nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2005‒10‒08
nine papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Expanding School Enrollment by Subsidizing Private Schools: Lessons from Bogotá By Claudia Uribe; Richard J. Murnane; John B. Willett; Marie Andrée Somers
  2. Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement By Thomas S. Dee
  3. Infrastructure, Productivity and Urban Dynamics in Cote d'Ivoire, Africa Region Working Paper Series No. 86 (July 2005), The World Bank, Washington D.C. By Zeljko Bogetic; Issa Sanogo
  4. Spatial Competition between Parking Garages and Downtown Parking Policy By Richard Arnott
  5. Heterogeneous Firms, Agglomeration and Economic Geography: Spatial Selection and Sorting By Richard Baldwin; Toshihiro Okubo
  6. Migration Data and Matrix Methods: Deriving the Network of U.S. Central Places. By E. Anthon Eff
  7. Land taxes in a Latin American context By Juliano Junqueira Assunção; Humberto Moreira
  8. Hotelling's Beach with Linear and Quadratic Transportation Costs: Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria By Alain Egli
  9. Is It Is or Is It Ain%u2019t My Obligation? Regional Debt in a Fiscal Federation By Russell Cooper; Hubert Kempf; Dan Peled

  1. By: Claudia Uribe; Richard J. Murnane; John B. Willett; Marie Andrée Somers
    Abstract: Many countries use tax revenues to subsidize private schools. Whether these policies meet social objectives depends, in part, on the relative quality of education provided by the two types of schools. We use data on elementary school students and their teachers in Bogotá, Colombia to examine difference in resource mixes and differences in the relative effectiveness of public and private schools. We find that, on average, the schools in the two sectors are equally effective. However, they produce education using very different resource combinations. Moreover, there are large differences in the effectiveness of schools in both sectors, especially in the private sector. The results of our analysis shed light on the quantity-quality tradeoff that governments in many developing countries face in deciding how to use scarce educational resources.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2005–10
  2. By: Thomas S. Dee
    Abstract: In the United States, girls outperform boys in measures of reading achievement while generally underperforming in science and mathematics. One major class of explanations for these gaps involves the gender-based interactions between students and teachers (e.g., role-model and Pygmalion effects). However, the evidence on whether these interactions actually matter is limited and contradictory. In this study, I present new empirical evidence on whether assignment to a same-gender teacher influences student achievement, teacher perceptions of student performance, and student engagement. This study's identification strategy exploits a unique "matched pairs" feature of a major longitudinal survey. Within-student comparisons based on these data indicate that assignment to a same-gender teacher significantly improves the achievement of both girls and boys as well as teacher perceptions of student performance and student engagement with the teacher's subject. For example, assignment to a female science teacher increases the likelihood that a girl views science as useful for her future. However, because the middle-school teachers in most academic subjects are female, these results also suggest that the gender dynamics between teachers and students at this level amplify boys' large underperformance in reading while attenuating the more modest underperformance of girls in math and science.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2005–10
  3. By: Zeljko Bogetic (The World Bank); Issa Sanogo (The World Bank)
    Abstract: Recent contributions in economic geography reflect renewed interest in issues of location and spatial concentration of economic activities, yet there are still few empirical studies of developing countries, particularly in Africa. This paper aims to contribute to this body of knowledge by (i) documenting wide regional disparities in economic activity and infrastructure (especially between the north and the south), which were partly determined by regional development policy, and (ii) examining empirically to what extent spatial factors such as agglomeration economies contribute to labor productivity––and therefore to urban dynamics––using recent panel data from Côte d’Ivoire for the period from 1980 to 1996.
    Keywords: infrastructure productivity urban Cote d'Ivoire Ivory Coast Africa
    JEL: R O P D6 D7 H
    Date: 2005–10–05
  4. By: Richard Arnott (Boston College)
    Abstract: This paper looks at parking policy in dense urban districts ("downtown"), where spatial competition between parking garages is a key feature. The paper has four parts. The first looks at the "parking garage operator's problem". The second derives the equilibrium in the parking garage market when there is no on-street parking, compares the equilibrium to the social optimum, and examines parking policy in this context. The third considers how the presence of on-street parking alters the analysis, and the fourth extends the analysis to include mass transit.
    Keywords: parking, off-street parking, on-street parking, parking garages, mass transit, parking policy, second best, spatial competition
    JEL: R40 L91
    Date: 2005–09–30
  5. By: Richard Baldwin; Toshihiro Okubo
    Abstract: A Melitz-style model of monopolistic competition with heterogeneous firms is integrated into a simple New Economic Geography model to show that the standard assumption of identical firms is neither necessary nor innocuous. We show that re-locating to the big region is most attractive for the most productive firms; this implies interesting results for empirical work and policy analysis. A 'selection effect' means standard empirical measures overestimate agglomeration economies. A 'sorting effect' means that a regional policy induces the highest productivity firms to move to the core while the lowest productivity firms to move to the periphery. We also show that heterogeneity dampens the home market effect.
    JEL: H32 P16
    Date: 2005–10
  6. By: E. Anthon Eff
    Abstract: Inter-county flows of commuters have long been used by the Bureau of the Census to identify MSAs and by the BEA to identify its Economic Areas. This paper looks at U.S. interregional flows of commuters, population, and goods in an effort to identify broader patterns of relationships among U.S. regions. A region’s primary flow up the central place hierarchy is found using tools commonly employed in Social Network Analysis. The results allow classification of regions in two ways: 1) as levels in a hierarchy; or 2) as a member of a group of regions all tied to the same member of the next-highest level of the hierarchy.
    Keywords: Central Place Theory, Network Analysis, Migration, Trade
    JEL: R1 R12
    Date: 2005–09
  7. By: Juliano Junqueira Assunção (Department of Economics PUC-Rio); Humberto Moreira (EPGE/FGV)
    Abstract: Since Henry George (1839-1897) economists have been arguing that a tax on unim- proved land is an ideal tax on e¢ ciency grounds. Output taxes, on the other hand, have distortional e¤ects on the economy. This paper shows that under asymmetric information output tax might be used along with land tax in order to implement the optimal taxation scheme in a Latin-American context, i.e., in an economy with imperfect land-rental market, non-agricultural land use and non-revenue objectives of land taxation. Also, we show that: (i) schemes based on land taxes alone might not be implementable; and (ii) tax evasion is more acute among large landholders.
    Keywords: Optimal taxation, tax evasion, land use.
    Date: 2005–02
  8. By: Alain Egli
    Abstract: In Hotelling type models consumers have the same transportation cost function. We deviate from this assumption and introduce two consumer types. Some consumers have linear transportation costs, while the others have quadratic transportation costs. If at most half the consumers have linear transportation costs, a subgame perfect equilibrium in pure strategies exists for all symmetric locations. Furthermore, no general principle of differentiation holds. With two consumer types, the equilibrium pattern ranges from maximum to intermediate differentiation. The degree of product differentiation depends on the fraction of consumer types
    Keywords: Hotelling; Horizontal Product Differentiation; Equilibrium
    JEL: L13 R32
    Date: 2005–05
  9. By: Russell Cooper; Hubert Kempf; Dan Peled
    Abstract: This paper studies the repayment of regional debt in a multi-region economy with a central authority: who pays the obligation issued by a region? With commitment, a central government will use its taxation power to smooth distortionary taxes across regions. Absent commitment, the central government may be induced to bailout the regional government in order to smooth consumption and distortionary taxes across the regions. We characterize the conditions under which bailouts occur and their welfare implications. The gains to creating a federation are higher when the (government spending) shocks across regions are negatively correlated and volatile. We use these insights to comment on actual fiscal relations in three quite different federations: the US, the European Union and Argentina.
    JEL: E6 F4 R5
    Date: 2005–10

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