nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2010‒05‒08
twenty-two papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Differences in Quality of Life Estimates Using Rents and Home Values By Winters, John V
  2. The Social Cost of Road Congestion in Ile-de-France Region (and France): Empirical Evidences from the Paris Ring-Road By Martin Koning
  3. Using a DSGE model to look at the recent boom-bust cycle in the US By Marco Ratto; Werner Roeger; Jan in 't Veld-European Commission
  4. State of the Cities (National Urban Policy Report) By HUD - PD&R
  5. Intergenerational Housing Needs and HUD Program Options: Report to Congress By HUD - PD&R
  6. Heterogeneity in money holdings across euro area countries: the role of housing By Ralph Setzer; Paul van den Noord; Guntram B. Wolff
  7. A Dynamic Model of Housing Demand: Estimation and Policy Implications By Patrick Bajari; Phoebe Chan; Dirk Krueger; Daniel Miller
  8. The Cost Inefficiency of Public Primary Education in Japan By Hitoshi Saito
  9. Local Labor Markets By Enrico Moretti
  10. Property Value Assessment Growth Limits, Tax Base Erosion and Regional In-Migration By Skidmore, Mark; Tosun, Mehmet S.
  11. Human Capital Externalities and Employment Differences across Metropolitan Areas of the U.S. By Winters, John V
  12. An Assessment on the Cost Structure of the UK Airport Industry: Ownership Outcomes and Long Run Cost Economies By Anna Bottasso; Maurizio Conti
  13. A Theory of School-Choice Lotteries By Onur Kesten; M. Utku Ünver
  14. Paris: a Desire Named Streetcar By Martin Koning; Rémy Prud'Homme; Pierre Kopp
  15. multi-state non-homogeneous semi-markov model of daily activity type, timing and duration sequence By Tai-Yu Ma; Charles Raux; Eric Cornelis; Iragaël Joly
  16. The Question of Land and Infrastructure Development in India: Urgently Required Reforms for Fairness and Infrastructural Development By Morris Sebastian; Pandey Ajay
  17. Economics of the Super Bowl By Victor Matheson
  18. Are Young People's Educational Outcomes Linked to their Sense of Control? By Barón, Juan D.; Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.
  19. Transport Pricing and Public-Private Partnerships By Roger Vickerman; Emil Evenhuis
  20. Ability, Parental Valuation of Education and the High School Dropout Decision By Foley, Kelly; Gallipoli, Giovanni; Green, David A.
  21. Obesity, Affluence and Urbanisation in India By Raghav Gaiha; Raghbendra Jha; Vani S. Kulkarni
  22. Analysis of Non Suburban Passenger Coaching Stock Utilization By Raghuram G; Digar Rishita; Jain Chandni

  1. By: Winters, John V
    Abstract: Implicit values of amenities and the quality of life in an area can be measured by differences in “real wages” across areas, where real wages are computed as nominal wages adjusted for the cost of living. Computing cost of living differences involves several important issues, most important being how housing prices should be measured. Previous researchers typically have used some combination of rental payments and homeowner housing values. This paper examines differences in quality of life estimates for U.S. metropolitan areas using, alternatively, rents and housing values. We find that the two measures of quality of life are highly correlated. Value-based estimates, however, are considerably more dispersed than rent-based estimates, likely because of the recent bubble in the housing market and because housing values often provide an imperfect measure of the present user cost of housing. Researchers should be cautious in using housing values to construct quality of life estimates.
    Keywords: quality of life; amenities; rents; housing; wages
    JEL: R13 R21 R23
    Date: 2010–04–15
  2. By: Martin Koning (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: The aim of this article was to assess specific problems concerning traffic congestion access to the city of Paris. First, we attempted to evaluate the evolution of the congestion cost for the Paris Ring-Road (PRR), the major urban highway surrounding the French capital, during the period from 2000-2007. A speed-density methodology was implemented which enabled us to differentiate the external costs of road congestion between speed-classes of 5 km/h. These results were useful to subsequently propose the order of magnitude of time losses at national and regional scales, as well as marginal pricing schemes which could potentially be used in order to correct road congestion externality on the PRR. Our empirical investigation concluded that, in 2007, the PRR was more costly for central Paris area (130 M€) compared to that of seven years earlier (117 M€). The deterioration of traffic conditions, symbolized by the mean speed fall (- 5.2 %), dominates the infrastructure least used (- 2.2 %). Based on these figures, the social cost of road congestion is thought to reach about 0.2 % of the French GDP. This ratio becomes three times higher once reported on a regional scale and underlines that road congestion is an important issue for Ile-de-France. Finally, despite their analytical limitations, the proposed taxes clearly illustrate the challenges related to road-pricing strategies.
    Keywords: Paris Ring-Road, Road Congestion, Speed-Density Relationship, Road-Pricing
    Date: 2010–03–10
  3. By: Marco Ratto; Werner Roeger; Jan in 't Veld-European Commission
    Abstract: This paper presents a DSGE model with residential investment and credit-constrained households estimated with US data over the period 1980Q1-2008Q4. In order to better understand speculative movements of house prices, we model land as an exhaustible resource, implying that house prices have asset market characteristics.We conduct an event study for the US over the period 1999Q1-2008Q4 which has been characterised by a housing boom and bust and examine which shocks have contributed to the evolution of GDP and its components over this period. We devote special attention to the contribution of non-fundamental shocks to asset prices over this episode.
    Keywords: Using a DSGE model to look at the recent boom-bu DSGE model Housing Credit constraint collateral Bubbles Shocks Ratto Roeger in 't Veld European Economy. Economic Papers
    JEL: C51 E21 E22 E52
    Date: 2010–01
  4. By: HUD - PD&R
    Abstract: State of the Cities (National Urban Policy Report)
    JEL: R50
  5. By: HUD - PD&R
    Abstract: This report addresses a Congressional mandate for "a study to determine an estimate of the number of covered families in the United States and their affordable housing needs" and includes "recommendations...regarding how the major assisted housing programs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including the supportive housing for the elderly program under Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 can be used and, if appropriate, amended or altered, to meet the affordable housing needs of covered families." The study, conducted by HUD and the Bureau of the Census, uses 2000 Census and American Housing Survey data to clarify the housing issues faced by grandparents and other relatives who accept the responsibility of providing care for minor children.
    JEL: R21
  6. By: Ralph Setzer; Paul van den Noord; Guntram B. Wolff
    Abstract: In this paper we examine why monetary aggregates of euro area Member States have developed differently since the inception of the euro. We derive a money demand equation that incorporates housing wealth and collateral as well as substitution effects on real money holdings. Empirically, we show that cross-country differences in real balances are determined not only by income differences, a standard determinant of money demand, but also by house price developments.Higher house prices and higher user costs of housing are both associated with larger money holdings. Country-specific money holdings are also connected with structural features of the housing market.
    Keywords: european union eu setzer wolff van den Noord euro area money heterogeneity money holdings
    JEL: E41 E51 E52
    Date: 2010–02
  7. By: Patrick Bajari; Phoebe Chan; Dirk Krueger; Daniel Miller
    Abstract: Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) we specify, estimate and simulate a dynamic structural model of housing demand. Our model generalizes previous applied econometric work by incorporating realistic features of the housing market including non-convex adjustment costs from buying and selling a home, credit constraints from minimum downpayment requirements and uncertainty about the evolution of incomes and home prices. We argue that these features are critical for capturing salient features of housing demand observed in the PSID. After estimating the model we use it to simulate how consumer behavior responds to house price and income declines as well as tightening credit. These experiments are motivated by the U.S. recession starting in December of 2007 that saw large falls in home prices, large negative income shocks for many households and tightening credit standards. In the short run, relatively few households adjust their housing stock. Households respond instead by reducing non-housing consumption and reducing wealth because they wish to avoid losing their home and the associated adjustment costs. Households that adjust in the short run are those hit with a series of bad shocks, such as a negative income shock and a home price decline. A larger proportion of households do adjust their consumption in the long run, increasing their housing stock since housing is less expensive. However, such changes may occur several years after the shocks listed above.
    JEL: D12 E21 R21
    Date: 2010–04
  8. By: Hitoshi Saito (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Under the current fiscal conditions in many local, regional as well as the national government, the public schools face the substantial budget short falls . In order to alleviate the substantial budget shortage, it is important to raise efficiency, particularly in primary education as the costs of primary education are dominant part of the budget spending. Improving the productivity of human capital is also essential for providing bet ter quality service, and this can be also achieved by raising efficiency in primary education. This paper reports the empirical study on inefficient education spending in public schools, particularly for primary education by using Stochastic Front i e r Analysis (SFA). By applying Tobit Model in our analysis of ineff iciency of public school spending in primary education, we were able to locate the source of the problem was triggered by the decrease in the number of schools as a result of declining birth rates and the number of school children. Based upon our study using the estimated cost funct ions related t o ineff iciency of spending, we conclude that the larger schools with greater number of students perform better at cost efficiency than the smaller schools with smaller number of students.
    Keywords: Primary Education, Educational finance, Cost Inefficiency, Local government
    JEL: I22 I28 H75
    Date: 2010–04
  9. By: Enrico Moretti
    Abstract: I examine the causes and the consequences of differences in labor market outcomes across local labor markets within a country. The focus is on a long-run general equilibrium setting, where workers and firms are free to move across localities and local prices adjust to maintain the spatial equilibrium. In particular, I develop a tractable general equilibrium framework of local labor markets with heterogenous labor. This framework is useful in thinking about differences in labor market outcomes of different skill groups across locations. It clarifies how, in spatial equilibrium, localized shocks to a part of the labor market propagate to the rest of the economy through changes in employment, wages and local prices and how this diffusion affects workers' welfare. Using this framework, I address three related questions. First, I analyze the welfare consequences of productivity differences across local labor markets. I seek to understand what happens to the wage, employment and utility of workers with different skill levels when a local economy experiences a shift in the productivity of a group of workers. Second, I analyze the causes of productivity differences across local labor markets. To a large extent, productivity differences within a country are unlikely to be exogenous. I review the theoretical and empirical literature on agglomeration economies, with a particular focus on studies that are relevant for labor economists. Finally, I discuss the implications for policy.
    JEL: J2 J31 J61 R0
    Date: 2010–04
  10. By: Skidmore, Mark (Michigan State University); Tosun, Mehmet S. (University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: In 1994 a limit on the growth of property values for tax purposes was imposed in Michigan. One consequence of the newly imposed assessment growth cap was an emerging differential in tax prices between potential new property owners and long-time property owners. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of this growing tax price differential on migration patterns. Using county level data on migration activity over the 1994-2006 period, we present evidence that differential tax prices resulting from the assessment growth cap have reduced in-migration.
    Keywords: property tax, tax base erosion, regional migration, Michigan
    JEL: H71 H73 J61
    Date: 2010–04
  11. By: Winters, John V
    Abstract: It has been well documented that employment outcomes often differ considerably across areas. This paper examines the extent to which the local human capital level, measured as the share of adults with a college degree, has positive external effects on labor force participation and employment for U.S. metropolitan area residents. We find that the local human capital level has positive externalities on participation for women, but an inconsistent effect on participation for men. However, the local human capital level reduces unemployment for both men and women. We also find that less educated workers generally receive the largest external benefits.
    Keywords: employment; unemployment; human capital externalities; agglomeration
    JEL: J21 J24 R23
    Date: 2010–05–01
  12. By: Anna Bottasso (Department of Economics, University of Genova); Maurizio Conti (Department of Economics, University of Genova)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the cost structure of the UK airport industry by estimating a variable cost function for the period 1994-2005. Overall results suggest that the long run average costs curve is U-shaped: it decreases until passenger traffic reaches approximately five millions, it remains flat over the range between five and fourteen million passengers and afterwards it starts to increase. Moreover, our findings provide evidence consistent with the existence of some degree of overcapitalization for the largest regulated airports. Finally, we analyze whether different forms of ownership entail cost differentials across airports and we find that privately owned airports are characterized by lower costs with respect to public and mixed ones, although cost differentials shrank over time as public and mixed airports improved their rate of cost reduction. Main results are robust to unobserved heterogeneity at the airport or market level and to possible endogeneity biases. Possible regulatory and policy implications of these results are also discussed.
    Keywords: scale economies, public ownership, airports
    JEL: L25 L91
    Date: 2010–04
  13. By: Onur Kesten (Carnegie Mellon University); M. Utku Ünver (Boston College)
    Abstract: A new centralized mechanism was introduced in New York City and Boston to assign students to public schools in district school-choice programs. This mechanism was advocated for its superior fairness property, besides others, over the mechanisms it replaced. In this paper, we introduce a new framework for investigating school-choice matching problems and two ex-ante notions of fairness in lottery design, strong ex-ante stability and ex-ante stability. This frame- work generalizes known one-to-many two-sided and one-sided matching models. We first show that the new NYC/Boston mechanism fails to satisfy these fairness properties. We then propose two new mechanisms, the fractional deferred-acceptance mechanism, which is ordinally Pareto dominant within the class of strongly ex-ante stable mechanisms, and the fractional deferred- acceptance and trading mechanism, which satisfies equal treatment of equals and constrained ordinal Pareto efficiency within the class of ex-ante stable mechanisms.
    Keywords: Matching, School Choice, Deferred Acceptance, Stability, Ordinal Efficiency, Market Design
    JEL: C71 C78 D71 D78
    Date: 2010–05–01
  14. By: Martin Koning (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Rémy Prud'Homme (Université Paris XII - Université Paris XII Val de Marne); Pierre Kopp (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: On the southern part of the Parisian Maréchaux' boulevards, the old bus line Petite Ceinture has been replaced by a modern tramway (T3). Simultaneously, the road-space has been narrowed by about a third. A survey conducted on 1,000 users of the T3 shows that the tramway hardly generated any modal report from the private cars (PC) towards the public transit (PT). However, it did generate important intra-modal transfers: from bus and subways towards tramway concerning the PT, surely from Maréchaux' boulevards towards the Parisian Ring-Road (boulevard périphérique, PRR) and/or adjacent streets for the PC. The various benefits and costs of these changes are evaluated in this research. The welfare gains made by PT users are more than compensated by the time losses of the motorists, and in particular, by the additional cost of road congestion on the PRR. The same conclusion applies with regard to CO2 emissions: the reductions saved with the replacement of the busses and some (few) PC are less important than the increased pollution induced by the lengthening of the automobile trips and the increased congestion on the PRR. Even if one ignores the initial investment of 350 M€, the social impact of the T3 project, illustrated by its Clear Discount Value (CDV), is strongly negative. This is especially true for suburbanites. Concerning the lonely inhabitants (electors) of Paris, our analysis shows that they pocket the main part of the benefits while supporting a weak fraction of the costs.
    Keywords: Tramway, Costs-Benefits Analysis, Road Congestion, CO2 Emissions
    Date: 2010–01–14
  15. By: Tai-Yu Ma (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat); Charles Raux (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat); Eric Cornelis (Groupe de recherche sur les transports - Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix); Iragaël Joly (Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Université Pierre Mendès France)
    Abstract: Understanding travelers' daily travel-activity pattern formation is an important issue for activity-based travel demand analysis. The activity pattern formation concerns not only complex interrelations between household members and individual's socio-demographic characteristics but also urban form and transport system settings. To investigate the effects of these attributes and the interrelationship between conducted activities, a multistate semi-Markov model is applied. The underlying assumption of the proposed model states that the state transition probability depends on its adjoining states. Based on the statistical tests of significance, it is affirmed that the duration of activity depends not only on its beginning time-of-day but also on the duration of travel/activity previously conducted. The empirical study based on Belgian Mobility survey is conducted to estimate individual's daily activity durations of different episodes and provides useful insight for the effects of socio-demographic characteristics, urban and transportation system settings on the activity pattern formation.
    Keywords: travel-activity pattern, semi-Markov process, Cox regression model
    Date: 2009–12–30
  16. By: Morris Sebastian; Pandey Ajay
    Abstract: Land in India is problematic largely because of archaic and perverse provisions in the practice and the law. The new Land Acquisition Amendment Bill does go some way to correct the anti-democratic and imperial provisions of the old 1894 Act. Other regulatory restraints stand in the way of fair compensation to sellers whether the deal is a sale or an acquisition using eminent domain. Urban planning being based on the “Ricardian Model†and on top of asymmetrically applied regulatory constraints further depresses the benefit to land owners. As a result very little land is obtainable without dispute and high risk for infrastructure development. In this paper we provide an analytical critique of the law and restrictions as also of the framework of urban planning and provide a justification for why major change is required in the approach to land markets, land acquisition and urban planning. We also provide the key elements of a reformed approach that can create a win-win framework for development. We also present our suggestions on how the proposed Amendment to the Land Acquisition Act can be changed to make the Act functional and remove the residual perversities therein.
    Date: 2010–03–27
  17. By: Victor Matheson
    Abstract: The Super Bowl is America’s premier sporting event. This paper details basic economic facts about the game as examines the controversy surrounding the purported economic impact of the game on host communities. While the league and sports boosters claim that the game brings up to a $500 million economic impact to host cities, a review of the literature suggests that the true economic impact is a fraction of this amount.
    Keywords: sports, stadiums, Super Bowl, impact analysis, football
    JEL: L83
    Date: 2009–12
  18. By: Barón, Juan D. (Banco de la República de Colombia); Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the link between young people's sense (locus) of control over their lives and their investments in education. We find that young people with a more internal locus of control have a higher probability of finishing secondary school and, conditional on completion, meeting the requirements to obtain a university entrance rank. Moreover, those with an internal locus of control who obtain a university entrance rank achieve somewhat higher rankings than do their peers who have a more external locus of control. Not surprisingly, there is a negative relationship between growing up in disadvantage and educational outcomes. However, this effect does not appear to operate indirectly by increasing the likelihood of having a more external locus of control. In particular, we find no significant relationship between family welfare history and young people's locus of control.
    Keywords: locus of control, parental socio-economic background, education
    JEL: I38 J24 H31
    Date: 2010–04
  19. By: Roger Vickerman; Emil Evenhuis
    Abstract: Public-Private Partnerships have become a favoured way of introducing private capital into transport projects whilst maintaining an element of public interest. This paper considers the potential conflicts that might arise between the freedom of the private operator within a PPP and other elements of the public sector’s transport policy. Specifically it tackles the question of the problems that might arise when the public sector wishes to implement a type of price regulation, for example SMC Pricing, which might appear to limit the freedom of the private interest to maximise its value from the PPP according to the contract. The paper demonstrates theoretically the potential inconsistencies between such policies and suggest ways in which they may be overcome. We first briefly discuss Public-Private Partnerships in transport: what are the defining characteristics and what are the main types that exist in the different modes of transport? Next we consider the economics of Public-Private Partnerships, in particular from the viewpoint of incentives. Subsequently we identify and examine the issues that arise when Social Marginal Cost Pricing is to be incorporated in PPPs as a regulation with regard to pricing in the transport sector. Lastly, we investigate the possibilities of resolving these issues.
    Keywords: Public-private partnerships; Social Marginal Cost Pricing; Incentives; Contracts; EU Transport Policy
    JEL: L14 L33 L51 L91 R48
    Date: 2010–04
  20. By: Foley, Kelly; Gallipoli, Giovanni; Green, David A.
    Abstract: We use a large, rich Canadian micro-level dataset to examine the channels through which family socio-economic status and unobservable characteristics affect children's decisions to drop out of high school. First, we document the strength of observable socio-economic factors: our data suggest that teenage boys with two parents who are themselves high school dropouts have a 16% chance of dropping out, compared to a dropout rate of less than 1% for boys whose parents both have a university degree. We examine the channels through which this socio-economic gradient arises using an extended version of the factor model set out in Carneiro, Hansen, and Heckman (2003). Specifically, we consider the impact of cognitive and non-cognitive ability and the value that parents place on education. Our results support three main conclusions. First, cognitive ability at age 15 has a substantial impact on dropping out. Second, parental valuation of education has an impact of approximately the same size as cognitive ability effects for medium and low ability teenagers. A low ability teenager has a probability of dropping out of approximately .03 if his parents place a high value on education but .36 if their education valuation is low. Third, parental education has no direct effect on dropping out once we control for ability and parental valuation of education. Our results point to the importance of whatever determines ability at age 15 (including, potentially, early childhood interventions) and of parental valuation of education during the teenage years. We also make a small methodological contribution by extending the standard factor based estimator to allow a non-linear relationship between the factors and a covariate of interest. We show that allowing for non-linearities has a substantial impact on estimated effects.
    Keywords: Idiosyncratic Shocks, Disability, Insurance, Marriage
    JEL: I21 J08 J24 C3 C63
    Date: 2010–04–30
  21. By: Raghav Gaiha; Raghbendra Jha; Vani S. Kulkarni
    Abstract: Based on data collected from a representative national sample, India Human Development Survey 2005, this paper investigates the links between obesity among children and among adults with a number of socio economic characteristics as well as household and location specific variables. Both child and adult obesity are far from negligible, which is a matter of concern, given the links between obesity and some diseases. There are strong links between socio-economic indicators and risk of obesity. In particular, affluence has a robust link to obesity. Among children, taller children in more affluent households are more prone to obesity. Some demographic characteristics matter too, for example, both child and adult obesity rise with age but at a diminishing rate. Location also influences chances of obesity. Relative food price effects matter too through calorie, protein, fat and other nutrient intakes. A number of policy conclusions are also advanced.
    Keywords: obesity, affluence, socio-economic characteristics, gender, India
    JEL: C25 D12 D31 E10
    Date: 2010
  22. By: Raghuram G; Digar Rishita; Jain Chandni
    Abstract: In 2007-08, Indian Railways (IR) carried 6.5 billion passengers (highest in the world as a single system, and second highest in the world as a country after Japan at 9.0 billion passengers), serviced 770 billion passenger kms (second highest in the world, close to China at 773 billion passenger kms) and passenger earnings were Rs 19,783 crores. Of this, 43% of the passengers, 84% of the passenger kms and 92% earnings were from the non suburban sector. The actual passenger kms for 2007-08 was higher than the capacity of the IR. Such overuse can be reduced by increasing the coaching stock, or by improving the utilization of coaches. The former method proves to be an expensive one for IR. Hence, this calls for an improvement in the coaching stock utilization. In this paper, we assess the utilization of coaches on the parameters % of runtime, kms/day, and average speed of rakes servicing express/mails and passenger trains in the South Central Railway (SCR), taking into consideration the rake linking involved. This is done by analyzing every rake link used in the SCR as given in their rake link booklet.
    Date: 2009–07–29

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