nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2010‒05‒22
twenty-two papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Do governments tax agglomeration rents? By Hyun-Ju Koh; Nadine Riedel
  2. Heterogeneity in money holdings across euro area countries: The role of housing By Setzer, Ralph; Noord, Paul van den; Wolff, Guntram
  3. Ranking the Schools: How Quality Information Affects School Choice in the Netherlands By Pierre Koning; Karen van der Wiel
  4. How do neighbors influence investment in social capital? : Homeownership and length of residence By Yamamura, Eiji
  5. Regionale Wachstumseffekte der GRW-Förderung?: Eine räumlich-ökonometrische Analyse auf Basis deutscher Arbeitsmarktregionen By Alecke, Björn; Mitze, Timo; Untiedt, Gerhard
  6. GeoXp: An R Package for Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis By Laurent, Thibault; Ruiz-Gazen, Anne; Thomas-Agnan, Christine
  7. School Responsiveness to Quality Rankings: An Empirical Analysis of Secondary Education in the Netherlands By Pierre Koning; Karen van der Wiel
  8. Within-school tracking in south Korea : an analysis using Pisa 2003 By Macdonald, Kevin; Patrinos, Harry Anthony
  9. Neighborhood Context, Poverty, and Urban Children’s Outdoor Play By Rachel Tolbert Kimbro; Jeanne Brooks-Gunn; Sara McLanahan
  10. How do Roads Spread AIDS in Africa? A Critique of the Received Policy Wisdom By Djemaï, Elodie
  11. Getting Cars Off the Road: The Cost-Effectiveness of an Episodic Pollution Control Program By Maureen L. Cropper; Yi Jiang; Anna Alberini; Patrick Baur
  12. Urban Water Restrictions: Attitudes and Avoidance By Cooper, Bethany; Crase, Lin; Burton, Michael
  13. An appraisal of the wealth effect in the US: evidence from pseudo-panel data By Simone Salotti
  14. Under Pressure? The Effect of Peers on Outcomes of Young Adults By Sandra E Black; Paul J Devereux; Kjell G Salvanes
  15. Income Multiples and Mortgage Repossession in the UK By Joseph Bamidele
  16. From Property Companies to Real Estate Investment Trusts: The Impact of Economic and Property Factors in the UK Commercial Property Returns By Vitor Leone
  17. Resilient Regions: Clarity of Concepts and Challenges to Systemic Measurement By Yiheyis T Maru
  18. Measuring Economic and Social Impacts of Migration in Colombia: New evidence By Mauricio Cárdenas; Carlos Medina; Andrés Trejos
  19. Are Young People's Educational Outcomes Linked to their Sense of Control? By Juan D. Barón; Deborah Cobb-Clark
  20. Do Barangays Really Matter in Local Services Delivery? Some Issues and Policy Options By Layug, Allan S.; Lavado, Rouselle F.; Pantig, Ida Marie T.; Bolong, Leilani E.
  21. Delay Management with Re-Routing of Passengers By Dollevoet, T.; Huisman, D.; Schmidt, M.; Schobel, A.
  22. Investment in Transport Infrastructure, and Gas-Gas Competition By Gasmi, Farid; Oviedo, Juan Daniel

  1. By: Hyun-Ju Koh (University of Munich); Nadine Riedel (Oxford University CBT & CESifo Munich)
    Abstract: Using the German local business tax as a testing ground, we empirically investigate the impact of firm agglomeration on municipal tax setting behavior. The analysis exploits a rich data source on the population of German firms to construct detailed measures for the communities' agglomeration characteristics. The findings indicate that urbanization and localization economies exert a positive impact on the jurisdictional tax rate choice which confirms predictions of the theoretical New Economic Geography (NEG) literature. Further analysis suggests a qualification of the NEG argument by showing that a municipality's potential to tax agglomeration rents depends on its firm and industry agglomeration relative to neighboring communities. To account for potential endogeneity problems, our analysis exploits long-lagged population and infrastructure variables as instruments for the agglomeration measures.
    Keywords: Agglomeration rents, corporate taxation, regional differentiation
    JEL: H73 R12
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Setzer, Ralph; Noord, Paul van den; Wolff, Guntram
    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: Money,housing,national contribution,euro area
    JEL: E41 E51 E52
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Pierre Koning; Karen van der Wiel
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether information on high school quality published by a national newspaper affects school choice in the Netherlands. For this purpose, we use both school level and individual student level data. First, we study the causal effect of quality scores on the influx of new high school students using a longitudinal school dataset. We find that negative (positive) school quality scores decrease (increase) the number of students choosing a school after the year of publication. The positive effects are particularly large for the academic school track. An academic school track receiving the most positive score sees its inflow of students rise by 15 to 20 students. Second, we study individual school choice behavior to address the relative importance of the quality scores, as well as potential differences in the quality response between socio-economic groups. Although the probability of attending a school is affected by its quality score, it is mainly driven by the traveling distance. Students are only willing to travel about 200 meters more in order to attend a well-performing rather than an average school. In contrast to equity concerns that are often raised, we cannot find differences in information responses between socio-economic groups.
    Keywords: School quality; school choice; information; media
    JEL: I20 D10 D83
    Date: 2010–05
  4. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: This paper uses individual data from Japan to explore how the circumstances of where a person resides are related to the degree of their investment in social capital. Controlling for unobserved area-specific fixed effects and various individual characteristics, I found; (1) Not only that homeownership and length of residence are positively related to investment in social capital, but also that rates of homeownership and long-time residency in a locality increase an individual’s investments in social capital. (2) The effects of local neighborhood homeownership and local length of residence are distinctly larger than those of an individual’s homeownership or length of residence.
    Keywords: Social Capital; homeownership; length of residence
    JEL: D71 Z13 R11 R23
    Date: 2010–05–10
  5. By: Alecke, Björn; Mitze, Timo; Untiedt, Gerhard
    Abstract: This paper provides an analysis of the impact of the German “Joint Task for the Improve-ment of Regional Economic Structures” (GRW) on labour productivity growth of 225 German labour market regions for the period 1994 to 2006. The empirical regression approach builds on a “Barro-type” growth equation, where a special focus is given to the policy instrument as additional right hand side regressor. The results show that for different model specifications the direct effect of the regional policy instrument on labour productivity growth remains statistically significant and positive for almost two thirds of the supported labour markets. In order to check for the robustness of the results we also augment the standard regression approach to the field of spatial econometrics. Here the results for the Spatial Lag model show that we observe a strong positive spatial spillover effect for productivity growth among neighbouring regions. If we additionally include further spatial lags of the right hand side regressors in the growth equation, the estimated coefficients for the resulting Spatial Durbin and Spatial Durbin Error model indicate that there is a negative spillover effect from the GRW policy on neighbouring regions. This effect remains stable, if we add further spatial lags of other explanatory variables. The indirect distorting effect of the GRW programme yields to the result that only for about 45% of supported regions a positive overall effect was found (with an initial income level up to 73% of the non-funded West German labour markets).
    Keywords: Investment Grants; Regional Growth; Germany; Spatial Durbin Model
    JEL: R58 R12 C21 R11
    Date: 2010–05
  6. By: Laurent, Thibault; Ruiz-Gazen, Anne; Thomas-Agnan, Christine
    Abstract: We present GeoXp, an R package implementing interactive graphics for exploratory spatial data analysis. We use a data basis concerning public schools of the French Midi-Pyréenées region to illustrate the use of these exploratory techniques based on the coupling between a statistical graph and a map. Besides elementary plots like boxplots, histograms or simple scatterplots, GeoXp also couples maps with Moran scatterplots, variogram clouds, Lorenz curves, etc. In order to make the most of the multidimensionality of the data, GeoXp includes dimension reduction techniques such as principal components analysis and cluster analysis whose results are also linked to the map.
    Keywords: exploratory analysis, spatial econometrics, spatial statistics
    Date: 2009–10–21
  7. By: Pierre Koning; Karen van der Wiel
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the response of secondary schools to changes in quality ratings. In doing this, we contribute to the literature in two respects. First, the current analysis is the first to address the impact of quality scores that have been published by a newspaper (Trouw), rather than public interventions that aim to track and improve failing schools. Second, our research design exploits the substantial lags in the registration and publication of the Trouw scores and that takes into account all possible outcomes of the ratings, instead of the lowest category only. Overall, we find evidence that school quality performance does respond to Trouw quality scores. Both average grades increase and the number of diplomas go up after receiving a negative score. These responses cannot be attributed to gaming activities of the school board as an improvement is also observed in the gaming-proof quality indicators. For schools that receive the most negative ranking, the short-term effects (one year after a change in the ranking of schools) of quality transparency on final exam grades equal 10% to 30% of a standard deviation compared to the average of this variable. The estimated long run impacts are roughly equal to the short-term effects that are measured.
    Keywords: school quality; school accountability
    JEL: H75 I20 D83
    Date: 2010–05
  8. By: Macdonald, Kevin; Patrinos, Harry Anthony
    Abstract: The 2003 PISA Korea sample is used to examine the association between within-school ability tracking and mathematics achievement. Estimates of a variety of econometric models reveal that tracking is positively associated with mathematics achievement among females and that this association declines for higher achieving females. Noevidence of an association between males and tracking is detected. While this association for females cannot be interpreted as a causal effect, the presence of a measurable association indicates the need for further research on tracking in Korea with a particular focus on gender differences.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Secondary Education,Teaching and Learning,Education For All,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2010–04–01
  9. By: Rachel Tolbert Kimbro (Rice University); Jeanne Brooks-Gunn (Columbia University); Sara McLanahan (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Although research consistently demonstrates a link between neighborhood conditions and physical activity for adults and adolescents, less is known about residential context and young children’s physical activity. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N=2,210), we explore whether outdoor play and television watching are associated with children’s body mass indexes (BMIs) at age five; and whether subjective and objective neighborhood measures are associated with children’s outdoor play and television watching. Hours of outdoor play and television viewing are associated with BMI. Higher maternal perceptions of neighborhood collective efficacy are associated with more hours of outdoor play, fewer hours of television viewing, and more trips to a park or playground. In addition, we find that neighborhood physical disorder is associated with more outdoor play and more television watching. Finally, we find that children living in public housing have one-third more outdoor play time than other children.
    Keywords: residential context, physical activity, young children, body mass indexes, Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, television viewing
    JEL: D19 D63 I00 J13
    Date: 2010–04
  10. By: Djemaï, Elodie
    Abstract: This paper empirically analyzes the influence of road proximity on HIV-infection using geographical data on road infrastructure and the Demographic and Health Surveys collected in six African countries. Firstly we show that living in proximity to a major road increases the individual risk of infection. This observed relationship is found to be sensitive to the use of the road and to be robust after correcting for potential selection bias related to the non random placement of people. Secondly, our findings reveal that road infrastructure improves the level of HIV/AIDS-knowledge and facilitates access to condoms, providing no support to the hypothesis that HIV-infection is purely due to ignorance and misfortune. Thirdly, we find that the increased risk of infection is driven by a higher likelihood of engaging in casual sexual partnerships that more than osets the eect of the increased use of condoms.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS epidemic, spatial inequalities, risk taking
    JEL: I10 O12 O18
    Date: 2009–11
  11. By: Maureen L. Cropper (University of Maryland and Resources for the Future); Yi Jiang (Asian Development Bank); Anna Alberini (University of Maryland); Patrick Baur (National Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: Ground level ozone remains a serious problem in the United States. Because ozone non-attainment is a summer problem, episodic rather than continuous controls of ozone precursors are possible. We evaluate the costs and effectiveness of an episodic scheme that requires people to buy permits in order to drive on high ozone days. We estimate the demand function for permits based on a survey of 1,300 households in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Assuming that all vehicle owners comply with the scheme, the permit program would reduce VOCs by 50 tons and NOx by 42 tons per Code Red day at a permit price of $75. Allowing for non-compliance by 15% of respondents reduces the effectiveness of the scheme to 39 tons of VOCs and 33 tons of NOx per day. The cost per ozone season of achieving these reductions is approximately $9 million (2008 USD). This compares favorably with permanent methods of reducing VOCs that cost $645 per ton per year.
    Keywords: Ground-Level Ozone, Episodic Pollution Control Schemes, Mobile Sources, Volatile Organic Compounds (Vocs), Cost Per Ton of Vocs Removed
    JEL: Q52 Q53 Q58
    Date: 2010–05
  12. By: Cooper, Bethany; Crase, Lin; Burton, Michael
    Abstract: In most urban cities across Australia, water restrictions remain the dominant policy mechanism to restrict urban water consumption. The extensive adoption of water restrictions over several years means that Australian urban water prices have consistently not reflected the opportunity cost of water (Edwards 2008). Given the generally strong political support for water restrictions and the likelihood that they will persist for some time, there is value in understanding householdersâ attitudes in this context. More specifically, identifying the welfare gains associated with avoiding urban water restrictions entirely would be a non-trivial contribution to our knowledge. This paper is used to describe the results from a contingent valuation study that investigates consumersâ willingness to pay to avoid urban water restrictions. Importantly, the research also investigates the influence of cognitive and exogenous dimensions on the utility gain associated with avoiding water restrictions. The results provides some salutary insights into the impact of this policy mechanism on economic welfare.
    Keywords: Urban water restrictions, Water policy, Contingent valuation, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2010
  13. By: Simone Salotti (Dipartimento di Matematica per le Decisioni, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze)
    Abstract: How does household wealth influence consumption? The empirical evidence brought so far by the literature is unclear, mostly because of the low quality of the data more readily available: aggregate data, cross sections and panel datasets lacking important variables all present major shortcomings for a proper analysis of the wealth effect. The aim of our paper is to contribute to the appraisal of the wealth effect using a new, accurate dataset, and employing a proper estimation technique. We perform a pseudo-panel analysis for the USA (1989-2007) combining information from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and the Survey of Consumer Finances. We divide between durables and non durables consumption, and we also investigate the roles of the different components of household wealth, both gross and net. Our estimates indicate that there is a significant tangible wealth effect (between 3 and 6 cents per dollar), confirming the economic importance recognized by some of the previous empirical literature. On the contrary, financial wealth seems to have no significant effects on consumption, even when debt considerations are included in the analysis. In addition, the wealth effect seems to matter more for older households, for which both the house of residence and the rest of the real estate properties positively affect consumption.
    Keywords: Consumption, Household wealth, Wealth effect, Pseudo-panel
    JEL: D12 E21
    Date: 2010–05
  14. By: Sandra E Black (UCLA); Paul J Devereux (University College Dublin); Kjell G Salvanes (Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: A variety of public campaigns, including the “Just Say No” campaign of the 1980s and 1990s that encouraged teenagers to “Just Say No to Drugs”, are based on the premise that teenagers are very susceptible to peer influences. Despite this, very little is known about the effect of school peers on the long-run outcomes of teenagers. This is primarily due to two factors: the absence of information on peers merged with long-run outcomes of individuals and, equally important, the difficulty of separately identifying the role of peers. This paper uses data on the population of Norway and idiosyncratic variation in cohort composition within schools to examine the role of peer composition in 9th grade on longer-run outcomes such as IQ scores at age 18, teenage childbearing, postcompulsory schooling educational track, adult labor market status, and earnings. We find that outcomes are influenced by the proportion of females in the grade, and these effects differ for men and women. Other peer variables (average age, average mother’s education) have little impact on the outcomes of teenagers.
    Keywords: Peer Effects, Education
    Date: 2010–05–14
  15. By: Joseph Bamidele (School of Real Estate & Planning, Henley Business School, University of Reading)
    Abstract: This paper presents the findings of the study that examines how income multiples for mortgage loan associates with home repossession using the data of the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). It employs a statistical measure for improving regression efficiency with conditioning information in the form of lagged instrument to unravel the pattern of association evident from the data. Based on the data, the study investigates what level of income multiples is optimum – that is the income multiple that minimises home repossession. A sensitivity analysis was undertaken to show how home repossession responds to changes in income multiples. For each of the analytical tasks, the study compares the aggregate market, first-time-buyers, and home movers.
    Keywords: Mortgage, Repossession, Affordability, Income Multiples, Lagged Instrument
    Date: 2010
  16. By: Vitor Leone
    Abstract: This study investigates cross-sectionally the impact of economic and property factors on the returns of UK property companies and real estate investment trusts. By applying structural time-series modelling and the Kalman Filter to obtain unexpected changes or innovations in selected economic and property variables it was found for the sample period analysed that economic and property variables influence commercial property returns in the UK. It was also found that by converting into REITS property companies quickly acquired hybrid features of securitised and property backed assets.
    Keywords: Keywords: REITS, commercial, property returns, innovations, Kalman Filter, crosssection, panel data, innovations, unexpected changes.
    Date: 2010–05
  17. By: Yiheyis T Maru (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia)
    Abstract: Dealing with perturbations such as economic crises, pandemics and climate change requires an understanding of the resilience and vulnerability of regions. However, in the literature the concepts of a region and regional resilience lack clarity and are understood differently by different people. The approaches to resilience measurement also differ, with many of them addressing only part or certain aspects of a region. This paper reviews these concepts in an attempt to provide clarity of meaning and to contribute to a shared understanding of the concepts among both researchers and practitioners. The paper emphasises systems approaches to regional resilience and highlights related measurement challenges.
    Keywords: resilience, regions, resilience measurement, regional resilience, vulnerability
    JEL: R11 Q56
    Date: 2010–04
  18. By: Mauricio Cárdenas; Carlos Medina; Andrés Trejos
    Abstract: This paper analyses a comprehensive dataset on migration using robust econometric methodologies to assess a range of economic and social impacts of migration on individuals and households left behind. Our findings indicate that there is no significant impact on labour force participation in households with migrants, but remittances do appear to have a negative effect on labour force participation. Migration (either absent or returned) increases total per capita expenditure by nearly US$35 per month while households that receive remittances increase per capita expenditures by US$49 per month on average. Expenditures in health and education also increase. However, there is no effect on school attendance, while individuals living in a household with an absent migrant are almost 4 per cent less likely to state that their health is good. Households with migration experience are around 8 per cent less likely to keep their immediate families together, with this effect particularly pronounced in the sub-group of households with return migrants. Our policy recommendations emphasize the importance of family reunification, and issue that deserves more decisive policy actions on the part of the Colombian government.
    Date: 2010–05–13
  19. By: Juan D. Barón; Deborah Cobb-Clark
    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.
    Date: 2010–05–09
  20. By: Layug, Allan S.; Lavado, Rouselle F.; Pantig, Ida Marie T.; Bolong, Leilani E.
    Abstract: <p>This paper, which is borne out of the need to address scarcity of evidence-based studies on barangay financing, analyzes and evaluates key issues on financing of devolved functions at the barangay level, with particular focus on fund utilization and program allocation, and proposes some policy options addressing the issues. Its key findings include: (i) there is a mismatch between financial capabilities and devolved functions owing to limited funds being spent mostly on personal services, with little money left to finance these functions; (ii) different priorities of barangays mean different utilization of their Barangay Development Fund (BDF), with some of them failing to spend on important basic services such as education and health, as well as on economic development sector; (iii) like other barangays, those in the study areas in Agusan del Sur and Dumaguete City are found to be highly IRA-dependent, with IRA comprising 85 to 97 percent of total income; (iv) barangays are not addressing the misalignment of revenue and expenditure assignment, as well as the counter-equalizing and disincentive effects of IRA, by not raising enough own-source revenues in their localities and optimizing their use of corporate powers (as evidenced by zero percentage on borrowings, for example).</p> <p>As a policy intervention strategy to help barangays financially and eventually matter in local service delivery, this paper proposes three major options, namely: (i) giving the barangays the option of allowing the higher LGUs to deliver the development-enhancing services such as education and health that they themselves cannot deliver effectively and sustainably; (ii) making a paradigm shift in understanding and practicing barangay economic development by spending their BDF mostly on economic-enhancing activities aimed at increasing their coffers which would eventually enable them to fund other sectoral responsibilities; and (iii) giving incentives to barangays that excel in their own-source revenue performance and creative use of corporate powers.</p>
    Keywords: local government unit, local revenue, local government unit expenditures, devolution, decentralization, local government code, decentralization capability, local governance, decentralization and service delivery, institutional design for decentralization, local development
    Date: 2010
  21. By: Dollevoet, T. (Erasmus Econometric Institute); Huisman, D. (Erasmus Econometric Institute); Schmidt, M. (Erasmus Econometric Institute); Schobel, A. (Erasmus Econometric Institute)
    Abstract: The question of delay management is whether trains should wait for a delayed feeder train or should depart on time. In classical delay management models passengers always take their originally planned route. In this paper, we propose a model where re-routing of passengers is incorporated. To describe the problem we represent it as an event-activity network similar to the one used in classical delay management, with some additional events to incorporate origin and destination of the passengers. We present an integer programming formulation of this problem. Furthermore, we discuss the variant in which we assume fixed costs for maintaining connections and we present a polynomial algorithm for the special case of only one origin-destination pair. Finally, computational experiments based on real-world data from Netherlands Railways show that significant improvements can be obtained by taking the re-routing of passengers into account in the model.
    Keywords: public transportation;delay management;re-routing;OD-pairs
    Date: 2010–05–11
  22. By: Gasmi, Farid; Oviedo, Juan Daniel
    Abstract: This paper develops a simple model in which a regulated (upstream) transporter provides capacity to a marketer competing in output with an incumbent in the (downstream) gas commodity market. The equilibrium outcome of the firms' interaction in the downstream market is explicitly taken into account by the regulator when setting the transport charge. We consider various forms of competition in this market and derive the corresponding optimal transport charge policies. We then run simulations that allow us to perform a comparative welfare analysis of these transport infrastructure investment policies based on different assumptions about the intensity of the competition that prevails in the gas commodity market.
    Keywords: transport capacity investment, regulation, natural gas
    JEL: L51 L91
    Date: 2009–11

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