nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2008‒09‒20
fourteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Monocentric analysis of restricting the budget share of housing alone or with transportation By Nicolas Coulombel
  2. Public Infrastructure, Location of Private Schools and Quality of Schooling in an Emerging Economy By Sarmistha Pal
  3. Is there a Difference Between For-Profit Versus Not-For-Profit Charter Schools? By Cynthia D Hill; David Welsch
  4. The Effects of School Quality and Family Functioning on Youth Math Scores: a Canadian Longitudinal Analysis By Pierre Lefebvre; Philip Merrigan; Matthieu Verstraete
  5. Do domestic firms benefit from geographic proximity with FDI? Evidence from the privatization of the Czech glass industry By Elisa Gaelotti
  6. Welfare Effects of Adverse Weather through Speed Changes in Car Commuting Trips By Muhammad Sabir; Jos van Ommeren; Mark Koetse; Piet Rietveld
  7. Technological and geographical proximity effects on knowledge spillovers:evidence from us patent citations By Luigi Aldieri
  8. Tradeoffs among Free-flow Speed, Capacity, Cost, and Environmental Footprint in Highway Design By Chen Feng Ng; Kenneth Small
  9. Cluster Innovation Along the Industry Lifecycle By Andreas Eisingerich; Oliver Falck; Stephan Heblich; Tobias Kretschmer
  10. Agglomeration, Vertical Specialization, and the Strength of Industrial Linkages By Jan Kranich
  11. Further Analysis of the Zipf Law: Does the Rank-Size Rule Really Exist? By Fungisai Nota; Shunfeng Song
  12. Tools for spatial density estimation By Maurizio Pisati
  13. Testing for spatial autocorrelation: the regressors that make the power disappear By Martellosio, Federico
  14. Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross-Section of Countries By Alberto Alesina; Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

  1. By: Nicolas Coulombel (LVMT - Laboratoire Ville, Mobilité, Transports - INRETS - Université Paris-Est - Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées)
    Abstract: Considering the prolonged rise of energy price and the still elevated housing prices, the policy to limit the share of housing expenses in the households’ budget, so as to secure their solvability, has been criticized. Supposedly, it induces people to get farther from the city center in search for cheaper housing prices, but with subsequent increased transportation costs that are often disregarded during the house search process. Therefore, to improve the well-being of households, it has been advocated to set a constraint on the share of both housing and transportation expenditure. The paper is purported to analyze and compare the effects of the two policies in terms of: 1. Well-being of the households; 2. Land-use: city size and density curve; 3. Solvability of the households; 4. Transportation costs. The analysis is carried out within the classical monocentric model of urban economics. After setting a general analysis, an applied model is specified to capture the effects of each policy in straightforward formulae. It is shown that constraining housing expenses may increase the well-being of households. Besides, both policies prove effective in reducing urban sprawl and hereby energy consumption. Thus the choice of the optimal policy will depend on the local authority’s objectives.
    Keywords: monocentric model, urban economics, housing expenses, transportation expenses, housing policy
    Date: 2008–08–31
  2. By: Sarmistha Pal
    Abstract: The present paper argues that local public infrastructure exerts a significant and positive effect on the presence of private school as well as the quality of schooling in the Indian villages. Given historical distribution of land and ethnic composition, villages with more unequal distribution of land are more likely to have better access to public infrastructure (for given level of ethnic fractionalization), which in turn enhances the likelihood of having a private school in the village. Results using PROBE survey of household-, school- and village-level data from five north Indian states provide some support to this central hypothesis. There is also evidence that the quality of overall schooling is generally better in villages with a private school; rise of private schools however fails to affect the quality of local state schools.
    Date: 2008–05
  3. By: Cynthia D Hill (Idaho State University); David Welsch (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater)
    Abstract: The role of for-profit educational organizations in the predominantly public and not-for-profit K-12 U.S. schooling system is being fiercely debated across our nation. Little empirical research is available to help policy makers develop informed decisions regarding the educational value that for-profit schools provide to our students. This paper fills in part, for the first time in detail, this void. This paper uses a four year panel of charter schools from the state of Michigan and a random effects model that controls for student and district characteristics. Results indicate that for-profit charter schools have lower math test scores than not-for-profit charter schools. Interestingly, this result holds even when expenditure per pupil is controlled for. The analysis developed in this paper takes the debate one step further as well, and examines the role that the size of for-profit firms plays in the associated outcomes.
    Keywords: Profit, For-Profit, Not-For-Profit, Nonprofit, Charter Schools, Random Effects, Education
    JEL: H52 L30 H75 I21
    Date: 2008–05
  4. By: Pierre Lefebvre; Philip Merrigan; Matthieu Verstraete
    Abstract: This paper tries to disentangle the relative importance of family and school inputs on a child's cognitive achievement as measured by her percentile score on a mathematics test. We replicate a study by Todd and Wolpin (2007) in the United States with Canadian data. In contrast to their work that uses state-level indicators of school quality, we estimate our model with data from Statistics Canada's National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) which provides micro-level information on the family and school history of the child. The sample used for the analysis is based on the 7- to 15-year-old longitudinal children who have completed at least two consecutive math tests. As in Todd and Wolpin, we conclude that cognitive outcomes are determined by current and past family inputs. Contrary to them, who find no impact of school inputs, we find that the quality of schools has a positive impact on achievement in mathematics.
    Keywords: Math scores, human capital, child development, school and family inputs, panel data
    JEL: I21 J13 C23
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Elisa Gaelotti (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of geographical proximity and agglomeration of FDIs (foreign direct investments) on domestic firms in the privatized glass sector in the Czech Republic. The motivation for this research is based on the scant evidence in Central and Eastern Europe of the effects of geographical proximity and agglomeration on the productivity of domestic firms. This study aims to explain how spillovers are transferred from FDIs to domestic firms. The econometrical analysis, using original panel data from 1990 to 2006, provides evidence that the agglomeration of FDIs has a negative and significant effect on the productivity of domestic firms in the glass sector at a 5% level. The effect of geographical proximity to FDIs is significant at a 10% level but not in all models. The results support the importance of geographic proximity and agglomeration of FDIs and conform with the evidence that shows that FDIs have produced negative spillovers on domestic firms in transition countries.
    Keywords: Foreign direct investments, agglomeration economies, panel data, regional location, Czech Republic, glass industry
    JEL: C23 F21 F23 L61 O18 R12
    Date: 2008–09
  6. By: Muhammad Sabir (VU University Amsterdam); Jos van Ommeren (VU University Amsterdam); Mark Koetse (VU University Amsterdam); Piet Rietveld (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the welfare effect of adverse weather through changes in the speed of individuals’ car commuting trips in the entire Netherlands. Weather measurements are local and time specific (hourly basis). As most commuters travel twice a day between home and work, we are able to estimate the effect of adverse weather employing panel data techniques, which is novel in this context. We find that for most commuters the welfare effects of adverse weather conditions are negative but small. However, the commuters’ welfare costs due to rain are rather substantial during rush hours in congested areas (and up to 15 percent of the overall commuting costs).
    Keywords: adverse weather speed
    JEL: R41
    Date: 2008–09–17
  7. By: Luigi Aldieri (University of Naples Parthenope & Université Libre de Bruxelles, DULBEA-CERT)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the pattern of knowledge flows as indicated by patent citations. In order to compute the technological proximity, we have followed the methodology developed by Jaffe (1986), where a technological vector is based on the distribution of patents of each firm across technology classes. As far as the geographic proximity is concerned, we have used the latitude and the longitude coordinates of the city in which each firm is located. The empirical results suggest that the effects of proximity variables on knowledge flows are rather differentiated.
    Keywords: Innovation, Knowledge Spillovers, Technology Transfer, Patent Citations.
    JEL: F1 F2 O3
    Date: 2008–09
  8. By: Chen Feng Ng (Department of Economics, California State University at Long Beach); Kenneth Small (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)
    Abstract: This paper investigates differentiated design standards as a source of capacity additions that are more affordable and have smaller aesthetic and environmental impacts than expressways. We consider several tradeoffs, including narrow versus wide lanes and shoulders on an expressway of a given total width, and high-speed expressway versus lower-speed arterial. We quantify the situations in which off-peak traffic is sufficiently great to make it worthwhile to spend more on construction, or to give up some capacity, in order to provide very high off-peak speeds even if peak speeds are limited by congestion. We also consider the implications of differing accident rates. The results support expanding the range of highway designs that are considered when adding capacity to ameliorate urban road congestion.
    Keywords: Highway design; Capacity; Free-flow speed; Parkway
    JEL: L91 R42
    Date: 2008–08
  9. By: Andreas Eisingerich (Tanaka Business School, Imperial College London); Oliver Falck (Ifo Institute for Economic Research and CESifo); Stephan Heblich (Max Planck Institute of Economics); Tobias Kretschmer (Institute for Communication Economics, LMU Munich)
    Abstract: Industrial clusters develop regionally along the industry's lifecycle and typically exist over many product generations. In order to maintain their innovativeness, they have to develop and adjust along the industry lifecycle. We conduct 142 depth face-to-face interviews in clusters across two continents to examine the drivers of a cluster's innovativeness along the industry lifecycle. The results from our interviews suggest that the impact of key drivers of cluster innovativeness change depending on the stage of a cluster's underlying industry lifecycle. Classifying clusters as either being adolescent (information technology, biotechnology) or mature (automotive, chemicals), our regression analyses show a changing influence of cluster patterns along the industry lifecycle on a firm's innovativeness. Specifically, we analyze the impact of interorganizational network strength, openness, university collaboration, and intrapreneurship on radical innovation across adolescent and mature clusters. Implications for research and policy makers are discussed.
    Keywords: Cluster, Industry Lifecycle, Innovation
    JEL: O18 R12 L6
    Date: 2008–09–11
  10. By: Jan Kranich (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg)
    Abstract: This paper picks up the seminal model of Venables (1996) and provides a quantifying concept for the sectoral coherence in vertical-linkage models of the New Economic Geography. Based upon an alternative approach to solve the model and to determine critical trade cost values, this paper focuses on the interdependencies between agglomeration, specialization and the strength of vertical linkages. A central concern is the idea of an ’industrial base,’ which is attracting linked industries but is persistent to relocation. As a main finding, the intermediate cost share and substitution elasticity basically determine the strength of linkages. Thus, these parameters affect how strong the industrial base responds to changes in trade costs, relative wages and market size.
    Keywords: New Economic Geography, Vertical Linkages
    JEL: F12
    Date: 2008–09
  11. By: Fungisai Nota (Department of Economics, Wartburg College); Shunfeng Song (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: The widely-used Zipf law has two striking regularities: excellent fit and close-to-one exponent. When the exponent equals to one, the Zipf law collapses into the rank-size rule. This paper further analyzes the Zipf exponent. By changing the sample size, the truncation point, and the mix of cities in the sample, we found that the exponent is close to one only for some selected sub-samples. Using the values of estimated exponent from the rolling sample method, we obtained an elasticity of the exponent with respect to sample size.
    Keywords: Zipf law; Rank-size rule; Rolling sample method
    JEL: C1 R1
    Date: 2008–09
  12. By: Maurizio Pisati (University of Milano-Bicocca)
    Abstract: The purpose of this talk is to illustrate the main features and applications of two new Stata programs for spatial density estimation: spgrid and spkde. The spgrid program generates two-dimensional arrays of evenly spaced points spanning across any regular or irregular study region specified by the user. In turn, the spkde program carries out spatial kernel density estimation based on reference points generated by spgrid.
    Date: 2008–09–11
  13. By: Martellosio, Federico
    Abstract: We show that for any sample size, any size of the test, and any weights matrix outside a small class of exceptions, there exists a positive measure set of regression spaces such that the power of the Cliff-Ord test vanishes as the autocorrelation increases in a spatial error model. This result extends to the tests that define the Gaussian power envelope of all invariant tests for residual spatial autocorrelation. In most cases, the regression spaces such that the problem occurs depend on the size of the test, but there also exist regression spaces such that the power vanishes regardless of the size. A characterization of such particularly hostile regression spaces is provided.
    Keywords: Cliff-Ord test; point optimal tests; power; spatial error model; spatial lag model; spatial unit root.
    JEL: C12 C21
    Date: 2008–09
  14. By: Alberto Alesina; Ekaterina Zhuravskaya
    Abstract: This paper has three goals. The first (and perhaps the most important one) is to provide a new compilation of data on ethnic, linguistic and religious composition at the sub-national level for a large number of countries. This data set allows us to measure segregation of different ethnic, religious and linguistic groups within the same country. The second goal is to correlate measures of segregation with measures of quality of the polity and policymaking. The third is to construct an instrument that helps to overcome the endogeneity problem due to the fact that groups move within country borders, partly in response to policies. Our results suggest that more segregated countries in terms of ethnicity and language, i.e., those where groups live more spatially separately, have a substantially lower quality of government. In contrast, there is no relationship between religious segregation and the government quality.
    JEL: H10
    Date: 2008–09

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