nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2006‒09‒23
ten papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Capital gains taxation and house price fluctuations By Fuest, Clemens; Huber, Bernd; Nielsen, Søren Bo
  2. Was There A British House Price Bubble? Evidence from a Regional Panel By Gavin Cameron; John Muellbauer; Anthony Murphy
  3. Transportation Conditions and Access to Services in a Context of Urban Sprawl and Deregulation. The Case of Dar es Salaam By Lourdes Diaz Olvera; Didier Plat; Pascal Pochet
  4. Housing Market Dynamics and Regional Migration in Britain By Anthony Murphy; John Muellbauer; Gavin Cameron
  5. The Effects of Accessibility to University Education on Enrollment Decisions, Geographical Mobility, and Social Recruitment By Eliasson, Kent
  6. How and Why has Teacher Quality Changed in Australia? By Andrew Leigh; Chris Ryan
  7. Public & Private Spillovers, Location and the Productivity of Pharmaceutical Research By Jeffrey L. Furman; Magaret K. Kyle; Iain M. Cockburn; Rebecca Henderson
  8. Improving Education Achievement and Attainment in Luxembourg By David Carey; Ekkehard Ernst
  9. International Lessons for the Property Price Boom in South Africa By Funke, Norbert; Kißmer, Friedrich; Wagner, Helmut
  10. On the Robustness of Racial Disrcimination Findings in Motgage Lending Studies By Judith A. Clarke; Nilanjana Roy; Marsha J. Courchane

  1. By: Fuest, Clemens (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School); Huber, Bernd (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School); Nielsen, Søren Bo (Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: Recent years have seen large swings in house prices in many countries. Motivated by housing price variations, proposals for taxing capital gains on housing have repeatedly been put forth. The idea seems to be that such taxes would curb the redistribution occurring between those owning houses and those trying to get into the market for owner-occupied housing. Our paper shows that at least in simple settings, a tax on real capital gains on housing will only lead to even bigger price swings and will not be able to redistribute between people appearing on either side of the housing market.
    Keywords: capital gains tax; housing market; price fluctuations
    JEL: H23 H24 R31
    Date: 2006–09–12
  2. By: Gavin Cameron; John Muellbauer; Anthony Murphy
    Abstract: This paper investigates the bubbles hypothesis with a dynamic panel data model of British regional house prices between 1972 and 2003. The model consists of a system of inverted housing demand equations, incorporating spatial interactions and lags and relevant spatial parameter heterogeneity. The results are data consistent, with plausible long-run solutions and include a full range of explanatory variables. Novel features of the model include transaction cost effects influencing the speed of adjustment, and interaction effects between an index of credit availability and real and nominal interest rates. No evidence for a recent bubble is found.
    Keywords: House Prices, Bubble, Spatial Economics
    JEL: C51 E39
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Lourdes Diaz Olvera (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); Didier Plat (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); Pascal Pochet (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: Major deficiencies in urbanisation and transportation systems are reinforcing patterns of social and urban segregation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city. Analysis of the 1993 Human Resources Development Survey shows that there are numerous obstacles to the daily travel of the city's inhabitants, notably the poor. These barriers weigh heavily on schedules, complicate access to services ever further, limit the use of urban space, and place considerable pressure on household budgets. Consequently, the poorest individuals tend to retreat into their neighbourhood where the low-quality urban facilities are unable to assist in the development of human and social capital and economic opportunities, the alleviation of poverty or the prevention of social exclusion.
    Keywords: Accessibility ; Unplanned urbanization ; Social exclusion ; Poverty ; Walking trip ; Public transport ; Africa
    Date: 2006–09–15
  4. By: Anthony Murphy; John Muellbauer; Gavin Cameron
    Abstract: Economic conditions exert a strong influence on regional migration. On the one hand, strong labour market conditions, as exemplified by low unemployment rates and high earnings, draw migrants into regions. On the other hand, strong housing market conditions can prevent movement since expensive housing can deter migrants and commuting may often be an alternative. This can be thought of as giving rise to a migration equilibrium, where high house prices choke off migration caused by strong labour market conditions. Expected capital gains in housing and expected earnings growth however, can offset high levels of house prices, effects ignored in previous literature. Migration can also be influenced more directly by the availability of housing relative to population without this being mediated through prices. This paper presents evidence from a 28 year panel on net and gross migration for the regions of Britain that is broadly in accord with these expectations.
    Keywords: Regional Migration, House Prices, Expected Capital Gains, Contiguity, Great Britain, Regional Panel
    JEL: C33 J19 R3
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Eliasson, Kent (National Institute for Working Life)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on how accessibility to higher education affects university enrollment decisions in Sweden. The analysis refers to the autumn semester of 1996 and is based on approximately 835,000 individuals aged 1929. The empirical results show that the probability of enrollment increases with accessibility to university education. The findings also reveal that accessibility adds to the likelihood of enrollment within the region of residence. Both these results are robust with regard to different specifications of accessibility. Moreover the empirical results indicate that the enrollment decisions of individuals with a less privileged background are more sensitive to accessibility to university education than those of individuals from a more advantageous background. The influence of accessibility on enrollment decreases significantly with individual ability, parental education, and parental earnings.
    Keywords: University enrollment; accessibility; geographical mobility; social recruitment
    JEL: A22 I21 R23
    Date: 2006–09–11
  6. By: Andrew Leigh; Chris Ryan
    Abstract: International research suggests that differences in teacher performance can explain a large portion of student achievement. Yet little is known about how the quality of the Australian teaching profession has changed over time. Using consistent data on the academic aptitude of new teachers, we compare those who have entered the teaching profession in Australia over the past two decades. We find that the aptitude of new teachers has fallen considerably. Between 1983 and 2003, the average percentile rank of those entering teacher education fell from 74 to 61, while the average rank of new teachers fell from 70 to 62. One factor that seems to have changed substantially over this period is average teacher pay. Compared to non-teachers with a degree, average teacher pay fell substantially over the period 1983-2003. Another factor is pay dispersion in alternative occupations. During the 1980s and 1990s, non-teacher earnings at the top of the distribution rose faster than earnings at the middle and bottom of the distribution. For an individual with the potential to earn a wage at the 90th percentile of the distribution, a non-teaching occupation looked much more attractive in the 2000s than it did in the 1980s. We believe that both the fall in average teacher pay, and the rise in pay differentials in non-teaching occupations are responsible for the decline in the academic aptitude of new teachers over the past two decades.
    Keywords: test scores, teacher salary, occupational choice
    JEL: I21 I28 J31
    Date: 2006–09
  7. By: Jeffrey L. Furman; Magaret K. Kyle; Iain M. Cockburn; Rebecca Henderson
    Abstract: While there is widespread agreement among economists and management scholars that knowledge spillovers exist and have important economic consequences, researchers know substantially less about the "micro mechanisms" of spillovers -- about the degree to which they are geographically localized, for example, or about the degree to which spillovers from public institutions are qualitatively different from those from privately owned firms (Jaffe, 1986; Krugman, 1991; Jaffe et al., 1993; Porter, 1990). In this paper we make use of the geographic distribution of the research activities of major global pharmaceutical firms to explore the extent to which knowledge spills over from proximate private and public institutions. Our data and empirical approach allow us to make advances on two dimensions. First, by focusing on spillovers in research productivity (as opposed to manufacturing productivity), we build closely on the theoretical literature on spillovers that suggests that knowledge externalities are likely to have the most immediate impact on the production of ideas (Romer, 1986; Aghion & Howitt, 1997). Second, our data allow us to distinguish spillovers from public research from spillovers from private, or competitively funded research, and to more deeply explore the role that institutions and geographic proximity play in driving knowledge spillovers.
    JEL: L23 L65 O3 R3
    Date: 2006–09
  8. By: David Carey; Ekkehard Ernst
    Abstract: Improving education achievement in Luxembourg is a priority for strengthening productivity growth and enhancing residents. employment prospects in the private sector, where employers mainly hire cross-border workers. Student achievement in Luxembourg is below the OECD average according to the 2003 OECD PISA study, with the performance gap between immigrant and native students being above average. A factor that makes learning more difficult in Luxembourg than in other countries is the use of three languages of instruction (Lëtzebuergesch, German and French). New empirical evidence presented in this paper based on the PISA tests suggests that the reforms over the past decade or so to attenuate these difficulties have had considerable success: the adverse impact of immigrant status on PISA test scores is around the OECD average. The fact that the performance gap between immigrant and native students is nevertheless greater than average reflects other factors, notably the relatively large difference in socio-economic background between immigrant and native students. The paper also discusses further reforms that are underway or planned to improve achievement of immigrant students. Another feature of Luxembourg.s education system is that it is highly stratified, with children being sorted into a large number of parallel tracks at an early stage and there being a high rate of grade repetition. International evidence suggests that stratification increases the impact of socio-economic background on student achievement. Reforms to reduce stratification are discussed in the remainder of the paper, together with reforms to enhance achievement more generally by improving teaching skills and basing school programmes on key competences. This paper relates to the 2006 Economic Survey of Luxembourg ( <P>Améliorer la performance du système éducatif au Luxembourg <BR>Améliorer la réussite scolaire au Luxembourg constitue une priorité pour renforcer la croissance de la productivité et augmenter les perspectives de l'emploi des résidents dans le secteur privé, dans lequel les employeurs ont principalement recours à de la main-d'oeuvre transfrontalière. La réussite scolaire des élèves au Luxembourg est en dessous de la moyenne de l'OCDE selon l'étude PISA de 2003, avec une différence de réussite entre élèves immigrés et natifs au-dessus de la moyenne. Un des facteurs qui rend l'apprentissage plus difficile au Luxembourg que dans d'autres pays est l'utilisation de trois langues d'instruction (luxembourgeois, allemand et français). Basés sur les tests PISA, les nouveaux travaux empiriques présentés dans ce papier suggère que les réformes durant cette dernière décennie visant à atténuer ces difficultés ont connu un succès notable : l'impact négatif du statut d'immigré sur les performances PISA est autour de la moyenne de l'OCDE. Certes, il existe une différence de résultats entre les élèves immigrés et nationaux -- différence supérieure à la moyenne -- mais cela est dû à d'autres facteurs, notamment les origines socio-économiques différentes des élèves immigrés et nationaux. Le papier discute également d'autres réformes actuellement en route ou planifiées visant à augmenter la réussite scolaire des élèves immigrés. Une autre caractéristique du système éducatif luxembourgeois est sa stratification accrue, qui sélectionne tôt les enfants dans un nombre important de parcours parallèles. Par ailleurs, le redoublement de classe est important. Les comparaisons internationales suggèrent que la stratification augmente l'impact du cadre socio-économique sur la réussite scolaire de l'élève. Le papier discute ainsi des réformes sur une réduction de stratification, mais aussi des réformes visant une augmentation générale de la réussite scolaire en augmentant les compétences d'enseignement des professeurs ainsi qu'une réorientation des programmes scolaires autour des compétences clés. Ce document se rapporte à l'Étude économique du Luxembourg 2006 (
    Keywords: education, éducation, formation professionnelle, PISA, survey data analysis, secondary education, attainment, school system, stratification, tracking, streaming, teachers' skills, trilingual education, pre-school education, immigration and socio-economic background, general education, key competences, PISA, réussite scolaire, analyse des données d'enquête, éducation secondaire, système scolaire, stratification, compétences des enseignants, éducation trilingue, éducation préscolaire, immigration et cadre socio-économique, éducation générale, compétences clés
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2006–09–04
  9. By: Funke, Norbert; Kißmer, Friedrich; Wagner, Helmut
    Abstract: South Africa appears to share some of the characteristics (property price boom, easing of monetary policy, strong domestic demand growth) of asset price booms in industrial countries that were often followed by a period of weak growth. The international experience suggests that a number of practical obstacles need to be overcome before a more proactive role of monetary policy is warranted. However, a larger variety of available mortgage contracts, including longer-term fixed-rate contracts, should allow for a more efficient allocation of interest rate risks. Also, a more systematic nationwide collection of property price data, including data on commercial property price developments, would provide a more representative basis for analysis.
    Keywords: Asset Prices, property prices, monetary policy, economic development
    JEL: E44 E52 E58
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Judith A. Clarke (Department of Economics, University of Victoria); Nilanjana Roy (Department of Economics, University of Victoria); Marsha J. Courchane (ERSGroup, Washington DC)
    Abstract: That mortgage lenders have complex underwriting standards, often differing legitimately from one lender to another, implies that any statistical model estimated to approximate these standards, for use in fair lending determinations, must be misspecified. Exploration of the sensitivity of disparate treatment findings from such statistical models is, thus, imperative. We contribute to this goal. This paper examines whether conclusions from several bank-specific studies, undertaken by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, are robust to changes in the link function adopted to model the probability of loan approval and to the approach used to approximate the finite sample null distribution for the disparate treatment hypothesis test. We find that discrimination findings are reasonably robust to the range of examined link functions, which supports the current use of the logit link. Based on several features of our results, we advocate regular use of a resampling method to determine p-values.
    Keywords: Logit, Mortgage lending discrimination, Fair lending, Stratified sampling, Binary response, Semiparametric maximum likelihood, Pseudo log-likelihood, Profile log-likelihood, Bootstrapping
    Date: 2006–09–08

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