nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2006‒04‒29
25 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Rental choice and housing policy realignment in transition : post-privatization challenges in the Europe and Central Asia region By Hamilton, Ellen; Brzeski, W. Jan; Dubel, Hans-Joachim
  2. Do homeowners know their house values and mortgage terms? By Brian Bucks; Karen Pence
  3. Subprime refinancing: equity extraction and mortgage termination By Souphala Chomsisengphet; Anthony Pennington-Cross
  4. "Self-organizing Urban Hierarchy" By Takatoshi Tabuchi; Jacques Thisse
  5. On The User Cost and Homeownership By Antonia Díaz; Maria J. Luengo-Prado
  6. Comprehensive versus Selective Schooling in England in Wales: What Do We Know? By Jörn-Steffen Pischke; Alan Manning
  7. Does the Early Bird Catch the Worm? Instrumental Variable Estimates of Educational Effects of Age of School Entry in Germany By Puhani, Patrick A.; Weber, Andrea M.
  8. Predatory lending laws and the cost of credit By Giang Ho; Anthony Pennington-Cross
  9. Loan servicer heterogeneity and the termination of subprime mortgages By Giang Ho; Anthony Pennington-Cross
  10. A Spatial Investigation of ƒÐ-Convergence in China By Kuan-Pin Lin; Zhi-He Long; Mei Wu
  11. Public Good Spillover and Location of Firms By Nelly Exbrayat; Stéphane Riou
  12. Close Neighbours Matter: Neighbourhood Effects on Early Performance at School By Dominique Goux; Eric Maurin
  13. Advertising in a Differential Game of Spatial Competition. By G. Bertuzzi; L. Lambertini
  14. Italian Schools and New Linguistic Minorities: Nationality Vs. Plurilingualism. Which Ways and Methodologies for Mapping these Contexts? By Carla Bagna
  15. “God’s little acre” and “Belfast Chinatown”: Diversity and Ethnic Place Identity in Belfast By Suzanna Chan
  16. Technological agglomeration and the emergence of clusters and networks in nanotechnology By Robinson, D.K.R.; Rip, A.; Mangematin, V.
  17. Governmental Competition in Road Charging and Capacity Choice By Barry Ubbels; Erik Verhoef
  18. The Economic Consequences of Professional Sports Strikes and Lockouts: Revisited By Robert Baade; Robert Baumann; Victor Matheson
  19. Taxation with representation: intergovernmental grants in a plebiscite democracy By Byron F. Lutz
  20. Empirical Analysis of Retail Competition: Spatial Differentiation at Wal-Mart,, and Their Competitors By Lesley Chiou
  21. An analysis of the systemic risks posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and an evaluation of the policy options for reducing those risks By Robert A. Eisenbeis; W. Scott Frame; Larry D. Wall
  22. Buying Local in Marshall County and Marshalltown, Iowa: An Economic Impact Assessment By Swenson, David A.
  23. Path Dependence and Regional Economic Evolution By Ron Martin; Peter Sunley
  24. Regional labor market developments in transition By Huber, Peter
  25. Does Child Abuse Cause Crime? By Janet Currie; Erdal Tekin

  1. By: Hamilton, Ellen; Brzeski, W. Jan; Dubel, Hans-Joachim
    Abstract: Massive privatizations of housing in Europe and Central Asia transition countries have significantly reduced rental tenure choice, threatening to impede residential mobility. Policymakers are intensifying their search for adequate policy responses aimed at broadening tenure choice for more household categories through effective rental housing alternatives in the social and private sectors. While the social alternative requires substantial and well-balanced subsidies, the private alternative will not grow unless rent, management, and tax reforms are boldly implemented and housing privatization truly completed.
    Keywords: Urban Housing,Housing & Human Habitats,Municipal Financial Management,Public Sector Management and Reform,Non Bank Financial Institutions
    Date: 2006–04–01
  2. By: Brian Bucks; Karen Pence
    Abstract: To assess whether homeowners know their house values and mortgage terms, we compare the distributions of these variables in the household-reported 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) to the distributions in lender-reported data. We also examine the share of SCF respondents who report not knowing these variables. We find that most homeowners appear to report their house values and broad mortgage terms reasonably accurately. Some adjustable-rate mortgage borrowers, though, and especially those with below-median income, appear to underestimate or not know how much their interest rates could change.
    Keywords: Housing - Prices ; Home ownership ; Mortgage loans
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Souphala Chomsisengphet; Anthony Pennington-Cross
    Abstract: This paper examines the choice of borrowers to extract wealth from housing in the high-cost (subprime) segment of the mortgage market while refinancing and assesses the prepayment and default performance of these cash-out refinance loans relative to the rate refinance loans. Consistent with survey evidence the propensity to extract equity while refinancing is sensitive to interest rates on other forms of consumer debt. After the loan is originated, our results indicate that cash-out refinances perform differently from non cash-out refinances. For example, cash-outs are less likely to default or prepay, and the termination of cash-outs is more sensitive to changing interest rates and house prices.
    Keywords: Mortgages ; Mortgage loans
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Takatoshi Tabuchi (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Jacques Thisse (Center for operations research and econometrics (CORE), Universite catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: We have considered a general equilibrium model with monopolistically competitive markets, in which urban centers are service suppliers to all the agricultural regions as well as to the other urban centers. We have retained the forward and backward linkages of NEG to generate the agglomeration of firms and workers in cities. Our main result is that central places arise endogenously when transport costs take intermediate values.
    Date: 2006–04
  5. By: Antonia Díaz; Maria J. Luengo-Prado
    Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of housing tenure choice and the differences in the cost of housing services across households in an overlapping generations model with household-specific uninsurable earnings risk and housing prices that vary over time. We model houses as illiquid assets that provide collateral for loans. To analyze the impact of preferential housing taxation on the tenure choice, we consider a tax system that mimics that of the U.S. economy in a stylized way. We find that a mixture of idiosyncratic earnings uncertainty, house price risk, down payments and transaction costs are needed for the model to deliver life cycle patterns of homeownership and portfolio composition similar to those found in the data. Through simulations, we also show that a rental equivalence approach (relative to a user cost approach) overestimates the mean unit cost of housing by approximately 3 percent.
  6. By: Jörn-Steffen Pischke; Alan Manning
    Abstract: British secondary schools moved from a system of extensive and early selection and tracking in secondary schools to one with comprehensive schools during the 1960s and 70s. Before the reform, students would take an exam at age eleven, which determined whether they would attend an academically oriented grammar school or a lower level secondary school. The reform proceeded at an uneven pace in different areas, so that both secondary school systems coexist during the 1960s and 70s. The British transition therefore provides an excellent laboratory for the study of the impact of a comprehensive versus a selective school system on student achievement. Previous studies analyzing this transition have typically used a value-added methodology: they compare outcomes for students passing through either type of school controlling for achievement levels at the time of entering secondary education. While this seems like a reasonable research design, we demonstrate that it is unlikely to successfully eliminate selection effects in who attends what type of school. Very similar results are obtained by looking at the effect of secondary school environment on achievement at age 11 and controlling for age 7 achievement. Since children only enter secondary school at age 11, these effects are likely due to selection bias. Careful choice of treatment and control areas, and using political control of the county as an instrument for early implementation of the comprehensive regime do not solve this problem.
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2006–04
  7. By: Puhani, Patrick A.; Weber, Andrea M.
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of age of schoo entry on educational outcomes using two different data sets for Germany, sampling pupils at the end of primary school and in the middle of secondary school. Results are obtained based on instrumental variable estimation exploiting the exogenous variation in mont of birth. We find robust and significant positive effects on educational outcom for pupils who enter school at seven instead of six years of age: Test scores at the end of primary school increase by about bout 0.40 standard deviations and the probability to attend the highest secondary schooling track (Gymnasium) increases by about twelve percentage point.
    Keywords: education, immigration, policy, identification
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2006–04
  8. By: Giang Ho; Anthony Pennington-Cross
    Keywords: Mortgages ; Banking law ; Home equity loans
    Date: 2006
  9. By: Giang Ho; Anthony Pennington-Cross
    Abstract: After a mortgage is originated the borrower promises to make scheduled payments to repay the loan. These payments are sent to the loan servicer, who may be the original lender or some other firm. This firm collects the promised payments and distributes the cash flow (payments) to the appropriate investor/lender. A large data set (loan-level) of securitized subprime mortgages is used to examine if individual servicers are associated with systematic differences in mortgage performance (termination). While accounting for unobserved heterogeneity in a competing risk (default and prepay) proportional hazard framework, individual servicers are associated with substantial and economically meaningful impacts on loan termination.
    Keywords: Mortgages ; Banking law ; Home equity loans
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Kuan-Pin Lin; Zhi-He Long; Mei Wu
    Abstract: Using techniques of spatial econometrics, this paper investigates ƒÐ-convergence of provincial real per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in China. The empirical evidence concludes that spatial dependence across regions is strong enough to distort the traditional measure of ƒÐ-convergence. This study focuses on the variation of per capita GDP that is dependent on the development processes of neighboring provinces and cities. This refinement of the conditional ƒÐ-convergence model specification allows for analysis of spatial dependence in the mean and variance. The corrected measure of ƒÐ-convergence in China indicates a lower level of dispersion in the economic development process. This implies a smaller divergence in real per capita GDP, although convergence across regions is still a challenging goal to achieve in the 2000s. </span></td></tr>
    Keywords: ƒÐ-Convergence, Moran's index, spatial dependence, spatial lag
    JEL: C23 O18 O53 R11
    Date: 2006–03
  11. By: Nelly Exbrayat (CREUSET (EA 3724) - Centre de Recherche Economique de l'Université de Saint Etienne - - [] - [Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne] - []); Stéphane Riou (CREUSET (EA 3724) - Centre de Recherche Economique de l'Université de Saint Etienne - - [] - [Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne] - [])
    Abstract: Impact of positive public good spillovers on international capital tax competition in a spatial economy with two countries imperfectly integrated and with different levels of productivity.
    Keywords: Localisation des entreprises; Economie internationale; Externalités;
    Date: 2006–03–13
  12. By: Dominique Goux (INSEE); Eric Maurin (PSE, CEPR and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Children’s outcomes are strongly correlated with those of their neighbours. The extent to which this is causal is the subject of an extensive literature. An identification problem exists because people with similar characteristics are observed to live in close proximity. Another major difficulty is that neighbourhoods measured in available data are often considerably larger than those which matter for outcomes (i.e. close neighbours). Several institutional features of France enable us to address these problems. We find that an adolescent’s performance at the end of junior high-school are strongly influenced by the performance of other adolescents in the neighbourhood.
    Keywords: neighborhood effects on education
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2006–04
  13. By: G. Bertuzzi; L. Lambertini
  14. By: Carla Bagna (Università per Stranieri di Siena)
    Abstract: According to the latest findings of the MIUR (Ministry of Education, University and Research), Alunni con cittadinanza non italiana 2004-2005 (MIUR, October 2005), 4.2% of the school population in Italy is made up of non-Italian citizens, with no reference to students who have one Italian parent or adopted children. These findings show that schools have become multilingual, not so much or solely because of the proposed linguistic offerings, nor for the linguistic heritage of Italian-speakers, which alternates among dialect, regional Italian and standard Italian, but mostly because of the dimension created by the contacts developed between different linguistic and cultural heritages. The paper aims at emphasizing and showing different ways for mapping the role played and the weight exercised by these “new linguistic minorities” – (defined as such) so-called because they are related to immigrant settlements in the territory and, hence, “immigrant languages” – in redefining the linguistic landscape of a school and of a territory.
    Keywords: Language Contact, Immigrant Languages, School System, Linguistic-Cultural Identity
    JEL: I I2 I21
    Date: 2006–04
  15. By: Suzanna Chan (University of Ulster)
    Abstract: For members of ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland, place making can mean negotiating challenges posed by tensions between the two majority communities of Catholic, nationalist, republican and Protestant, unionist, loyalist; tensions which are reflected in contests over place identity. In Belfast, the Chinese Welfare Association (CWA) has undertaken two building projects to service the needs of the Chinese community and to promote diversity, engaging in close consultation with local communities. Hong Ling Gardens Chinese Sheltered Housing Scheme provides culturally sensitive sheltered accommodation for Chinese elders. The second building will provide a Chinese Community and Resource Centre, and construction is planned to commence in December 2006. This paper highlights how the CWA has met challenges posed by territoriality, and anxieties in relation to perceived changes in politico-cultural place identities, within the complexities of Northern Ireland. It uses semi-structured interviews, cultural and social theory, consultation of meeting reports, and empirical observation.
    Keywords: Northern Ireland, Diversity, Chinese Community, Place Identity, Racism
    Date: 2006–04
  16. By: Robinson, D.K.R.; Rip, A.; Mangematin, V.
    Abstract: Based on the analysis of two clusters in nanotechnologies (MESA+ in the Netherlands and Minatec in Grenoble in France), the paper examines the emergence and effects of technological agglomeration. The social and technical arrangements of a regional centre for nanotechnology both enable and constrain the ongoing activities and research lines that can be followed. Technology platforms and their co-location are a pre-requisite for nanotechnology research and agglomeration of such platforms are both a means and outcome for institutional entrepreneurs to mobilise resources, build networks and construct regional centres of excellence in nanotechnology. Technological agglomeration shapes the networks that evolve and leads to the convergence of scientific disciplines.
    JEL: M13
    Date: 2006
  17. By: Barry Ubbels (Faculty of Economics and Econometrics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Erik Verhoef (Faculty of Economics and Econometrics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In this study we have analysed policy interactions between an urban and a regional government which have different objectives (welfare of its own citizens) and two policy instruments (toll and capacity) available. Using a simulation model, we investigated the welfare consequences of the various regimes that result when both governments compete, and take sequential decisions on prices and capacities. We find that competition between governments may not be very beneficial to overall welfare in society compared with one central government. It appears that the tendency of tax exporting is very strong in this setting where commuters have to pay road tolls set by the city government. The main issue is not which exact type of game is played between the two actors, but much more whether there is cooperation (leading to first-best) or competition between governments, where of secondary importance is the question who is leading in the price stage (if there is a lea! der). Sensitivity analysis suggests that the performance for most game situations improves when demand becomes more elastic. When the price of road investment changes, the performance relative to the optimal situation remains more or less equal for all cases.
    Keywords: traffic congestion; road pricing; road capacity; tax competition
    JEL: R4
    Date: 2006–04–01
  18. By: Robert Baade (Department of Economics and Business, Lake Forest College); Robert Baumann (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross); Victor Matheson (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Abstract: Professional sports franchises have used the lure of economic riches as an incentive for cities to construct new stadiums and arenas at considerable public expense. An analysis of taxable sales in Florida cities demonstrates that none of the 6 new franchises or 8 new stadiums and arenas in the state since 1980 have resulted in a statistically significant increase in taxable sales in the host metropolitan area. In addition, using the numerous work stoppages in professional sports as test cases, again no statistically significant effect on taxable sales is found from the sudden absence of professional sports due to strikes and lockouts.
    Keywords: sports, strikes, economic impact, baseball, football, basketball, hockey, stadiums
    JEL: L83 R53
    Date: 2006–04
  19. By: Byron F. Lutz
    Abstract: Economic theory predicts that unconditional intergovernmental grant income and private income are perfectly fungible. Despite this prediction, the literature on fiscal federalism documents that grant and private income are empirically non-equivalent. A large scale school finance reform in New Hampshire--the typical school district experienced a 200 percent increase in grant income--provides an unusually compelling test of the equivalence prediction. Most theoretical explanations for non-equivalence focus on mechanisms which produce public good provision levels which differ from the decisive voter's preferences. New Hampshire determines local public goods provision via a form of direct democracy--a setting which rules out these explanations. In contrast to the general support in the literature for non-equivalence, the empirical estimates in this paper suggest that approximately 92 cents per grant dollar are spent on tax reduction. These results not only document that equivalence holds in a setting with a strong presumption that public good provision decisions reflect the preferences of voters, but also directly confirm the prediction of the seminal work of Bradford and Oates (1971) that lump-sum grant income is equivalent to a tax reduction. In addition, the paper presents theoretical arguments that grant income capitalization and heterogeneity in the marginal propensity to spend on public goods may generate spurious rejections of the equivalence prediction. The heterogeneity argument is confirmed empirically. Specifically, the results indicate that lower income communities spend more of the grant income on education than wealthier communities, a finding interpreted as revealing that the Engel curve for education is concave.
    Keywords: Taxation
    Date: 2006
  20. By: Lesley Chiou (Department of Economics, Occidental College)
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the degree of competition and spatial differentiation across retail channels by exploiting a unique dataset that describes a consumer's choice of store. I estimate a consumer's choice of retailer in the sales market for DVDs among online, mass merchant, electronics, video specialty, and music stores. Using a discrete choice model, I allow for unobserved heterogeneity in preferences for store types and disutility of travel. A consumer's traveling cost varies by income, and substitution occurs proportionately more among stores of the same type. Conditional on price and distance, the average consumer still prefers Wal-Mart over most other stores.
    Keywords: discrete choice, retail, spatial differentiation
    JEL: C25 L81
    Date: 2005–05
  21. By: Robert A. Eisenbeis; W. Scott Frame; Larry D. Wall
    Abstract: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises that are central players in U.S. secondary mortgage markets. Over the past decade, these institutions have amassed enormous mortgage- and non-mortgage-oriented investment portfolios that pose significant interest-rate risks to the companies and a systemic risk to the financial system. This paper describes the nature of these risks and systemic concerns and then evaluates several policy options for reducing the institutions’ investment portfolios. We conclude that limits on portfolio size (assets or liabilities) would be the most desirable approach to mitigating the systemic risk posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
    Date: 2006
  22. By: Swenson, David A.
    Abstract: Many communities are trying to shore up their local economies. One strategy is to work with local industries and with households to increase the amount of purchases that they make from local suppliers of goods and services. This import substitution strategy can yield measurable and significant impacts. This case study looks at Marshalltown, Iowa, and investigates the regional economic gains from a 5% increase in local purchases.
    JEL: C5
    Date: 2006–04–21
  23. By: Ron Martin; Peter Sunley
    Abstract: In recent years, economic geographers have seized on the concepts of ‘path dependence’ and ‘lock-in’ as key ingredients in constructing an evolutionary approach to their subject. However, they have tended in to invoke these notions without a proper examination of the ongoing discussion and debate devoted to them within evolutionary economics and elsewhere. Our aim in this paper, therefore, is, first, to highlight some of the unresolved issues surround these concepts, and, second, to explore their usefulness for understanding the regional economic evolution. We argue that in many important aspects, path dependence and lock-in are place-dependent processes, and as such require geographical explanation. At the same time, there has been little discussion of regional path creation: te assumption has been that new technological-economic paths emerge at random or spontaneously across space, an assumption that we find too simplistic. This leads on to the key question as to why some regional economies become locked into development paths that lose dynamism, whilst other regional economies seem able to avoid this danger and in effect are able ‘reinvent’ themselves through successive new paths or phases of development. We conclude that whilst path dependence is an important feature of the economic landscape, the concept requires further elaboration if it is to function as a core concept in an evolutionary economic geography.
    Keywords: path dependence, evolutionary economic geography, regional economic evolution, lock-in
    Date: 2006–03
  24. By: Huber, Peter
    Abstract: The author analyzes regional labor market disparities in transition by presenting some data and summarizing existing literature. He finds that large and persistent regional labor market disparities developed in virtually all transition countries and that there is some evidence of polarization. Differences in starting conditions and market access seem to be the major reasons for regional divergence in transition. Furthermore, regional wages are only slightly more flexible than in many European Union labor markets, interregional migration is low, and capital seems to move toward high wage and low unemployment urban centers rather than to the most backward regions. Policy should thus take a long-run perspective on the existing regional disparities, focus on removing barriers to mobility, review existing institutions for implementing regional policy, and aim at a close coordination of regional and labor market policy instruments.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Economic Theory & Research,Markets and Market Access,Youth and Governance,Country Strategy & Performance
    Date: 2006–04–01
  25. By: Janet Currie; Erdal Tekin
    Abstract: Child maltreatment, which includes both child abuse and child neglect, is a major social problem. This paper focuses on measuring the effects of child maltreatment on crime using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). We focus on crime because it is one of the most socially costly potential outcomes of maltreatment, and because the proposed mechanisms linking maltreatment and crime are relatively well elucidated in the literature. Our work addresses many limitations of the existing literature on child maltreatment. First, we use a large national sample, and investigate different types of abuse in a similar framework. Second, we pay careful attention to identifying the causal impact of abuse, by using a variety of statistical methods that make differing assumptions. These methods include: Ordinary Least Squares (OLS), propensity score matching estimators, and twin fixed effects. Finally, we examine the extent to which the effects of maltreatment vary with socio-economic status (SES), gender, and the severity of the maltreatment. We find that maltreatment approximately doubles the probability of engaging in many types of crime. Low SES children are both more likely to be mistreated and suffer more damaging effects. Boys are at greater risk than girls, at least in terms of increased propensity to commit crime. Sexual abuse appears to have the largest negative effects, perhaps justifying the emphasis on this type of abuse in the literature. Finally, the probability of engaging in crime increases with the experience of multiple forms of maltreatment as well as the experience of Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation.
    JEL: I1 K4
    Date: 2006–04

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