nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2009‒04‒13
37 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Factors explaining urban transport systems in large European cities: A cross-sectional approach By Daniel Albalate; Germà Bel
  3. Charter Schools in New York City: Who Enrolls and How They Affect Their Students' Achievement By Caroline M. Hoxby; Sonali Murarka
  4. The Impact of Child Labor and School Quality on Academic Achievement in Brazil By Bezerra, Márcio Eduardo G.; Kassouf, Ana Lucia; Arends-Kuenning, Mary P.
  5. Forced Sales and House Prices By John Y. Campbell; Stefano Giglio; Parag Pathak
  6. Faith Primary Schools: Better Schools or Better Pupils? By Gibbons, Steve; Silva, Olmo
  7. New Flight Regimes and Exposure to Aircraft Noise: Identifying Housing Price Effects Using a Ratio-of-Ratios Approach By Stefan Boes; Stephan Nüesch
  8. An Econometric Comparison of the Recent US and UK Housing Booms By Sarah Bryant; Jonathan Kohn
  9. Does Student Sorting Invalidate Value-Added Models of Teacher Effectiveness? An Extended Analysis of the Rothstein Critique By Cory Koedel; Julian Betts
  10. When Smaller Families Look Contagious: A Spatial Look At The French Fertility Decline Using An Agent-Based Simulation Model By Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon; Tommy Murphy
  11. Employer-provided training and knowledge spillovers: evidence from Italian local labour markets By Croce, Giuseppe; Ghignoni, Emanuela
  12. Residents' Benefits Evaluation of Urban Development Plans - A Willingnes-To-Accept Model for a Multi-functional Land Use Project in Amsterdam By Caroline A. Rodenburg; Peter Nijkamp; Henri L.F. de Groot; Erik T. Verhoef
  13. The Building Society Promise: Building Societies and Home Ownership, C.1880–19131 By Luke Samy
  14. The Impact of Conditional Cash Transfers on Children’s School Achievement: Evidence from Colombia By Sandra García; Jennifer Hill
  16. School Tracking and Development of Cognitive Skills By Pekkarinen, Tuomas; Uusitalo, Roope; Kerr, Sari
  17. Migrant Entrepreneurship and New Urban Economic Opportunities By Peter Nijkamp; Mediha Sahin; Tüzin Baycan-Levent
  18. The Effect of Neighbourhood Housing Tenure Mix on Labour Market Outcomes: A Longitudinal Perspective By van Ham, Maarten; Manley, David
  19. Decentralization and Access to Social Services in Colombia By Jean-Paul Faguet; Fabio Sánchez
  20. Education and selective vouchers By Amedeo Piolatto
  21. Strategy-proofness versus Efficiency in Matching with Indifferences: Redesigning the New York City High School Match By Atila Abdulkadiroglu; Parag A. Pathak; Alvin E. Roth
  22. Paying for Progress: Conditional Grants and the Desegregation of Southern Schools By Elizabeth Cascio; Nora Gordon; Ethan Lewis; Sarah Reber
  23. Empirical analysis of solid management waste costs: Some evidence from Galicia, Spain By Germà Bel; Xavier Fageda
  24. Regional Economic Growth And Human Capital: The Role Of Overeducation By Raul Ramos; Jordi Suriñach; Manuel Artís
  25. Comparitive Performance Analysis of European Airports by Means of Extended Data Envelopment Analysis By Soushi Suzuki; Peter Nijkamp; Eric Pels; Piet Rietveld
  26. Government Form and Public Spending: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Municipalities By Stephen Coate; Brian Knight
  27. Origin and Causes of the Housing Crisis By Arturo Guillen R.
  28. Factors affecting the schooling performance of secondary school pupils - the cost of high unemployment and imperfect financial markets By Claudia Trentini; Lídia Farré
  29. Economic Solutions By Zambrano, Joshua
  30. ¿Por qué se privatizan servicios en los municipios (pequeños)?Evidencia empírica sobre residuos sólidos y agua By Germà Bel; Xavier Fageda; Melania Mur
  31. Delinquent Networks By Coralio Ballester; Antoni Calvó-Armengol; Yves Zenou
  32. Median Problems in Networks By Vladimir Marianov; Daniel Serra
  33. Economic Development Benefits of Preschool Expansion in Kalamazoo County By Timothy J. Bartik
  34. Exploring the Factors Associated with Youths’ Educational Outcomes: The Role of Locus of Control and Parental Socio-Economic Background By Juan Baron
  35. The Creative Class, Bohemians and Local Labor Market Performance: A Micro-data Panel Study for Germany 1975-2004 By Möller, Joachim; Tubadji, Annie
  36. The Skinny on Big Box Retailing: Wal-Mart, Warehouse Clubs, and Obesity By Courtemanche, Charles; Carden, Art
  37. Restaurant Prices and the Minimum Wage By Fougère, Denis; Gautier, Erwan; Le Bihan, Hervé

  1. By: Daniel Albalate (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Germà Bel (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: The importance of effective and efficient mobility in large cities is becoming essential for planners and citizens due to its impact in terms of social, economic and geographic development. The aim of this research is to determine factors explaining urban transport systems by estimating aggregate supply and demand equations for 45 large European cities. Supply and Demand equations are separately and jointly determined using OLS and SUR estimation models. On one hand, our findings suggest the importance of economic variables on the supply of public transport. On the other, we highlight the role of those factors influencing the generalized cost of transport as main drivers of demand for public transit. Additionally, regional variables are introduced to capture institutional heterogeneity in this service, and we find that regional patterns are powerful explanatory determinants of urban transportation systems in Europe.
    Keywords: Urban transportation, Local government policy, Mobility.
    Date: 2009–04
  2. By: Todd H. Kuethe (Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University); Valerien Pede (Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University)
    Abstract: We present a study of the effects of macroeconomic shocks on housing prices in the Western United States using quarterly state level data from 1988:1 – 2007:4. The study contributes to the existing literature by explicitly incorporating locational spillovers through a spatial econometric adaptation of vector autoregression (SpVAR). The results suggest these spillovers may Granger cause housing price movements in a large number of cases. SpVAR provides additional insights through impulse response functions that demonstrate the effects of macroeconomic events in different neighboring locations. In addition, we demonstrate that including spatial information leads to significantly lower mean square forecast errors.
    Keywords: Housing prices, VAR, spatial econometrics
    JEL: C31 C32 R21
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Caroline M. Hoxby; Sonali Murarka
    Abstract: We analyze all but a few of the 47 charter schools operating in New York City in 2005-06. The schools tend locate in disadvantaged neighborhoods and serve students who are substantially poorer than the average public school student in New York City. The schools also attract black applicants to an unusual degree, not only relative to New York City but also relative to the traditional public schools from which they draw. The vast majority of applicants are admitted in lotteries that the schools hold when oversubscribed, and the vast majority of the lotteries are balanced. By balanced, we mean that we cannot reject the hypothesis that there are no differences in the observable characteristics of lotteried-in and lotteried-out students. Using the lotteries to form an intention-to-treat variable, we instrument for actual enrollment and compute the charter schools' average treatment-on-the-treated effects on achievement. These are 0.09 standard deviations per year of treatment in math and 0.04 standard deviations per year in reading. We estimate correlations between charter schools' policies and their effects on achievement. The policy with the most notable and robust association is a long school year--as long as 220 days in the charter schools.
    JEL: H0 H42 H75 I2 I21 I22 I28
    Date: 2009–04
  4. By: Bezerra, Márcio Eduardo G. (University of Sao Paulo); Kassouf, Ana Lucia (University of Sao Paulo); Arends-Kuenning, Mary P. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of child labor on school achievement using Brazilian school achievement test data from the 2003 Sistema Nacional de Avaliação da Educação Básica (SAEB). We control for the endogeneity of child labor using instrumental variable techniques, where the instrumental variable is the average wage for unskilled male labor in the state. Using our preferred OLS estimates, we find that child labor causes a loss in students' school achievement. Children and adolescents who do not work have better school performance than students who work. Up to two hours of work per day do not have a statistically significant effect on school performance, but additional hours decrease student's achievement. Differences in work conditions affect school performance. For high school students in Portuguese, compared to students who have schooling as their only activity, students who work only at home score 4 percent lower on the tests. Those students who only work outside the house are worse off than those who only work within the house, with test scores decreasing by 5 percent. Students who work both inside and outside the house have the lowest test scores of all the working conditions, decreasing by up to 7 percent.
    Keywords: child labor, school achievement, Brazil
    JEL: I21 J13 J22 O15
    Date: 2009–03
  5. By: John Y. Campbell; Stefano Giglio; Parag Pathak
    Abstract: This paper uses data on house transactions in the state of Massachusetts over the last 20 years to show that houses sold after foreclosure, or close in time to the death or bankruptcy of at least one seller, are sold at lower prices than other houses. Foreclosure discounts are particularly large on average at 28% of the value of a house. The pattern of death-related discounts suggests that they may result from poor home maintenance by older sellers, while foreclosure discounts appear to be related to the threat of vandalism in low-priced neighborhoods. After aggregating to the zipcode level and controlling for regional price trends, the prices of forced sales are mean-reverting, while the prices of unforced sales are close to a random walk. At the zipcode level, this suggests that unforced sales take place at approximately efficient prices, while forced-sales prices reflect time-varying illiquidity in neighborhood housing markets. At a more local level, however, we find that foreclosures that take place within a quarter of a mile, and particularly within a tenth of a mile, of a house lower the price at which it is sold. Our preferred estimate of this effect is that a foreclosure at a distance of 0.05 miles lowers the price of a house by about 1%.
    JEL: G12 R20 R30
    Date: 2009–04
  6. By: Gibbons, Steve (London School of Economics); Silva, Olmo (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: We provide estimates for the effect of attending a Faith school on educational achievement using a census of primary school pupils in England. We argue that there are no credible instruments for Faith school attendance in this context. Instead, we partially control for selection into religious schooling by tracking pupils over time and comparing attainments of students who exhibit different levels of commitment to religious education through their choice of secondary school and residence. Using this approach, we find only a small advantage from Faith primary schooling, worth about 1 percentile on age-11 test scores. Moreover, this is linked to autonomous admissions and governance arrangements, and not to religious character of the schools. We then go on to show that our estimates vary substantially across pupil subgroups that exhibit different levels of sorting on observable characteristics into Faith schooling, and provide bounds on what the 'Faith school effect' would be in the absence of sorting and selection. Pupils with a high degree of observable-sorting into Faith schools have an age-11 test score advantage of up to 2.7 percentiles. On the other hand, pupils showing a very low degree of sorting on observables have zero or negative gains. It appears that most of the apparent advantage of Faith school education in England can be explained by differences between the pupils who attend these schools and those who do not.
    Keywords: faith school, primary schools, pupil achievement
    JEL: I20 J24 Z12
    Date: 2009–03
  7. By: Stefan Boes (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich); Stephan Nüesch (Institute of Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: In October 2003, a new flight regime was introduced at Zurich airport that significantly changed the levels of noise pollution in surrounding communities. We investigate the impact of the new flight policy on apartment prices using a hedonic price model and a non-linear difference-in-differences identification strategy. Our results suggest that rental prices increased by about 3 to 8 percent less in regions affected by the policy change, controlling for several apartment and location characteristics. The noise discount is still significant, although smaller, even after the inclusion of object-speciffc fixed effects. However, we do not find evidence of price changes in the sales market.
    Keywords: quasi-experimental data, housing market, aircraft noise, hedonic approach, non-linear difference-in-differences, policy evaluation
    JEL: C21 Q53 R21
    Date: 2009–04
  8. By: Sarah Bryant (Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania); Jonathan Kohn (Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: The US and UK economies have experienced excessive demand for housing for over a decade, causing housing booms in both countries. Consumers have been on a spending spree, based on higher and higher real and perceived home equity values, as well as equity market increases. In the US and UK markets, "bigger is better," or "as much as one can afford," has become the mentality of home buyers, as well as "buy now to take advantage of future higher prices" at which to sell one's house. In the US, interest rates have been mostly held at historic lows since about 1990. The Federal Reserve was praised for a long time for helping the financial markets sustain their roles in the housing markets. Since the housing market crash, beginning about 2006, the Federal Reserve has been blamed for the housing crisis. In the UK, interest rates have been held at more moderate levels, but they still experienced a boom and now a slowing of their housing market. This research will compare the two housing market booms to determine what differences and factors-in-common led to these simultaneous economic situations. This paper was presented at the 18th International Conference of the International Trade and Finance Association, meeting at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, in Lisbon, Portugal, May 22, 2008.
    Date: 2008–08–06
  9. By: Cory Koedel (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Julian Betts
    Abstract: Value-added modeling continues to gain traction as a tool for measuring teacher performance. However, recent research (Rothstein, 2009, forthcoming) questions the validity of the value-added approach by showing that it does not mitigate student-teacher sorting bias (its presumed primary benefit). Our study explores this critique in more detail. Although we find that estimated teacher effects from some value-added models are severely biased, we also show that a sufficiently complex value-added model that evaluates teachers over multiple years reduces the sorting-bias problem to statistical insignificance. One implication of our findings is that data from the first year or two of classroom teaching for novice teachers may be insufficient to make reliable judgments about quality. Overall, our results suggest that in some cases value-added modeling will continue to provide useful information about the effectiveness of educational inputs.
    Keywords: value added, measurement of teacher quality, outcome-based teacher quality
    JEL: I20 I28 I21
    Date: 2009–04–03
  10. By: Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon (Nuffield College and Department of Sociology, University of Oxford); Tommy Murphy (IGIER and Centro Dondena, Universita Bocconi)
    Abstract: Despite some disagreements about specific timing, it is now widely accepted that France was the first European country to experience a systematic decline in fertility, a decline that took place in a very distinctive geographical pattern. Whereas two areas of low birth rates (the Seine valley and the Aquitaine region) kept spreading, two ‘islands’ of high fertility (Bretagne and the Massif Central) shrank until they more or less disappeared in the early 1900s. In an attempt to provide a sensible explanation of this pattern, we build an agent-based simulation model which incorporates both historical data on population characteristics and spatial information on the geography of France, and allows us to study the role of social influence in fertility decisions. We assess how different behavioural assumptions and network topologies cause variations in diffusion patterns, using quantitative data on the Ecclesiastical Oath of 1791 to proxy for the impact the Revolution. Analysis of several simulations shows that a combination of both endogenous and exogenous factors help to explain the way in which the diffusion took place and suggests some of the mechanisms through which this was materialised.
    Keywords: Economic history, demographic history (Europe pre-1913), France, demographic economics, fertility, simulation models (agent-based), diffusion.
    JEL: N33 J13 C15
    Date: 2008–09–02
  11. By: Croce, Giuseppe; Ghignoni, Emanuela
    Abstract: Following suggestions from theoretical and empirical literature on agglomeration and on social returns to education which emphasise the contribution of local knowledge spillovers to productivity and wage growth, this paper aims at uncovering the relationship between local human capital and training. Furthermore, we check the effects of other variables measuring distinctive features of local labour markets, like the degree of specialization, average firms’ size, intensity of job turnover, economic density, employment in R&D activities and some other control variables. Our key-results are consistent with the prediction that training should be more frequent in areas where the aggregate educational level is higher. Moreover, interaction between local and individual human capital is positive and significant for those with an upper secondary educational attainment. These results have proved to be robust since they are not altered when different definitions of local human capital are adopted or different sub-samples are considered (with the exception of female workers). We coped also with the problem of omitted variables and spatial sorting, that could bias econometric results, by means of a two-step strategy based on instrumental variables.
    Keywords: Keywords: training; knowledge spillovers; local labour markets
    JEL: O18 J24 R23
    Date: 2009–04
  12. By: Caroline A. Rodenburg (VU University Amsterdam); Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam); Henri L.F. de Groot (VU University Amsterdam); Erik T. Verhoef (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Urban re-development projects may generate various positive as well as negative spatial externalities to the existing population in a given area. This study aims to assess the order of magnitude of the expected net benefits for incumbent residents from a large scale project in the Southern part of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), which is planned to transform the area into a large multi-functional urban centre. We employ a specific stated preference method (viz. a willingness-to-accept method) to assess the net socio-economic benefits for the population in the area concerned. Our approach explicitly considers perceived costs and benefits in the foreseen „end-states‟ as well as those incurred during the transitional (construction) phase towards such end-states. It is concluded that the multi-functional urban re-development project under consideration is not supported by the residents in the area, as the long-run benefits are perceived to be overshadowed by the short-run environmental nuisances.
    Keywords: multi-functional land use; stated preference; urban development
    JEL: Q15 R52 O18
    Date: 2009–03–18
  13. By: Luke Samy (Nuffield College University of Oxford)
    Abstract: Formed in the mid-nineteenth century, the building societies grew rapidly from their humble beginnings as localised ‘self-help’ organisations to become the dominant player in the house mortgage market by the inter-war period. Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the movement presented itself as a true champion of home ownership and thrift among the working classes, but historians of housing have generally downplayed the role that building societies played, or could have played, in furthering these aims. This paper examines the archival records of two London-based building societies to investigate empirically the extent to which these institutions helped to overcome financial exclusion and to foster home ownership before the First World War, a time when rental tenure was the norm. The results show that the case studies examined were not exclusively middle-class in their membership, with one of them in particular showing a genuine commitment to working-class owner- occupation by providing loans to both skilled and unskilled workers on easy repayment terms. Its success in doing so was based on its innovative agency network which it used to control the adverse selection and moral hazard problems involved in lending to lower-income groups.
    Date: 2008–10–02
  14. By: Sandra García; Jennifer Hill
    Abstract: During the last decade, conditional cash transfer programs have expanded in developing countries as a way to increase school enrollment and deter youth from dropping out of school. However, despite evidence of these programs’ positive impact on school enrollment and attendance, little is known about their impact on school achievement. Thus, using data from the Colombian conditional cash transfer program Familias en Acción, this study estimated the effect of the conditional subsidy on school achievement. It found that the program does have a positive effect on school achievement for children aged 7 to 12 living in rural areas but practically no effect for the same population living in urban areas. Moreover, the program may actually have a negative effect on the school achievement of adolescents, particularly those living in rural areas. Possible mechanisms of these effects are explored and discussed.
    Date: 2009–02–26
  15. By: Germà Bel (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Xavier Fageda (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper empirically analyzes changes in the supply of non-stop intercontinental flights from European airports. We take advantage of OAG data for air services from a rich sample of European airports to intercontinental destinations in the period 2004-2008. Results of the empirical analysis indicate a tendency towards a more balanced distribution of intercontinental flights across European airports. We also find that the demographic size of a region, its sector specialization, the political role of its central city and the proportion of connecting traffic explain the amount of and changes in long-haul air services supplied from European airports.
    Keywords: airports, air transportation, intercontinental flights
    Date: 2009–04
  16. By: Pekkarinen, Tuomas (Helsinki School of Economics); Uusitalo, Roope (VATT, Helsinki); Kerr, Sari (Charles River Associates)
    Abstract: The Finnish comprehensive school reform replaced the old two-track school system with a uniform nine-year comprehensive school and significantly reduced the degree of heterogeneity in the Finnish primary and secondary education. We estimate the effect of this reform on the test scores in the Finnish Army Basic Skills test. The identification strategy relies on a differences-in-differences strategy and exploits the fact that the reform was implemented gradually across the country during a six-year period between 1972 and 1977. We find that the reform had a small positive effect on the verbal test scores but no effect on the mean performance in the arithmetic or logical reasoning tests. Still in all tests the reform improved the scores of students from families where parents had only basic education.
    Keywords: education, school system, tracking, comprehensive school, test scores
    JEL: H52 I21
    Date: 2009–03
  17. By: Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam); Mediha Sahin (VU University Amsterdam); Tüzin Baycan-Levent (Istanbul Technical University)
    Abstract: Nowadays, migrants form a significant share of the urban population, and their business is critical for urban economic growth. This paper addresses the key factors determining the position of migrant entrepreneurs in the urban economy in the Netherlands. In order to develop a solid assessment of CSFs for migrant entrepreneurs, and to understand business performance in a competitive urban environment, this study will investigate the entrepreneurial behaviour of migrants in Dutch cities from a micro-economic perspective by paying attention to the entrepreneurial behaviour of migrants, the role of their social networks, and the innovative potential of new growth markets in a city. Our research employs a comparative statistical analysis of empirical findings in order to map out opportunities, success conditions and bottlenecks for migrant entrepreneurs. Given our largely categorical database, we will employ a qualitative causal pattern recognition technique, viz. rough set analysis, to systematically assess the conditions for successful entrepreneurship of migrants.
    Keywords: Migrant entrepreneurship; rough set analysis; critical success factors; categorical pattern recognition analysis
    JEL: J61 L26
    Date: 2009–03–18
  18. By: van Ham, Maarten (University of St. Andrews); Manley, David (University of St. Andrews)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of different levels of neighbourhood housing tenure mix on transitions from unemployment to employment and the probability of staying in employment for those with a job. We used individual level data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS), a 5.3% sample of the Scottish population, covering a 10 year period. We found a strong negative correlation between living in deprived neighbourhoods and labour market outcomes (getting or keeping a job). We found a small, but significant, positive correlation between living in mixed tenure (40-80% social housing) streets and transitions from unemployment to employment. In the conclusion we discuss the extent to which we think these results can be interpreted as 'neighbourhood effects' or selection effects.
    Keywords: tenure mix, deprivation, neighbourhood effects, labour market transitions, longitudinal data, Scotland
    JEL: I30 J60 R23
    Date: 2009–03
  19. By: Jean-Paul Faguet; Fabio Sánchez
    Abstract: A central claim in favor of decentralization is that it will improve access to public services, but few studies examine this question empirically. This paper explores the effects of decentralization on access to health and education in Colombia. We benefit from an original database that includes over 95% of Colombian municipalities. Our results show that decentralization improved enrollment rates in public schools and access of the poor to public health services. In both sectors, improving access was driven by the financial contributions of local governments. Our theoretical findings imply that local governments with better information about local preferences will concentrate their resources in the areas their voters care about most. The combination of empirical and theoretical results implies that decentralization provides local officials with the information and incentives they need to allocate resources in a manner responsive to voters’ needs, and improve the quality of expenditures so as to maximize their impact. The end result is greater usage of local services by citizens.
    Date: 2009–02–12
  20. By: Amedeo Piolatto (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: The literature on vouchers often concludes that a voucher-based system cannot be the outcome of a majority vote. This paper shows that it is possible to propose selective vouchers (of exogenous value) such that the majority of voters are in favour of selective vouchers. As long as the introduction of vouchers does not undermine the existence of public schools, introducing selective vouchers induces a Pareto improvement. Some agents use vouchers in equilibrium to buy private education, while the poorest agents continue attending public schools and enjoy an increase in per-capita expenditure.
    Keywords: positive public economics; education; vouchers; voting.
    JEL: H42 I20 I22 I28 I29 D70
    Date: 2009–03
  21. By: Atila Abdulkadiroglu; Parag A. Pathak; Alvin E. Roth
    Abstract: The design of the New York City (NYC) High School match involved tradeoffs among efficiency, stability and strategy-proofness that raise new theoretical questions. We analyze a model with indifferences--ties--in school preferences. Simulations with field data and the theory favor breaking indifferences the same way at every school --single tie breaking-- in a student-proposing deferred acceptance mechanism. Any inefficiency associated with a realized tie breaking cannot be removed without harming student incentives. Finally, we empirically document the extent of potential efficiency loss associated with strategy-proofness and stability, and direct attention to some open questions.
    JEL: C78 D60 I20
    Date: 2009–04
  22. By: Elizabeth Cascio; Nora Gordon; Ethan Lewis; Sarah Reber
    Abstract: This paper examines how a large conditional grants program influenced school desegregation in the American South. Exploiting newly collected archival data and quasi-experimental variation in potential per-pupil federal grants, we show that school districts with more at risk in 1966 were more likely to desegregate just enough to receive their funds. Although the program did not raise the exposure of blacks to whites like later court orders, districts with larger grants at risk in 1966 were less likely to be under court order through 1970, suggesting that tying federal funds to nondiscrimination reduced the burden of desegregation on federal courts.
    JEL: H7 I21
    Date: 2009–04
  23. By: Germà Bel (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Xavier Fageda (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the factors that determine solid waste service costs. The empirical analysis is based on information derived from a survey conducted in a sample of Galician municipalities. The results reveal economies of scale in municipalities of fewer than 50,000 inhabitants, such that cooperation between these municipalities could lead to cost savings. It also appears that private delivery is not cheaper than public delivery. Finally, designating a larger proportion of the total waste volume to recycling does not imply greater costs.
    Keywords: solid waste services, costs, local government
    Date: 2009–04
  24. By: Raul Ramos (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Jordi Suriñach (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Manuel Artís (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: The paper analyses the link between human capital and regional economic growth in the European Union. Using different indicators of human capital calculated from census microdata, we conclude that the recent economic performance of European regions is associated to an increase in overeducation. In fact, measures of educational mismatch seem to have a stronger connection to regional economic performance than other traditional measures of human capital stocks.
    Keywords: Regional economic growth, human capital, educational mismatch, overeducation
    Date: 2009–03
  25. By: Soushi Suzuki (Hokkai-Gakuen University, Sapporo, Japan); Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam); Eric Pels (VU University Amsterdam); Piet Rietveld (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) has become an established approach for analyzing and comparing efficiency results of corporate organizations or economic agents. It has also found wide application in comparative studies on airport efficiency. The standard DEA approach to comparative airport efficiency analysis has two feeble elements, viz. a methodological and a substantive weakness. The methodological weakness originates from the choice of uniform efficiency improvement assessment, while the substantive weakness in airport efficiency analysis concerns the insufficient attention for short-term and long-term adjustment possibilities in the production inputs determining airport efficiency. The present paper aims to address both flaws by: (i) designing a data-instigated Distance Friction Minimization (DFM) model as a generalization of the standard Banker-Charnes-Cooper (BCC) model with a view to the development of a more appropriate efficiency improvement projection model in the BCC version of DEA; (ii) including as factor inputs also lumpy or rigid factors that are characterized by short-term indivisibility or inertia (and hence not suitable for short-run flexible adjustment in new efficiency stages), as is the case for runways of airports. This so-called fixed factor (FF) case will be included in the DFM submodel of DEA. This extended DEA – with a DFM and an FF component – will be applied to a comparative performance analysis of several major airports in Europe. Finally, our comparative study on airport efficiency analysis will be extended by incorporating also the added value of the presence of shopping facilities at airports for their relative economic performance.
    Keywords: Transportation; Demand Supply; and Congestion; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    JEL: R41
    Date: 2009–03–18
  26. By: Stephen Coate; Brian Knight
    Abstract: There are two main forms of government in U.S. cities: council-manager and mayor-council. This paper develops a theory of fiscal policy determination under these two forms. The theory predicts that expected public spending will be lower under mayor-council, but that either form of government could be favored by a majority of citizens. The latter prediction means that the theory is consistent with the co-existence of both government forms. Support for the former prediction is found in both a cross-sectional analysis and a panel analysis of changes in government form.
    JEL: D7 H7
    Date: 2009–04
  27. By: Arturo Guillen R. (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana Iztapalapa)
    Abstract: The housing crisis is a debt-deflation Minsky's type crisis. The new economy bubble was replaced by the housing bubble. However, it is a deflationary crisis with specificities. It seems to point to the limits of a securities-backed financial regime, which forces a review of the regulation of financial markets and a return to more conservative credit practices. That crisis is global both in terms of its causes and its repercussions. It is far from over. Although the injection of liquidity by central banks has restored a relative stability in financial markets and a greater drop in stock markets, both remain unstable. The repercussions of the crisis will also be global, since decoupling does not exist. The United States continues to be the world economy's buyer of last resort. While some countries, like the BRIC countries will continue to grow, although more slowly, others will sooner or later experience recessions.This paper was presented May 22, 2008, at the 18th International Conference of the International Trade and Finance Association, meeting at Universidad Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.
    Date: 2008–08–16
  28. By: Claudia Trentini (EUI Florence); Lídia Farré (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the implications of major ¯nancial markets crises for the human capital accumulation decisions of households. We use data for Argentinean households over the period 1995-2002 to examine households' response to negative idiosyncratic income shocks in di®erent macroeconomic scenarios. In particular we study how teenagers' school progress responds to household head unemployment during periods of high economic growth and compare it to the response during recession years, when families are more likely to be ¯nancially constrained. After accounting for the potential endogeneity of household head unemployment we ¯nd that school failure in response to unemployment shocks increases during periods of economic instability and that, at least for boys, this results from a greater involvement in labor market activities. Our results add to the existing literature on the long term cost of macroeconomic crises.
    Keywords: imperfect credit markets, human capital, parental unemployment
    JEL: D52 J22 J24
    Date: 2009–03
  29. By: Zambrano, Joshua
    Abstract: A thorough discourse on the underlying issues confronting the U.S. economy, as well as proposals for fixing the crisis. The proposed solutions include placement of soldiers who wish to remain federally employed in a public works program upon return from the Middle East, replacement of free trade agreements with a tariff taxing imports by 90% of the difference in national minimum wages, and restrictions placed upon adjustable mortgage interest rates.
    Keywords: economic solutions; United States; economy; proposals; public works; free trade agreements; 90% tariff; minimum wage; adjustable rate mortgage; FDR; Franklin Delano Roosevelt
    JEL: E0 F10 H0
    Date: 2009–04–03
  30. By: Germà Bel (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Xavier Fageda (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Melania Mur (University of Zaragoza)
    Abstract: This paper examines factors influencing privatization in solid waste collection and water distribution. We take advantage of data for a sample of municipalities of Aragon to identify the most important factors in small municipalities. The results of empirical analysis show that, for both services, the financial situation of the municipality influences significantly in delivery choices of small municipalities, while ideological factors are not relevant. The motivations related to costs differ according to the specific characteristics of the considered service. In this regard, the dispersion of population strata and inter-municipal cooperation play a particularly relevant role in small municipalities.
    Keywords: Privatization, contracting-out, local governments, small municipalities
    Date: 2009–04
  31. By: Coralio Ballester (Universidad de Alicante); Antoni Calvó-Armengol (ICREA,Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Yves Zenou (Stockholm University, Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) and CREAM)
    Abstract: Delinquents are embedded in a network of relationships. Social ties among delinquents are modeled by means of a graph where delinquents compete for a booty and benefit from local interactions with their neighbors. Each delinquent decides in a non-cooperative way how much delinquency effort he will exert. Using the network model developed by Ballester et al. (2006), we characterize the Nash equilibrium and derive an optimal enforcement policy, called the key-player policy, which targets the delinquent who, once removed, leads to the highest aggregate delinquency reduction. We then extend our characterization of optimal single player network removal for delinquency reduction, the key player, to optimal group removal, the key group. We also characterize and derive a policy that targets links rather than players. Finally, we endogenize the network connecting delinquents by allowing players to join the labor market instead of committing delinquent offenses. The key-player policy turns out to be much more complex since it depends on wages and on the structure of the network.
    Date: 2008–04
  32. By: Vladimir Marianov; Daniel Serra
    Abstract: The P-median problem is a classical location model “par excellence”. In this paper we, first examine the early origins of the problem, formulated independently by Louis Hakimi and Charles ReVelle, two of the fathers of the burgeoning multidisciplinary field of research known today as Facility Location Theory and Modelling. We then examine some of the traditional heuristic and exact methods developed to solve the problem. In the third section we analyze the impact of the model in the field. We end the paper by proposing new lines of research related to such a classical problem.
    Keywords: P-median, location modelling
    JEL: C61 L80
    Date: 2009–03
  33. By: Timothy J. Bartik (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of preschool expansion in Kalamazoo County on the county’s economic development. Effects on the county’s economic development are defined as effects on the employment and earnings of county residents. The estimated effects are found to be large relative to the costs. In addition to their relevance to Kalamazoo County, these simulations illustrate how the analysis presented in two previous papers (Bartik 2006, 2008) can be done for an individual county or metropolitan area. Such simulations may be of interest to other counties or metropolitan areas that are considering expansions in early childhood programs.
    Keywords: preschool education, economic development, community development, bartik, kalamazoo
    JEL: R58 I21 J24
    Date: 2008–07
  34. By: Juan Baron
    Abstract: Using unique information for a cohort of Australian youth, this paper explores the association between youths’ perception of control (i.e. locus of control) and three educational outcomes: (i) Year 12 completion, (ii) whether youth obtained an Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank (ENTER) score, and (iii) the actual ENTER score. By using a measure of socio-economic status based on 12 years of parental income support histories, the paper also investigates the association between growing up in a socio-economically disadvantaged household and subsequent educational outcomes. Additionally, the paper considers the hypothesis that disadvantage has an indirect effect on youths’ educational outcomes through its effect on locus of control. The results suggest that youths with a more internal locus of control (e.g. those who believe their actions determine their future outcomes) are more likely to complete Year 12, more likely to obtain an ENTER score, and obtain better ENTER scores. The evidence is also consistent with a negative relationship between disadvantage when growing up and youths’ educational outcomes. Even after controlling for demographic and family characteristics, youths who grew up in socioeconomically disadvantaged households are up to 10 per cent less likely to complete Year 12 and up to 20 per cent less likely to obtain an ENTER score. There is however no evidence of an indirect effect of being disadvantaged on educational outcomes through the effect of disadvantage on locus of control once other characteristics are accounted for. Although highly disadvantaged youths obtain ENTER scores that are four points lower than those of non-disadvantaged youth, locus of control shows only a small association with actual ENTER scores.
    Keywords: locus of control; parental socio-economic background; education
    JEL: I38 J24 H31
    Date: 2009–01
  35. By: Möller, Joachim; Tubadji, Annie
    Abstract: The paper aims at testing Florida’s concept of the Creative Class using panel data for 323 West German regions for the time period 1975 – 2004. Applying a dynamic system approach based on GMM, we find that the local concentration of the Creative Class has predictive power for the economic development of a region and tends to outperform traditional indicators of human capital. However, our results do not support Florida’s assertion that the creative workers flock where the Bohemians are. According to our findings, the Creative Class is attracted by favorable economic conditions as indicated by employment growth or an increasing wage bill.
    Keywords: Culture, Regional Development, Bohemians, Creative Class, Dynamic Panel Methods
    JEL: C23 O1 O3 R1 Z10
    Date: 2009
  36. By: Courtemanche, Charles (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics); Carden, Art (Rhodes College)
    Abstract: We estimate the impacts of Wal-Mart and warehouse club retailers on height-adjusted body weight and overweight and obesity status, finding evidence that Wal-Mart Discount Stores reduce weight slightly while Wal-Mart Supercenters and warehouse clubs either reduce weight or have no effect. The effects appear strongest for women, minorities, urban residents, and the poor. We then examine the impacts of these retailers on food and alcohol consumption, exercise, smoking, and eating out at restaurants in order to explain the results for weight. Most notably, all three types of stores are associated with increased consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduced consumption of dietary fat. These results are surprising given the conventional wisdom that cheap food leads to more eating, and suggest that income effects and relative price changes are more important that absolute price changes in this case.
    Keywords: Wal-Mart; obesity; health
    JEL: I10
    Date: 2008–09–04
  37. By: Fougère, Denis (CREST-INSEE); Gautier, Erwan (Bank of France); Le Bihan, Hervé (Bank of France)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of the minimum wage on restaurant prices. We contribute to both the study of economic impact of the minimum wage and to the micro patterns of price stickiness. For that purpose, we use a unique dataset of individual price quotes collected to calculate the Consumer Price Index in France and we estimate a price rigidity model based on a flexible (S; s) rule. We find a positive and significant impact of the minimum wage on prices. The effect of the minimum wage on prices is however very protracted. The aggregate impact estimated with our model takes more than a year to fully pass through to retail prices.
    Keywords: price stickiness, minimum wage, inflation, restaurant prices
    JEL: E31 D43 L11
    Date: 2009–03

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