nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2009‒05‒02
nineteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Affordable Housing in Suburban Chicago: The Compliance of Municipalities in Suburban Chicago Towards the Illinois Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act By Christiaan Bos
  2. The dynamics of spatial agglomeration in China: an empirical assessment By Ana Isabel Moreno-Monroy
  3. National and International Business Cycle Effects of Housing Crises By Nils Jannsen
  4. Infrastructure Choices in Education: Location, Build or Repair By Armin Zeinali; Glenn Jenkins; Andrey Klevchuk
  5. Tracking can be more equitable than mixing: peer effects and college attendance. By Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo
  6. Irrational Exuberance in the U.S. Housing Market: Were Evangelicals Left Behind? By Christopher W. Crowe
  7. Spatial Heterogeneity in Environmental Regulation Enforcement and the Firm Location Decision among U.S. Counties By O. Ashton Morgan; Simon Condliffe
  8. A Duopoly Model of Corporate Social Responsibility and Location Choice By A. Balboni; F. Balboni
  9. Exploring the impact of public services on quality of life indicators By Adriana Castelli; Rowena Jacobs; Maria Goddard; Peter C Smith
  10. Price Movements in the Canadian Residential Mortgage Market By Jason Allen; Darcey McVanel
  11. The role of house prices in the monetary policy transmission mechanism in small open economies By Hilde C. Bjørnland; Dag Henning Jacobsen
  12. The impact of teacher characteristics on student performance: An analysis using hierarchical linear modelling By Paula Armstrong
  13. How Would One Extra Year of High School Affect Wages? Evidence from a Unique Policy Change By Krashinsky, Harry
  14. From Subprime Loans to Subprime Growth? Evidence for the Euro Area By Martin Cihák; Petya Koeva Brooks
  15. Heckle and Chide: Results of a Randomized Road Safety Intervention in Kenya By James Habyarimana; William Jack
  16. Transmission Channels Linking Real Estate Shocks with Macroeconomic Performance: Evidence from Malaysia By Hon-Chung Hui
  17. Productivity Change in USA Airports: The Gillen and Lall Approach Revisited By Carlos Pestana Barros and Albert Assef
  18. Geographic Mobility in the European Union: Optimising its Economic and Social Benefits By Holger Bonin; Werner Eichhorst; Christer Florman; Mette Okkels Hansen; Lena Skiöld; Jan Stuhler; Konstantinos Tatsiramos; Henrik Thomasen; Klaus F. Zimmermann
  19. Extreme coefficients in Geographically Weighted Regression and their effects on mapping By Cho, Seong-Hoon; Lambert, Dayton M.; Kim, Seung Gyu; Jung, Su Hyun

  1. By: Christiaan Bos
    Date: 2009–04–22
  2. By: Ana Isabel Moreno-Monroy (University of Groningen)
    Abstract: In this paper, I complement the application of New Economic Geography "NEG" models for the explanation of wage disparities in China by estimating the Helpman Hason model, which focuses on the role of consumer markets as an attraction force and housing prices as a dispersion force for economic agglomeration. I estimate the structural parameters of the model for 2000 and 2005 and devote special attention to the multiple estimation problems of the Helpman-Hanson equation. I find that the market potential is slightly lower for 2005 than for 2000, as a direct product of a higher value of the elasticity of substitution for the last year. I also find that the share of income spent on manufactures increases between the two periods, and that transport costs decrease. I show how these effects may cause dispersion or agglomeration of economic activity according to the original Helpman (1998) model. An application of income shock experiments on different economic centers across China shows that spatial externalities are not homogeneous across prefectures, so that income shocks may have different effects across the country. Based on these results, I argue that the size of existent agglomerations will increase in the near future, but with marked differences across regions. As China moves to a market economy, prices should reflect more the forces pulling for dispersion, which not only include housing and land prices, but also congestion, pollution and many other problems that come along with urbanization.
    Date: 2008–12
  3. By: Nils Jannsen
    Abstract: Housing crises usually go hand in hand with a long lasting recession and a considerable loss in output. We first re-examine the effects of a housing crises on the business cycle based on historical crises. Then we estimate the international spill-over-effects if several huge industrial countries face a housing crisis simultaneously. While the economic impact of the housing crisis in the United States, from a historical perspective, should have bottomed out at the end of 2008 and the business cycle pattern differed significantly from that in a typical crisis, house prices in Great Britain, Spain and France just started to drop at the end of 2007. If we assume that a typical housing crisis occurs in all of these three countries, international transmission effects then would lead to significant losses of GDP growth in several other countries, notably in Europe
    Keywords: Housing Crisis, Business Cycle, International Transmission, Global VAR
    JEL: C50 E32 F42
    Date: 2009–04
  4. By: Armin Zeinali (Department of Economics, Queen's University, Canada); Glenn Jenkins (Queen's University, Kingston, On, Canada, Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus); Andrey Klevchuk (Cambridge Resources International Inc.)
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to develop a model to arrive at a joint optimizing strategy for the use of a given capital budget for the construction of new school buildings and for the repair of the already existing schools. This is to be done in a way that will have the maximum positive impact on the enhancement of the education system. Cost effectiveness analysis is used as the main analytical tool in the analysis. A key factor of the model is that it gives one the optimal mix of repair versus new construction that should be undertaken under a fixed budget constraint. The model is simulated using a sample data set from the information available for the education sector of Limpopo Province, South Africa. It utilizes a very basic set of information that is available in all school districts across the province. Application of this model for the selection of infrastructure investments (either building or repair) in the education sector would increase the efficiency of capital expenditure in this sector. This is particularly the case for the countries that are faced with a large excess demand for school buildings.
    Keywords: education, cost effectiveness, school location, school construction, school repair, South Africa
    JEL: D61 I28 H52 H75
    Date: 2009–04
  5. By: Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: Parents and policy makers often wonder whether, and how, the choice between a tracked or a mixed educational system affects the efficiency and equity of national educational outcomes. This paper analyzes this question taking into account their impact on educational results at later stages and two main results are found. First, it shows that tracking can be the efficient system in societies where the opportunity cost of college attendance is high or the pre-school achievement distribution is very dispersed. Second, this paper shows that although conventional wisdom suggests that equality of opportunities is best guaranteed under mixing, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, tracking is the most equitable system for students with intermediate levels of human capital required to attend college..
    Keywords: Peer Effects, Tracking, Mixing, College attendance gap.
    JEL: D63 I28 J24
    Date: 2009–04
  6. By: Christopher W. Crowe
    Abstract: The recent housing bust has reignited interest in psychological theories of speculative excess (Shiller, 2007). I investigate this issue by identifying a segment of the U.S. population-evangelical protestants-that may be less prone to speculative motives, and uncover a significant negative relationship between their population share and house price volatility. Evangelicals' focus on Biblical prophecy could account for this difference, since it may enable them to interpret otherwise negative events as containing positive news, dampening the response of house prices to shocks. I provide evidence for this channel using a popular internet measure of "prophetic activity" and a 9/11 event study. I also analyze survey data covering religious beliefs and asset holding, and find that 'end times' beliefs are associated with a one-third decline in net worth, consistent with these beliefs providing a form of psychic insurance (Scheve and Stasavage, 2006a and 2006b) that reduces asset demand.
    Keywords: Housing , United States , Population , Housing prices , Asset prices , Private savings , Household credit ,
    Date: 2009–03–19
  7. By: O. Ashton Morgan; Simon Condliffe
    Abstract: We estimate a negative binomial model with fixed effects to examine the impact of spatial differences in environmental regulation on manufacturing capital flows. Using a newly available data set, we find that stricter air quality standards deter births of polluting plants, suggesting heterogeneity in regulatory standards may create a temporal browning process. We also find that spatial differences in environmental regulation do not play a role in the location decision of non-pollution intensive plants. Key Words: Environmental regulation, firm location, air pollution
    JEL: R38 Q28 Q53
    Date: 2009
  8. By: A. Balboni; F. Balboni
    Date: 2008–09
  9. By: Adriana Castelli (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Rowena Jacobs (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Maria Goddard (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK); Peter C Smith (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, UK)
    Abstract: The fundamental aim of public services is to improve the quality of life of citizens. The main objective of this study was to investigate the influence of public service organisations (PSOs) on aspects of quality of life (broadly measured) of citizens at a local level. We assembled a rich database using 20 of the 45 quality of life measures developed by the Audit Commission. Those we selected covered broad areas of quality of life such as safety, housing, health, education, and transport and were available at ‘small area’ level. We used a range of advanced statistical methods to analyse the relationships between PSOs and quality of life measures at different hierarchical levels. The techniques were selected to be robust when making comparisons between levels and when looking at associations between quality of life measures. Our descriptive analyses (bivariate correlations, factor analysis and ANOVA) suggested overall some significant correlations between some of the quality of life variables. The SUR model results also indicated that the quality of life indicators are correlated, and therefore that we should look at these measures in a joint modelling approach such as MVML, as envisaged in the study objectives.
    Date: 2009–04
  10. By: Jason Allen; Darcey McVanel
    Abstract: The authors empirically analyze the price-setting behaviour of the major Canadian banks in the residential mortgage market over the period 1991–2007. They use weekly posted prices of the major mortgage providers to study the degree of competition in mortgage price setting. Their results suggest that the residential mortgage market is imperfectly competitive. They find distinct price leaders and that, as market concentration increases, so does price dispersion - helped by the increased use of discounting from posted prices. The authors also find that, although banks' pass-through of input price changes to mortgage prices is complete in the long run under reasonable assumptions regarding discounting, there exists some level of pricing asymmetry in the short run.
    Keywords: Financial Financial institutions; Financial services
    JEL: G2 D4
    Date: 2009
  11. By: Hilde C. Bjørnland (Norwegian School of Management and Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway)); Dag Henning Jacobsen (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))
    Abstract: We analyse the role of house prices in the monetary policy transmission mechanism in Norway, Sweden and the UK using structural VARs. A solution is proposed to the endogeneity problem of identifying shocks to interest rates and house prices by using a combination of short-run and long-run (neutrality) restrictions. By allowing the interest rate and house prices to react simultaneously to news, we find the role of house prices in the monetary transmission mechanism to increase considerably. In particular, house prices react immediately and strongly to a monetary policy shock. Furthermore, the fall in house prices seem to enhance the negative response in output and consumer price inflation that has traditionally been found in the conventional literature. Moreover, we find that the interest rate respond systematically to a change in house prices.
    Keywords: VAR, monetary policy, house prices, identification
    JEL: C32 E52 F31 F41
    Date: 2009–04–27
  12. By: Paula Armstrong (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: More than a decade after South Africa’s transition from apartheid, the racially delineated picture of education in the country remains. Brahm Fleisch (2008) refers to the South Africa’s education system as consisting effectively of two education systems: the well-performing historically white system, and the weak-performing historically black system. Significant difference in educational quality exist between these two systems. It is widely acknowledged that the role of teachers in the quality of education is vital. This paper makes use of Hierarchical Linear Modeling to investigate which teacher productive characteristics impact first of all on average student performance, and secondly, on the relationship between the socioeconomic status of students and the performance. It is found that teachers who have specialized in the subject which they teach or in the education of that subject at university, as well as teachers with between 26 and 30 years of teaching experience influence student performance positively. No teacher productive characteristics are found to weaken the relationship between students’ socioeconomic status and their performance.
    Keywords: Analysis of education
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2009
  13. By: Krashinsky, Harry
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique policy change in Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, to provide direct evidence on the effect of reducing the length of high school on labour market outcomes for high school graduates. In 1999, the Ontario government eliminated the fifth year of education from its high schools, and mandated a new four-year program. This policy change created two cohorts of students who graduated from high school together with different amounts of education, thus making it possible to identify the effect of one extra year of high school education on earnings. Using restricted survey data, the results demonstrate that students who receive one less year of high school education receive wages that are approximately ten percent lower than their counterparts one year after graduation, and these effects persist two years after graduation. Using birth year to instrument for educational attainment produces estimates that are even higher than the cross-sectional findings, but quite consistent with the existing literature on the return to education. These results are a significant contribution to the literature on the return to education because unlike prior changes to the educational system, this change in schooling laws results in two cohorts entering the labour market simultaneously. As such, business cycle effects do not confound the results.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Returns to Education, Years of Schooling, Ontario Double Cohort
    JEL: I20 I28 C10
    Date: 2009–04–22
  14. By: Martin Cihák; Petya Koeva Brooks
    Abstract: The global financial crisis has highlighted the potential of financial conditions for influencing real economic activity. We examine the linkages between the financial and real sectors in the euro area, finding that (i) bank loan supply responds negatively to declines in bank soundness; (ii) a cutback in bank loan supply has a negative impact on economic activity; (iii) a positive shock to the corporate bond spread lowers industrial output; and (iv) risk indicators for the banking, corporate, and public sectors show an improvement beginning in 2002–03, followed by a major deterioration since 2007. These estimates imply that the currently estimated bank losses would subtract some 2 percentage points from the euro area output (but with considerable uncertainty around the estimates).
    Keywords: Credit risk , Euro Area , Financial sector , Real sector , Banking , Demand for money , Interest rates , Financial risk , Economic models ,
    Date: 2009–03–27
  15. By: James Habyarimana; William Jack
    Abstract: In economies with weak enforcement of traffic regulations, drivers who adopt excessively risky behavior impose externalities on other vehicles, and on their own passengers. In light of the difficulties of correcting inter-vehicle externalities associated with weak third-party enforcement, this paper evaluates an intervention that aims instead to correct the intra-vehicle externality between a driver and his passengers, who face a collective action problem when deciding whether to exert social pressure on the driver if their safety is compromised. We report the results of a field experiment aimed at solving this collective action problem, which empowers passengers to take action. Evocative messages encouraging passengers to speak up were placed inside a random sample of over 1,000 long-distance Kenyan minibuses, or matatus, serving both as a focal point for, and to reduce the cost of, passenger action. Independent insurance claims data were collected for the treatment group and a control group before and after the intervention. Our results indicate that insurance claims fell by a half to two-thirds, from an annual rate of about 10 percent without the intervention, and that claims involving injury or death fell by at least 50 percent. Results of a driver survey eight months into the intervention suggest passenger heckling was a contributing factor to the improvement in safety.
    Keywords: Kenya, traffic, driving regulations, matatus, safety
    Date: 2009–04
  16. By: Hon-Chung Hui (Nottingham University Business School - Malaysia Campus)
    Abstract: This paper examines the transmission channels through which property markets propagate shocks to the real economy. Using a four-equation model which portrays the theoretical inter-linkages between real estate value and other components of the economy, our findings suggest that in the short run, negative real estate shocks affect GDP by dampening construction, bank lending activities and to a certain extent, consumption. The impact of shocks on investment is harder to decipher given the complicated dynamics arising from an almost instantaneous adjustment process towards equilibrium each time the system is perturbed. In the long run, there is no evidence of positive wealth effects on consumption while sustained depressions in property markets could be harmful to future economic growth.
    Keywords: Real estate shocks; Transmission channels; Macroeconomic performance
    JEL: C32 E20
    Date: 2008–06
  17. By: Carlos Pestana Barros and Albert Assef
    Abstract: This study uses the Bootstrap methodology to measure the productivity changes of US airports with a Malmquist index, from the 2002-2007 adopting the Gillen and Lall (1997, 2001) approach. The results are mixed for the sample of airports analyzed. The study relates the results to the current and past trends of the US aviation industry and also provides directions for future research. Key words: Airports, US, Productivity, Malmquist, Bootstrap
    Date: 2009–03
  18. By: Holger Bonin (IZA); Werner Eichhorst (IZA); Christer Florman (AMS); Mette Okkels Hansen (NIRAS); Lena Skiöld (AMS); Jan Stuhler (IZA); Konstantinos Tatsiramos (IZA); Henrik Thomasen (NIRAS); Klaus F. Zimmermann (IZA)
    Abstract: Joint expertise with NIRAS Consultants and AMS for the European Commission
    Date: 2008–07
  19. By: Cho, Seong-Hoon; Lambert, Dayton M.; Kim, Seung Gyu; Jung, Su Hyun
    Abstract: This study deals with the issue of extreme coefficients in geographically weighted regression (GWR) and their effects on mapping coefficients using three datasets with different spatial resolutions. We found that although GWR yields extreme coefficients regardless of the resolution of the dataset or types of kernel function, 1) the GWR tends to generate extreme coefficients for less spatially dense datasets, 2) coefficient maps based on polygon data representing aggregated areal units are more sensitive to extreme coefficients, and 3) coefficient maps using bandwidths generated by a fixed calibration procedure are more vulnerable to the extreme coefficients than adaptive calibration.
    Keywords: extreme coefficient, fixed and adaptive calibrations, geographically weighted regression, Mapping, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2009

This nep-ure issue is ©2009 by Steve Ross. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.