nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2005‒07‒11
fourteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Urban Green Space Policies : A Comparative Study on Performance and Success Conditions in European Cities By Levent, Tuzin Baycan; Nijkamp, Peter
  2. Transportation, Communication and Sustainability : In Search of a Pathway to Comparative Research By Black, William R.; Nijkamp, Peter
  3. Death of distance and agglomeration forces of firms in the urban e-economy : an artificial intelligence approach using rough set analysis By Geenhuizen, Marina van; Nijkamp, Peter
  4. Geographic Heterogeneity in Housing. Evidence from Spain By Raquel Arévalo Tomé; José María Chamorro Rivas
  5. A dynamic look at subprime loan performance By Michelle A. Danis; Anthony Pennington-Cross
  6. Consumption along the life cycle: how different is housing? By Fang Yang
  7. Owner-occupied housing as a hedge against rent risk By Todd Sinai; Nicholas S. Souleles
  8. Firm fragmentation and urban patterns By Esteban Rossi-Hansberg; Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte; Raymond E. Owens
  9. Regional Intergration and Migration: An Economic Geography Model with Hetergenous Labour Force By Nicola D. Coniglio
  10. Iowa Communities of Distinction: A Summary Analysis of Success Factors & Lessons Learned from In-depth Studies of Selected Iowa Communities By Edelman, Mark; Burke, Sandy C.
  11. Which School Attributes Matter? The Influence of School District Performance and Demographic Composition on Property Values By John M. Clapp; Anupam Nanda; Stephen L. Ross
  12. Fiscal Equlisation and Citizen's Preferences : Evidence from Swiss Municipalities By Nils Soguel; Alexandre Tangerini
  13. 26 cantons suisses… 27 politiques budgétaires ou aucune? By Nils Soguel; Marc-Jean Martin
  14. Is Central Paris still that rich? By Frederic Gilli

  1. By: Levent, Tuzin Baycan (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: Urban green spaces play a key role in improving the liveability of our towns and cities. The quality and viability of cities depend largely on the design, management and maintenance of urban green as well as on open and public spaces that make up an important social constellation and offer a visual representation of urban quality. Actually, urban green spaces may be seen as an important contribution to a sustainable development of cities. However, the full potential of green spaces is not always realized, so that current management practices are sometimes sub-optimal. From a policy perspective, the results of several case studies have highlighted critical policy needs and priorities for the development and management of urban green spaces. It is, therefore, of strategic importance to compare and evaluate urban green space policies for identifying the best practices with a view to proper policy recommendations and guidance for urban society and planning authorities in order to improve the quality of life in modern cities. Against this background, the present study investigates urban green spaces from a policy evaluation perspective and analyses in a comparative sense European cities in order to obtain strategic and policy relevant information on the key features of urban green. The study aims to compare and evaluate the current management practices in various European cities on the basis of the actual performance of urban green space policies. The data and information used for comparison and evaluation are based on extensive survey questionnaires filled out by relevant departments or experts of municipalities in European cities which aim to share their experience in innovative green space policies and strategies. As a rather novel methodological contribution, a recently developed artificial intelligence method, i.e. rough set analysis, is deployed to assess and identify the most important factors that are responsible for successes and failures of urban green space policies. Our approach is able to reveal the most critical policy variables
    Keywords: urban society; green spaces; european cities; comparison
    Date: 2004
  2. By: Black, William R. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: This paper maps out recent trends in transportation, communication and mobility, against the background of the need for comparative research on a Transatlantic basis. Particular attention is given to the importance of the ICT sector. Questions on comparability and transferability are dealt with, in particular from a sustainability perspective. The paper is concluded with an overview of future research challenges.
    Keywords: transportation; communication; mobility; ICT; comparsion
    Date: 2004
  3. By: Geenhuizen, Marina van (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: The present study addresses the relevance of geographic proximity for companies in our age of advanced ICT. Many visions of, and speculations on, an increased footlooseness of companies and a concomitant dispersal of urban economic activity have been published in recent years. To identify whether urban agglomeration economies (in particular, knowledge spillovers) are still a key force in preventing such dispersal, we investigate the degree of footlooseness of young, innovative companies. First, we briefly review the traditional theory of agglomeration economies, in particular knowledge spillovers. Next, we connect this theory with more recent resource-dependence views. We then present the results of an empirical analysis of young, innovative companies in various city regions in the Netherlands. The selected innovative sectors are medical biotechnology, ICT services, and mechatronics (optronics), and do not include consumer-oriented activities. The exploratory analysis based on interviews with 21 companies employs an artificial intelligence method, called 'rough set analysis', to increase our understanding of the crucial factors that influence the relevance of physical proximity. On the basis of these results, we argue that agglomeration economies still remain important for various categories of young, innovative firms, even those providing ICT services, but that we need to make a distinction between agglomeration economies that work exclusively in the largest city (i.e. Amsterdam) and agglomeration economies that cover a larger metropolitan area. The only fundamental change in proximity needs among these young, innovative companies originates from a small class of network companies, which are footloose even beyond the larger metropolitan area.
    Keywords: ICT; young and innovative companies; agglomeration economies; proximity; footlooseness; rough set analysis; artificial intelligence
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Raquel Arévalo Tomé; José María Chamorro Rivas
    Abstract: This article offers an empirical analysis of geographical differences in the characteristics of housing in the different provinces of Spain. The study employs multiple correspondence analysis to derive a housing index, in line with Arévalo (1999). While Arévalo used only structural variables, this research also includes proxy variables for access to services derived from the location of the living unit. A readily interpretable index is thus created, which measures the level of internal and external services that a living unit (house or apartment) provides for its occupiers. The results confirm that characteristics derived from location are complementary to structural characteristics of the living unit itself (housing services). Moreover, with the addition of location variables, the new housing index shows: (i) increased correlation with observed rental and house prices, and (ii) a more realistic view of geographical differences in the level of services of Spanish housing. The study contributes new housing indicators that are easily applicable, for example, in studies on household quality of life, social exclusion, and poverty.
  5. By: Michelle A. Danis; Anthony Pennington-Cross
    Abstract: This paper examines the implications of delinquency on the performance of subprime mortgages. Specifically, we examine whether delinquency has any predictive power of the future performance of a mortgage. Using a sample of subprime mortgages from the Loan performance database on securitized private-label pool collateral, we utilize a two-step estimation procedure to control for the endogeneity of delinquency in an estimation of default and prepayment probabilities. We find strong support for the *distressed prepayment* theory that very delinquent loans are more likely to prepay than to default and that the rate of increase of prepayment is substantially larger as delinquency intensity increases. Delinquency predominately leads to termination of a loan through prepayment while negative equity leads to termination through default.
    Keywords: Mortgages
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Fang Yang
    Abstract: Micro data over the life cycle shows two different patterns of consumption of housing and non-housing goods: the consumption profile of non-housing goods is hump-shaped while the consumption profile for housing first increases monotonically and then flattens out. This paper develops a rich, quantitative, dynamic general equilibrium model of life cycle behavior, which generates consumption profiles consistent with the observed data. Borrowing constraints are essential in explaining the accumulation of housing assets early in life, while transaction costs are crucial in generating the slow downsizing of the housing later in life. The bequest motives play a role in determining total life time wealth, but not the housing profile.
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Todd Sinai; Nicholas S. Souleles
    Abstract: The conventional wisdom that homeownership is very risky ignores the fact that the alternative, renting, is also risky. Owning a house provides a hedge against fluctuations in housing costs, but in turn introduces asset price risk. In a simple model of tenure choice with endogenous house prices, the authors show that the net risk of owning declines with a household’s expected horizon in its house and with the correlation in housing costs in future locations. Empirically, they find that both house prices, relative to rents, and the probability of homeownership increase with net rent risk
    Keywords: Housing ; Housing - Prices
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Esteban Rossi-Hansberg; Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte; Raymond E. Owens
    Abstract: We document several empirical regularities regarding the evolution of urban structure in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas over the period 1980-1990. These regularities relate to changes in resident population, employment, occupations, as well as the number and size of establishments in different sections of the metropolitan area. We then propose a theory of urban structure that emphasizes the location and integration decisions of firms. In particular, firms can decide to locate their headquarters and operation plants in different regions of the city. Given that cities experienced positive population growth throughout the 1980s, we show that our theory accounts for the diverse facts documented in the paper.
    Keywords: Population ; Employment
    Date: 2005
  9. By: Nicola D. Coniglio
    Abstract: This paper aims to analyse the effect of deepening regional integration on the incentive for factors of production, in particular labour, to spatially relocate. We adopt a general equilibrium, economic-geography model built on Krugman (1991) allowing for skill heterogeneity in the manufacturing sector. At a given level of trade costs, due to the productivity premium associated with the concentration of high-skilled workers in one region, this type of worker will be more willing to migrate than low-skilled ones. The paper shows the existence of a range of trade costs for which only high-skilled workers have an incentive to migrate. Therefore, introducing labour heterogeneity in the basic core-periphery model enables us to explain one of the most striking features of interregional migration patterns: the positive self-selection of the migrants.
  10. By: Edelman, Mark; Burke, Sandy C.
    Abstract: This project examined local perceptions regarding the factors that contributed to community vitality or the lack thereof during the decade of the 1990s in order to provide lessons learned, best practices and innovative ideas for other community leaders in Iowa and other states. Researchers identified eight non-metro communities ranging in population from 1,100 to 11,000. Two communities of similar size were selected from each regional quadrant of the state. One of the two communities from each quadrant exceeded the state average population growth rate for the decade of the 1990s. The other lost population. An interdisciplinary assessment team conducted on-site interviews with a cross-section of local leaders from local government, economic development, education, and healthcare in each community. A total of 75 community leaders from the eight communities were interviewed for this project. Draft reports were developed from field notes and local interviewees were given an opportunity to review the drafts for their community prior to publication. Loss of a major employer and organizational capacity to respond was identified a the major explanatory factor in explaining the difference in population growth and decline for the period.
    Date: 2005–07–07
  11. By: John M. Clapp (University of Connecticut); Anupam Nanda (University of Connecticut); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Increasing levels of segregation in American schools raises the question: do home buyers pay for test scores or demographic composition? This paper uses Connecticut panel data spanning seven years from 1994 to 2000 to ascertain the relationship between property values and explanatory variables that include school performance and school demographic attributes such as racial and ethnic composition. Census tract fixed effects are included to control for neighborhood unobservables, and assessed property values are shown to provide important additional controls. The study finds strong evidence that percent Hispanic and percent free lunch are important in determining housing prices, and no evidence that improved test scores lead to higher housing prices.
    Keywords: Test Score and Demographics, House Price, Omitted Neighborhood Attributes. Assessed Value model.
    JEL: D1 D4 I2 R2 R5
    Date: 2005–07
  12. By: Nils Soguel (IDHEAP); Alexandre Tangerini (IDHEAP)
    Abstract: The normative literature on fiscal federalism generally recognises the need for fiscal equalisation mechanisms to facilitate the mitigation of inequities in the distribution of resources. The question of how far to go in matters of fiscal equalisation is a very sensitive one. Choices in this area reflect the prevailing social norms and the political debates, in the context of which these norms are expressed. Moreover, the political debates are characterised by the usual tensions between selfish and altruistic visions of society. The empirical part of this contribution analyses the results of two referenda recently held in the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. It provides explanatory models for both ballots (acceptance rate of the propositions in each municipality). The model’s explanatory variables show that the people of Vaud’s voting behaviour was basically selfish. The widespread belief that voters are capable of altruism in this particular area is, therefore, rejected.
    JEL: D6 D7 H
    Date: 2005–07–08
  13. By: Nils Soguel (IDHEAP); Marc-Jean Martin (IDHEAP)
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to show that the Swiss cantons do not care –or do not care that much– of the obligation of the article 100 of the federal Constitution, namely to adapt their fiscal policy according to the business cycle. More specifically, the paper aims at confirming on a factual basis that the cantonal fiscal policies are pro-cyclical. Indeed 2003 caracterised by an economic slowdown that could have been already anticipated while preparing the cantonal budgets for that very year. Whereas in most cantons it can be seen that the budgetary proposals for 2003 are either neutral toward the business cycle or more often procyclical. This statement is reinforced by statistical studies carried out by various researchers both at the cantonal individual level and allover the cantons using data for the long run. The meta-analysis of these studies shows that the Swiss cantons usually had behaved procyclically since there had been systematically and clearly more pro- cyclical impulses than contra-cyclical impluses.
    JEL: D6 D7 H
    Date: 2005–07–08
  14. By: Frederic Gilli (CERAS ENPC)
    Abstract: From 1975 to 1999, employment in Paris metropolitan area has become more and more decentralized. This deconcentration is almost half spread and half clustered. Parallel to the sprawl of jobs, the growth of a services oriented economy has led to an increase in sectoral concentration. But there are no clear evidences of a vertical spatial desintegration, because by the same time the places tend to diversify. An explanation might be that the sprawl relies both on endogenous job creations and on job relocations: the relocations tend to increase the specialisation of the clusters but endogenous growth is more diverse and residential.
    JEL: L23 O18 R11 R12
    Date: 2005–07–08

This nep-ure issue is ©2005 by Steve Ross. 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.
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