nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2010‒04‒04
thirty-two papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Suburbanization and Residential Desegregation in South Africa's Cities By Naude, Wim
  2. The geography and co-location of European technology-specific co-inventorship networks By Christ, Julian P.
  3. Spatial Development By Klaus Desmet; Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
  4. Infrastructure and City Competitiveness in India By Lall,Somik V.; Gun Wang, Hyoung; Deichmann, Uwe
  5. Agglomeration Index Towards a New Measure of Urban Concentration By Uchida, Hirotsugu; Nelson, Andrew
  6. A New Model for Equitable and Efficient Resource Allocation to Schools: The Israeli Case By BenDavid-Hadar, Iris; Ziderman, Adrian
  7. Urban Violence Is not (Necessarily) a Way of Life By Rodgers, Dennis
  8. Financial Market Liberalization, Monetary Policy,and Housing Price Dynamics By Rangan Gupta; Stephen M. Miller; Dylan van Wyk
  9. Evolving City Systems By Overman, Henry G.; Venables, Anthnony J.
  10. Differences in the Distribution of High School Achievement: The Role of Class Size and Time-in-Term By Corak, Miles; Lauzon, Darren
  11. The effects of school-based management in the Philippines : an initial assessment using administrative data By Khattri, Nidhi; Ling, Cristina; Jha, Shreyasi
  12. Urban Myths and the Mis-use of Data that Underpin them By Satterthwaite, David
  13. The Legacy Effect of Squatter Settlements on Urban Redevelopment By A. Navarro, Ignacio; Turnbull, Geoffrey K.
  14. Returns to Migration, Education, and Externalities in the European Union By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Vassilis Tselios
  15. Searching for the parallel growth of cities By Chen, Zhihong; Fu, Shihe; Zhang, Dayong
  16. Building Sustainable Historic Centres A Comparative Approach for Innovative Urban Projects By Rabinovich, Adriana; Catenazzi, Andrea
  17. The effect of accountability policies in primary education in Amsterdam By Victoria Chorny,; Dinand Webbink
  18. Determinants of different internal migration trends: the Italian experience By Napolitano, Oreste; Bonasia, Mariangela
  19. Violent Urbanization and Homogenization of Space and Place By Yassin, Nasser
  20. Communities, Knowledge, and Innovation: Indian Immigrants in the US Semiconductor Industry By Paul Almeida; Anupama Phene; Sali Li
  21. Determinants of Student Achievements in the Primary Education of Paraguay By Thomas Otter; Varlos Villalobos Barría
  22. Waste Generation and Landfill Diversion Dynamics: Decentralised Management and Spatial Effects By Massimiliano Mazzanti; Anna Montini; Francesco Nicolli
  23. Fiscal Centralization and the Political Process By Facundo Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales
  24. Who's afraid of power lines? Merging survey and GIS data to account for spatial heterogeneity By Giaccaria Sergio; Frontuto Vito; Dalmazzone Silvana
  25. Regional expression of tourism development By Vaz, Margarida; Silva, João Albino; Manso, José Pires
  26. Solid Wastes, Poverty and the Environment in Developing Country Cities By Medina, Martin
  27. Cluster Sustainability in Peripheral Regions: A case study on Israel´s and Finland´s biotechnology industries By Shiri M. Breznitz; Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen
  28. On the Link Between Fiscal Decentralization and Public Debt in OECD Countries By Baskaran, Thushyanthan
  29. Parsing the Urban Poverty Puzzle A Multi-generational Panel Study in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas, 1968–2008 By Perlman, Janice E.
  30. School Attendance and Child Labor - A Model of Collective Behavior By Strulik, Holger
  31. Infrastructure and Growth: Empirical Evidence By Balazs Egert; Tomasz Kozluk; Douglas Sutherland
  32. The Face of Urban Poverty Explaining the Prevalence of Slums in Developing Countries By Arimah, C. Ben

  1. By: Naude, Wim
    Abstract: Population density gradients for South Africa’s cities are quite small in absolute value, indicating a relatively flat population distribution across the cities. In contrast employment is less flatly distributed than the population. The relationship between employment densities and distance across South African cities has remained constant between 1996 and 2001 whilst there has been on average a slight increase in population density further away from the city centres. As per capita income of the population rises, density in the central city areas decreases. Employment growth has no significant impact on suburbanization indicating that population settlement does not necessarily follow jobs. Finally, it is found that there have been decreases in segregation in South Africa’s metropolitan cities since 1996 especially in the former white group areas, which could suggest that the formerly spatially excluded black population is slowly moving into former white areas, which are also closer to where economic activities are located.
    Keywords: suburbanization, segregation, South Africa
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Christ, Julian P.
    Abstract: This paper contributes with empirical findings to European co-inventorship location and geographical coincidence of co-patenting networks. Based on EPO co-patenting information for the reference period 2000-2004, we analyze the spatial con figuration of 44 technology-specific co-inventorship networks. European co-inventorship (co-patenting) activity is spatially linked to 1259 European NUTS3 units (EU25+CH+NO) and their NUTS1 regions by inventor location. We extract 7.135.117 EPO co-patenting linkages from our own relational database that makes use of the OECD RegPAT (2009) files. The matching between International Patent Classification (IPC) subclasses and 44 technology fields is based on the ISI-SPRU-OST-concordance. We con firm the hypothesis that the 44 co-inventorship networks differ in their overall size (nodes, linkages, self-loops) and that they are dominated by similar groupings of regions. The paper offers statistical evidence for the presence of highly localized European co-inventorship networks for all 44 technology fields, as the majority of linkages between NUTS3 units (counties and districts) are within the same NUTS1 regions. Accordingly, our findings helps to understand general presence of positive spatial autocorrelation in regional patent data. Our analysis explicitly accounts for different network centrality measures (betweenness, degree, eigenvector). Spearman rank correlation coefficients for all 44 technology fields confirm that most co-patenting networks co-locate in those regions that are central in several technology-specific co-patenting networks. These findings support the hypothesis that leading European regions are indeed multi- filed network nodes and that most research collaboration is taking place in dense co-patenting networks. --
    Keywords: Co-patenting,co-inventorship,networks,linkages,co-location,RegPAT
    JEL: C8 O31 O33 R12
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Klaus Desmet (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Esteban Rossi-Hansberg (Princeton University)
    Abstract: We present a theory of spatial development. A continuum of locations in a geographic area choose each period how much to innovate (if at all) in manufacturing and services. Locations can trade subject to transport costs and technology diffuses spatially across locations. The result is an endogenous growth theory that can shed light on the link between the evolution of economic activity over time and space. We apply the model to study the evolution of the U.S. economy in the last few decades and find that the model can generate the reduction in the employment share in manufacturing, the increase in service productivity in the second part of the 1990s, the increase in land rents in the same period, as well as several other spatial and temporal patterns.
    Keywords: Dynamic Spatial Models, Growth, Innovation, Land Rent Evolution, Structural Transformation, Technology Diffusion, Trade
    JEL: E32 O11 O18 O33 R12
    Date: 2010–03
  4. By: Lall,Somik V.; Gun Wang, Hyoung; Deichmann, Uwe
    Abstract: Do local improvements in infrastructure provision improve city competitiveness? What public finance mechanisms stimulate local infrastructure supply? And how do local efforts compare with national decisions of placing inter-regional trunk infrastructure? In this paper, we examine how the combination of local and national infrastructure supply improve city competitiveness, measured as the city’s share of national private investment. For the empirical analysis, we collect city-level data for India, and link private investment decisions to infrastructure provision. We find that a city’s proximity to international ports and highways connecting large domestic markets has the largest effect on its attractiveness for private investment. In comparison, the supply of local infrastructure services – such as municipal roads, street lighting, water supply, and drainage – enhance competitiveness, but their impacts are much smaller. Thus, while local efforts are important for competitiveness, they are less likely to be successful in cities distant from the country’s main trunk infrastructure. In terms of financing local infrastructure, we find that a city’s ability to raise its own source revenues by means of local taxes and user fees increases infrastructure supply, whereas as inter governmental transfers do not have statistically significant effects.
    Keywords: urbanization, cities, India, infrastructure
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Uchida, Hirotsugu; Nelson, Andrew
    Abstract: A common challenge in analyzing urbanization is the data. The United Nations (UN) compiles information on urbanization (urban population and its share of total national population) that is reported by various countries but there is no standardized definition of ‘urban’, resulting in inconsistencies. This situation is particularly troublesome if one wishes to conduct a cross-country analysis or determine the aggregate urbanization status of the regions (such as Asia or Latin America) and the world. This paper proposes an alternative to the UN measure of urban concentration that we call an agglomeration index. It is based on three factors: Population density, The population of a ‘large’ city centre and Travel time to that large city centre. The main objective in constructing this new measure is to provide a globally consistent definition of settlement concentration in order to conduct cross-country comparative and aggregated analyses. As an accessible measure of economic density, the agglomeration index lends itself to the study of concepts such as agglomeration rents in urban areas, the ‘thickness’ of a market, and the travel distance to such a market with many workers and consumers. With anticipated advances in remote sensing technology and geo-coded data analysis tools, the agglomeration index can be further refined to address some of the caveats currently associated with it.
    Keywords: agglomeration index, urbanization, accessibility map, cost surface
    Date: 2010
  6. By: BenDavid-Hadar, Iris (Bar-Ilan University); Ziderman, Adrian (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: This paper sets out a new budget allocation formula for schools, designed to achieve a more equitable distribution of educational achievement. In addition to needs-based elements, the suggested composite allocation formula includes an improvement component, whereby schools receive budgetary allocations based on a new incentive measure developed in this paper (Improvement in the Educational Achievement Distribution, or IEAD). The development of the budget allocation formula is demonstrated utilizing Israeli data. Large scale, nationwide data sets relating students’ academic achievement to student background variables, teacher profiles and school characteristics, were analyzed to identify appropriate needs-based formula components and to estimate their weights. The results are compared with the funding formulas currently used in Israel.
    Keywords: school finance, formular funding, needs-based funding, schools resource allocation, Israel
    JEL: I22
    Date: 2010–03
  7. By: Rodgers, Dennis
    Abstract: As the world moves towards its so-called urban ‘tipping point’, urbanization in the global South has increasingly come to be portrayed as the portent of a dystopian future characterized by ever-mounting levels of anarchy and brutality. The association between cities, violence, and disorder is not new, however. In a classic article on ‘Urbanism as a way of life’, Louis Wirth (1938: 23) famously links cities to ‘personal disorganization, mental breakdown, suicide, delinquency, crime, corruption, and disorder’. He does so on the grounds that the urban context constituted a space that naturally generated particular forms of social organization and collective action as a result of three key attributes: population size, density, and heterogeneity. Large numbers lead to a segmentation of human relations, the pre-eminence of secondary over primary social contact, and a utilitarianization of interpersonal relationships. Density produces increased competition, accelerates specialization, and engenders glaring contrasts that accentuate social friction. Heterogeneity induces more ramified and differentiated forms of social stratification, heightened individual mobility, and increased social fluidity. While large numbers, density, and heterogeneity can plausibly be considered universal features of cities, it is much less obvious that they necessarily lead to urban violence. This is a standpoint that is further reinforced by the fact that not all cities around the world – whether rapidly urbanizing or not – are violent, and taking off from Wirth’s characterization of the city, this paper therefore seeks to understand how and why under certain circumstances compact settlements of large numbers of heterogeneous individuals give rise to violence, while in others they don’t, focusing in particular on wider structural factors as seen through the specific lens of urban gang violence.
    Keywords: urbanism, violence, gangs, Chicago School of Sociology, Wirth
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Rangan Gupta (University of Pretoria); Stephen M. Miller (University of Connecticut and University of Nevada, Las Vegas); Dylan van Wyk (University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: This paper considers how monetary policy, a Federal funds rate shock, affects the dynamics of the US housing sector and whether the financial market liberalization of the early 1980Çs influenced those dynamics. The analysis uses impulse response functions obtained from a large-scale Bayesian Vector Autoregression (LBVAR) model over the periods 1968:01 to 1982:12 and 1989:01 to 2003:12, including 21 housing-sector variables at the national and four census regions. Overall, the 100 basis point Federal funds rate shock produces larger effects on the real house prices, both at the regional level and the national level, in the post-liberalization period when compared to the pre-liberalization era. While the precision of the estimates do not imply significant differences, the finding does offer a caution. That is, the housing market appears more sensitive to monetary policy shocks in the post-liberalization period. On the one hand, this suggests that monetary policy possesses increased leverage. On the other hand, the housing market cycle traditionally contributes an important component to the aggregate business cycle. Thus, the monetary authorities may need to exercise more care in implementing Federal funds rate adjustments going forward. In addition, contractionary monetary policy exerts a negative effect on house prices at the national level, indicating the absence of the price puzzle in small structural vector autoregressive models. The puzzleÇs absence in the housing sector possibly emerges as a result of proper identification of monetary policy shocks within a data-rich environment. Finally, we find that the reaction of housing sector proves heterogeneous across regions, with the housing sector in the South driving the national data after liberalization, while before liberalization, the Middle West appears to drive the housing market. The responses in the West differ the most from the other regions.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, Housing price dynamics, Large-Scale BVAR models
    JEL: C32 R31
    Date: 2010–03
  9. By: Overman, Henry G.; Venables, Anthnony J.
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on the forces driving urbanization in developing countries. It presents a model outlining how globalization can lead to the evolution of an urban structure which may approximate Zipf’s law. Policy implications are outlined.
    Keywords: urbanization, globalization, agglomeration, city systems
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Corak, Miles (University of Ottawa); Lauzon, Darren (Statistics Canada)
    Abstract: This paper adopts the technique of DiNardo, Fortin and Lemieux (1996) to decompose differences in the distribution of PISA test scores in Canada, and assesses the relative contribution of differences in the distribution of “class size” and time-in-term, other school factors and student background factors. Class size and time-in-term are both important school choice variables and we examine how provincial achievement differences would change if the Alberta distribution of class size and time-in-term prevailed in the other provinces. Results differ by province, and for provinces where mean achievement gaps would be lower, not all students would benefit.
    Keywords: educational economics, human capital, input-output analysis
    JEL: I22
    Date: 2010–03
  11. By: Khattri, Nidhi; Ling, Cristina; Jha, Shreyasi
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of school-based management on student performance in the Philippines using the administrative dataset of all public schools in 23 school districts over a 3-year period, 2003-2005. The authors test whether schools that received early school-based management interventions (training in school-based management and direct funding for school-based reforms) attained higher average test scores than those that did not receive such inputs. The analysis uses school-level overall composite test scores (comprising all subject areas tested) and test scores in three separate subject areas: English, math, and science. Their preferred estimator, difference-in-difference with propensity score matching, shows that the average treatment effect of participation in school-based management was higher by 1.5 percentage points for overall composite scores, 1.2 percentage points for math scores, 1.4 percentage points for English scores, and 1.8 percentage points for science scores. These results suggest that the introduction of school-based management had a statistically significant, albeit small, overall positive effect on average school-level test scores in 23 school districts in the Philippines. The paper provides a first glimpse of the potential for school-based management in an East Asian context based on available administrative data. The authors suggest that the next order of research is to answer policy-related questions regarding the reforms: what aspects of the reform lead to desired results; are there differential effects across subpopulations; and what are the potential downsides to the reforms? The Philippines is embarking on a nation-wide implementation of school-based management and the authors recommend that mechanisms for rigorous evaluations be advanced simultaneously. Such evaluations should not only provide more accurate estimates of the effectiveness of the reforms, but also help answer policy-related questions regarding design and implementation of those reforms in different socio-cultural contexts.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Teaching and Learning,Secondary Education,Primary Education
    Date: 2010–03–01
  12. By: Satterthwaite, David
    Abstract: This paper describes the gaps and limitations in the data available on urban populations for many low- and middle-income nations and how this limits the accuracy of international comparisons – for instance of levels of urbanization and of the size of city populations. It also discusses how the lack of attention to data limitations has led to many myths and misconceptions in regard to growth rates for city populations and for nations’ levels of urbanization. It ends with some comments on how data limitations distort urban policies.
    Keywords: urbanization, city populations, censuses
    Date: 2010
  13. By: A. Navarro, Ignacio; Turnbull, Geoffrey K.
    Abstract: The paper presents a theoretical model that seeks to answer the question of why former squatter settlements tend to upgrade/redevelop at a slower pace than otherwise similar settlements originating in the formal sector. We argue that squatter settlers’ initial strategy to access urban land creates a ‘legacy effect’ that curtails settlement upgrading possibilities even after the settlements are granted property titles. We test our model using the case of Cochabamba, Bolivia and obtain results consistent with our theoretical model prediction. Our results suggest that the commonly used ‘benign neglect while keeping the threat of eviction’ policy has profound impacts on how land is developed in the informal sector and this poses costly consequences for local governments after legalization.
    Keywords: squatters, informal settlements, urban development, neighbourhood upgrading, urban redevelopment
    Date: 2010
  14. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (London School of Economics); Vassilis Tselios (University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC), London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Relatively little attention has been paid to the role that externalities play in determining the pecuniary returns to migration. This paper addresses this gap, using microeconomic data for more than 100,000 individuals living in the European Union (EU) for the period 1994-2001 in order to analyse whether the individual economic returns to education vary between migrants and nonmigrants and whether any observed differences in earnings between migrants and locals are affected by household and/or geographical (regional and interregional) externalities. The results point out that while education is a fundamental determinant of earnings., European labour markets – contrary to expectations – do not discriminate in the returns to education between migrants and non-migrants. The paper also finds that household, regional, and interregional externalities influence the economic returns to education, but that they do so in a similar way for local, intranational, and supra-national migrants. The results are robust to the introduction of a large number of individual, household, and regional controls.
    Keywords: Individual Earnings, Migration, Educational Attainment, Externalities, Household, Regions, Europe
    JEL: J
    Date: 2010–02
  15. By: Chen, Zhihong; Fu, Shihe; Zhang, Dayong
    Abstract: Three urban growth theories predict parallel growth of cities. The endogenous growth theory predicts deterministic parallel growth; the random growth theory implies that city growth follows Gibrat’s law with a steady-state distribution; and the hybrid growth theory suggests the co-movement of random city growth. This paper uses the Chinese city size data from 1984-2006 and time series econometric techniques to test for parallel growth. The results from various types of stationarity tests on pooled heterogeneous cities show that city growth is random. However, once growth trend and structural change are taken into account, certain groups of cities with common group characteristics, such as similar natural resource endowment or policy regime, grow parallel.
    Keywords: Urban growth; Parallel growth; Zipf’s law; Unit root; Structural change
    JEL: C22 R12 R11
    Date: 2010–03–19
  16. By: Rabinovich, Adriana; Catenazzi, Andrea
    Abstract: Since the 1980s, the promotion of heritage values has gradually become a relevant issue for urban planning. Together with the emergence of new peripheries, inner-city areas and particularly old historic centres, affected by deterioration due to the recession of the last decades, have been the object of study and actions. Consequently, the need to turn the historic centres into areas of development for the market, through legislative measures and investments in infrastructure and services, and the re-evaluation of the heritage value of existing buildings, oscillated between policies which, linked to the mechanisms of economic and cultural globalization, promoted tourism as a source of revenue while striving to find alternatives to gentrification. The renewed priority given to the development of inner-city areas, centred round the rehabilitation of their historic values and central nature, has generated innovative operating modes in the urban environment that seek to reconcile the challenges of modernity, particularly in regard to social inequalities with those of the past, and to rethink the central role of historic centres, their relations with the city and their development in terms of sustainability. The goal of our contribution is to gain a better understanding of the major challenges of the rehabilitation of historic centres within the framework of ‘innovative’ approaches to urban planning, aiming at promoting sustainable living conditions. The analysis is based on an ongoing comparative and transdisciplinary research project, in which the decision-making processes of concrete interventions for the rehabilitation of inner-areas with heritage value are being analyzed in different cities of the world: Buenos Aires, La Havana and Bangkok. The main questions that arose in our analysis concern the contexts allowing for innovation, focusing on those institutional arrangements, which, as modes of governance, were introduced in the interventions, studied.
    Keywords: urban planning, innovative planning, urban governance, decision-making, sustainable development, historic centres, heritage values, access to the city
    Date: 2010
  17. By: Victoria Chorny,; Dinand Webbink
    Abstract: In 1995, the municipality of Amsterdam introduced accountability policies for schools in primary education. Population statistics show a large increase of test scores in the decade after the introduction of the new urban policies. This paper assesses this increase in test scores by analyzing data of a large sample of schools including scores on the published test and scores on similar independently taken tests that are not published. Difference-in-differences estimates show that after the introduction of the accountability policies, test scores for both tests taken in grade 8 increased substantially more in Amsterdam than in the rest of the country and more than in a sample of Low SES students. Approximately 60 percent of the increase of the published test scores can be attributed to an increase in general skills and 40 percent to an increase in testspecific skills. Test scores of pupils in lower grades also improved in Amsterdam. We do not find evidence for strategic behavior of schools. Although part of the gains in test scores might be test-specific, the accountability policies in Amsterdam seem to have succeeded in raising educational achievements in primary schools.
    Keywords: accountability policy; educational performance; primary education
    JEL: I20 I21 R00
    Date: 2010–03
  18. By: Napolitano, Oreste; Bonasia, Mariangela
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of interregional migration in Italy for the period 1985-2006, during which different migration trends took place. In so doing, in addition to the traditional variables of Harris and Todaro model, the impact of housing prices and externalities variables were studied. Our results, using a dynamic panel GMM, show that the H-T model, due to the complexity of the internal migration process, omits some important economic and non-economic variables and may not be representative of migration flow in Italy. Furthermore, our analysis confirms our intuition that for different periods we have to take into account different determinants.
    Keywords: Interregional Migration; House prices; Income; Unemployment; Italy; Panel Data
    JEL: C23 J61 R21 R23
    Date: 2010–01
  19. By: Yassin, Nasser
    Abstract: This paper aims at understanding the dynamics of sectarian violence in the city of Beirut, by looking at the early phase of violence in the Lebanese civil war (1975–90), and the process of dividing Beirut into various sectarian enclaves controlled by the warring militias. The paper aims to show the way in which political actors used sectarian violence as a mechanism of social, political, and territorial control. As a point of departure, the paper views the city not only as a backdrop for conflict and violence, but also as an actual target. The objectives of the paper are threefold. First, it shows how sectarian violence was not random but was, rather, a product of a lengthy process that involved calculation and some levels of planning. It includes defining one’s …/
    Keywords: urbanization, cities, urban conflict, Lebanon
    Date: 2010
  20. By: Paul Almeida (Georgetown University); Anupama Phene (George Washington University); Sali Li (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the influence of technological, geographic, and ethnic communities on the innovativeness of Indian inventors. We study Indian inventors in the semiconductor industry in the US and examine their patenting profiles between 1975 and 1999 to identify the influences on the quantity and quality of their innovations. We find that inventors who rely on knowledge from technological and geographic communities enhance their innovativeness. Knowledge from the ethnic Indian community is related to inventor innovativeness in the form of an inverted U. The negative effect of knowledge gained from the ethnic community on innovativeness is pronounced for experienced inventors.
    Keywords: innovation, knowledge, semiconductor industry
    JEL: M0 M1
    Date: 2010–03–24
  21. By: Thomas Otter; Varlos Villalobos Barría (University of Goettingen / Germany)
    Abstract: The idea that schooling scores depend on a combination of family background characteristics, ability and school (institutional) variables is quite clear. Regarding the issue of intergenerational transmission of inequality in the educational system, the most important question would be if and to what extent could a better institutional performance of the school service compensate for problems related to family background. By means of the estimation of a reduced form equation for selected scores, we investigate the impact of institutional performance on scores after controlling for family background and individual characteristics. We do this by using a novel data set and an OLS and quantile regression approach to analyze how heterogeneous the process of score generation can be. By providing integral health solutions, minimizing under-nutrition and providing ideal conditions in the classroom, training teachers can impact positively on low and mean learning outcomes, thus contributing to an improved educational quality and breaking cycles of intergenerational transmission of inequality. Increasing learning outcomes for levels above the median, only strengthens the transmission of inequality. Consequently, the equality approach should focus on trying to improve the worst scores and our results show that this can be reached at a significant level closing teacher training gaps, improving classroom conditions and improving health and nutrition.
    JEL: A21 H52 I21 I28
    Date: 2010–02–16
  22. By: Massimiliano Mazzanti (University of Ferrara); Anna Montini (University of Bologna); Francesco Nicolli (University of Ferrara)
    Abstract: This paper provides analyses of municipal waste generation and landfill diversion dynamics based on an 8-year panel dataset for Italy covering 103 provinces. Although absolute declining for waste generation is a long way off, there are some first signals of increasing relative delinking and robust average landfill diversion. Spatial effects seem to be negligible, probably due to the strong decentralisation of waste management and policies: local, economic, policy and structural factors contribute to explaining the waste dynamics. Though North-South waste performances are showing some signals of convergence, greater efforts towards convergence of waste performances in a decentralised policy scenario are needed.
    Keywords: Waste Generation, Waste Management, Landfill Diversion, Decentralised Waste Policies, Landfill Tax, Separated Collection, Spatial Effects, Convergence
    JEL: C23 Q38 Q56
    Date: 2010–03
  23. By: Facundo Albornoz; Antonio Cabrales
    Abstract: We study the dynamic support for fiscal decentralisation in a political agency model from the perspective of a region. We show that corruption opportunities are lower under centralization at each period of time. However, centralization makes more difficult for citizens to detect corrupt incumbents. Thus, corruption is easier under centralization for low levels of political competition. We show that the relative advantage of centralization depends negatively on the quality of the local political class, but it is greater if the center and the region are subject to similar government productivity shocks. When we endogenize the quality of local politicians, we establish a positive link between the development of the private sector and the support for decentralization. Since political support to centralization evolves over time, driven either by economic/political development or by exogenous changes in preferences over public good consumption, it is possible that voters are (rationally) discontent about it. Also, preferences of voters and the politicians about centralization can diverge when political competition competition is weak.
    Keywords: decentralization, centralization, political agency, quality of politicians, corruption
    JEL: H11 D72 D73 P16
    Date: 2010–03
  24. By: Giaccaria Sergio (University of Turin); Frontuto Vito; Dalmazzone Silvana (University of Turin)
    Date: 2010–01
  25. By: Vaz, Margarida; Silva, João Albino; Manso, José Pires
    Abstract: This paper aims to highlight the importance of tourism to strengthen the capacities of the different regions and their resources. With this goal in mind an empirical study was conducted in a tourist destination located in the inner part of Portugal (Beira Interior), which aimed to measure the satisfaction obtained by tourists and also to identify the elements of the supply that the demand considers more important to choose this destination. The research stated that the symbolic aspects related to the specific resources of the region were the most important elements that help tourists to choose their destination and the same elements are also those that make tourists more satisfied. Assuming that the symbolic contents are in fact the underlying identity of the region, one can conclude that the more the identity of the region is reinforced, the more the difference is motivating and the more this identity is a key factor of its attractiveness
    Keywords: regional development; differentiation; specific resources; tourist destination; demand-oriented assessment
    JEL: L83 R11 C1
    Date: 2010–03
  26. By: Medina, Martin
    Abstract: Many cities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America face serious problems managing their wastes. Two of the major problems are the insufficient collection and inappropriate final disposal of wastes. Despite spending increasing resources, many cities – particularly in Africa and Asia – collect less than half of the waste generated. Most wastes are disposed of in open dumps, deposited on vacant land, or burned by residents in their backyards. Insufficient collection and inadequate disposal generate significant pollution problems and risks to human health and the environment. Over one billion people living in lowincome communities and slums lack appropriate waste management services. Given the rapid population growth and urbanization in many cities, the management of wastes tends to further deteriorate. This paper examines the challenges and opportunities that exist in improving the management of waste in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It is argued that, despite a worsening trend, there are opportunities for reducing pollution, alleviating poverty, improving the urban environment, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries by implementing low-cost, low-tech, labour-intensive methods that promote community participation and involve informal refuse collectors and waste-pickers. Evidence from several cities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America is discussed.
    Keywords: urbanization, cities, environment, waste
    Date: 2010
  27. By: Shiri M. Breznitz; Antti-Jussi Tahvanainen
    Abstract: Even with globalization, industrial clusters are maintaining their importance in today’s economy. With the decomposition of production we find that clusters are becoming focused on specific industries and stages of production. This paper analyzes two peripheral western countries, Finland and Israel, which saw success in their ICT clusters and wanted to duplicate this success building on their knowledge in the life science industry to create biotechnology clusters. This paper focuses on two innovation-based clusters, the bio¬technology agglomerations in Rehovot, Israel, and Helsinki, Finland. These industrial districts consist of companies, many spun out of university research, that are either devoted to early-stage R&D (Israel), or choose to conduct the entire business cycle (Finland). Utilizing a multi-method study that includes both quantitative and qualitative research, with a series of in-depth interviews and site visits, archival and statistical data, the paper investigates whether a cluster of young research companies can become the basis of industrial growth and bring economic sustainability to a region. We find that while the firms’ strategic choices regarding their focus on certain positions in the value chain do not necessarily have any direct implications on the sustainability of the respective clusters as such, a variety of other characteristics necessary for long-term sustainability are missing in both clusters. These include particularly inter-firm knowledge flows within the clusters, an active and demanding VC market, connections to international expertise, and opportunities to recruit experienced expertise.
    Keywords: clusters, biotechnology, peripheral regions, sustainability
    Date: 2010–03–24
  28. By: Baskaran, Thushyanthan
    Abstract: Excessive borrowing by subnational governments is considered to be one of the perils of fiscal decentralization. On the other hand, fiscal decentralization might ensure the scal stability of the public sector by constraining Leviathan governments. Since the impact of decentralized government on fiscal outcomes is therefore ambiguous from a theoretical perspective, we explore this question empirically with a panel of 17 OECD countries over the 1975-2001 period. Our findings suggest that expenditure decentralization signicantly reduces public indebtedness, whereas tax decentralization and vertical fiscal imbalances are insignicant.
    Keywords: Fiscal decentralization; Public debt; Soft budget constraints
    JEL: H77
    Date: 2010
  29. By: Perlman, Janice E.
    Abstract: This paper describes the methodology of a longitudinal multi-generational study in the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio de Janeiro from 1968 to 2008. Major political transformations took place in Brazil during this interval: from dictatorship to ‘opening’ to democracy; major economic transformations from ‘miracle’ boom to hyperinflation and crisis, and to relative stability; and major policy changes from the removal of favelas to their upgrading and integration. However, despite the cumulative effects of these contextual changes, poverty programmes and community efforts, the favela population has continued to grow faster than the rest of the city and the number and size of the favelas has consistently increased over these decades.
    Keywords: urbanization, Brazil, poverty, community, slums
    Date: 2010
  30. By: Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: This paper theoretically investigates how community approval or disapproval affects school attendance and child labor and how aggregate behavior of the community feeds back towards the formation and persistence of an anti- (or pro-) schooling norm. The proposed community-model continues to take aggregate and idiosyncratic poverty into account as an important driver of low school attendance and child labor. But it provides also an explanation for why equally poor villages or regions can display different attitudes towards schooling. Distinguishing between three different modes of child time allocation, school attendance, work, and leisure, the paper shows how the time costs of schooling and child labor productivity contribute to the existence of a locally stable anti-schooling norm. It proposes policies that effectively exploit the social dynamics and initiate a permanent escape from the anti-schooling equilibrium. An extension of the model explores how an education contingent subsidy paid to the poorest families of a community manages to initiate a bandwagon effect towards "education for all". The optimal mechanism design of such a targeted transfer program is investigated.
    Keywords: School Attendance, Child Labor, Social Norms, Targeted Transfers
    JEL: I20 I29 J13 O12
    Date: 2010–02
  31. By: Balazs Egert; Tomasz Kozluk; Douglas Sutherland
    Abstract: Investment in network infrastructure can boost long-term economic growth in OECD countries. Moreover, infrastructure investment can have a positive effect on growth that goes beyond the effect of the capital stock because of economies of scale, the existence of network externalities competition enhancing effects. This paper analyses the empirical relationship between infrastructure and economic growth. Time-series results reveal a positive impact of infrastructure investment on growth. They also show that this effect varies across countries and sectors and over time. In some cases, these results reveal evidence of possible over-investment. Bayesian model averaging of cross-section growth regressions confirms that infrastructure investment in telecommunications and the electricity sectors has a robust positive effect on long-term growth (but not in railways and road networks). Furthermore, this effect is highly nonlinear as the impact is stronger if the physical stock is lower.
    Keywords: investment, infrastructure, network industry, economic growth, cointegration, Bayesian model averaging
    JEL: E22 O11 O40
    Date: 2009–04–01
  32. By: Arimah, C. Ben
    Abstract: One of the most visible and enduring manifestations of urban poverty in developing countries is the formation and proliferation of slums. While attention has focused on the rapid pace of urbanization as the sole or major factor explaining the proliferation of slums and squatter settlements in developing countries, there are other factors whose impacts are not known with much degree of certainty. It is also not clear how the effects of these factors vary across regions of the developing world. This paper accounts for differences in the prevalence of slums among developing countries using data drawn from the recent global assessment of slums undertaken by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. The empirical analysis identifies substantial inter-country variations in the incidence of slums both within and across the regions of Africa, Asia as well as, Latin America and the Caribbean. Further analysis indicates that higher GDP
    Keywords: urban poverty, slums, developing countries, inter-country differences
    Date: 2010

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