nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2008‒03‒01
sixteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Show Me the Money: Access to Finance for Small Borrowers in Canada By Vladimir Klyuev
  2. Real estate market and the relevance of local features in a hedonic prices quantil-spatial analysis – the case of Belo Horizonte – Brazil By FURTADO, BERNARDO
  3. Valuing Environmental Quality: A Space-Based Strategy By David E. Clark
  4. Mortgage Market Maturity and Homeownership Inequality among Young Households : A Five-Country Perspective By Alena Bicakova; Eva M. Sierminska
  5. Cities and Quality of Life-Should We Monitor Pakistani Cities? By Hasan, Lubna
  6. A Route Choice Experiment With an Efficient Toll By John Hartman
  7. Location Attributes and Start-Ups in Knowledge Intensive Business Services By Andersson, Martin; Hellerstedt, Karin
  8. Economics of discontinuous urban development (In French) By Guillaume POUYANNE (GREThA-GRES)
  9. Susceptibility to Smoking among Non-smoking East-Asian Youth: A Multilevel Analysis By G. Emmanuel Guindon; Kathy Georgiades; Michael H. Boyle
  10. When Worlds Collide: Different Comparative Static Predictions of Continuous and Discrete Agent Models with Land By Berliant, Marcus; Sabarwal, Tarun
  11. Hospital competition and quality with regulated prices By Kurt R. Brekke; Luigi Siciliani; Odd Rune Straume
  12. The spatial range of public goods revealed through referendum voting By Robert Deacon; Felix Schläpfer
  13. Chain-Store Competition: Customized vs. Uniform Pricing By Dobson, Paul W.; Waterson, Michael
  14. The Relevance of Heterogeneity in a Congested Route Network with Tolls: An Analysis of Two Experiments Using Actual Waiting Times and Monetized Time Costs By John Hartman
  15. Why Me ? Siting a Locally Unwanted Public Good By Jérémy Laurent-Lucchetti; Justin Leroux
  16. Economic And Social Determinants Of The Crime Rate In Turkey:Cross-Section Analysis By Cömertler, Necmiye; Kar, Muhsin

  1. By: Vladimir Klyuev
    Abstract: This paper examines access to business finance by Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to housing finance by Canadian households (particularly non-prime borrowers) against the background of a fairly concentrated and protected banking industry. It finds access broadly adequate for the former group. However, given the dominance of the large banks and their fairly low risk tolerance, financing of riskier projects is a challenge. Problems with venture capital, plausibly related to the prevalence of tax-advantaged labor-sponsored funds, exacerbate the situation for the most innovative SMEs. The paper also finds the market for housing finance to be highly advanced and sophisticated. However, non-prime mortgage financing is in its infancy in Canada, and further development of that sector (while avoiding the excesses that beset the U.S. market in the last few years) would be beneficial. More broadly, despite recent innovations, options available to Canadians for financing house purchases are still somewhat limited, with scarce availability of mortgage maturities beyond five years particularly surprising. Further advances in securitization could help progress in both of these areas.
    Keywords: Bank credit , Canada , Financial risk , Financial systems ,
    Date: 2008–01–31
    Abstract: The main motivation of this paper is to identify how relevant the localization of a specific estate is in its market value. Furthermore, it aims to understand better how economic aspects influence and are influenced by urban space. In order to do so, a myriad of concepts is drawn from a variety of fields of science: from geography to architecture, from urbanism to economics, as well as methodologies, which are borrowed from statistics, econometrics and geoprocessing. The proposal of the paper follows the hedonic prices function literature, but suggests that a synthesis of the perception of urban amenities can be expressed by the element of the neighbourhood (as proposed by Lynch, 1997). A number of models are presented, tested and commented. The one with the best fit is the spatial error-lag (Anselin, 1988) specified with a ranking of neighbourhood income. A quantil analysis adds considerably to the understanding of the model.
    Keywords: real estate market; neighbourhoods; spatial econometrics; quantil analysis; Belo Horizonte
    JEL: L85 R20 C21
    Date: 2007–07
  3. By: David E. Clark (Department of Economics, Marquette University; U.S. Department of Hoursing and Urban Development)
    Abstract: This paper develops and applies a space-based strategy for overcoming the general problem of getting at the demand for non-market goods. It focuses specifically on evaluating one form of environmental quality, distance from EPA designated environmental hazards, via the single-family housing market in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. A spatial two stage hedonic price analysis is used to: (1) estimate the marginal implicit price of distance from air release sites, hazardous waste generators, hazardous waste handlers, superfund sites, and toxic release sites; and (2) estimate a series of demand functions describing the relationship between the price of distance and the quantity consumed. The analysis, which represents a major step forward in the valuation of environmental quality, reveals that the information needed to identify second-stage demand functions is hidden right in plain site — hanging in the aether of the regional housing market.
    Keywords: Environmental Quality, Hedonic Price Analysis
    JEL: Q53 R21
    Date: 2007–02
  4. By: Alena Bicakova; Eva M. Sierminska
    Abstract: This paper uses the newly constructed Luxembourg Wealth Study data to document cross-country variation in homeownership rates and the homeownership-income inequality among young households in Finland, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US, and relate it to cross-country differences in mortgage market maturity. We find that aside from Italy, homeownership rates and inequality in the four countries correspond to their mortgage take up rates and its distribution across income, reflecting the different degree of development of their respective mortgage markets. In Italy, alternative ways of financing, such as family transfers, substitute the limited mortgage availability and explains the second highest homeownership rate in our sample, despite the lowest mortgage take up. The mortgage market in the UK is the most open and the most equal, which leads to the highest and most equally distributed homeownership in this country as well. The mortgage market in Germany is on the other side of the spectrum with very low mortgage take-up rates and strong dependence of homeownership and mortgage take up on household income. Finland and the US are in-between. Counterfactual predictions suggest that although household characteristics play some role in explaining the variation in home ownership rates across the five countries, it is mostly the country specific effects of these characteristics determined by the institutional environment as well as the functioning of the housing and mortgage markets that drive the main result.
    Keywords: Homeownership, credit constraints, mortgage market
    JEL: D14 D31 G21 R21
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Hasan, Lubna
    Abstract: Around the world, national governments as well as international organization measure and monitor performance of large cities and the Quality of Life (QoL) of urban residents, to gain insights into the well-being of the citizens and the state of various amenities at city level and make informed policy decisions. There is a need to develop a system of measuring and monitoring QoL and city performance in the large urban areas of Pakistan. The paper suggests a framework for measuring quality of life in Pakistani cities
    Keywords: Quality of Life; Pakistan; Cities
    JEL: R10 O18
    Date: 2007
  6. By: John Hartman (University of California Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: Traffic congestion is a substantial time cost for many urban commuters. This paper studies the response of subjects in an experimental setting in which subjects choose between a short direct route that becomes increasingly congested as more people travel on it and a more indirect route that does not become congested. More specifically, I investigate how subjects respond to the use of a toll that theory predicts will minimize travel time costs. The experimental results reported in this paper show that this toll comes very close to achieving efficient use of the travel network.
    Keywords: congestion, Pigou-Knight-Downs paradox, experiment, toll,
    Date: 2007–05–01
  7. By: Andersson, Martin (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Hellerstedt, Karin (JIBS and Centre for Innovation Systems, Entrepreneurship and Growth (CISEG))
    Abstract: We study start-ups in Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) across regions in Sweden by individuals with a formally recognized capacity to produce and develop advanced business services. The empirical analysis is based on a theoretical framework which emphasizes both supply- and demand-side factors. Supply-side variables pertain to accessibility to knowledge and information upon which a new firm can be established. Demand-side variables refer to market-size and pertain to the ability to recover fixed start-up costs and economize on costs associated with face-to-face interaction. 78 percent of the KIBS founders have prior work experience from business services, suggesting that KIBS start-ups are more frequent in regions where the KIBS sector is already large. Controlling for the stock of potential entrepreneurs and the stock KIBS firms, we show that both supply- and demand-side factors influence KIBS start-up activity. Results are consistent with that KIBS start-ups are stimulated by the simultaneous presence of (i) knowledge resources conducive for the generation and diffusion of knowledge and ideas upon which new firms can be established and (ii) a large market. The findings suggest that the geography of KIBS is shaped in cumulative and self-reinforcing processes, and can explain the tendency of KIBS firms to agglomerate in large city-regions.
    Keywords: knowledge intensive business services; knowledge spillovers; start-ups; entrepreneurship; location
    JEL: L26 L84 R12
    Date: 2008–02–27
  8. By: Guillaume POUYANNE (GREThA-GRES)
    Abstract: Although it is frequent, discontinuous (leapfrog) development has rarely been addressed by the literature, because traditional models are unable to conceive diverse urban forms. This article is a survey of theoretical explanations of discontinuous development. It follows two parts. First, taking in account uncertainty on future returns drives to include an option value in land prices. Landlords speculate on the future value of the land and may leave vacant their plot in order to take advantage of high future returns. Second, discontinuous development is the product of a preference for open space. Natural amenities are included in land prices and provoke a dispersion of developed lots. These mechanisms are reinforced by a vote “against growth” by the inhabitants, which drives to a severe control of new developments.
    Keywords: discontinuous development, leapfrog development, speculation, amenities, urban sprawl, urban form
    JEL: R14 R21 R31
    Date: 2008
  9. By: G. Emmanuel Guindon (Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University); Kathy Georgiades; Michael H. Boyle (Offord Centre for Child Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University)
    Abstract: Objective - Among non-smoking youth in east-Asia, to estimate the extent to which susceptibility to smoking is associated with between-context differences (schools and classes) and to identify factors at school, class and individual levels that influence individual susceptibility to smoking. Methods - Cross-sectional data from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey conducted in Cambodia (2002), Laos (2003) and Vietnam (2003) are used to conduct multilevel analyses that account for the nesting of students in classes and classes in schools. The outcome variable is smoking susceptibility, defined as the absence of a firm decision not to smoke and measured using a validated algorithm. Explanatory variables include school and class level influences (current tobacco use prevalence in school, exposure to anti-smoking media messages, exposure to tobacco billboard advertising and school prevention) and individual level influences (parent and friends smoking behaviour, knowledge of the harmful effects of and exposure to secondhand smoke at home, age, sex and pocket income). Results - Multilevel analyses indicate that about 10 percent of the variation in smoking susceptibility is associated with school and class differences. Teens who have parents or friends who smoke, who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home and those who have access to pocket income are found to be more susceptible while better knowledge of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke appears to diminish susceptibility to smoking. For girls only, billboard tobacco advertising increases the risk for susceptibility and school prevention decreases risk while for boys only, attendance to schools with higher prevalence of tobacco use increases risk for susceptibility and anti-smoking media messages decreases risk. Conclusions - This study highlights a number of modifiable factors associated with smoking susceptibility and identifies interactions between teen sex and several factors associated with the susceptibility to smoking. This finding provides support to the call to move beyond genderblind tobacco control policies.
    Keywords: smoking susceptibility, multilevel logistic models, developing countries, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam
    Date: 2007
  10. By: Berliant, Marcus; Sabarwal, Tarun
    Abstract: This paper presents a difference in the comparative statics of general equilibrium models with land when there are finitely many agents, and when there is a continuum of agents. Restricting attention to quasi-linear and Cobb-Douglas utility, it is shown that with finitely many agents, an increase in the (marginal) commuting cost increases land rent per unit (that is, land rent averaged over the consumer's equilibrium parcel) paid by the consumer located at each fixed distance from the central business district. In contrast, with a continuum of agents, average land rent goes up for consumers at each fixed distance close to the central business district, is constant at some intermediate distance, and decreases for locations farther away. Therefore, there is a qualitative difference between the two types of models, and this difference is potentially testable.
    Keywords: Large Urban Economies; Comparative Statics; Continuous and Discrete Agent Models
    JEL: R13 D51 R14
    Date: 2008–02–22
  11. By: Kurt R. Brekke (Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, and Health Economics Bergen); Luigi Siciliani (Department of Economics and Related Studies, and Centre for Health Economics, University of York); Odd Rune Straume (Universidade do Minho - NIPE)
    Abstract: We analyse the effect of competition on quality in hospital market with regulated prices, considering both the effect of free patient choice (monopoly versus competition) and increased competition through lower transportation costs (increased substitutability). With partially altruistic providers and a convex cost function that is non-separable in activity and quality, we show - in both cases - that the effect is generally ambiguous. In contrast to the received theoretical literature, this is consistent with, and potentially explains, the mixed empirical evidence.
    Keywords: Hospital, Competition, Quality.
    JEL: H42 I11 I18 L13
    Date: 2008
  12. By: Robert Deacon (University of California, Santa Barbara); Felix Schläpfer (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: Billions of dollars are now spent annually in the United States and Europe for spatially delineated environmental services such as agricultural landscape management and river restoration programs, yet little is known about the spatial distribution of the benefits from these policies. This paper develops a framework for recovering information on this question from the spatial pattern of votes cast for referenda on the provision of spatially delineated public goods. We specify a model linking voter support for environmental improvement to the distance at which such improvements are expected to occur. The empirical application is to a river restoration referendum in the Swiss canton of Bern. Our results indicate that the benefits from river restoration have a strong local component, sufficiently strong that voter approval would not occur if only canton-wide benefits were at stake. Surprisingly, support of river restoration is no greater, and in some specifications is actually lower, in locations where rivers are a prominent feature in the environment.
    Keywords: voting, local public goods, valuation,
    Date: 2007–08–01
  13. By: Dobson, Paul W. (Loughborough University Business School); Waterson, Michael (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Retail chains essentially practice one of two broad strategies in setting prices across their stores. The more straightforward is to set a chain- or country- wide price. Alternatively, managers of retail chains may customize prices to the store level according to local demand and competitive conditions. For example, a chain may price lower in a location with lower demand and/or more competition. However, despite having the ability to customize prices to local market conditions, some choose instead to commit to uniform pricing with a “one price policy” across their entire store network. As an illustration, we focus on UK supermarket chains. Is there an advantage to be gained from deliberately choosing not to price discriminate across locations? We show generally and illustrate through means of a specific model that there exists a strategic incentive to soften competition in competitive markets by committing not to customize prices at the store level and instead adopt uniform pricing across the store network, and to raise overall profits thereby. Furthermore, we characterize quite precisely the circumstances under which uniform pricing is, and is not, profitable and illustrate that under a range of circumstances uniform pricing may be the preferable strategy.
    Keywords: Chain-store retailers ; price discrimination ; uniform pricing ; local pricing ; commitment
    Date: 2008
  14. By: John Hartman (University of California Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: Heterogeneity is important in some settings. One such instance involves congested networks with tolls, since people trade time for money at different rates. This paper reports results from two experiments that examine these issues. In both experiments, subjects choose between traveling on an indirect route that does not congest and a direct toll route that congests as more subjects travel on it. In the first experiment, values of time are assigned to subjects. Subjects generally sort themselves with high value-of-time subjects choosing the toll route. I also find that as the cost of deviating from the equilibrium prediction increases, subjects are more likely to make choices consistent with equilibrium. In other words, coordination problems diminish as value-of-time heterogeneity increases. The second experiment simulates a boring commute in which subjects must wait after the experimental rounds are finished. Subjects can give up money for reduced waiting time in this experiment by traveling on the toll route. In this experiment, some subjects travel the toll route frequently, giving up some of their payout in order to reduce their waiting time after the experiment. These choices are likely based on individuals' values of time, since aggregate behavior differs by session. There is also evidence that subjects with time constraints travel the toll route more often than other subjects.
    Keywords: congestion, Pigou-Knight-Downs paradox, experiment, toll, value of time, externalities, heterogeneity,
    Date: 2007–11–01
  15. By: Jérémy Laurent-Lucchetti; Justin Leroux (IEA, HEC Montréal)
    Abstract: The siting of public facilities, such as prisons, airports or incinerators for hazardous wastes faces social rejection by local population. These public goods have a private bad aspect which creates a siting problem: all communities benefit from its existence, but only one (the host) bears its cost. We tackle this inevitable asymmetry from a responsibility and equity viewpoint: the host should not be perceived as a "victim". To realize this objective, we design a method to share the total cost (the disutility of the host plus the construction cost) in a way that bypasses the natural asymmetry of the problem. We also introduce a basic incentives property which has strangely been overlooked in the existing literature: voluntary participation.
    Date: 2007–12
  16. By: Cömertler, Necmiye; Kar, Muhsin
    Abstract: There is an important support to the view in public that crime rate has been increasing in the recent years in Turkey. In addition, it is argued that social and economic factors play an important role in increasing the crime in the country. The aim of this article is to determine to what extent the economic and social factors are important in this process for 81 provinces. According to the cross section analysis based on 2000 data in the province level, it is observed that income, unemployment, migration, education, demographic factors such as population density and birth rate and urbanization ratio are the main and important determinants of crime rate.
    Keywords: Crime rate; per capita income; unemployment; migration; urbanization; schooling rate; cross-section analysis; Turkey
    JEL: A13 H75 Z13 C21
    Date: 2007

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