nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2007‒05‒26
ten papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The Impact of School Choice on Pupil Achievement, Segregation and Costs: Swedish Evidence By Anders Böhlmark; Mikael Lindahl
  2. Optimal retirement asset decumulation strategies: the impact of housing wealth By Wei Sun; Robert K. Triest; Anthony Webb
  3. Treatment of owner-occupied housing in national accounts: Some questions By Dieter Brümmerhoff; Utz-Peter Reich
  4. Determinants of House Prices: A Quantile Regression Approach. By Joachim Zietz; Emily N. Zietz; G. Stacy Sirmans.
  5. School Choice: Income, Peer effect and the formation of Inequalities. By Saïd Hanchane; Tarek Mostafa
  6. Unpacking social interactions By Ethan Cohen-Cole; Giulio Zanella
  7. Sin City? By Pieter A. Gautier; Michael Svarer; Coen N. Teulings
  8. Are Urban Children really healthier? By Ellen van de Poel; Owen O'Donnell; Eddy van Doorslaer
  9. Politiques de développement et croissance régionale en Europe : le rôle des rendements croissants et des dépendances spatiales By GUILLAIN, Rachel; DALL'ERBA, Sandy; LE GALLO, Julie
  10. Estimating Systematic Continuous-time Trends in Recidivism using a Non-Gaussian Panel Data Model By Siem Jan Koopman; André Lucas; Marius Ooms; Kees van Montfort; Victor van der Geest

  1. By: Anders Böhlmark (SOFI, Stockholm University); Mikael Lindahl (SOFI, Stockholm University and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates school choice at the compulsory-school level by assessing a reform implemented in Sweden in 1992, which opened up for publicly funded but privately operated schools. In many local school markets, this reform led to a significant increase in the quantity of such schools as well as in the share of pupils attending them. We estimate the impact of this increase in private enrolment on the average achievement of all pupils using withinmunicipality variation over time, and controlling for differential pre-reform municipality trends. We find that an increase in the private-school share by 10 percentage points increases average pupil achievement by almost 1 percentile rank point. We show that this total effect can be interpreted as the sum of a private-school attendance effect and a competition effect. The former effect, which is identified using variation in school choice among siblings, is found to be only a small part of the total effect. This suggests that the main part of the achievement effect is due to more competition in the school sector, forcing schools to improve their quality. We use grade point average as outcome variable. A comparison with test data suggests that our results are not driven by differential grade-setting standards in private and public schools. We further find that more competition from private schools increases school costs. There is also some evidence of sorting of pupils along socioeconomic and ethnic lines.
    Keywords: school-choice reform, private-school competition, pupil achievement, segregation
    JEL: I22 I28 H40
    Date: 2007–05
  2. By: Wei Sun; Robert K. Triest; Anthony Webb
    Abstract: A considerable literature examines the optimal decumulation of financial wealth in retirement. We extend this line of research to incorporate housing, which comprises the majority of most households’ non-pension wealth. ; We estimate the relationship between the returns on housing, stocks, and bonds, and simulate a variety of decumulation strategies incorporating reverse mortgages. We show that homeowner’s reversionary interest, the amount that can be borrowed through a reverse mortgage, is a surprisingly risky asset. Under our baseline assumptions we find that the average household would be as much as 24 percent better off taking a reverse mortgage as a lifetime income relative to what appears to be the most common strategy: delaying tapping housing wealth until financial wealth is exhausted and then taking a line of credit. In addition, the results show that housing wealth displaces bonds in optimal portfolios, making the low rate of participation in the stock market even more of a puzzle.
    Keywords: Retirement income
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Dieter Brümmerhoff (University of Rostock); Utz-Peter Reich
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Joachim Zietz; Emily N. Zietz; G. Stacy Sirmans.
    Abstract: OLS regression has typically been used in housing research to determine the relationship of a particular housing characteristic with selling price. Results differ across studies, not only in terms of size of OLS coefficients and statistical significance, but sometimes in direction of effect. This study suggests that some of the observed variation in the estimated prices of housing characteristics may reflect the fact that characteristics are not priced the same across a given distribution of house prices. To examine this issue, this study uses quantile regression, with and without accounting for spatial autocorrecation, to identify the coefficients of a large set of diverse variables across different quantiles. The results show that purchasers of higher-priced homes value certain housing characteristics such as square footage and the number of bathrooms differently from buyers of lower-priced homes. Other variables such as age are also shown to vary across the distribution of house prices.
    Keywords: hedonic price function, quantile regression, spatial lag
    JEL: R31 C21 C29
  5. By: Saïd Hanchane (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II]); Tarek Mostafa (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II])
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the equilibrium on the market for schooling where both public and private schools coexist and where individuals are differentiated by income and ability. We introduce a non linear in means model of peer effect by shedding the light on the fact that school quality is not solely dependent on mean ability but also on the dispersion of abilities. We study the distribution of students across sectors while examining the conditions for the existence of a majority voting equilibrium in the context of non single peaked preferences. Finally, we examine the presence of a hierarchy of school qualities. In the paper we shed the light on equity problems related to the access to educational quality while analyzing the functioning of the educational system.
    Keywords: Education market; Majority voting equilibrium; Peer group effect; Pricing discrimination; Educational opportunity
    Date: 2007–05–14
  6. By: Ethan Cohen-Cole; Giulio Zanella
    Abstract: As empirical work in identifying social effects becomes more prevalent, researchers are beginning to struggle with identifying the composition of social interactions within any given reference group. In this paper, we present a simple econometric methodology for the separate identification of multiple social interactions. The setting under which we achieve separation is special, but is likely to be appropriate in many applications.
    Keywords: Social choice
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Pieter A. Gautier (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Michael Svarer (Aarhus University); Coen N. Teulings (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Is moving to the countryside a credible commitment device for couples? We investigate whether lowering the arrival rate of potential alternative partners by moving to a less populated area lowers the dissolution risk for a sample of Danish couples. We find that of the couples who married in the city, the ones who stay in the city have significant higher divorce rates. Similarly, for the couples who married outside the city, the ones who move to the city are more likely to divorce. This correlation can be explained by both a causal and a sorting effect. We disentangle them by using the timing-of-events approach. In addition we use information on father's location as an instrument. We find that the sorting effect dominates. Moving to the countryside is therefore not a cheap way to prolong relationships.
    Keywords: Dissolution; search; mobility; city
    JEL: J12 J64
    Date: 2007–02–12
  8. By: Ellen van de Poel (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam); Owen O'Donnell (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece); Eddy van Doorslaer (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)
    Abstract: On average, child health outcomes are better in urban than in rural areas of developing countries. Understanding the nature and the causes of this rural-urban disparity is essential in contemplating the health consequences of the rapid urbanization taking place throughout the developing world and in targeting resources appropriately to raise population health. We use micro data on child health taken from the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys for 47 developing countries. First, we document the magnitude of rural-urban disparities in child nutritional status and under-five mortality across all 47 developing countries. Second, we adjust these disparities for differences in population characteristics across urban and rural settings. Third, we examine rural-urban differences in the degree of socioeconomic inequality in these health outcomes. We find considerable rural-urban differences in mean child health outcomes. The rural-urban gap in stunting does not entirely mirror the gap in under-five mortality. The most striking difference between the two is in the Latin American and Caribbean region, where the gap in stunting is more than 1.5 times higher than that in mortality. On average, the rural-urban risk ratios of stunting and under-five mortality fall by respectively 53% and 59% after controlling for household wealth. Controlling thereafter for socio-demographic factors reduces the risk ratios by another 22% and 25%. In a considerable number of countries, the urban poor actually have higher rates of stunting and mortality than their rural counterparts. The findings imply that there is a need for programs that target the urban poor, and that this is becoming more necessary as the size of the urban population grows.
    Keywords: child health; urban-rural inequality; nutrition; child mortality
    JEL: I12 I31 O53
    Date: 2007–04–10
  9. By: GUILLAIN, Rachel (LEG - CNRS UMR 5118 - Université de Bourgogne); DALL'ERBA, Sandy (LEG - CNRS UMR 5118 - Université de Bourgogne); LE GALLO, Julie
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of structural funds on the manufacturing sector of 145 European regions in the context of a Verdoorn’s law for the period 1989-2004. Three main innovations are included. First, we pay attention to the nature of the cohesion objective under study. Second, the geographical linkages between regions are explicitly taken into account by using spatial econometric techniques. Third, potential endogeneity of explanatory variables is systematically checked. The results are in favour of increasing returns and of a significant but small and negative impact of funds.
    Keywords: growth, regional policy, increasing returns, Europe, spatial econometrics
    Date: 2007–02
  10. By: Siem Jan Koopman (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); André Lucas (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Marius Ooms (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Kees van Montfort (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Victor van der Geest (Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NCSR), Leiden)
    Abstract: We model panel data of crime careers of juveniles from a Dutch Judicial Juvenile Institution. The data are decomposed into a systematic and an individual-specific component, of which the systematic component reflects the general time-varying conditions including the criminological climate. Within a model-based analysis, we treat (1) shared effects of each group with the same systematic conditions, (2) strongly non-Gaussian features of the individual time series, (3) unobserved common systematic conditions, (4) changing recidivism probabilities in continuous time, (5) missing observations. We adopt a non-Gaussian multivariate state space model that deals with all of these issues simultaneously. The parameters of the model are estimated by Monte Carlo maximum likelihood methods. This paper illustrates the methods empirically. We compare continuous-time trends and standard discrete-time stochastic trend specifications. We find interesting common time-variation in the recidivism behavior of the juveniles during a period of 13 years, while taking account of significant heterogeneity determined by personality characteristics and initial crime records.
    Keywords: non-Gaussian state space modeling; nonlinear panel data model; binomial time series; recidivism behavior; continuous time modelling
    JEL: C15 C32 C33 D63
    Date: 2007–03–08

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