nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2010‒05‒29
twenty-two papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Urban Governance and Finance in India By M. Govinda Rao; Richard.M. Bird
  2. Housing Price Bubbles and their Determinants in the Czech Republic and its Regions By Michal Hlavacek; Lubos Komarek
  3. Monetary policy, housing booms and financial (im)balances By Eickmeier, Sandra; Hofmann, Boris
  5. House Price Determinants in Selected Countries of the Former Soviet Union By Vahram Stepanyan; Tigran Poghosyan; Aidyn Bibolov
  6. The impact of pecuniary costs on commuting flows By McArthur, David Philip; Kleppe, Gisle; Thorsen, Inge; Ubøe, Jan
  7. Agglomeration and New Establishment Survival: A Mixed Hierarchical and Cross-Classified Model By Burger, M.J.; Oort, F.G. van; Raspe, O.
  8. Markets where buyers also are sellers. How realized home equity may work as an accelerator of house prices By Erling Røed Larsen
  9. Supplementary results for “Geographic Variation in Subprime Loan Features, Foreclosures and Prepayments” By Morgan J. Rose
  10. Does Fiscal Decentralization Dampen All Ethnic Conflicts? The heterogeneous Impact of Fiscal Decentralization on Local Minorities and Local Majorities By Tranchant, Jean-Pierre
  11. The spatial transferability of parameters in a gravity model of commuting flows By McArthur, David Philip; Kleppe, Gisle; Thorsen, Inge; Ubøe, Jan
  12. Geographic Consistency of Subprime Loan Features and Foreclosures By Morgan J. Rose
  13. Length of compulsory education and voter turnout: evidence from a staged reform. By Pelkonen, P.
  15. Cultures of Transport: Representation, Practice and Technology By Colin Divall; George Revill
  16. Grassroot Empowerment (1975-1990): A Discussion Paper By Narayana K Banerjee
  17. Employment and Asset Prices By Gylfi Zoega
  18. A Statistical Profiling Model of Long-Term Unemployment Risk in Ireland By O'Connell, Philip J.; McGuinness, Seamus; Kelly, Elish
  19. International Technology Diffusion: Geographic Localization at the Industry Level By Marla Ripoll; Shuichiro Nishioka
  20. Immigration, wages, and compositional amenities. By Card, D.; Dustmann, C.; Preston, I.
  21. Strategic Interaction and Networks By Yann Bramoullé; Rachel Kranton; Martin D'Amours
  22. Food Security, Gender and Occupational Choice among Urban Low-Income Households By Maria Floro; Ranjula Bali Swain

  1. By: M. Govinda Rao; Richard.M. Bird
    Abstract: Over 330 million people live in India’s cities; 35 cities have a population of over a million and three (Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata) of the 10 largest metropolises in the world are in India. India’s cities are large, economically important, and growing. However, neither urban infrastructure nor the level of urban public services is adequate for current needs, let alone to meet growing demands. This paper attempts to point the way towards some possible solutions by analysing urban governance and finance in India in the context of lessons drawn from fiscal federalism theory and experiences of governance institutions and financing systems both in India and around the world. [NIPFP WP No. 68].
    Keywords: cities, India, urban public finance, urban governance, intergovernmental fiscal, relations, property tax, Economic Dynamism, finance, public services, housing, city, metropolitan areas, infrastructure finance, demands, economically,
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Michal Hlavacek; Lubos Komarek
    Abstract: This working paper, based on an empirical analysis, discusses factors affecting property prices and tries to identify periods of property price overvaluation by three approaches: using simple ratios related to house prices (price-to-income and price-to-rent), using time series analysis for the Czech Republic as a whole, and using panel regression for the Czech regions. The time series analysis and the simple indicators of housing price sustainability identified overvalued property prices in 2002/2003 and partly also in 2007/2008. According to the time series analysis, however, the size of the housing price overvaluation in 2007/2008 was relatively low, as the rise in property prices in this period was largely explainable by fundamentals. From the regional perspective, there is a higher degree of overvaluation in regions with higher property prices. The exception is Prague, which seems to be a “specific†region.
    Keywords: Asset price bubbles, Czech Republic and its regions, housing prices, panel regression.
    JEL: R21 R31 C23
    Date: 2009–12
  3. By: Eickmeier, Sandra; Hofmann, Boris
    Abstract: This paper uses a factor-augmented vector autoregressive model (FAVAR) estimated on U.S. data in order to analyze monetary transmission via private sector balance sheets, credit risk spreads and asset markets in an integrated setup and to explore the role of monetary policy in the three imbalances that were observed prior to the global financial crisis: high house price inflation, strong private debt growth and low credit risk spreads. The results suggest that (i) monetary policy shocks have a highly significant and persistent effect on house prices, real estate wealth and private sector debt as well as a strong short-lived effect on risk spreads in the money and mortgage markets; (ii) monetary policy shocks have contributed discernibly, but at a late stage to the unsustainable developments in house and credit markets that were observable between 2001 and 2006; (iii) financial shocks have influenced the path of policy rates prior to the crisis, and the feedback effects of financial shocks via lower policy rates on property and credit markets are found to have probably been considerable. --
    Keywords: Monetary policy,asset prices,housing,private sector balance sheets,financial crisis,factor model
    JEL: E52 E44 C3 E3 E43
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Dayton M. Lambert (Dept. of Agricultural Economics, University of Tennessee); Jason P. Brown (USDA, Economic Research Service, Washington, D.C.); Raymond J.G.M. Florax (Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University)
    Abstract: Several spatial econometric approaches are available to model spatially correlated disturbances in count models, but there are at present no structurally consistent count models incorporating spatial lag autocorrelation. A two-step, limited information maximum likelihood estimator is proposed to fill this gap. The estimator is developed assuming a Poisson distribution, but can be extended to other count distributions. The small sample properties of the estimator are evaluated with Monte Carlo experiments. Simulation results suggest that the spatial lag count estimator achieves gains in terms of bias over the aspatial version as spatial lag autocorrelation and sample size increase. An empirical example deals with the location choice of single-unit start-up firms in the manufacturing industry in the US between 2000 and 2004. The empirical results suggest that in the dynamic process of firm formation, counties dominated by firms exhibiting (internal) increasing returns to scale are at a relative disadvantage even if localization economies are present
    Keywords: count model, location choice, manufacturing, Poisson, spatial econometrics
    JEL: C21 C25 D21 R12 R30
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Vahram Stepanyan; Tigran Poghosyan; Aidyn Bibolov
    Abstract: This paper analyses the recent boom-bust cycle in the housing markets of selected Former Soviet Union (FSU) countries. The analysis is based on a newly constructed database on house prices in the FSU countries. Our estimations suggest that house price developments can largely be explained by the dynamics of fundamentals, such as GDP, remittances, and external financing. Overall, we find that deviations of house prices from their fundamentals have not been pronounced, suggesting that house price bubbles have not been formed in the FSU countries.
    Keywords: Business cycles , Capital inflows , Cross country analysis , Economic growth , External shocks , Former Soviet Union , Housing prices , Price elasticity , Workers remittances ,
    Date: 2010–04–01
  6. By: McArthur, David Philip (Stord/Haugesund University College); Kleppe, Gisle (Stord/Haugesund University College); Thorsen, Inge (Stord/Haugesund University College); Ubøe, Jan (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: In western Norway, fjords cause disconnections in the road network, necessitating the use of ferries. In several cases, ferries have been replaced by roads, often part-financed by tolls. We use data on commuting from a region with a high number of ferries, tunnels and bridges. Using a doubly-constrained gravity-based model specification, we focus on how commuting responds to varying tolls and ferry prices. Focus is placed on the role played by tolls on infrastructure in inhibiting spatial interaction. We show there is considerable latent demand, and suggest that these tolls contradict the aim of greater territorial cohesion.
    Keywords: Commuting flows; pecuniary costs
    JEL: R10 R12
    Date: 2010–05–19
  7. By: Burger, M.J.; Oort, F.G. van; Raspe, O.
    Abstract: Recent empirical studies in regional science and urban economics show that agglomeration economies may be one source of the uneven distribution of economic activities and economic growth across cities and regions. At the same time, the body of research into the importance of agglomeration economies for the performance of firms is still growing. Such development is necessary, as the theories that underlie agglomeration economies are microeconomic in nature, but still insufficiently understood. In this study, we focus on the determinants of survival among new establishments in the advanced producer services sector in the Netherlands. Employing a mixed hierarchical and cross-classified probit regression, we introduce a model of establishment survival that is specific to characteristics of the internal and external environment of the establishment. Controlling for firm and sector characteristics, we conclude that location accounts for about 4% of the variance in the probability of survival of new establishments. We also find that localization and urbanization economies have a positive effect on the survival of new establishments. However, new establishments with large start-up sizes appear to profit more from agglomeration economies than new establishments with small start-up sizes.
    Keywords: agglomeration economies;micro-macro link;new establishments;multi-level analysis
    Date: 2010–04–28
  8. By: Erling Røed Larsen (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: The house price level is a function of buyers’ realized home equity, and buyers’ realized home equity is a function of the house price level. This interdependence follows from the fact that buyers are sellers in the same market. This article examines under what conditions this leads to a possible upward-sloping demand curve with a potentially unstable equilibrium. I employ a parsimonious model with two kinds of buyers, and utilize an augmented Slusky-equation that decomposes Walrasian demand into a substitution, an income, and an endowment income effect. The model demonstrates that instability may occur if first-time buyers’ demand is sufficiently inelastic, leverage is stretched, debt-financing is common, and nth-time buyers are relatively more frequent than first-time buyers. Regulation on leverage and a capital gains tax reduce the likelihood of upward-sloping demand. The article utilizes new data from Norway to examine an empirical indicator of an equity accelerator of house prices and finds that over the period 2000-2008 the value of all housing transactions exceeded the aggregate net growth of mortgages by 50%, indicating substantial equity financing. In one year, 2008, the value of aggregate housing transactions was double the growth in net mortgages.
    Keywords: capital gains; consumer behavior; endowment income; feedback system; financial acceleration; home equity; housing; instability; interdependence
    JEL: D10 D53 E21 E44 G12 R21 R31
    Date: 2010–05
  9. By: Morgan J. Rose (University of Maryland-Baltimore County)
    Abstract: This document provides supplementary results to the analyses of Rose (2010), “Geographic Variation in Subprime Loan Features, Foreclosures and Prepayments,” which examines the geographic variation in the effects of prepayment penalties, balloon loans, and reduced documentation on the probabilities of foreclosure and prepayment. Specifically, this supplement presents results indicating that for my sample, clustering by month alone yields very similar standard errors to clustering by both month and loan. It also presents complete results for all multinomial logit specifications used in that paper, including side-by-side comparisons of results from models that do and do not adjust for unobserved heterogeneity. Results are extremely similar across models. The similarities across different approaches to unobserved heterogeneity and to clustering standard errors with respect to mortgage outcome data are substantial contributions of Rose (2010). Due to space limitations in that paper, the full evidence for those contributions appears here.
    Keywords: foreclosure; prepayment; subprime mortgages; financial regulation; unobserved heterogeneity; clustering
    JEL: G21 G28 C52 H77
    Date: 2010–05–01
  10. By: Tranchant, Jean-Pierre
    Abstract: Fiscal decentralization is widely proposed as an efficient means to accommodate ethnic violence. Yet while most of the econometric cross-country studies supports this view, case studies offer mixed results. In this paper, it is argued that this is partly due to the fact that fiscal decentralization exerts a heterogeneous impact across ethnic local majorities and minorities, both types of groups being regionally concentrated. The main argument in favour of fiscal decentralization is that by politically and fiscally empowering the local communities, these are enabled to allocate public spending in a way that is closer to their preferences. This paper hypothesises that such an empowerment mechanism, while relevant for local majorities, is likely to perform poorly for local minorities as they are not in a dominant position locally. This might feed ethnic violence as local minorities mobilize to obtain administrative regions in which they would control the decentralized policy. Similarly, fiscal decentralization could fuel communal violence as politically marginalized ethnic minorities clash against powerful local majorities. The article also hypothesises that the concern expressed by sceptics that fiscal decentralization undermines national cohesion and encourages secessionism is more acute for local majorities than for local minorities as the latter are usually too small to credibly envisage independence. Such hypotheses are discussed in the paper and then empirically tested on a panel dataset of ethnic local majorities and minorities across the world on the period 1985-2001. The main results are that i) fiscal decentralization does not encourage secessionism but on the contrary dampen rebellion of local majorities but, ii) fiscal decentralization fuels rebellion of local minorities, iii) fiscal decentralization reduces communal violence for both local majorities and minorities. As a result of its heterogeneous impact, the article calls into question the relevance of relying on fiscal decentralization to manage ethnic violence.
    Keywords: Ethnic conflict; fiscal decentralization; panel data
    JEL: H70 D74
    Date: 2010
  11. By: McArthur, David Philip (Stord/Haugesund University College); Kleppe, Gisle (Stord/Haugesund University College); Thorsen, Inge (Stord/Haugesund University College); Ubøe, Jan (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: This paper studies whether gravity model parameters estimated in one geographic area can give reasonable predictions of commuting flows in another. To do this, three sets of parameters are estimated for geographically proximate yet separate regions in south-west Norway. All possible combinations of data and parameters are considered, giving a total of nine cases. Of particular importance is the distinction between statistical equality of parameters and `practical' equality i.e. are the differences in predictions big enough to matter. A new type test best on the Standardised Root Mean Square Error (SRMSE) and Monte Carlo simulation is proposed and utilised.
    Keywords: Gravity model; commuting flows; regional science
    JEL: R10 R12
    Date: 2010–05–19
  12. By: Morgan J. Rose (University of Maryland-Baltimore County)
    Abstract: The recent rise in subprime foreclosures has prompted restrictions at the federal, state, and municipal levels against a range of loan features loosely termed “predatory.” The effectiveness of federal regulation depends on the consistency of those features’ impacts on foreclosures in markets nationwide. Using data on subprime refinance and purchase mortgages in ten metropolitan areas, I examine the impact of long prepayment penalty periods, balloon payments, and reduced documentation on the probability of foreclosure. Results indicate that reduced documentation is consistently associated with higher probabilities of foreclosure, while the impacts of the other features are more sporadic.
    Keywords: subprime mortgages; foreclosure; financial regulation; prepayment penalties; reduced documentation
    JEL: G21 G28 H77
    Date: 2009–06–01
  13. By: Pelkonen, P.
    Abstract: In this study, a long-term impact of additional schooling at the lower end of the educational distribution is measured on voter turnout. Schooling is instrumented with a staged Norwegian school reform, which increased minimum attainment by two years – from seven to nine. The impact is measured at two levels: individual, and municipality level. Both levels of analysis suggest that the additional education has no effect on the turnout rates. At the individual level, the impact of education is also tested on various measures of civic outcomes. Of these, only the likelihood of signing a petition is positively affected by education.
    Date: 2009–09
  14. By: Francesco Aiello; Paola Cardamone (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of R&D efforts on production in the North and Centre-South of Italy by using a panel of 1203 manufacturing firms over the period 1998-2003. The estimations are based on a nonlinear translog production function augmented by a measure of R&D spillovers. This measure combines the geographical distance between firms, the technological similarity within each pair of firms and the technical efficiency of each firm. The estimation method takes into account the endogeneity of regressors and the potential sample selection issue regarding firms’ decision to invest in R&D. Results show that the external stock of technology exerts a higher impact in the Centre-South of Italy. Finally, it emerges that R&D capital and R&D spillovers are substitutes for Northern firms and complements for Centre-Southern firms.
    Keywords: R&D spillovers, Italian economic divide, translog production function, technical efficiency.
    JEL: O33 L29 C23
    Date: 2010–05
  15. By: Colin Divall; George Revill
    Abstract: It is argue that the so-called cultural‘ (and spatial‘) turn that has remodelled so many other areas of the humanities and social sciences over the last two decades might help answer Armstrong‘s plea for an innovative, even controversial, transport history. Such a strategy would not merely bring the discipline into line conceptually and methodologically with what has long been going on elsewhere. By focussing on the practical limits and historical capabilities of transport technologies, the renewed historiography would have something of relevance and value to say to these other fields.
    Keywords: historical, humanities, historiography, innovative, discipline, travel, geographically, socially, vehicles, governance, transport, technologies, social sciences, cultural,
    Date: 2010
  16. By: Narayana K Banerjee
    Abstract: The discussion focusses on women in poverty their concentration in rural and urban areas, and the organisational approach for their mobilization and empowerment. Maximum emphasis has been placed on the empowerment of women at the grassroots - namely, to the organisations of poor women in rural and urban areas. [CWDS].
    Keywords: poverty, rural, urban areas, mobilization, empowerment, women, grassraaots, organisations, poor women, peasant, household, modernisation, Researchers, activists, development planners, practitioners, policy-makers, international agencies, development, Empowerment, law, property rights
    Date: 2010
  17. By: Gylfi Zoega
    Abstract: A medium-term relationship exists between share prices, normalised by labour productivity, and the rate of unemployment in the OECD countries. A similar relationship appears to exist between unemployment and house prices. This helps explain decadal changes in mean unemployment, such as the shift to higher mean unemployment in the Continental European countries in the 1970s and 1980s that coincided with a fall in the level of share prices, as well as differences in mean unemployment between countries.
    Date: 2009–11
  18. By: O'Connell, Philip J.; McGuinness, Seamus; Kelly, Elish
    Abstract: This paper develops a statistical profiling model of long-term unemployment risk in Ireland using a combination of administrative data and information gathered from a unique questionnaire that was issued to all jobseekers making a social welfare claim between September and December 2006 who were then tracked for eighteen months. We find that factors such as a recent history of long-term unemployment, advanced age, number of children, relatively low levels of education, literacy/numeracy problems, location in urban areas, lack of personal transport, low rates of recent labour market engagement, spousal earnings and geographic location all significantly impact the likelihood of remaining unemployed for 12 months or more. While the predicted probability distribution for males was found to be relatively normal, the female distribution was bimodal, indicating that larger proportions of females were at risk of falling into long-term unemployment. We find evidence that community based employment schemes for combating long-term unemployment have little effect as participants re-entering the register typically experience extended durations. Finally, we argue that the adoption of an unemployment profiling system will result in both equity and efficiency gains to Public Employment Services.
    Keywords: Ireland/Long-term Unemployment/risk/Statistical Profiling/children/transport/employment
    Date: 2010–05
  19. By: Marla Ripoll; Shuichiro Nishioka
    Abstract: . . .
    Date: 2010–05
  20. By: Card, D.; Dustmann, C.; Preston, I.
    Abstract: Economists are often puzzled by the stronger public opposition to immigration than trade, since the two policies have symmetric effects on wages. Unlike trade, however, immigration changes the composition of the local population, imposing potential externalities on natives. While previous studies have focused on fiscal spillovers, a broader class of externalities arise because people value the ‘compositional amenities’ associated with the characteristics of their neighbors and co-workers. In this paper we present a new method for quantifying the relative importance of these amenities in shaping attitudes toward immigration. We use data for 21 countries in the 2002 European Social Survey, which included a series of questions on the economic and social impacts of immigration, as well as on the desirability of increasing or reducing immigrant inflows. We find that individual attitudes toward immigration policy reflect a combination of concerns over conventional economic impacts (i.e., on wages and taxes) and compositional amenities, with substantially more weight on composition effects. Most of the difference in attitudes to immigration between more and less educated natives is attributable to heightened concerns over compositional amenities among the less-educated.
    Date: 2009–11
  21. By: Yann Bramoullé; Rachel Kranton; Martin D'Amours
    Abstract: This paper brings a general network analysis to a wide class of economic games. A network, or interaction matrix, tells who directly interacts with whom. A major challenge is determining how network structure shapes overall outcomes. We have a striking result. Equilibrium conditions depend on a single number: the lowest eigenvalue of a network matrix. Combining tools from potential games, optimization, and spectral graph theory, we study games with linear best replies and characterize the Nash and stable equilibria for any graph and for any impact of players’ actions. When the graph is sufficiently absorptive (as measured by this eigenvalue), there is a unique equilibrium. When it is less absorptive, stable equilibria always involve extreme play where some agents take no actions at all. This paper is the first to show the importance of this measure to social and economic outcomes, and we relate it to different network link patterns.
    Keywords: Networks, potential games, lowest eigenvalue, stable equilibria, asymmetric equilibria
    JEL: C72 D00
    Date: 2010
  22. By: Maria Floro; Ranjula Bali Swain
    Abstract: Rising urban poverty and food insecurity are serious concerns in developing countries today. Urban livelihoods and coping strategies remain poorly understood however. This paper examines the response of female and male household members in marginalized urban (predominantly squatter) areas to the risk of food shortage in terms of occupational choice. More specifically, we use probit analyses to investigate whether household vulnerability or the need to provide self-insurance for food security, alongside gender roles, influence a worker’s choice of enterprise activity. We focus our investigation on self-employed women and men using a data set drawn from the 1496 individual sample in 14 urban squatter communities in Bolivia, Ecuador, Philippines and Thailand. Our findings show that selfemployed women in households facing higher risk of food insecurity are likely to engage in food-related enterprise activities and this is especially true in Philippines and Thailand. This suggests the role of occupational choice in in helping urban squatter households in mitigating the risk of food shortage through the selection of an income-generating activity that allows the direct use of unsold inventories for food consumption.
    Keywords: food security, self-employment, occupational choice, urban informal sector
    Date: 2010–05

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