nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2010‒09‒11
47 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Detecting Housing Submarkets using Unsupervised Learning of Finite Mixture Models By Christos Ntantamis
  2. Housing Price Dynamics in Time and Space: Predictability, Liquidity and Investor Returns By Hwang, Min; Quigley, John M.
  3. Housing Subsidies and the Tax Code: The Case of Mortgage Credit Certificates By Greulich, Erica; Quigley, John M.
  4. Public Housing and the Value of Apartment Quality to Households By Jos Van Ommeren; Marnix Koopman
  5. Love Thy Neighbor: Income Distribution and Housing Preferences By Tin Cheuk Leung; Kwok Ping Tsang
  6. Housing Policy, Mortgage Policy, and the Federal Housing Administration By Jaffee, Dwight M.; Quigley, John M.
  7. Does Rural Household Income Depend on Neighboring Communities? Evidence from Israel By Kimhi, Ayal
  8. Parking requirements as a barrier to housing development: regulation and reform in Los Angeles By Manville, Michael; Shoup, Donald C
  9. Urban Governance and Finance in India By M. Govinda Rao; Richard M. Bird
  10. DO INITIAL ENDOWMENTS MATTER ONLY INITIALLY? The Persistent Effect of Birth Weight on School Achievement By Bharadwaj, Prashant; Eberhard, Juan; Neilson, Christopher
  11. Location Choices of Migrant Nest-Leavers: Spatial Assimilation or Continued Segregation? By Zorlu, Aslan; Mulder, Clara H.
  12. Agglomeration and interregional network effects on European R&D productivity By Attila Varga; Dimitrios Pontikakis; George Chorafakis
  13. MBS Ratings and the Mortgage Credit Boom By Ashcraft, A.; Goldsmith-Pinkham, P.; Vickery, J.
  14. Fiscal Policy and Asset Prices By Luca Agnello; Ricardo M. Sousa
  15. The impact of airport competition on technical efficiency: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis applied to Italian airports By Malighetti, Paolo; Martini, Gianmaria; Scotti, Davide; Volta, Nicola
  16. Political and Public Acceptability of Congestion Pricing: Ideology and Self Interest By Harsman, Bjorn; Quigley, John M.
  17. Influence of Regional Development Policies and Clean Technology Adoption on Future Air Pollution Exposure By Hixson, Mark; Mahmud, Abdullah; Hu, Jianlin; Bai, Song; Niemeier, Debbie A.; Handy, Susan L; Gao, Shengyi; Lund, Jay R; Sullivan, Dana C; Kleeman, M J
  18. Advances in Location Modeling: GIS Linkages and Contributions By Alan T. Murray
  19. Paving the road to export: the trade impacts of domestic transport costs and road quality By Blyde, Juan
  20. Déjà vu all over again: The causes of U.S. commercial bank failures this time around By Cole, Rebel A.; White, Lawrence J.
  21. The Importance of Broadband Provision to Knowledge Intensive Firm Location By Elizabeth A. Mack; Luc Anselin; Tony H. Grubesic
  22. From High Rise to Coast: Revitalizing Ribeira da Barcarena By Kondolf, G. Mathias M; Podolak, Kristen; Gaffney, Andrea
  23. Envisioning Parking Strategies for the Post-Automobile City By Circella, Giovanni
  24. An Analysis of Near-Term Hydrogen Vehicle Rollout Scenarios for Southern California By Nicholas, Michael A; Ogden, J
  25. Fragmentation of China’s landscape by roads and urban areas By Li, Taian; Shilling, Fraser; Thorne, James H.; Li, Fengmin; Schott, Heidi; Boynton, Ryan; Berry, Alison M
  26. Safe Routes to School Local School Project: A health evaluation at 10 low-income schools By Cooper, Jill F MSW; McMillan, Tracy MPH, PHD
  27. Assessing the Environmental and Health Impacts of Port-Related Freight Movement in a Major Urban Transportation Corridor By Lee, Gunwoo; You, Soyoung Iris; Sangkapichai, Mana; Ritchie, Stephen G.; Saphores, Jean-Daniel M; Ogunseitan, Oladele; Ayala, Roberto; Jayakrishnan, R.; Torres, Rodolfo
  28. Modeling Land-Cover Types Using Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis in a Desert City By Soe W. Myint; Gregory S. Okin
  29. The Gas Transportation Network as a ‘Lego’ Game: How to Play with It? By Jean Michel Glachant and Michelle Hallack
  30. External Costs of Transport in the U.S. By Delucchi, Mark A.; McCubbin, Donald R.
  31. End consumer goods movement generation in French medium urban areas By Jesus Gonzalez-Feliu; Florence Toilier; Jean-Louis Routhier
  32. The Medium Run Effects of Educational Expansion: Evidence from a Large School Construction Program in Indonesia By Esther Duflo
  33. Bubbles and crashes in finance: A phase transition from random to deterministic behaviour in prices. By Fry, J. M.
  34. Decentralisation in Africa and Fiscal Competition Evidence from Benin By Emilie Caldeira; Martial Foucault; Grégoire Rota-Graziosi
  35. Portage: path dependence and increasing returns in U.S. history By Hoyt Bleakley; Jeffrey Lin.
  36. Estimating Firms' Demand for Agglomeration By Hans Koster; Jos N. van Ommeren; Piet Rietveld
  37. Multimodal Traffic at Isolated Signalized Intersections: New Management Strategies to Increase Capacity By Xuan, Yiguang; Gayah, Vikash; Daganzo, Carlos; Cassidy, Michael
  38. Asymmetries in New Keynesian Phillips Curves: Evidence from US Cities By Sonora, Robert
  39. Stimulating Local Public Employment: Do General Grants Work? By Lundqvist, Heléne; Dahlberg, Matz; Mörk, Eva
  40. Sex offenders and residential location: A predictive analytical framework By Elizabeth A. Mack; Tony H. Grubesic
  41. A congestion mechanism for uphill expressways, Part I: the shoulder lane "release valve" By Patire, Anthony D.; Cassidy, Michael J.
  42. Factors Associated with Proportions and Miles of Bicycling for Transportation and Recreation in Six Small U.S. Cities By Xing, Yan; Handy, Susan L.; Mokhtarian, Patricia L.
  44. Carsharing Parking Policy: A Review of North American Practices and San Francisco Bay Area Case Study By Shaheen, Susan; Cohen, Adam P.; Martin, Elliot
  45. Discrete Choice Models: The Case of Transportation in Cartagena De Indias By Daniel Toro Gonzales
  46. An Optimal Size for Rural Tourism Villages with Agglomeration and Club-Good Effects By Tchetchik, Anat; Fleischer, Alize; Finkelshtain, Israel
  47. Social Networks, Job Search Methods and Reservation Wages: Evidence for Germany By Caliendo, Marco; Schmidl, Ricarda; Uhlendorff, Arne

  1. By: Christos Ntantamis (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus and CREATES)
    Abstract: The problem of modeling housing prices has attracted considerable attention due to its importance in terms of households' wealth and in terms of public revenues through taxation. One of the main concerns raised in both the theoretical and the empirical literature is the existence of spatial association between prices that can be attributed, among others, to unobserved neighborhood effects. In this paper, a model of spatial association for housing markets is introduced. Spatial association is treated in the context of spatial heterogeneity, which is explicitly modeled in both a global and a local framework. The global form of heterogeneity is incorporated in a Hedonic Price Index model that encompasses a nonlinear function of the geographical coordinates of each dwelling. The local form of heterogeneity is subsequently modeled as a Finite Mixture Model for the residuals of the Hedonic Index. The identified mixtures are considered as the different spatial housing submarkets. The main advantage of the approach is that submarkets are recovered by the housing prices data compared to submarkets imposed by administrative or geographical criteria. The Finite Mixture Model is estimated using the Figueiredo and Jain (2002) approach due to its ability in endogenously identifying the number of the submarkets and its efficiency in computational terms that permits the consideration of large datasets. The different submarkets are subsequently identified using the Maximum Posterior Mode algorithm. The overall ability of the model to identify spatial heterogeneity is validated through a set of simulations. The model was applied to Los Angeles county housing prices data for the year 2002. The results suggests that the statistically identified number of submarkets, after taking into account the dwellings' structural characteristics, are considerably fewer that the ones imposed either by geographical or administrative boundaries.
    Keywords: Hedonic Models, Finite Mixture Model, Spatial Heterogeneity, Housing Submarkets
    JEL: C13 C21 R0
    Date: 2010–08–18
  2. By: Hwang, Min; Quigley, John M.
    Abstract: It is widely accepted that aggregate housing prices are predictable, but that excess returns to investors are precluded by the transactions costs of buying and selling property. We examine this issue using a unique data set -- all private condominium transactions in Singapore during an eleven-year period. We model directly the price discovery process for individual dwellings. Our empirical results clearly reject a random walk in prices, supporting mean reversion in housing prices and diffusion of innovations over space. We find that, when house prices and aggregate returns are computed from models that erroneously assume a random walk and spatial independence, they are strongly autocorrelated. However, when they are calculated from the appropriate model, predictability in prices and in investment returns is completely absent. We show that this is due to the illiquid nature of housing transactions. We also conduct extensive simulations, over different time horizons and with different investment rules, testing whether better information on housing price dynamics leads to superior investment performance.
    Keywords: housing market liquidity, price discovery, spatial correlation
    Date: 2010–05–22
  3. By: Greulich, Erica; Quigley, John M.
    Abstract: The most significant U.S. housing subsidy programs are funded by tax expenditures through the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Beyond the subsidy to homeownership provided to all owner occupants through the personal income tax, the IRC provides additional subsidies to specific groups of homeowners. The Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) program permits lower levels of government to issue tax-exempt debt, using the proceeds to supply mortgages at below-market interest rates to deserving households. States are also permitted to issue and distribute Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCCs) which entitle recipient homeowners to claim a tax credit for some portion of the mortgage interest paid rather than the tax deduction claimed by other homeowners. This paper documents the wide variations in reliance upon MCCs and MRBs across the United States and the emergence of Mortgage Credit Certificates as the largest housing program administered by the state of California. The paper provides an economic analysis of the MCC program using micro data on program recipients in California during the period 1996-1998. We estimate the extent and distribution of MCC subsidies across income and demographic groups, measuring the dollar amount of federal subsidies and their effects upon the user cost of residential capital and the demand price of housing. We analyze the geographic incidence of MCC subsidies across neighborhoods of varying socio-demographic composition and deprivation. Finally, we note important differences in the administrative and programmatic costs of MCCs and MRBs, suggesting that there are clear reasons to favor Mortgage Credit Certificates as a means of subsidizing deserving households.
    Keywords: housing subsidy, tax policy, tax credit
    Date: 2009–10–08
  4. By: Jos Van Ommeren (VU University Amsterdam); Marnix Koopman (Delft University of Technology, Delft)
    Abstract: The application of hedonic price approaches to obtain estimates of the households’ value of apartment characteristics is invalid for regulated housing markets such as public housing. We introduce and apply an alternative method that allows us to estimate renters' marginal willingness to pay for apartment characteristics based on residential mobility. We focus on the households' marginal willingness to pay for quality of apartments. We find that, on average, households place a monetary value on quality which is close to the non-profit housing associations' costs of providing quality.
    Keywords: Public housing; quality
    JEL: R21
    Date: 2010–08–30
  5. By: Tin Cheuk Leung; Kwok Ping Tsang
    Abstract: Do homeowners prefer living in an area with a more equal distribution of income? We answer this question by estimating a semi-parametric hedonic pricing model for about 90,000 housing units transacted in Hong Kong between 2005 and 2006. We ï¬rst identify a hedonic price function by locally regressing the rental price of the housing unit on its in- trinsic and neighborhood characteristics, one of which is the Gini coefficient for household income of the constituency area. We then combine the estimates with a log utility function to obtain the heterogeneous preference parameters. Finally, we estimate the joint distribution of the preference parameters and demographics. We ï¬nd that most homeowners have a strong distaste for inequality in their neighborhood, and the distaste increases with income and goes down with education level. Counterfactual experiments show that real- locating Public Rental Housing by half can increase the welfare of homeowners by about HK$8,000 on average per year, an amount which is equivalent to increasing the housing unit by 20 square feet or reducing the age of the unit by 5 years.
    Keywords: Income, Distribution, Housing, rent
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Jaffee, Dwight M.; Quigley, John M.
    Abstract: This paper provides a survey of federal housing programs, establishing the primary importance of indirect and off-budget activities in promoting housing and providing subsidies to housing consumers. We consider the role of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) and the Veterans’’ Administration in supplying liquidity and credit guarantees. We then consider in more detail the role of the FHA as supplier and guarantor of credit. We especially focus on the rationale for these activities in the light of the rise and subsequent collapse of the subprime mortgage market. We suggest that a reinvigorated FHA mortgage program will be highly useful in its own right and might be the appropriate agency to assume many of the activities currently undertaken by the GSEs.
    Date: 2010–04–12
  7. By: Kimhi, Ayal
    Abstract: In Israel, rural communities are those with up to 2000 residents, and rural areas include only rural communities. This paper explores the dependence of rural incomes on nearby urban areas. This dependence is mostly implied by rural-to-urban or urban-to-rural selective migration (or both). Migration flows can be affected by differential wages, housing costs and other amenities, and by commuting costs and costs of migration. An income generating equation, that includes characteristics of nearby urban communities as well as other spatial indicators among the explanatory variables, is estimated for rural households in Moshav villages using 2006 survey data. The results show that the population of nearby urban communities is significantly associated with rural household per-capita income. In particular, the urban population within 10 km is positively associated with per-capita income, while the urban population within 10 to 40 km is negatively associated with per-capita income. These opposite effects suggest that commuting costs are among the major determinants of the direction of the net migration of high-income households. Surprisingly, other spatial variables, including average per-capita income in nearby urban communities, do not affect rural income significantly.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics,
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Manville, Michael; Shoup, Donald C
    Abstract: Residential parking requirements are an obstacle to the redevelopment of older buildings that predate the automobile age. Because these buildings cannot easily be retrofitted to accommodate required parking spaces, they often remain vacant, and a neighborhood attribute that should be an asset—beautiful old architecture—instead becomes an albatross. We exploit a natural experiment in the city of Los Angeles to show that removing parking requirements can help stimulate the conversion of old buildings into housing, and thereby help stimulate neighborhood revitalization as well. Our data also allow us to estimate the costs that parking requirements place on new inner city development, and to estimate the value of required parking to drivers.
    Date: 2010–02–01
  9. By: M. Govinda Rao; Richard M. Bird (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy)
    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. Dealing with this problem is a formidable challenge. Not only must adequate finance for the provision of services be found but it is critical to ensure that the money spent results in desired outputs and outcomes. To do so, local governance structures also need to be reformed and strengthened. 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. No one system of urban governance is likely to work equally well for all urban local bodies. However, the paper identifies some key reforms required to realise both the constitutional intent to encourage citizen participation in urban governance and the economic and politically desirable goal of ensuring greater accountability of urban governments. For example, the paper draws attention to existing ambiguities in the assignment system and underlines the need to undertake activity mapping to ensure clarity as well as to make independent agencies significantly accountable to elected governments in urban areas. The paper also discusses a variety of ways of augmenting the resources of the municipal bodies in the country including essential reforms in the property tax system and adequate exploitation of user charges and fees for various services delivered as well as ways of strengthening and improving Central and State transfers to urban local governments. With respect to financing urban infrastructure, development charges should be used more effectively. More should also be done to utilise public lands more effectively. In addition, to a considerable extent capital expenditure requirements will have to be financed through borrowing so further development of the municipal bond market is important, as is more and more effective use of public private partnerships in some areas.
    Keywords: India, urban public finance, urban governance, intergovernmental fiscal relations, property tax, metropolitan areas, infrastructure finance
    JEL: R51 H70
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Bharadwaj, Prashant; Eberhard, Juan; Neilson, Christopher
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal relationship between birth weight and school achievement among children in grades 1 through 8. We find that birth weight significantly affects performance on both math and language test scores in school. Children with higher birth weight do better - a 10% increase in birth weight improves performance in math by nearly 0.05 standard deviations in 1st grade. Children who are born at a weight less than 1500 grams (very low birth weight) have scores in math that are 0.15 standard deviations less in 1st grade. We exploit repeated observations on children to show that birth weight has a persistent effect that does not deteriorate as children advance through grades (upto 8th grade). Children with greater birth weight are also less likely to have ever repeated a grade. The causal link is identified by using a twins estimator - we collected birth weight and basic demographic data on all twins born in Chile between 1992-2000 and match these twin pairs to administrative school records between 2002-2008. There are no differences in school attendance by birth weight, suggesting that missing school perhaps due to health problems is likely not a channel via which test score differentials arise.
    Keywords: causal effect, school achievement
    Date: 2010–09–01
  11. By: Zorlu, Aslan (University of Amsterdam); Mulder, Clara H. (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We examine ethnic differences in the ethnic composition of the destination neighbourhood upon leaving the parental home using administrative data for the entire birth cohort 1983 living in the Netherlands. The analysis provides little evidence of a clear intergenerational break in the location choices of young men and women from a non-western origin compared to their parents. The neighbourhood choice pattern of those who leave the parental home for independent and shared living arrangements does not differ markedly from that of their parents, while nest-leavers for union formation are more likely to move to neighbourhoods with a relatively small proportion of non-western inhabitants. A decomposition analysis indicates that an overwhelmingly large part of neighbourhood choice is explained by differences in background variables. Particularly, the origin neighbourhood type of nest-leavers seems to be a driving force underlying the choice of destination neighbourhood, given individual and parental socioeconomic characteristics.
    Keywords: leaving home, spatial assimilation, migrants
    JEL: J15 J61
    Date: 2010–08
  12. By: Attila Varga (Department of Economics and Regional Studies, University of Pécs); Dimitrios Pontikakis (Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Joint Research Centre, European Commission Seville, Spain); George Chorafakis (Research Directorate-General, European Commission Brussels, Belgium)
    Abstract: This paper explores the effects of intra-regional agglomeration and interregional networking on the productivity of R&D across EU regions. The paper is based on the spatial econometric modelling framework presented in Varga (2000), and further develops a methodology for estimating the dynamic effects of agglomeration and interregional networks on R&D productivity in regional knowledge creation (measured by patent applications and publications) at the level of EU regions. This empirical modelling framework is applied to classify EU regions into different tiers according to the strengths of their agglomeration effects. These effects are then compared to the network effects of interregional connectedness as reflected in regional participation in the EU Framework Programme for Research. The estimated model is used then for an assessment of the impacts of EU Framework Programme expenditures on technological development and for carrying out policy impact simulations.
    Keywords: Agglomeration, network effects, R&D productivity
    JEL: O18 O33 R11
    Date: 2010–06
  13. By: Ashcraft, A.; Goldsmith-Pinkham, P.; Vickery, J. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: We study credit ratings on subprime and Alt-A mortgage-backed securities (MBS) deals issued between 2001 and 2007, the period leading up to the subprime crisis. The fraction of highly-rated securities in each deal is decreasing in mortgage credit risk (measured either ex-ante or ex-post), suggesting ratings contain useful information for investors. However, we also find evidence of significant time-variation in risk-adjusted credit ratings, including a progressive decline in standards around the MBS market peak between the start of 2005 and mid-2007. Conditional on initial ratings, we observe underperformance (high mortgage defaults and losses, and large rating downgrades) amongst deals with observably higher-risk mortgages based on a simple ex-ante model, and deals with a high fraction of opaque low-documentation loans. These findings hold over the entire sample period, not just for deal cohorts most affected by the crisis.
    Keywords: Credit Rating Agencies;Subprime Crisis;Mortgage-Backed Securities
    JEL: G21 G24
    Date: 2010
  14. By: Luca Agnello (University of Palermo); Ricardo M. Sousa (Universidade do Minho - NIPE)
    Abstract: We assess the role played by fiscal policy in explaining the dynamics of asset markets. Using a panel of ten industrialized countries, we show that a positive fiscal shock has a negative impact in both stock and housing prices. However, while stock prices immediately adjust to the shock and the effect of fiscal policy is temporary, housing prices gradually and persistently fall. As a result, the attempts of fiscal policy to mitigate stock price developments may severely de-stabilize housing markets. The empirical findings also point to: (i) a contractionary effect of fiscal policy on output in line with the existence of crowding-out effects; (ii) a weakening of the effectiveness of fiscal policy in recent times; (iii) significant fiscal multiplier effects in the context of severe housing busts; and (iv) an increase of the sensitivity of asset prices to fiscal policy shocks following the process of financial deregulation and mortgage liberalization. Finally, the evidence suggests that changes in equity prices may help governments towards consolidation of public finances.
    Keywords: fiscal policy, asset prices, panel VAR.
    JEL: E62 H30
    Date: 2010
  15. By: Malighetti, Paolo; Martini, Gianmaria; Scotti, Davide; Volta, Nicola
    Abstract: We investigate how the intensity of competition among airports affects their technical efficiency by computing airports’ markets on the basis of a potential demand approach. We find that the intensity of competition has a negative impact on airports’ efficiency in Italy during the 2005–2008 period. This implies that airports belonging to a local air transportation system where competition is strong exploit their inputs less intensively than do airports with local monopoly power. Furthermore, we find that public airports are more efficient than private and mixed ones. Since public airports take into account the positive externalities created by air transportation in the local economy, they are more willing to subsidize airlines in developing the airports’ connections. Hence, policy makers should provide incentives to implement airports’ specialization in local systems where competition is strong. Moreover, when regulating airport charges, they should take into account the impact of the above externalities.
    Keywords: Airport efficiency; stochastic distance function; airport competition
    JEL: L93 L11 L59
    Date: 2010–05
  16. By: Harsman, Bjorn; Quigley, John M.
    Abstract: Studies of the “stated preferences†of households generally report public and political opposition by urban commuters to congestion pricing. It is thought that this opposition inhibits or precludes tolls and pricing systems that would enhance efficiency in the use of scarce roadways. This paper analyzes the only case in which road pricing was decided by a citizen referendum on the basis of experience with a specific pricing system. The city of Stockholm introduced a toll system for 7 months in 2006, after which citizens voted on its permanent adoption. We match precinct voting records to resident commute times and costs by traffic zone, and we analyze patterns of voting in response to economic and political incentives. We document political and ideological incentives for citizen choice, but we also find that the pattern of time savings and incremental costs exerts a powerful influence on voting behavior. In this instance, at least, citizen voters behave as if they value commute time highly. When they have experienced first-hand the out-of-pocket costs and time-savings of a specific pricing scheme, they are prepared to adopt freely policies that reduce congestion on urban motorways.
    Date: 2010–04–19
  17. By: Hixson, Mark; Mahmud, Abdullah; Hu, Jianlin; Bai, Song; Niemeier, Debbie A.; Handy, Susan L; Gao, Shengyi; Lund, Jay R; Sullivan, Dana C; Kleeman, M J
    Abstract: Future air pollution emissions in the year 2030 were estimated for the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) in central California using a combined system of land use, mobile, off-road, stationary, area, and biogenic emissions models. Four scenarios were developed that use different assumptions about the density of development and level of investment in transportation infrastructure to accommodate the expected doubling of the SJV population in the next 20 years. Scenario 1 reflects current land-use patterns and infrastructure while scenario 2 encouraged compact urban footprints including redevelopment of existing urban centers and investments in transit. Scenario 3 allowed sprawling development in the SJV with reduced population density in existing urban centers and construction of all planned freeways. Scenario 4 followed currently adopted land use and transportation plans for the SJV. The air quality resulting from these urban development scenarios was evaluated using meteorology from a winter stagnation event that occurred on December 15, 2000 to January 7, 2001. Predicted base-case PM2.5 mass concentrations within the region exceeded 35 μg m-3 over the 22-day episode. Compact growth reduced the PM2.5 concentrations by approx. 1 µg m-3 relative to the base-case over most of the SJV with the exception of increases (approx. 1 µg m-3) in urban centers driven by increased concentrations of elemental carbon (EC) and organic carbon (OC). Low-density development increased the PM2.5 concentrations by 1-4 µg m-3 over most of the region, with decreases (0.5-2 µg m-3) around urban areas. Population-weighted average PM2.5 concentrations were very similar for all development scenarios ranging between 16 and 17.4 µg m-3. Exposure to primary PM components such as EC and OC increased 10-15% for high density development scenarios and decreased by 11-19% for low-density scenarios. Patterns for secondary PM components such as nitrate and ammonium ion were almost exactly reversed, with a 10% increase under low-density development and a 5% decrease under high density development. The increased human exposure to primary pollutants such as EC and OC could be predicted using a simplified analysis of population-weighted primary emissions. Regional planning agencies should develop thresholds of population-weighted primary emissions exposure to guide the development of growth plans. This metric will allow them to actively reduce the potential negative impacts of compact growth while preserving the benefits.
    Keywords: UCD-ITS-RP-10-02
    Date: 2010–01–01
  18. By: Alan T. Murray
    Abstract: Geographic information systems (GIS) have matured and proven to be an enabling technology, one that is important to many disciplines. Location analysis is also a field that has matured, and continues to evolve. In fact, the combination of GIS and location science is at the forefront of advances in spatial analysis capabilities, offering substantial potential for continued and sustained theoretical and empirical evolution. This paper provides an overview of location analysis and discusses GIS. The paper highlights how GIS has contributed to location science in terms of data input, visualization, problem solution and theoretical advances. In contrast to other reviews, the focus in this paper is to highlight the theoretical foundations of location analysis and modeling and how GIS is contributing to important advancements in this field.
    Date: 2010
  19. By: Blyde, Juan
    Abstract: The literature examining the effects of domestic transport costs on trade flows is scarce. The few studies available rely mostly on distance-based measures as proxies of transport costs which impede analyzing the trade impacts of transport-infrastructure improvements, a critical aspect in regional and public policy. Applying a novel methodology that combines real freight costs and Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis to the case of Colombia, this paper measures the extent to which domestic transport costs -from the place of production to the port of shipment- act as a friction to international trade. Domestic transport costs are found to significantly affect the prospects of exporting. For instance, regions within the country with transport costs in the 25th percentile export around 2.3 times more than regions with transport costs in the 75th percentile, once other factors are controlled for. Export increases from road improvements are found to be larger in regions with initially higher transport costs. This is because regions with initially higher transport costs are normally associated with longer routes and those tend to have larger shares of roads in poor conditions
    Keywords: Transport costs; road quality; regional exports
    JEL: R10 F10 O2
    Date: 2010–08–25
  20. By: Cole, Rebel A.; White, Lawrence J.
    Abstract: In this study, we analyze why U.S. commercial banks failed during the recent financial crisis. We find that proxies for commercial real estate investments, as well as traditional proxies for the CAMELS components, do an excellent job in explaining the failures of banks that were closed during 2009, just as they did in the previous banking crisis of 1985 – 1992. Surprisingly, we do not find that residential mortgage-backed securities played a significant role in determining which banks failed and which banks survived.
    Keywords: bank; bank failure; CAMELS; commercial real estate; construction; FDIC; financial crisis; mortgage-backed security; residential mortgage; residential real estate
    JEL: G18 G28 G21
    Date: 2010–07–28
  21. By: Elizabeth A. Mack (GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation; Arizona State University); Luc Anselin (GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation; Arizona State University); Tony H. Grubesic
    Abstract: Despite the volume of literature afforded knowledge work and innovations in information and communications technologies (ICTs), few studies have examined the importance of ICTs to firms in knowledge industries. This study will develop spatial econometric models to examine the relative importance of the level of broadband provision to knowledge intensive firms in select U.S.  metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Results demonstrate the need for both a spatial econometric and a metropolitan area specific evaluation of this relationship. They also suggest potential spillover effects to knowledge intensive firm location, which may explain why some regional economies are relatively more successful at stimulating firm growth in this increasingly important sector of the U.S economy.
    Date: 2010
  22. By: Kondolf, G. Mathias M; Podolak, Kristen; Gaffney, Andrea
    Abstract: The Lisbon metropolitan region has grown rapidly in population since 1970, due largely to the immigration of people from former Portuguese colonies in Africa and from rural areas of the country in pursuit of higher living standards. Much of this population growth was accommodated clustered high-rise apartment blocks (many unpermitted) in the region west of Lisbon, in the municipalities Oeiras, Cascais, Sintra, and Amadora. These developments were largely unplanned, often did not provide for sewage treatment, and lack adequate mass transit or urban amenities such as parks and other open spaces. Moreover, because the main transport axes run east-west, it is difficult from residents of these apartment blocks to go the relatively short distance southward to the coast (e.g., only 10 km from Cacem to the coast). This region is drained by a set of subparallel streams (each draining about 20-50 km2), flowing roughly north-south through deeply incised valleys to debouch into the Atlantic between Lisbon and Cascais. With their rapid urbanization has come increased peak runoff from impervious surfaces and sewage from illegal housing settlements. Many reaches have been canalized within concrete walls to increase flood capacity, eliminating physical habitat complexity, and reducing amenity and recreational values. However, the urbanization has occurred mostly on uplands, leaving the bottomlands of the incised stream valleys in many reaches surprisingly unaltered. For decades, these drainages were largely neglected, managed mostly to convey floodwaters, although in some reaches there was strong informal use of the stream corridor and floodplains (such as garden plots). The Water Framework Directive (WFD) adopted by the EU Parliament (2000), has motivated extension and improvement of the regional sewer network to improve water quality. The WFD requires that all water bodies in member states achieve ‘Good Ecological Status’ by 2015, defined in terms of hydromorphological, biological, and physico-chemical quality elements of stream reaches, based on characteristics documented at reference sites. Located 15 km west of Lisbon, Ribeira da Barcarena-Jardas drains a 35 km2 catchment, whose uppermost reaches are forested, but otherwise alternates between urbanization and remnant agricultural and open-space uses. With improved sewage treatment and water quality, there is strong potential to preserve and restore ecological functions, consistent with goals of ‘good ecological status,’ and as illustrated by the successful urban stream project in Cacem, there is tremendous potential for the stream corridor to provide parkland for the dense urban settlements. Through GIS analysis of remotely-sensed data, and field surveys of water quality, habitat structure, riparian vegetation, and fish populations, an interdisciplinary workshop of graduate students from Berkeley and Lisbon analyzed potential opportunities to enhance ecological values and human access along the stream. Our analysis indicated that implementation of stormwater management strategies via relatively unobtrusive retrofits of small open bits of urban land and floodplain within the catchment could mitigate many of the negative hydrologic effects of urbanization. By virtue of is linear nature, the stream corridors could provide pedestrian and bicycle connections from population centers (now under-served by parklands) to cultural features and to coastal beaches and trails. A trail from Cacém to the Tagus estuary is feasible with relatively minor infrastructural changes. Much of the floodplain adjacent to the channel is still undeveloped and can be easily adapted to parkland and trail use. A continuous trail along the Ribeira da Barcarena could inspire similar efforts on neighboring, parallel basins that have undergone similar urbanization pressures and face similar challenges in providing underserved urban populations with access to recreation and contact with nature. The most downstream reach is flanked by a largely urbanized area of Oeiras on the west, and by historic cultural landmarks on the east, notably the eighteenth century Jardim da Cascata in the Quinta Real de Caxias , which offers extraordinary opportunities for vibrant public space connected to coastal beaches and to upstream settlements.
    Keywords: stream restoration, Ribeira Barcarena, Ribeira Jardas, Water Framework Directive, Lisbon metropolitan region, linear trail, stream corridor
    Date: 2010–08–20
  23. By: Circella, Giovanni
    Abstract: Parking policies and regulations are important tools in planning for the governance of urban mobility. The proper design and location of parking facilities, in fact, contributes to an efficient use of the transportation system (or it may reduce its efficiency, when these infrastructures are not properly planned). This paper discusses the role of parking as part of the policy packages for strategic planning aimed at increasing the sustainability of urban and metropolitan areas. In particular, the integration of parking strategies in a comprehensive vision for the future of a city may significantly improve the allocation of resources and the reduction of the overall environmental externalities. The role of parking in the strategic planning of cities is discussed through the analysis of several recent projects in the city of Bari (Italy). The paper discusses the way these projects are linked (or eventually not linked) to broader strategies for urban mobility, and how they might be coordinated into policy packages that promote more sustainable transportation. The use of an integrated land use transportation modeling approach to simulate the long-term evolution of the urban area may significantly contribute to estimate the long-term effects of the proposed policies. This approach may successfully support the process of policy evaluation and the selection of the optimal strategies to implement.
    Keywords: UCD-ITS-RP-10-13
    Date: 2010–03–01
  24. By: Nicholas, Michael A; Ogden, J
    Abstract: There is rapid, ongoing progress in development of both fuel cell vehicle technology, and hydrogen refueling systems. Although hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles are not yet ready for full commercial deployment, they are ready to take the next step toward commercialization. This is widely seen as a “networked demonstration†in a localized region or “lighthouse city,†involving hundreds to thousands of vehicles and an early network of tens of refueling stations. Because of California’s ZEV regulation, Southern California has been proposed as an ideal site for this early introduction of hydrogen vehicles and is a major focus of interest worldwide. Developing a successful early hydrogen refueling network in Southern California, even at the relatively small scale envisioned for 2009-2017, requires a coordinated strategy, where vehicles and stations are introduced together. A major question is how many stations to build, what type of stations, and where to locate them. Key concerns include fuel accessibility, customer convenience, quality of refueling experience, network reliability, cost, and technology choice. In this paper, a strategy of “clustering†is explored. Clustering refers to the focused introduction of hydrogen vehicles in defined geographic areas such as smaller cities (e.g. Santa Monica, Irvine) within a larger region (e.g. LA Basin). By focusing initial customers in a few small areas, station infrastructure can be similarly focused, reducing the number of stations necessary to achieve a given level of convenience as measured by the travel time from home to the nearest station and “diversion time†explained later. We evaluate the potential for clustering to improve customer convenience, reduce refueling network costs, and enhance system reliability.
    Keywords: UCD-ITS-RR-10-03
    Date: 2010–02–01
  25. By: Li, Taian; Shilling, Fraser; Thorne, James H.; Li, Fengmin; Schott, Heidi; Boynton, Ryan; Berry, Alison M
    Abstract: China’s major paved road-ways (national roads, provincial roads, and county roads), railways and urban development are rapidly expanding. A likely consequence of this fast-paced growth is landscape fragmentation and disruption of ecological flows. In order to provide ecological information to infrastructure planners and environmental managers for use in landscape conservation, land-division from development must be measured. We used the effective- mesh-size (Meff) method to provide the first evaluation of the degree of landscape division in China, caused by paved roads, railways, and urban areas. Using Meff, we found that fragmentation by major transportation systems and urban areas in China varied widely, from the least-impacted west to the most impacted south and east of China. Almost all eastern provinces and counties, especially areas near big cities, have high levels of fragmentation. Several eastern-Chinese provinces and biogeographic regions have among the most severe landscape fragmentation in the world, while others are comparable to the leastdeveloped areas of Europe and California. Threatened plant hotspots and areas with high mammal species diversity occurred in both highly fragmented and less fragmented areas, though future road development threatens already moderately divided landscapes. To conserve threatened biodiversity and landscapes, we recommend that national and regional planners in China consider existing land division before making decisions about further road development and improvement.
    Keywords: UCD-ITS-RP-10-14
    Date: 2010–02–01
  26. By: Cooper, Jill F MSW; McMillan, Tracy MPH, PHD
    Abstract: fe Routes to School National Partnership (Partnership) founded the Local School Project (Project) in 2008 to assist ten schools in lowincome communities to: 1) develop and evaluate a school-based SRTS program, 2) build local capacity to apply for state or federal SRTS funding, and 3) increase safe walking and bicycling to and from the school and in the community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kaiser Permanente, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided funding for the Project. This report presents the results, lessons learned and recommendations identified during the Project’s 20-month period. The Project involved a review of the relevant literature, development of a logic model, design and implementation of data collection tools, analysis of findings, and establishment of conclusions and recommendations.
    Date: 2010–02–11
  27. By: Lee, Gunwoo; You, Soyoung Iris; Sangkapichai, Mana; Ritchie, Stephen G.; Saphores, Jean-Daniel M; Ogunseitan, Oladele; Ayala, Roberto; Jayakrishnan, R.; Torres, Rodolfo
    Abstract: The San Pedro Bay Ports (SPBP) complex of Los Angeles and Long Beach is the largest container port in the U.S., and a very important contributor to both California’s and the nation’s economies. Although the benefits of the SPBP activities are enjoyed by the whole country, the burden of the congestion and air pollution it generates falls mostly on the shoulders of people who live and work in the transportation corridor serving the SPBP. This corridor includes two busy freeways, the I-710 and the I-110, and a busy rail link, the Alameda corridor. The objective of this paper is to explore an integrated approach for evaluating the environmental and health impacts of freight operations between the SPBP complex and downtown Los Angeles, some 22 miles north. Our integrated approach combines a number of models, including a microscopic traffic simulation model and an emissions model to better estimate the impacts of congestion on air pollution, emission estimates from line-haul and switching train activities, a spatial dispersion model, and a health impact model. We analyze emissions for year 2005, which serves as a baseline in various air pollution inventories of the SPBP complex. Our results show that emissions concentrations are strongly affected by meteorological conditions and seasonal variations (winter is worse than summer); moreover, we found that health impacts from NOx and PM exposure exceed 200 million dollars, which justifies a number of regional initiatives to improve air quality. Our analysis is a starting point for analyzing the economic efficiency of these initiatives, which include modal shift (from trucks to trains) and the Clean Trucks Program.
    Date: 2010–03–01
  28. By: Soe W. Myint (GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation; Arizona State University); Gregory S. Okin
    Abstract: Spectral mixture analysis is probably the most commonly used approach among sub-pixel analysis techniques. This method models pixel spectra as a linear combination of spectral signatures from two or more ground components. However, spectral mixture analysis does not account for the absence of one of the surface features or spectral variation within pure materials since it utilizes an invariable set of surface features. Multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis (MESMA), which addresses these issues by allowing endmembers to vary on a per pixel basis, was employed in this study to model Landsat ETM+ reflectance in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Image endmember spectra of vegetation, soils, and impervious surfaces were collected with the use of a fine resolution Quickbird image and the pixel purity index. This study employed 204 (=3x17x4) total four-endmember models for the urban subset and 96 (=6x6x2x4) total five-endmember models for the non-urban subset to identify fractions of soil, impervious surface, vegetation, and shade. The Pearson correlation between the fraction outputs from MESMA and reference data from Quickbird 60 cm resolution data for soil, impervious, and vegetation were 0.8030, 0.8632, and 0.8496 respectively. Results from this study suggest that the MESMA approach is effective in mapping urban land covers in desert cities at sub- pixel level.
    Date: 2010
  29. By: Jean Michel Glachant and Michelle Hallack
    Abstract: Gas transportation networks exhibit a quite substantial variety of technical and economical properties ranges roughly from an entrenched natural monopoly to near to an open competition platform. This empirical fact is widely known and accepted. However the corresponding frame of network analysis is lacking or quite fuzzy. As an infrastructure, can a gas network evolve or not from a natural monopoly (an essential facility) to an open infrastructure (a highway facility)? How can it be done with the same transportation infrastructure components within the same physical gas laws? Our paper provides a unified analytical frame for all types of gas transportation networks. It shows that gas transport networks are made of several components which can be combined in different ways. This very lego property of gas networks permits different designs with different economic properties while a certain infrastructural base and set of gas laws is common to all transportation networks. Therefore the notion of gas transportation network as a general and abstract concept does not have robust economic properties. The variety and modularity of gas networks come from the diversity of components, the variety of components combinations and the historical inclusion of components in the network. First, a gas network can combine different types of network components (primary or secondary ones). Second, the same components can be combined in different ways (notably regarding actual connections and flow paths). Third, as a capital-intensive infrastructure combining various specific assets, gas transportation networks show strong path dependency properties as they evolve slowly over time by moving from an already existing base. The heterogeneity of gas networks as sets of components comes firstly from the heterogeneity of the network components themselves, secondly from the different possibilities to combine these components and thirdly from the ‘path dependence’ character of gas network constructions. These three characteristics of gas networks explain the diversity of economic proprieties of the existent gas networks going from natural monopoly to competitive markets.
    Date: 2010–05–15
  30. By: Delucchi, Mark A.; McCubbin, Donald R.
    Abstract: In this chapter we report estimates of the external costs of transport in the United States.1 Generally, we cover road, rail, air, and water transport; passenger transport and freight transport; and congestion, accident, air pollution, climate change, noise, water pollution, and energy-security costs. However, we were not able to find estimates for all cost categories; in particular, there are fewer estimates for freight transport than for passenger transport, fewer estimates for water transport than for other modes, and fewer estimates of water pollution costs than of other costs. Table 1 summarizes the quality of estimates in each category. In our review, negative externalities are the unaccounted for or unpriced costs of an action. This means that they are the result of individual decisions or actions, such as whether to drive or take a train, or freight something by ship or plane, and are related to the explicit prices and unaccounted-for costs of those choices. Estimates of the external costs of transport may be used for several purposes: as a guide to more economically efficient pricing (given that the optimal price is equal to the private market price plus the estimated marginal external costs); as a guide to allocating research and development funds to mitigate the largest external costs; as part of a cost-benefit analysis of optimal investment in transportation modes and infrastructure; and as part of historical or comparative analyses. As indicated in Table 1, the available estimates do not fully characterize all costs for all modes. Moreover, the wide variations in estimation methods, data, and assumptions among even the “good†estimates confound the comparison of estimates across modes. As a result, we are able to make only general comparisons among modes and general statements about total costs of transport. In the following sections we review recent estimates of external costs by mode in the U. S. In each section we first review methods and issues in the estimation of the cost, and then present estimates of the costs. For each cost category (e.g., congestion delay, accidents) we summarize estimates of the cost by mode and study. Presenting the estimates in this way indicates where more research and analysis is needed.
    Keywords: UCD-ITS-RP-10-10
    Date: 2010–01–01
  31. By: Jesus Gonzalez-Feliu (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat); Florence Toilier (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat); Jean-Louis Routhier (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat)
    Abstract: End-consumer movements, defined as the movements made by the consumer transporting the purchased goods, are identified with shopping trips. Whereas the logistics movements (freight distribution and urban part of the supply chain) are well studied in city logistics and urban planning, the end-consumer movements are usually related only to people movements. This paper presents a new modelling approach to characterise the shopping trips within a city logistics point of view, in order to connect these movements with those belonging to urban freight distribution in the supply chain. We present a trip generation model built from the data of recent household trip surveys, more precisely for the urban community of Lyon (France). We present the main results produced by the various simulations in a short-term planning horizon.
    Keywords: Urban freight; trip generation modelling; simulation; urban policy; decision-making support
    Date: 2010–08–03
  32. By: Esther Duflo
    Abstract: This paper studies the medium run consequences of an increase in the rate of accumulation of human capital in a developing country. From 1974 to 1978, the Indonesian government built over 61,000 primary schools. The school construction program led to an increase in education among individuals who were young enough to attend primary school after 1974, but not among the older cohorts. 2SLS estimates suggest that an increase of 10 percentage points in the proportion of primary school graduates in the labor force reduced the wages of the older cohorts by 3.8% to 10% and increased their formal labor force participation by 4% to 7%. I propose a two-sector model as a framework to interpret these findings. The results suggest that physical capital did not adjust to the faster increase in human capital. [Working Paper No. 002]
    Keywords: returns to education, medium run, transitional dynamics
    Date: 2010
  33. By: Fry, J. M.
    Abstract: We develop a rational expectations model of financial bubbles and study ways in which a generic risk-return interplay is incorporated into prices. We retain the interpretation of the leading Johansen-Ledoit-Sornette model, namely, that the price must rise prior to a crash in order to compensate a representative investor for the level of risk. This is accompanied, in our stochastic model, by an illusion of certainty as described by a decreasing volatility function. As the volatility function goes to zero, crashes can be seen to represent a phase transition from stochastic to deterministic behaviour in prices.
    Keywords: financial crashes; super-exponential growth; illusion of certainty; housing-bubble
    JEL: C53 C00 E37
    Date: 2010–09–03
  34. By: Emilie Caldeira; Martial Foucault; Grégoire Rota-Graziosi
    Abstract: Without denying particular dimensions of the decentralisation in Sub-Saharan countries, this paper applies standard reasoning from the fiscal federalism literature to a developing country and tests the existence of strategic interactions among local Beninese governments, called ‘communes’. We first propose a two-jurisdiction model of public expenditure interactions, considering a constrained Nash equilibrium to capture the extreme poverty of some communes. We show that spillovers among jurisdictions involve strategic behaviours of local officials who have sufficient levels of fiscal resources. Second, by estimating a spatial lag model, our analysis provides evidence for the presence of strategic interactions in Benin, contingent on communes’ fiscal autonomy. Such interactions arise among communes which are geographically or ethnically close. We also highlight both an opportunistic behaviour of local governments before local elections and an effect of partisan affiliations. This African democracy appears to be as concerned as developed democracies with strategic fiscal interactions. <P>Cet article applique la théorie du fédéralisme budgétaire à l'analyse du processus de décentralisation d'un pays en développement (le Bénin) et teste l'existence d'interactions stratégiques parmi les juridictions locales du Bénin. À partir d'un modèle de concurrence budgétaire à 2 juridictions, nous définissons les conditions d'un équilibre de Nash contraint pour capturer les effets d'extrême pauvreté de certaines communes. Nous montrons que des externalités entre communes impliquent des comportements stratégiques des décideurs publics locaux pour ceux disposant de ressources budgétaires suffisantes. Ensuite, en estimant un modèle d'interactions spatiales, nous montrons la présence d'interactions stratégiques pour les communes du Bénin, contingentes à leur autonomie budgétaire. De telles interactions émergent parmi les communes géographiquement et ethniquement proches. Par ailleurs, ces interactions surviennent dans le cadre d'un cycle électoral opportuniste de dépenses publiques et sont sensibles à l'affiliation partisane des maires. En conclusion, le Bénin apparaît aussi touché que les démocraties développées par des comportements stratégiques en dépenses publiques locales.
    Keywords: Fiscal interactions, Benin, decentralisation, local government, dynamic panel data, interactions budgétaires, Bénin, décentralisation, gouvernements locaux, économétrie spatiale
    Date: 2010–08–01
  35. By: Hoyt Bleakley; Jeffrey Lin.
    Abstract: The authors examine portage sites in the U.S. South, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest, including those on the fall line, a geomorphologic feature in the southeastern U.S. marking the final rapids on rivers before the ocean. Historically, waterborne transport of goods required portage around the falls at these points, while some falls provided water power during early industrialization. These factors attracted commerce and manufacturing. Although these original advantages have long since been made obsolete, the authors document the continuing-and even increasing-importance of these portage sites over time. They interpret this finding in a model with path dependence arising from local increasing returns to scale.
    Keywords: Geography ; Urban economics
    Date: 2010
  36. By: Hans Koster (VU University Amsterdam); Jos N. van Ommeren (VU University Amsterdam); Piet Rietveld (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: The market for commercial properties is characterised by extreme heterogeneity in demand. In this paper, we aim to gain more insight in the heterogeneity in demand for employment agglomeration and size of the rental property using a two-stage hedonic approach following Bajari and Benkard (2005). We use unique micro-data of properties' attributes as well as of firm characteristics. Given assumptions on the functional form of the production function, we identify firm-specific parameters using a nonparametric control function approach that corrects for endogeneity. The results show that agglomeration benefits are capitalised in rents: a one standard deviation increase in agglomeration leads to an increase in the annual rents of about 6 percent. It is found that larger and business services firms are willing to pay (substantially) more for agglomeration. Furthermore, for office buildings a 10 percent increase in number of employees increases the marginal willingness to pay for floor space with 8 percent, which suggests that internal returns to scale are present.
    Keywords: Demand estimation; nonparametric estimation; hedonics; commercial properties
    JEL: C14 L1
    Date: 2010–08–31
  37. By: Xuan, Yiguang; Gayah, Vikash; Daganzo, Carlos; Cassidy, Michael
    Abstract: New ideas are explored for managing multimodal traffic on isolated approaches to signalized intersections. Strategies are proposed that both: segregate distinct modes along the approach, and more effectively resolve the disruptive capacity-reducing conflicts that arise between through moving and turning traffic traveling in adjacent lanes. The proposed schemes produce capacities that consistently and significantly exceed those of conventional intersection treatments, and reduce travel delays for all modes. Observations at a real intersection support these claims.
    Date: 2009–10–01
  38. By: Sonora, Robert
    Abstract: Studies of the relationship between national in ation rates and the output gap, as formalized in the New Keynesian Phillips Curve, ignore macroeconomic heterogeneity which exist in dierent parts of the country. This paper investigates dierences in in ation and output across United States cities. The policy implications are dicult to ignore given dierences in production across the country as a whole. Also of interest is identifying the median city-economy in the US. Thus when policy is implemented which city sees the greatest benet of new policy? In addition to considering the standard Phillips relation between inflation and the output gap, I also consider the relationship between inflation and an index of wage costs as suggested in the literature. Preliminary results demonstrate a signicant degree of heterogeneity across cities implying centralized policy prescriptions are helpful for some economies are harmful to others.
    Keywords: Inflation Dynamics; New Keynesian Phillips Curve; GMM
    JEL: E32 E31 E52
    Date: 2010–06
  39. By: Lundqvist, Heléne (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies); Dahlberg, Matz (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies); Mörk, Eva (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)
    Abstract: The effectiveness of public funds in increasing public employment has long been a question on public and labor economists’ minds. In most federal countries local governments employ large fractions of the working population, meaning that a tool for stimulating local public employment can substantially affect the overall unemployment level. This paper asks whether general grants to lower-level governments have the potential of doing so. Applying the regression kink design to the Swedish grant system, we are able to estimate causal effects of intergovernmental grants on personnel in different local government sectors. Our robust conclusion is that personnel in the central administration increased substantially after a marginal increase in grants, but that such an effect was lacking both for total personnel and personnel in child care, schools, elderly care, social welfare and in technical services. We suggest several potential reasons for these results, such as heterogeneous treatment effects and bureaucratic influence in the local decision-making process.
    Keywords: Fiscal federalism; intergovernmental grants; public employment; regression kink design; instrumental variables
    JEL: C33 H11 H70 J45
    Date: 2010–09–02
  40. By: Elizabeth A. Mack (GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation; Arizona State University); Tony H. Grubesic
    Abstract: Despite the growing body of research dealing with sex offenders and the collateral consequences of legislation governing their post release movements, a complete understanding of the residential choices of registered sex offenders remains elusive. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a predictive analytical framework for determining which demographic and socioeconomic factors best forecast the residential choices of convicted sex offenders. Specifically, using a derived index of social disorganization (ISDOR) and a commercial geographic information system (GIS), we implement both linear statistical and non-linear data mining approaches to predict the presence of sex offenders in a community.  The results of this analysis are encouraging, with nearly 75% of registered offender locations predicted correctly. The implications of these approaches for public policy are discussed.
    Date: 2010
  41. By: Patire, Anthony D.; Cassidy, Michael J.
    Abstract: A mechanism is unveiled by which congestion forms and persists near the base of an uphill expressway segment, causing significant reductions in output flow. The traffic condition in the expressway's shoulder lane is key to the mechanism. When shoulder-lane flow was low, drivers maneuvered around speed disturbances that periodically arose in the median lane. The shoulder lane accommodated high rates of vehicle migrations, thus acting as a "release valve" for the excess accumulation created by the speed disturbances. The release valve failed only when demand increased later in the rush. The resulting higher flows in the shoulder lane impeded drivers' attempts to maneuver around the median-lane speed disturbances that occurred thereafter. These attempts disrupted traffic and spread the excess accumulation laterally across all lanes. When this queue filled the approach to the hill, vehicles arrived to its base at low speeds. This impeded vehicle ascent; output flow dropped by about 10%; and this state of affairs persisted for the remainder of the rush. The more conspicuous details of this mechanism were observed in loop detector data measured over many days at the site, and are consistent with observations previously made at other sites. The more subtle details became visible by examining thousands of vehicle trajectories extracted from a series of eleven roadside video cameras. Many of the subtleties are compatible with an existing theory of multi-lane traffic. All of this suggests that the present findings can be generalized to other uphill expressway segments. Practical implications are discussed.
    Date: 2010–02–10
  42. By: Xing, Yan; Handy, Susan L.; Mokhtarian, Patricia L.
    Abstract: The majority of bicycling in the US is for recreation rather than transportation purposes but few studies have examined the question of bicycling purpose. We use data from an online survey conducted in 2006 in six small cities in the western US to examine factors affecting bicycling for transportation compared to bicycling for recreation. The results indicate that individual, social-environment, and physical-environment factors have important influences on the balance between transportation and recreational bicycling and on miles of bicycling for each purpose. Bicycling comfort and an aversion to driving are associated with more transportation bicycling. A culture of utilitarian bicycling and short distances to destinations are also key factors for transportation bicycling. Bicycle infrastructure appears to play an indirect role through its effect on perceived bicycling safety and through the self-selection effect, by attracting bicycling-inclined people to bicycling-supportive communities.
    Keywords: UCD-ITS-RP-10-11
    Date: 2010–01–01
  43. By: Martin, Elliot; Shaheen, Susan Alison; Lidicker, Jeffrey
    Abstract: Carsharing has grown considerably in North America during the past decade and has flourished within metropolitan regions across the United States and Canada. The result has been a new transportation landscape, which offers urban residents an alternative to automobility without car ownership. As carsharing has expanded, there has been a growing demand to understand its environmental impacts. This paper presents the results of a North American carsharing member survey (N = 6,281). The authors establish a “before-and-after†analytical design with a focus on carsharing’s impacts on household vehicle holdings and the aggregate vehicle population. The results show that carsharing members reduce their vehicle holdings to a degree that is statistically significant. The average vehicles per household of the sample drops from 0.47 to 0.24. Most of this shift constitutes one-car households becoming carless. The average fuel economy of carsharing vehicles used most often by respondents is 10 miles per gallon (mpg) more efficient than the average vehicle shed by respondents. The median age of vehicles shed by carsharing households is 11 years, but the distribution covers a considerable range. An aggregate analysis suggests that carsharing has taken between 90,000 to 130,000 vehicles off the road. This equates to 9 to 13 vehicles (including shed and postponed auto purchases) for each carsharing vehicle.
    Keywords: UCD-ITS-RR-10-05
    Date: 2010–03–15
  44. By: Shaheen, Susan; Cohen, Adam P.; Martin, Elliot
    Abstract: Carsharing provides users access to a shared vehicle fleet for short-term use throughout the day, reducing the need for private vehicles. The provision of on-street and public off-street parking dedicated to carsharing is an important policy area confronting public agencies. As of July 2009, approximately 377,600 individuals were carsharing members in North America in about 57 metropolitan areas. A total of 17 jurisdictions, one state (California), and eight public transit operators in North America have formal and informal carsharing parking policies, pilot projects, and proposed legislation. These are reviewed in this paper, along with a framework for carsharing parking policy that reflects three levels of governmental support. In addition, the authors examine carsharing parking policies in three jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay Area, which accounts for an estimated 50,000 carsharing members and 1,100 shared-use vehicles. Supporting this examination is an intercept survey on carsharing parking (n=425) conducted in the Bay Area. Results show that most people supported the conversion of some type of spaces for carsharing use, and 48% thought that carsharing organizations should compensate the city for on-street spaces. At the same time, converting most types of spaces was opposed by at least 20% of respondents. Neighborhood residents were generally more in favor of parking conversion for carsharing than people visiting the area for work or errands. Finally, a majority (61%) felt that non-profits should have priority over for-profit organizations for carsharing spaces and should pay less than for-profit organizations.
    Keywords: UCD-ITS-RR-10-08
    Date: 2010–03–01
  45. By: Daniel Toro Gonzales
    Abstract: This paper revisits the data set collected by (Toro, Alvis and Arellano 2005) in order to use it contrasting the results with some well known models in transportation. Using different discrete choice models such as probit and conditional logit, the results show that the competitive advantage of other transportation modes over bus is their lower travel time and the time waiting. Additionally, it was found that a traveler facing equal times and costs would prefer bus rather than other alternatives.
    Date: 2010–09–02
  46. By: Tchetchik, Anat; Fleischer, Alize; Finkelshtain, Israel
    Abstract: Helping to sustain a viable rural sector, rural tourism enjoys public support in many countries. We claim that due to club-good and agglomeration externalities in the rural accommodation market, public support should be integrated in a broader local development policy that regulates the number of accommodation units in a locality. To demonstrate this we extended an equilibrium model that accounts for product differentiation and oligopolistic competition to address club-good and agglomeration effects and applied it to data collected in north Israel. We show that under the prevailing regulation, the number of units is by far higher than the social optimum.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development, Political Economy,
    Date: 2010
  47. By: Caliendo, Marco (IZA); Schmidl, Ricarda (IZA); Uhlendorff, Arne (University of Mannheim)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the relationship between social networks and the job search behavior of unemployed individuals. It is believed that networks convey useful information in the job search process such that individuals with larger networks should experience a higher productivity of informal search. Hence, job search theory suggests that individuals with larger networks use informal search channels more often and substitute from formal to informal search. Due to the increase in search productivity, it is also likely that individuals set higher reservation wages. We analyze these relations using a novel data set of unemployed individuals in Germany containing extensive information on job search behavior and direct measures for the social network of individuals. Our findings confirm theoretical expectations. Individuals with larger networks use informal search channels more often and shift from formal to informal search. We find that informal search is mainly considered a substitute for passive, less cost intensive search channels. In addition to that, we find evidence for a positive relationship between the network size and reservation wages.
    Keywords: job search behavior, unemployment, social networks
    JEL: J64
    Date: 2010–09

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