nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2007‒01‒23
twenty-one papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Birds of a Feather - Better Together? Exploring the Optimal Spatial Distribution of Ethnic Inventors By Ajay Agrawal; Devesh Kapur; John McHale
  2. Regional housing market spillovers in the US - lessons from regional divergences in a common monetary policy setting By Isabel Vansteenkiste
  3. Striking at the Roots of Crime: The Impact of Social Welfare Spending on Crime During the Great Depression By Ryan S. Johnson; Shawn Kantor; Price V. Fishback
  4. How and Why do Teacher Credentials Matter for Student Achievement? By Charles T. Clotfelter; Helen F. Ladd; Jacob L. Vigdor
  5. Improving urban transport performances by tendering lots: an econometric estimation of natural monopoly frontiers By William Roy; Yves Croissant
  6. Identification of Segments of French Urban Public Transport with a Latent Class Frontier Model By William Roy; Carlos Barros
  7. On the Efficiency Costs of Detracking Secondary Schools By Kenn Ariga; Giorgio Brunello; Roki Iwahashi; Lorenzo Rocco
  8. Using Surveys to Compare the Public’s and Decisionmakers’ Preferences for Urban Regeneration: The Venice Arsenale By Anna Alberini; Alberto Longo; Patrizia Riganti
  9. Counterintuitive response to tax incentives? Mortgage interest deductions and the demand for debt By Dag Einar Sommervoll
  10. Student Achievement Conditioned Upon School Selection: Religious and Secular Secondary School Quality in Bangladesh By Mohammad Niaz Asadullah (Reading University), Nazmul Chaudhury (World Bank) and Amit Dar (World Bank)
  11. Baby Boomer Retirement Security: The Roles of Planning, Financial Literacy, and Housing Wealth By Annamaria Lusardi; Olivia S. Mitchell
  12. Test-Based Accountability and Student Achievement: An Investigation of Differential Performance on NAEP and State Assessments By Brian A. Jacob
  13. Monopolistic Group Design with Peer Effects By Simon Board
  14. Empirical Studies in Consumption, House Prices and the Accuracy of European Growth and Inflation Forecasts By Barot, Bharat
  15. Fiscal Federalism and Decentralization in India By Singh, Nirvikar
  16. Random effects and Spatial Autocorrelations with Equal Weights By Badi H. Baltagi
  17. Private operators and time-of-day tolling on a congested road network By André de Palma; Robin Lindsey (Corresponding author); Fang Wu
  18. Regional employment forecasts with spatial interdependencies By Hampel, Katharina; Kunz, Marcus; Schanne, Norbert; Wapler, Rüdiger; Weyh, Antje
  19. Strategic Referring in Labor Market Social Networks By Natálie Reichlová; Petr Švarc
  20. Space Vs. Networks in the Geography of Innovation: A European Analysis By Mario A. Maggioni; Mario Nosvelli; T. Erika Uberti
  21. Provision of Reproductive Health Services to Urban Poor through Public-Private Partnerships: The Case of Andhra Pradesh Urban Health Care Project By Bhat Ramesh; Mavalankar Dileep; Maheshwari Sunil; Saha Somen

  1. By: Ajay Agrawal; Devesh Kapur; John McHale
    Abstract: We examine how the spatial and social proximity of inventors affects knowledge flows, focusing especially on how the two forms of proximity interact. We develop a knowledge flow production function (KFPF) as a flexible tool for modeling access to knowledge and show that the optimal spatial concentration of socially proximate inventors in a city or nation depends on whether spatial and social proximity are complements or substitutes in facilitating knowledge flows. We employ patent citation data, using same-MSA and co-ethnicity as proxies for spatial and social proximity, respectively, to estimate the key KFPF parameters. Although co-location and co-ethnicity both predict knowledge flows, the marginal benefit of co-location is significantly less for co-ethnic inventors. These results imply that dispersion of socially proximate individuals is optimal from the perspectives of the city and the economy. In contrast, for socially proximate individuals themselves, spatial concentration is preferred - and the only stable equilibrium.
    JEL: O33 R12 Z13
    Date: 2007–01
  2. By: Isabel Vansteenkiste (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: In this paper, we seek to quantify the importance of state-level housing price spillovers and interest rate shocks to house price developments in the United States. The econometric approach involves an application of the recently developed global VAR (GVAR) as presented in Dées, DiMauro, Pesaran, and Smith (2005) and Pesaran, Schuermann, and Weiner (2004) to the 31 biggest US states over the period 1986-2005. Such an approach allows not only for the empirical derivation of the impact of common shocks (such as interest rate shocks) on US house price developments, but also for an analysis of the importance of interstate housing price spillovers. Beyond real house prices and real income per capita, each state-specific vector error correction model also includes nation-wide variables — measured as a weighted average of other states —. These individual state models are then linked in a consistent and cohesive manner. Impact elasticities indicate strong interregional linkages for both real house prices and real income per capita. An analysis of generalised impulse responses indicates that the importance of housing price spillovers is state dependent, with shocks occurring in states with relatively lower land supply elasticities having much stronger spillover effects that those in the other states. As regards real interest rates, the impact appears to be relatively small with an increase of 100 basis points in the real 10-year government bond yield resulting in a long run fall in house prices of between 0.5 and 2.5%. This would suggest, in line with DelNegro and Otrok (2005) that the decline in long-term interest rates is not the primary factor that has driven the recent surge in house prices in the United States. JEL Classification: C32, E44, R10, R31.
    Keywords: housing, monetary policy, global VAR (GVAR).
    Date: 2007–01
  3. By: Ryan S. Johnson; Shawn Kantor; Price V. Fishback
    Abstract: The Great Depression of the 1930s led to dire circumstances for a large share of American households. Contemporaries worried that a number of these households would commit property crimes in their efforts to survive the hard times. The Roosevelt administration suggested that their unprecedented and massive relief efforts struck at the roots of crime by providing subsistence income to needy families. After constructing a panel data set for 83 large American cities for the years 1930 through 1940, we estimated the impact of relief spending by all levels of government on crime rates. The analysis suggests that relief spending during the 1930s lowered property crime in a statistically and economically significant way. A lower bound ordinary least squares estimate suggests that a 10 percent increase in per capita relief spending during the Great Depression lowered property crime rates by close to 1 percent. After controlling for potential endogeneity using an instrumental variables approach, the estimates suggest that a 10 percent increase in per capita relief spending lowered crime rates by roughly 5.6 to 10 percent at the margin. More generally, our results indicate that social insurance, which tends to be understudied in economic analyses of crime, should be more explicitly and more carefully incorporated into the analysis of temporal and spatial variations in criminal activity.
    JEL: H53 I38 K4 N31 N41
    Date: 2007–01
  4. By: Charles T. Clotfelter; Helen F. Ladd; Jacob L. Vigdor
    Abstract: Education researchers and policy makers agree that teachers differ in terms of quality and that quality matters for student achievement. Despite prodigious amounts of research, however, debate still persists about the causal relationship between specific teacher credentials and student achievement. In this paper, we use a rich administrative data set from North Carolina to explore a range of questions related to the relationship between teacher characteristics and credentials on the one hand and student achievement on the other. Though the basic questions underlying this research are not new - and, indeed, have been explored in many papers over the years within the rubric of the "education production function" - the availability of data on all teachers and students in North Carolina over a ten-year period allows us to explore them in more detail and with far more confidence than has been possible in previous studies. We conclude that a teacher's experience, test scores and regular licensure all have positive effects on student achievement, with larger effects for math than for reading. Taken together the various teacher credentials exhibit quite large effects on math achievement, whether compared to the effects of changes in class size or to the socio-economics characteristics of students, as measured, for example, by the education level of their parents.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2007–01
  5. By: William Roy (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); Yves Croissant (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: Recently, some cities decided to divide their transport network into several attractive and accessible parts (this procedure is called allotment) in order to reduce urban transit costs. Gains obtained by introducing more competition for the market should be compared with costs associated with cutting the network into several parts, and this question is crucially linked with the measure of returns to scale. In this paper, we estimate a translog cost function on a panel of French urban transit networks. Our main conclusion is that scale economies are exhausted for a production corresponding to a city of about 200,000 inhabitants and that allotment, in terms of scale economies, would reduce costs for the seven biggest cities of our sample.
    Keywords: urban public transport industry, panel data, natural monopoly, allotment
    Date: 2007–01–05
  6. By: William Roy (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); Carlos Barros (ISEG - Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão - [U.T.L. - Technical University of Lisbon])
    Abstract: This paper analyses technical efficiency of French urban public transport from 1995 to 2002 with unbalanced panel data. The latent class frontier model is used allowing the identification of different segments in the production frontier. We find that there are three statistically significant segments in the sample. Therefore, we conclude that no common transport policy can reach all of the transportation companies analysed, thereby requiring transport policies by segments.
    Keywords: Urban public transport, stochastic production frontier, latent class model, technical efficiency, panel data.
    Date: 2007–01–05
  7. By: Kenn Ariga; Giorgio Brunello; Roki Iwahashi; Lorenzo Rocco
    Abstract: During the postwar period, many countries have de-tracked their secondary schools, based on the view that early tracking was unfair. What are the efficiency costs, if any, of de- tracking schools? To answer this question, we develop a two skills - two jobs model with a frictional labour market, where new school graduates need to actively search for their best match. We compute optimal tracking length and the output gain/loss associated to the gap between actual and optimal tracking length. Using a sample of 18 countries, we find that: a) actual tracking length is often longer than optimal, which might call for some efficient de-tracking; b) the output loss of having a tracking length longer or shorter than optimal is sizeable, and close to 2 percent of total net output.
    Keywords: mismatch, school tracking.
    JEL: I2 J6
    Date: 2006
  8. By: Anna Alberini (University of Maryland); Alberto Longo (Queen’s University Belfast); Patrizia Riganti (The University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: In this paper, we illustrate how surveys can be used to elicit the preferences of the public and of policymakers and city officials for regeneration projects at urban sites. Our methodology uses rating exercises, coupled with conjoint-choice stated preferences for the general public and with ranking exercises for the public officials and other stakeholders, and is then applied to investigate alternative reuses of the Venice Arsenale, Italy, and their economic, environmental and social impacts. One interesting feature of the conjoint choice questions for members of the public is that the responses to these questions can be used to estimate the social benefits of regeneration projects, i.e., how much people are willing to pay for these urban transformations. Another advantage of our approach is that it can be used seek and foster broader public participation into urban decisionmaking processes.
    Keywords: Land Use, Decision-Making, Cleanup, Sustainable Development, Local Economic Development, Choice Experiments
    JEL: R14
    Date: 2006–11
  9. By: Dag Einar Sommervoll (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: A number of European countries changed their tax system in the early 1990s along the lines of the US tax reform act of 1986. After the reforms marginal tax rates were generally lower, and mortgage interest deductions less generous. At the same time a long period of house appreciation started in most countries. This paper considers this puzzle empirically using a rich data base of Norwegian tax records from 1986 to 2000. We use nonparametric, difference in difference and tobit approaches in attempt to control for a wide array of factors that may offset, or mask, response to changed incentives. Of special concern is possible credit constrains as implied by credit score models routinely applied by credit institutions. We find a surprisingly static relationship between the probability of debt across age groups, and a strikingly linear and unchanged relationship between debt and gross income for young households. After the reform house prices doubled and tripled. The wealth effect may spur consumption. We find no sign of consumption smoothing by using self-owned housing as debt collateral, not even for older households. On the contrary, older households did react to the reform by reducing real debt.
    Keywords: Tax incentives; credit rationing; mortgage market; household debt
    JEL: D91 H20
    Date: 2007–01
  10. By: Mohammad Niaz Asadullah (Reading University), Nazmul Chaudhury (World Bank) and Amit Dar (World Bank)
    Abstract: n this paper we present new evidence on the impact of school characteristics on secondary student achievement using a rich data set from rural Bangladesh. We deal with a potentially important selectivity issue in the South Asian context: the non-random sorting of children into madrasas (Islamic faith schools). We do so by employing a combination of fixed effects and instrumental variable estimation techniques. Our empirical results do not reveal any difference in test scores between religious and secular schools when selection into secondary school is taken into account. However, we document significant learning deficit by gender and primary school type: girls and graduates of primary madrasas have significantly lower test scores even after controlling for school and classroom-specific unobservable correlates of learning.
  11. By: Annamaria Lusardi (Dartmouth College); Olivia S. Mitchell (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more on housing equity than their predecessors. Most important, planners in both cohorts arrive close to retirement with much higher wealth levels and display higher financial literacy than non-planners. Instrumental variables estimates show that planning behavior can explain the differences in savings and why some people arrive close to retirement with very little or no wealth.
    Keywords: Wealth holdings, housing wealth, lack of planning, literacy, cohort
    JEL: D91 E21
    Date: 2006–11
  12. By: Brian A. Jacob
    Abstract: This paper explores the phenomenon referred to as test score inflation, which occurs when achievement gains on "high-stakes" exams outpace improvements on "low-stakes" tests. The first part of the paper documents the extent to which student performance trends on state assessments differ from those on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). I find evidence of considerable test score inflation in several different states, including those with quite different state testing systems. The second part of the paper is a case study of Texas that uses detailed item-level data from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) and the NAEP to explore why performance trends differed across these exams during the 1990s. I find that the differential improvement on the TAAS cannot be explained by several important differences across the exams (e.g., the NAEP includes open-response items, many NAEP multiple-choice items require/permit the use of calculators, rulers, protractors or other manipulative). I find that skill and format differences across exams explain the disproportionate improvement in the TAAS for fourth graders, although these differences cannot explain the time trends for eighth graders.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2007–01
  13. By: Simon Board
    Abstract: In a range of settings, private firms manage peer effects by sorting agents into different groups, be they schools, neighbourhoods or teams. This paper considers such a firm, which controls group entry by setting a series of anonymous prices. We show that private provision systematically leads to two distortions relative to the efficient solution: first, agents are segregated too finely; second, too many agents are excluded from all groups. We demonstrate that these distortions are a consequence of anonymous pricing and do not depend upon the nature of the peer effects. This general approach also allows us to assess the way the `returns to scale' of peer technology and the cost of group formation affect the optimal group structure.
    Keywords: mechanism design, peer effects, public goods
    JEL: D82 H40 L12
    Date: 2007–01–14
  14. By: Barot, Bharat (National Institute of Economic Research)
    Abstract: BAROT, Bharat, This Ph.D. thesis, Empirical Studies in Consumption, House Prices and the Accuracy of European Growth and Inflation Forecasts contains four self-contained chapters:<p><p> Chapter I gives a brief introduction to the topic of the thesis and summarizes the main results. <p><p> Chapter II an aggregated consumption function based on the life cycle hypothesis using the error correction methodology is estimated for Sweden. Wealth in its disaggregated form (financial and housing wealth) is incorporated in the consumption function, along with basic standard explanatory variables including the unemployment variable. Applying Hendry’s general to specific modelling strategy one final model is deduced. The study finds that each of the primary components of wealth has an equal role for consumer’s expenditure. In addition the study finds significant effects from employment and interest rates.<p><p> Chapter III a stock-flow model serves as the theoretical basis for the fundamental determinants of real estate construction and prices. A housing market model for Sweden has been estimated on semi-annual data for 1970-1998 by separately modelling the demand and the supply sides, specified in error correction form. The supply side is based on Tobin’s q-index. The results indicate that even in a turbulent period, Swedish house prices and housing investment are tracked quite well with this specification. The importance of the simulations and their usefulness to Swedish policy makers is discussed. Both ex post and ex ante forecasts using the model gives reasonable results.<p><p> Chapter IV (with Zan Yang), we estimate quarterly dynamic housing demand and investment supply models for Sweden and the UK for the sample period 1970-1998, using an Error Correction Method (ECM). In order to facilitate comparisons of results between Sweden and the UK we model both countries similarly using comparable exogenous variables. The long run income elasticity for Sweden and the UK are both constrained to be equal to one. The long run semi-elasticity for interest rate is 2.1 for Sweden and 0.9 for the UK. The speed of adjustment on the demand side is 12% and 23% for Sweden and the UK, respectively, while on the supply side it is 6% and 48%. Tobin’s q Granger causes housing investment.<p><p> Chapter V (with Lars-Erik Öller), evaluates the one-year ahead forecasts by the OECD and by national institutes of GDP growth and inflation in 13 European countries. RMSE was large 1.9% for growth and 1.6% for inflation. Six (11) OECD and ten (7) institute growth forecasts records were significantly better than an average growth forecast (the current year forecast). All full record-length inflation forecasts were significantly better than both naive alternatives. There were no significant differences in accuracy between the forecasts of the OECD and the institutes. Two forecasts were found to be biased and one had auto-correlated errors.
    Date: 2007–01–12
  15. By: Singh, Nirvikar
    Abstract: This paper surveys the state of fiscal federalism in India, in the broader context of decentralization. We begin with an overview of the basic features and recent developments in intergovernmental fiscal relations, including the role of political institutions, the specifics of legislative and budgetary autonomy, assignments of expenditure responsibility and revenue authority, revenue collection mechanisms, the system of intergovernmental transfers, and institutions and mechanisms for borrowing by subnational units. We then provide a diagnosis of accountability mechanisms, examining their quality of functioning and distortions and constraints. In particular, we analyze to what extent, and through what mechanisms, lower-level governments are held accountable to higher-level governments, the extent to which policies of subnational governments are affected by the competition for mobile firms, taxpayers, and investment capital, the functioning of credit markets, including the responsiveness of subnational governments to credit ratings and bond yields, and the role of democratic electoral channels at national and subnational levels in providing accountability in the provision of subnational public goods. Next, we review the implications of the intergovernmental system and accountability mechanisms on the cooperation of subnational governments and the quality of service delivery. We examine the resources and capacity of the subnational entities that are responsible for key services such as water, sanitation, education and health care, and the impacts of decentralization on service quality and the distribution of benefits among elected officials, citizens and interest groups. Finally, we offer a concluding assessment with suggestions for reform priorities.
    Keywords: federalism; decentralization; intergovernmental relations; economic reform; accountability; service delivery
    JEL: P35 H2 P26 H7 H4 H1
    Date: 2007–01
  16. By: Badi H. Baltagi (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1020)
    Abstract: This note considers a panel data regression model with spatial autoregressive disturbances and random effects where the weight matrix is normalized and has equal elements. This is motivated by Kelejian et al. (2005), who argue that such a weighting matrix, having blocks of equal elements, might be considered when units are equally distant within certain neighborhoods but unrelated between neighborhoods. We derive a simple weighted least squares transformation that obtains GLS on this model as a simple OLS. For the special case of a spatial panel model with no random effects, we obtain two sufficient conditions where GLS on this model is equivalent to OLS. Finally, we show that these results, for the equal weight matrix, hold whether we use the spatial autoregressive specification, the spatial moving average specification, the spatial error components specification or the Kapoor et al. (2005) alternative to modeling panel data with spatially correlated error components.
    Keywords: Panel data, spatial error correlation, equal weights, error components
    JEL: C23 C12
    Date: 2006–12
  17. By: André de Palma (Université de Cergy-Pontoise (théma) and ENPC, Member of the Institut Universitaire de France); Robin Lindsey (Corresponding author) (University of Alberta); Fang Wu (University of Alberta)
    Abstract: Private-sector involvement in the construction and operation of roads is growing around the world and private toll roads are seen as a useful tool in the battle against congestion. Yet serious concerns remain about exercise of monopoly power if private operators can set tolls freely. A number of theoretical studies have investigated private toll-road pricing strategies, and compared them with first-best and second-best public tolls. But most of the analyses have employed simple road networks and/or used static models that do not capture the temporal dimension of congestion or describe the impacts of tolling schemes that vary by time of day. This paper takes a fresh look at private toll road pricing using METROPOLIS: a dynamic traffic simulator that treats endogenously choices of transport mode, departure time and route at the level of individual travellers. Simulations are performed for the peak-period morning commute on a stylized urban road network with jobs concentrated towards the centre of the city. Tolling scenarios are defined in terms of what is tolled (traffic lanes, whole links, or toll rings) and how tolls are varied over time. Three administration regimes are compared. The first two are the standard polar cases: social surplus maximization by a public-sector operator, and unconstrained profit maximization by a private-sector operator. The third regime entails varying tolls in steps to eliminate queuing on the tolled links. It is a form of third-best tolling that could be implemented either by a public operator or by the private sector under quality-of-service regulation. Amongst the results it is found that the no-queue tolling regime performs favourably compared to public step tolling, and invariably better than private tolling. Another provisional finding is that a private operator has less incentive than does a public operator to implement time-of-day congestion pricing.
    JEL: D42 R41 R48
    Date: 2007
  18. By: Hampel, Katharina (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Kunz, Marcus (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Schanne, Norbert (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Wapler, Rüdiger (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Weyh, Antje (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "The labour-market policy-mix in Germany is increasingly being decided on a regional level. This requires additional knowledge about the regional development which (disaggregated) national forecasts cannot provide. Therefore, we separately forecast employment for the 176 German labour- market districts on a monthly basis. We first compare the prediction accuracy of standard time-series methods: autoregressive integrated moving averages (ARIMA), exponentially weighted moving averages (EWMA) and the structural-components approach (SC) in these small spatial units. Second, we augment the SC model by including autoregressive elements (SCAR) in order to incorporate the influence of former periods of the dependent variable on its current value. Due to the importance of spatial interdependencies in small labour-market units, we further augment the basic SC model by lagged values of neighbouring districts in a spatial dynamic panel (SCSAR). The prediction accuracies of the models are compared using the mean absolute percentage forecast error (MAPFE) for the simulated out-of-sample forecast for 2005. Our results show that the SCSAR is superior to the SCAR and basic SC model. ARIMA and EWMA models perform slightly better than SCSAR in many of the German labour-market districts. This reflects that these two moving-average models can better capture the trend reversal beginning in some regions at the end of 2004. All our models have a high forecast quality with an average MAPFE lower than 2.2 percent." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: regionaler Arbeitsmarkt, Beschäftigungsentwicklung, Prognoseverfahren
    JEL: C53 J21 O18
    Date: 2007–01–16
  19. By: Natálie Reichlová (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic); Petr Švarc (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: We present a model of job search in which information about job opportunities is available either through direct search at the labor market or through network of socially tied individuals. We consider two cases - altruistic and self-interested agents that maximize their utility function. We show that optimal strategies range between full and no referring cases. Altruistic individuals tend to refer more than selfinterested agents. Strategic referring allows agents alleviate employment variation and leads to higher average utility levels and lower unemployment rates.
    Keywords: agent-based modeling; networks; strategy; job referring
    JEL: J62 J64 D82 D83
    Date: 2006–12
  20. By: Mario A. Maggioni (DISEIS and Catholic University of Milan); Mario Nosvelli (CERIS-CNR); T. Erika Uberti (DISEIS and Catholic University of Milan)
    Abstract: In the last fifteen years, income differences among European Member States have been strongly narrowing while the process has been matched with a widening of the inter-regional variance within single countries. Traditionally, regional economic disparities in Europe have been ascribed to peripherality and/or to a high level of dependence on declining sectors. Nowadays regional disparities can be no longer defined only in terms of statistical differences in the values of standard macroeconomic indicators, but also according to innovative capacities and knowledge endowment. This paper provides an original framework for the interpretation of the existing relationships between innovation process and research activity in Europe and the structural and geographical features shaping the European scientific and technological map. In order to do so, we focus on two knowledge-based relational phenomena: participation in the same research networks (funded by the EU Fifth Framework Programme) and EPO co-patent applications. Using two complementary econometric techniques we try to assess those factors that determine patenting activity, distinguishing structural features, geographical and relational spillovers. Through these variables we measure the intrinsic relational structure of knowledge flows which directly connects people, institutions and, indirectly, regions, across European countries in order to test whether hierarchical relationships based on a-spatial networks between geographically distant excellence centres prevail over diffusive patterns based on spatial contiguity.
    Keywords: Spatial Distribution, Networks, European Analysis
    JEL: O31 R12 C21
    Date: 2006–12
  21. By: Bhat Ramesh; Mavalankar Dileep; Maheshwari Sunil; Saha Somen
    Abstract: Andhra Pradesh had initiated the Urban Slum Health Care Project to provide basic primary healthcare and family welfare services to urban poor living in slums in 2002. As of now, the project has established 192 Urban Health Centres (UHCs) in 74 municipalities of the state through contracting-out process to the NGOs. These UHCs cover population of about 3 million. State government has played pivotal role in creating capacities to monitor and supervise the functioning of these UHCs. This project was started with the World Bank support and the state has effectively managed the transition from a donor-funded project to government programme and at the same achieving demonstrable impact on health status among its target population. The scheme ensures people’s participation in management of the UHCs and placing the power for identifying the health priority in the hand of the community. The case study identifies emerging challenges in the scheme implementation relating to (a) involvement of NGOs as partners in service delivery, (b) financing and financial management system, and (c) need to reposition the UHCs in view of changing epidemiological scenario. Some of the areas needing attention to address the challenge include: need to refine the service mix to better respond to the health needs of the population served; evolving a financial management practices to increase efficiency in disbursement; motivating NGOs to actively participate in the scheme; developing management capacity and competencies of both partners; and repositioning relationship between the state and non-state actors away from a contractual basis to an effective partnership.
    Date: 2007–01–17

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