nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2006‒08‒12
twelve papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Housing supply and the interaction of regional population and employment By Wouter Vermeulen; Jos van Ommeren
  2. Travel Time Budget – Decomposition of the Worldwide Mean By Iragaël Joly
  3. Agglomeration and comparative advantage in vertically-related firms By José Pedro Pontes
  4. Regional Macroeconomic Outcomes Under Alternative Arrangements for the Financing of Urban Infrastructure By James Giesecke; Peter B. Dixon; Maureen T. Rimmer
  5. Local sustainable mobility management. Are Portuguese municipalities aware? By Catarina Aroso Monteiro; Aurora A.C. Teixeira
  6. Agglomeration, Diversity and Regional Growth By Braunerhjelm, Pontus; Borgman, Benny
  7. New Technology in Schools: Is There a Payoff? By Stephen Machin; Sandra McNally; Olmo Silva
  8. Evaluating the push for tougher, more targeted policing in the Netherlands; evidence from a citizen survey. By Ben Vollaard
  9. Speed of innovation in high technology firms: geographic and organizational strategies By E. Echeverri-Carroll; L. Hunnicutt
  10. Reforming Federalism German Style - A First Step in the Right Direction By Thomas Döring; Stefan Voigt
  11. Railroads and Local Economic Development: The United States in the 1850s By Michael R. Haines; Robert A. Margo
  12. The Effect of Professional Sports on the Earnings of Individuals: Evidence from Microeconomic Data By Dennis Coates; Brad R. Humphreys

  1. By: Wouter Vermeulen; Jos van Ommeren
    Abstract: Housing markets may significantly affect the relationship between regional population and employment, if housing supply is not fully accommodative to demand. We analyse the relationships between housing supply, regional population and employment empirically in a three-equation dynamic model. Annual regional panel data are used for the Netherlands, where a strong tradition of spatial planning exists. We find that net internal migration is strongly determined by housing supply, whereas employment growth has no statistically significant impact. Growth of the housing stock is only moderately affected by population and employment, possibly as a result of restrictive spatial policies. Employment adjusts substantially towards a long-run relationship with the regional population. The analysis further indicates that labour markets drive this long-run adjustment more than local consumer demand. Hence, people follow houses rather than jobs, and jobs follow people in the long run.
    Keywords: housing supply; population-employment interaction; regional panel data
    JEL: R11 R23 J23
    Date: 2006–05
  2. By: Iragaël Joly (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: The paper is concerned with the travel activity and more specifically the urban travel time during a day. This individual mean travel time budget (TTB) has been hypothesised by Zahavi (1980) to be a constant amount of time close to 1 hour per day. This TTB seems to be stable between different cities and between different time periods. Under the TTB stability hypothesis, travel time-savings are totally reinvested in transport. This reinvestment mechanism could then explain the urban sprawl, and give to the increasing speeds all the responsibilities of the “urban transport diseases”. However, the TTB stability seems to be valid at the world aggregate level only. The paper proposes to explore finer scales of observation of the TTB: from the aggregate to the desaggregate levels of observation. First, a worldwide comparison of the mean TTB of 100 cities is produced. Second a hazard based model for the individual TTB of the French city of Lyon is constructed. Hence, two opposite urban models appear at the aggregate level: an extensive urban model of which development is based on extensive consumption of space and time resources, and an intensive urban model restricting its spatial and temporal extension. At the desaggregate level, the analysis identifies the relationships between the individual TTB and the socio-economic variables and the mobility and activities attributes. Finally, the model seems to indicate that the traditional hypothesis of the minimisation of the temporal costs of travel is unsuitable to model the behaviour of the whole urban population.
    Keywords: Duration model ; Travel Time Budget ; Zahavi's hypothesis ; Worldwide comparison
    Date: 2006–07–25
  3. By: José Pedro Pontes
    Abstract: This paper models, in game-theoretical terms, the location of two vertically-linked monopolistic firms in a spatial economy formed by a large, high labor cost country and a relatively small, low labor cost country. It is found that the decrease in transport costs shifts firms towards the low production cost country. This process takes two different forms: in labor-intensive industries it leads to spatial fragmentation; in industries with strong input-output relations, agglomerations are conserved, although they shift toward the low labor cost country.
    Keywords: Location; Intermediate goods; Agglomeration; Comparative advantage.
    JEL: F10 F12 R30
  4. By: James Giesecke; Peter B. Dixon; Maureen T. Rimmer
    Abstract: Many studies have found that the economic benefits from investment in urban infrastructure are substantial. In Australia, much of the responsibility for the provision of urban infrastructure rests with regional governments. Throughout the1990's many of these governments embarked on a program of fiscal restraint, seeking to restore financial positions weakened by exposure to failed government enterprises. A large proportion of this fiscal adjustment appears to have been borne by spending on public infrastructure. Today, regional government policy attention is again focussing on public infrastructure. In spite of the now robust fiscal positions of Australia's regional governments, they remain reluctant to finance infrastructure through debt, and raising the rates of existing taxes is perceived as politically unpopular. Instead, governments are exploring alternative financing instruments, such as developer charges and public-private partnerships. This paper uses a dynamic multi-regional CGE model (MMRF) to evaluate the regional macroeconomic consequences of four methods of financing a program of regional government infrastructure provision. The methods are developer charges, debt, payroll tax and residential rates. We demonstrate that the net gains from a program of urban infrastructure development are quite sensitive to the chosen financing means. The net gains tend to be greatest under rates and debt financing, and least under developer charges.
    Keywords: multi-regional CGE, dynamic CGE, infrastructure finance,regional policy
    JEL: D58 R13 R51 R53
    Date: 2005–01
  5. By: Catarina Aroso Monteiro (INESC-Porto, Universidade do Porto); Aurora A.C. Teixeira (CEMPRE, Faculdade de Economia do Porto, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: Urban mobility has become an international problem and several countries have joined together in different consortia, signing international agreements and developing projects with a view to establishing new standards for current mobility levels and the development of the transport systems of the future. Although such worldwide increasing effort regarding sustainable mobility issue, namely by the most proactive European cities, it is not yet clear why measures towards sustainable mobility are not implemented by the generality of local authorities. The main goal of this paper is to identify the different sustainable mobility strategies and the corresponding perceptions by local public authorities. Such local governance aspects have yet to be dealt with appropriately and in a credible way. This shortcoming is particularly acute in Portugal where sustainable urban mobility management is still highly underdeveloped and very few studies have been dedicated to the matter. We provide new evidence on the perceptions and strategies of the Portuguese local public authorities regarding sustainable urban mobility management. Through a survey to all Portuguese municipalities we provide brand new evidence on their perceptions and strategies regarding sustainable urban mobility management. Estimates based on econometric regressions indicate that the most mobility-conscious municipalities are, on average, those that are richer, more cultural and educated, possess alternative transport parks and routes, have larger and more human capital intensive mobility departments. Results show that more than simply participating in urban regeneration programs it is necessary a more committed attitude, namely that municipalities’ urban plans explicitly mention mobility issues and indicators. All the models estimated clearly evidence a higher awareness of North municipalities towards sustainable mobility issues.
    Keywords: Zona Euro; Sustainability; mobility management; regions; human capital
    JEL: Q01 Q56 R11 J24
    Date: 2006–08
  6. By: Braunerhjelm, Pontus (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Borgman, Benny (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to empirically examine the importance of the structure of agglomeration on productivity and growth. To accomplish this we will include the degree of co-agglomeration of similar industries as an explanatory variable in the empirical analysis, while simultaneously controlling for the degree of industry-specific agglomeration. To the best of our knowledge, the impact of co-agglomerated industries on productivity has not previously been investigated. The empirical analysis confirms a positive statistical relationship between interdependent and co-located industries on labour productivity.
    Keywords: Co-agglomeration; productivity; growth
    JEL: R11 R12
    Date: 2006–08–03
  7. By: Stephen Machin (University College London, CEE, CEP, London School of Economics and IZA Bonn); Sandra McNally (CEE, CEP, London School of Economics and IZA Bonn); Olmo Silva (CEE, CEP, London School of Economics, European University Institute and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Despite its high relevance to current policy debates, estimating the causal effect of Information Communication Technology (ICT) investment on educational standards remains fraught with difficulties. In this paper, we exploit a change in the rules governing ICT funding across different school districts of England to devise an instrumental variable strategy to identify the causal impact of ICT expenditure on pupil outcomes. The approach identifies the effect of being a ‘winner’ or a ‘loser’ in the new system of ICT funding allocation to schools. Our findings suggest a positive impact on primary school performance in English and Science, though not for Mathematics. We reconcile our positive results with others in the literature by arguing that it is the joint effect of large increases in ICT funding coupled with a fertile background for making an efficient use of it that led to positive effects of ICT expenditure on educational performance in English primary schools.
    Keywords: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), pupil achievement
    JEL: H52 I20 I28 J24
    Date: 2006–07
  8. By: Ben Vollaard
    Abstract: In this study, we estimate the effects of a tougher, more targeted police response to criminal and disorderly behaviour ('proactive policing'). We use a citizen survey providing unique data on hard-to-observe dimensions of police work for every single municipality in the Netherlands. We relate variation in local policing strategies to individual data on victimisation of crime and experience of disorder and fear of crime over the period 1993-2001. The sample includes some 370,000 residents randomly selected from the Dutch population. We control for individual background characteristics and fixed municipality characteristics. We find evidence that stricter law enforcement is effective in reducing disorder, fear of crime, violent crime and property crime. Concentrating visible police presence at 'hot spots' is effective in combating disorder, fear of crime, and property crime. As a result of proactive policing during the period 2003-2005, crime and disorder went down substantially. Fear of crime has been reduced as well.
    Keywords: police; effectiveness; proactive policing; disorder policing; hot spots policing
    JEL: K4
    Date: 2006–06
  9. By: E. Echeverri-Carroll; L. Hunnicutt
    Abstract: Competition in high technology is increasingly based on rapid innovation. But what conditions quicken innovation? Some suggest innovation is faster in firms with many related organizations located nearby. Others propose relationships with customers and suppliers as key factors in rapid innovation. We attempt to differentiate between these hypotheses. We find that local amenities determine firm location, but not innovation speed. Instead relationships with suppliers and customers are the main determinants of innovation speed.
  10. By: Thomas Döring (Department of Economics, University of Kassel); Stefan Voigt (Department of Economics, University of Kassel)
    Abstract: The German version of federalism, often called "cooperative federalism", has been identified by many as one of the root causes for Germany becoming Europe’s new sick man. Now, a number of changes in the institutions defining the relationship between the federal, the state and the local level have been passed. This contribution describes the most important changes and evaluates them from the point of view of fiscal federalism. It concludes that the changes are only a first step in the right direction, but a number of important steps have yet to follow.
    Date: 2006–08
  11. By: Michael R. Haines; Robert A. Margo
    Abstract: We use county and individual-level data from 1850 and 1860 to examine the economic impact of gaining access to a railroad. Previous studies have found that rail access was positively correlated with the value of agricultural land at a point in time, and have interpreted this correlation as evidence that rail access chiefly benefitted agricultural land owners in the manner predicted by the Hekscher-Ohlin or Von Theunen models. We use a difference-in-difference strategy, comparing changes in outcomes in counties that gained rail access in the 1850s to those that either gained access earlier or did not have access before the Civil War. Most of the estimated effects are small and the signs are not wholly consistent with either model, under the null hypothesis that agriculture was the chief beneficiary of rail access. For example, we find that rail access appears to have increased urbanization, raised the likelihood of participation in the service sector, decreased agricultural yields, and reduced the share of improved acreage in total land area, opposite to the patterns predicted by either the Heckscher-Ohlin or Von Theunen models.
    JEL: N51 N71
    Date: 2006–07
  12. By: Dennis Coates (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County); Brad R. Humphreys (Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois)
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of professional sports teams and stadiums on the wages of individuals employed in several narrowly defined occupational groups in cities in the United States. The occupational groups examined are among those that proponents of public funding of professional sports claim will benefit economically from these stadiums. Our analysis uses data from the March Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) for the period 1983 to 1998. Previous research focused on aggregate measures of income whereas here the focus is on the wages of individual workers. The results of the study conform conclusions of earlier research that the overall sports environment is frequently statistically significant as a determinant of earnings.
    JEL: L83 R58 J30 H71
    Date: 2006–07

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