nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2010‒07‒17
27 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Repairing a Mortgage Crisis: HOLC Lending and its Impact on Local Housing Markets By Courtemanche, Charles; Snowden, Ken
  2. The Hierarchy of Roads, the Locality of Traffic, and Governance By David Levinson; Shanjiang Zhu
  3. Root Causes of The Housing Bubble By Kaizoji, Taisei
  4. Residential Land Use Regulation and the US Housing Price Cycle Between 2000 and 2009 By Huang, Haifang; Tang, Yao
  5. A Sort of Homecoming: Incarceration and the housing security of urban men By Amanda Geller; Marah A. Curtis
  6. Ranking Up by Moving Out: The Effect of the Texas Top 10% Plan on Property Values By Cortes, Kalena E.; Friedson, Andrew I.
  7. Estimating a stock-flow model for the Swiss housing market By Steiner, Elizabeth
  8. Positieve maar ook negatieve effecten van etnische diversiteit in scholen op onderwijsprestaties? Een empirische toets met internationale PISA-data By Dronkers, Jaap
  9. Human Resource Inputs and Educational Outcomes in Botswana’s Schools: Evidence from SACMEQ and TIMMS By Tia Linda Zuze
  10. Housing Insecurity among Urban Fathers By Marah A. Curtis; Amanda B. Geller
  11. Are compact cities environmentally friendly? By Carl Gaigné; Stéphane Riou; François Thisse
  12. Systemic Stability of Housing and Mortgage Market: From the observable to the unobservable By Xiao, Qin
  13. GIS-Based Estimation of Housing Amenities: The Case of High Grounds and Stagnant Streams By Shibashis Mukherjee; Arthur J. Caplan
  14. Essays on Agglomeration and Inter-Jurisdictional Competition By Koh, Hyun-Ju
  15. How efficient is the U.K. housing market? By Schindler, Felix
  16. Agglomeration and the Effects of Regional Transfer Schemes By von Ehrlich-Treuenstätt, Maximilian
  17. Licenses to Open a School: It’s All About Money By Mayank Wadhwa
  18. School Competition and Students' Entrepreneurial Intentions: International Evidence Using Historical Catholic Roots of Private Schooling By Falck, Oliver; Woessmann, Ludger
  19. Innovation and Diversity in a Dynamic Knowledge Network By Tamás Sebestyén
  20. Public spending on education: Its impact on students skipping classes and completing school By Yamamura, Eiji
  21. "Overlapping Tax Revenue, Soft Budget, and Rent Seeking" By Toshihiro Ihori
  22. Alternative Strategien der Budgetkonsolidierung in Österreich nach der Rezession By Jörg Bibow
  23. Market efficiency in the emerging securitized real estate markets By Schindler, Felix
  24. Administrative Data and Economic Policy Evaluation By Lorraine Dearden
  25. Teaching, organization, and personal problems: Evidence from reforming tertiary education in Germany By Mühlenweg, Andrea M.
  26. The medium-term impact of the primary education stipend in rural Bangladesh By Baulch, Bob
  27. Long-term effects of cognitive skills, social adjustment and schooling on health and lifestyle: Evidence from a reform of selective schooling By Jones, A.;; Rice, N.;; Rosa Dias, P.

  1. By: Courtemanche, Charles (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics); Snowden, Ken (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation purchased more than a million delinquent mortgages from private lenders between 1933 and 1936 and refinanced the loans for the borrowers. Its primary goal was to break the cycle of foreclosure, forced property sales and decreases in home values that was affecting local housing markets throughout the nation. We find that HOLC loans were targeted at local (county-level) housing markets that had experienced severe distress and that the intervention increased 1940 median home values and homeownership rates, but not new home building.
    Keywords: HOLC; Home Owners Loan Corporation
    JEL: N00
    Date: 2010–07–08
  2. By: David Levinson; Shanjiang Zhu (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: This study investigates the usage of road networks both within and outside of home jurisdictions (city (or town) and county of residence) by analyzing GPS data collected in the Minneapolis - Saint Paul metropolitan area, which tracked volunteersÕ travel behavior to determine which roads (and thus which class of roads) users chose to accommodate their travel needs. More than half of the travel on county roads and city streets occur outside of oneÕs home city, but most travel is within oneÕs home county. The average share of travel distance in the home county is more than 70% for both county and city streets. The high share, which does not even account for non-residents destined for the county to work or shop, e.g., implies that the free rider problem on city and county streets at the county level is minimal. Of particular con- cern is travel on city roads in cities other than oneÕs own. To the extent that this is to go to a destination in that city, that travel is also local. However, because city and county roads are typically funded by those jurisdictions from land-based sources such as property taxes, through trips with neither end in the city through which they are traveling are in a very real sense "free riders", and pose a problem. With growing trip lengths and emerging economies of scale in road management, it may be appropriate to consider moving more roads from township, town, or city level to the county level of government.
    Keywords: Transportation financing, GPS, road utilization, hierarchy of roads, transportation governance
    JEL: R41 R48 R53
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Kaizoji, Taisei
    Abstract: In this chapter we investigate root causes of the recent U.S. housing bubble which has been caused a serious downturn in U.S. economic growth since autumn of 2008. We propose a simple model of housing markets in order to indicate the possible determinants of recent housing prices. Utilizing the model, we verify a number of hypotheses which have been proposed in the recent literature on the housing bubbles. We suggest that the main causes of the housing bubble from 2000 to 2006 are (i) non-elastic housing supply in the metropolitan areas, and (ii) declines in the mortgage loan rate and the housing premium by the massive mortgage credit expansion. We also suggest that these factors were strongly influenced by policies that governments and the Federal reserve Board performed.
    Keywords: Housing bubble, The price-to-rent ratio
    JEL: G10 R11
    Date: 2009–08–10
  4. By: Huang, Haifang (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Tang, Yao (Department of Economics, Bowdoin College)
    Abstract: In a sample covering more than 300 cities in the US between January 2000 and July 2009, we find that more restrictive residential land use regulations and geographic land constraints are linked to larger booms and busts in housing prices. The natural and man-made constraints also amplify price responses to an initial positive mortgage-credit supply shock, leading to greater price increases in the boom and subsequently bigger losses.
    Keywords: residential land use regulation; credit expansion; housing prices
    JEL: R30
    Date: 2010–07–07
  5. By: Amanda Geller (Columbia University); Marah A. Curtis (Boston University)
    Abstract: While individuals returning from prison face many barriers to successful re-entry, among the most serious are the challenges they face in securing housing. Housing has long been recognized as a prerequisite for stable employment, access to social services, and other aspects of individual and family functioning. The formerly incarcerated face several administrative and de facto restrictions on their housing options; however, little is known about the unique instabilities that they face. We use a longitudinal survey of urban families to examine housing insecurity among nearly 3,000 urban men, including over 1,000 with incarceration histories. We find that men recently incarcerated face greater housing insecurity, including both serious hardships such as homelessness, and precursors to homelessness such as residential turnover and relying on others for housing expenses. Their increased risk is tied both to diminished annual earnings and other factors, including, potentially, evictions from public housing supported by Federal ?one-strike? policies.
    Keywords: incarceration, housing, social exclusion
    JEL: J12 J15 I00 D13 D63
    Date: 2010–06
  6. By: Cortes, Kalena E. (Syracuse University); Friedson, Andrew I. (Syracuse University)
    Abstract: Texas engaged in a large-scale policy experiment when it instituted the Top 10% Plan. This policy guarantees automatic admission to their state university of choice for all high school seniors who graduate in the top decile of their high school class. We find evidence that households reacted strategically to this policy by moving to neighborhoods with lower-performing schools, increasing both property values and the number of housing units in those areas. These effects are concentrated among schools that were very low-performing before the change in policy; property values and the number of housing units did not change discontinuously for previously high-performing school districts. We also find evidence that these strategic reactions were influenced by the number of local schooling options available: areas that had fewer school choices showed no reaction to the Top 10% Plan.
    Keywords: property values, college choice, affirmative action, Top 10% Plan
    JEL: H31 H41 H73 I20
    Date: 2010–06
  7. By: Steiner, Elizabeth (Swiss National Bank)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the development of housing market imbalances, housing prices and residential investment in Switzerland within a stock-flow framework. In the long run, the desired level of residential capital stock and the existing residential capital stock revert. Empirical results indicate, however, that housing demand can diverge from the existing supply for several years due to the slow adjustment of the residential capital stock to shocks. In the short run, the market therefore has to be cleared by price adjustments. And indeed, it can be shown empirically that changes in prices are significantly and strongly dependent on the level of stock imbalances. Furthermore, housing prices prove to be an important determinant of residential investment, which in turn drives the adjustment process of the residential capital stock towards its desired level.
    Keywords: Housing Demand; Housing Supply; Residential Investment; Market disequilibrium; Housing prices
    JEL: C32 E22 E32 R21 R31
    Date: 2010–02–09
  8. By: Dronkers, Jaap
    Abstract: The effect of two characteristics of school populations on reading skills will be estimated in this paper: share and diversity, both on the ethnic and the social-cultural dimension. We use the cross-national PISA-data 2006, both for the 15 years old native pupils and the pupils with a migrant background. A larger ethnic diversity of schools in secondary education hampers the educational achievement of both pupils with a migrant background and native pupils, but the negative effect is smaller in educational systems with little differentiation and strongest in highly differentiated educational systems. The social-cultural diversity of schools do not effect educational achievement, but these effects are positive in strongly differentiated educational systems and negative in hardly differentiated systems. However, the average parental educational level of schools is very important for the educational achievement of children, and this hardly differs between educational systems. A higher share of pupils with a migrant background at a school hampers educational achievement, but if these pupils have the same origin region (Islam countries; non-Islam Asian countries), a higher share of pupils with a migrant background at that school improves the educational achievement. Pupils originating from Islam countries have substantial lower reading scores in comparison with equivalent pupils with a migrant background from other origin regions, which can not be explained by the individual social-economic background, the school characteristics or the educational systems.
    Keywords: school achievement; social-economic composition of schools; ethnic composition of schools; ethnic diversity; country of destination; country of origin; differentiation of educational systems; pupils with an immigrant background; 15-year old pupils; PISA data
    JEL: O15 I21 J15
    Date: 2010–06–17
  9. By: Tia Linda Zuze (Independent Researcher)
    Abstract: This study explores the important relationship between policy variables that represent a school’s human resources and product variables in the form of student performance in Botswana’s schools. A focus of particular interest is if the teaching environment is related to student success and whether it can promote equity in learning between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Data for the study are drawn from a rich survey of students, teachers and schools in Southern and Eastern Africa. There is modest evidence to suggest that students attending well resourced schools are likely to perform better, irrespective of their background. The results points to a clear association between teacher content preparation and student achievement. Regular assessment is associated with better performance and greater social equity between students within the same school. Policy implications related to teacher preparation programmes in Botswana are discussed.
    Keywords: Botswana, education production function, demand for schooling, teacher evaluation, teacher knowledge, teacher education
    JEL: C10 H52 I21
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Marah A. Curtis (Boston University); Amanda B. Geller (Columbia University)
    Abstract: This article examines housing insecurity among an understudied population: urban fathers of young children. Housing security is of particular importance for vulnerable populations, and urban fathers, many of whom face unemployment and monitoring from the child support and criminal justice systems, often rely on this security to mitigate the socioeconomic challenges they face. By assessing the extent and type of housing insecurity affecting urban fathers, we identify a potentially serious source of disadvantage facing families more broadly. A year after the birth of a new child, fully a quarter of fathers reported significant housing insecurities with 3% experiencing homelessness. Results suggest that from 9 – 12% of fathers are doubling up, relying on others for living expenses, and moving more than once every year. Finally, only half of fathers had been able to maintain housing security over the three to four years since the focal child’s birth.
    Keywords: demographics, urban environment, homeless
    JEL: D19 D60 I00 I32 J12
    Date: 2010–05
  11. By: Carl Gaigné; Stéphane Riou; François Thisse
    Abstract: .There is a large consensus among international institutions and national governments to favor urban-containment policies –the compact city– as a way to improve the ecological performance of the urban system. This approach overlooks a fundamental fact: what matters for the ecological outcome of cities is the mix between the level of population density and the global pattern of activities. As expected, when both the intercity and intra-urban distributions of activities are given, a higher population density makes cities more environmentally friendly. However, once we account for the fact that cities may be either monocentric or polycentric as well as for the possible relocation of activities between cities, the relationship between population density and the ecological performance of cities appears to be much more involved. Indeed, because changes in population density affect land rents and wages, firms and workers are incited to relocate, thus leading to new commuting and shipping patterns. We show that policies favoring the decentralization of jobs in big cities may be more desirable because they both reduce pollution and improve welfare.
    Keywords: greenhouse gas, commuting costs, transport costs, cities; urban-containment policy
    JEL: D61 F12 Q54 Q58 R12
    Date: 2010
  12. By: Xiao, Qin
    Abstract: Motivated by the revealed preference approach to consumer theory, this study constructs a dynamic theoretical model which infers the unobservable household behavior from the observable patterns of housing and mortgage market activities. The model emphasizes the role of asymmetric responses of sellers in different phases of a housing market cycle in generating certain price and volume patterns. Such role has so far largely been ignored in both theoretical and empirical studies of housing markets. The model also establishes, theoretically, multiple channels via which housing and mortgage markets interact and via which speculative forces are propagated. In addition, it generates a testable result regarding the stability of the system formed by the two markets, which may be extended by endogenizing some important policy instruments.
    Keywords: systemic stability; speculation; asymmetric seller response; feedback loop
    JEL: D53 E32 D84 D82 R31 R21
    Date: 2010–07–06
  13. By: Shibashis Mukherjee (Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign); Arthur J. Caplan (Department of Applied Economics, Utah State University)
    Abstract: We use GIS and econometric methods to estimate the marginal implicit values of environmental amenities associated with residential land parcels in the mountain town of Logan, Utah. Amenities include proximity to open spaces (such as parks, golf courses and lakes), commercial zones, major roads, streams, and general visibility of surrounding topography in the valley as determined by the elevation of the land parcel. The amenity value estimates are corrected for spatial autocorrelation. We find a positive relationship between a parcel’s value and its elevation, and a negative relationship between value and adjacency to a stagnant stream. To our knowledge, this is the first hedonic study to assess the effect of stream stagnancy on land value.
    Keywords: hedonic valuation; stagnant streams; high elevation
    JEL: Q51 Q59
    Date: 2010–06–07
  14. By: Koh, Hyun-Ju
    Date: 2010–01–22
  15. By: Schindler, Felix
    Abstract: Extending the controversial findings from the relevant literature, the results from the quarterly transaction-based Nationwide indices from 1974 to 2009 provide further empirical evidence on the rejection of the weak-form version of efficiency in the U.K. housing market. In addition to conducting parametric and non-parametric tests, we apply technical trading strategies to test whether or not the inefficiencies can be exploited by investors earning excess returns. The empirical findings from the technical trading strategies support the results from the statistical tests and suggest that investors might be able to obtain excess returns from both autocorrelation- and moving average-based strategies compared to a buy-and-hold strategy for 10 out of 14 markets. --
    Keywords: Housing market,weak-form market efficiency,random walk hypothesis,variance ratio tests,runs test,trading strategies
    JEL: G12 G14 G15 R31
    Date: 2010
  16. By: von Ehrlich-Treuenstätt, Maximilian
    Date: 2010–01–22
  17. By: Mayank Wadhwa
    Abstract: In Delhi, 14 lakh children are out of school. So why is there a shortfall in the supply of schools? Does the government help to better the situation? Why or Why not? In the light of these mind-boggling questions, let us examine the restrictions imposed on opening a school in Delhi. Opening a private school is a mind-numbing task; it involves a colossal amount of paperwork. An applicant faces a four-pronged attack by the Directorate of Education (DoE), the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA); making the procedure to open and operate a school financially expensive and time consuming.[Working Paper No. 0001]
    Keywords: government, mind-boggling,restrictions imposed,Delhi, mind-numbing task, Directorate of Education,Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Delhi Development Authority
    Date: 2010
  18. By: Falck, Oliver (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: School choice research mostly focuses on academic outcomes. Policymakers increasingly view entrepreneurial traits as a non-cognitive outcome important for economic growth. We use international PISA-2006 student-level data to estimate the effect of private-school competition on students' entrepreneurial intentions. We exploit Catholic-Church resistance to state schooling in 19th century as a natural experiment to obtain exogenous variation in current private-school shares. Our instrumental-variable results suggest that a 10 percentage-point higher private-school share raises students' entrepreneurial intentions by 0.3-0.5 percentage points (11-18 percent of the international mean) even after controlling for current Catholic shares, students' academic skills, and parents' entrepreneurial occupation.
    Keywords: private school competition, entrepreneurship, Catholic schools
    JEL: I20 L33 L26 Z12
    Date: 2010–06
  19. By: Tamás Sebestyén (Department of Economics and Regional Studies, University of Pécs)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the evolution of network formation. We present a model in which companies in an industry can innovate alone or in alliance with others. Alliance formation is based on the cognitive distance of companies. If two companies form an alliance, their probability of success in innovation depends on their proximity in knowledge space, that is, their cognitive distance. Knowledge, on the other hand, is modelled in two dimensions: breadth and depth. The main results of our analysis are that in the present setting heterogeneity decreases among companies whilst innovation can increase and decrease also, depending on the initial parameters of the industry's knowledge endowment. The model also reveales the importance of external shocks in maintaining heterogeneity and concludes with a possible typology of cluster evolution among the dimensions of heterogeneity and innovativeness.
    Keywords: knowledge network, innovation, knowledge heterogeneity, alliance formation, cluster evolution
    JEL: I23 O18 O33 R11
    Date: 2010–03
  20. By: Yamamura, Eiji
    Abstract: Empirical results using cross-country data suggest that public spending on education increases the rate of students skipping school but does not influence the rate of students completing school. This infers that public spending on education leads to a deterioration in the effectiveness of education.
    Keywords: Public spending; education; skipping class; incentive;
    JEL: I21 H52
    Date: 2010–06–30
  21. By: Toshihiro Ihori (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how the soft-budget constraint with grants from the central government to local governments tends to internalize the vertical externality of local public investment by stimulating local expenditure when both the central and local governments impose taxes on the same economic activities financed by public investment. The model incorporates the local governments' rent-seeking activities in a multi-government setting. The soft-budget constraint is welfare deteriorating because it stimulates rent-seeking activities, although a soft-budget game may attain the first-best level of public investment.
    Date: 2010–07
  22. By: Jörg Bibow (Skidmore College, Saratoge Springs, N.Y.)
    Abstract: This study focuses on the financialization of the U.S. household sector, featuring enhanced access to credit and ease of consumer spending as essential aspects. Growth in U.S. private consumption has been remarkably strong since the 1980s considering trends in income growth and income and wealth inequalities. Since the mid 1980s the personal saving rate has declined to near zero just before the outbreak of the "subprime mortgage crisis". We find that the decline in saving outside of retirement accounts actually started in the late 1970s, in line with the onset of the era of financialization. Disaggregation by household income shows that the continued decline in household saving in the 1990s was broadly based and included middle-class households as well as rich households, while saving by lower-income households held up in the 1990s but then declined the most in the 2000s. Related to the subprime mortgage boom and property bubble, increased spending by lower-income households provided vital support to the "jobless recovery" of the early 2000s as especially richer households were less inclined to spend in the aftermath of the bust. Apart from the emergence of the "shadow banking system" as the innovative source of housing finance, we emphasize the role of the U.S. dollar as key global reserve currency and Federal Reserve monetary policies in understanding the financialization of U.S. households in their function as global borrowers and spenders of last resort.
    Date: 2010
  23. By: Schindler, Felix
    Abstract: This paper tests the random walk hypothesis and market efficiency for twelve emerging as well as for four developed securitized real estate markets from 1992 to 2009. Random walk properties of equity prices influence return dynamics, and market efficiency is often considered an essential criterion in the assessment of the functionality of markets and the asset pricing process, which is of significant relevance for emerging markets in particular. The analysis is based on autocorrelation tests as well as both single variance and multiple variance ratio tests. Furthermore, non-parametric runs tests are conducted. Empirical evidence shows that the efficient market hypothesis in its weak form is not rejected by any statistical test for seven of the twelve analyzed emerging securitized real estate markets. This result is surprising since all four developed securitized real estate stock markets analyzed in this study do not follow a random walk. The results are confirmed by the analysis of excess returns following from technical trading rules. --
    Keywords: Securitized real estate markets,market efficiency,random walk hypothesis,variance ratio tests,runs test,trading strategies
    JEL: G12 G14 G15
    Date: 2010
  24. By: Lorraine Dearden (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE; Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)
    Abstract: This paper looks at the strengths and weaknesses of using administrative data for economic policy evaluation. It does this by looking at how school administrative data has been used to assess school effectiveness and the impact of month of birth on educational outcomes with varying degrees of success. It concludes that if there is some natural experiment in the way the education is delivered or an education initiative is introduced, then schools’ administrative data offers the opportunity of answering questions of extreme policy interest in a robust way – even without rich background information on the students and their families.
    Keywords: administrative data, evaluation methods, school league tables, month of birth, natural experiment
    JEL: C52 I20
    Date: 2010–07–09
  25. By: Mühlenweg, Andrea M.
    Abstract: Germany has recently made extensive reforms in its tertiary education system. Traditional degrees are being replaced by Bachelor and Master programs. This study examines the question of how the choice of a new Bachelor program as opposed to a traditional degree program has affected first-year students' satisfaction. Three dimensions of student satisfaction are focused upon: Student satisfaction with teaching, student satisfaction with the organization of the study programs, as well as an indicator for students' personal problems within the academic context. The selection into the type of program is taken into account as I control for individual performance at secondary school, motivation and family background and try different robustness checks. The main specification includes fixed effects on the level of institutions and subjects. Results robustly point to minor differences between the programs. The outcomes are slightly more favorable for students in the new programs compared to the traditional programs in recent years. --
    Keywords: Bologna,reforms,evaluation,fixed effects,student satisfaction
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2010
  26. By: Baulch, Bob
    Abstract: This paper investigates the long-term impact of Bangladesh’s Primary Education Stipend (PES) program on a range of individual and household welfare measures using a unique longitudinal study spanning the years 2000 to 2006. Using covariate and propensity score matching and difference-in-difference methods, the program is shown to have negligible impacts on school enrollments, household expenditures, calorie consumption, and protein consumption. At the individual level, the PES has a negative impact on grade progression, especially among boys from poor households who are ineligible to receive stipends at the secondary level. The program does, however, lead to improvements in height for age among girls and body mass index among boys. Nonetheless, the impacts of the PES are remarkably small for a program of its size. Poor targeting combined, in particular the program’s limited coverage and lack of geographical targeting, plus the declining real value of the stipend are the most plausible reasons for this lack of impact.
    Keywords: conditional cash transfers, geographical targeting, Household expenditures, primary education, Primary Education Stipend (PES) program,
    Date: 2010
  27. By: Jones, A.;; Rice, N.;; Rosa Dias, P.
    Abstract: Members of the National Child Development Study (NCDS) cohort attended very different types of secondary school, as their schooling lay within the transition period of the comprehensive education reform in England and Wales. This provides a natural setting to explore the impact of educational attainment and of school quality on health and health-related behaviour later in life. We use a combination of matching methods and parametric regressions to deal with selection effects and to evaluate differences in adult health outcomes and health-related behaviour for cohort members exposed to the old selective and to the new comprehensive educational systems.
    Keywords: Health; Education; Comprehensive schooling; Cognitive ability; Non-cognitive skills; NCDS
    JEL: I12 I28 C21
    Date: 2010–07

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