nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2005‒09‒17
ten papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Property Taxation as a Determinant of School District Efficiency By Marte Rønning; Jon Hernes Fiva
  2. The spatial effect of intra-metropolitan agglomeration economies By Miguel Angel Garcia Lopez; Ivan Muñiz Olivera
  3. Do Accountability and Voucher Threats Improve Low-Performing Schools? By David N. Figlio; Cecilia Elena Rouse
  4. Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill By Judith Hellerstein; David Neumark
  5. Decentralization with Property Taxation to Improve Incentives: Evidence from Local Governments’ Discrete Choice By Jørn Rattsø; Jon Hernes Fiva
  6. Employment descentralisation: polycentric compaction or sprawl? The case of the Barcelona Metropolitan Region 1986-1996 By Miguel Angel Garcia Lopez; Ivan Muñiz Olivera
  7. Descentralisation, Integration and polycentrism in Barcelona By Ivan Muñiz Olivera; Anna Galindo; Miguel Angel Garcia Lopez
  9. Local Employment Growth in West Germany: A Dynamic Panel Approach By Uwe Blien; Jens Suedekum; Katja Wolf
  10. Education, Neighbourhood Effects and Growth: An Agent Based Model Approach By Tanya Araújo; Miguel St. Aubyn

  1. By: Marte Rønning (Centre for Economic Research and Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Jon Hernes Fiva (Centre for Economic Research and Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: Recent theoretical contributions have emphasized the favorable incentive effects of property taxation. The object of this paper is to confront these theories with Norwegian data on student performance. The institutional setting in Norway is well suited to analyzing the effects of property taxation because we can compare school districts with and without property taxation. In addition, we focus on an alternative incentive mechanism - competition between school districts. The empirical results indicate that students in school districts that levy residential property taxes perform better at the national examination than students in comparable school districts. Strategic interaction in school quality is present, but the magnitude of the interaction effect is modest.
    Keywords: Student achievement;efficiency;property taxation;competition;spatial auto-regressive model
    JEL: C21 H71 I22
    Date: 2004–08–01
  2. By: Miguel Angel Garcia Lopez (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); Ivan Muñiz Olivera (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This study deals with the role of spatial accessibility to agglomeration economies in the change in spatial structure of industrial employment for the case of the Barcelona Metropolitan Region of Barcelona (BMR). Using the growth in gross density of municipal employment between 1986 and 1996 for seven manufacturing industries as an indicator of changes in the spatial structure of employment, an exploration is made of the spatial impact of agglomeration economies operating on a local scale – the municipality and three areas 5, 8 and 12 kilometres away surrounding the municipality itself - , agglomeration economies emerging from CBD and the main specialised subcentres in the region, and the network economies associated with the total jobs in the region, access to which depends on the distance from the main transport infrastructures
    Keywords: Agglomeration economies, industrial employment growth, intra-metropolitan localisation, spatial structure.
    JEL: R11 R12 R14 R30 L60
    Date: 2005–06
  3. By: David N. Figlio; Cecilia Elena Rouse
    Abstract: In this paper we study the effects of the threat of school vouchers and school stigma in Florida on the performance of "low-performing" schools using student-level data from a subset of districts. Estimates of the change in school-level high-stakes test scores from the first year of the reform are consistent with the early results used by the state of Florida to claim large-scale improvements associated with the threat of voucher assignment. However, we also find that much of this estimated effect may be due to other factors. While we estimate a small relative improvement in reading scores on the high-stakes test for voucher-threatened/stigmatized schools, we estimate a much smaller relative improvement on a lower-stakes, nationally norm-referenced, test. Further, the relative gains in reading scores are explained largely by changing student characteristics. We find more evidence for a positive differential effect on math test scores on both the low- and highstakes tests, however, the results from the lower-stakes test appear primarily limited to students in the high-stakes grade. Finally, we find some evidence that the relative improvements following the introduction of the A Plan by low-performing schools were more due to the stigma of receiving the low grade rather than the threat of vouchers.
    JEL: I20 I21
    Date: 2005–09
  4. By: Judith Hellerstein; David Neumark
    Abstract: We study workplace segregation in the United States using a unique matched employer-employee data set that we have created. We present measures of workplace segregation by education and language–as skilled workers may be more complementary with other skilled workers than with unskilled workers–and by race and ethnicity, using simulation methods to measure segregation beyond what would occur randomly as workers are distributed across establishments. We also assess the role of education- and language-related skill differentials in generating workplace segregation by race and ethnicity, as skill is often correlated with race and ethnicity. Finally, we attempt to distinguish between segregation by skill based on general crowding of unskilled poor English speakers into a narrow set of jobs, and segregation based on common language for reasons such as complementarity among workers speaking the same language. Our results indicate that there is considerable segregation by education and language in the workplace. Racial segregation in the workplace is of the same order of magnitude as education segregation, and segregation between Hispanics and whites is larger yet. Only a tiny portion of racial segregation in the workplace is driven by education differences between blacks and whites, but a substantial fraction of ethnic segregation in the workplace can be attributed to differences in language proficiency.
    Date: 2005–09
  5. By: Jørn Rattsø (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology); Jon Hernes Fiva (Centre for Economic Research and Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: Decentralization of government with property tax financing is the standard recipe for public sector reform. Fiscal competition is assumed to stimulate efficiency and hold down the tax level. Property taxation offers additional incentives for efficiency. We study the incentive mechanisms involved using data for decentralized governments and in a setting where they can choose to have property taxation or not. The empirical analysis addresses whether fiscal competition and political control problems influence the choice of having property taxation. The results indicate that both incentive mechanisms are relevant and consequently support the standard advice. Fiscal competition generates a distinct geographic pattern in local taxation and political fragmentation seems to motivate property taxation to control common pool problems. The main methodological challenge handled concerns spatial interaction with discrete choice.
    Keywords: property taxation; fiscal competition; political fragmentation; Bayesian analysis; spatial autoregressive model
    JEL: C11 C21 D78 H71
    Date: 2005–03–01
  6. By: Miguel Angel Garcia Lopez (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); Ivan Muñiz Olivera (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: The Barcelona Metropolitan Region (BMR) has been repeatedly characterised as a polycentric-type urban system. The aim of this study is to corroborate this affirmation by making use of a methodology that enables the identifying of employment subcentres and valuing of the degree of polycentrism of the BMR in 1986 and 1996. The results obtained in the two years confirm the existence and extension of the polycentrism.
    Keywords: Employment subcentres, identification, descentralisation, sprawl, compaction, polycentrism.
    JEL: R12 R14
    Date: 2005–06
  7. By: Ivan Muñiz Olivera (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); Anna Galindo (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); Miguel Angel Garcia Lopez (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: In this study the employment subcentres of the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona are identified using different criteria. Once catalogued according to their nature,i.e. subcentres arising from integration and decentralisation, they are analysed to see whether their impact on population density depends on their origin. The results obtained confirm a greater impact of integrated subcentres in comparison with decentralised ones, amplified in turn by the fact that the former are further from the CBD and present a greater degree of self-containment in the labor market.
    Keywords: Employment decentralisation, policentric city, metropolitan integration
    JEL: R12 R14
    Date: 2005–06
  8. By: Felici Roberto (BOLOGNA); Pagnini Marcello (BOLOGNA)
    Abstract: We examine the determinants of entry into Italian local banking markets during the period 1991-2002 and build a simple model in which the probability of branching in a new market depends on the features of both the local market and the potential entrant. Our econometric findings show that, all else being equal, banks are more likely to expand into those markets that are closest to their pre-entry locations. We also find that large banks are more able to cope with distance-related entry costs than small banks. Finally, we show that banks have become increasingly able to open branches in distant markets, probably due to the advent of information and communication technologies.
    Keywords: entry, barriers to entry, local banking markets, geographical distance.
    JEL: G21 L13 L22 R30
    Date: 2005–06
  9. By: Uwe Blien (Institute for Employment Research (IAB) and IZA Bonn); Jens Suedekum (University of Konstanz and IZA Bonn); Katja Wolf (Institute for Employment Research (IAB))
    Abstract: In this paper we study the dynamics of local employment growth in West Germany from 1980 to 2001. Using dynamic panel techniques, we analyse the timing of the impact of diversity and specialisation, as well as of the human capital structure of local industries. Diversity has a positive effect on employment growth in the short run, which is stronger in manufacturing than in services. Concerning specialization we find evidence for mean reversion, which is inconsistent with the idea that growth emphasizes itself. But there is considerable inertia in this process. A positive effect of education is only found in manufacturing. Additionally, we look at the impact of firm size and regional wages on local employment growth.
    Keywords: regional labour markets, externalities, local employment growth, dynamic panel estimation, urbanization and localisation effects
    JEL: R11 O40
    Date: 2005–07
  10. By: Tanya Araújo; Miguel St. Aubyn
    Abstract: Endogenous, ideas-led, growth theory and agent based modelling with neighbourhood effects literature are crossed. In an economic overlapping generations framework, it is shown how social interactions and neighbourhood effects are of vital importance in the endogenous determination of the long run number of skilled workers and therefore of the growth prospects of an economy. Neighbourhood effects interact with the initial distribution of educated agents across space and play a key role in the long run stabilisation of the number of educated individuals. Our model implies a tendency towards segregation, with a possibly positive influence on growth, if team effects operate. The long run growth rate is also shown to depend on the rate of time preference. Initial circumstances are of vital importance for long run outcomes. A poor initial education endowment will imply a long run reduced number of skilled workers and a mediocre growth rate, so there no economic convergence tendency. On the contrary, poor societies will grow less, or will even fall into a poverty trap, and will diverge continuously from richer ones.
    Keywords: agent modelling; economic growth; education; human capital; neighbourhood effects; poverty trap.
    JEL: I20 J24 R12

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