nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2006‒03‒11
sixteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Racial Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap By David Card; Jesse Rothstein
  2. Does the Early Bird Catch the Worm? Instrumental Variable Estimates of Educational Effects of Age of School Entry in Germany By Patrick A. Puhani; Andrea M. Weber
  3. The residential housing market in Iceland: Analysing the effects of the recent mortgage market restructuring By Lúðvík Elíasson; Þórarinn Gunnar Pétursson
  4. A Simple Theory of Smart Growth and Sprawl By Matthew Allen Turner
  5. Social Segregation in Secondary Schools: how does England compare with other countries By Stephen P. Jenkins; John Micklewright; Sylke V. Schnepf
  6. "Are Housing Prices, Household Debt, and Growth Sustainable?" By Dimitri B. Papadimitriou; Edward Chilcote -Name:Gennaro Zezza
  7. Indirect Construction of Hedonic Price Indexes: Empirical Evidence for Private Properties in Switzerland By Stefan S. Fahrlaender
  8. DECENTRALIZATION AND EFFIENCY IN SPANISH LOCAL GOVERMENT By Emili Tortosa Ausina; Diego Prior; María Teresa Balaguer-Coll
  11. What Ownership Society: Debating Housing and Social Security Reform in the United States By Daniel Béland
  12. The governance of integrated regional development and the role of geographical information systems: Managing complex information relations between two different worlds By Arjan Venrooy
  13. "Job-Hopping in Silicon Valley: Some Evidence Concerning the Micro-Foundations of a High Technology Cluster" By Bruce Fallick; Charles A. Fleischman; James B. Rebitzer
  14. Monte Carlo Simulations versus DCF in Real Estate Portfolio Valuation By Baroni, Michel; Barthélémy, Fabrice; Mokrane, Mahdi
  15. Effects of the Tax on Retail Sales of Some Fuels on a regional economy: a computable general equilibrium approach By Francisco Javier De Miguel; Manuel Alejandro Cardenete; Jesús Pérez
  16. Ethnic Networks and U.S. Exports By Subhayu Bandyopadhyay; Cletus C. Coughlin; Howard J. Wall

  1. By: David Card; Jesse Rothstein
    Abstract: Racial segregation is often blamed for some of the achievement gap between blacks and whites. We study the effects of school and neighborhood segregation on the relative SAT scores of black students across different metropolitan areas, using large microdata samples for the 1998-2001 test cohorts. Our models include detailed controls for the family background of individual test-takers, school-level controls for selective participation in the test, and city-level controls for racial composition, income, and region. We find robust evidence that the black-white test score gap is higher in more segregated cities. Holding constant family background and other factors, a shift from a fully segregated to a completely integrated city closes about one-quarter of the raw black-white gap in SAT scores. Specifications that distinguish between school and neighborhood segregation suggest that neighborhood segregation has a consistently negative impact but that school segregation has no independent effect (though we cannot reject equality of the two effects). We find similar results using Census-based data on schooling outcomes for youth in different cities. Data on enrollment in honors courses suggest that within-school segregation increases when schools are more highly integrated, potentially offsetting the benefits of school desegregation and accounting for our findings.
    JEL: H73 I20 J18 J24 R20
    Date: 2006–03
  2. By: Patrick A. Puhani; Andrea M. Weber
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of age of school entry on educational attainment using three different data sets for Germany, sampling pupils at the end of primary school, in the middle of secondary school and several years after secondary school. Results are obtained based on instrumental variable estimation exploiting the exogenous variation in month of birth. We find robust and significant positive effects on educational attainment for pupils who enter school at seven instead of six years of age: Test scores at the end of primary school increase by about 0.42 standard deviations and years of secondary schooling increase by almost half a year.
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2006–01
  3. By: Lúðvík Elíasson; Þórarinn Gunnar Pétursson
    Abstract: In June 2004 the government-backed Housing Financing Fund eased its loan regulations in an attempt to consolidate its position in the domestic credit market. This led to a strong response from the domestic commercial banks which actively entered the mortgage market for the ?rst time. These changes led to a substantial decline in long-term real mortgage rates, increased the access to credit, and allowed homeowners to withdraw equity from their homes without actual transactions. This paper sets up a simple model of housing demand and supply to analyse these e¤ects. The results suggest that the structural change has led to a substantial rise in housing demand, with house prices rising by just under 20% one year after the change. This triggered a similar rise in housing investment roughly two years after the reform. The model predicts that the e¤ects on house prices gradually die out as house prices return to the level that is consistent with normal pro?t margins in the construction sector. The housing stock, however, remains about 5% larger than in the baseline scenario. The e¤ects are even larger when taking account of the second-round e¤ects on the housing market through the e¤ects of increased wealth and easier access to credit on general consumption and overall demand in the economy.
    Date: 2006–02
  4. By: Matthew Allen Turner
    Abstract: This paper considers the simultaneous determination of residential density and the supply of local versus remote retail services. Possible equilibrium development patterns either correspond closely to what anti-sprawl activists describe as smart growth, or to its opposite. Equilibrium and optimal patterns of development do not always coincide, and when they diverge, optimal density is always than equilibrium density, and, equilibrium development is discretely rather than marginally different from the optimum. This occurs in the absence of congestion externalities, and is due to a free-rider problem and a coordination problem. The analysis indicates that a tax on large lots or a subsidy for small lots may be welfare improving under certain conditions.
    Keywords: Urban sprawl, Residential land use, Lot size,Retail location.
    JEL: R2 H0
  5. By: Stephen P. Jenkins (Institute for Social and Economic Research); John Micklewright (University of Southampton); Sylke V. Schnepf (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 24 OECD member 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. The low-segregation countries in the Nordic area 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.
    Date: 2006–01
  6. By: Dimitri B. Papadimitriou; Edward Chilcote -Name:Gennaro Zezza
    Abstract: Rising home prices and low interest rates have fueled the recent surge in mortgage borrowing and enabled consumers to spend at high rates relative to their income. Low interest rates have counterbalanced the growth in debt and acted to dampen the growth in household debt-service burdens. As past Levy Institute strategic analyses have pointed out, these trends are not sustainable: Household spending relative to income cannot grow indefinitely.
    Date: 2006–01
  7. By: Stefan S. Fahrlaender
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the construction of price indexes for condominiums and single family houses in Switzerland over the period 1985 to 2004 using the indirect method. We find, that the pooling of the data, i.e. direct indexes with fixed hedonic prices, are good models for average roperties but can be biased for the indexation of non-average properties. Therefore indirect index construction using predictions for specific properties based on annual equations are recommended. Based on differentiation of forty regions it is shown, that indexes vary from region to region, but show a comparable general course between 1985 and 2004. In recent years prices for single family houses raised in the large urban areas and tourist resorts but, due to big land reserves, were stable ore even declined in smaller urban and semi-urban as well as in rural areas. Price paths for condominiums are generally comparable to those of single family houses with the big difference, that over the last three years prices were raising in most of the regions.
    Keywords: Hedonic prices; private property; direct index; indirect index; Switzerland
    JEL: C31 R31
    Date: 2006–01
  8. By: Emili Tortosa Ausina (Universitat Jaume I); Diego Prior (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona); María Teresa Balaguer-Coll (Universitat Jaume I)
    Abstract: This study analyzes the links between efficiency and the decentralization of competencies among Spanish local governments for years 1995 and 2000. The aim is pursued by considering a two-stage activity analysis model in which the performance of eachmunicipality is first evaluated against other municipalities with a similar level of competencies and, in a second stage, it is compared with that of other municipalities for which decentralization remains at a more preliminary stage. The model also considers an index aimed at measuring whether tendencies towards higher (or lower) benefits from decentralization might exist over time. Results suggest that some municipalities could manage their resources more efficiently if bestowed on more competencies. Although this sort of decentralization economies do not emerge for all municipalities, their magnitude clearly overshadows the diseconomies found if downscaling of decision making went too far and least decentralized municipalities were conferred on more competencies. In addition, the likely efficiency gains from enhanceddecentralization increase over time. El objetivo de este trabajo es analizar los vínculos entre eficiencia y descentralización de competencias para los ayuntamientos españoles durante los años 1995 y 2000. Para ello, se considera un modelo de análisis de la actividad en dos etapas en el que, en primer lugar, la eficiencia de cada municipio se evalúa frente a la de otros municipios con un mismo nivel de competencias y, en una segunda etapa, se compara con el de aquellos municipios para los cuales la descentralización de competencias permanece en un nivel inferior. El modelo también considera un índice que mide si hay tendencias hacia mayor -o menor- beneficios de la descentralización a lo largo del tiempo. Los resultados indican que algunos municipios podrían gestionar sus recursos más eficientemente de tener un mayor nivel de competencias. Aunqueeste tipo de economías de descentralización no existen para todos los municipios, su magnitud es superior a la magnitud de las deseconomías que se dan para otros municipios. Asimismo, lasganancias de eficiencia obtenidas de una hipotética descentralización aumentan con el tiempo.
    Keywords: Análisis de la actividad, descentralización, eficiencia, gobierno local Activity analysis, decentralization, efficiency, local government
    JEL: D24 D60 H71 H72
    Date: 2006–02
  9. By: Osamu Keyda (Kumamoto Gakuen University)
    Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of market equilibrium under the circumstances withseveral discrete economic conditions by using pure exchange economy model. First,as preliminary analysis, it will show the ‘temporal’ market equilibrium under a givendistribution of population over the dierent circumstances in section 2. Next, in section3 our study will prove the existence of market equilibrium in the case that economicagents can choose their economic conditions freely for their utility maximization. Finallyour research tries to approximate our model to the residential location model throughthe specified assumptions on initial endowments and agent’s preference, and it derivessome properties of equilibrium consumptions and prices.
    Keywords: equilibrium, local goods, excess utility
    JEL: D51 R13 R20
    Date: 2006–02
  10. By: Brigitte Waldorf
    Abstract: U.S. States and communities increasingly compete for intellectual power so as to thrive toward an economically vibrant setting that spurs the entrepreneurial spirit and attracts businesses and industries from around the world. As a recent report by the U.S. census reveals, 17 U.S. States have gained such intellectual power through the net inmigration of young, single and college educated persons. The State of Indiana is among the remaining thirty-three States that have a negative net balance, even ranking among the bottom ten in their ability to attract this highly valued population segment. In fact, for every young, single, college educated inmigrant, Indiana loses nearly two to other states. However, an analysis at the state-level hides important small-scale variations. This paper therefore investigates the processes leading to changes in the spatial distribution of knowledge workers across Indiana counties, with emphases on in-situ change, retention, intra- and interstate migration. The analysis shows that these demographic changes at the county level in fact reveal a less bleak picture than the state-wide aggregate figures suggest, and uncover remarkable peaks in the landscape of intellectual capital that can serve as a catalyst for attracting intellectual capital from outside the State.
    Date: 2005–08
  11. By: Daniel Béland
    Abstract: This article explores President George W. Bush's "ownership society" blueprint in comparative and historical perspective. By taking the "ownership society" seriously, it is possible to understand how it is deeply rooted in the American cultural repertoire, and how it offers a coherent neo-liberal discourse aimed at constructing the "need to reform" existing social policy legacies in the sense of a greater reliance on private savings and ownership. Although grounded in the American repertoire, President Bush's "ownership society" is inspired by a foreign model: Thatcher's "popular capitalism," another neo-liberal blueprint that featured a similar celebration of personal ownership. Discussing Thatcherism briefly before analyzing the debate over President Bush's "ownership society" in the fields of housing and pensions, this article underlines the relationship between ideational processes and institutional legacies in policy-making.
    Keywords: housing, pensions, ideas, institutions, United States, Britain
    JEL: H55 I38
    Date: 2006–02
  12. By: Arjan Venrooy
    Abstract: One the one hand the creation of a standardized and open geo-graphical infrastructure could facilitate the process of regional development, because the incentive for dysfunctional information politicking, in relation to the protection of specific interests and frames of reference, has to some extent disappeared. One the other hand there is possible tension between the need for tailor-made, regional focused planning solutions and the standardized nature of these nation wide infrastructures. What does the emergence of the standardized nation wide geographical information infrastructures, and the supply of information which can be generated by this infrastructure, imply for the process of co-production in local and regional, and thus contingent, urban and rural planning practices and the information and knowledge needs which are expressed in the local practices by relevant stakeholders? What does this imply for the management of information relations in these local planning and regional development practices. This is a relevant question because both the world of geographical system development and the world of integrated regional planning are separated worlds, with their own ‘rules’ and dynamic. In order to address this question we will look at a specific case of integrated regional planning and to look which factors facilitate or frustrate the effective and efficient coordination between the supply of information by these nation wide geographical infrastructures and the information needs of the actors, which are involved in a shared regional development process. This will be the Blue City initiative (‘Blauwe Stad’) in Groningen.
    Date: 2005–08
  13. By: Bruce Fallick; Charles A. Fleischman; James B. Rebitzer
    Abstract: Observers of Silicon ValleyÕs computer cluster report that employees move rapidly between competing firms, but evidence supporting this claim is scarce. Job-hopping is important in computer clusters because it facilitates the reallocation of talent and resources toward firms with superior innovations. Using new data on labor mobility, we find higher rates of job-hopping for college-educated men in Silicon ValleyÕs computer industry than in computer clusters located out of the state. Mobility rates in other California computer clusters are similar to Silicon ValleyÕs, suggesting some role for features of California law that make non-compete agreements unenforceable. Consistent with our model of innovation, mobility rates outside of computer industries are no higher in California than elsewhere.
    Date: 2005–12
  14. By: Baroni, Michel (ESSEC Business School); Barthélémy, Fabrice (THEMA, University of Cergy-Pontoise); Mokrane, Mahdi (IXIS-AEW Europe)
    Abstract: This paper considers the use of simulated cash flows to value assets in real estate investment. We motivate the use of Monte Carlo simulation methods for the measurement of complex cash generating assets such as real estate assets return distribution. Important simulation inputs, such as the physical real estate price volatility estimator, are provided by results on real estate indices for Paris derived in an article by Baroni, Barthélémy and Mokrane (2005). Based on a residential real estate portfolio example, simulated cash flows (i) provide more robust valuations than traditional DCF valuations, (ii) permit the user to estimate the portfolio’s price distribution for any time horizon, and (iii) permit easy Values-at-Risk (VaR) computations.
    Keywords: DCF; Monte-Carlo Simulations; Real Estate Indices; Real Estate Valuations
    JEL: C15 G12
    Date: 2006–02
  15. By: Francisco Javier De Miguel (Department of Applied Economics, Universidad de Extremadura); Manuel Alejandro Cardenete (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide); Jesús Pérez (Department of Applied Economics, Universidad de Extremadura)
    Abstract: This paper simulates the effects on the economy of Extremadura that are produced by a new tax on retail sales of some fuels. A computable general equilibrium model involving various labour market scenarios is employed as a modelling framework. Model parameters are obtained by calibration, using a social accounting matrix for Extremadura updated to the year 2000. Further, we also include an additional simulation in which a hypothetical regional tax rate, to finance environmental policies, is considered. This second simulation assumes constant fiscal revenues. The results of the first simulation show that the effects of this tax are modest. The simulation shows household welfare losses, decreasing activity levels and generalised price reductions, except in production sectors more directly linked to the oil products sector. In addition, we also observe that this hypothetical additional regional fuel tax rate would reinforce the effects produced by the national tax rate.
    Keywords: Tax on retail sales of some fuels, computable general equilibrium models, social accounting matrices, fiscal policy.
    JEL: C68 D58 R13
    Date: 2006–03
  16. By: Subhayu Bandyopadhyay (West Virginia University and IZA Bonn); Cletus C. Coughlin (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Howard J. Wall (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
    Abstract: This paper provides new estimates of the effects of ethnic network on U.S. exports. In line with recent research, our dataset is a panel of exports from U.S. states to 29 foreign countries. Our analysis departs from the literature in two ways, both of which show that previous estimates of the ethnic-network elasticity of trade are sensitive to the restrictions imposed on the estimated models. Our first departure is to control for unobserved heterogeneity with properly specified fixed effects, which we can do because our dataset contains a time dimension absent from previous studies. Our second departure is to remove the restriction that the network effect is the same for all ethnicities. We find that ethnicnetwork effects are much larger than has been estimated previously, although they are important only for a subset of countries.
    Keywords: ethnic networks, state exports
    JEL: F10 R10
    Date: 2006–03

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