nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2008‒05‒05
eight papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Understanding Racial Segregation: What is known about the Effect of Housing Discrimination By Stephen L. Ross
  2. Are Sunnier Cities Denser? By John Hartwick
  3. Varieties of Systems of Innovation: A Survey of their Evolution in Growth Theory and Economic Geography By Julian Christ
  4. Inventors and the Geographical Breadth of Knowledge Spillovers By Paola Giuri; Myriam Mariani
  5. Agglomeration and Specialisation Patterns of Finnish Biotechnology. On the Search for an Economic Rationale of a Dispersed Industry Structure By Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen; Raine Hermans
  6. "Old Wine in a New Bottle: Subprime Mortgage Crisis—Causes and Consequences" By Michael Mah-Hui Lim
  7. Localized technological externalities and the geographical distribution of firms By Giulio Bottazzi; Pietro Dindo
  8. Do Large Cabinets Favor Large Governments? Evidence on Institutional Restraints on the Fiscal Commons Problem for Swiss Cantons By Christoph A. Schaltegger; Lars P. Feld

  1. By: Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: A central purpose of this chapter is to assess whether the available empirical evidence supports the view that current levels of housing discrimination are a significant contributor to residential segregation in U.S. cities and metropolitan areas. Through the course of this chapter, the reader will find that the empirical patterns of racial segregation in the U.S. are often inconsistent the available evidence on housing discrimination. Admittedly, strong evidence exists that both housing discrimination exists today and that housing discrimination throughout much of the Twentieth Century was central to creating the high levels of segregation that we observe in U.S. metropolitan areas today, but the appropriate policy responses may differ dramatically depending upon how these two phenomena are currently interrelated.
    Keywords: Housing Discrimination, Residential Segregation, Neighborhood Quality
    JEL: J7 L85 R21 R30
    Date: 2008–04
  2. By: John Hartwick (Queen's University)
    Abstract: We set out an open, monocentric city with residential structures and reflect on how changes to an amenity index affcts the city. On the production side, the shock is represented by a productivity improvement and a local wage increase and on the consumption side the shock is represented by an exogenous boost to the utility of a resident's current commodity bundle. In each case the city's population, land rent and footprint expand. In the second case there is an increase in density.
    Keywords: urban amenities, density, wages
    JEL: R14 J61
    Date: 2007–03
  3. By: Julian Christ (Universität Hohenheim)
    Abstract: The systems of innovation (SI) approach has been established and extended during the last two decades. Although elementary goals and progress have been reached through seminal contributions by Freeman (1987), Lundvall (1992) or Nelson (1993), in designing a generic approach, displaying the dynamics of collaboration, networking and interactive learning, criticism has been raised that systems of innovation are still “undertheorized”. The objective of this paper is to describe briefly the historical evolution of the SI concept within the academic literature and the policy sphere. This review primarily attempts to highlight some of the most important contributions that strongly assisted to the framework, by providing more consistency and a more theory- oriented perspective. Consequently, the system concept itself seems to be a kind of “boundary object”. Within both, the academic and the policy field, different levels of conceptualization have been challenged and advanced in the course of time. These conceptualizations basically differ in their scale of analysis, taking geographical perspectives, technologies or sectoral classifications as foci for theorizing and empirical research. Despite these substantial levels of research, the SI framework is increasingly challenged, analyzed and extended in the context of globalization. As a result, regarding the openness and flexibility of the SI approach, this paper particularly tries to focus on the difficulties of contemporary research in defining functional and spatial boundaries in theory and empirical research. Agglomeration tendencies, knowledge externalities and localized learning are primarily based upon the concepts of knowledge diffusion, tacit knowledge and proximity. In spite of that, ICT and global business linkages foster inter-regional and trans-border knowledge flows. Thus, knowledge diffusion is also related to international and global “pipelines” that could support, strengthen and reinforce localized learning.
    Keywords: National, Sectoral, Technological and Regional Systems of Innovation, Geography of Innovation, Knowledge Externalities, Localized Knowledge Spillovers, Knowledge Diffusion, Tacit Knowledge
    JEL: O1 O3 R0 R1 D8 B5
    Date: 2007–11
  4. By: Paola Giuri; Myriam Mariani
    Abstract: This paper studies the geographical breadth of knowledge spillovers. Previous research suggests that knowledge spillovers benefit from geographical proximity in technologically active and rich regions more than elsewhere. An alternative view explains the geographical breadth of knowledge spillovers as a function of the characteristics and personal networks of the individuals. We test these two competing theories by using information provided directly by the inventors of 6,750 European patents (PatVal-EU survey). Our results confirm the importance of inventors’ personal background. However, compared to previous research, we find that the level of education of the inventors is key in shaping the geographical breadth of knowledge spillovers. Highly educated inventors rely more on geographically wide research networks than their less educated peers. This holds after controlling for the mobility of the inventors and for the scientific nature of the research performed. Differently, location matters only in the very rare regions in Europe that perform the bulk of the research in the specific discipline of the inventors.
    JEL: O31 O33 R19
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen; Raine Hermans
    Abstract: ABSTRACT : This study sets out to inspect empirically whether existing theory in Geographical Economics (GE) is able to provide a rationale for the controversial and much debated structure of the highly knowledge- and research-intensive biotechnology industry in Finland. In addition to providing evidence of GE in action, we integrate the effects that active public technology policy might have on geographic structures of industries into our analysis as a novel discourse. The results provide evidence of a theory based rationale that is able to deepen our understanding of the roles that different regions have enacted in the development of the case industry. Simultaneously, however, the rationale also reveals several challenges that different types of regions still have to overcome in order to steer on a track of sustainable economic development in the future. Based on the results we argue that public sector funding has enabled certain regions to develop in ways that otherwise would not be sustainable.
    Keywords: geographical economics, regional agglomeration, regional specialisation, regional integration
    Date: 2008–04–22
  6. By: Michael Mah-Hui Lim
    Abstract: This paper seeks to explain the causes and consequences of the United States subprime mortgage crisis, and how this crisis has led to a generalized credit crunch in other financial sectors that ultimately affects the real economy. It postulates that, despite the recent financial innovations, the financial strategies—leveraging and financial risk mismatching—that led to the present crisis are similar to those found in the United States savings-and-loan debacle of the late 1980s and in the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. However, these strategies are based on market innovations that have heightened, not reduced, systemic risks and financial instability. They are as the title implies: old wine in a new bottle. Going beyond these financial practices, the underlying structural causes of the crisis are located in the loose monetary policies of central banks, deregulation, and excess liquidity in financial markets that is a consequence of the kind of economic growth that produces various imbalances—trade imbalances, financial sector imbalances, and wealth and income inequality. The consequences of excessive risk, moral hazards, and rolling bubbles are discussed.
    Date: 2008–04
  7. By: Giulio Bottazzi; Pietro Dindo
    Abstract: This letter investigates the role of technological externalities on the geographical distribution of firms. In an analytically solvable model, we show how the location of economic activities is affected by the trade-off between pecuniary externalities, as dependent on transportation costs, and localized technological externalities, as dependent on inter-regional spillovers.
    Date: 2008–04–24
  8. By: Christoph A. Schaltegger; Lars P. Feld
    Abstract: The fiscal commons problem is one of the most prominent explanations of excessive spending in political economics. The more fragmented a government, the higher its spending. In this paper we investigate to what extent this problem can be mitigated by different fiscal or constitutional insti-tutions. We distinguish between two variants of fragmented governments: cabinet size and coali-tion size. In addition, we analyze whether constitutional rules for executive and legislature as well as formal fiscal restraints shape the size of government and how different rules interact with fragmentation in determining government size. The empirical analysis of the role of fragmented governments for fiscal policy outcomes is based on a panel of 26 Swiss cantons from 1980-1998. The results indicate that the number of ministers in the cabinet is negatively associated with fiscal discipline. Furthermore, fiscal referendums effectively restrict the size of government, while for-mal fiscal restraints more effectively restrict the fiscal commons problem. (This is a thoroughly revised version of Crema WP Nr. 2004-15)
    Keywords: Fragmentation; Fiscal Policy; Referendums; Legislative Rules; Formal fiscal restraints
    JEL: E61 E63 H61
    Date: 2008–04

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