nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2007‒01‒14
twenty-one papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Incorporating spatial variation in housing attribute prices: A comparison of geographically weighted regression and the spatial expansion method By Bitter, Chris; Mulligan, Gordon; Dall'erba, Sandy
  2. Mobility of the Chinese Urban Poor - A Case Study of Hefei City By Zhong-Ren Peng; Yi Zhu; Shunfeng Song
  4. Agglomeration effects on labour demand By Blien, Uwe; Kirchhof, Kai; Ludewig, Oliver
  5. Local Decentralization and Economic Growth: Evidence from U.S. Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan Regions By George Hammond; Mehmet S. Tosun
  6. Efficiency and Productivity in Finnish Comprehensive Schooling 1998-2004 By Juho Aaltonen; Tanja Kirjavainen; Antti Moisio
  7. Good Governance, Trade and Agglomeration By Candau, Fabien
  8. Mortgages market and securitization By Govori, Fadil
  9. The Spatial and Public Economics of Regions, a Theoretical and Empirical Survey By Candau, Fabien
  11. Mortgage Refinancing and Consumption Smoothing By Viola Angelini
  12. The Performance of Default Risk Structural Models on Commercial Mortgages: An Empirical Investigation By Richard K. Green; George M. Jabbour; Yi-Kang Liu
  13. Bioclimatic architecture and Traditional Houses in Diyarbakir By Can Tuncay Akin
  14. Congestion Pricing vs. Slot Constraints to Airport Networks By Achim I. Czerny
  15. Education and crime: evidence from Italian regions By Paolo Buonanno; Leone Leonida
  16. Stability and Change in Individual Determinants of Migration: Evidence from 1985-1990 and 1995 to 2000 By Charles Tolbert; Troy Blanchard; Michael Irwin
  17. Does Ethnic Capital Matter? Identifying the Role of Ethnic Peer Effects in the Intergenerational Transmission of Ethnic Differentials By Alexis León
  18. Does Competition for the Field Improve Cost Efficiency? Evidence from the London Bus Tendering Model By Miguel Amaral; Stéphane Saussier; Anne Yvrande-Billon
  19. Crime and labour market opportunities in Italy (1993-2002) By Paolo Buonanno
  20. Federal, State, and Local Governments: Evaluating their Separate Roles in US Growth By Higgins, Matthew; Young, Andrew; Levy, Daniel
  21. Bayesian modeling and estimation of combined route and activity location choice By Gunnar Flötteröd; Kai Nagel

  1. By: Bitter, Chris; Mulligan, Gordon; Dall'erba, Sandy
    Abstract: Hedonic house price models typically impose a constant price structure on housing characteristics throughout an entire market area. However, there is increasing evidence that the marginal prices of many important attributes vary over space, especially within large markets. In this paper, we compare two approaches to examine spatial heterogeneity in housing attribute prices within the Tucson, Arizona housing market: the spatial expansion method and geographically weighted regression (GWR). Our results provide strong evidence that the marginal price of key housing characteristics varies over space. GWR outperforms the spatial expansion method in terms of explanatory power and predictive accuracy.
    JEL: R0
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Zhong-Ren Peng (Center for Advanced Spatial Information Research, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee); Yi Zhu (Center for Advanced Spatial Information Research, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee); Shunfeng Song (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: In a rapid economic development environment with rising income, escalating motorization, and growing urbanization, it is natural for government policies to focus on solving congestion related problems caused by the increased car ownership and usage. The mobility needs of the urban poor have been traditionally neglected in policy and in practice, particularly in developing countries. This paper addresses the mobility challenges the urban poor are facing based on a household travel survey in the City of Hefei in China. It first presents travel behaviors, transportation costs and commuting problems of the urban poor. It then discusses the urban transportation policy implications and examines the prevailing trends of urban transportation policies and plans in Chinese cities. Policy recommendations are suggested to improve the mobility needs of the urban poor.
    Keywords: Urban transportation, poverty, mobility
    JEL: R40 J60
    Date: 2006–12
  3. By: Maria I. Marshall (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Purdue University)
    Abstract: Little research has been conducted on the choice of dwelling by U.S. homeowners. Few studies have included manufactured housing into the dwelling choices available to homeowners. This study focuses on the effects of demographic and socioeconomic variables on a household’s choice to own a manufactured home. A multinomial logit model was used to determine what type of households chooses to own a manufactured home when other traditional dwelling choices are available. I found that income and education play a major role in dwelling choice.
    Keywords: Manufactured Housing; Housing Choice; Dwelling Choice, Multinomial Logit
    JEL: J11 O18 R20 R31
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Blien, Uwe (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Kirchhof, Kai (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Ludewig, Oliver (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "How do agglomeration effects influence the demand for labour? To answer this question, approaches on labour demand are linked with an analysis of the classic 'urbanization effect'. We use models for static and for dynamic labour demand to find out, whether agglomerations develop faster or slower than other regions. Estimations of the static model show the influence of different degrees of regional concentration at the employment level. The model of dynamic labour demand is used to estimate the effect of different regional types on the growth rate of labour demand. The empirical results (received with the linked employer-employee database of the IAB) on long-run or static labour demand indicate substantial agglomeration effects, since c. p. employment is higher in densely populated areas. In the dynamic model, however, labour demand in core cities grows slower than the average. This is not a contradiction. Labour demand is especially high in large cities, but the other areas are slowly reducing the gap." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Arbeitskräftenachfrage, Region, regionaler Arbeitsmarkt, regionale Disparität, Ballungsraum, Stadt, Stadtregion, ländlicher Raum, Peripherie, Siedlungsdichte, Beschäftigungseffekte, Dienstleistungsbereich, Suburbanisierung, Nachfrageentwicklung, regionale Faktoren, Beschäftigungsentwicklung, Arbeitsmarktregion, IAB-Linked-Employer-Employee-Datensatz
    JEL: J23 R23 R11
    Date: 2006–12–18
  5. By: George Hammond; Mehmet S. Tosun (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: This paper extends the recent empirical literature on the relationship between local decentralization and growth using data from both metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions in the U.S. The analysis utilizes both metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions, and thus avoids the possible selection bias present in previous research. The results for non-metropolitan regions indicate a relatively weak or negative relationship between the local decentralization measures and local economic growth compared to a positive relationship suggested by a recent study on metropolitan regions. Results for the non-metro regions also suggest that there are different impacts across population and income than we observe for metropolitan regions.
    Keywords: Decentralization, metropolitan, non-metropolitan, economic growth
    JEL: E62 H7 R11
    Date: 2006–11
  6. By: Juho Aaltonen; Tanja Kirjavainen; Antti Moisio
    Abstract: This study measures efficiency differences and productivity changes of Finnish municipalities providing comprehensive school education during 1998-2004 by estimating both production and cost functions. The average inefficiency was approximately 6-10 percent during 1998-2004 based on both production and cost function estimations. Both approaches also produced very similar inefficiency rankings for the municipalities. Based on the results of cost functions, both the size of the municipality and average school size had a nonlinear impact on costs. The optimal municipal size was approximately 24 000-37 000 inhabitants and optimal school size was 690 students. The share of students in remedial instruction, the share of students using transportation, and taxable income per inhabitant had a positive impact on costs whereas the share of students in lower school decreased the costs. The productivity of the comprehensive schools decreased on average 12 percent during the period. The increase in per capita taxable income and the share of students in remedial instruction had the biggest impact on the productivity decrease whereas the increase in school size clearly enhanced productivity.
    Keywords: comprehensive education, efficiency, productivity
    Date: 2006–12–20
  7. By: Candau, Fabien
    Abstract: The contribution of this paper is twofold. Firstly, we explore the e¤ects of trade liberalization and commuting costs on the location of entrepre- neurs. The model reveals a dispersion-agglomeration-dispersion con…g- uration when trade gets freer. Furthermore we prove that when both commuting costs and trade integration are high, then dispersion Pareto dominates agglomeration. Secondly, we use this framework to investigate the e¤ect of trade on corruption at di¤erent levels of democracy and in- stability. We show that corruption is bell-shaped with respect to trade liberalization in stable and democratic regimes but also in unstable dic- tatorships.
    Keywords: Economic geography; Cities; Trade; Corruption.
    JEL: R12 H25
    Date: 2006–05–31
  8. By: Govori, Fadil
    Abstract: Mortgages are an extremely important component of the debt markets. A mortgage is a loan with real estate as collateral. In the event of default by the borrower, the property is sold to satisfy the obligations to the lender. For residential mortgages, banks, thrifts, and mortgage companies are originators of loans. For income properties, such as office buildings and equipment complexes, commercial banks, thrifts, and insurance companies are large originators and holders of mortgages. Before 1970, banks and thrifts held residential mortgages until maturity. Since 1970, groups of residential mortgages have been increasingly insured by government or private insurers against default, packaged together and sold to investors in the form of pass-through securities or collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs). The majority of mortgages tend to be prepaid before final maturity. There are two major reasons for prepayment: the sale of the property or a decline in interest rates, which allows the borrower to refinance at a lower interest rate. The buyer of a pass-through security has a proportional claim on the pool of mortgages. When some of the mortgages in the pool are prepaid, all holders of pass-throughs share in the prepayments. Collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) break the prepayments into tranches. The initial prepayments go to the holders of the first tranche, until that tranche is completely prepaid and ceases to exist. Then prepayments are made to the next tranche until that is completely paid. And so on. Government agencies have played an important role in the process of securitization of mortgage debt. First, government agencies have acted as insurers against default by the borrowers. Second, government agencies have pooled together individual mortgages and sold claims, that is, pass-throughs on the pool. Securitization of mortgage loans has provided desirable investment vehicles for some investors. In fact, securitization has changed the operations of commercial banks and thrifts in the residential mortgage market. Thus, banks and thrifts have acted as originators and processors of mortgages and have held fewer mortgages in their portfolios. This process has tended to reduce risk and expected returns for banks and thrifts.
    Keywords: Mortgages; Mortgage Loans; Mortgages Market; Securitization of Mortgages
    JEL: G12 G22 G21 G11 G0
    Date: 2005–09–21
  9. By: Candau, Fabien
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to survey what has been done by the New Economic Geography (NEG) on a regional scale in order to answer the three following questions: what are the predictions of the NEG concerning the future of regions in the triad? Are these predictions robust? What can be the optimal public policy on a regional and national scale in a world characterized by agglomeration, trade liberalization and entrepreneurs mobility?
    Keywords: Economic geography; Growth; Region; Public policy.
    JEL: R0 F12 R58
    Date: 2006–05–31
  10. By: Guyslain K. Ngeleza; Raymond J.G.M. Florax; William A. Masters (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Purdue University)
    Abstract: This paper tests a series of prominent hypotheses regarding the determinants of per-capita income using a novel spatial econometric approach to control for spillovers among neighboring countries and for spatially correlated omitted variables. We use simultaneous equations to identify alternative channels through which country characteristics might affect income, and then test the robustness of those effects. We find support for both “institutionalist” and “geographic” determinants of income. A time-varying index of institutional quality has a strong independent effect on current income, but there is also a persistent effect of geographic factors such as seasonal frost, malaria transmission, and coastal location, which influence income through their links to agricultural output, health, urbanization and trade. The data cover 95 countries across the world from 1960 through 2002, which we use to construct a pooled dataset of nine 5-year averages centered on 1960, 1965, and so on through 2000. We use both limited and full information estimators, partly based on a generalized moments (GM) estimator for spatial autoregressive coefficients, allowing for spatial error correlation, correlation across equations, and the presence of spatially lagged dependent variables
    Keywords: economic growth, geography, institutions, spatial econometrics, simultaneous equations
    JEL: C31 C33 I18 O13 R12
    Date: 2006
  11. By: Viola Angelini
    Abstract: This paper analyses the optimal refinancing decision of an agent whose only asset in the portfolio is the house where she lives in the context of a life-cycle model. The mortgage is modelled as an adjustable rate contract covering the remaining life of te house owner. Thus, refinancing concerns only the size of the mortgage, which can be adjusted in any period subject to a constraint on the amount that can be borrowed: the value of the new mortgage cannot exceed the latest realised price. The paper solves the model analytically and then numerically calibrates the refinancing decision.
    Keywords: mortgages, refinancing,consumption smoothing
    JEL: D11 D91 G21
    Date: 2006–12
  12. By: Richard K. Green (The George Washington University School of Business); George M. Jabbour (The George Washington University School of Business); Yi-Kang Liu (Pentagon Federal Credit Union)
    Abstract: This paper uses the first-passage-time approach to estimate default probabilities of commercial mortgages and the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) approach to empirically test the cash flow proposition of Vandell (1995). The focus is on comparing the performance between a single trigger model and a double-trigger model. Using 17,616 lockout commercial loans issued between 1995 and 2001, we find the property value model performs the best. In addition, the results provide a partial support to the cash flow proposition.
    Date: 2006–12
  13. By: Can Tuncay Akin
    Abstract: Today although a contemporary house or apartment is built with new materials according to technology and regulations to provide a satisfactory microclimate within the building, it is difficult to say they are successful comparing with a house that is constructed with traditional methods and materials even built by a non-architect. In this paper microclimatic elements of traditional Diyarbakýr houses are determined systemically comparing with the typology, design features that makes a house sustainable, ecological and environmental influence. Traditional Diyarbakýr houses that is constructed in a castle are courtyard type. They are inward looking and their sizes and complexities are different according to owner’s power, social status, building site, privacy with five different plan typology. User requirements, desire, personality and habits are connected with socioeconomic and socio-cultural values. Social experiences, visions, beliefs, ethical principles those are sourced from nature and living styles have affected the traditional Diyarbakýr housing architecture. The reflections of the culture and civilization with the integration of environment and material in physical space can be seen in traditional Diyarbakýr houses. Houses those are constructed with traditional and materials even built by a non architect or architecture without architect. Microclimatic elements these are used in traditional house are natural, for example the use of stone or wood that designates the size of the house. The main aim of traditional way is to decrease the stress of the climate. So these make all old settlements seems more successful and architecturally more interesting. Climatic conditions and social structure has been played an important role in the shaping of the interior and exterior spaces of the traditional Diyarbakýr houses. User requirements, desire, personality and habits are connected with socioeconomic and socio-cultural values. Social experiences, visions, beliefs, ethical principles those are sourced from nature and living styles have affected the traditional Diyarbakýr housing architecture. The reflections of the culture and civilization with the integration of environment and material in physical space can be seen in traditional Diyarbakýr houses. In this paper microclimatic elements of traditional Diyarbakýr houses are determined systemically comparing with the typology, design features that makes a house sustainable, ecological and environmental influence.
    Date: 2006–08
  14. By: Achim I. Czerny (Workgroup for Infrastructure Policy (WIP), Technische Universität Berlin)
    Abstract: Congestion has become a problem for many airports throughout the world. Two different policy options to control congestion are analyzed in this paper: slot constraints and congestion pricing. In particular, our model takes into account that the airline industry is characterized by significant demand uncertainty. Furthermore, due to the network character of the airline industry, the demand for airport capacities normally is complementary. We show that this favors the use of slot constraints compared to congestion pricing from a social point of view. In contrast, for monopolistic airports, prices as instruments constitute a dominant choice.
    Keywords: Slots, uncertainty, monopolistic airports, regulation
    JEL: D42 L93
  15. By: Paolo Buonanno (Department of Economics, University of Bergamo); Leone Leonida (Department of Economics, Queen Mary University of London)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of education on criminal activity in Italy. We propose a theoretical framework to determine the effects of education and past incidence of crime on criminal activity, and we test its predictions using annual data for the twenty Italian regions over the period 1980-1995. The results show that education is negatively correlated with delinquency and that crime rates display persistence over time. Our results are robust to model specifications and endogeneity.
    Keywords: Crime; Education; Panel Data
    JEL: I2 J24 K42
    Date: 2005–06
  16. By: Charles Tolbert; Troy Blanchard; Michael Irwin
    Abstract: In this paper, we compare the reliability of migration estimates from two rather different macroeconomic periods in recent U.S. history. One of these periods, 1985-1990 coincides with the culmination of a vast industrial restructuring which saw a significant decline in manufacturing employment. The other period, 1995-2000, encompasses a time of robust economic growth and tight labor markets driven by productivity gains associated with new technologies. Our interest here is in the stability of common individual-level predictors of migration in these rather disparate macroeconomic contexts. Using confidential internal versions of the 1990 and 2000 Census long-form data, we estimate logistic models of the likelihood that individuals will migrate. The geographic detail in the internal Census data permits us to measure migration in ways that are not possible with public-domain Census data on persons. We develop migration definitions that distinguish between local residential mobility likely associated with life course transitions from migration out of the labor market area that may be driven more by employment and other socioeconomic considerations. Using logistic modeling, we find that the same individual attributes predict migration reasonably well during both periods. We also compute some illustrative probabilities of migration that show temporal stability in migration predictors could be lessened by certain changes in population composition.
    Keywords: Migration, United States Census
    Date: 2006–11
  17. By: Alexis León
    Abstract: . . .
    Date: 2006–12
  18. By: Miguel Amaral (ATOM – U. of Paris I Sorbonne); Stéphane Saussier (ADIS – U. of Paris 11 & ATOM – U. of Paris I Sorbonne); Anne Yvrande-Billon (ATOM – U. of Paris I Sorbonne)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the relationship between auctions’ results and the number of bidders for local transportation contracts in London. Using an original database concerning 294 local transportation routes we find that a higher number of bidders is associated with a lower cost of service. This finding, in addition of being one of the first empirical test of a crucial and understudied theoretical issue has important policy implications, especially for countries in which bids are organized such that only few bidders are allowed to answer (e.g. France).
    Keywords: public services, transportation, franchise bidding, public-private partnerships, winner’s curse, auctions
    JEL: H0 H7 K00 L33
    Date: 2006–09–13
  19. By: Paolo Buonanno (Department of Economics, University of Bergamo)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between labour market conditions and crime in Italy accounting for both age and gender in unemployment measure and considering regional disparities between North-Centre and South of Italy. Using regional data over the period 1993-2002, we study the impact of wages and unemployment on different types of crime. To mitigate omitted-variables bias we control extensively for demographic and socioeconomic variables. Empirical results suggest that unemployment has a large and positive effect on crime rate in southern regions. Our results are robust to model specification, endogeneity, changes in the classification of crimes and finally, to alternative definitions of unemployment.
    Keywords: Crime; Unemployment; Panel Data
    JEL: J00 K40
    Date: 2005–06
  20. By: Higgins, Matthew; Young, Andrew; Levy, Daniel
    Abstract: We use new US county level data (3,058 observations) from 1970 to 1998 to explore the relationship between economic growth and the size of government at three levels: federal, state and local. Using 3SLS-IV estimation we find that the size of federal, state and local government all either negatively correlate with or are uncorrelated with economic growth. We find no evidence that government is more efficient at more or less decentralized levels. Furthermore, while we cannot separate out the productive and redistributive services of government, we document that the county-level income distribution became slightly wider from 1970 to 1998. Our findings suggest that a release of government-employed labor inputs to the private sector would be growth-enhancing.
    Keywords: Economic Growth; Federal Government; State Government; Local Government; and County-Level Data
    JEL: H50 O47 H70 R11
    Date: 2006–11–03
  21. By: Gunnar Flötteröd (Berlin University of Technology, Group for Transport Systems Planning and Transport Telematics); Kai Nagel (Berlin University of Technology, Group for Transport Systems Planning and Transport Telematics)
    Abstract: This article describes a behavioral model of combined route and activity location choice. The model can be simulated by a combination of a time variant best path algorithm and dynamic programming, yielding a behavioral pattern that minimizes a traveler’s perceived cost. Furthermore, the model is extended in a Bayesian manner, providing behavioral probabilities not only based on subjective costs, but also allowing for the incorporation of anonymous traffic measurements and the formulation of a traffic state estimation problem.
    Keywords: transportation, route choice, modelling
    JEL: L91 C6

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