nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2008‒07‒14
thirty-two papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Housing externalities : evidence from spatially concentrated urban revitalization programs By Esteban Rossi-Hansberg; Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte; Raymond E. Owens, III
  2. Pennies from Heaven? Using Exogeneous Tax Variation to Identify Effects of School Resources on Pupil Achievements By Haegeland, Torbjørn; Raaum, Oddbjørn; Salvanes, Kjell G.
  3. Subprime mortgages: what, where, and to whom? By Chris Mayer; Karen Pence
  4. Monetary Valuation of Aircraft Noise By Jasper Dekkers; Willemijn van der Straaten
  5. Summary of 2000‐2007 Population Changes in Iowa's Cities By Eathington, Liesl; Swenson, David A.
  6. Subprime facts: what (we think) we know about the subprime crisis and what we don’t By Christopher L. Foote; Kristopher Gerardi; Lorenz Goette; Paul S. Willen
  7. Negative equity and foreclosure: theory and evidence By Christopher L. Foote; Kristopher Gerardi; Paul S. Willen
  8. Edgeworth Cycles Revisited By Joseph J. Doyle, Jr.; Erich Muehlegger; Krislert Samphantharak
  9. Housing, home production, and the equity and value premium puzzles By Morris A. Davis; Robert F. Martin
  10. The Lengthening of Childhood By David Deming; Susan Dynarski
  11. Education and Crime over the Life Cycle By Giulio Fella; Giovanni Gallipoli
  12. Regional Path-Dependence in Start-up Activity By Thomas Brenner; Dirk Fornahl
  13. Estimating the Causal Effect of Gun Prevalence on Homicide Rates: A Local Average Treatment Effect Approach By Kovandzic, Tomislav; Schaffer, Mark; Kleck, Gary
  14. Schools, Skills, and Synapses By Heckman, James J.
  15. Knowledge spillovers and the equilibrium location of vertically linked industries: the return of the black hole By Sylvain Barde
  16. Urban Schools in Sweden - Between Social Predicaments, the Power of Stigma and Relational Dilemmas By Bunar, Nihad
  17. Self-Selection into Teaching: The Role of Teacher Education Institutions By Denzler, Stefan; Wolter, Stefan
  18. Cluster Emergence and Network Evolution: A longitudinal analysis of the inventor network in Sophia-Antipolis By Anne Ter Wal
  19. Household Membership Decisions of Adult Children By Chiuri, Maria Concetta; Del Boca, Daniela
  20. A Panel Data Analysis of Electric Consumptions in the Residential Sector By Vania Statzu; Elisabetta Strazzera
  21. Local price variation and labor supply behavior By Dan Black; Natalia Kolesnikova; Lowell J. Taylor
  22. The Re-Building Effect of Hurricanes: Evidence from Employment in the US Construction Industry By Strobl, Eric; Walsh, Frank
  23. Marginal Cost Pricing of Noise in Railway Infrastructure By Andersson, Henrik; Ögren, Mikael
  24. Urban Growth, Uninsured Risk, and the Rural Origins of Aggregate Volatility By Steven Poelhekke
  25. Economic Space Trajectory through Different Regional Growth Models By Lo Cascio, Martino; Bagarani, Massimo; Zampino, Simona
  26. Fuel Consumption, Economic Determinants and Policy Implications for Road Transport in Spain By Rosa M. González-Marrero; Rosa M. Lorenzo-Alegría; Gustavo A. Marrero
  27. Crime and Partnerships By Svarer, Michael
  28. "Securitization" By Hyman P. Minsky; L. Randall Wray
  29. Locational Conditions, Cooperation, and Innovativeness : Evidence from Research and Company Spin-Offs By Anna Lejpras; Andreas Stephan
  30. Fiscal Federalism: Analysis and Proposal By Federico Biagi
  31. Keeping up with the neighbours: social interaction in a market economy By Christian Ghiglino; Sanjeev Goyal
  32. The Racial Saving Gap Enigma: Unraveling the Role of Institutions By Belton, Willie; Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth

  1. By: Esteban Rossi-Hansberg; Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte; Raymond E. Owens, III
    Abstract: Using data compiled from concentrated residential urban revitalization programs implemented in Richmond, VA, between 1999 and 2004, we study residential externalities. Specifically, we provide evidence that in neighborhoods targeted by the programs, sites that did not directly benefit from capital improvements nevertheless experienced considerable increases in land value relative to similar sites in a control neighborhood. Within the targeted neighborhoods, increases in land value are consistent with externalities that fall exponentially with distance. In particular, we estimate that housing externalities decrease by half approximately every 990 feet. On average, land prices in neighborhoods targeted for revitalization rose by 2 to 5 percent at an annual rate above those in the control neighborhood. These increases translate into land value gains of between $2 and $6 per dollar invested in the program over a six-year period. We provide a simple theory that helps us interpret and estimate these effects.
    Keywords: Housing ; Land use ; Economic development ; Federal Reserve District, 5th
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Haegeland, Torbjørn (Statistics Norway); Raaum, Oddbjørn (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research); Salvanes, Kjell G. (Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: Despite important policy implications associated with the allocation of education resources, evidence on the effectiveness of school inputs remains inconclusive. In part, this is due to endogenous allocation; families sort themselves non-randomly into school districts and school districts allocate money based in order to compensate (or reinforce) differences in child abilities, which leaves estimates of school input effects likely to be biased. Using variation in education expenditures induced by the location of natural resources in Norway we examine the effect of school resources on pupil outcomes. We find that higher school expenditures, triggered by higher revenues from local taxes on hydropower plants, have a significantly positive effect on pupil performance at age 16. The positive IV estimates contrast with the standard cross-sectional estimates that reveal no effects of extra resources.
    Keywords: pupil achievement, school resources
    JEL: I21 I28 J00
    Date: 2008–06
  3. By: Chris Mayer; Karen Pence
    Abstract: We explore the types of data used to characterize risky subprime lending and consider the geographic dispersion of subprime lending. First, we describe the strengths and weaknesses of three different datasets on subprime mortgages using information from LoanPerformance, HUD, and HMDA. These datasets embody different definitions of subprime mortgages. We show that estimates of the number of subprime originations are somewhat sensitive to which types of mortgages are categorized as subprime. Second, we describe what parts of the country and what sorts of neighborhoods had more subprime originations in 2005, and how these patterns differed for purchase and refinance mortgages. Subprime originations appear to be heavily concentrated in fast-growing parts of the country with considerable new construction, such as Florida, California, Nevada, and the Washington DC area. These locations saw house prices rise at faster-than-average rates relative to their own history and relative to the rest of the country. However, this link between construction, house prices, and subprime lending is not universal, as other markets with high house price growth such as the Northeast did not see especially high rates of subprime usage. Subprime loans were also heavily concentrated in Zip codes with more residents in the moderate credit score category and more black and Hispanic residents. Areas with lower income and higher unemployment had more subprime lending, but these associations are smaller in magnitude.
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Jasper Dekkers (VU University Amsterdam); Willemijn van der Straaten (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In densely-populated countries and in particular in large metropolitan areas, the presence of so much human activity causes all sorts of negative externalities, for example traffic noise disturbance. These externalities call for corrective measures by the government. Economists have developed a number of procedures that provide reasonable estimates on the monetary value of some amenities and externalities. In this paper we develop a spatially-explicit hedonic pricing model for house prices in order to quantify the social cost of aircraft noise disturbance in monetary terms. While focusing on aircraft noise around Amsterdam airport in the urban fringe of the Amsterdam region, a key point in our analysis is that we account for background noise. We do this by taking multiple sources of traffic noise (i.e. road, railway and aircraft noise) into account simultaneously and by setting threshold values for all three sources of noise above which sound is generally experienced as nuisance. Based on our regression results we conclude that a higher noise level means ceteris paribus a lower house price. Air traffic has the largest price impact, followed by railway traffic and road traffic. These model outcomes can subsequently be used to estimate the marginal and total benefits of aircraft noise reduction in the studied area around Amsterdam airport. We find a marginal benefit of 1 dB noise reduction of 1,459 Euro per house, leading to a total benefit of 1 dB noise reduction of 574 million Euros.
    Keywords: aircraft noise; GIS; hedonic price theory; noise reduction; valuation
    JEL: D62 Q53 R41 R48
    Date: 2008–06–24
  5. By: Eathington, Liesl; Swenson, David A.
    Abstract: This brief report summarizes recent patterns of population growth and decline among Iowa's 947 cities. The report examines population changes from 2000 to 2007 and contrasts differences in performance by city size and metropolitan or non-metropolitan status.
    JEL: R0
    Date: 2008–07–14
  6. By: Christopher L. Foote; Kristopher Gerardi; Lorenz Goette; Paul S. Willen
    Abstract: Using a variety of datasets, we document some basic facts about the current subprime crisis. Many of these facts are applicable to the crisis at a national level, while some illustrate problems relevant only to Massachusetts and New England. We conclude by discussing some outstanding questions about which the data, we believe, are not yet conclusive.
    Keywords: Subprime mortgage
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Christopher L. Foote; Kristopher Gerardi; Paul S. Willen
    Abstract: Millions of Americans have negative housing equity, meaning that the outstanding balance on their mortgage exceeds their home’s current market value. Our data show that the overwhelming majority of these households will not lose their homes. Our finding is consistent with historical evidence: we examine more than 100,000 homeowners in Massachusetts who had negative equity during the early 1990s and find that fewer than 10 percent of these owners eventually lost their home to foreclosure. This result is also, contrary to popular belief, completely consistent with economic theory, which predicts that from the borrower’s perspective, negative equity is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for foreclosure. Our findings imply that lenders and policymakers face a serious information problem in trying to help borrowers with negative equity, because it is difficult to determine which borrowers actually require help in order to prevent the loss of their homes to foreclosure.
    Keywords: Foreclosure
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Joseph J. Doyle, Jr.; Erich Muehlegger; Krislert Samphantharak
    Abstract: Some gasoline markets exhibit remarkable price cycles, where price spikes are followed by a string of small price declines until the next price spike. This pattern is predicted from a model of competition driven by Edgeworth cycles, as described by Maskin and Tirole. We extend the Maskin and Tirole model and empirically test its predictions with a new dataset of daily station-level prices in 115 US cities. One innovation is that we also examine cycling within cities, which allows controls for city fixed effects. Consistent with the theory, and often in contrast with previous empirical work, we find that the least and most concentrated markets are much less likely to exhibit cycling behavior; and the areas with more independent retailers that have convenience stores are more likely to cycle. We also find that the average gasoline prices are relatively unrelated to cycling behavior.
    JEL: D4 L11 L70
    Date: 2008–07
  9. By: Morris A. Davis; Robert F. Martin
    Abstract: We test if a standard representative agent model with a home-production sector can resolve the equity premium or value premium puzzles. In this model, agents value market consumption and a home consumption good that is produced as an aggregate of the stock of housing, home labor, and a labor-augmenting technology shock. We construct the unobserved quantity of the home consumption good by combining observed data with restrictions of the model. We test the first-order conditions of the model using GMM. The model is rejected by the data; it cannot explain either the historical equity premium or the value premium.
    Date: 2008
  10. By: David Deming; Susan Dynarski
    Abstract: Forty years ago, 96% of six-year-old children were enrolled in first grade or above. As of 2005, the figure was just 84%. The school attendance rate of six-year-olds has not decreased; rather, they are increasingly likely to be enrolled in kindergarten rather than first grade. This paper documents this historical shift. We show that only about a quarter of the change can be proximately explained by changes in school entry laws; the rest reflects "academic redshirting," the practice of enrolling a child in a grade lower than the one for which he is eligible. We show that the decreased grade attainment of six-year-olds reverberates well beyond the kindergarten classroom. Recent stagnation in the high school and college completion rates of young people is partly explained by their later start in primary school. The relatively late start of boys in primary school explains a small but significant portion of the rising gender gaps in high school graduation and college completion. Increases in the age of legal school entry intensify socioeconomic differences in educational attainment, since lower-income children are at greater risk of dropping out of school when they reach the legal age of school exit.
    JEL: I2 I21 I28
    Date: 2008–07
  11. By: Giulio Fella (Queen Mary, University of London); Giovanni Gallipoli (University of British Columbia)
    Abstract: In this paper we ask whether policies targeting a reduction in crime rates through changes in education outcomes can be considered an effective and cost-viable alternative to interventions based on harsher punishment alone. In particular we study the effect of subsidizing high school completion. Most econometric studies of the impact of crime policies ignore equilibrium effects and are often reduced-form. This paper provides a framework within which to study the equilibrium impact of alternative policies. We develop an overlapping generation, life-cycle model with endogenous education and crime choices. Education and crime depend on different dimensions of heterogeneity, which takes the form of differences in innate ability and wealth at birth as well as employment shocks. PSID, NIPA and CPS data are used to estimate the parameters of a production function with different types of human capital and to approximate a distribution of permanent heterogeneity. These estimates are used to pin down some of the model's parameters. The model is calibrated to match education enrolments, aggregate (property) crime rate and some features of the wealth distribution. In our numerical experiments we find that policies targeting crime reduction through increases in high school graduation rates are more cost-effective than simple incapacitation policies. Furthermore, the cost-effectiveness of high school subsidies increases significantly if they are targeted at the wealth poor. We also find that financial incentives to high school graduation have radically different implications in general and partial equilibrium (i.e. the scale of the programmes can substantially change its outcomes).
    Keywords: Crime, Education, Subsidies
    JEL: H52
    Date: 2008–07
  12. By: Thomas Brenner; Dirk Fornahl
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of an existing industrial structure in a region on the number of start-ups in this region. The aim is to detect path-dependencies in the regional industry structure. To this end we study empirically the regional factors that influence start-up rates. The approach deviates from the huge literature on start-up rates by studying each 2-digit industry separately, including the employment in other industries into the analysis and distinguishing between factors that provide founders and factors that influence their likelihood to start a firm.
    Keywords: industrial dynamics, regional industry structure, start-ups, entrepreneurship, path-dependence
    JEL: R11 L26 R30
    Date: 2008–06
  13. By: Kovandzic, Tomislav (University of Texas at Dallas); Schaffer, Mark (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh); Kleck, Gary (Florida State University)
    Abstract: This paper uses a “local average treatment effect” (LATE) framework in an attempt to disentangle the separate effects of criminal and noncriminal gun prevalence on violence rates. We first show that a number of previous studies have failed to properly address the problems of endogeneity, proxy validity, or heterogeneity in criminality. We demonstrate that the time series proxy problem is severe; previous panel data studies have used proxies that are essentially uncorrelated in time series with direct measures of gun relevance. We adopt instead a cross-section approach: we use U.S. county-level data for 1990, and we proxy gun prevalence levels by the percent of suicides committed with guns, which recent research indicates is the best measure of gun levels for cross-sectional research. We instrument gun levels with three plausibly exogenous instruments: subscriptions to outdoor sports magazines, voting preferences in the 1988 Presidential election, and numbers of military veterans. In our LATE framework, the estimated impact of gun prevalence is a weighted average of a possibly negative impact of noncriminal gun prevalence on homicide and a presumed positive impact of criminal gun prevalence. We find evidence of a significant negative impact, and interpret it as primarily “local to noncriminals”, i.e., primarily determined by a negative deterrent effect of noncriminal gun prevalence. The beneficiaries of the reduced level of violence may include substantial numbers of (urban) criminals, the murders of whom decrease via spillovers from noncriminal gun prevalence.
    Keywords: crime, homicide, gun levels, endogeneity
    JEL: K42 C51 C52
    Date: 2008–07
  14. By: Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper discusses (a) the role of cognitive and noncognitive ability in shaping adult outcomes, (b) the early emergence of differentials in abilities between children of advantaged families and children of disadvantaged families, (c) the role of families in creating these abilities, (d) adverse trends in American families, and (e) the effectiveness of early interventions in offsetting these trends. Practical issues in the design and implementation of early childhood programs are discussed.
    Keywords: productivity, high school dropout, ability gaps, family influence, noncognitive skills, early interventions
    JEL: A12
    Date: 2008–05
  15. By: Sylvain Barde (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
    Date: 2008
  16. By: Bunar, Nihad (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)
    Abstract: Multicultural urban schools in Sweden are facing two major challenges. First, the communities they serve are typically stigmatized and economically impoverished, leading to growing concerns regarding the quality of education, lack of credibility an outflow of students. The second challenge is the ambivalent relations with students’ parents (presumable consumers and partners, but who are also regarded as culturally conservative) and with a broader community, such as public authorities and universities. I argue that we cannot understand the practical operations and outcomes of multicultural schools if we only look at curriculum, individual attitudes or freedom of choice policy and do not examine the broader challenges facing these institutions. What is needed is a more relational approach linking together the interests of different groups, policy changes, modes of representation and the educators’ practices.
    Keywords: Urban education; community; stigma; relations; multicultural
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2008–07–08
  17. By: Denzler, Stefan (Swiss Co-ordination Center for Research in Education); Wolter, Stefan (Swiss Co-ordination Center for Research in Education)
    Abstract: Good teachers are critical for a high-quality educational system. This in turns leads to the question of who is interested in going into the teaching profession. Although research has been done on the professional careers of teachers, the issue of self-selection into teacher education has been mostly overlooked until now. The analyses contained in our study are based on a representative sampling of over 1500 high-school students in Switzerland shortly before graduation. The findings indicate that there is a self-selection process with regard to courses of study at teaching training institutions, which is reinforced by institutional and structural characteristics of the types of higher education institutions and the courses of study they offer. This can clearly be seen in comparison with high-school students preparing to study at another type of higher educational institution (university). Accordingly, the findings of this paper tend to indicate that the choices made by future teachers depend to a large extent also on where and how teachers are trained.
    Keywords: teacher education, teacher training, teacher education colleges, self-selection, v
    JEL: I2 I28 J24
    Date: 2008–05
  18. By: Anne Ter Wal
    Abstract: A widely held view in cluster research is that clusters are characterized by the presence of networks of local collective learning. However, with a growing number of studies indicating this is not necessarily the case, the question arises under which conditions clusters exhibit dense networks of local collective learning. Taking a longitudinal view at the high-tech cluster of Sophia-Antipolis this paper investigates whether and how networks of collective learning among inventors emerged throughout the growth of the cluster from the late 1970s onwards. On the basis of EPO and USPTO patent data we reconstructed co-inventorship networks for the cluster’s two main industries. Detecting a network of local collective learning only in Information Technology, in which growth has been increasingly based on spin-offs and start-ups, and not in Life Sciences, we suggest that the extent and nature of the local concentration of firms over time strongly affect the evolution of local collective learning networks.
    Keywords: cluster evolution, network evolution, collective learning, Sophia-Antipolis
    Date: 2008–06
  19. By: Chiuri, Maria Concetta (University of Bari); Del Boca, Daniela (University of Turin)
    Abstract: While several social, economic and financial indicators point to a growing convergence among European countries, striking differences still emerge in the timing of leaving home for adult children. In Southern countries (as Spain, Italy or Portugal) in 2001 more than 70 percent of young adults between 18 and 34 years of age live with their parents, whereas the corresponding number for Northern countries (like Denmark or the UK) is well below 40 percent. Existing literature highlights several factors explaining the different patterns in Europe: preferences and culture, labor market conditions, housing market as well as differences across the welfare states. In our work, we consider living arrangements of people 18-34 years old from 14 European countries (ECHP). We augment the informational content with indicators of labor, housing and marriage markets characteristics as well as proxy for the welfare states and culture. We investigate how they are intertwined with gender differences
    Keywords: living arrangements, duration analysis, government expenditures
    JEL: J13 C41 H53
    Date: 2008–06
  20. By: Vania Statzu; Elisabetta Strazzera
    Abstract: The present work analyses a dataset on electricity consumption in an Italian region for a period of 11 years, using aggregated data on municipalities. Our aim is to estimate the value of the price elasticity, of the income elasticity and cross-price elasticity of other fuels and to analyse the influence of socio-economic, demographic, structural and climate variables on consumption levels and trends. The FEVD procedure, recently proposed by Plumper and Troeger (2007), is adopted to estimate panel data characterised by the presence of time invariant variables, or variables which vary rarely in time.
    Keywords: electricity consumption, demand analysis, panel data
    JEL: Q41 Q48 C23
    Date: 2008
  21. By: Dan Black; Natalia Kolesnikova; Lowell J. Taylor
    Abstract: In standard economic theory, labor supply decisions depend on the complete set of prices: the wage and the prices of relevant consumption goods. Nonetheless, most of theoretical and empirical work ignores prices other than wages when studying labor supply. The question we address in this paper is whether the common practice of ignoring local price variation in labor supply studies is as innocuous as has generally been assumed. We describe a simple model to demonstrate that the effects of wage and non-labor income on labor supply will typically differ by location. We show, in particular, the derivative of the labor supply with respect to non-labor income will be independent of price only when labor supply takes a form based on an implausible separability condition. Empirical evidence demonstrates that the effect of price on labor supply is not a simple "up-or down shift" that would be required to meet the separability condition in our key proposition.
    Keywords: Labor supply ; Price levels
    Date: 2008
  22. By: Strobl, Eric (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris); Walsh, Frank (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of hurricane strikes on the construction industry in US counties. To this end we use a measure of hurricane destruction derived from a wind field model and historical hurricane track data and employ this within a dynamic labour demand framework. Our results show that destruction due to hurricanes causes on average an increase in country level employment in construction of a little over 25 per cent.
    Keywords: hurricanes, labour demand, construction industry
    JEL: J23 Q54
    Date: 2008–06
  23. By: Andersson, Henrik (VTI); Ögren, Mikael (VTI)
    Abstract: In order to mitigate negative effects from traffic it has been decided that infrastructure charges in the European Union (EU) should be based on short run marginal costs. The Swedish Parliament has legislated that operators in the Swedish railway infrastructure must pay charges based on short run marginal social costs in order to mitigate externalities in railway infrastructure. Internalization of the social cost of noise is of particular interest, since it is the only environmental problem perceived as more troublesome today than in the early 1990s. <p> <p> Inclusion of a noise component in rail infrastructure charges raises two issues: (i) the monetary evaluation of noise abatement, since noise is a non-market good, and (ii) the estimation of the effect on the noise level that one extra train will create. Regarding the latter, we are interested in the marginal noise, since infrastructure charges based on the short-run marginal cost principle should be based on the effect from the marginal train, not the noise level itself. <p> <p> Using already existing knowledge, this study shows that it is possible to implement a noise component in the rail infrastructure charges. The values that are used today to estimate the social cost of noise exposure in cost benefit analysis can also be used to calculate the marginal cost. We recommend, however, that further research be carried out in order to get more robust estimates based on railway traffic. We also show that the existing noise estimation models can easily be modified to estimate the marginal noise. Noise infrastructure charges give the operators incentives to reduce their noise emissions. We believe that this kind of charge can be used to reduce overall emission levels to an optimal social level, but that it is important for the charge to be based on monetary estimates for rail-traffic and not road-traffic.
    Keywords: Externalities; Marginal Cost; Noise; Railway
    JEL: D62 Q51 R41
    Date: 2008–07–01
  24. By: Steven Poelhekke
    Abstract: The level of urbanization has increased by over 5 percentage points per decade outside the developed world since 1960. Rapid urbanization was accompanied by fast economic growth and job creation in most parts of the world. However, notably Africa (and Latin America after 1980) has had a different experience: while growth in GDP per capita slowed significantly or even reversed, the rate of urbanization continued its fast pace. This paper aims to explain this by introducing an aggregate risk differential between the countryside and the city. Uninsurable expected risk will lead to rural-urban migration as a form of ex-ante insurance if households are liquidity constrained in incomplete markets and cannot overcome adverse shocks. Macroeconomic volatility finds its origins in risk-prone natural resource production including agriculture and has a robust positive effect on urban growth, especially when economic growth is slow. The effect stands up to the transitional view on urbanization of economies shifting from an agricultural to an industrial base.
    Keywords: urbanization, risk, natural resources, volatility, rural-urban migration
    JEL: O1 R11 R23 R51 D81
    Date: 2008
  25. By: Lo Cascio, Martino; Bagarani, Massimo; Zampino, Simona
    Abstract: Since the early 1990s, regional economic growth processes assume a key role in the EU policy agenda as a main tool to enhance social and economic convergence within the EU spatial landscape. Literature on regional economic growth and convergence provides some evidence on the most relevant factors affecting economic processes, mainly assuming homogeneity of production functions and steady state conditions in cross-section and panel regressions. In this framework, assuming a minimal definition of transitional steady state, econometric methods are adopted to identify regional characteristics and examine the determinants of different development models. The quantitative analysis is centred on - LSDV (Least Square Dummy Variables) estimates to cluster EU 11 regions (EU 13 excluding UK and Ireland due to lack of statistical data) by defining homogeneous latent structures affecting different transitional growth patterns; - coupled with multinomial conditional logit models to qualify the spatial distribution of expected vs actual regional gaps. Even conscious of the shortcomings of the described neoclassical production function convergence and divergence mechanisms, a sort of metaphor of substantive economic behaviour, three main findings for an explorative analysis are proposed i) the role of enlarged neoclassical production function and, at same time, its limited weight on average with respect to social and political factors as well as other stock fundamental determinants; ii) the deep differences of above defined weight of enlarged neoclassical production function at regional level in Europe; iii) the need for an adaptive governance of EU finance effort, within the same strategic objective of convergence.
    Keywords: Economic regional growth, Panel models
    JEL: O47 R11 C21 C23
    Date: 2008–06–30
  26. By: Rosa M. González-Marrero; Rosa M. Lorenzo-Alegría; Gustavo A. Marrero
    Abstract: Road transport is one of the most polluting sectors in Spain, generating almost one fourth of total CO2 emissions. Moreover, the consumption of fuel is the main source of these emissions. In this paper we estimate several fixed-effect models to study the economic factors that explain the short-term variations in fuel usage per vehicle, distinguishing between gasoline and diesel, using data from the 17 regions in Spain between 2000 and 2006. Price variations in fuel, modernization of vehicles, improved infrastructures and the dieselization process have proved ineffective in reducing energy usage per-vehicle in Spain, which would indicate the need to implement several measures simultaneously to control the increasing use of road transport.
    Date: 2008–06
  27. By: Svarer, Michael (University of Aarhus)
    Abstract: This paper tests whether being convicted of a crime affects marriage market outcomes. While it is relatively well documented that crime hurts in terms of reduced future income, there has been little systematic analysis on the association between crime and marriage market outcomes. This paper exploits a detailed Danish register-based data set to fill this gap in the literature. The main findings are that male convicts do not face lower transition rates into partnerships as such, but they face a lower chance of forming partnerships with females from more well-off families. In addition males who are convicted face a significantly higher dissolution risk than their law abiding counterparts.
    Keywords: crime, marriage, divorce
    JEL: J12
    Date: 2008–06
  28. By: Hyman P. Minsky; L. Randall Wray
    Abstract: "At the annual banking structure and competition conference of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in May 1987, the buzzword heard in the corridors and used by many of the speakers was 'that which can be securitized, will be securitized.'" So notes Hyman Minsky in a prescient memo on the nature, and the implications, of securitization, written 20 years before an explosion in the securitization of home mortgages helped create the current financial crisis. This memo, which served as the basis for a lecture in Minsky's monetary theory class at Washington University, has not been widely circulated. It is published here in its entirety, with a preface and an afterword by Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray that places Minsky's work in context.
    Date: 2008–06
  29. By: Anna Lejpras; Andreas Stephan
    Abstract: This paper has two goals. First, it analyzes the extent to which the innovativeness of spin-offs, either born from a research facility or from another company, is influenced by locational conditions. Second, it provides evidence on how important local cooperation links are in comparison to nonlocal ones. Using a sample of approximately 1,500 East German firms from knowledge-intensive sectors, we estimate a structural equation model applying the partial least squares method. We find that proximity to local research institutes and universities is the most influential factor for the cooperation intensity of spin-offs. Furthermore, the higher the cooperation intensity, the greater the innovativeness of a firm. Moreover, the results indicate that it is not the local but the nonlocal cooperation ties that are more conducive to innovativeness of research spin-offs. The findings also highlight that the innovativeness of research spin-offs with solely local links is strongly depends on support from various authorities and institutions.
    Keywords: Research and Company Spin-Offs, Locational Conditions, Cooperation Intensity, Innovativeness, Structural Equation Modeling, Partial Least Squares Approach
    JEL: M13 O18 R3
    Date: 2008
  30. By: Federico Biagi (SDA Bocconi School of Management)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the main issues that the reform of the Italian fiscal federalism system will have to deal with: from the activities covered by the guarantee of art. 119 Const. to the identification of the taxes that will finance the expenses related to such activities; from the choice of the equalization mechanisms, to the analysis of the dynamic evolution of the system of intergovernmental relations. After such a discussion, conducted in the context of the Italian institutional system, we propose a model of fiscal federalism able to satisfy both efficiency and equity requirements. Finally, this paper critically discusses the main elements of the Governmental reform proposal contained in Decreto di Legge Delega n.3100, Sept. 2007.
    Date: 2008–03
  31. By: Christian Ghiglino; Sanjeev Goyal
    Abstract: We consider a world in which individuals have private endowments and trade in markets, while their utility is sensitive to the consumption of their neighbors. Our interest is in understanding how social structure of comparisons, taken together with the familiar fundamentals of the economy – endowments, technology and preferences – shapes equilibrium prices, allocations and welfare. We find that equilibrium prices and allocations depend on average individual centrality in the social network. As we add links to a social network, the centralities rise and this pushes up prices of the socially sensitive good. Newly linked agents demand more of the socially sensitive good, while the reverse happens with regard to the standard good. We derive a formula to compute the critical link, i.e., the new link which maximizes price increase. We then turn to a model with heterogenous endowments, and find that inequality in network centrality and in wealth inequality reinforce each other. Thus a transfer of resources from less to more central agents raises prices of the socially sensitive good and alters allocations and utilities of all agents. We show by example that poor individuals lose utility while rich individuals gain utility as society moves from segregation to integration.
    Date: 2008–06–30
  32. By: Belton, Willie (Georgia Tech); Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth (Georgia Tech)
    Abstract: It has been well documented in the literature that ethnicity matters significantly in the determination of savings. In particular, African-American savings lag far behind savings for other ethnic groups. Similarly, the literature also provides evidence of the long-lived nature of institutions and the link between institutions and culture. In this paper, we provide an explanation for the savings gap that still exists between African-Americans and White Americans even after accounting for appropriate factors that can lead to savings differentials. We initially provide evidence that the savings gap exists and persist after including several control variables in a regression analysis. We then provide evidence that the persistent gap can not be attributed solely to racial discrimination but can be explained by the response of culture to institutional scaffolding erected many years earlier. Using a novel within race decomposition we provide evidence that past institutions transmitted through culture can help to explain this persistent saving disparity.
    Keywords: savings gap, institutions, race, culture
    JEL: D14 D31 J15 J11 J71
    Date: 2008–06

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