nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2009‒08‒02
eighteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Is housing the business cycle? evidence from U.S. cities By Andra C. Ghent; Michael T. Owyang
  2. The role of the securitization process in the expansion of subprime credit By Taylor D. Nadauld; Shane M. Sherlund
  3. Neighborhood Dynamics and the Housing Price Effects of Spatially Targeted Economic Development Policy By Krupka, Douglas J.; Noonan, Douglas S.
  4. Teaching Students and Teaching Each Other: The Importance of Peer Learning for Teachers By C. Kirabo Jackson; Elias Bruegmann
  5. Winners and Losers: Spatial variations in labour productivity in England and Wales By Don J. Webber; Michael Horswell
  6. Demographic and Geographic Determinants of Regional Physician Supply By Michael Kuhn; Carsten Ochsen
  7. Do vouchers lead to sorting under random private-school selection? Evidence from the Milwaukee voucher program By Rajashri Chakrabarti
  8. Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space By J. Vernon Henderson; Adam Storeygard; David N. Weil
  9. School Choice in Chile: Looking at the Demand Side By Francisco Gallego; Andrés Hernando
  10. Literacy and Numeracy in Faith-Based and Government Schools in Sierra Leone By Wodon, Quentin; Ying, Yvonne
  11. Comparing the Performance of Faith-Based and Government Schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo By Backiny-Yetna, Prospere; Wodon, Quentin
  12. On the Quality of Private and Public Education: the Case of Chile By Juan-Pedro Garces
  13. From Marshallian District to Local Productive Systems: The Polish Case By Barbara Despiney
  14. Comparing the Private Cost of Education at Public, Private, and Faith-Based Schools in Cameroon By Backiny-Yetna, Prospere; Wodon, Quentin
  15. Evaluating competitiveness of airports - Airport competitiveness index By Grancay, Martin
  16. School enrollment, selection and test scores By Filmer, Deon; Schady, Norbert
  17. Entrepreneurship, Development, and the Spatial Context Retrospect and Prospect By Nijkamp, Peter
  18. Do Some Enterprise Zones Create Jobs? By Jed Kolko; David Neumark

  1. By: Andra C. Ghent; Michael T. Owyang
    Abstract: We analyze the relationship between housing and the business cycle in a set of 36 US cities. Most surprisingly, we find that falls in house prices are often not followed by declines in employment. We also find that the leading indicator property of residential investment is not consistent across cities and that, at the national level, the leading indicator property of residential investment is not robust to including financial factors as control variables.
    Keywords: Housing ; Housing - Prices ; Business cycles
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Taylor D. Nadauld; Shane M. Sherlund
    Abstract: We analyze the structure and attributes of subprime mortgage-backed securitization deals originated between 1997 and 2007. Our data set allows us to link loan-level data for over 6.7 million subprime loans to the securitization deals into which the loans were sold. We show that the securitization process, including the assignment of credit ratings, provided incentives for securitizing banks to purchase loans of poor credit quality in areas with high rates of house price appreciation. Increased demand from the secondary mortgage market for these types of loans appears to have facilitated easier credit in the primary mortgage market. To test this hypothesis, we identify an event which represents an external shock to the relative demand for subprime mortgages in the secondary market. We show that following the SEC's adoption of rules reducing capital requirements on certain broker dealers in 2004, five large deal underwriters disproportionately increased their purchasing activity relative to competing underwriters in ZIP codes with the highest realized rates of house price appreciation but lower average credit quality. We show that these loans subsequently defaulted at marginally higher rates. Finally, using the event as an instrument, we demonstrate a causal link between the demand for mortgages in the secondary mortgage market and the supply of subprime credit in the primary mortgage market.
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Krupka, Douglas J. (IZA); Noonan, Douglas S. (Georgia Tech)
    Abstract: Neighborhoods are the result of a complicated interplay between residential choice, housing supply and the influences of the larger metropolitan system on its constituent parts. We model this interplay as a system of reduced-form equations in order to examine the effects of a generous spatially targeted economic development program (the federal Empowerment Zone program) on neighborhood characteristics, especially housing values. This system of equations approach allows us to compute direct effects of the policy intervention as well as the effects mediated through non-price channels such as changes in the housing stock or neighborhood demographics. In the process, we are able to shed light on the rich simultaneity among neighborhood characteristics, including housing prices.
    Keywords: economic development, simultaneity
    JEL: R0 R21 R31 R38 R58
    Date: 2009–07
  4. By: C. Kirabo Jackson; Elias Bruegmann
    Abstract: Using longitudinal elementary school teacher and student data, we document that students have larger test score gains when their teachers experience improvements in the observable characteristics of their colleagues. Using within-school and within-teacher variation, we further show that a teacher’s students have larger achievement gains in math and reading when she has more effective colleagues (based on estimated value-added from an out-of-sample pre-period). Spillovers are strongest for less-experienced teachers and persist over time, and historical peer quality explains away about twenty percent of the own-teacher effect, results that suggest peer learning.
    JEL: I2 J24
    Date: 2009–07
  5. By: Don J. Webber (Department of Business Economics, Auckland University of Technology and Department of Economics, UWE, Bristol); Michael Horswell (Faculty of the Built and Natural Environment, University of the West of England, UK)
    Abstract: This paper presents an investigation into the static and dynamic spatial pattern of aggregate labour productivity across England and Wales at the district and unit authority level. This analysis is complemented by plant-level regressions to identify the contribution of industrial sectors to each NUTS1 region’s average labour productivity. Using data for 1998 and 2005, our exploratory data analysis illustrates that there are stable spatial patterns in levels of labour productivity and that labour productivity change does not appear to be spatially dependent, at least not at this spatial scale. Furthermore the economic importance of different sectors to different regions evolves over time, which makes regional industrial policy formation problematic.
    Keywords: Labour productivity; districts and local authorities; sectors; spatial autocorrelation
    JEL: R39
    Date: 2009–07
  6. By: Michael Kuhn (Vienna Institute of Demography); Carsten Ochsen (University of Rostock)
    Abstract: Against the backdrop of an ongoing debate in most countries about the geographic (mal-)distribution of physician practices, we develop a theoretical and empirical framework to analyze how physician supply at regional level depends on demographic (population size, age struc- ture, fertility and migration) and geographic determinants. Particular attention is given (i) to local population change as a predictor of fu- ture demand for physician services, (ii) to the way in which the age- structure of the (potential patient) population and regional structure interact in shaping the pro…tability of treating the local population, and (iii) to cross-regional correlations in physician supply. Using re- gional data for Germany, we examine econometrically the determinants of regional physician supply. We …nd it to be negatively related to both the population share 60+ and the population share 20- in rural areas. While both population shares tend to have a less negative impact in urban areas, a pronounced positive e¤ect arises only for the share 20- in regions with agglomeration character. Net migration and natural balance turn out to be signi…cant positive as long-run determinants only, indicating thus their role as predictors of future demand. On av- erage, cross-regional spillovers in demand do not seem to be important determinants of regional supply.
    Keywords: age structure, physician supply, regional population ageing, regional migration, overlapping generations, panel data, spatial model
    JEL: I11 J44 J10 R23 C33 C31
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Rajashri Chakrabarti
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of school vouchers on student sorting--defined as a flight to private schools by high-income and committed public-school students--and whether vouchers can be designed to reduce or eliminate it. Much of the existing literature investigates sorting in cases where private schools can screen students. However, publicly funded U.S. voucher programs require a private school to accept all students unless it is oversubscribed and to pick students randomly if it is oversubscribed. This paper focuses on two crucial requirements of the Milwaukee voucher program: 1) private schools must select students randomly and 2) private schools must accept the voucher amount as full tuition payment (that is, "topping up" of vouchers is not permitted). Using a theoretical model, this study argues that random selection alone cannot prevent student sorting. However, random selection together with the absence of topping up can preclude sorting by income, although there is still sorting by ability. Sorting by ability is not caused here by private-school selection, but rather by parental self-selection. Using a logit model and student-level data from the first five years of the Milwaukee voucher program, 1990-94, this study establishes that random selection has indeed taken place, providing an appropriate setting for testing the corresponding theoretical predictions in the data. Next, using several alternative logit specifications, it demonstrates that these predications are validated empirically. These findings appear to have important policy implications.
    Keywords: Educational vouchers ; School choice ; Private schools ; Public schools ; Income
    Date: 2009
  8. By: J. Vernon Henderson; Adam Storeygard; David N. Weil
    Abstract: GDP growth is often measured poorly for countries and rarely measured at all for cities. We propose a readily available proxy: satellite data on lights at night. Our statistical framework uses light growth to supplement existing income growth measures. The framework is applied to countries with the lowest quality income data, resulting in estimates of growth that differ substantially from established estimates. We then consider a longstanding debate: do increases in local agricultural productivity increase city incomes? For African cities, we find that exogenous gricultural productivity shocks (high rainfall years) have substantial effects on local urban economic activity.
    JEL: E01 O47 Q1 R11
    Date: 2009–07
  9. By: Francisco Gallego (Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.); Andrés Hernando
    Abstract: How do parents choose among schools when they are allowed to do so? In this paper, we analyze detailed information of 70,000 fourth-graders attending about 1,200 publicly subsidized schools in the context of the Chilean voucher system. We model the school choice of a household as a discrete choice of a single school, based on the random utility model developed by McFadden (1974) and the specification of Berry, Levinsohn, and Pakes (1995), which includes choice-specific unobservable characteristics and deals with potential endogeneity. Our results imply that households value some attributes of schools, with the two most important dimensions being test scores and distance to school. Interestingly, at the same time, our results suggest there is a lot of heterogeneity in preferences because the valuation of most school attributes depend on household characteristics. In particular, we find that while proximity to school is an inferior attribute, test scores is a normal attribute. We present evidence that our results are mainly driven by self-selection and not by school-side selection. As a nal check, we compute the average enrollment elasticity with respect to all school attributes and find that higher elasticities are correlated with higher supply of the attribute, especially in the case of test scores-enrollment elasticities for private schools.
    Keywords: School choice, Chile, Vouchers, Structural Estimates, Parental Preferences.
    JEL: I20 I21 I22 I28
    Date: 2009
  10. By: Wodon, Quentin; Ying, Yvonne
    Abstract: This paper provides a comparative assessment of the market share, reach to the poor, and performance of faith-based and public schools in Sierra Leone using data from the 2004 Integrated Household Survey. One-third of primary school students attend government schools and more than half are in faith-based government-assisted schools. Faith-based schools tend to serve children who live in poverty more than public schools, and after controlling for student and household characteristics and school choice, they also perform slightly better than public schools.
    Keywords: Primary education; faith-based; poverty; performance; Sierra Leone
    JEL: Z12 H11 I21 L33 H44
    Date: 2009–06
  11. By: Backiny-Yetna, Prospere; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: This paper provides a comparative assessment of the market share, reach to the poor, and performance of faith-based and public schools in the Democratic Republic of Congo using data from the 2004-2005 "123" survey. More than two thirds of primary school students attend faith-based government-assisted schools. Both types of school cater to a similar population that is overwhelmingly poor. Faith-based schools perform slightly better at least in some dimensions than government schools, but the differences between the two types of schools are small and not statistically significant.
    Keywords: Primary education; faith-based; performance; poverty; Democratic Republic of Congo
    JEL: Z12 H11 I21 L33 H44
    Date: 2009–06
  12. By: Juan-Pedro Garces (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: In this essay, we intend to measure the contribution of different factors within the educational system that affect the quality of education. The purpose is to compare, in a completely dispassionate way, the academic achievements of public and private schools (mainly at the secondary level) in one country: Chile. We take Chile because it has the most extensive (voucher-type) program for subsidizing private education and because it has a fairly wide and accessible amount of data. Amongst other factors, we study the influence of the public/private divide, the socio-economic level of the students and the pupil/teacher ratio. The quality of education is measured by the performance of students in standardized national tests administered to all schools in Chile.
    Keywords: education, development
    JEL: I2 O1
    Date: 2009–07
  13. By: Barbara Despiney (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: The chapter concentrates on the positive development dynamics of "industrial districts" based on the network of Small an Medium-Sized firms in Poland.The crux of the matter is to establish whether or not industrial districts constitute a model for the regenaration of local and regional economies in Central European Countries.
    Keywords: regional development; industrial clusters; Poland
    Date: 2009
  14. By: Backiny-Yetna, Prospere; Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: This paper uses recent household survey data for Cameroon to measure the cost for households of the education services that their children receive and assess how this cost varies according to the type of service provider. Contrary to what has been observed in some other countries, the data suggest that faith-based schools in Cameroon serve primarily better-off children, with public schools serving the poor more. Faith-based schools are also more expensive for households than private schools (possibly due to lower levels of public funding). This may be one of the reasons why the poor tend to go to public schools more than to faith-based schools.
    Keywords: Education; cost of schooling; faith-based schools; public schools; Cameroon
    JEL: Z12 H11 I21 L33 H44
    Date: 2009–06
  15. By: Grancay, Martin
    Abstract: The paper introduces a concept of airport competitiveness index. The index consists of numerous indicators grouped into four categories: market potential, infrastructure, charges and recent traffic results. Another important factor we take into account is safety. We find that from the selected sample the most competitive airports are Singapore Changi, New York Kennedy, Newark Liberty and Dubai International. U.S. and South-East Asian airports in general are among the most competitive.
    Keywords: airport; air traffic; airport competitiveness index
    JEL: L93
    Date: 2009–01
  16. By: Filmer, Deon; Schady, Norbert
    Abstract: There is a strong association between schooling attained and test scores in many settings. If this association is causal, one might expect that programs that increase school enrollment and attainment would also improve test scores. However, if there is self-selection into school based on expected gains, marginal children brought into school by such programs may be drawn disproportionately from the left-hand side of the ability distribution, which could limit the extent to which additional schooling translates into more learning. To test this proposition, this paper uses data from Cambodia. The results show that a program that provides scholarships to poor students had a large effect on school enrollment and attendance, which increased by approximately 25 percentage points. However, there is no evidence that, 18 months after the scholarships were awarded, recipient children did any better on mathematics and vocabulary tests than they would have in the absence of the program. The paper discusses results that suggest that the self-selection of lower-ability students into school in response to the program is an important part of the explanation. The analysis also shows minimal program effects on other outcomes, including knowledge of health practices, expectations about the future, and adolescent mental health.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning,Secondary Education
    Date: 2009–07–01
  17. By: Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: Entrepreneurship has been a topical issue in the business administration literature, but in the past decade a wave of interest can be observed on the role of entrepreneurship in the economic growth literature. This paper aims to highlight the various contributions to the entrepreneurship literature from the perspective of regional economic development. After a broad overview, particular attention is given to the regional action space of entrepreneurs, including their social and spatial network involvement. The paper concludes with a future research agenda.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, regional growth, action space, networks, SME, virtual organization, innovation
    Date: 2009
  18. By: Jed Kolko; David Neumark
    Abstract: We study how the employment effects of enterprise zones vary with their location, implementation, and administration, based on evidence from California. We use new establishment-level data and geographic mapping methods, coupled with a survey of enterprise zone administrators. Overall, the evidence indicates that enterprise zones do not increase employment. However, the evidence also suggests that the enterprise zone program has a more favorable effect on employment in zones that have a lower share of manufacturing and in zones where managers report doing more marketing and outreach activities. On the other hand, devoting more effort to helping firms get hiring tax credits reduces or eliminates any positive employment effects, which may be attributable to idiosyncrasies of California’s enterprise zone program during the period we study.
    JEL: H25 J23 J78 R12
    Date: 2009–07

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