nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2008‒03‒15
27 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Sexual orientation and neighborhood quality: Do same-sex couples make better communities? By Fu, Shihe
  2. Empowerment Zones, Neighborhood Change and Owner Occupied Housing By Krupka, Douglas J.; Noonan, Douglas S.
  3. Search, Wage Posting, and Urban Spatial Structure By Zenou, Yves
  4. Spatial Development and Energy Consumption By Safirova, Elena A.; Houde, Sébastien; Harrington, Winston
  5. Who Leaves the City? The Influence of Ethnic Segregation and Family Ties By Zorlu, Aslan
  6. Do higher rents discourage fertility? evidence from U.S. cities, 1940-2000 By Simon, Curtis; Tamura, Robert
  8. Empirical Assessment of the Existence of Taxable Agglomeration Rents By Souleymane COULIBALY
  9. The Stability of Mixed Income Neighborhoods in America By Krupka, Douglas J.
  10. Who has really paid for the Reconstruction of East Germany? Expected and Realized Returns on Real Estate Investments in East and West Germany in the 1990s By Tina Bensemann; Dirk Kiesewetter
  11. Ethnic Networks and Employment Outcomes By Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
  12. What Is a Peer? The Role of Network Definitions in Estimation of Endogenous Peer Effects By Halliday, Timothy; Kwak, Sally
  13. Marginal Social Cost Pricing on a Transportation Network: Comparison of Second-Best Policies By Safirova, Elena A.; Houde, Sébastien; Harrington, Winston
  14. Information and communication technologies and geographic concentration of manufacturing industries: Evidence from China By Hong, Junjie; Fu, Shihe
  15. Explaining the size distribution of cities: x-treme economies By Berliant, Marcus; Watanabe, Hiroki
  16. Childhood Educational Disruption and Later Life Outcomes: Evidence from Prince Edward County By Paul Heaton
  17. Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Million Dollar Plants By Michael Greenstone; Richard Hornbeck; Enrico Moretti
  18. The Demand for Local Public Services in Sweden By Witterblad, Mikael
  19. Regional and technological effects of cooperation behavior By Uwe Cantner; Andreas Meder
  20. The End of Urban Involution and the Cultural Construction of Urbanism in Indonesia By Evers, Hans-Dieter
  21. Performance Spillovers and Social Network in the Workplace: Evidence from Rural and Urban Weavers in a Chinese Textile Firm By Kato, Takao; Shu, Pian
  22. Social Learning and Peer Effects in Consumption: Evidence from Movie Sales By Enrico Moretti
  23. Education and Labor Market Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: Evidence Using the Timing of Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Fixed Effects By Jason M. Fletcher; Barbara L. Wolfe
  24. Productivity differences: the importance of intra-state black-white schooling differences across the United States, 1840-2000 By Turner, Chad; Tamura, Robert; Mulholland, Sean
  25. Washington START Transportation Model By Houde, Sébastien; Safirova, Elena A.; Harrington, Winston
  26. Demystifying Subprime Crisis By Saraogi, Ravi
  27. Vouchers, tests, loans, privatization: Will they help (fight) higher education corruption in Russia? By Osipian, Ararat

  1. By: Fu, Shihe
    Abstract: This study provides an initial empirical analysis on identifying the general relationship between housing values and the spatial distribution of same-sex couples across the U.S. The paper uses the 1990 and 2000 census 5% Public Use Microdata Samples and introduces the gay index into the social-amenity-based hedonic housing models. The results show significant correlation between the spatial concentration of same-sex couples and housing values; furthermore, housing values are higher in a city where the proportion of same-sex couples was higher a decade ago, suggesting that same-sex couples make better communities.
    Keywords: Same-sex couples; Hedonic housing model; Gentrification; Gay index
    JEL: J15 R31 R14
    Date: 2008–03–11
  2. By: Krupka, Douglas J. (IZA); Noonan, Douglas S. (Georgia Tech)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of a generous, spatially-targeted economic development policy (the federal Empowerment Zone program) on local neighborhood characteristics and on the neighborhood quality of life, taking into account the interactions amongst the policy, changes in neighborhood demographics and neighborhood housing stock. Urban economic theory posits that housing prices in a small area should increase as quality of life increases, because people will be more willing to pay to live in the area, but these changes in prices and quality of life will also affect the demographics of the population through sorting and the housing stock through reinvestment. Using census block-group-level data, we examine how housing prices respond to the Empowerment Zone policy intervention. Changes in the other dimensions of neighborhood quality (demographics and housing stock characteristics) will also help determine the total, or full effect on housing values of the policy intervention. This paper estimates these direct and indirect effects in a simultaneous equations setting, compares indirect and full effects, and examines the robustness of the effects to alternate estimation strategies. We find strong evidence for substantively large and highly significant direct price effects, while results suggest that the indirect effects are substantively small or even negative.
    Keywords: economic development, empowerment zones, porperty values, household mobility, sorting
    JEL: R0 R21 R31 R38 R58
    Date: 2008–01
  3. By: Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We develop an urban-search model in which firms post wages. When all workers are identical, the Diamond paradox holds, i.e. there is a unique wage in equilibrium even in the presence of search and spatial frictions. This wage is affected by spatial and labor costs. When workers differ according to the value imputed to leisure, we show that, under some conditions, two wages emerge in equilibrium. The commuting cost affects the land market but also the labor market through wages. Workers’ productivity also affects housing prices and this impact can be positive or negative depending on the location in the city. One important aspect of our model is that, even with positive search costs, wage dispersion prevails in equilibrium, a feature not possible in the non-spatial model.
    Keywords: diamond paradox, urban land-use, spatial compensation, search frictions, wage dispersion
    JEL: D83 J64 R14
    Date: 2008–02
  4. By: Safirova, Elena A. (Resources for the Future); Houde, Sébastien; Harrington, Winston
    Abstract: Previous literature has suggested that the urban form (i.e., city size, density, and center distribution pattern) influences urban energy consumption. It has been argued that more dense development is likely to result in more energy-efficient and sustainable cities. However, very little is known about the precise magnitude of possible energy savings from more compact urban form. Moreover, practically no research has been done to investigate which urban policies are likely to be effective in making cities more energy efficient and to quantify those potential energy savings. In this paper we discuss the potential effectiveness of urban policies at improving energy efficiency. First, we analyze several abstract scenarios suggested by the literature to see whether making a previously dispersed city more compact would result in improved energy efficiency. Then we model realistic transportation and land-use policies and examine whether those policies are likely to reduce energy consumption in the urban context.
    Keywords: energy consumption, urban form, general equilibrium, land use, transportation, government policy
    JEL: D58 H23 Q48 R13 R14 R40 R5
    Date: 2007–12–19
  5. By: Zorlu, Aslan (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In the last three decades, the population of Amsterdam has been ‘coloured’ due to immigration flows from abroad and a low outflow rate among these immigrants and their descendants. The question is to what extent differences in spatial mobility behaviour of migrants and natives are generated by neighbourhood characteristics – among which the level of ethnic segregation – and family ties? This article examines spatial mobility process of Amsterdam population using administrative individual data covering the entire population of the city. The analysis shows that Caribbean (Surinamese and Antillean) migrants have a higher probability of moving to suburbs while Moroccans and Turks tend to rearrange themselves within the city. The estimates reveal that neighbourhood ‘quality’ has only a modest impact on the probability of moving while family ties significantly hamper the out-mobility of all individuals. The impact of family ties is the largest for Turkish and Moroccan migrants.
    Keywords: migrants, residential mobility, family ties
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2008–02
  6. By: Simon, Curtis; Tamura, Robert
    Abstract: This paper documents the existence of a negative cross-sectional correlation between the price of living space and fertility using U.S. Census data over the period 1940-2000. This correlation is not spurious, nor does it reflect the tendency of larger families to locate within less-expensive areas of a given metropolitan area. We examine the extent to which the results reflect the sorting of married couples across metropolitan areas on desired fertility. The relationship between the unit price of living space and fertility in fact tends to be more negative for households that have moved recently. However, the probability of migration between metropolitan areas is smaller for larger families, even those originating in more expensive cities. Moreover, Durbin-Wu-Hausman tests reveal only limited evidence of endogeneity. The weaker effects of the price of living space for less mobile couples seems to be at least in part a result of their choosing to live in less-expensive portions within a given metropolitan area.
    Keywords: price of space; fertility; metropolitan areas
    JEL: J13 R21
    Date: 2008–02–15
  7. By: Ed Balsdon (Department of Economics, San Diego State University)
    Abstract: Billions of dollars have been approved through referenda over the last decade for the acquisition and conservation of private land by municipal governments along the densely populated corridor of the Northeast. This paper first applies the theory of property price capitalization to a public good, “open space”, that can both provide amenities and constrain the supply of new housing. A set of predictions that distinguish homeowner-voters’ incentives to exercise a form of monopoly power over the housing market from demand for the environmental good are based on: (1) the appeal of open space measures to renters, (2) the impact on demand from conservation in neighboring communities, and (3) the relationship between demand for open space and the quality of another locally provided good, public schools. The results indicate a significant degree of demand for open space is being motivated by a simple desire to constrain housing supply and bid up property values, and therefore offer a cautionary note that environmental policy can be used to pursue other goals.
    Date: 2007–03
  8. By: Souleymane COULIBALY
    Abstract: The New Economic Geography literature claims that firms are ready to pay more tax in "big markets" because of agglomeration rents. Tax authorities can thus set higher tax rates in denser economic area, hence an opposite mechanism to the "race to the bottom" process described by the classical tax competition theory. The aim of this paper is to empirically assess the existence of such agglomeration rents. We use Swiss data on municipalities corporate income tax rates and firms location to test the tax gap between these municipalities and the most peripheral one using a theory-based relation. Our estimations indicate that municipalities with higher agglomeration rents (measured as the number of firms plus the "potential of neighboring firms") are setting higher corporate income tax rates, hence confirming the existence of taxable agglomeration rents.
    Keywords: agglomeration rents; tax competition; potential of neighboring firms
    JEL: C4 H2 R12
    Date: 2008–01
  9. By: Krupka, Douglas J. (IZA)
    Abstract: Whether people of differing types can live happily together is one of the most important social and political questions concerning urban areas. From a variety of theoretical perspectives, such mixing seems extremely unlikely. While the theoretical result seems well supported in the context of race, the evidence for income mixing is much less stark. Compared to the strict segregation predicted by the models (and embodied in the context of race), Americans live in economically diverse neighborhoods. While this has lead to some further theoretical experiments, the stability of this mixing has never been addressed as an empirical matter. It would be naïve to look at cross-sectional snapshots of income mixing as representing stable situations, since neighborhood change is a prevalent feature of American urban economies. This paper sketches out the empirical implications of slow transition towards the predicted equilibrium, and tests those implications. It is the first paper to directly evaluate the persistence and stability of mixed-income communities. The results are supportive of the three models of income segregation: income mixing appears to be unstable, although the adjustment process is slow. This work is of especial importance due to the focus mixed-income communities receive in the urban planning and policy.
    Keywords: mixed-income, urban policy, neighborhood dynamics, neighborhood change, sorting, segregation
    JEL: R14 R2 R11 R31 N9 O2
    Date: 2008–02
  10. By: Tina Bensemann (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg); Dirk Kiesewetter (Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg)
    Abstract: This paper explores cultural differences in risky choices between Australian and German students. The purpose of this paper is to challenge the wide-spread view that investment in residential property in East Germany after unification has turned out to be a financial disaster in most cases by calculating (1) the after-tax return an investor in real property might have expected at the beginning of the 1990s and (2) the after-tax return that has been realized ten years after. We compare investments by a high-income investor resident in Germany in an average individually-owned flat in three major cities in East Germany and two cities in West Germany. The result of our study is that tax subsidies have protected investors from loosing money in a real estate investment. Therefore, it was indeed the taxpayers not the investors who have borne the cost of reconstructing East Germany. But taxpayers have spent a lot more on subsidising the much bigger West German housing market where property prices and tax subsidies per average investment were much higher.
    Keywords: real-estate investment, after-tax return on investment, tax subsidies, Assisted Area Law (Fördergebietsgesetz), empirical study, income tax reduction, loss offset, special depreciation, return on equity capital (ROE), property prices
    Date: 2008–03
  11. By: Patacchini, Eleonora (University of Rome La Sapienza); Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We analyse the effect of strong and weak ties on the individual probability of finding a job. Using the dynamic model of Calvó-Armengol and Jackson (2004), two results are put forward: (i) the individual probability of finding a job is increasing in the number of strong and weak ties; (ii) the longer the length of ties, the lower is this effect. We approximate the social space by the geographical space. Ethnicity is the chosen dimension along which agents’ social contacts develop and, as a result, we use ethnic population density to capture social interactions within the given ethnic group. Using a panel of local authority-level data in England between 1993 and 2003, we find that (i) the higher the percentage of a given ethnic group living nearby, the higher the employment rate of this ethnic group; (ii) this effect decays very rapidly with distance, losing significance beyond approximately 90 minutes travel time.
    Keywords: ethnic minorities, social interactions, population density, weak and strong ties
    JEL: A14 C33 J15 R23
    Date: 2008–02
  12. By: Halliday, Timothy (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Kwak, Sally (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: We employ a standard identification strategy from the peer effects literature to investigate the importance of network definitions in estimation of endogenous peer effects. We use detailed information on friends in the Adolescent Longitudinal Health Survey (Add Health) to construct two network definitions that are less ad hoc than the school-grade cohorts commonly used in the educational peer effects literature. We demonstrate that accurate definitions of the peer network seriously impact estimation of peer effects. In particular, we show that peer effects estimates on educational achievement, smoking, sexual behavior, and drinking are substantially larger with our more detailed measures than with the school-grade cohorts. These results highlight the need to further understand how friendships form in order to fully understand implications for policy that alters the peer group mix at the classroom or cohort level.
    Keywords: peer effects, education, adolescent health
    JEL: I12 I20
    Date: 2008–02
  13. By: Safirova, Elena A. (Resources for the Future); Houde, Sébastien; Harrington, Winston
    Abstract: In this paper we evaluate and compare long-run economic effects of six road-pricing schemes aimed at internalizing social costs of transportation. In order to conduct this analysis, we employ a spatially disaggregated general equilibrium model of a regional economy that incorporates decisions of residents, firms, and developers, integrated with a spatially-disaggregated strategic transportation planning model that features mode, time period, and route choice. The model is calibrated to the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. We compare two social cost functions - one restricted to congestion alone and another that accounts for other external effects of transportation. We find that when the ultimate policy goal is a reduction in the complete set of motor vehicle externalities, cordon-like policies and variable-toll policies lose some attractiveness compared to policies based primarily on mileage. We also find that full social cost pricing requires very high toll levels and therefore is bound to be controversial.
    Keywords: traffic congestion, social cost pricing, land use, welfare analysis, road pricing, general equilibrium, simulation, Washington DC
    JEL: Q53 Q54 R13 R41 R48
    Date: 2008–01–09
  14. By: Hong, Junjie; Fu, Shihe
    Abstract: Using the 2004 China economic census database, this paper examines the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on the geographic concentration of manufacturing industries, controlling for other determinants of industrial agglomeration. Higher geographic concentration is found consistently in industries where ICT are more widely adopted, and the association is stronger at higher geographic levels. Furthermore, young firms that have adopted ICT, although they are more footloose, contribute to industrial agglomeration. High-tech industries with advanced ICT also tend to agglomerate. Contrary to the prevalent argument that ICT lead to more dispersion, our study suggests that ICT promote industrial agglomeration.
    Keywords: Information and communication technologies; Geographic concentration; Agglomeration
    JEL: R32 R12
    Date: 2008–03–08
  15. By: Berliant, Marcus; Watanabe, Hiroki
    Abstract: The methodology used by theories to explain the size distribution of cities takes an empirical fact and works backward to first obtain a reduced form of a model, then pushes this reduced form back to assumptions on primitives. The induced assumptions on consumer behavior, particularly about their inability to insure against the city-level productivity shocks in the model, are untenable. With either self insurance or insurance markets, and either an arbitrarily small cost of moving or the assumption that consumers do not perfectly observe the shocks to firms' technologies, the agents will never move. Even without these frictions, our analysis yields another equilibrium with insurance where consumers never move. Thus, insurance is a substitute for movement. Even aggregate shocks are insufficent to generate consumer movement, since consumers can borrow and save. We propose an alternative class of models, involving extreme risk against which consumers will not insure. Instead, they will move.
    Keywords: Zipf's Law; Gibrat's Law; Size Distribution of Cities; Extreme Value Theory
    JEL: R12
    Date: 2008–03–09
  16. By: Paul Heaton
    Abstract: Beginning in 1959 the public schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia were closed for five years in opposition to court-ordered integration. The author combines data from numerous administrative sources to examine the effects of the school closings on the educational attainment and economic outcomes of affected Black children. Although exposed students obtained an average of one fewer year of schooling than peers in surrounding counties, they do not exhibit substantially worse material, health, and incarceration outcomes. These findings may result from 1) the provision of substitute educational opportunities for many students and 2) flat returns at levels of educational attainment typical for southern Virginia Blacks during this period.
    Keywords: education, discrimination, Virginia
    JEL: J15 I20
    Date: 2008–01
  17. By: Michael Greenstone; Richard Hornbeck; Enrico Moretti
    Abstract: We quantify agglomeration spillovers by estimating the impact of the opening of a large new manufacturing plant on the total factor productivity (TFP) of incumbent plants in the same county. Articles in the corporate real estate journal Site Selection reveal the county where the "Million Dollar Plant" ultimately chose to locate (the "winning county"), as well as the one or two runner-up counties (the "losing counties"). The incumbent plants in the losing counties are used as a counterfactual for the TFP of incumbent plants in winning counties in the absence of the plant opening. Incumbent plants in winning and losing counties have economically and statistically similar trends in TFP in the 7 years before the opening, which supports the validity of the identifying assumption. After the new plant opening, incumbent plants in winning counties experience a sharp relative increase in TFP. Five years after the opening, TFP of incumbent plants in winning counties is 12% higher than TFP of incumbent plants in losing counties. Consistent with some theories of agglomeration, this effect is larger for incumbent plants that share similar labor and technology pools with the new plant. We also find evidence of a relative increase in skill-adjusted labor costs in winning counties, indicating that the ultimate effect on profits is smaller than the direct increase in productivity.
    JEL: J0 R0
    Date: 2008–03
  18. By: Witterblad, Mikael (Department of Economics, Umeå University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the composition of municipal expenditures in Sweden by estimating a demand system for local public services, in which tax revenue collection is treated as endogenous. The estimation is based on the QAIDS specification. The empirical application uses panel data for the period 1998-2005 and for six local public services. The results show that the point estimates of all income elasticities except one are positive, and that none of them significantly exceeds one. Furthermore, the point estimates of the own-price elasticities are negative and less than one in absolute value for all services.
    Keywords: Demand system; local public finance; local government spending
    JEL: D12 H71 H72
    Date: 2008–03–10
  19. By: Uwe Cantner (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Department of Economics); Andreas Meder (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the determinants of cooperative innovation and put our main focus on the regional or spatial and on the technological or sectoral dimension. We suggest a method to disentangle these two factors and to extract differential regional effects. The latter can be used to identify and evaluate the strength of regional innovation systems. Applying this method to German patent data we find evidence that regional differences in the degree of cooperative innovation are not only due to the technological/sectoral composition of the region but also due to a specific regional effect.
    Keywords: Cooperative innovation, regional innovation system, technological proximity, spatial proximity
    JEL: O31 P25 Q55
    Date: 2008–02–25
  20. By: Evers, Hans-Dieter
    Abstract: Urban involution has ended and a new urbanism has spread in Indonesia. The impact on the urban economy is investigated.
    Keywords: urabs economy; involution; Indonesia
    JEL: O18 N9
    Date: 2007
  21. By: Kato, Takao (Colgate University); Shu, Pian (MIT)
    Abstract: We provide some of the first rigorous evidence on performance spillovers and social network in the workplace. The data we use are rather extraordinary – weekly data for rejection rates (proportion of defective output) for all weavers in a firm during a 12 months (April 2003-March 2004) period, more than 10,000 observations. Our fixed effect estimates first point to significant spillovers of performance from high-ability weavers to low-ability weavers. On the other hand, we find no evidence for performance spillovers from low-ability to high-ability weavers. The findings are consistent with the knowledge sharing hypothesis that low-ability workers learn from high-ability workers but not vice versa. Second, by exploiting the well-documented fact that an exogenously-formed sharp divide between urban workers and rural migrant workers exists in firms in Chinese cities, we find that performance spillovers/knowledge sharing take place only within the confines of social network. Specifically rural low-ability weavers are found to improve their performance as their high-ability teammates (who are also rural migrants) improve their performance while they do not benefit from performance improvement of their high-ability teammates who are urban residents. Such heterogeneous performance interdependence of workers within the same team suggests that our evidence for performance spillovers is less likely to be a result of team specific demand shocks that generate spurious performance interdependence of all team members.
    Keywords: knowledge sharing, performance spillovers, social network
    JEL: M5 J24 L2
    Date: 2008–02
  22. By: Enrico Moretti
    Abstract: Using box-office data for all movies released between 1982 and 2000, I test the implications of a simple model of social learning in which the consumption decisions of individuals depend on information they receive from their peers. The model predicts different box office sales dynamics depending on whether opening weekend demand is higher or lower than expected. I use a unique feature of the movie industry to identify ex-ante demand expectations: the number of screens dedicated to a movie in its opening weekend reflects the sales expectations held by profit-maximizing theater owners. Several pieces of evidence are consistent with social learning. First, sales of movies with positive surprise and negative surprise in opening weekend demand diverge over time. If a movie has better than expected appeal and therefore experiences larger than expected sales in week 1, consumers in week 2 update upward their expectations of quality, further increasing week 2 sales. Second, this divergence is small for movies for which consumers have strong priors and large for movies for which consumers have weak priors. Third, the effect of a surprise is stronger for audiences with large social networks. Finally, consumers do not respond to surprises in first week sales that are orthogonal to movie quality, like weather shocks. Overall, social learning appears to be an important determinant of sales in the movie industry, accounting for 38% of sales for the typical movie with positive surprise. This implies the existence of a large "social multiplier'' such that the elasticity of aggregate demand to movie quality is larger than the elasticity of individual demand to movie quality.
    JEL: J0 L15
    Date: 2008–03
  23. By: Jason M. Fletcher; Barbara L. Wolfe
    Abstract: The question of whether giving birth as a teenager has negative economic consequences for the mother remains controversial despite substantial research. In this paper, we build upon existing literature, especially the literature that uses the experience of teenagers who had a miscarriage as the appropriate comparison group. We show that miscarriages are not random events, but rather are likely correlated with (unobserved) community-level factors, casting some doubt on previous findings. Including community-level fixed effects in our specifications lead to important changes in our estimates. By making use of information on the timing of miscarriages as well as birth control choices preceding the teenage pregnancies we construct more relevant control groups for teenage mothers. We find evidence that teenage childbearing likely reduces the probability of receiving a high school diploma by 5 to 10 percentage points, reduces annual income as a young adult by $1,000 to $2,400, and may increase the probability of receiving cash assistance and decrease years of schooling.
    JEL: J13 J24
    Date: 2008–03
  24. By: Turner, Chad; Tamura, Robert; Mulholland, Sean
    Abstract: Using newly created data containing real output per worker, real physical capital per worker, and human capital per worker for US states from 1840 to 2000, Turner et. al (2007) analyze the growth rates of aggregate inputs and total factor productivity (TFP). We continue this line of work by documenting the importance of TFP differences in explaining cross sectional variation in the levels of (log) output. We construct plausible upper bounds on the fraction of the variance in output levels that can be explained by TFP and inputs. Similar to the growth rate analysis, we find that TFP can, on average, explain nearly 90% of output variance while inputs can explain up to only 50% of output variance. We then consider the possibility that one major institutional difference across states, the extent to which blacks were denied access to formal education, might explain TFP differences across states. To this end, we generate and present a years of schooling measures, by race, at the state level from 1840 to 2000. While directly exploiting this series has very little impact on the upper bound of the fraction of output variation that can be explained by inputs, we do find that the size of the gap between white and black years of schooling is negatively related to TFP in the period from 1840 to 1950. We also consider the extent to which time-varying rates of return on education alters the upper bound on the fraction of output variation that can be explained by inputs, finding that time-varying rates have little impact. Finally, we find some evidence for external effects of higher education and physical capital.
    Keywords: black-white schooling differences; state productivity differences
    JEL: J7 O4
    Date: 2008–01–31
  25. By: Houde, Sébastien; Safirova, Elena A. (Resources for the Future); Harrington, Winston
    Abstract: The document describes the Washington START transportation simulation model. In particular, it provides information about the model structure, the equilibrium concept, and the data used to calibrate the model. It also briefly describes the reference scenario and the elasticity analysis. Finally, the document discusses past and potential future applications and possible directions for model extensions.
    Keywords: transportation simulation, policy analysis, general equilibrium, travel demand, transportation network, mode of transportation
    JEL: R4 R41
    Date: 2007–11–29
  26. By: Saraogi, Ravi
    Abstract: The article explains in lucid terms what the US Subprime Crisis is all about.
    Keywords: subprime; crisis; US
    JEL: A10
    Date: 2007–09–20
  27. By: Osipian, Ararat
    Abstract: Russian higher education is in the process of reforming. Introduction of the standardized computer-graded test and educational vouchers was intended to increase accessibility of higher education, make its funding more effective, and reduce corruption in admissions to public colleges. The idea of vouchers failed while the test faces furious opposition and crises. This paper considers vouchers, standardized tests, educational loans, and privatization as related to educational corruption. The test is criticized by many for being a cause of the further increase in educational corruption. However, the test is needed to replace the outdated admissions policy based on the entry examinations. This paper considers the growing de facto privatization of the nation’s higher education as a fundamental process that should be legalized and formalized. It suggests further restructuring of the higher education industry, its decentralization and privatization, and sees educational loans as a necessary part of the future system of educational funding.
    Keywords: corruption; education; loans; privatization; reform; Russia; vouchers
    JEL: D73 P36
    Date: 2007–05–01

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