nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2007‒04‒14
twenty papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Current Housing Unit Damage Estimates - Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma By HUD - PD&R
  2. Ideas that Work - Building Communities Through Homeownership By HUD - PD&R
  3. Promoting Energy Efficiency at HUD in a Time of Change - Report to Congress By HUD - PD&R
  4. Intergovernmental grants and public input provision : theory and evidence from Germany By Hauptmeier, Sebastian
  5. Success breeds success locally : a tale of incubator firms By Inci, Eren
  6. Do we Know More Now? Trends in Public Knowledge, Support and Use of Fair Housing Law By Martin D. Abravanel
  7. Does mobility of educated workers undermine decentralized education policies? By Christiane Schuppert
  8. Violence in European schools : victimization and consequences By Ammermüller, Andreas
  9. Unemployment duration in Germany : individual and regional determinants of local job finding, migration and subsidized employment By Arntz, Melanie; Wilke, Ralf A.
  10. Effort and synergies in network formation By Antonio Cabrales; Antoni Calvo-Armengol; Yves Zenou
  11. Myths and Realities of Long-run Development: A Look at Deeper Determinants By Lubna Hasan
  12. Explaining Ethnic Disparities in School Enrollment in Turkey By Kirdar, Murat
  13. Competition and Waiting Times in Hospital Markets By Odd Rune Straume; Kurt R. Brekke; Luigi Siciliani
  14. Sorting in the Labor Market: Do Gregarious Workers Flock to Interactive Jobs? By Alan B. Krueger; David Schkade
  15. "The U.S. Economy: WhatÕs Next?" By Wynne Godley; Dimitri B. Papadimitriou; Gennaro Zezza
  16. Moving to high quality of life By Jordan Rappaport
  17. The Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress By HUD - PD&R
  18. The impact of credit on income poverty in urban Mexico By Miguel Niño-Zarazúa
  19. The Katrina Effect: Was There a Bright Side to the Evacuation of Greater New Orleans? By Jacob L. Vigdor
  20. The Harris-Todaro Hypothesis By M. Ali Khan

  1. By: HUD - PD&R
    Abstract: The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding at the Department of Homeland Security, in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have compiled data to assess the full extent of housing damage due to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. Detailed tables on the extent of damage, type of damage, tenure, insurance status, and housing type are provided for Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas combined and individually.
    JEL: D62
    Date: 2006–02–12
  2. By: HUD - PD&R
    Abstract: Ideas that Work offers practical advice on how to establish homeownership programs. It draws on the experiences and successes of HUD's Office of University Partnerships (OUP) grantees nationwide who have developed and implemented a variety of programs and initiatives that promote homeownership. This document outlines the unique academic resources that institutions of higher education (IHEs) can bring to the process of designing community-based homeownership programs; describes how IHEs and their community partners can promote homeownership by either actively building affordable housing, marketing community neighborhoods to prospective homeowners, or developing a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy of which homeownership is only a part; focuses on services that local partnerships can provide directly to prospective home-owners; and presents several unique programs through which OUP grantees support homeownership by training the individuals who will eventually build and finance owner-occupied homes. In addition, resources and contact information for resource persons are listed.
    JEL: A00
    Date: 2006–08
  3. By: HUD - PD&R
    Abstract: The report presents HUD's energy strategy for public and assisted housing. Promoting Energy Eficiency at HUD in a Time of Change, as required under Section 154 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, describes a comprehensive, Departmentwide strategy that HUD is implementing to reduce energy costs in public and assisted housing as well as through HUD's formula and competitive grant programs.
    JEL: O31
    Date: 2006–08–08
  4. By: Hauptmeier, Sebastian
    Abstract: This paper uses a simple model of fiscal competition between local jurisdictions to analyse the impact of intergovernmental grants on the composition of public spending. We find that a higher degree of redistribution within a system of ”fiscal equalisation” coincides with a smaller overall share of spending on productivity-enhancing public inputs. Furthermore, in order to test the theoretical predictions, we carry out an empirical analysis based on a panel of German states. The results are consistent with the theoretical findings and support the existence of an incentive effect of intergovernmental grants on state expenditure policies.
    Keywords: Fiscal competition, Fiscal equalisation, Intergovernmental grants, Public expenditure, Germany
    JEL: H72 H77
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Inci, Eren
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the pre-establishment period of start-ups in industrial districts. The industrial architecture is what I call a "rationed agglomeration" in which some entrepreneurs gather around an established firm while other entrepreneurs in the same business stand alone. In a rationed agglomeration, I analyze the e¤ects of relations between established firms, network entrepreneurs, and local financiers on the market prices of loans. I show that such relations improve the match of capital to ideas in the network even though the overall distribution of capital to ideas remains unchanged. This suggests that success breeds success in the networks of established firms. The existence of networks overturns the claim that there are no motives to engage in information gathering in a simple market regime with information asymmetries. In particular, I show that there are market incentives for established firms to decrease the information gap between network entrepreneurs and local financiers.
    Keywords: agglomeration, entrepreneur, dispersion, innovation, local financiers, networks, regional economies, project financing, signaling, start-up
    JEL: D82 G20 L26 R12
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Martin D. Abravanel
    Abstract: The federal Fair Housing Act defines basic obligations, protections, and enforcement provisions pertaining to housing discrimination in the United States. Although enacted in 1968, it was not until 2001 that we learned the extent of the general public’s awareness of and support for this law and the degree to which persons believing they were victims of housing discrimination sought to take advantage of its enforcement provisions. This report documents what we have learned since that time, based on new information.
    JEL: K30
    Date: 2006–02
  7. By: Christiane Schuppert
    Abstract: The present paper studies a multi-jurisdictional framework, in which, from a federal perspective, educational subsidies turn out to be efficiency enhancing. However, in the presence of mobile high-skilled labor, local jurisdictions might try to free-ride on other regions´education policies and abstain from subsidizing education. Social mobility is introduced as an additional dimension of labor mobility. Using this framework, it is shown that local governments abide by the optimal decision rule for subsidizing human capital investments. Hence, decentralized education policies remain to be efficient, although high-skilled workers are perfectly mobile. Only if one allows for high- and low-skilled mobility, local incentives to promote education vanish.
    Date: 2007–03
  8. By: Ammermüller, Andreas
    Abstract: Violence at schools is a well-known problem in many societies. This paper assesses the degree of school violence in 11 European countries and analyzes the determinants of being a victim and its effect on student performance. The study draws on the international TIMSS 2003 and the British longitudinal NCDS data. The level of school violence is high in most countries but seems not to increase over time. Besides gender, social and migration background and the appearance of students determine being bullied, hurt or stolen from by fellow students. Being a victim has a small but significantly negative impact on contemporary and later student performance and the level of educational attainment and thereby affects earnings. It is hence an important peer effect that should not be omitted in the estimation of educational production functions.
    Keywords: School violence, bullying, human capital, TIMSS, NCDS
    JEL: I21 J24 Z13
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Arntz, Melanie; Wilke, Ralf A.
    Abstract: Recent labor market reforms in Germany aim, among other things, at reducing unemployment by restricting passive unemployment measures, emphasizing local labor market policies and re-structuring public employment services. This paper uses extensive individual administrative and regional aggregate data to explore the extent to which these factors are likely to contribute to the shortening of unemployment duration. For this purpose, we estimate a semi-parametric duration model with three competing exit states. Our results suggest that changes in the unemployment compensation system rather than local employment policies and administrative restructuring efforts meet expected labor market outcomes. In addition, determinants of the length of unemployment vary across exit states.
    Keywords: competing-risk, labor market policy, individual and regional data
    JEL: J61 J64 J68
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Antonio Cabrales; Antoni Calvo-Armengol; Yves Zenou
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to understand the interactions between productive effort and the creation of synergies that are the sources of technological collaboration agreements, agglomeration, social stratification, etc. We model this interaction in a way that allows us to characterize how agents devote resources to both activities. This permits a fullfledged equilibrium/welfare analysis of network formation with endogenous investment efforts and to derive unambiguous comparative statics results. In spite of its parsimony that ensures tractability, the model retains enough richness to replicate a (relatively) broad range of empirical regularities displayed by social and economic networks, and is directly estimable to recover is structural parameters.
    Date: 2007–02
  11. By: Lubna Hasan (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)
    Abstract: It has long been realised that factor accumulation and technological development are only proximate causes of economic development, and focus has now shifted to investigating the ‘deeper determinants’ of economic growth. Two such forces are highlighted in literature: institutions and geography. However, it remains controversial as to which of these two is the more important. The “Institutions school” assigns primal importance to institutions, whereas the “Geography school” considers geographical factors as the primary determinant of economic performance of countries. This paper reviews the debate surrounding these “deeper determinants” of economic performance. It reviews the work of these two schools of thought and their interpretation of the long-run development. The paper then examines the evidence provided by the respective schools in favour of their hypotheses. It concludes in favour of the Institutions hypothesis as the Geography school does not provide a consistent story of long-run development
    Keywords: Institutions, Geography, Long-run Development, Deeper Determinants of Growth
    JEL: O10 O43 N00 P51 R11
    Date: 2006
  12. By: Kirdar, Murat
    Abstract: There exist remarkable differences in educational outcomes across ethnic groups in Turkey. Moreover, almost a quarter of the population of 8- to 15-year-old children belong to ethnic minority groups. Yet, there exists no study that examines the ethnic disparities in educational outcomes in Turkey. This study presents these disparities and uncovers the factors that bring about these disparities using a rich micro-level dataset (Turkish Demographic and Health Survey). In doing so, this paper examines the differences not only in the levels of enrollment but also in the timing of drop-out across ethnic groups. The multivariate analysis accounts for a rich set of regional and socioeconomic factors, which also display striking differences across ethnic groups. The results show that regional and family level characteristics can fully account for the differences in the levels of enrollment across ethnic groups for male children, but not fully for female children. In other words, ethnicity has a direct impact on girls' school enrollment but not on boys'. There exists a gender gap among ethnic Turkish children as well as ethnic Arabic and Kurdish children. However, the gender gap among ethnic Kurdish children is wider than that among ethnic Turkish children.
    Keywords: Education; Ethnicity; Gender; Human Capital
    JEL: I21 J16 J15
    Date: 2007–04
  13. By: Odd Rune Straume (Universidade do Minho - NIPE); Kurt R. Brekke (Department of Economics and Helth Economics Bergen, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Luigi Siciliani (Department of Economics and Centre for Health Economics, University of York, Heslington)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of hospital competition on waiting times. We use a Salop-type model, with hospitals that differ in (geographical) location and, potentially, waiting time, and two types of patients; high benefit patients who choose between neighbouring hospitals (competitive segment), and low-benefit patients who decide whether or not to demand treatment from the closest hospital (monopoly segment). Compared with a benchmark case of regulated monopolies, we find that hospital competition leads to longer waiting times in equilibrium if the competitive segment is sufficiently large. Given a policy regime of hospital competition, the effect of incresed competition depends on the parameter of measurement: Lower travelling costs increase waiting times, higher hospital density redices waiting times, while the effect of a larger competitive segment is ambiguous. We also show that, if the competitive segment is large, hospital competition is socially preferrable to regulated monopolies only if the (regulated) treatment price is sufficiently higher.
    Keywords: Hospitals, Competition, Waiting times
    JEL: H42 I11 I18 L13
    Date: 2007
  14. By: Alan B. Krueger; David Schkade
    Abstract: This paper tests a central implication of the theory of equalizing differences, that workers sort into jobs with different attributes based on their preferences for those attributes. We present evidence from four new time-use data sets for the United States and France on whether workers who are more gregarious, as revealed by their behavior when they are not working, tend to be employed in jobs that involve more social interactions. In each data set we find a significant and sizable relationship between the tendency to interact with others off the job and while working. People's descriptions of their jobs and their personalities also accord reasonably well with their time use on and off the job. Furthermore, workers in occupations that require social interactions according to the O'Net Dictionary of Occupational Titles tend to spend more of their non-working time with friends. Lastly, we find that workers report substantially higher levels of job satisfaction and net affect while at work if their jobs entail frequent interactions with coworkers and other desirable working conditions.
    JEL: J0
    Date: 2007–04
  15. By: Wynne Godley; Dimitri B. Papadimitriou; Gennaro Zezza
    Abstract: he collapse in the subprime mortgage market, along with multiple signals of distress in the broader housing market, has already drawn forth a large body of comment. Some people think the upheaval will turn out to be contagious, causing a major slowdown or even a recession later in 2007. Others believe that the turmoil will be contained, and that the U.S. economy will recover quite rapidly and resume the steady growth it has enjoyed during the last four years or so. Yet no participants in the public discussion, so far as we know, have framed their views in the context of a formal model that enables them to draw well-argued conclusions (however conditional) about the magnitude and timing of the impact of recent events on the overall economy in the medium termÑnot just the next few months.
    Date: 2007–04
  16. By: Jordan Rappaport
    Abstract: The U.S. population has been migrating to places with high perceived quality of life. A calibrated general-equilibrium model shows that such migration follows from broad-based technological progress. Rising national wages increase demand for consumption amenities. Under a baseline parameterization, a place with amenities for which individuals would pay 5 percent of their income grows 0.3 percent faster than an otherwise identical place. Productivity is shown to be a decreasingly important determinant of local population. The faster growth of high-amenity places is considerably strengthened if they have low initial equilibrium population density underpinned by low relative productivity. Places with identical amenities asymptotically converge to an identical population density, regardless of their relative productivity levels. An implication is that the high growth rates of high-amenity localities should eventually taper off.>
    Keywords: Consumption (Economics) ; Quality of life
    Date: 2007
  17. By: HUD - PD&R
    Abstract: This first Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) is the result of a complex, four-year project to develop, collect, and analyze standardized information on homeless persons from a nationally representative sample of communities. The work began in 2002 with the award of a contract to Abt Associates Inc. and the University of Pennsylvania Center for Mental Health Services and Research.
    JEL: I38
    Date: 2007–02
  18. By: Miguel Niño-Zarazúa (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: In recent years, an important number of impact studies have attempted to examine the effect of credit on income poverty; however, many of these studies have not paid sufficient attention to the problems of endogeneity and selection bias. The few exceptional cases have employed econometric techniques that work at the village level. The problem is that the concept of village is inappropriate in the urban context where a large percentage of microfinance organisations in the developing world actually operate. This paper presents an econometric approach which controls for endogeneity and self-selection using data from a quasi-experiment designed at the household level, and conducted in three urban settlements in the surroundings of the Metropolitan area of Mexico City. The paper provides an estimation of the impact of credit, employing different equivalence scales in order to measure the sensitivity of the poverty impact to the intra-household distribution of welfare. We find a link between poverty impacts and lending technology. Group-based lending programmes are more effective in reducing the poverty gap but in doing so, they achieve insignificant impacts on the poverty incidence. By contrast, individual lending programmes reported significant and small impacts at the upper limits of deprivation but insignificant impacts on the poverty gap.
    Keywords: endogeneity, selection bias, microfinance, credit, income poverty, impact analysis, Mexico
    JEL: C24 C81 O16 O17 O18 O19
    Date: 2007–03
  19. By: Jacob L. Vigdor
    Abstract: In the presence of moving costs, individuals may remain in a region even when they expect to attain a higher standard of living elsewhere. When a natural disaster or other exogenous shock forces individuals to move, the net impact on living standards could be positive or negative. This paper uses longitudinal data from Current Population Surveys conducted between 2004 and 2006 to estimate the net impact of Hurricane Katrina-related evacuation on various indicators of well-being. While evacuees who have returned to the affected region show evidence of returning to normalcy in terms of labor supply and earnings, those who persisted in other locations exhibit large and persistent gaps, even relative to the poor outcomes of New Orleans-area residents prior to the storm. Evacuee outcomes show few if any relationships with host community characteristics, including unemployment and growth rates. The impact of evacuation on total income was blunted to some extent by government transfer payments and by self-employment activities. Overall, there is little evidence to support the notion that poor underemployed residents of the New Orleans area were disadvantaged by their location in a relatively depressed region.
    JEL: I38 J22 R23
    Date: 2007–04
  20. By: M. Ali Khan (The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA)
    Abstract: The Harris-Todaro hypothesis replaces the equality of wages by the equality of ‘expected’ wages as the basic equilibrium condition in a segmented but homogeneous labour market, and in so doing it generates an equilibrium level of urban unemployment when a mechanism for the determination of urban wages is specified. This article reviews work in which the Harris-Todaro hypothesis is embedded in canonical models of trade theory in order to investigate a variety of issues in development economics. These include the desirability (or the lack thereof) of foreign investment, the complications of an informal sector, and the presence of clearly identifiable ethnic groups
    Keywords: Harris-Todaro, Wages, Labour Economics, Labour Market, Rural to Urban Migration
    JEL: D00
    Date: 2007

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