nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2008‒10‒28
27 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Quality of Life in Urban Neighborhoods in Costa Rica By Roger Madrigal Author-X-Name_First: Roger Author-X-Name_Last: Madrigal; Juan Robalino Author-X-Name_First: Juan Author-X-Name_Last: Robalino; Luis J. Hall Author-X-Name_First: Luis J. Author-X-Name_Last: Hall
  2. Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement By Jesse Rothstein
  3. The Fiscal Impact of Employment in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area By Mann, Jitendar S.
  4. Urban Inequality By Edward L. Glaeser; Matthew G. Resseger; Kristina Tobio
  5. Does Money Matter for Schools? By Holmlund, Helena; McNally, Sandra; Viarengo, Martina
  6. Inside the Black of Box of Ability Peer Effects: Evidence from Variation in Low Achievers in the Classroom By Victor Lavy; M. Daniele Paserman; Analia Schlosser
  7. Pollution and the Efficiency of Urban Growth By Martin F. Quaas; Sjak Smulders
  8. Urban Growth Drivers and Spatial Inequalities: Europe - a case with geographically sticky people By Paul Cheshire; Stefano Magrini
  9. The Impact of Hinterland Access Conditions on Rivalry between Ports By Anming Zhang
  10. How Do Heterogeneous Social Interactions Affect the Peer Effect in Rural-Urban Migration?: Empirical Evidence from China By Zhao Chen; Shiqing Jiang; Ming Lu; Hiroshi Sato
  11. Endogenous Neighborhood Selection and the Attainment of Cooperation in a Spatial Prisoner’s Dilemma Game By Jason Barr; Troy Tassier
  12. Mountains in a flat world: Why proximity still matters for the location of economic activity By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Riccardo Crescenzi
  13. The economic effects of high speed rail investment By Ginés de Rus
  14. Regional Input Output Models and the FLQ Formula: A Case Study of Finland By Tony Flegg; Paul White
  15. Technology Adoption and Innovation in Public Services.The Case of E-Government in ITALY By Davide Arduini; Federico Belotti; Mario Denni; Gerolamo Giungato; Antonello Zanfei
  16. The Three Horsemen of Growth: Plague, War and Urbanization in Early Modern Europe By Nico Voigtländer; Joachim Voth
  17. Estimating the functional form of road traffic maturity By Antonio Núñez
  18. Does Direct Democracy Reduce the Size of Government? New Evidence from Historical Data, 1890-2000 By Patricia Funk; Christina Gathmann
  19. Are Small countries leaders of the European tax competition ? By Nicolas Chatelais; Mathilde Peyrat
  20. Globalisation and Wage Differentials: A Spatial Analysis By Baddeley, M.; Fingleton, B.
  21. Impacts of Airports on Airline Competition: Focus on Airport Performance and Airport-Airline Vertical Relations By Tae H. Oum; Xiaowen Fu
  22. The Welfare Effects of Tax Competition Reconsidered: Politicians and Political Institutions By Janeba, Eckhard; Schjelderup, Guttorm
  23. Embedding Landfill Diversion in Economic, Geographical and Policy Settings Panel based evidence from Italy By Massimiliano Mazzanti; Anna Montini; Francesco Nicolli
  24. Minnesota Farm Real Estate Sales: 1990-2007 By Taff, Steven J.
  25. Local social capital and geographical mobility. A theory By Quentin David; Alexandre Janiak; Etienne Wasmer
  26. ABS, MBS and CDO compared: an empirical analysis By Vink, Dennis
  27. An Empirical Analysis of Asset-Backed Securitization By Vink, Dennis

  1. By: Roger Madrigal Author-X-Name_First: Roger Author-X-Name_Last: Madrigal; Juan Robalino Author-X-Name_First: Juan Author-X-Name_Last: Robalino; Luis J. Hall Author-X-Name_First: Luis J. Author-X-Name_Last: Hall
    Abstract: This paper considers valuation of amenities in urban neighborhoods and satisfaction with both those neighborhoods and life in general. First, rents are used to estimate neighborhood amenities price in San Jose, which explain 39 percent of the standardized variation of rents. Some districts rank very high in housing characteristics but poorly in neighborhood amenities, while others rank poorly in housing characteristics but high in neighborhood amenities, suggesting that indirect policy measures might reduce inequality in urban areas through improving neighborhood amenities. Second, the paper explores differences in the valuation of amenities by calculating prices in different urban areas. In more sparsely populated urban areas, distance to national parks becomes less important, but distance to primary roads becomes more important. Finally, housing and safety satisfaction represent the key components of life satisfaction.
    Date: 2008–10
  2. By: Jesse Rothstein
    Abstract: Growing concerns over the achievement of U.S. students have led to proposals to reward good teachers and penalize (or fire) bad ones. The leading method for assessing teacher quality is "value added" modeling (VAM), which decomposes students' test scores into components attributed to student heterogeneity and to teacher quality. Implicit in the VAM approach are strong assumptions about the nature of the educational production function and the assignment of students to classrooms. In this paper, I develop falsification tests for three widely used VAM specifications, based on the idea that future teachers cannot influence students' past achievement. In data from North Carolina, each of the VAMs' exclusion restrictions are dramatically violated. In particular, these models indicate large "effects" of 5th grade teachers on 4th grade test score gains. I also find that conventional measures of individual teachers' value added fade out very quickly and are at best weakly related to long-run effects.
    JEL: I21 J24 J33
    Date: 2008–10
  3. By: Mann, Jitendar S.
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2008–01–14
  4. By: Edward L. Glaeser; Matthew G. Resseger; Kristina Tobio
    Abstract: What impact does inequality have on metropolitan areas? Crime rates are higher in places with more inequality, and people in unequal cities are more likely to say that they are unhappy. There is also a negative association between local inequality and the growth of both income and population, once we control for the initial distribution of skills. What determines the degree of inequality across metropolitan areas? Twenty years ago, metropolitan inequality was strongly associated with poverty, but today, inequality is more strongly linked to the presence of the wealthy. Inequality in skills can explain about one third of the variation in income inequality, and that skill inequality is itself explained by historical schooling patterns and immigration. There are also substantial differences in the returns to skill, related to local concentrations in different industries, and these too are strongly correlated with inequality.
    JEL: H0 I0 J0 R0
    Date: 2008–10
  5. By: Holmlund, Helena (CEP, London School of Economics); McNally, Sandra (London School of Economics); Viarengo, Martina (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: There is considerable disagreement in the academic literature about whether raising school expenditure improves educational outcomes. Yet changing the level of resources is one of the key policy levers open to governments. In the UK, school expenditure has increased by about 40 per cent in real terms since 2000. Thus, providing an answer to the question as to whether such spending has an impact on educational outcomes (and whether it is good use of public money) is of paramount importance. In this paper we address this issue for England using much better data than what has generally been used in such studies. We are also able to test our identification assumption by use of a falsification test. We find that the increase in school expenditure over recent years has had a consistently positive effect on outcomes at the end of primary school. Back-of-envelope calculations suggest that the investment may well be cost-effective. There is also some evidence of heterogeneity in the effect of expenditure, with higher effects for students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
    Keywords: education, resources
    JEL: I21 H52
    Date: 2008–10
  6. By: Victor Lavy; M. Daniele Paserman; Analia Schlosser
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the extent of ability peer effects in the classroom and explore the underlying mechanisms through which these peer effects operate. We identify as low ability students those who are enrolled at least one year behind their birth cohort ("repeaters"). We show that there are marked differences between the academic performance and behavior of repeaters and regular students. The status of repeaters is mostly determined by first grade; therefore, it is unlikely to have been affected by their classroom peers, and our estimates will not suffer from the reflection problem. Using within school variation in the proportion of these low ability students across cohorts of middle and high school students in Israel, we find that the proportion of low achieving peers has a negative effect on the performance of regular students, especially those located at the lower end of the ability distribution. An exploration of the underlying mechanisms of these peer effects shows that, relative to regular students, repeaters report that teachers are better in the individual treatment of students and in the instilment of capacity for individual study. However, a higher proportion of these low achieving students results in a deterioration of teachers' pedagogical practices, has detrimental effects on the quality of inter-student relationships and the relationships between teachers and students, and increases the level of violence and classroom disruptions.
    JEL: I2 I21 J24
    Date: 2008–10
  7. By: Martin F. Quaas (University of Kiel); Sjak Smulders (University of Calgary and Tilburg University)
    Abstract: We analyze the efficiency of urbanization patterns in a dynamic model of endogenous urban growth with two sectors of production. Production exhibits increasing returns to scale on aggregate. Urban environmental pollution, as a force that discourages agglomeration, is caused by domestic production. We show that cities are too large and too few in number in equilibrium, compared to the efficient urbanization path, if economic growth implies increasing aggregate emissions. If, on the other hand, production becomes cleaner over time (`quality growth') the urbanization path approximates the efficient outcome after finite time.
    Keywords: Cities, Urbanisation, Pollution, Growth, Migration, Sustainable Development
    JEL: Q56 R12 O18
    Date: 2008–09
  8. By: Paul Cheshire (London School of Economics); Stefano Magrini (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: We try to combine theory with empirical analysis to investigate the drivers of spatial growth processes, welfare and disparities in a context in which people are markedly immobile. Drawing on two of our recent papers (Cheshire and Magrini, 2006 and 2008), we review the evidence on the drivers of differential urban growth in the EU both in terms of population and output growth. The main conclusion from our findings is that one cannot reasonably maintain the assumption of full spatial equilibrium in a European context. This has a number of wider implications. It suggests that i. differences in real incomes in Europe - and more generally where populations are relatively immobile - are likely to persist and indicate real differences in welfare; ii. there is no evidence of a unified European urban system but rather of a set of national systems; iii. there are significant but theoretically consistent, differences in the drivers of population compared to economic growth.
    Keywords: Growth, urban system, spatial equilibrium
    JEL: O18 R11 R13
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Anming Zhang
    Abstract: This paper examines the interaction between hinterland access conditions and port competition. Competition between ports is treated as competition between alternate intermodal transportation chains, while the hinterland access conditions are represented by both the corridor facilities and the inland roads. We find that when ports compete in quantities, an increase in corridor capacity will increase own port’s output, reduce the rival port’s output, and increase own port’s profit. On the other hand, an increase in inland road capacity may or may not increase own port’s output and profit, owing to various offsetting effects. Essentially, while more road capacity reduces local delays and moderates the negative impact of own output expansion, it induces greater local commuter traffic and may moderate the reduction by local commuter traffic in response to a rise in cargo traffic, both of which reduces own output and profit. Similarly, inland road pricing may or may not increase own port’s output and profit. Finally, case examples for selected ports and regions are discussed.
    Keywords: investment, competition
    Date: 2008–02
  10. By: Zhao Chen; Shiqing Jiang; Ming Lu; Hiroshi Sato
    Abstract: In this paper, we use the "2002 Chinese Household Income Project Survey" (CHIP2002) data to examine how heterogeneous social interactions affect the peer effect in the rural-urban migration decision in China. We find that the peer effect, measured by the village migration ratio, significantly increases the individual probability of outward migration. We also find that the magnitude of the peer effect is nonlinear, depending on the strength and type of social interactions with other villagers. Interactions in information sharing can increase the magnitude of the peer effect, while interactions in mutual help in labor activities, such as help in housing construction, nursing and farm work in busy seasons, will impede the positive role of the peer effect. Being aware of the simultaneity bias caused by the two-way causality between social interaction strengths and migration, we utilize "historical family political identity in land reform" as an instrumental variable for social interactions. However, the hypothesis that probit and instrumental-variable probit results are not significantly different is not rejected. The existence of a nonlinear peer effect has rich policy implications. For policy makers to encourage rural-urban migration, it is feasible to increase education investment in rural areas or increase information sharing among rural residents. However, only an increase in the constant term in the regression, i.e., a "big push" in improving institutions for migration, can help rural Chinese residents escape the low equilibrium in migration.
    Keywords: labor migration, urbanization, peer effect, social interaction, social multiplier
    JEL: J61 O15 R23
    Date: 2008–10
  11. By: Jason Barr (Rutgers University, Newark, Department of Economics); Troy Tassier (Fordham University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: There is a large literature in economics and elsewhere on the emergence and evolution of cooperation in the repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma. Recently this literature has expanded to include cooperation in spatial prisoner dilemma games where agents play only with local neighbors in a specified geography. In this paper we explore how the ability of agents to move and choose new locations and new neighbors influences the emergence of cooperation. First, we explore the dynamics of cooperation by investigating agent strategies that yield Markov transition probabilities. We show how different agent strategies yield different Markov chains which generate different asymptotic behaviors in regard to the attainment of cooperation. Second, we investigate how agent movement affects the attainment of cooperation in various spatial networks using agent based simulations.
    Keywords: repeated prisoner’s dilemma, cooperation, agent-based economics, endogenous networks, Markov chains
    JEL: C63 C72 C73 D8
    Date: 2008
  12. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (London School of Economics); Riccardo Crescenzi (European University Institute)
    Abstract: Thomas Friedman (2005) argues that the expansion of trade, the internationalization of firms, the galloping process of outsourcing, and the possibility of networking is creating a \'flat world\': a level playing field where individuals are empowered and better off. This paper challenges this view of the world by arguing that not all territories have the same capacity to maximize the benefits and opportunities and minimize the risks linked to globalization. Numerous forces are coalescing in order to provoke the emergence of urban \'mountains\' where wealth, economic activity, and innovative capacity agglomerate. The interactions of these forces in the close geographical proximity of large urban areas give shape to a much more complex geography of the world economy.
    Date: 2008–10–15
  13. By: Ginés de Rus
    Abstract: The allocation of traffic between different transport modes follows transport user decisions which depend on the generalized cost of travel in the available alternatives. High Speed Rail (HSR) investment is a government decision with significant effects on the generalized cost of rail transport; and therefore on the modal split in corridors where private operators compete for traffic and charge prices close to total producer costs (infrastructure included). The rationale for HSR investment is not different to any other public investment decision. Public funds should be allocated to this mode of transport if its net expected social benefit is higher than in the next best alternative. The exam of data on costs and demand shows that the case for investing in HSR is strongly dependent on the existing volume of traffic where the new lines are built, the expected time savings and generated traffic and the average willingness to pay of potential users, the release of capacity in congested roads, airports or conventional rail lines and the net reduction of external effects. This paper discusses, within a cost-benefit analysis framework, under which conditions the expected benefits from deviated traffic (plus generated traffic), and other alleged external effects and indirect benefits justify the investment in HSR projects. It pays special attention to intermodal effects and pricing.
    Keywords: investment, cost-benefit analysis, railways
    Date: 2008–08
  14. By: Tony Flegg (Department of Economics, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK); Paul White (School of Business and Economics, University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
    Abstract: This paper examines the use of location quotients (LQs) in constructing regional input-output models. Its focus is on the augmented FLQ formula (AFLQ) proposed by Flegg and Webber, 2000, which takes regional specialization explicitly into account. In our case study, we examine data for 20 Finnish regions, ranging in size from very small to very large, in order to assess the relative performance of the AFLQ formula in estimating regional imports, total intermediate inputs and output multipliers, and to determine an appropriate value for the parameter ? used in this formula. In this assessment, we use the Finnish survey-based national and regional input-output tables for 1995, which identify 37 separate sectors, as a benchmark. The results show that, in contrast with the other LQ-based formulae examined, the AFLQ is able to produce adequate estimates of output multipliers in all regions. However, some variation is required in the value of ? across regions in order to obtain satisfactory estimates. The case study also reveals that the AFLQ and its predecessor, the FLQ, yield very similar results. This finding indicates that the inclusion of a measure of regional specialization in the AFLQ formula is not helpful in terms of generating superior results.
    Keywords: Regional input-output models Finland FLQ formula Location quotients
    Date: 2008–10
  15. By: Davide Arduini (University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”); Federico Belotti (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.); Mario Denni (Italian Competition Authority (Agcm).); Gerolamo Giungato (Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat)); Antonello Zanfei (Dipartimento di Economia e Metodi Quantitativi, Università di Urbino (Italy))
    Abstract: Using data on 1,176 Italian municipalities in 2005, this paper discusses a number of factors associated with the development of a particular type of innovative activities, namely e-government services supplied by local public administrations (PAs). We find that municipalities which got involved into e-government are larger, carry out more in-house ICT activities and are more likely to have intra-net infrastructures, relative to PAs that do not offer front office digitalised services. They are also generally located in regions with relatively large shares of firms using or producing ICT, where many other municipalities offer digitalised services, and where concentration of inhabitants in metropolitan areas is not very high. The range and quality of e-government services supplied by local PAs tend to increase with their stock of ICT competencies, with their efforts to train workers, and with their ability to organise efficient interfaces with end-users. Moreover, there is a correlation between the range and quality of e-government services offered and the broadband infrastructure development of the geographic area in which local PAs are located. In more general terms, we show that the combination of internal competencies and context specific factors is different when explaining the decision to start e-government activities vs. the intensity of such activities. Regional factors, relating to both demand and supply of services, appear to affect only the decision to enter e-government activities. Competencies needed to expand and improve the quality of services are much more numerous and complex than the ones associated with the mere decision to start e-government activities.
    Keywords: Innovation system, Dynamic capabilities, Technology adoption, Electronic government, Innovation in services, Two-part model.
    JEL: H83 O38
    Date: 2008
  16. By: Nico Voigtländer; Joachim Voth
    Abstract: How did Europe overtake China? We construct a simple Malthusian model with two sectors, and use it to explain how European per capita incomes and urbanization rates could surge ahead of Chinese ones. That living standards could exceed subsistence levels at all in a Malthusian setting should be surprising. Rising fertility and falling mortality ought to have reversed any gains. We show that productivity growth in Europe can only explain a small fraction of rising living standards. Population dynamics – changes of the birth and death schedules – were far more important drivers of the longrun Malthusian equilibrium. The Black Death raised wages substantially, creating important knock-on effects. Because of Engel’s Law, demand for urban products increased, raising urban wages and attracting migrants from rural areas. European cities were unhealthy, especially compared to Far Eastern ones. Urbanization pushed up aggregate death rates. This effect was reinforced by more frequent wars (fed by city wealth) and disease spread by trade. Thus, higher wages themselves reduced population pressure. Without technological change, our model can account for the sharp rise in European urbanization as well as permanently higher per capita incomes. We complement our calibration exercise with a detailed analysis of intra-European growth in the early modern period. Using a panel of European states in the period 1300-1700, we show that war frequency can explain a good share of the divergent fortunes within Europe.
    Keywords: Malthus to Solow, Long-run Growth, Great Divergence, Epidemics, Demographic Regime
    JEL: E27 N13 N33 O14 O41
    Date: 2008–08
  17. By: Antonio Núñez (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat)
    Abstract: It has been observed that older high traffic motorways experience lower traffic growth than newer ones (ceteris paribus). This phenomenon is known as traffic maturity; however, it is not captured through traditional time-series long-term forecasts, due to constant elasticity to gross domestic product these models assume. In this paper we argue that traffic maturity results from decreasing marginal utility of transport. The elasticity of individual mobility with respect to the revenue tends to decrease when the level of mobility increases. In order to find evidences of decreasing elasticity we analyse a cross-section time-series sample including 40 French motorways' sections. This analysis shows that decreasing elasticity can be observed in the long term. We then propose a decreasing function for the traffic elasticity with respect to the economic growth, which depends on the traffic level on the road. This model provides a good explanation for the observed traffic evolution and gives a rigorous econometric approach to time-series traffic forecasts.
    Keywords: Demand forecast ; Elasticity ; Traffic growth ; Traffic maturity
    Date: 2008
  18. By: Patricia Funk; Christina Gathmann
    Abstract: Using historical data for all Swiss cantons from 1890 to 2000, we estimate the causal effect of direct democracy on government spending. The main innovation in this paper is that we use fixed effects to control for unobserved heterogeneity and instrumental variables to address the potential endogeneity of institutions. We find that the budget referendum and lower costs to launch a voter initiative are effective tools in reducing canton level spending. However, we find no evidence that the budget referendum results in more decentralized government or a larger local government. Our instrumental variable estimates suggest that a mandatory budget referendum reduces the size of canton spending between 13 and 19 percent. A 1 percent lower signature requirement for the initiative reduces canton spending by up to 2 percent.
    Keywords: Direct Democracy, Fiscal Policy, Switzerland
    JEL: H11 N43
    Date: 2007–12
  19. By: Nicolas Chatelais (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, Institut CDC pour la recherche - Institut CDC pour la recherche); Mathilde Peyrat (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, ESSEC Business School - Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to develop a better understanding of the literature dealing with strategic fiscal behaviours of small EU countries using estimations of tax reaction functions of competing national governments. Deriving a simple model of tax competition in a Nash and Stackelberg game, we use panel data and tools from spatial econometrics to examine the role of small countries in tax competition within the enlarged European Union. We find that interactions are stronger among smaller EU countries than between larges ones and rates set in small countries influence those in big countries. Finally, small countries located in the centre of the EU have more influence on tax policies choices of big countries than small countries located in the periphery of EU.
    Keywords: Strategic interactions, tax behaviours, spatial econometrics, European Union, tax competition, small countries.
    Date: 2008–10
  20. By: Baddeley, M.; Fingleton, B.
    Abstract: In this paper, we assess the Fujita, Krugman and Venables (FKV) nonlinear model of wage differentials. Using a spatial econometric model incorporating a spatial autoregressive error process, we estimate a quadratic form using cross-sectional data for 98 countries from 1970 to 2000. The evidence suggests no necessary tendency for all countries to converge towards the stable upper root. Polarization is possible. This polarization may be permanent - generating persistent international wage differentials. Our findings suggest that moderating the transmission of shocks across countries should be a key element of international macroeconomic policy co-ordination.
    Keywords: Globalisation, convergence, wage differentials, spatial error models
    JEL: R12 R15
    Date: 2008–09
  21. By: Tae H. Oum; Xiaowen Fu
    Abstract: This paper examines revenue structure, regulation, and market power of airports, and how they affect airport’s services to airlines and influence the form of vertical relationship between airport and airlines, and thus, eventually on competition in airline markets. In addition, we also examine the competitive consequences of common ownership, coordination or alliance among multiple airports in a region. The key findings are: Concession revenues are of increasing importance to airports. The positive externality of air traffic on the demand for non-aeronautical services, along with competition among both airlines and airports, induces a vertical cooperation between airports and the dominant carrier at the airport. Airports have substantial market power due to the low price elasticity of their aeronautical services. However, such airports’ market power is moderated by competition in both the airline and airport markets. There are benefits for both airports and airlines from entering into long term relationships.
    Date: 2008–09
  22. By: Janeba, Eckhard (Dept. of Economics, University of Mannheim); Schjelderup, Guttorm (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: The views on the welfare effects of tax competition differ widely. Some see the fiscal externalities as the cause for underprovision of public goods, while others see tax competition as means to reduce government inefficiencies. Using a comparative politics approach we show that tax competition among presidential-congressional democracies is typically welfare improving, while harmful among parliamentary democracies if under the latter the marginal benefit of the public good is sufficiently high. The results hold when politicians seek re-election because of exogenous benefits of holding office. By contrast, when politicians hold office only to extract rents, tax competition is harmful if politicians are sufficiently patient.
    Keywords: Tax competition; welfare effects; comparative politics approach
    JEL: H24
    Date: 2008–10–17
  23. By: Massimiliano Mazzanti (University of Ferrara); Anna Montini (University of Bologna); Francesco Nicolli (University of Ferrara)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the process of delinking for landfilling trends embedding the dynamics in a frame where economic, geographical and policy variables enter the arena We aim at investigating in depth what main drivers may be responsible for such a phenomenon, and whether differences may be observed focusing the lens on a decentralised provincial based setting. We exploit a rich panel dataset stemming from Official sources (APAT, Italian environmental agency) merged with other provincial and regional based information, covering all the 103 Italian provinces over 1999-2005. The case study on Italy is worth being considered given that Italy is a main country in the EU. Thus it offers important pieces on information on the evaluation of policies. Evidence shows that the observed decoupling between economic growth and landfilling is driven by a mix of structural factors, as population density and other waste management opportunity: local opportunity costs and landfill externalities matter in shaping waste policies and local commitment to landfill diversion. But not only structural factors are relevant. If on the one hand landfill taxation is a significant driver of the phenomenon, even at the more coherent regional level, where the tax is implemented, waste management instruments, when we exploit the provincial dataset, are associated to high significant negative effect on landfilled waste. A good performance on managing waste according to economic rationales helps reducing the amount that is landfilled. In association to the features of the tariff system, we also underline the key role played by the share of separated collection. Both the evolution of collection and tariff system are joint factors that may drive a wedge between the comparative waste performances of northern and southern regions. We finally note that lock in effects linked to the intensity of incinerator sites in the area are relevant for landfilling: past investments in incineration lock in the region in this technological path, which may be associated to less opportunity cost and lower external effects. Summing up, landfill diversion is stronger where the economic cost deriving from high population density, a structural factor, are higher, and waste management collection systems and economic instruments are associated with higher performances.
    Keywords: Landfill Policies, Incineration, Landfill Tax, Policy Effectiveness, Waste Management, Delinking, Landfill Trends, Kuznets Curves
    JEL: C23 Q38 Q56
    Date: 2008–09
  24. By: Taff, Steven J.
    Abstract: This report is a summary of the data contained on the farmland sales portion of the Minnesota Land Economics (MLE) web site ( ) as of May 25, 2008. It is formally reissued each Spring, as new sales data become available. We no longer distribute a separate farm real estate report in the Minnesota Agricultural Economist (now the Minnesota Applied Economist: The present document consists largely of graphs and tables summarizing sales over the past eighteen years. It provides averages at the multi-county region and at the statewide levels of aggregation. Individual transaction data are available for downloading and analysis at the MLE web site. An electronic version of the current report in fully navigable portable document format (pdf) is also available: .pdf.
    Keywords: Land prices, Real estate sales, Minnesota, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2008–05–28
  25. By: Quentin David; Alexandre Janiak; Etienne Wasmer
    Abstract: In this paper we study a large class of resource allocation problems with an important complication, the utilization cost of a given resource is private information of a profit maximizing agent. After reviewing the characterization of the optimal bayesian mechanism, we study the informational cost introduced by the presence of private information. Our main result is to provide an upper bound for the ratio between the cost under asymmetric information and the cost of a fully informed designer, which is independent of the combinatorial nature of the problem and tight. We also show that this bound holds for a variation of the Vickrey-Clark-Groves mechanism. Finally we point out implementation issues of the optimal mechanism.
    Date: 2008
  26. By: Vink, Dennis
    Abstract: The capital market in which asset-backed securities are issued and traded is composed of three main categories: ABS, MBS and CDOs. We were able to examine a total number of 3,466 loans (worth €548.85 billion) of which 1,102 (worth €163.90 billion) have been classified as ABS. MBS issues represent 1,782 issues (worth €320.83 billion), and 582 are CDO issues (worth €64.12 billion). We have investigated how common pricing factors compare for the main classes of securities. Due to the differences in the assets related to these securities, the relevant pricing factors for these securities should differ, too. Taking these three classes as a whole, we have documented that the assets attached as collateral for the securities differ between security classes, but that there are also important univariate differences to consider. We found that most of the common pricing characteristics between ABS, MBS and CDO differ significantly. Furthermore, applying the same pricing estimation model to each security class revealed that most of the common pricing characteristics associated with these classes have a different impact on the primary market spread exhibited by the value of the coefficients. The regression analyses we performed suggest that ABS, MBS and CDOs are in fact different instruments, as implied by the differences in impact of the pricing factors on the loan spread between these security classes.
    Keywords: asset securitization; asset-backed securitisation; bank lending; default risk; risk management; spreads; leveraged financing
    JEL: G12 G0 G21
    Date: 2007–08–28
  27. By: Vink, Dennis
    Abstract: In this study we provide empirical evidence demonstrating a relationship between the nature of the assets and the primary market spread. The model also provides predictions on how other pricing characteristics affect spread, since little is known about how and why spreads of asset-backed securities are influenced by loan tranche characteristics. We find that default and recovery risk characteristics represent the most important group in explaining loan spread variability. Within this group, the credit rating dummies are the most important variables to determine loan spread at issue. Nonetheless, credit rating is not a sufficient statistic for the determination of spreads. We find that the nature of the assets has a substantial impact on the spread across all samples, indicating that primary market spread with backing assets that cannot easily be replaced is significantly higher relative to issues with assets that can easily be obtained. Of the remaining characteristics, only marketability explains a significant portion of the spreads’ variability. In addition, variations of the specifications were estimated in order to asses the robustness of the conclusions concerning the determinants of loan spreads.
    Keywords: asset securitization; asset-backed securitisation; bank lending; default risk; risk management; leveraged financing.
    JEL: G21 G20
    Date: 2007–08–28

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