nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2008‒02‒23
33 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Does Land Use Planning shape Regional Economies? By Wouter Vermeulen; Jos van Ommeren
  2. The Effect of Consumers' Expectations in a Booming Housing Market By Jan Rouwendal; Simonetta Longhi
  3. Tennessee Housing Market Brief, 4th Quarter 2007 By David A. Penn
  4. Agglomeration Externalities, Innovation and Regional Growth: Theoretical Perspectives and Meta-Analysis By Henri L.F. de Groot; Jacques Poot; Martijn J. Smit
  5. Geographical Distribution of Unemployment: An Analysis of Provincial Differences in Italy By Maria Francesca Cracolici; Miranda Cuffaro; Peter Nijkamp
  6. What Causes Industry Agglomeration? Evidence from Coagglomeration Patterns By Glenn Ellison; Edward L. Glaeser; William R. Kerr
  7. Agglomeration, Innovation and Regional Development: Theoretical Perspectives and Meta-Analysis By Henri L.F. de Groot; Jacques Poot; Martijn J. Smit
  8. The Costs and Benefits of Providing Open Space in Cities By Jan Rouwendal; J. Willemijn van der Straaten
  9. The Spatial Distribution of Economic Activities in Italy By Laura de Dominicis; Giuseppe Arbia; Henri L.F. de Groot
  10. Agglomeration Economies: Microdata Panel Estimates from Canadian Manufacturing By Baldwin, John R.; Brown, W. Mark; Rigby, David
  11. Implications of Curriculum Reform for School Buildings in Scotland By W. Scott-Watson
  12. Economic Geography, Spatial Dependence and Income Inequality in China By Laura Hering; Sandra Poncet
  13. How Well do Individuals Predict the Selling Prices of their Homes? By Hugo Benítez-Silva; Selcuk Eren; Frank Heiland; Sergi Jiménez-Martín
  14. When Clusters become Networks By Sandra Phlippen; Bert van der Knaap
  15. Cities and Growth: Knowledge Spillovers in the Adoption of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies By No, Angela
  16. Value of Time by Time of Day: A Stated-Preference Study By Yin-yen Tseng; Erik Verhoef
  17. Collective Lobbying in Politics: Theory and Empirical Evidence from Sweden By Liang, Che-Yuan
  18. Why are some Spanish regions so much more efficient than others? By Jaume Puig; Jaime Pinilla
  19. New Zealand: Modernising Schools in a Decentralised Environment By Bruce Sheerin
  20. Productivity polarization across regions in Europe By Roberto Basile
  21. What Explains the International Location of the Clothing Industry? By Tengstam, Sven
  22. Deflation in Durable Goods Markets: An Empirical Model of the Tokyo Condominium Market By Migiwa Tanaka
  23. Changing School Architecture in Zurich By Mark Ziegler; Daniel Kurz
  24. Modernising Portugal’s Secondary Schools By Teresa V. Heitor
  25. Inter-modal Network Externalities and Transport Development: Evidence from Roads, Canals, and Ports during the English Industrial Revolution By Dan Bogart
  26. Investment behaviors of the key actors in capitalism: when geography matters By Claude DUPUY (GREThA); Stéphanie LAVIGNE (LEREPS & Toulouse Business School)
  27. Self-Financing Roads By Erik T. Verhoef; Herbert Mohring
  28. Do immigrants cause crime? By Milo Bianchi; Paolo Buonanno; Paolo Pinotti
  29. Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion By William R. Kerr
  30. From Roads to Rinks: Government Spending on Infrastructure in Canada, 1961 to 2005 By Roy, Francine
  31. The Ethnic Composition of US Inventors By William R. Kerr
  32. The Costs and Benefits of "Strangers": Why Mixed Communities Are Better By Paul A. Grout; Sebastien Mitraille; Silvia Sonderegger
  33. Skyscraper Height By Jason Barr

  1. By: Wouter Vermeulen (CPB, The Hague, and VU University Amsterdam); Jos van Ommeren (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Why has job growth over the past decades been weaker in the Dutch Randstad area than in surrounding regions? In a simultaneous equations analysis, we find that employment adjusts to the regional supply of labour. Net internal migration is predominantly determined by regional housing supply and not by employment growth. Growth of the regional housing stock responds only moderately to changes in the number of people and jobs. This lack of responsiveness to demand conditions is plausibly related to restrictions on residential development, implying that the regional distribution of economic activity in the Netherlands reflects land use planning decisions.
    Keywords: housing supply; land use regulation; regional labour markets; regional development
    JEL: J61 R12 R23 R31 R52
    Date: 2007–01–15
  2. By: Jan Rouwendal (VU University Amsterdam); Simonetta Longhi (ISER, University of Essex)
    Abstract: Even though economic models have been relatively successful in explaining the long run patterns of house prices, they have more difficulties in explaining short run developments of the housing markets. However, the fact that during such ‘bubbles’ the spatial pattern of house prices, which can mainly be attributed to accessibility differences, usually remains unchanged, suggests that the irrational forces that are presumably responsible for unexplained movements in house prices obey some regularities: they seem to affect the level of house prices, but not their spatial pattern. This suggests that it is worthwhile to consider the explanatory power of psychological variables like those reflecting general (nation wide) feelings of optimism or pessimism. This paper considers the development of Dutch house prices in the years 1999 and 2000, when house prices increased fast. Existing explanations of the long run development of Dutch house prices on the basis of economic fundamentals (notably income and the mortgage interest rate) would suggest a much more modest development of house prices over these years. We also show that commonly used housing market indicators, notably the number of vacancies (houses for sale) and the time on the market, are unable to explain the development of house prices during this period. However, we find a strong relationship between the development of house prices and the Dutch index of consumer confidence.
    Keywords: House Prices; Consumer Confidence; Bubbles
    JEL: R31 R21 D84 E31 D40
    Date: 2007–10–04
  3. By: David A. Penn
    Abstract: The second in a series of quarterly reports on the housing market in Tennessee, supported by a Tennessee Housing Development Agency grant
    Date: 2008–02
  4. By: Henri L.F. de Groot (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute); Jacques Poot (University of Waikato); Martijn J. Smit (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Technological change and innovation and are central to the quest for regional development. In the globally-connected knowledge-driven economy, the relevance of agglomeration forces that rely on proximity continues to increase, paradoxically despite declining real costs of information, communication and transportation. Globally, the proportion of the population living in cities continues to grow and sprawling cities remain the engines of regional economic transformation. The growth of cities results from a complex chain that starts with scale, density and geography, which then combine with industrial structure characterised by its extent of specialisation, competition and diversity, to yield innovation and productivity growth that encourages employment expansion, and further urban growth through inward migration. This paper revisits the central part of this virtuous circle, namely the Marshall-Arrow-Romer externalities (specialisation), Jacobs externalities (diversity) and Porter externalities (competition) that have provided alternative explanations for innovation and urban growth. The paper evaluates the statistical robustness of evidence for such externalities presented in 31 scientific articles, all building on the seminal work of Glaeser et al. (1992). We aim to explain variation in estimation results using study characteristics by means of ordered probit analysis. Among the results, we find that the impact of diversity depends on how it is measured and that diversity is important for the high-tech sector. High population density increases the chance of finding positive effects of specialisation on growth. More recent data find more positive results for both specialization and diversity, suggesting that agglomeration externalities become more important over time. Finally, primary study results depend on whether or not the externalities are considered jointly and on other features of the regression model specification.
    Keywords: innovation; regional development; agglomeration; urban externalities; meta-analysis
    JEL: C52 O18 O31 R11
    Date: 2008–02–04
  5. By: Maria Francesca Cracolici (University of Palermo); Miranda Cuffaro (University of Palermo); Peter Nijkamp (VU University, Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Unemployment rates appear to vary widely at a subregional (e.g., local or provincial) level. Using spatial econometric models for spatial autocorrelation, this paper focuses attention on the spatial structure of regional unemployment disparities of Italian provinces. On the basis of findings from the economic literature and of the available socio-economic data, various model specifications including different explanatory variables are tested to investigate the geographical distribution of unemployment in the 103 provinces of Italy for the years 1998 and 2003. The results suggest that there is a clear explanation of unemployment differentials in terms of spatial equilibrium and disequilibrium factors and a significant degree of spatial dependence among labour markets at the provincial level in Italy. Provinces marked by high unemployment, as well as those characterized by low unemployment, tend to be spatially clustered, demonstrating the presence of unemployment ‘persistency’ in space and time regimes.
    Keywords: unemployment; spatial lag model; spatial autocorrelation; Italian provinces
    JEL: C21 R12 R23
    Date: 2007–08–28
  6. By: Glenn Ellison (Masachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Economics and NBER); Edward L. Glaeser (Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government; Faculty of Arts and Sciences and NBER); William R. Kerr (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)
    Abstract: Many industries are geographically concentrated. Many mechanisms that could account for such agglomeration have been proposed. We note that these theories make different predictions about which pairs of industries should be coagglomerated. We discuss the measurement of coagglomeration and use data from the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Research Database from 1972 to 1997 to compute pairwise coagglomeration measurements for U.S. manufacturing industries. Industry attributes are used to construct measures of the relevance of each of Marshall’s three theories of industry agglomeration to each industry pair: (1) agglomeration saves transport costs by proximity to input suppliers or final consumers, (2) agglomeration allows for labor market pooling, and (3) agglomeration facilitates intellectual spillovers. We assess the importance of the theories via regressions of coagglomeration indices on these measures. Data on characteristics of corresponding industries in the United Kingdom are used as instruments. We find evidence to support each mechanism. Our results suggest that input-output dependencies are the most important factor, followed by labor pooling.
    Date: 2007–04
  7. By: Henri L.F. de Groot (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Jacques Poot (University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ); Martijn J. Smit (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Innovation and technological change are central to the quest for regional development. In the globally-connected knowledge-driven economy, the relevance of agglomeration forces that rely on proximity continues to increase, paradoxically despite declining real costs of information, communication and transportation. Globally, the proportion of the population living in cities continues to grow and sprawling cities remain the engines of regional economic transformation. The growth of cities results from a complex chain that starts with scale, density and geography, which then combines with industrial structure characterised by its extent of specialisation, competition and diversity, to yield innovation and productivity growth that encourages employment expansion, and further urban growth through inward migration. This paper revisits the central part of this virtuous circle, namely the Marshall-Arrow-Romer externalities (specialisation), Jacobs externalities (diversity) and Porter externalities (competition) that have provided alternative explanations for innovation and urban growth. The paper evaluates the statistical robustness of evidence for such externalities presented in 31 scientific articles, all building on the seminal work of Glaeser et al. (1992). These articles yield 393 estimates of those externalities, which are characterized by their sign and statistical significance. We aim to explain variation in estimation results using study characteristics by means of ordered probit analysis. The evidence in the literature on the role of the specific externalities is rather mixed, although for each type of externality we can identify how various aspects of primary study design, such as the adopted proxy for growth, the data used, and the choice of covariates influence the outcomes.
    Keywords: innovation; regional development; agglomeration; urban externalities; meta-analysis
    JEL: C52 O18 O31 R11
    Date: 2007–10–10
  8. By: Jan Rouwendal (VU University Amsterdam); J. Willemijn van der Straaten (VU University Amsterdam, and CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, The Hague)
    Abstract: Although many researchers have investigated the value of open space in cities, few of them have compared them to the costs of providing this amenity. In this paper, we use the monocentric model of a city to derive a simple cost-benefit rule for the optimal provision of open space. The rule is essentially the Samuelson-condition for the optimal provision of a public good, with the price of land as the appropriate indicator for its cost. The condition is made operational by computing the willingness to pay for public and private space on the basis of empirical hedonic price functions for three Dutch cities. The conclusions with respect to the optimal provision of open space differ between the three cities. Further investigation reveals that willingness to pay for parks and public gardens increases with income, although not as fast as that for private residential space.
    Keywords: spatial planning; provision of public goods; cost-benefit analysis
    JEL: R52 H41 D61
    Date: 2008–01–07
  9. By: Laura de Dominicis (VU University Amsterdam); Giuseppe Arbia ('G. d'Annunzio' University, Pescara, Italy); Henri L.F. de Groot (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Existing indices measuring the spatial distribution of economic activity such as the Krugman Specialisation Index, the Hirschmann-Herfindahl index and the Ellison-Glaeser index typically do not take into account the spatial structure of the data. In this paper, we first consider traditional measures of geographical concentration, and subsequently extend the analysis to take spatial dependence into account. Using data for Italy for the years 1991 and 2001, we apply exploratory spatial data analysis to identify sectoral location patterns in both the manufacturing industry as well as in services. We find that large differences prevail in the geographical concentration of production across sectors. The results of the exploratory spatial data analysis reveal the existence of well- defined clusters of economic activities.
    Keywords: Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis; Geographic Concentration; Italy; Spatial Autocorrelation
    JEL: C12 R12 R30
    Date: 2007–12–03
  10. By: Baldwin, John R.; Brown, W. Mark; Rigby, David
    Abstract: Productivity and wages tend to be higher in cities. This is typically explained by agglomeration economies, which increase the returns associated with urban locations. Competing arguments of specialization and diversity undergird these claims. Empirical research has long sought to confirm the existence of agglomeration economies and to adjudicate between the models of Marshall, Arrow and Romer (MAR) that suggest the benefits of proximity are largely confined to individual industries, and the claims of Jacobs (1969) that such benefits derive from a general increase in the density of economic activity in a particular place and are shared by all occupants of that location. The primary goal of this paper is to identify the main sources of urban increasing returns, after Marshall (1920). A secondary goal is to examine the geographical distance across which externalities flow between businesses in the same industry. We bring to bear on these questions plant-level data organized in the form of a panel across the years 1989 and 1999. The panel data overcome selection bias resulting from unobserved plant-level heterogeneity that is constant over time. Plant-level production functions are estimated across the Canadian manufacturing sector as a whole and for five broad industry groups, each characterized by the nature of their output. Results provide strong support for Marshall's (1920) claims about the importance of buyer-supplier networks, labour market pooling and spillovers. The data show spillovers enhance plant productivity within industries rather than between them and that these spillovers tend to be more spatially extensive than previous studies have found.
    Keywords: Manufacturing, Business performance and ownership, Economic accounts, Regional and urban profiles, Productivity accounts
    Date: 2008–02–05
  11. By: W. Scott-Watson
    Abstract: Scotland’s Building Excellence programme is exploring the implications of curriculum reform for school building design. It includes events which bring together teachers, designers, school managers and local authorities.
    Keywords: school building design, learning environment, educational buildings
    Date: 2008–02
  12. By: Laura Hering; Sandra Poncet
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the analysis of growing income disparities within China. Based on a structural model of economic geography using data on per capita income, we evaluate the extent to which market proximity and spatial dependence can explain growing income inequality between Chinese cities. We rely on a data set of 195 Chinese cities between 1995 and 2002. Our econometric specification incorporates an explicit consideration of spatial dependence effects in the form of spatially lagged per capita income. We provide evidence that the geography of access to markets is statistically significant in explaining variation in per capita income in China, especially so in provinces with low migration inflows which is coherent with NEG theory.
    Keywords: Income inequality; economic geography; spatial dependence; China
    JEL: E1 O1 O5 R1
    Date: 2007–12
  13. By: Hugo Benítez-Silva; Selcuk Eren; Frank Heiland; Sergi Jiménez-Martín
    Abstract: Self-reported home values are widely used as a measure of housing wealth by researchers employing a variety of data sets and studying a number of different individual and household level decisions. The accuracy of this measure is an open empirical question, and requires some type of market assessment of the values reported. In this research, we study the predictive power of self-reported housing wealth when estimating sales prices utilizing the Health and Retirement Study. We find that homeowners, on average, overestimate the value of their properties by between 5% and 10%. We also find a strong correlation between accuracy and the economic conditions (measured by the prevalent interest rate, the growth of household income, and the growth of median housing prices) at the time of the purchase of the property. While most individuals overestimate the value of their properties, those who bought during more difficult economic times tend to be more accurate, and in some cases even underestimate the value of their house. This cyclicality of the overestimation of house prices can provide some clues regarding the reasons for the difficulties currently faced by many homeowners.
    Keywords: Housing Prices, Self-Reported Housing Values, Instrumental Variables, Sample Selection, Business Cycle, Interest Rates, Health and Retirement Study
    JEL: E21 C34
    Date: 2008–02
  14. By: Sandra Phlippen (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Bert van der Knaap (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Policy makers spend large amounts of public resources on the foundation of science parks and other forms of geographically clustered business activities, in order to stimulate regional innovation. Underlying the relation between clusters and innovation is the assumption that co-located firms engaged in innovative activities benefit from knowledge that diffuses locally. In order to access this knowledge, firms are often required to form more- or less formal relations with co-located firms. Empirical evidence shows however that besides some success cases like Silicon Valley and the Emilia- Romagna region where firms collaborate intensively, many regional clusters are mere co-locations of firms. To enhance our understanding of why some clusters become networks of strategic collaboration and others don’t, we study link formation within European biopharmaceutical clusters. More specifically we look at the effect of cluster characteristics such as number of start-up firms, established firms or academic institutions, or the nature of the collaborations on the probability of local link formation
    Keywords: regional clusters; networks; local & global linkages; pharmaceutical industry
    JEL: R11 R12 R58 D83 D85
    Date: 2007–12–20
  15. By: No, Angela
    Abstract: This paper examines the presence of knowledge spillovers that affect the adoption of advanced technologies in the Canadian manufacturing sector. It examines whether plants that adopt advanced technologies are more likely to do so when there are other nearby plants that do so within a model of technology adoption.
    Keywords: Information and communications technology, Manufacturing, Business performance and ownership, Economic accounts, Regional and urban profiles, Productivity accounts
    Date: 2008–02–05
  16. By: Yin-yen Tseng (VU University Amsterdam); Erik Verhoef (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper proposes an alternative, dynamic framework for estimating time-varying values of travel time savings and values of schedule delay, in which time-preferences are represented as the time-varying excess willingness to pay (EWPT) to being in the one location, over being elsewhere. It is shown how the conventional linear model, with time-independent values of travel time savings and schedule delay costs, is a special case of our model, and that it is implausible particularly in that it implicitly assumes that the willingness to pay for spending a minute at home instead of being in the vehicle does not vary by time of day, even not for very early departures. The framework is applied to SP data representing the respondents departure time choices for the morning commute. The results suggest that individuals time-related shadow prices indeed vary strongly over the morning peak, and values of travel time savings are consequently strongly time-dependent, following plausible and intuitive patterns.
    Keywords: Value of Travel Time Savings; Value of Schedule Delay; Value of Unreliability; Stated Choice
    JEL: R41 D12
    Date: 2007–08–24
  17. By: Liang, Che-Yuan (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper first formulates a model of how the politicians in a local government collectively lobby to raise intergovernmental grants to their local government. The model identifies a relationship between council size and grants received. I then study this relationship empirically using the distribution of intergovernmental grants to the Swedish local governments. I use a fuzzy regression-discontinuity design that exploits a council size law to isolate exogenous variation in council size and find a large negative council size effect. This pattern provides indirect evidence for the occurrence of lobbying. The direction of the effect could be explained by free-riding incentives in individual lobbying effort contribution caused by a collective action problem in grant-raising among local government politicians.
    Keywords: lobbying; rent-seeking; collective action problem; group size paradox; local governments; intergovernmental grants; regression-discontinuity
    JEL: D72 D73 D78 H71 H72 H73 H77
    Date: 2008–02–07
  18. By: Jaume Puig; Jaime Pinilla
    Abstract: This article investigates the main sources of heterogeneity in regional efficiency. We estimate a translog stochastic frontier production function in the analysis of Spanish regions in the period 1964-1996, to attempt to measure and explain changes in technical efficiency. Our results confirm that regional inefficiency is significantly and positively correlated with the ratio of public capital to private capital. The proportion of service industries in the private capital, the proportion of public capital devoted to transport infrastructures, the industrial specialization, and spatial spillovers from transport infrastructures in neighbouring regions significantly contributed to improve regional efficiency.
    Keywords: Regional efficiency, Regional spillovers, Human capital, Public capital
    JEL: C23 H54 R11 R53
    Date: 2008–02
  19. By: Bruce Sheerin
    Abstract: The government of New Zealand delegates property expenditure decisions to each individual school. Such a decentralised environment creates a challenge for school boards and principals to obtain advice on the complex issues around designing schools. To inform schools, the Ministry of Education provides numerous publications related to design and selected best practice samples via its website.
    Keywords: decentralisation, learning environment, educational buildings, school infrastructure
    Date: 2008–02
  20. By: Roberto Basile
    Abstract: The regional distribution of labor productivity in Western Europe is characterised by a Core-Periphery spatial pattern: high (low) productivity regions are in a proximate relationship with other high (low) productivity regions. Over the last twenty years, intra-distribution dynamics has generated long-run multiple equilibria with the formation of two clubs of convergence. The observed dynamics can be only marginally explained by nonlinear effects in the accumulation of physical capital. In contrast, the joint effect of spatial dependence and nonlinearities in growth behavior plays a key role in determining multiple equilibria and reinforcing polarization of labor productivity.
    Keywords: distribution dynamics, convergence, spatial dependence, Europe
    JEL: R11 R12 C14 C21
    Date: 2007–04–10
  21. By: Tengstam, Sven (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The clothing sector has been a driver of diversification and growth for countries that have graduated into middle income. Using a partial adjustment panel data model, this study tries to explain the international location of clothing production based on a combination of variables suggested by the Heckscher-Ohlin theory and by New Economic Geography theory. Our Blundell-Bond system estimator results show that closeness to intermediates such as low-cost labor and textile production has a positive effect on clothing production. Factor endowment and closeness to the world market have inversed U-shaped effects. This is expected, because above a certain level several other sectors benefit even more from closeness and factor endowments, driving resources away from the clothing industry.<p>
    Keywords: Clothing Industry; New Economic Geography; Comparative Advantages; Industrial Agglomeration.
    JEL: F12 F13 L13 L67 R12 R30
    Date: 2008–02–21
  22. By: Migiwa Tanaka (Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan (E-mail:
    Abstract: Throughout the 1990s, the supply of new condominiums in Tokyo significantly increased while prices persistently fell. This paper investigates whether the market power of condominium developers is a factor in explaining the outcome in this market and whether there is a relationship between production cost trend and the degree of market power that the developers were able to exercise. In order to respond to these questions, a dynamic durable goods oligopoly model of the condominium market-one incorporating time-variant costs and a secondary market-is constructed and structurally estimated using a nested GMM procedure.
    Keywords: Durable Goods, Dynamic Oligopoly, Housing Market
    JEL: L11 L13 R31
    Date: 2008–02
  23. By: Mark Ziegler; Daniel Kurz
    Abstract: Changes in the way education is delivered has contributed to the evolution of school architecture in Zurich, Switzerland. The City of Zurich has revised its guidelines for designing school buildings, both new and old. Adapting older buildings to today’s needs presents a particular challenge. The authors explain what makes up a good school building and provide a set of design recommendations.
    Keywords: school building design, learning environment, educational buildings, school infrastructure
    Date: 2008–02
  24. By: Teresa V. Heitor
    Abstract: In March 2007, the Portuguese government announced an ambitious plan to modernise secondary schools by improving the quality and usefulness of its teaching and learning facilities, while putting schools back into the centre of the community of which they are an integral part.
    Keywords: innovation, reforms, secondary schools, school building design, learning environment, educational buildings
    Date: 2008–02
  25. By: Dan Bogart (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: How does the development of one transport mode influence the development of another? This paper uses time-series data to test whether inter-model network externalities influenced the development of road, canal, and port infrastructure in England from 1760 to 1830. The main finding is that road development had a positive effect on canal development. The results suggest that the option value of investing in a canal in the future diminished when nearby road improvements were initiated because there was less uncertainty about future profits from canal tolls. They also suggest a reinterpretation of road transport in the Industrial Revolution and point to the general importance of inter-modal network externalities.
    Keywords: Inter-modal network externalities; British transport; Industrial Revolution
    JEL: R40 R50 N73
    Date: 2008–02
  26. By: Claude DUPUY (GREThA); Stéphanie LAVIGNE (LEREPS & Toulouse Business School)
    Abstract: The article investigates the geography of finance via an analysis of the investment behavior of large international equity investors. The main argument is based on the importance of financial markets and capital flows and on the central role played in them by institutional investors, the key actors of capitalism. This paper is original because it introduces geographic criteria, and thus institutional and cultural factors, for understanding the behaviour of investors. We present evidence on the diversity of models of capitalism while questioning the convergence of national economies and markets towards a pattern often termed “the Anglo-Saxon model”.
    Keywords: institutional investors, geography of finance, models of capitalism, financial markets
    JEL: G15 G23 R00 P10
    Date: 2008
  27. By: Erik T. Verhoef (VU University, Amsterdam); Herbert Mohring (University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: Mohring and Harwitz (1962) showed that, under certain conditions, an optimally designed and priced road would generate user toll revenues just sufficient to cover its capital costs. Several scholars subsequently explored the robustness of that finding. This paper briefly summarizes further research on the relationship between congestion-toll revenues and road costs. Despite its transparency, the self-financing theorem can lead to erroneous interpretations. The paper’s second part discusses three such possible fallacies. It uses a simple numerical model to investigate them. The model shows that the naïve interpretation of the Mohring-Harwitz rule may lead to substantial welfare losses. These losses are particularly prominent when the difference between capital and investment cost is confused and when balanced-budget constraints are imposed under second-best network conditions. In contrast, losses from imposing a balanced-budget constraint when economies or diseconomies of scale exist are surprisingly small.
    Keywords: Traffic congestion; Road pricing; Road capacity choice; Road financing
    JEL: R41 R48 D62
    Date: 2007–09–04
  28. By: Milo Bianchi; Paolo Buonanno; Paolo Pinotti
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the empirical relationship between immigration and crime across Italian provinces during the period 1990-2003. Drawing on police administrative data, we first document that the size of immigrant population is positively correlated with the incidence of most types of crime, as well as with the overall number of criminal offenses. However, using changes of immigrant population in other European countries to identify exogenous shifts of immigrant population in Italy, the causal effect seems limited to some categories of crime: murders, robberies and, to a lesser extent, thefts.
    Date: 2008
  29. By: William R. Kerr (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)
    Abstract: This study explores the importance of knowledge transfer for international technology diffusion by examining ethnic scientific and entrepreneurial communities in the US and their ties to their home countries. US ethnic research communities are quantified by applying an ethnic-name database to individual patent records. International patent citations con.rm knowledge diffuses through ethnic networks, and manufacturing output in foreign countries increases with an elasticity of 0.1-0.3 to stronger scientific integration with the US frontier. To address reverse-causality concerns, reduced-form specifications exploit exogenous changes in US immigration quotas. Consistent with a model of sector reallocation, output growth in less developed economies is facilitated by employment gains, while more advanced economies experience sharper increases in labor productivity. The ethnic transfer mechanism is especially strong in high-tech industries and among Chinese economies. The findings suggest channels for transferring codified and tacit knowledge partly shape the effective technology frontiers of developing and emerging economies.
    Keywords: Technology Transfer, Tacit Knowledge, Productivity, Patents, Innovation, Research and Development, Entrepreneurship, Immigration, Networks.
    JEL: F22 J44 J61 O31 O32 O33 O41 O57
    Date: 2005–11
  30. By: Roy, Francine
    Abstract: The overall growth of government-owned infrastructure has been very similar across most regions over the past 44 years. With the exception of the Atlantic Provinces, the range of average annual capital growth from one region to the next has been very narrow, falling between 1.8% and 2.2% since 1961, according to a new study released in September 2007 in the Canadian Economic Observer. Since 2000, governments have increased their infrastructure capital more than at any time since the 1960s and 1970s. However, the growth has not been strong enough to prevent more and more signs of wear in our infrastructure (the data are net of depreciation and in constant 1997 dollars). This is due to cuts in the 1990s when governments were grappling with significant budgetary deficits, as well as many of the assets built in the post-war infrastructure boom reaching the end of their life span. This study analyses, from 1961 to 2005, government investment in infrastructure by different levels of government and type of asset by region.
    Keywords: Environment, Government, Culture and leisure, Families, households and housing, Transportation,
    Date: 2008–02–07
  31. By: William R. Kerr (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)
    Abstract: The ethnic composition of US scientists and engineers is undergoing a significant transformation. This study applies an ethnic-name database to individual patent records granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to document these trends with greater detail than previously available. Most notably, the contributions of Chinese and Indian scientists to US technology formation increase dramatically in the 1990s, before noticeably leveling off after 2000 and declining in the case of India. Growth in ethnic innovation is concentrated in high-tech sectors; the institutional and geographic dimensions are further characterized.
    Keywords: Innovation, Research and Development, Patents, Scientists, Engineers, Inventors, Ethnicity, Immigration.
    JEL: F15 F22 J44 J61 O31
    Date: 2007–08
  32. By: Paul A. Grout; Sebastien Mitraille; Silvia Sonderegger
    Abstract: Much of the literature on diversity assumes that individuals have an exogenous "taste for discrimination". In contrast with this approach, we build a model where preferences over the nature of one's community are derived indirectly, and arise because the composition of the community determines the behavior of its members. This allows us to gain a far deeper understanding of the forces that underpin the desirability of diversity or homogeneity within communities. Our main contribution is to show that there are always counteracting forces (heterogeneity involves both costs and benefits), and that, although people prefer to live in communities where their type is majoritarian, they always benefit from having some heterogeneity in the composition of their community.
    Keywords: heterogeneity, social interactions, value of information, complementarities.
    JEL: C7 D82 Z1
    Date: 2008–02
  33. By: Jason Barr
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of skyscraper height. First a simple model is provided where potential developers desire not only profits but also status, as measured by their rank in the height hierarchy. The optimal height in equilibrium is a function of the cost and benefits of building as well as the height of surrounding buildings. Using data from New York City, I empirically estimate skyscraper height over the 20th century. The results show that the quest for status has increased building height by about 15 floors above the non-status profit maximizing height. In addition, I provide estimates of which buildings are "too tall" and by how many floors.
    Keywords: Skyscrapers, building height, status, New York City
    JEL: D24 D44 N62 R33
    Date: 2008–02

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