nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2006‒03‒25
twenty papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Ethnic segregation and educational performance at secondary school in Bradford and Leicester By Ron Johnston; Deborah Wilson; Simon Burgess
  2. Productivity Differences and Agglomeration Across Districts of Great Britain By Lubomira Anastassova
  3. School Vouchers and Public School Productivity - The Case of the Swedish Large Scale Voucher Program By Waldo, Staffan
  4. Regional school comparison and school choice : how do they relate to student performance ? Evidence from PISA 2003 By Maresa, SPRIETSMA
  5. Competition and Public School Efficiency in Sweden By Waldo, Staffan
  6. A Commuting Model of the Non-urban Residents: Case Study of Hiiumaa and Läänemaa By Karin Juurikas
  7. The Private Housing Market in Eastern Europe and the CIS By Jose Palacin; Robert Shelburne
  8. Community, inequality, and local public goods: Evidence from School Financing in South Africa By Yamauchi, Futoshi; Nishiyama, Shinichi
  9. Respecting Priorities when Assigning Students to Schools By EHLERS, Lars
  10. Reconstructing School Segregation: On the Efficacy and Equity of Single-Sex Schooling By Sherrilyn M. Billger
  11. Religion and High School Graduation: A Comparative Analysis of Patterns for White and Black Young Women By Evelyn L. Lehrer
  12. Cities with Children - Child Friendly Cities in Italy By UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  13. Livelihoods, growth, and links to market towns in 15 Ethiopian villages By Dercon, Stefan; Hoddinott, John
  14. Fiscal competition, revenue sharing, and policy-induced agglomeration By Jean, HINDRIKS; Susana , PERALTA; Sholmo , WEBER
  15. Border Wars: Tax Revenues, Annexation, and Urban Growth in Phoenix By Carol E. Heim
  16. Moving Away from Poverty: A spatial analysis of poverty and migration in Albania By Alberto Zezza; Gero Carletto; Benjamin Davis
  17. Making Philippine Cities Child Friendly: Voices of Children in Poor Communities By Mary Racelis; Angela Desiree M. Aguirre; Liane Pena-Alampay; Felisa U. Etemadi; Teresa Banaynal Fernandez; Rosemarie Matias Fernandez; Marita Castro Guevara; Jerome A. Serrano; Ching Li Ye; Eunice Anne M. Enriquez; Careza P. Reyes; Institute of Philippine Culture; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  18. Familiar Faces, Familiar Places: The role of family networks and previous experience for Albanian migrants By Gero Carletto; Benjamin Davis; Marco Stampini
  19. Education and Regional Job Creation by the Self-Employed: The English North-South Divide By Andrew E. Burke; Michael A. Nolan; Felix R. FitzRoy
  20. Migration and the rural-urban continuum: Evidence from the Rural Philippines By Quisumbing, Agnes R.; McNiven, Scott

  1. By: Ron Johnston; Deborah Wilson; Simon Burgess
    Abstract: Evidence suggests considerable variation among British ethnic groups in their performance at different stages of their educational careers. Many members of those groups are concentrated in particular parts of certain cities, and as a consequence many attend ethnically-segregated schools. Using pupil- and school-level data from the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) in England, this paper explores the relationship between performance and various student and school characteristics in Bradford (which has a large Pakistani population) and Leicester (with a large Indian population). It finds evidence of a correlation between school ethnic composition and performance in Bradford but not Leicester.
    Keywords: ethnic segregation, schools, attainment levels, Bradford, Leicester
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2006–03
  2. By: Lubomira Anastassova
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of employment density (agglomeration) on the hourly earnings of workers across districts of Great Britain. The potentially two-way causality between agglomeration and productivity is dealt with using two instruments: the total land area of a district and its population density. The estimated agglomeration effect is similar across different levels of territorial aggregation; however, the effect is stronger when looking only across Metropolitan areas. There is evidence of endogeneity only when the sample is split into Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan areas and even so endogeneity has only little effect on the estimates.
    Keywords: Agglomeration, Productivity, Multiple Instruments.
    JEL: C31 O18 R12
    Date: 2006–02
  3. By: Waldo, Staffan (Swedish Institute for Food and Agricultural Economics)
    Abstract: Since the school voucher reform in 1992/93 Sweden has experienced a rapid increase in private schools. School regulations allow private and public schools to compete for students on very similar terms. This makes the Swedish educational market interesting for studying how competition affects the provision of education. In this study competition and public school productivity are analyzed for 105 urban municipalities during the period 1998/99 to 2001/02. The empirical estimations are performed in two stages. In the first stage, productivity is estimated using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and a Malmquist productivity index. In the second stage, the estimated productivity is regressed on private school competition and a number of control variables. We cannot reject competition to be exogenous in a Hausman test. The coefficient for competition is not significant at the 5 percent level in any of the empirical specifications.
    Keywords: Malmquist index; competition; education
    JEL: H73 I21
    Date: 2006–03–23
  4. By: Maresa, SPRIETSMA (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: School choice and accountability have become popular educational policies in the US and the UK. In Europe, such policies are less often applied and therefore less subject to research. The present paper uses recent international data to study the impact of schools comparing their pupil’s results to a regional or national performance standard and that of regional school choice on student test scores. School performance comparisons and school choice by parents are assumed to complement each other in increasing both school and teacher effort. We estimate an education production function controlling for the hierarchical nature of the data. We also estimate our model using quantiles of student test scores to identify potentially different effects at different levels of student performance. We find that both a higher regional percentage of schools comparing their results and regional intensity of school choice significantly improve student test scores. This positive effect varies in size according to whether we consider low or high-performancing students.
    Keywords: School choice; school performance standards; education production function; pupil performance; hierarchical models
    JEL: I20 I28
    Date: 2006–02–15
  5. By: Waldo, Staffan (Swedish Institute for Food and Agricultural Economics)
    Abstract: The focus in this study is on how efficiency in public education is affected by competition from private schools. The Swedish educational system is used, since the Swedish large scale voucher program implies that private and public schools compete on similar terms. In 2002 approximately 5% of the Swedish children attended private schools, and the share is rapidly increasing. Public school efficiency is estimated using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Modelling education is difficult since educational production is not only dependent on factors under control of the school management, but also on the students’ socio-economic backgrounds. A number of approaches have been proposed concerning how to model this in a DEA setting. In this study, four different approaches are used and compared. Special focus is put on a second stage regression, where the efficiency estimates are regressed on competition and other explanatory variables. We can not show that the share of children attending private schools is related to public school performance.
    Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis; competition; education
    JEL: H73 I21
    Date: 2006–03–23
  6. By: Karin Juurikas (Tallinn University of Technology)
    Abstract: Nowadays, increasing attention is paid to studying the circumstances of people`s migration. First of all, researchers are interested in the behavioural aspects and people´s choices of purpose and destination. The author’s interest was how the traffic models of travelling routes reflect the individual choices and movement trends. The research territory was Hiiumaa, one of the smallest counties of Estonia, which is the least affected by outside influence. As a control area, the coastal region of Läänemaa County was used. About Hiiumaa one can state that the shape of migration models depends on the network of roads; this, in its turn, depends on settlement patterns; this, however, depends on naturals and other features. People usually go to work near their home, but in the case of higher-paid and highly skilled jobs, the workplaces may be rather far away from home. Workplaces are mostly situated in larger settlements; therefore, the direction of migration from home to workplace is predominantly from a smaller to a larger settlement. In Hiiumaa, several forms of commuting to work are used and also expeditional migration. Comparison with Läänemaa shows that, under fairly similar conditions, the movement models are different. This difference is partly caused by the isolation of Hiiumaa, which is an island. Läänemaa, being situated on the mainland, has direct links with the capital city, Tallinn. In many cases, the people of Läänemaa commute to Tallinn every day, which would be impossible from an island.
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Jose Palacin (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe); Robert Shelburne (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)
    Abstract: This study provides a broad overview of the private housing market in central and eastern Europe and some of the CIS – its history, current conditions and implications for the overall economy. It highlights regional differences, describes the different policy choices that have been made, and evaluates potential problem areas and the policy options for addressing them. The paper begins with a description of housing in these countries before and during their transition phase to market economies. The current state of the housing market in this region is then examined with an emphasis on its institutional development and size. Price trends throughout the region are analysed. A major objective is to ascertain the extent to which these markets are now similar to those observed in more developed western economies. The implications for the housing market resulting from the further integration of these countries into the global financial system are also explored.
    Keywords: housing market, East Europe, CIS, housing prices, housing bubble, mortgage market
    JEL: P25 G21 R31
    Date: 2005–12
  8. By: Yamauchi, Futoshi; Nishiyama, Shinichi
    Abstract: "To examine how local income distribution affects both a community's ability to pay for schooling and the quality of that schooling, this research merges household and school census data from South Africa. Empirical results are twofold. First, while the median income and the average household income increase school fees, inequality inhousehold income (standard deviation) decreases school fees, which indicates that the lower tail of income distribution pulls down school fees. Second, an increase in school fees significantly improves school quality, decreasing the learner-educator ratio and increasing the number of nonsubsidized educators. The result is consistent with (1) strategic behavior of the low-income group and (2) optimal school fee determination with incomplete interhousehold income transfers. Empirical results and simulations demonstrate the possibility that income and asset inequality may reduce the quality of public goods, decreasing human capital and income growth for the next generation." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: South Africa ,local public goods ,school finance ,willingness to pay ,Human capital ,
    Date: 2005
  9. By: EHLERS, Lars
    Abstract: We consider the problem of assigning students to schools on the basis of priorities. Students are allowed to have equal priority at a school. We characterize the efficient rules which weakly/strongly respect students’ priorities. When priority orderings are not strict, it is not possible to simply break ties in a fixed manner. All possibilities of resolving the indifferences need to be considered. Neither the deferred acceptance algorithm nor the top trading cycle algorithm successfully solve the problem of efficiently assigning the students to schools whereas a modified version of the deferred acceptance algorithm might. In this version tie breaking depends on students’ preferences.
    Keywords: School Choice, Equal Priority, Tie Breaking
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Sherrilyn M. Billger (Illinois State University and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: A change to Title IX has spurred new single-sex public schooling in the US. Until recently, nearly all gender-segregated schools were private, and I therefore address potential selection bias in the effects on educational and labor market outcomes using within private sector comparisons, an index comparing expectations to outcomes, quantile regressions, and other techniques. Descriptive statistics suggest significant benefits, but more consideration of selection bias reveals less consistency. Girls' school alumnae are more likely than their coed peers to receive scholarships, but they are not more likely to pursue college degrees, and both genders are less likely to meet their own educational expectations. Moreover, single-sex schooling is not universally superior in supporting gender equity, as coeducational public schools yield the least segregated college major choices. On the other hand, I find 15-20% higher starting salaries among single-sex school graduates, but only persistently for men of median ability. Much of the benefit from single-sex schooling accrues to students already likely to succeed, but favorable selection is an insufficient explanation for all gains. Most notably, there are clear returns for both African-Americans and low income students.
    Keywords: single-sex education, labor outcomes, secondary schooling, gender
    JEL: I21 J24 J3 I28
    Date: 2006–03
  11. By: Evelyn L. Lehrer (University of Illinois at Chicago - Economics Department)
    Abstract: This paper examines how two dimensions of childhood religion—affiliation and participation—are related to the probability of graduating from high school. Hypotheses derived from a human capital model are tested with data on non-Hispanic white and black women from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth. The empirical findings are generally consistent with the hypotheses, revealing sizeable differentials in the likelihood of obtaining a high-school diploma by affiliation and participation. The results suggest that the convergence of Catholics to the mainline Protestant pattern for non-Hispanic whites found here, and supported by many previous studies, has not taken place in the black population. In other respects, the relationships between religion and high school graduation are similar for the two racial groups.
    Keywords: religion; education; high-school graduation.
    JEL: J24 J15 J22
    Date: 2006–03–14
  12. By: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: Child Friendly Cities in Italy describes the evolution of childhood in Italy and the emergence of a new culture of the city. It analyses the consideration given to the Child Friendly Cities initiative and in particular the attention provided to the child as an active citizen and the role of the city in promoting the participation of young people in decision-making processes at the local level. The study looks at the specific experience of 12 of the more than 100 Italian cities that have adopted this approach, considering planning, budgeting and monitoring plans of action for children and ways through which children’s views are taken in due account. The study provides recommendations on how to further promote children’s rights within local governance.
    Keywords: Italy;
    JEL: J19
    Date: 2006
  13. By: Dercon, Stefan; Hoddinott, John
    Abstract: ""This paper uses longitudinal data from 15 villages in rural Ethiopia to explore the nature and consequences of these links. It addresses the following questions: (1) What are the links between rural households and local urban centers? (2) Does better access to local market towns affect household economic behavior? and (3) Does better access to local market towns make households better off? ...In our results, market towns and cities are an important source of demand for products produced in rural areas, and rural residents are a source of demand for goods sold in urban areas. Improving the presence of roads, their quality, and improved transport are important factors that willfurther bind these spaces together and improve rural welfare market towns." from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Rural-urban linkages ,Livelihoods ,
    Date: 2005
  14. By: Jean, HINDRIKS (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)); Susana , PERALTA; Sholmo , WEBER
    Abstract: Revenue sharing can be used to discourage low tax regions from competing for capital and firms with high tax regions. However, with heterogeneous regions, revenue sharing involves net transfers across regions and creates a “moral-hazard” problem - that is, regions may want to invest less in market fostering public good when the benefits are shared across nations. This paper analyzes these costs and benefits of revenue sharing. When asymmetric regions compete in capital income taxes only, we show that revenue sharing can be desirable for the high tax region if it is pushed far enough (i.e., J-curve effect), while tax harmonization is always harmful for the low tax region. When regions also compete through public investments, we find that tax competition distorts (downards) public investments. While revenue sharing discourages public investments due to moral-hazard effect, it remains beneficial in most cases. Moreover, there are new agglomeration forces resulting from public investments because the inflow of capital raises the incentive for public investments which in turn attract more capital. This leads to the possibility of policy-induced agglomeration (which is different from the classical agglomeration forces in the New Economic geography).
    Keywords: Heterogeneous Regions; Fiscal Federalism; Revenue Sharing; Moral Hazard; Agglomeration
    JEL: C72 H23 H70
    Date: 2005–12–15
  15. By: Carol E. Heim
    Abstract: Phoenix and neighboring municipalities, like many in the South and West, pursued a growth strategy based on annexation in the decades after World War II. This paper explores the link between annexation and competition for tax revenues. After discussing arguments for annexation, it traces the history of annexation in the Phoenix metropolitan area. A long-running series of "border wars" entailed litigation, pre-emptive annexations, and considerable intergovernmental conflict. The paper argues that tax revenues have been a key motivation for annexation, particularly since the 1970s. It then considers several related policy issues and argues that while opportunities for annexation are becoming more limited, competition for tax revenues (particularly sales tax revenues) continues to be fierce and to create dilemmas for municipalities in the region.
    JEL: H71 H77 N92 R51
    Date: 2006
  16. By: Alberto Zezza (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization); Gero Carletto (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization); Benjamin Davis (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)
    Abstract: This paper analyses recent patterns of migration and poverty in Albania, a country that - following the collapse of the communist regime in 1990 – has been experiencing high migration rates. Using a combination of survey and census data, the paper characterises spatial patterns in the distribution of poverty and migration at a high level of geographic disaggregation. The results emphasise the importance of analysing internal and international migration as different phenomena, as the two appear to be associated in opposite ways to observed poverty and welfare levels. While poverty acts as a push factor for internal migration, it seems to be a constraining factor for the more costly international migration. The results also suggest that rural migration to urban areas contributes to the relocation of poverty in urban areas.
    Keywords: Poverty, Migration, Albania.
    JEL: J1 J61 I32
    Date: 2005
  17. By: Mary Racelis; Angela Desiree M. Aguirre; Liane Pena-Alampay; Felisa U. Etemadi; Teresa Banaynal Fernandez; Rosemarie Matias Fernandez; Marita Castro Guevara; Jerome A. Serrano; Ching Li Ye; Eunice Anne M. Enriquez; Careza P. Reyes; Institute of Philippine Culture; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: The study analyses how the Philippines’ national Child Friendly Movement, which has engaged government, NGOs, civil society, children and UNICEF, has enhanced the capacity of local governments, communities and young people to fulfil the rights of the poorest children. The study uses participatory methodologies and reflects the viewpoint of children and the community. It reveals that in areas where the Child Friendly Cities strategy was adopted, greater attention is paid to the most excluded and vulnerable groups and interventions are developed on a wider spectrum of children’s rights. Beyond providing insights on concrete ways in which child rights are bring promoted at local level, it provides recommendations on how the fulfilment of child rights can be further enhanced by municipal governments.
    Keywords: 'Abandoned Children" 2;"Adjust;; Philippines;
    JEL: H79 I31
    Date: 2006
  18. By: Gero Carletto (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization); Benjamin Davis (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization); Marco Stampini
    Abstract: Using data from the 2003 Albania Panel Survey, the paper sets out to achieve two main objectives. First, we fully characterize the evolution of Albanian international migration since the fall of Communism in 1990. We distinguish between permanent and temporary migration, and between the two principal destinations, Greece and Italy. Second, we explore, using multivariate analysis, what individual, household and community level factors influence the current decision to migrate internationally, focusing on the role of previous personal experience and family networks. We find evidence of important changes over time in the pull and push factors that drive migration flows. While early on in the transition political and economic factors were predominant, over time personal experience and household migration networks assumed a fundamental role, facilitating growth in migration even in times of the relatively stable economic conditions. Other individual, household, and community factors have an important role in the decision to migrate, and these factors vary by type of migration and destination. Furthermore, the spatial configuration of migration is also changing: both temporary and permanent migration are expanding into new parts of the country. The results have important policy implications. First, policies aimed at controlling migration are likely to be less effective where networks have already developed or where engrained patterns of repeat migration are established. Second, despite increasing legality, migration, particularly for newcomers, is still difficult, risky and often illegal, which fosters a climate of exploitation and abuse. Third, we find that highly educated individuals have a higher propensity to migrate permanently, which constitutes a serious potential risk in terms of brain drain.
    Keywords: Albania, Families, Migration, Population dynamics, Rural urban migration, Social groups, Sociology, Urban rural migration
    JEL: F22 P2
    Date: 2005
  19. By: Andrew E. Burke; Michael A. Nolan; Felix R. FitzRoy
    Abstract: Using decomposition analysis, the paper investigates the reasons why Northern England has less but higher performing self-employed businesses than the South. It finds the causes are mainly structural differences rather than due to regional variation in people's characteristics. The paper also unearths a regional dimension behind the impact of education on entrepreneurial job creation. It finds that, in the less developed North, education boosts self-employment job creation by enhancing performance per venture (quality). In the South, it reduces it by having no effect on quality alongside a negative effect on the number of people who become self-employed (quantity).
    Keywords: Self-employment, job creation, North-South divide, decomposition
    JEL: J23 R11 R23
    Date: 2006–03
  20. By: Quisumbing, Agnes R.; McNiven, Scott
    Abstract: This paper explores the diversity of the experience of migrants to rural, peri–urban, and urban areas using a unique longitudinal data set from the Philippines. In 2003 and 2004, the Bukidnon Panel Study followed up with 448 families in rural Mindanao who were previously interviewed in 1984/85 by the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Research Institute for Mindanao Culture, Xavier University, and surveyed both a sample of their offspring living in the same area as well as a sample of those who had moved away to different locations. Parents (original respondents) and children who formed separate households in the same locality were interviewed in 2003; original respondents' offspring that migrated to different rural and urban areas were interviewed in 2004. Thus, migration patterns were examined using the full listing of children of the original respondents as well as a special survey of 257 of their migrant offspring who were tracked down in 2004. This migrant survey focused on differences in the migration experience of males and females who moved to other rural areas, poblaciones (the administrative seats of municipalities or towns), and urban areas. We follow this with an examination of the determinants of children's location, using the sample of all children. In addition to migration to rural, peri–urban, and urban destinations, we explicitly consider the case where the individual leaves his or her parental residence, but remains in the same village, as a locational choice." from Authors' Abstract
    Date: 2005

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