nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2008‒01‒19
fourteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The Impact of Immigration on the Geographic Mobility of New Zealanders By David C. Maré; Steven Stillman
  2. Influencia de la Inmigración en la Elección Escolar. By Adriana Sánchez Hugalde
  3. Do Agglomeration Economies Reduce the Sensitivity of Firm Location to Tax Differentials? By Marius BRÜLHART; Mario JAMETTI; Kurt SCHMIDHEINY
  4. The Effects of Immigration on U.S. Wages and Rents: A General Equilibrium Approach. By Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano; Giovanni Peri
  5. Better prepared for retirement? using panel data to improve wealth estimates of ELSA respondents By James Banks; Carl Emmerson; Gemma Tetlow
  6. The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement By Philippe Belley; Lance Lochner
  7. Spatial Concentration in Institutional Investment in the UK: Some comparisons between the Retail and Office Sectors By Peter Byrne; Stephen Lee
  8. Why do home owners work longer hours? By Renata Bottazzi; Hamish Low; Matthew Wakefield
  9. Age-dependent Effects of Socio-economic Background on Educational Attainment - Evidence from Germany By Wolter Hassink; Hannah Kiiver
  10. On the Regional Incidence of Public Investment in Highways in the USA By Alfredo M. Pereira; Jorge M. Andraz
  11. Higher education funding reforms in England: the distributional effects and the shifting balance of costs By Lorraine Dearden; Emla Fitzsimons; Alissa Goodman; Greg Kaplan
  12. Is Inter-firm Labor Mobility a Channel of Knowledge Spillovers? Evidence from a Linked Employer-Employee Panel By Mika Maliranta; Pierre Mohnen; Petri Rouvinen
  13. Embourgeoisement' before affluence? Suburbanisation and the social filtering of working-class communities in interwar Britain By Peter Scott
  14. Ranking Port Cities with High Exposure and Vulnerability to Climate Extremes By R. J. Nicholls; S. Hanson; C. Herweijer; N. Patmore; S. Hallegatte; J. Corfee-Morlot; J. Château; R. Muir-Wood

  1. By: David C. Maré (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Steven Stillman (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the New Zealand Census to examine how the supply of recent migrants in particular skill groups affects the geographic mobility of the New Zealand-born and earlier migrants. We identify the impact of recent migration on mobility using the ‘area-analysis’ approach, which exploits the fact that immigration is spatially concentrated, and thus a change in the local supply of migrants in a particular skill group should have an impact on the mobility of similarly skilled nonmigrants in that local labour market. Overall, our results provide little support for the hypothesis that migrant inflows displace either the NZ-born or earlier migrants with similar skills in the areas that new migrants are settling. If anything, they suggest that there are positive spillovers between recent migrants and other individuals that encourage individuals to move to or remain in the areas in which similarly skilled migrants are settling. Thus, it appears unlikely that internal mobility moderates any potential impacts of immigration on labour or housing markets in New Zealand.
    Keywords: Immigration, Mobility, New Zealand, Labour Market Areas
    JEL: J61 R23
    Date: 2007–11
  2. By: Adriana Sánchez Hugalde (Grup de Recerca en Federalisme Fiscal i Economia Regional (Institut d'Economia de Barcelona - IEB), Departament Economia Política i Hisenda Pública. Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques i Empresarials de la Universitat de Barcelona.)
    Abstract: This empirical work studies the influence of immigrant students on individuals’ school choice in one of the most populated regions in Spain: Catalonia. It has estimated, following the Poisson model, the probability that a certain school, which immigrant students are already attending, may be chosen by natives as well as by immigrants, respectively. The information provided by the Catalonia School Department presents school characteristics of all the primary and secondary schools in Catalonia during the 2001/02 and 2002/03 school years. The results obtained support the evidence that Catalonia native families avoid schools attended by immigrants. Natives certainly prefer not to interact with immigrants. Private schools are more successful in avoiding immigrants. Finally, the main reason for non-natives’ choice is the presence of other non-natives in the same school.
    Keywords: School choice, immigration
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2007
    Abstract: Low corporate taxes can help attract new .firms. This is the main mechanism underpinning the standard "race-to-the-bottom" view of tax competition. A recent theoretical literature has qualified this view by formalizing the argument that agglomeration forces can reduce firms' sensitivity to tax differentials across locations. We test this proposition using data on firm startups across Swiss municipalities. We find that, on average, high corporate income taxes do deter new firms, but that this relationship is significantly weaker in the most spatially concentrated sectors. Location choices of firms in sectors with an agglomeration intensity at the twentieth percentile of the sample distribution are estimated to be twice as responsive to a given difference in local corporate tax burdens as firms in sectors with an agglomeration intensity at the eightieth percentile. Hence, our analysis confirms the theoretical prediction: agglomeration economies can neutralize the impact of tax differentials on firms' location choices.
    Keywords: firm location; agglomeration economies; local taxation; count models; Switzerland
    JEL: R3 H32
    Date: 2007–12
  4. By: Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano (University of Bologna, FEEM and CEPR); Giovanni Peri (UC Davis and NBER)
    Abstract: In this paper we document a strong positive correlation of immigration flows with changes in average wages and average house rents for native residents across U.S. states. Instrumental variables estimates reveal that the correlations are compatible with a causal interpretation from immigration to wages and rents of natives. Separating the effects of immigrants on natives of different schooling levels we find positive effects on the wages and rents of highly educated and small effects on the wages (negative) and rents (positive) of less educated. We propose a model where natives and immigrants of three different education levels interact in production in a central district and live in the surrounding region. In equilibrium the inflow of immigrants has a positive productive effect on natives due to complementarieties in production as well as a positive competition effect on rents. The model calibrated and simulated with U.S.-states data matches most of the estimated effects of immigrants on wages and rents of natives in the period 1990-2005. This validation suggests the proposed model as a useful tool to evaluate the impacts of alternative immigration scenarios on U.S. wages and rents.
    Keywords: Immigration, Wages, Rents, Housing Prices, U.S. States
    JEL: F22 J61 R23
    Date: 2007–09
  5. By: James Banks (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London); Carl Emmerson (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Gemma Tetlow (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: <p>We compare the key assumptions underpinning estimates of the pension wealth of ELSA respondents to outcomes over the period from 2002-03 to 2004-05. We find that many of these assumptions have, on average, proved cautious or reasonable. Improving pension wealth calculations using this new evidence makes little difference to the distribution of pension wealth. Previous estimates of retirement resources also considered net financial, physical and housing wealth. Particularly cautious, ex-post, was the assumption that net housing wealth would remain constant in real terms. We find that average housing wealth has risen by almost 40% in nominal terms over just two years, which is in line with growth in the Nationwide House Price Index. This large increase in house prices boosts estimates of total wealth across the entire distribution of wealth. Previous research showed that once half of current net housing wealth was included as a retirement resource 12.6% of employees approaching retirement were estimated to have resources below the Pensions Commission's definition of adequacy. We show that taking into account the high growth in house prices between 2002-03 and 2004-05 reduces this to 10.9%, and that it would fall by a further 1.2 percentage points if house prices were to grow by 2.5% a year in real terms in the future.</p>
    Date: 2007–08
  6. By: Philippe Belley (University of Western Ontario); Lance Lochner (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the 1979 and 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth cohorts (NLSY79 and NLSY97) to estimate changes in the effects of ability and family income on educational attainment for youth in their late teens during the early 1980s and early 2000s. Cognitive ability plays an important role in determining educational outcomes for both NLSY cohorts, while family income plays little role in determining high school completion in either cohort. Most interestingly, we document a dramatic increase in the effects of family income on college attendance (particularly among the least able) from the NLSY79 to the NLSY97. Family income has also become a much more important determinant of college 'quality' and hours/weeks worked during the academic year (the latter among the most able) in the NLSY97. Family income has little effect on college delay in either sample. To interpret our empirical findings on college attendance, we develop an educational choice model that incorporates both borrowing constraints and a 'consumption' value of schooling -- two of the most commonly invoked explanations for a positive family income -- schooling relationship. Without borrowing constraints, the model cannot explain the rising effects of family income on college attendance in response to the sharply rising costs and returns to college experienced from the early 1980s to early 2000s: the incentives created by a 'consumption' value of schooling imply that income should have become less important over time (or even negatively related to attendance). Instead, the data are more broadly consistent with the hypothesis that more youth are borrowing constrained today than were in the early 1980s.
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Peter Byrne (Department of Real Estate & Planning, University of Reading); Stephen Lee
    Abstract: Geographic diversity is a fundamental tenet in portfolio management.  Yet there is evidence from the US that institutional investors prefer to concentrate their real estate investments in favoured and specific areas as primary locations for the properties that occupy their portfolios.  The little work done in the UK draws similar conclusions, but has so far focused only on the office sector; no work has examined this issue for the retail sector.  This paper therefore examines the extent of real estate investment concentration in institutional Retail portfolios in the UK at two points in time; 1998 and 2003, and presents some comparisons with equivalent concentrations in the office sector.  The findings indicate that retail investment correlates more closely with the UK urban hierarchy than that for offices when measured against employment, and is focused on urban areas with high populations and large population densities which have larger numbers of retail units in which to invest.
    Keywords: Retail, Institutional Investment, Spatial Concentration
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Renata Bottazzi (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Hamish Low (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Trinity College, Cambridge); Matthew Wakefield (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: <p>This paper uses a structural model to address the question of why home-owners with large mortgage debt work longer hours than those without such debt. We consider whether this is due to lower net wealth or to capital market imperfections, including mortgage constraints that depend on current earnings and, therefore, labour supply choices. We show that the need to meet current mortgage commitments can generate the observed correlation, and this impact of current commitments arises from the institutional borrowing constraints. We also show that labour supply as a function of household debt is highly nonlinear: those with greater debt are more likely to face binding borrowing constraints and their labour supply is more variable.</p>
    Date: 2007–07
  9. By: Wolter Hassink; Hannah Kiiver
    Abstract: The impact of socio-economic background on a child's educational attainment has been discussed as a static concept so far. Existing economic literature as well as the psychology of education literature point however towards a dynamic process where the impact of socio-economic background depends on the age of the child. We explore this possibility using German micro-data. Using instrumental variable methods we estimate the causal effects of parental education and household income on school success of a child at two points in time of his school career. The estimates indicate that household income has a more important effect on the educational success of children in a more advanced point during the education while the effect of parental education seems to be stable.
    Keywords: school choice, demand for schooling, human capital
    JEL: I22 J13 J62
    Date: 2007–12
  10. By: Alfredo M. Pereira (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary); Jorge M. Andraz (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Algarve)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to investigate the regional incidence of the aggregate effects of public investment in highways in the US taking into consideration the possible existence of regional spillovers. The empirical results are based on VAR estimates at both the aggregate and state levels using private output, employment, and investment, as well as different measures of public investment. Empirical results allow us to establish several stylized facts. First, public investment in highways affects private sector variables positively at the aggregate level as well as in most states. Second, overall, the spillover effects of public investment in highways are at least 80% of the total effects for all private sector variables. Third, the spillovers have a clear geographical pattern in that they tend to be more important in western states and the corridor between the Great Lakes and the Gulf Coast. Fourth, we find that relative to their share of the US private sector variables, the biggest beneficiaries of public investment in highways tend to be the largest states in the country. This suggests that public investment in highways has contributed to concentration of private sector activity in the largest states.
    Keywords: public investment, highway investment, regional spillovers
    JEL: C32 H54 R53
    Date: 2008–01–14
  11. By: Lorraine Dearden (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Bedford Group, Institute of Education, University of London); Emla Fitzsimons (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Alissa Goodman (Institute for Fiscal Studies); Greg Kaplan (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: <p><p>This paper undertakes a quantitative analysis of substantial reforms to the system of higher education (HE) finance in England, first announced in 2004 and revised in 2007. The reforms introduced deferred fees for HE, payable by graduates through the tax system via income-contingent repayments on loans subsidised by the government. The paper uses lifetime earnings simulated by the authors to consider the likely distributional consequences of the reforms for graduates. It also considers the costs of the reforms for taxpayers, and how the reforms are likely to shift the balance of funding for HE between the public and private sectors.</p></p>
    Date: 2007–10
  12. By: Mika Maliranta; Pierre Mohnen; Petri Rouvinen
    Abstract: ABSTRACT : An employer-employee panel is used to study whether the movement of workers across firms is a channel of unintended diffusion of R&D-generated knowledge. Somewhat surprisingly, hiring workers from others’ R&D labs to one’s own does not seem to be a significant spillover channel. Hiring workers previously in R&D to one’s non-R&D activities, however, boosts both productivity and profitability. This is interpreted as evidence that these workers transmit knowledge that can be readily copied and implemented without much additional R&D effort.
    Keywords: labor mobility, R&D spillovers, profitability, linked employer-employee data
    JEL: D62 J24 J62 L25 O31
    Date: 2008–01–11
  13. By: Peter Scott (Centre for International Business History, University of Reading)
    Date: 2007
  14. By: R. J. Nicholls; S. Hanson; C. Herweijer; N. Patmore; S. Hallegatte; J. Corfee-Morlot; J. Château; R. Muir-Wood
    Abstract: This global screening study makes a first estimate of the exposure of the world's large port cities to coastal flooding due to storm surge and damage due to high winds. This assessment also investigates how climate change is likely to impact each port city's exposure to coastal flooding by the 2070s, alongside subsidence and population growth and urbanisation. The study provides a much more comprehensive analysis than earlier assessments, focusing on the 136 port cities around the world that have more than one million inhabitants in 2005. The analysis demonstrates that a large number of people are already exposed to coastal flooding in large port cities. Across all cities, about 40 million people (0.6% of the global population or roughly 1 in 10 of the total port city population in the cities considered here) are exposed to a 1 in 100 year coastal flood event. For present-day conditions (2005), the top ten cities in terms of exposed population are estimated to be Mumbai, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Miami, Ho Chi Minh City, Kolkata, Greater New York, Osaka-Kobe, Alexandria and New Orleans; almost equally split between developed and developing countries. When assets are considered, the current distribution becomes more heavily weighted towards developed countries, as the wealth of the cities becomes important. The top 10 cities in terms of assets exposed are Miami, Greater New York, New Orleans, Osaka-Kobe, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Nagoya, Tampa-St Petersburg and Virginia Beach. These cities contain 60% of the total exposure, but are from only three (wealthy) countries: USA, Japan and the Netherlands. The total value of assets exposed in 2005 is across all cities considered here is estimated to be US$3,000 billion; corresponding to around 5% of global GDP in 2005 (both measured in international USD)... <BR>Cette étude globale propose une première estimation de l'exposition des grandes villes portuaires aux inondations côtières, dues aux marées de tempête, et aux vents forts. Elle s'intéresse en particulier aux effets du changement climatique sur l'exposition de chacune de ces villes à l'horizon des années 2070. Cette évaluation comprend les 136 villes côtières qui ont plus d'un million d'habitants dans le monde en 2005. Elle est donc beaucoup plus exhaustive que les estimations disponibles jusqu'à présent. Cette analyse montre que la population des villes portuaires exposée aux inondations côtières est déjà très importante. Dans les villes considérées par cette étude, environ 40 millions de personnes (soit 0.6% de la population mondiale et environ un habitant sur dix de ces villes) sont exposés à l?inondation centennale (celle dont la probabilité annuelle est de 1% et le temps de retour 100 ans). Dans les conditions présentes (en 2005), les dix villes les plus exposées en termes de population sont Bombay, Canton, Shanghai, Miami, Ho Chi Minh Ville, Calcutta, l?agglomération New-yorkaise, Osaka- Kobe, Alexandrie et la Nouvelle Orléans. Ces villes sont également réparties entre pays développés et pays en développement. Quand on s'intéresse au patrimoine exposé, les pays développé deviennent beaucoup plus représentés, car le niveau de vie est alors un facteur essentiel. Les dix villes les plus exposées en terme de patrimoine sont Miami, l'agglomération New-yorkaise, la Nouvelle Orléans, Osaka-Kobe, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Nagoya, Tampa-Saint-Petersbourg, et Virginia Beach. Ces villes représentent 60% de l'exposition totale, mais sont dans seulement trois pays riches : les USA, le Japon et la Hollande. La valeur totale du patrimoine exposé en 2005 est estimée à 3.000 milliards de dollars américains, ce qui correspond à environ 5% du PIB annuel mondial...
    Keywords: sustainable development, public policy, climate change, global warming, natural disasters, flood management, coastal zones, environment & development
    JEL: Q01 Q54 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2007–12–04

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