nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2010‒08‒21
eleven papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Appropriate Economic Space for Transnational Infrastructural Projects: Gateways, Multimodal Corridors, and Special Economic Zones By Rimmer, Peter J.; Dick, Howard
  2. The Spatial Diffusion of a Knowledge Base-Laser Technology Research in West Germany, 1960-2005 By Michael Fritsch; Luis F. Medrano
  3. The ‘Trade-off’ between Spatial Equity and Economic Efficiency Revisited: Evidence from the US States By Alexiadis, Stilianos; Eleftheriou, Konstantinos
  4. School sector variation on non-cognitive dimensions: are denominational schools different? By Avram, S; Dronkers, Jaap
  5. ABC, 123: Can you text me now? The Impact of a Mobile Phone Literacy Program on Educational Outcomes. By Jenny C Aker; Christopher Ksoll; Travis J Lybbert
  6. Valuing travel time variability: Characteristics of the travel time distribution on an urban road By Fosgerau, Mogens; Fukuda, Daisuke
  7. Concentration, Diversity, and Manufacturing Performance By Joshua Drucker
  8. Immigration: America's nineteenth century "law and order problem"? By Howard Bodenhorn; Carolyn M. Moehling; Anne Morrison Piehl
  9. House allocation with fractional endowments By Athanassoglou, Stergios; Sethuraman, Jay
  10. Estimating regional GDP in Italy (1871-2001): sources, methodology and results. By Felice, Emanuele
  11. Credit Bubbles and Land Bubbles By Christopher Reicher

  1. By: Rimmer, Peter J. (Asian Development Bank Institute); Dick, Howard (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: This study addresses three questions that arise in Asia when formulating, financing, implementing, and maintaining transnational linkages versus purely domestic connections. Firstly, how is optimal economic space to be defined as a useful starting point? Secondly, how can relevant criteria be developed to define the emerging spatial economy and identify efficient transnational transport networks? Thirdly, what are the main investment opportunities in physical infrastructure that would result in more efficient and effective regional cooperation and integration (making special reference to the potential role of cross-border special economic zones (SEZs) or their equivalents)?
    Keywords: asia transnational infrastructure; asia regional cooperation
    JEL: R00 R10 R30 R40 R50
    Date: 2010–08–09
  2. By: Michael Fritsch (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena); Luis F. Medrano (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: We analyze the spatial diffusion of knowledge in laser technology in West Germany from 1960, when this technology began, until 2005. Laser technology research has been nearly exclusively conducted in regions that are home to a university with a physics or electrical engineering department, an indication of the science-based character of the technology. Early adoption of laser knowledge was especially prevalent in large agglomerations. While we cannot detect knowledge spillovers from adjacent regions, geographic proximity to the center of initial laser research was conducive to early adoption of laser research; however, the effect is small. The earlier a region embarked on this type of research, the higher the level of laser research later, indicating the accumulation of knowledge generated in previous periods. Our results highlight the role of a region's absorptive capacity for commencing and conducting research in a new technological field. In the case of laser technology, it was more the level of existing tacit knowledge than an interregional transfer of tacit knowledge that played an important role.
    Keywords: Innovation, regional innovation systems, knowledge, spatial diffusion, laser technology
    JEL: R11 O33 O52
    Date: 2010–08–04
  3. By: Alexiadis, Stilianos; Eleftheriou, Konstantinos
    Abstract: The principle aims of regional policy can be encapsulated in terms of ‘spatial equity’ and ‘economic efficiency’. Establishing the relation between these two aims is of fundamental importance. Conventionally, however, it is assumed that there is a conflict or a ‘trade-off’ between them. In this paper, a hopeful view, i.e. that the two aims are complementary rather than competitive, is put forward. The validity of this view is examined empirically using data for the US States covering the period 1972-2005. The obtained results map an instructive framework for regional policy where the scope for reducing regional inequalities is not incompatible with improvements in economic efficiency.
    Keywords: regional growth; regional policy; spatial equity; trade-off
    JEL: R58 R11
    Date: 2010–08–11
  4. By: Avram, S; Dronkers, Jaap
    Abstract: Denominational schooling makes up an important part of European educational systems. Given its specificity, denominational schooling can be expected to place a greater weight on values teaching and moral education. As such, it may be more effective in bringing about certain attitudes and opinions. It also may be more successful in creating a warm and caring atmosphere, thus helping students to better emotionally connect to the school community. This paper set out to empirically test some of these hypotheses by making use of three waves of data collected in the framework of the Program for International Student Assessment study. We compare public and publicly supported private (as a proxy to denominational) schools on two dimensions, namely the emotional integration with the rest of the school community, and the concern and feelings of responsibility towards the environment. But for Austria, Belgium and Spain, no evidence could be found that the type of the school has any impact on the reported psychological adaptation to the school. In these three countries, publicly supported private schools tend to be more successful in integrating their students. Also students in public and private dependent schools were equally environment oriented, taking into account several student and school characteristics. The lack of schooling sector differences in attaining non-cognitive aims may have at least three causes. First, ecological issues could be salient enough not to necessitate any special religious or moral reinforcement in order to gain traction. Second, public schools may use religious education or ethics just as fruitfully and consequently, they are just as successful in values and norms transmission. Third, it is possible that schools play a minor role in introducing students to environmental dilemmas and concerns, this role being taken over by the family or the media.
    Keywords: public schools; private schools; non-cognitive; value teaching; psychological integration; PISA data
    JEL: H4 I21 L33
    Date: 2010–01–02
  5. By: Jenny C Aker; Christopher Ksoll; Travis J Lybbert
    Abstract: We report the short-term results from a randomized evaluation of a mobile phone literacy and numeracy program (Project ABC) in Niger, in which adult literacy students learned how to use mobile phones as part of a literacy and numeracy class. Students in ABC villages showed substantial gains in numeracy exam scores. There is also evidence of heterogeneity in program effects across regions, suggesting the impact is context dependent. These results were stronger in one region, for women and for participants younger than 45. There was also evidence of persistent impacts: six months after the end of the first year of classes, students in ABC villages retained what they had learned better than the non-ABC students. These effects do not appear to be driven by differences in teacher quality and motivation, nor student attendance.
    Keywords: Education; literacy; information technology; program evaluation; Nigeria
    JEL: D1 I2 O1 O3
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Fosgerau, Mogens; Fukuda, Daisuke
    Abstract: Fosgerau and Karlstrom [The value of reliability. Transportation Research Part B, Vol. 43 (8–9), pp. 813–820, 2010] presented a derivation of the value of travel time variability (VTTV) with a number of desirable properties. This definition of the VTTV depends on certain properties of the distribution of random travel times that require empirical verification. This paper therefore provides a detailed empirical investigation of the distribution of travel times on an urban road. Applying a range of nonparametric statistical techniques to data giving minute-by-minute travel times for a congested urban road over a period of five months, we show that the standardized travel time is roughly independent of the time of day as required by the theory. Except for the extreme right tail, a stable distribution seems to fit the data well. The travel time distributions on consecutive links seem to share a common stability parameter such that the travel time distribution for a sequence of links is also a stable distribution. The parameters of the travel time distribution for a sequence of links can then be derived analytically from the link level distributions.
    Keywords: value of travel time variability; travel time distribution; nonparametrics; stable distributions;
    JEL: R41
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Joshua Drucker
    Abstract: Regional economist Benjamin Chinitz was one of the most successful proponents of the idea that regional industrial structure is an important determinant of economic performance. His influential article in the American Economic Review in 1961 prompted substantial research measuring industrial structure at the regional scale and examining its relationships to economic outcomes. A considerable portion of this work operationalized the concept of regional industrial structure as sectoral diversity, the degree to which the composition of an economy is spread across heterogeneous activities. Diversity is a relatively simple construct to measure and interpret, but does not capture the implications of Chinitz’s ideas fully. The structure within regional industries may also influence the performance of business enterprises. In particular, regional intra-industry concentration—the extent to which an industry is dominated by a few relatively large firms in a locality—has not appeared in empirical work studying economic performance apart from individual case studies, principally because accurately measuring concentration within a regional industry requires firm-level information. Multiple establishments of varying sizes in a given locality may be part of the same firm. Therefore, secondary data sources on establishment size distributions (such as County Business Patterns or aggregated information from the Census of Manufactures) can yield only deceptive portrayals of the level of regional industrial concentration. This paper uses the Longitudinal Research Database, a confidential establishment-level dataset compiled by the United States Census Bureau, to compare the influences of industrial diversity and intra-industry concentration upon regional and firm-level economic outcomes. Manufacturing establishments are aggregated into firms and several indicators of regional industrial concentration are calculated at multiple levels of industrial aggregation. These concentration indicators, along with a regional sectoral diversity measure, are related to employment change over time and incorporated into plant productivity estimations, in order to examine and distinguish the relationships between the differing aspects of regional industrial structure and economic performance. A better understanding of the particular links between regional industrial structure and economic performance can be used to improve economic development planning efforts. With continuing economic restructuring and associated workforce dislocation in the United States and worldwide, industrial concentration and over-specialization are separate mechanisms by which regions may “lock in” to particular competencies and limit the capacity to adjust quickly and efficiently to changing markets and technologies. The most appropriate and effective policies for improving economic adaptability should reflect the structural characteristics that limit flexibility. This paper gauges the consequences of distinct facets of regional industrial structure, adding new depth to the study of regional industries by economic development planners and researchers.
    Date: 2010–07
  8. By: Howard Bodenhorn; Carolyn M. Moehling; Anne Morrison Piehl
    Abstract: Past studies of the empirical relationship between immigration and crime during the first major wave of immigration have focused on violent crime in cities and have relied on data with serious limitations regarding nativity information. We analyze administrative data from Pennsylvania prisons, with high quality information on nativity and demographic characteristics. The latter allow us to construct incarceration rates for detailed population groups using U.S. Census data. The raw gap in incarceration rates for the foreign and native born is large, in accord with the extremely high concern at the time about immigrant criminality. But adjusting for age and gender greatly narrows that observed gap. Particularly striking are the urban/rural differences. Immigrants were concentrated in large cities where reported crime rates were higher. However, within rural counties, the foreign born had much higher incarceration rates than the native born. The interaction of nativity with urban residence explains much of the observed aggregate differentials in incarceration rates. Finally, we find that the foreign born, especially the Irish, consistently have higher incarceration rates for violent crimes, but from 1850 to 1860 the natives largely closed the gap with the foreign born for property offenses.
    JEL: J01 K4 N3
    Date: 2010–08
  9. By: Athanassoglou, Stergios; Sethuraman, Jay
    Abstract: This paper studies a generalization of the well known house allocation problem in which agents may own fractions of different houses summing to an arbitrary quantity, but have use for only the equivalent of one unit of a house. It departs from the classical model by assuming that arbitrary quantities of each house may be available to the market. Justified envy considerations arise when two agents have the same initial endowment, or when an agent is in some sense disproportionately rewarded in comparison to her peers. For this general model, an algorithm is designed to find a fractional allocation of houses to agents that satisfies ordinal efficiency, individual rationality, and no justified envy. The analysis extend to the full preference domain. Individual rationality, ordinal efficiency, and no justified envy conflict with weak strategyproofness. Moreover, individual rationality, ordinal efficiency and strategyproofness are shown to be incompatible. Finally, two reasonable notions of envy-freeness, no justified envy and equal-endowment no envy, conflict in the presence of ordinal efficiency and individual rationality. All of the impossibility results hold in the strict preference domain.
    Keywords: house allocation; fractional endowments; fairness; individual rationality
    JEL: C78 D71 C72
    Date: 2010–04
  10. By: Felice, Emanuele
    Abstract: This paper presents new estimates of Italian regional GDP for the years 1871, 1881 1891, 1901, 1911, 1938 and 1951. This allows us to draw a long term picture of regional development of the country, from the years following national unification to the advent of Euro in 2001.
    Keywords: industrialization; regional inequality; regional income; economic growth;
    JEL: N93 N94 R11
    Date: 2009–09
  11. By: Christopher Reicher
    Abstract: In modern macroeconomic models it is difficult to obtain explosive price bubbles on assets with positive net supply. This paper shows that it is possible to obtain explosive bubbles in certain situations when assets such as land are used as collateral and lenders are willing to lend freely against it. As land prices rise, collateral constraints become relaxed, and households wish to borrow more. If the financial sector or government is willing to accommodate this by issuing credit indefinitely, this can lead to self-fulfilling equilibria where land has a positive, purely speculative, value. Furthermore, such bubbles need not affect real allocations in the absence of other market imperfections, even when land is a factor in production
    JEL: G12 E52 E62
    Date: 2010–07

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