nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2009‒09‒05
eighteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The Puzzling Divergence of Rents and User Costs, 1980-2004 By Randal Verbrugge
  2. Assessing the Localization Pattern of German Manufacturing & Service Industries - A Distance Based Approach By Hyun-Ju Koh; Nadine Riedel
  3. Neighbors and Co-Workers: The Importance of Residential Labor Market Networks By Judith Hellerstein; Melissa McInerney; David Neumark
  4. Long-term benefits from investing in international real estate By Schindler, Felix
  5. Trends in Regional Industrial Concentration in the United States By Joshua Drucker
  6. Spatial Influences on the Employment of U.S. Hispanics: Spatial Mismatch, Discrimination, or Immigrant Networks? By Judith Hellerstein; Melissa McInerney; David Neumark
  7. Noncognitive skills, school achievements and educational dropout By Coneus, Katja; Gernandt, Johannes; Saam, Marianne
  8. Empreendedorismo nas Artes ou Artes do Empreendedorismo? Um estudo empírico do ‘Cluster’ da Rua Miguel Bombarda By Custódia Bastos; Suzi Ladeira; Sofia Silva
  9. Economic Geography, Venture Capital and Focal Points of Entrepreneurial Activity By Yochanan Shachmurove
  10. Young and innocent international evidence on age effects within grades on school victimization in elementary school By Mühlenweg, Andrea M.
  11. Migration, Self-selection, and Income Distributions: Evidence from Rural and Urban China By Xing, Chunbing
  12. Occupational and locational substitution: measuring the effect of occupational and regional mobility By Aldashev, Alisher
  13. Outsourcing Motives, Location Choice and Labour Market Implications: An Empirical Analysis for European Countries By Marcus Neureiter; Peter Nunnenkamp
  14. The International-Trade Network: Gravity Equations and Topological Properties By Giorgio Fagiolo
  15. Intermarriage and Immigrant Employment:The Role of Networks By Delia Furtado; Nikolaos Theodoropoulos
  16. Science parks, knowledge spillovers, and firms' innovative performance: evidence from Finland By Squicciarini, Mariagrazia
  17. Local Government Taxation in Pakistan By Roy Bahl; Musharraf Cyan
  18. Are all Migrants Really Worse off in Urban Labour Markets?: New empirical evidence from China By Jason Gagnon; Theodora Xenogiani; Chunbing Xing

  1. By: Randal Verbrugge (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates that, in the context of U.S. housing data, rents and ex ante user costs diverge markedly—in both growth rates and levels—for extended periods of time, a seeming failure of arbitrage and a puzzle from the perspective of standard capital theory. The tremendous volatility of even appropriately-smoothed ex ante annual user cost measures implies that such measures are unsuitable for inclusion in official price statistics. The divergence holds not only at the aggregate level, but at the metropolitan-market level as well, and is robust across different house price and rent measures. But transactions costs matter: the large persistent divergences did not imply the presence of unexploited profit opportunities. In particular, even though detached housing is readily moved between owner and renter markets, and the detached-unit rental market is surprisingly thick, transactions costs would have prevented risk-neutral investors from earning expected profits by buying a property to rent out for a year, and would have prevented risk-neutral homeowners from earning expected profits by selling their homes and becoming renters for a year. Finally, computing implied appreciation as a residual yields a house price forecast with huge errors; but either longer-horizon or no-real-capital-gains forecasts— which turn out to have similar forecast errors—imply a far less divergent user cost measure which might ultimately be useful for official price statistics. Some conjectures are offered.
    Keywords: user costs; arbitrage; transactions costs; house price appreciation; forecasting; inflation stickiness; rental equivalence; CPI
    JEL: R31 R21 E31 C81 C82 O47
    Date: 2009–03
  2. By: Hyun-Ju Koh (University of Munich); Nadine Riedel (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the agglomeration pattern of four-digit industries in Germany using a rich data set on the population of German firms. To identify geographical agglomeration, we follow the distance based approach of Duranton and Overman (2005) and find that the location pattern of 78% of our industries departs from randomness in the sense that firms exhibit significant geographical localization. In line with previous studies on manufacturing firms in the UK and France, our analysis suggests that especially traditional manufacturing industries exhibit strong localization patterns. Moreover, we find that geographical localization is not restricted to the manufacturing sector but that it plays an equally, or even more important role in service industries.
    Keywords: Geographic concentration, agglomeration
    JEL: R12
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Judith Hellerstein; Melissa McInerney; David Neumark
    Abstract: We specify and implement a test for the importance of network effects in determining the establishments at which people work, using recently-constructed matched employer-employee data at the establishment level. We explicitly measure the importance of network effects for groups broken out by race, ethnicity, and various measures of skill, for networks generated by residential proximity. The evidence indicates that labor market networks play an important role in hiring, more so for minorities and the less-skilled, especially among Hispanics, and that labor market networks appear to be race-based.
    Date: 2009–01
  4. By: Schindler, Felix
    Abstract: This paper analyses long- and short-term co-movements between 14 international real estate stock markets based on bivariate testing for cointegration and correlation analysis. The results indicate that there exist strong long-term relationships within economic and geographical regions, but less long-run linkages between real estate markets in different continents. Thus, investors would benefit from broadening their investment horizon from their domestic continent to Australia, Europe, and Northern America. Furthermore, it is shown that within each region there are one or two key markets influencing neighbouring markets like Australia in the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. in the Anglo-Saxon area, and France and the Netherlands in the EMU. Therefore it is implied, from an investor’s point of view, that it should be sufficient to focus only on these central markets. With respect to the efficient market hypothesis, the findings by cointegration analysis put some further doubt on its validity for securitized real estate markets.
    Keywords: Cointegration,Correlation Analysis,Diversification,Securitized Real Estate Markets
    JEL: C22 G11 G14
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Joshua Drucker
    Abstract: In a seminal article, Benjamin Chinitz (1961) raises the question of the effects that industry size, structure, and economic diversification may have on firm performance and regional economies. His line of inquiry suggests a related but conceptually distinct issue: how does the extent to which a industry is regionally dominated—concentrated locally in a single or small number of firms—impact the local performance of that industry? This question has received little attention, principally because accurately measuring industrial concentration at the regional scale requires firm-level information. This paper makes use of confidential plant- and firm-level manufacturing data to explore patterns of industrial concentration in the United States at the regional scale. Regional analogues of concentration ratios and other measures commonly used in the aspatial industrial organization literature indicate the extent to which manufacturing activity is concentrated in a small number of firms. Both the manufacturing sector as a whole and major manufacturing industry sectors are examined in order to determine the extent of industrial concentration in the continental United States, to explore changes over time in geographic patterns of concentration, and to investigate associations between industrial concentration and employment growth at the regional scale. Implications for understanding regional growth and for devising regional economic development policy are discussed.
    Date: 2009–04
  6. By: Judith Hellerstein; Melissa McInerney; David Neumark
    Abstract: Employment rates of Hispanic males in the United States are considerably lower than employment rates of whites. In the data used in this paper, the Hispanic male employment rate is 61 percent, compared with 83 percent for white men.1 The question of the employment disadvantage of Hispanic men likely has many parallels to the question of the employment disadvantage of black men, where factors including spatial mismatch, discrimination, and labor market networks have all received attention as contributing factors. However, the Hispanic disadvantage has been much less studied, and the goal of this paper is to bridge that gap. To that end, we present evidence that tries to assess which of the three factors listed above appears to contribute to the lower employment rate of Hispanic males. We focus in particular on immigrant Hispanics and Hispanics who do not speak English well.
    Date: 2009–01
  7. By: Coneus, Katja; Gernandt, Johannes; Saam, Marianne
    Abstract: We analyse the determinants of dropout from secondary and vocational education in Germany using data from the Socio-Economic Panel from 2000 to 2007. In addition to the role of classical variables like family background and school achievements, we examine the effect of noncognitive skills. Both, better school grades and higher noncognitive skills reduce the risk to become an educational dropout. The influence of school achievements on the dropout probability tends to decrease and the influence of noncognitive skills tends to increase with age.
    Keywords: Noncognitive skills,school grades,secondary education,vocational training
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Custódia Bastos (Faculdade de Economia da Universidade do Porto, Portugal); Suzi Ladeira (Faculdade de Economia da Universidade do Porto, Portugal); Sofia Silva (Faculdade de Economia da Universidade do Porto, Portugal)
    Abstract: Culture and art are emerging as the principal components of the creative industries raising their attractiveness in urban centers. Economics apparently does not have a direct connection with culture and art. However, a closer look into de reality shows that economics and arts are intrinsically related with arts benefiting from a more entrepreneurial and economic led perspectives. The proposed study details the intimate connection which is established between arts and economics by empirically analyzing the vibrant creativity cluster of Miguel Bombarda Street (MBS), situated at the centre of Porto city. This insightful and informative case further provides a pertinent account on the role of entrepreneurship in arts. Through a combination of in depth interviews to key actors and a comprehensive survey to all the firms and art galleries of MBS, the study highlights and details the emergence of MBS cluster and the reasons and players responsible for such emergence and development. Finally, based on the results we evaluate and discuss MBS cluster sustainability and how this type of projects might contribute for the renewal and boost the Porto city.
    Keywords: indústrias criativas; artes; clusters; empreendedorismo
    Date: 2009–08
  9. By: Yochanan Shachmurove (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Economic geography receives limited consideration in the venture capital literature. This study utilizes thirty years of data concerning companies that initially were backed by venture capital. These firms are located in Entrepreneurial Focal Points in the United States, namely: California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. How well do these companies operate once they go public? Do the scrutiny measures, expertise and financial backing that firms gain from the venture capitalists increase their annual and cumulative returns? The results show that returns on investment are adequate given their substantial risk.
    Keywords: Annualized and cumulative returns, Venture Capital, Venture-Backed Public Companies, Active and Inactive firms, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Texas, New York
    JEL: C12 D81 D92 E22 G12 G24 G3 M13 M21 O16 O3
    Date: 2009–08–01
  10. By: Mühlenweg, Andrea M.
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of children's age within grade on school victimization in elementary school. Identification of age effects relies on the instrumental variables approach drawing on official school entry age rules based on children's month of birth. The empirical analysis uses the PIRLS data for 17 countries where such school entry age rules are effectively applied. Possible selection into compliance with official entry rules is taken into account via a control function approach. The study demonstrates that children are causally and significantly harmed by being the youngest within grade. Sub-group analysis reveals that the size of age effects on school victimization tends to be higher for boys than for girls as well as for children with an immigrant background compared to natives. The point estimates suggest that the age effect on school victimization is especially high in countries where there are also high effects on the cognitive outcome variable.
    Keywords: education,segregation,school effects
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2009
  11. By: Xing, Chunbing
    Abstract: As massive rural residents leave their home countryside for better employment, migration has profound effects on income distributions such as rural-urban income gap and inequalities within rural or urban areas. The nature of the effects depend crucially on who are migrating and their migrating patterns. In this paper, we emphasize two facts. First, rural residents are not homogeneous, they self-select to migrate or not. Second, there are significant differences between migrants who successfully transformed their hukou status (permanent migrants) and those did not (temporary migrants). Using three coordinated CHIP data sets in 2002, we find that permanent migrants are positively selected from rural population especially in terms of education. As permanent migration takes more mass from the upper half of rural income density, both rural income level and inequalities decrease, the urban-rural income ratio increases at the same time. On the contrary, the selection effect of temporary migrants is almost negligible. It does not have obvious effect on rural income level and inequalities.
    Keywords: migration; self-selection; China
    JEL: O15
    Date: 2009–06
  12. By: Aldashev, Alisher
    Abstract: The paper analyzes effects of occupational and regional mobility on the matching rate using the monthly panel disaggregated on regional and occupational level. The main contribution of the paper is measuring the effect of substitutability between vacancies for different occupations and vacancies in different regions on matchings. The estimates indicate higher regional mobility in West Germany but higher occupational mobility in East Germany. The results show that if occupations were perfect substitutes, the number of matches could increase by 5-9%. Perfect regional mobility could increase matchings by 5-15%. It is also shown that partial aggregation causes a downward bias in substitutability estimates.
    Keywords: Matching function,constant elasticity of substitution,spatial correlation,occupational and regional mobility,nonlinear least squares,GMM
    JEL: J62 J63 R23 J61
    Date: 2009
  13. By: Marcus Neureiter; Peter Nunnenkamp
    Abstract: We use data on motives of international outsourcing and location choices from a recent survey of European companies to assess the labour market repercussions at home. Employing Tobit models we differentiate between job losses as well as job creation for high and low skilled employees at the sector level in ten European home countries. Our findings are in conflict with public concerns about adverse employment effects resulting primarily from cost-oriented sourcing in low wage locations. The quantitative impact on job losses remains modest in the case of cost-saving motives. The simple divide between low and high wage locations hides substantial heterogeneity within both groups. We also find that job losses are typically compensated partly by new job creation, particularly for high skilled workers
    Keywords: outsourcing, outward FDI, motives, location choice, job loss, job creation, (un)skilled labour
    JEL: F23 J21
    Date: 2009–08
  14. By: Giorgio Fagiolo
    Abstract: This paper begins to explore the determinants of the topological properties of the international - trade network (ITN). We fit bilateral-trade flows using a standard gravity equation to build a ''residual'' ITN where trade-link weights are depurated from geographical distance, size, border effects, trade agreements, and so on. We then compare the topological properties of the original and residual ITNs. We find that the residual ITN displays, unlike the original one, marked signatures of a complex system, and is characterized by a very different topological architecture. Whereas the original ITN is geographically clustered and organized around a few large-sized hubs, the residual ITN displays many small-sized but trade-oriented countries that, independently of their geographical position, either play the role of local hubs or attract large and rich countries in relatively complex trade-interaction patterns.
    Keywords: International Trade Network; Gravity Equation; Weighted Network Analysis; Topological Properties; Econophysics
    JEL: F10 D85
    Date: 2009–08–31
  15. By: Delia Furtado; Nikolaos Theodoropoulos
    Abstract: Social networks are commonly understood to play a large role in the labor market success of immigrants. Using 2000 U.S. Census data, this paper examines whether access to native networks, as measured by marriage to a native, increases the probability of immigrant employment. We start by confirming in both least squares and instrumental variables frameworks that marriage to a native indeed increases immigrant employment rates. Next, we show that the returns to marrying a native are not likely to arise solely from citizenship rights acquired through marriage or characteristics of native spouses. We then present several pieces of evidence suggesting that networks obtained through marriage play an important part in explaining the relationship between marriage decisions and employment.
    Keywords: Immigration, Marriage, Employment, Networks
    Date: 2009–08
  16. By: Squicciarini, Mariagrazia
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the role of Science Parks (SPs) as seedbeds of innovation. It investigates whether and to what extent locating inside a science park relates to the innovative output of tenant firms. The simple assessment methodology proposed relies on count data models, uses patents as innovation performance indicators, and exploits original data regarding the Finnish science parks, their main characteristics, and the data of 252 SP tenant firms, including their patenting activity over the period 19702002. Among other results, the study suggests that both within and among SPs interaction and spillover effects exist, and points out the way in which they relate to firms' innovative output. Results are robust to controlling for the existence of innovation lags. Parks' first mover disadvantages also emerge, as well as non-negligible matching phenomena whereby firms' and parks' characteristics matter jointly.
    Keywords: Science Parks,knowledge spillovers,innovation,patents,firm performance
    JEL: L29 O32 O38
    Date: 2009
  17. By: Roy Bahl (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University); Musharraf Cyan (International Studies Program. Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the current practice of local government taxation in Pakistan and to point the way toward structural reforms that are both more rational and more in step with Pakistan’s vision for its fiscal decentralization. The analysis here is restricted to sub provincial governments, i.e., districts, TMA’s and union councils but with a decided emphasis on the former two. We do this by examining the current practice, and by drawing on international comparisons and “best practices” as laid out in the theory of fiscal federalism.
    Keywords: Local Government Taxation, Pakistan, Fiscal Decentralization
    Date: 2009–08–01
  18. By: Jason Gagnon; Theodora Xenogiani; Chunbing Xing
    Abstract: The rapid and massive increase in rural-to-urban worker flows to the coast of China has drawn recent attention to the welfare of migrants working in urban regions, particularly to their working conditions and pay; serious concern is raised regarding pay discrimination against rural migrants. This paper uses data from a random draw of the 2005 Chinese national census survey to shed more light on the discrimination issue, by making comparisons of earnings and the sector of work between rural migrants on one hand, and urban residents and urban migrants on the other. Contrary to popular belief, we find no earnings discrimination against rural migrants compared to urban residents. However, rural migrants are found to be discriminated in terms of the sector in which they work, with a vast majority working in the informal sector lacking adequate social protection.<BR>L’augmentation rapide et massive des mouvements ruraux-à-urbains d’ouvriers vers la côte de la Chine a appelé à l’attention récente le bien-être des migrants travaillant dans des régions urbaines, en particulier vis-à-vis de leurs conditions de travail et de salaire ; la préoccupation a d’autant plus augmenté concernant la discrimination de salaire contre les migrants ruraux. Ce document emploie des données d’un tirage aléatoire du recensement national chinois de 2005 pour éclaircir la question de la discrimination en faisant des comparaisons de revenus et de secteur de travail entre les migrants ruraux d’une part, et les résidents et migrants urbains de l’autre. Contrairement à la croyance populaire, nous ne trouvons aucune discrimination de revenus entre migrants ruraux et résidents urbains. Cependant, les migrants ruraux s’avèrent être distingués en termes de secteur dans lequel ils travaillent, une grande majorité d’entre eux travaillant dans le secteur informel, caractérisé par un manque d’accès à une protection sociale adéquate.
    Keywords: migration, China, Chine, informal employment, migration, emploi informel, discrimination, discrimination
    JEL: J24 J71 O15 R23
    Date: 2009–06–30

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.