymmetry between sellers and buyers were serious. In fact, we can find many evidences of moral hazard and adverse selection in the documents of this period. On the other hand, since just after the opening up of the international trade in 1858, large amount of products including silk and tea, were exported to foreign countries. This implies some mechanisms worked to resolve the problems stemming from information asymmetry. In the case of silk industry, private associations based on local communities, prevented from moral hazard and adverse selection by establishing brands, which, in turn, were protected by the local government. This case suggests that a market economy was complementary with local communities, and that the function of local communities, in turn, was complemented by the role of local governments.
    Date: 2005–06
  13. By: Stefan Sebastian Fahrlaender
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the empirical hedonic prices for non-standard condominiums and single family houses using nonparametric estimates as well as a generalized additive model for the spatial generalization of the attractiveness of all Swiss communities. We find that the assumption of log-linearity for continuous variables does not hold but can be replaced by partwise log-linear or quadratic terms. Due to the topographical segmentation of Switzerland, driving times seem to be more adequate than geographical distances to explain the price level of a village with the price level of its neighbours. We show, that using metric multidimensional scaling, the driving times between the villages can be converted into artificial coordinates with three principal axis to serve as a basis for the prediction of the macro-locations of the Swiss villages
    Keywords: Hedonic prices; private property; Switzerland; robust regression; splines; multidimensional scaling
    JEL: C52 R31
    Date: 2005–06
  14. By: Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This chapter provides a detailed discussion of the evidence on housing and mortgage lending, as well as the potential impacts of such discrimination on minority outcomes like homeownership and neighborhood environment. The paper begins by discussing conceptual issues surrounding empirical analyses of discrimination including explanations for why discrimination takes place, defining different forms of discrimination, and the appropriate interpretation of observed racial and ethnic differences in treatment or outcomes. Next, the paper reviews evidence on housing market discrimination starting with evidence of segregation and price differences in the housing market and followed by direct evidence of discrimination by real estate agents in paired testing studies. Finally, mortgage market discrimination and barriers to access to mortgage credit are discussed. This discussion begins with an assessment of the role credit barriers play in explaining racial and ethnic differences in homeownership and follows with discussions of analyses of underwriting and the price of credit based on administrative and private sector data sources including analyses of the subprime market. The paper concludes that housing discrimination has declined especially in the market for owner-occupied housing and does not appear to play a large role in limiting the neighborhood choices of minority households or the concentration of minorities into central cities. On the other hand, the patterns of racial centralization and lower home ownership rates of African-Americans appear to be related to each other, and lower minority homeownership rates are in part attributable to barriers in the market for mortgage credit. The paper presents considerable evidence of racial and ethnic differences in mortgage underwriting, as well as additional evidence suggesting these differences may be attributable to differential provision of coaching, assistance, and support by loan officers. At this point, innovation in loan products, the shift towards risk based pricing, and growth of the subprime market have not mitigated the role credit barriers play in explaining racial and ethnic differences in homeownership, but rather appears to raise additional opportunities for discrimination on the price of mortgage credit. The growth of the subprime industry also appears to have segmented the market in terms of geography and substantially increased the cost of relying on spatially nearby sources of mortgage credit. On a more positive note, the potential role played by loan officers in mortgage market discrimination suggests that the shift towards automated underwriting may lead to substantial improvements for minority applicants over time.
    Keywords: Homeownership, Housing Discrimination, Mortgage Lending Discrimination, Segregation, subprime lending.
    JEL: G21 G15 L85 R21 R30
    Date: 2005–06
  15. By: Teresa Ciabattari (Sonoma State University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine work-family conflict among low-income, unmarried mothers. I examine how social capital affects work-family conflict and how both social capital and work-family conflict affect employment. I analyze the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a national sample of non-marital births collected in 1998-2000 and 1999-2002. Results show that social capital reduces unmarried mothers' reports of work-family conflict, especially for low-income women. In addition, mothers who report high levels of work-family conflict are less likely to be employed; this pattern holds for women who are not looking for work as well as those who are. However, even at high levels of conflict, low-income women are more likely to be employed. The results suggest that work-family conflict has two consequences for unmarried women: it keeps them out of the labor force and makes it more difficult for women who want to work to maintain employment stability.
    Keywords: work-family, work, family, conflict, low-income, unmarried, mothers, social, capital
    JEL: J1 H4 I3
    Date: 2005–06
  16. By: Fan-chin Kung (City University of Hong Kong & Academia Sinica)
    Abstract: Many local public goods are provided by coalitions and some of them have network effects. Namely, people prefer to consume a public good in a coalition with more members. This paper adopts the Drèze and Greenberg (1980) type utility function where players have preferences over goods as well as coalition members. In a game with anonymous and separable network effect, the core is nonempty when coalition feasible sets are monotonic and players' preferences over public goods have connected support. All core allocations consist of connected coalitions and they are Tiebout equilibria as well. We also examine the no-exodus equilibrium for games whose feasible sets are not monotonic.
    Keywords: Coalition formation, core, network effect, local public goods
    JEL: C71 D71 H41
    Date: 2005–06–28
  17. By: Fabio Sabatini (University of Rome La Sapienza)
    Abstract: This paper carries out an empirical assessment of the relationship between social capital and the quality of economic development in Italy. The analysis draws on a dataset collected by the author including about two hundred variables representing different aspects of economic development and four “structural” dimensions of social capital. The quality of development is measured through human development and indicators of the state of health of urban ecosystems, public services, gender equality, and labour markets, while social capital is measured through synthetic indicators representing strong family ties, weak informal ties, voluntary organizations, and political participation. The quality of development exhibits a strong positive correlation with bridging weak ties and a negative correlation with strong family ties. Particularly, the analysis shows a strong correlation between informal ties and an indicator of “social well-being” (synthetizing gender equality, public services and labour markets) and between voluntary organizations and the state of health of urban ecosystems. Active political participation proves to be irrelevant in terms of development and well-being. Finally, the role of public spending for education, health care, welfare work, and the environment protection is analysed, revealing a scarce correlation both with social capital and development indicators.
    Keywords: Social capital, Social networks, Public spending, Economic development, Principal component analysis
    JEL: O15 O18 R11
    Date: 2005–06–29
  18. By: Marcus Berliant (Washington University in St. Louis); Robert R. Reed III (University of Kentucky); Ping Wang (Washington University in St. Louis)
    Abstract: Despite wide recognition of their significant role in explaining sustained growth and economic development, uncompensated knowledge spillovers have not yet been fully modeled with a microeconomic foundation. This paper illustrates the exchange of knowledge as well as its consequences for agglomerative activity in a general-equilibrium search-theoretic framework. Agents, possessing differentiated types of knowledge, search for partners to exchange ideas in order to improve production efficacy. Contrary to previous work, we demonstrate that a decentralized equilibrium may be under-populated or over-populated and underselective or over-selective in knowledge exchange, compared to the social optimum.
    Keywords: matching, knowledge exchange and spillovers, agglomerative activity
    JEL: C78 D51 R12
    Date: 2005–06–23

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