nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2006‒07‒28
nine papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Superstar Cities By Joseph Gyourko; Christopher Mayer; Todd Sinai
  2. Childhood Family Structure and Schooling Outcomes : Evidence for Germany By Marco Francesconi; Stephen P. Jenkins; Thomas Siedler
  3. Supply Constraints and Housing Prices By Saku Aura; Thomas Davidoff
  4. House Prices and Monetary Policy in Colombia By Martha López
  5. A Regional Study of the Colombian Corporate Sector: Differences, Trends and Developments in Different Cities By Peter Rowland
  6. Forecasting regional labor market developments under spatial heterogeneity and spatial correlation By Longhi, Simonetta; Nijkamp, Peter
  7. Local public goods in a democracy: Theory and evidence from rural India By Santanu Gupta; Raghbendra Jha
  8. Head Office Employment in Canada, 1999 to 2005 By Beckstead, Desmond; Brown, W. Mark
  9. Agency Conflicts, Asset Substitution, and Securitization By Yingjin Hila Gan; Christopher Mayer

  1. By: Joseph Gyourko; Christopher Mayer; Todd Sinai
    Abstract: Differences in house price and income growth rates between 1950 and 2000 across metropolitan areas have led to an ever-widening gap in housing values and incomes between the typical and highest-priced locations. We show that the growing spatial skewness in house prices and incomes are related and can be explained, at least in part, by inelastic supply of land in some attractive locations combined with an increasing number of high-income households nationally. Scarce land leads to a bidding-up of land prices and a sorting of high-income families relatively more into those desirable, unique, low housing construction markets, which we label “superstar cities.” Continued growth in the number of high-income families in the U.S. provides support for ever-larger differences in house prices across inelastically supplied locations and income-based spatial sorting. Our empirical work confirms a number of equilibrium relationships implied by the superstar cities framework and shows that it occurs both at the metropolitan area level and at the sub-MSA level, controlling for MSA characteristics.
    JEL: R0 J0 D4 N9
    Date: 2006–07
  2. By: Marco Francesconi; Stephen P. Jenkins; Thomas Siedler
    Abstract: We analyse the impact on schooling outcomes of growing up in a family headed by a single mother. Growing up in a non-intact family in Germany is associated with worse outcomes in models that do not control for possible correlations between common unobserved determinants of family structure and educational performance. But once endogeneity is accounted for, whether by using sibling-difference estimators or two types of quasi-experiments, the evidence that family structure affects schooling outcomes is much less conclusive. Although almost all the point estimates indicate that non-intactness has an adverse effect on schooling outcomes, confidence intervals are large and span zero.
    Keywords: Childhood family structure, lone parenthood, educational success, sibling differences, instrumental variables, treatment effects
    JEL: C23 D13 I21 J12 J13
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Saku Aura (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Thomas Davidoff
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of land use constraints on housing prices. We provide a new framework for evaluating policy when mobility across regions is allowed but limited. A key result is that loosening regulatory constraints within individual regions would have little effect on prices for plausible parameterizations. For example, we show reasonable conditions under which, even if every building in Manhattan were 100 stories tall, prices would fall by less than 15 percent.
    Keywords: Housing Supply and Markets; Regulatory Policies; Land Use Patterns.
    JEL: R21 R14 R38
    Date: 2006–05–22
  4. By: Martha López
    Abstract: This paper investigates the possible responses of an inflation-targeting monetary policy in the face of asset price deviations from fundamental values. Focusing on the housing sector of the Colombian economy, we consider a general equilibrium model with frictions in credit market and bubbles in housing prices. We show that monetary policy is less efficient when it responds directly to asset price of housing than a policy that reacts only to deviations of expected inflation (CPI) from target. Some prudential regulation may provide a better outcome in terms of output and inflation variability.
    Keywords: House price bubbles, interest rate rules, monetary policy, inflation Targeting.
    JEL: E32 E40 E47 E52
  5. By: Peter Rowland
    Abstract: The study presented here looks at the Colombian corporate sector broken down by city. In particular, it studies the eight main cities of the country. It is an initial study, maybe the first of its kind, and it aims to act as a foundation for future research in the area. A database obtained from the Superintendencia de Sociedades is used for the analysis. Structural differences between the cities in 2003 are studied, as well as the development of the cities between 1996 and 2003. The study shows that the 100 largest firms in the country are almost exclusively located in the country’s four largest cities. Rather more surprisingly, it shows that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are generally concentrated to the country’s larger cities, and particularly to Bogotá, while many medium-sized and smaller cities completely lack SMEs. The study also shows that, in terms of aggregate sales, the cities have developed very differently.
  6. By: Longhi, Simonetta (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: Because of heterogeneity across regions, economic policy measures are increasingly targeted at the regional level, and the need for forecasts at the regional level is rapidly increasing. The data available to compute regional forecasts is usually based on a pseudo-panel of a limited number of observations over time, and a large number of areas (regions) strongly interacting with each other. The application of traditional time-series techniques to distinct time series of regional data is likely to be a suboptimal forecasting strategy. In the field of regional forecasting of socioeconomic variables, both linear and nonlinear models have recently been applied and evaluated. However, often such analyses ignore the spatial interactions among regions. We evaluate the ability of different statistical techniques - namely spatial error and spatial cross-regressive models - to correct for misspecifications due to neglected spatial correlation in the data. Our empirical application concerns short-term forecasts of employment in 326 West German regions; we find that the superimposed spatial structure that is required for the estimation of spatial models improves the forecasting performance of non-spatial models.
    Keywords: Space-Time Data; Regional Forecasts; Spatial Heterogeneity; Spatial Correlation
    JEL: R12 C53
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Santanu Gupta; Raghbendra Jha
    Abstract: This paper examines allocation of local public goods over jurisdictions (villages) with individuals with identical tastes and different incomes, in a model with democratic institutions and majority rule. The median voter (in income) in each jurisdiction determines the probability of re-election for the incumbent government. The jurisdiction with the median of these median voters is most favoured. With identical median voters in jurisdictions, and with re-election requiring less than 50mandate, jurisdictions with higher income inequality get favoured. Results from a survey data (from NCAER) on infrastructure provision in 1669 Indian villages confirm this hypothesis. Ethnic fragmentation does not affect public good provision but political fragmentation does. Finally, villages with the median population are the most favoured for public goods allocation. Sparsely populated and too densely populated villages are relatively neglected.
    Keywords: median voter, local public good, reservation utility
    JEL: H41 H72
    Date: 2006
  8. By: Beckstead, Desmond; Brown, W. Mark
    Abstract: This paper provides an analysis of trends in business sector head office employment in Canada from 1999 to 2005. It investigates changes in the number of head offices and head office employment over this period. The paper also examines the effect of foreign ownership on head office employment. It asks how much foreign-controlled firms contribute to Canadian head office employment and employment growth and what happens to head office employment when control of a firm changes from domestic to foreign. The paper also looks at the rate at which head offices enter and exit over time with a view to ascertaining whether the loss of a head office is a rare occurrence or a relatively common event. Finally, the paper presents trends in head office employment across metropolitan areas over the past six years.
    Keywords: Labour, Business enterprises, Employment, Business conditions
    Date: 2006–07–13
  9. By: Yingjin Hila Gan; Christopher Mayer
    Abstract: Asset-backed securities represent one of the largest and fastest growing financial markets. Under securitization, agents perform functions (for fees) that would alternatively be performed by a vertically integrated lender with ownership of a whole loan. We examine how outsourcing impacts performance using data on 357 commercial mortgage-backed securities deals with over 46,000 individual loans. To alleviate agency conflicts in managing troubled loans, underwriters often sell the first-loss position to the special servicer, the party who is charged with handling delinquencies and defaults. When holding the first-loss position, special servicers appear to behave more efficiently, making fewer costly transfers of delinquent loans to special servicing, but liquidating a higher percentage of loans that are referred to special servicing. Special servicers are also more likely to own the first loss position in deals that require additional effort (deals with higher delinquencies). Market pricing reflects the existence of agency costs. Despite the apparent reduction of agency costs, the first-loss position is increasingly owned by a party other than the special servicer. We pose a number of explanations, including conflicts between junior and senior securities holders (the asset substitution problem) and risk aversion among special servicers. Consistent with asset substitution, we show that special servicers delay liquidation when they hold the first-loss position in deals with more severe delinquency problems.
    JEL: D8 G2 G3 L2
    Date: 2006–07

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