nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2006‒02‒12
eighteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Child Labor, Urban Proximity and Household Composition By Marcel Fafchamps; Jackline Wahba
  2. Fertility and spatial mobility: evidence from Austria By Hill Kulu
  3. Social segregation in secondary schools: How does England compare with other countries? By Stephen P. Jenkins; John Micklewright; Sylke V. Schnepf
  4. Economic Growth of Agglomerations and Geographic Concentration of Industries – Evidence for Germany By Kurt Geppert; Martin Gornig; Axel Werwatz
  5. Internalizing urban congestion with tariffs instruments : acceptability and decision By Mathias REYMOND
  6. Human Capital Externalities and Growth of High- and Low-Skilled Jobs By Jens Suedekum
  7. Knowledge networks and innovative performance in an industrial district. The case of a footwear district in the South of Italy By Ron A. Boschma; Anne L.W. ter Wal
  8. Spatial Effects of Willingness-to-Pay: The Case of Nuclear Risks By Peter Zweifel; Yves Schneider; Christian Wyss
  9. Secondary School Track Selection of Single-Parent Children – Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel By Philippe Mahler; Rainer Winkelmann
  10. Broadband Access, Telecommuting and the Urban-Rural Digital Divide By Song, Moohoun; Orazem, Peter; Singh, Rajesh
  11. Single Motherhood and (Un)Equal EducationalOpportunities: Evidence for Germany By Philippe Mahler; Rainer Winkelmann
  12. Are the markets for factories and offices integrated? Evidence from Hong Kong? By Charles Ka Yui Leung; Peiling Wei; Siu Kei Wong
  13. Ideology and existence of 50%-majority equilibria in multidimensional spatial voting models By Crès, Hervé; Ünver, Utku
  14. Networks and Innovation : A Survey of Empirical Literature. By Müge Ozman
  15. Trend in European Manufacturing Location: Country versus Region By Eleonora CUTRINI
  16. Which Plans to Reduce the Digital Divide? Policy Evaluation and Social Interaction By Raffaele Miniaci; Maria Laura Parisi
  17. The Portfolio Choices of Hispanic Couples By Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Vincent A. Hildebrand
  18. Networks and heterogeneous performance of cluster firms By Elisa Giuliani

  1. By: Marcel Fafchamps (University of Oxford); Jackline Wahba (University of Southampton and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Using detailed survey data from Nepal, this paper examines the determinants of child labor with a special emphasis on urban proximity. We find that children residing in or near urban centers attend school more and work less in total but are more likely to be involved in wage work or in a small business. The larger the urban center, the stronger the effect is. Urban proximity is found to reduce the workload of children and improve school attendance up to 3 hours of travel time from the city. In areas of commercialized agriculture located 3 to 7 hours from the city, children do more farm work. Urban proximity effects are accounted for by a combination of local labor supply and demand conditions, most notably the local importance of agriculture, the education level of the parents, and the local wage rate. Child servants, which represent a small proportion of all children, work much harder than other children and appear particularly at risk.
    Keywords: child labour, Nepal, child schooling, urban proximity
    JEL: J10 J22 J24 J40 N35
    Date: 2006–02
  2. By: Hill Kulu (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: There is a growing body of literature looking at the interplay between an individual’s residential and other careers in the life-course. Previous research has mostly studied the impact of partnership and employment changes on spatial mobility. This paper focuses on the effect of childbearing on migrations and residential moves. We base our study on retrospective event-history data from Austria and apply intensity regression. Our analysis shows, first, that the birth of a child triggers housing- and environment-related residential relocations. Second, it significantly reduces couples’ wish and chances of moving over long distances for a job. The event of first conception also induces moves related to partnership formation.
    Keywords: Austria, event history analysis, fertility, migration, residential mobility
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2005–02
  3. By: Stephen P. Jenkins (Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, and DIW Berlin); John Micklewright (Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI) and School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton); Sylke V. Schnepf (S3RI, University of Southampton)
    Abstract: We provide new evidence about the degree of social segregation in England’s secondary schools, employing a cross-national perspective. Analysis is based on data for 27 rich industrialised countries from the 2000 and 2003 rounds of the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA), using a number of different measures of social background and of segregation, and allowing for sampling variation in the estimates. England is shown to be a middle-ranking country, as is the USA. High segregation countries include Austria, Belgium, Germany and Hungary. Low segregation countries include the four Nordic countries and Scotland. In explaining England’s position, we argue that its segregation is mostly accounted for by unevenness in social background in the state school sector. Focusing on this sector, we show that cross-country differences in segregation are associated with the prevalence of selective choice of pupils by schools. Low-segregation countries such as those in the Nordic area and Scotland have negligible selection in schools. High segregation countries like Austria, Germany and Hungary have separate school tracks for academic and vocational schooling and, in each case, over half of this is accounted for by unevenness in social background between the different tracks rather than by differences within each track.
    Keywords: social segregation, secondary schools, England, cross-national comparison, PISA.
    JEL: D39 I21 I39
  4. By: Kurt Geppert; Martin Gornig; Axel Werwatz
    Abstract: The vast majority of regions in West Germany, and the EU, have become more similar in terms of per-capita income and productivity between 1980 and 2000. But a number of rich areas - generally large agglomerations - have succeeded in departing from this trend of convergence. They are continuing to rise above the average productivity level. We examine whether this development can also be seen as due to changes in the spatial distribution of economic sectors. Knowledge-intensive services in particular are identified as industries that combine employment growth and further geographical concentration. Logistical and nonparametric regressions confirm a positive relation between the regional weight of sectors that are continuing to concentrate geographically and the probability that this region will develop ahead of the general trend. We find that increasing localisation of fast growing industries is an important factor behind the changes in the spatial pattern of the economy.
    Keywords: regional convergence, knowledge-intensive services, industry-specific local linkages, logistical regressions, non-parametric regressions
    JEL: C14 C16 R12 R30
    Date: 2006–01
  5. By: Mathias REYMOND
    Abstract: In order to act of better than possible on the level of urban congestion downtown and on the various external effects (sound, pollution...), the political decision maker must carry out choices among a multitude of tariffs instruments (urban toll, parking toll, kilometric taxation, alternative paying roadway...), by holding account of the effectiveness of measurement used and of his effects on collective acceptability. In this article, we develop these various public policies of internalisation using concrete applications and we analyze the results by comparing them and we are interested in the choices of the decision maker according to the objectives laid down by the policies of urban transport.
    Keywords: Congestion, externalities, public policy, pricing, acceptability
    JEL: R41 R48
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Jens Suedekum (University of Konstanz and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: In this paper I analyze the impact of human capital on local employment growth for the case of West Germany (1977-2002). I find robust evidence that skilled cities grow faster than unskilled ones, but this need not indicate localized human capital externalities are at work. A large initial share of high-skilled workers significantly reduces subsequent growth of highskilled jobs. The observed positive impact on total employment growth is, therefore, due to the fact that low-skilled jobs grow faster than high-skilled jobs decline in initially skilled cities. This evidence is in line with complementarities among skill groups as the major causal link between human capital and employment growth. It challenges theories of self-reinforcing spatial concentration of high-skilled workers due to strong localized spillovers.
    Keywords: human capital, local employment growth, externalities
    JEL: R11 O40
    Date: 2006–02
  7. By: Ron A. Boschma; Anne L.W. ter Wal
    Abstract: The traditional district literature tends to assume that: (1) the competitiveness of firms depends on external sources of knowledge; (2) all firms in a district benefit from knowledge externalities; (3) relying on external knowledge relationships necessarily means these are confined to the district area. Our case study of the Barletta footwear district in the South of Italy suggests otherwise. Based on social network analysis, we demonstrate that the local knowledge network is quite weak and unevenly distributed among the local firms. A strong local network position of a firm tended to increase their innovative performance, and so did their connectivity to extra-local firms. So, it mattered being connected either locally or non-locally: being co-located was surely not enough. Having a high absorptive capacity seemed to raise only indirectly, through non-local relationships, the innovative performance of firms.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, new economic geography, social networks, innovative performance, Italy
    Date: 2006–01
  8. By: Peter Zweifel (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Yves Schneider (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Christian Wyss
    Abstract: This paper examines the spatial dimension of external effects stemming from nuclear power plants. Using data from a stated choice experiment conducted in Switzerland, marginal willingness to pay (MWP) for risk reduction and willingness to pay (WTP) for solving the nuclear waste problem are estimated. Interestingly, MWP for risk reduction increases with distance from the power plant, while WTP for solving the waste problem decreases in the vicinity of the plant and is zero thereafter. These findings suggest that distance is endogenous with respect to coverage because consumers self-insure through their residential choice, but exogenous (and of lesser relevance) with respect to the waste disposal problem.
    Keywords: nuclear energy, spatial effects of externalities, stated choice experiment
    JEL: R19 R22 D89 Q40
    Date: 2005–01
  9. By: Philippe Mahler (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Rainer Winkelmann (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: In present day Germany, one in seven children is raised in a single parent household. We investigate the effect of single parenthood on children’s educational attainment, measured by the school track at the age 14, using ordered probit models. We study whether the effect of living in single parenthood during early or late childhood differs. Finally, we ask whether the family effect operates through resources – fewer income and parental time available for the child –, or through adverse effects on psychological well-being. The data used in this study are a nationally representative sample of 14 year old children drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel.
    Keywords: school choice, educational attainment, ordered response model
    JEL: I21 J12
    Date: 2004–09
  10. By: Song, Moohoun; Orazem, Peter; Singh, Rajesh
    Abstract: We investigate the role of broadband access on the probability of telecommuting and whether individuals who work from home receive greater compensation. We also assess whether telecommuting differs between more- and less-densely populated areas. Telecommuting responds positively to local average commuting time and to local access to High-Speed Internet service. Differences in broadband access explain three-fourths of the gap in telecommuting between urban and rural markets. Telecommuters and other IT users do not earn significantly more than otherwise observationally comparable workers. Already highly skilled and highly paid workers are the most likely to telecommute and so they do not earn more because they telecommute. As broadband access improves in rural markets, the urban-rural gap in telecommuting will diminish. The urban-rural pay gap will also decrease if improved broadband access induces some already highly paid urban workers to move to rural areas.
    Keywords: Broadband, Telecommuting, Commuting, Earnings, Urban, Rural
    JEL: O3
    Date: 2006–02–02
  11. By: Philippe Mahler (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Rainer Winkelmann (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of single motherhood on children’s secondary school track choice using 12-year-old children drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel. In line with previous studies for the U.S., the U.K. and Sweden, we find a negative correlation between single motherhood and children’s educational attainment. Looking for alternative explanations for this correlation, we use probit regression models to control for factors related to single motherhood such as higher educational background, lower household income and higher labor supply of the mother. Our evidence suggests that single motherhood reduces school attainment mainly because it is associated with lower resources (household income) available for the child.
    Keywords: school choice, educational attainment, binary response model, German Socio-Economic Panel
    JEL: I21 J12
    Date: 2005–09
  12. By: Charles Ka Yui Leung; Peiling Wei; Siu Kei Wong
    Abstract: Due to the relocation of manufacturing facilities from Hong Kong to Mainland China, it is widely believed that some vacant private factories have been used as offices in Hong Kong. Yet there is no direct and systematic evidence to support this speculation. In fact, according to MacGregor and Schwann (2003), industrial and commercial real estate shares some common features. Our research attempts to investigate empirically the price and volume relationship between industrial and commercial real estate, using both aggregate and disaggregate data from the industrial and commercial property markets in Hong Kong. The study was built on the observation that economic restructuring and geographical distance will affect the substitutability (and thus the correlation) of different types of property, and utilizes commonly used time series techniques for analysis. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: aggregation bias, geographical distance, industrial real estate, substitutability
    JEL: G12 L80 R30
    Date: 2006–02
  13. By: Crès, Hervé; Ünver, Utku
    Abstract: When aggregating individual preferences through the majority rule in an n-dimensional spatial voting model, the "worst-case" scenario is a social choice configuration where no political equilibrium exists unless a super majority rate as high as 1-1/n is adopted. In this paper the authors assume that a lower d-dimensional (d<n)linear map spans the possible candidates plateforms. These d "ideological" dimensions imply some linkages between the n political issues. The authors randomize over these linkages and show that there almost surely exists a50%-majority equilibria in the above worst-case scenario, when n grows to infinity.Moreover the equilibrium is the mean voter. The speed of convergence (toward 50%)of the super majority rate guaranteeing existence of equilibrium is computed for d= 1 and 2.
    Keywords: spatial voting; super majority; ideology; mean voter theorem; random point set
    JEL: C62 D72
    Date: 2006–02–06
  14. By: Müge Ozman
    Abstract: Networks are now understood to be an important mechanism to change economic and social outcomes through non-market means, and one of these outcomes is the contribution of networks to innovation and technological change in general. This survey covers the recent literature on networks as far as they have implications for knowledge transfer among actors, innovation and technological change. We present a recent survey of empirical research, covering inter-firm and intra-firm networks, since these are accepted to have the most important impact on knowledge dissemination and innovation. One important conclusion that can be derived from the survey is that, although there exists a tremendous increase in network research, it is still difficult in most cases to draw robust conclusions and generalizable results. Therefore, one of the aims of this survey is to highlight those areas in which some consensus has been achieved in the literature, and others which need more attention and research in the future.
    Date: 2006
  15. By: Eleonora CUTRINI (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether and to what extent European manufacturing location has been driven by regional localisation or national comparative advantages during the period 1985-2001. To this end, the relative concentration pattern of each industry is disentangled into within and between country components. The original methodology adopted is based on the use of the Theil dissimilarity entropy index allowing to handle two geographical levels of analysis. The evidence suggests that the agglomeration of manufacturing industries is more likely to find expression between the internal regions of each country rather than across countries. Counterintuitively, after the completion of the Single European Market the relevance of national border remains stable or even increase in the localisation of the majority of the sectors considered.
    Keywords: Theil dissimilarity entropy index, comparative advantages, european economic integration, european internal geography, relative concentration
    JEL: L16 L60 O18 O52 R12
    Date: 2005–12
  16. By: Raffaele Miniaci; Maria Laura Parisi
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of implementing technological policies like computer donations or subsidization on the probability of an individual to have computer abilities, when this is affected by the computer skills of her household's other members, i.e. when there are significant within household peer effects. Our application for a sample of Italian households indicates that although the probability of being skilled is remarkably improved by the presence of a PC at home, thanks also to within household peer effects, the budget constraint of an household can be so binding to make the policy less effective for a large part of the target population.
  17. By: Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Vincent A. Hildebrand
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the portfolio allocations of couple-headed, Hispanic families using Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) data. Our results reveal that Hispanic couples as a group are less wealthy than otherwise similar white couples, although there is substantial variation across Hispanic-origin groups. Much of the disparity in portfolio choices of Hispanic relative to whites appears to stem from these lower wealth levels. Accounting for these wealth disparities, Hispanic couples hold less financial wealth, but more real estate and business equity than do white couples.
    Keywords: portfolio choices; Hispanic
    JEL: J61 G11 J10
    Date: 2006–01
  18. By: Elisa Giuliani
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship existing among the heterogeneous nature of firms in industrial clusters, their structural position in knowledge networks and their performance. Following the rising interest for spatially agglomerated industrial firms and their learning and innovative potential the paper shows empirically that the performance of firms in clusters is related with firm-level knowledge endowments and their position in the knowledge network using firm-level data on three wine clusters.
    Keywords: knowledge networks, clusters, firm performance, evolutionary economics, wine sector
    Date: 2006–01

This nep-ure issue is ©2006 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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.