nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2011‒02‒05
35 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Public Housing and Residential Segregation of Immigrants in France, 1968-1999 By Verdugo, Gregory
  2. The impact of hurricanes on housing prices: evidence from U.S. coastal cities By Anthony Murphy; Eric Strobl
  3. Real Estate Brokers: Do they inflate housing prices? By Arnaud Simon
  4. What is the Impact of Foreclosures on Retirement Security? By Irena Dushi; Leora Friedberg; Anthony Webb
  5. Housing Markets and Structural Policies in OECD Countries By Dan Andrews; Aida Caldera Sánchez; Åsa Johansson
  6. Mortgage Contract Decisions and Mortgage Distress: Family and Financial Life-Cycle Factors By Frank P. Stafford; Elena Gouskova
  7. Where is the Economics in Spatial Econometrics? By Bernard Fingleton; Luisa Corrado
  8. Information Technology and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Ecuador By Paul Carrillo; Mercedes Onofa; Juan Ponce
  9. The Price Responsiveness of Housing Supply in OECD Countries By Aida Caldera Sánchez; Åsa Johansson
  10. Asset Cycles and the Retirement Decisions of Older Workers By Jan Ondrich
  11. Private renting in Romania By Gray, Patrick Francis; Epure, Manuela
  12. Economic impacts of development of road transport for Aquitaine region for the period 2007-2013 subject to a climate plan By Jean-Christophe MARTIN (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Patrick POINT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
  13. Does TFP drive Housing Prices? A Growth Accounting Exercise for Four Countries By Alessio, Moro; Galo, Nuño
  14. Dynamic Aspects of Teenage Friendships and Educational Attainment By Patacchini, Eleonora; Rainone, Edoardo; Zenou, Yves
  15. Regional productivity variation and the impact of public capital stock: an analysis with spatial interaction, with reference to Spain By Bernard Fingleton; Miguel Gómez-Antonio
  16. The Role of Securitization in Mortgage Renegotiation By Agarwal, Sumit; Amromin, Gene; Ben-David, Itzhak; Chomsisengphet, Souphala; Evanoff, Douglas D.
  17. Localized knowledge spillovers and patent citations: A distance-based approach By Yasusada Murata; Ryo Nakajima; Ryosuke Okamoto; Ryuichi Tamura
  18. Regional Skill Supplies and Location of Firms: The Case of Information Technology Industry in India By Abraham, Vinoj
  19. Social-Family Network and Self-Employment: Evidence from Temporary Rural-Urban Migrants in China By Zhang, Junfu; Zhao, Zhong
  20. The role of mid-range universities in knowledge transfer: the case of non-metropolitan regions in Central and Eastern Europe (examples from Hungary and the Czech Republic) By Gál, Zoltán; Ptáček, Pavel
  21. An Analysis of the Strenghts and Weaknesses of the Turkish Real Estate Market By Coskun, Yener
  22. Teacher mobility responses to wage changes: evidence from quasi-natural experiment By Torberg Falch
  23. Housing Consumption in Late Life: The Role of Income, Health Shocks, and Marital Shocks By Douglas A. Wolf; Janet M. Wilmoth
  24. Education, Migration and Source Community Incomes in Rural China By Karpestam, Peter
  25. Did the Federal Reserve's MBS purchase program lower mortgage rates? By Diana Hancock; Wayne Passmore
  26. Economics of the Super Bowl By Victor Matheson
  27. Local and Personal Networks in Employment and the Development of Labor Markets:Evidence from the Cut Flower Industry in Ethiopia By Yukichi Mano; Takashi Yamano; Aya Suzuki; Tomoya Matsumoto
  28. On the economic effects of public infrastructure investment:A survey of the international evidence By Alfredo Marvão Pereira; Jorge M. Andraz
  29. Caste, local networks and lucrative jobs: Evidence from rural Nepal By Magnus Hatlebakk; Vegard Iversen; Gaute Torsvik
  30. Financing Professional Sports Facilities By Robert A. Baade; Victor A. Matheson
  31. Meeting at School. Assortative Matching in Partnerships and Over-Education By A. Tampieri
  32. On the effects of highway investment on the regional concentration of economic activity in the USA By Alfredo Marvão Pereira; Jorge M. Andraz
  33. Differences across originators in CMBS loan underwriting By Lamont K. Black; Chenghuan Sean Chu; Andrew Cohen; Joseph B. Nichols
  34. An Assessment of How Urban Crime and Victimization Affects Life Satisfaction By Carlos Medina; Jorge Andrés Tamayo
  35. The economics of infrastructure finance: Public-Private Partnerships versus public provision By Engel, Eduardo; Fischer, Ronald; Galetovic, Alexander

  1. By: Verdugo, Gregory (Bank of France)
    Abstract: This paper studies the evolution of the residential segregation of immigrants between and within urban areas in France from 1968 to 1999 using census data. During this period, European and non-European immigrant segregation followed diverging trends. This paper documents the large increase in public housing participation rates of non-European immigrants after 1980 and highlights how public housing participation is related to contemporary segregation. At the macro-geographical level, results indicate a decrease in the concentration of immigrants across urban areas, showing a lower concentration of non-European immigrants living in public housing across urban areas. Within cities, national origin segregation was predominant until 1968 for all groups and declined afterward, particularly for European immigrants. For non-European immigrants participating in public housing, the decline in segregation by national origin has been counterbalanced by an increase in regional segregation. Immigrants of different national origins have increasingly clustered in the same public housing neighborhoods. In 1999, immigrants in public housing experienced higher segregation levels than immigrants in private housing, particularly non-European immigrants. I find no relationship between differences in average arrival year and differences in segregation levels across immigrant groups.
    Keywords: public housing, immigration, segregation, France
    JEL: J61 J18 J15
    Date: 2011–01
  2. By: Anthony Murphy; Eric Strobl
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of hurricane strikes on housing prices in U.S. coastal cities. To this end, we construct a new index of hurricane destruction which varies over time and space. Using this index and an annual, two equation, dynamic equilibrium correction panel model with area and time fixed effects, we model the effects of hurricanes on real house process and real incomes. In our model hurricanes have a direct effect on house prices and an indirect effect via a fall in local incomes. Our results show that the typical hurricane strike raises real house prices for a number of years, with a maximum effect of between 3 % to 4 % three years after occurrence. There is also a small negative effect on real incomes. These results are stable across models and subsamples.
    Keywords: Econometric models ; Housing - Prices
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Arnaud Simon (DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - CNRS : UMR7088 - Université Paris Dauphine - Paris IX)
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of real estate brokers on the price of residential properties sold in 2005 in twelve French cities. The results indicate that brokers increase the prices of properties they sell even though they appear to have heterogeneous behaviours across cities. The impact of brokers also varies by property size and age of clients. One and two room apartments have higher selling prices when sold through brokers. Buyers in their thirties and forties who seek the assistance of brokers pay more for their homes whereas older sellers obtain higher prices from broker intermediation.
    Keywords: residential real estate market, broker intermediation, brokers' effect on price
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Irena Dushi; Leora Friedberg; Anthony Webb
    Abstract: Using data from several sources, we show that households nearing retirement have lower rates of housing distress than younger households, as measured by arrears and foreclosure rates. However, almost all of the housing wealth gains observed for cohorts aged 51-56 between 1992 and 2004 were erased by 2010, while their mortgages have grown throughout. As a consequence, their loan-to-value ratios are considerably higher, though the percentage paying more than 30 percent of their household income toward their mortgage remains flat. Worrisomely, their financial wealth also declined between 2004 and 2010. Declines in house prices will adversely affect households that need to liquidate housing wealth, and rising mortgage obligations will increase pressure on retirement resources. We develop an econometric model to show factors associated with housing distress and then use the results to forecast housing distress among older households through 2012. We project that the risk of arrears will increase to 3.4 percent in 2010 and 4.4 percent by 2012. We also find that 6.7 percent of HRS households have children or other relatives who are facing housing distress, potentially putting further pressure on their retirement preparedness.
    Date: 2010–11
  5. By: Dan Andrews; Aida Caldera Sánchez; Åsa Johansson
    Abstract: This paper compares a number of housing policies such as housing taxation, land use and rental regulations and social housing policies for OECD countries relying on new data. Based on a range of econometric analyses, it also investigates whether these housing-related policies achieve their objectives in an efficient and equitable way and whether there are any side effects on other aspects of housing markets or on the wider economy. One main finding is that badly-designed policies can have substantial negative effects on the economy, for instance by increasing the level and volatility of real house prices and preventing people from moving easily to follow employment opportunities. The paper makes some recommendations for the design of efficient and equitable housing policies that can improve the functioning of housing markets and contribute to macroeconomic stability and growth.<P>Les marchés du logement et les politiques structurelles dans les pays de l'OCDE<BR>Cet article compare un certain nombre de politiques du logement tels que la fiscalite du logement, les regles d.urbanisme et les reglementations du marche locatif, ou de politiques de logement social pour les pays de l'OCDE en s'appuyant sur des donnees comparatives. Il examine egalement si ces politiques liees au logement attendent leurs objectifs de maniere efficace et equitable et s'il y a des effets secondaires de ces politiques sur d'autres aspects des marches du logement ou sur l'economie en general. Une conclusion principale est que les politiques mal concues peuvent avoir des effets negatifs importantes sur l'economie, par exemple en augmentant le niveau et la volatilite des prix reels des logements et en empechant les gens de se deplacer facilement pour acceder a l'emploi. Le document formule quelques recommandations pour la conception des politiques du logement efficaces et equitables qui peuvent ameliorer le fonctionnement des marches du logement et de contribuer a la stabilite macroeconomique et la croissance.
    Keywords: house prices, mortgage markets, property tax, housing market, volatility, land-use and rental regulations, residential mobility, marchés hypothécaires, marché des logements, impôt foncier, volatilité, prix de l'immobilier d'habitation, règles d'urbanisme et réglementations du marché locatif, mobilité résidentielle
    JEL: G21 H20 H24 R21 R23 R31 R38
    Date: 2011–01–25
  6. By: Frank P. Stafford (University of Michigan); Elena Gouskova (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: The U.S. economy experienced a dramatic rise in the price of owner occupied housing during 1999-2007, and then a precipitous decline from 2007 through 2009. In this paper we utilize data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) during 1999-2009 to study first the factors and borrowing decisions which were related to the run-up and then to see how these diverse positions in owner-occupied housing related to the subsequent difficulties and mortgage distress as of 2009. Our research shows that much of the rise and subsequent difficulties were concentrated among younger and less educated homeowners, and that the difficulties were also concentrated in selected real estate markets where home owners were allocating a substantial share of their income to debt service and other home related outlays such as taxes, utilities, and insurance. This pattern of high costs to support a housing position is interpreted as the result of a speculative price run-up supported by the joint decisions of the homeowners and their lenders. In this process the older population took on more mortgage debt than in prior years and may now have less capacity to support help to other adult family members living outside the home.
    Date: 2010–09
  7. By: Bernard Fingleton (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde.); Luisa Corrado (Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge)
    Abstract: Spatial econometrics has been criticized by some economists because some model specifications have been driven by data-analytic considerations rather than having a firm foundation in economic theory. In particular this applies to the so-called W matrix, which is integral to the structure of endogenous and exogenous spatial lags, and to spatial error processes, and which are almost the sine qua non of spatial econometrics. Moreover it has been suggested that the significance of a spatially lagged dependent variable involving W may be misleading, since it may be simply picking up the e¤ects of omitted spatially dependent variables, incorrectly suggesting the existence of a spillover mechanism. In this paper we review the theoretical and empirical rationale for network dependence and spatial externalities as embodied in spatially lagged variables, arguing that failing to acknowledge their presence at least leads to biased inference, can be a cause of inconsistent estimation, and leads to an incorrect understanding of true causal processes.
    Keywords: Spatial econometrics, endogenous spatial lag, exogenous spatial lag, spatially dependent errors, network dependence, externalities, the W matrix, panel data with spatial effects, multilevel models with spatial effects.
    JEL: C21 C31 R0
    Date: 2011–01
  8. By: Paul Carrillo; Mercedes Onofa; Juan Ponce
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the school environment on educational achievement. To quantify these effects, the impact is evaluated of a project run by the municipality of Guayaquil, Ecuador, which provides computer-aided instruction in mathematics and language to students in primary schools. Using an experimental design, it is found that the program had a positive impact on mathematics test scores (about 0.30 of a standard deviation) and a negative but statistically insignificant effect on language test scores. The impact is heterogeneous and is much larger for those students at the top of the achievement distribution.
    Keywords: Information and communications technology, Education, Experimental design, Ecuador
    JEL: C93 I21
    Date: 2011–01
  9. By: Aida Caldera Sánchez; Åsa Johansson
    Abstract: The responsiveness of housing supply to changes in prices bears important implications for the evolution of housing prices and the speed of adjustment of housing markets. This paper estimates the long-run price elasticity of new housing supply in 21 OECD countries based on a stock-flow model of the housing market estimated within an error correction framework. Estimates suggest that housing supply responsiveness to price changes varies substantially across countries. New housing supply is relatively more flexible in North America and some Nordic countries, while it is more rigid in continental European countries and in the United Kingdom. The responsiveness of housing supply depends not only on national geographical and urban characteristics but also on policies, such as land use and planning regulations. The estimates are broadly in line with the limited available evidence on the responsiveness of housing supply in OECD countries.<P>La Réactivité de l'Offre de Logements dans les Pays de l'OCDE<BR>La réactivité de l'offre de logements à l'évolution des prix a des implications importantes pour l'évolution des prix du logement et la vitesse d'ajustement des marchés du logement. Ce document estime l'élasticité-prix à long terme de l'offre de nouveaux logements dans 21 pays de l'OCDE basée sur une approche stock-flux du marché du logement et un modèle à correction d’erreurs. Selon les estimations, la réactivité de l'offre de logements aux changements de prix varie considérablement selon les pays. L’offre de logements nouveaux est relativement plus souple en Amérique du Nord et certains pays nordiques, tandis qu'elle est plus rigide dans les pays du continent européen et au Royaume-Uni. La réactivité de l'offre ne dépend pas seulement des caractéristiques géographiques et urbaines, mais aussi des politiques publiques, telles que les règles d'urbanisme et d'utilisation du sol. Les estimations sont globalement en ligne avec les rares estimations disponibles sur la réactivité de l'offre de logements dans les pays de l'OCDE.
    Keywords: housing market, housing supply, housing prices, land use regulation, prix des logements, marché des logements, offre de logements, Règles d'utilisation du sol
    JEL: H20 R21 R23 R31 R38
    Date: 2011–01–18
  10. By: Jan Ondrich
    Abstract: To determine how asset values of older workers affect their future retirement decisions, it is important to take into account how asset values change over asset cycles. This study uses HRS data from waves 1992 through 2008 together with restricted SSA data on geographic location to estimate a model of the age at first self-reported retirement for the subsample of married males. The model covariates include demographic variables, workplace variables, non-housing financial wealth, housing equity and size of mortgage. The proportional hazard estimates are, for the most part, significant and of the correct sign. The estimated models replicate the decisions of the sample members for the period from 2000 to 2007. The models do not replicate the sharp drop in the aggregate retirement rate in the year 2008, the final year of the sample, which is also the first sample year in which non-housing financial wealth and housing equity both declined throughout the United States.
    Date: 2010–10
  11. By: Gray, Patrick Francis; Epure, Manuela
    Abstract: The paper's aim is to present an overview on the PRS in Romania, emphasizing the main characteristics and the nature of PRS evolution after 1989. The past 20 years reveal some key-changes that occurred in the socio-economic and political life of the country and we have explored them as factors that have shaped the PRS. The analysis begins with a presentation of PRS stock, and it continues with a brief assessment of the housing conditions in addition to the socio-economic and demographic profile of households in the sector. Romania has a large housing stock with an unusually high-share of private ownership. Having these findings as a starting point, our paper explores those housing policies that have had the biggest impact on the field and shaped housing market trends. We have used statistical tools to analyze the data provided by the National Institute of Statistics-Romania, and Housing Associations, and major real-estate companies who operate on the Romanian market. An exploratory research was developed using the opportunity to interview policy-makers, national housing authorities, landlords and tenants in order to describe the current role of PRS on the housing market and the future of PRS in Romania.
    Keywords: private rental sector; housing stock; tenant; landlord; rent; housing market; housing policy
    JEL: P25 R31 R21
    Date: 2010–02–02
  12. By: Jean-Christophe MARTIN (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Patrick POINT (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113)
    Abstract: The region of Aquitaine, located in south-west of France, has implemented a climate plan for the period 2007-2013 in order to avoid 2 883 ktCO2eq per year for 2013. But this region is an important place of transit’s flow between northern Europe and southern Europe. The share of goods transport represents about 30% of road traffic of the Aquitaine region. Moreover, traffic from road transport will not be stabilized according to Becker’s report (2001). As a result, the region council of Aquitaine has planned some road projects in order to increase traffic capacities to avoid too much congestion costs. But, investments decision concerning construction of road infrastructure is performed by cost-benefit analysis. A project leading to an increase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could have also a positive net social benefit. If regional council of Aquitaine wants to realize their road projects, it has to implement some GHG offsetting projects. The computation of opportunity cost of projects of road infrastructure construction must be a useful indicator to determine the maximum budget for GHG offsetting projects. This analysis, far away from substituting to cost-benefit analysis, is however complementary to it. We calculated, for Aquitaine region, the budget of opportunity cost of road projects: it was estimated by €2001 1 920 M and €2001 3 592M respectively for a moderate and high increase of traffic for 2007-2013.
    Keywords: Input-output analysis, minimum disruption approach, eco-environmental impacts, opportunity cost, road transport, greenhouse gas emissions
    JEL: C61 C67 D57 D61 H54 Q54
    Date: 2011
  13. By: Alessio, Moro; Galo, Nuño
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the role of technological differences between the construction sector and the general economy in the evolution of real housing prices. In particular we ask whether the recent soar in housing prices across countries reflects the different trends of total factor productivity (TFP) in the construction sector versus the other sectors. To do this, we first compare housing and construction prices in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Spain. We find that the two prices follow a similar pattern before 1997 and diverge afterwards in all countries. Second, we perform a growth accounting exercise to measure the contribution of relative TFP on the price of construction relative to GDP for the four countries. We find evidence of a strong positive contribution of relative TFP to construction prices in the case of the United States and Germany. Instead, in the case of Spain and the U.K., relative TFP has contributed negatively to the evolution of construction prices, which have grown due to the dynamics of wages and capital returns. We conclude that in these two countries, market conditions, rather than technological factors, have been the main culprits of the recent soar in housing prices.
    Keywords: House prices; TFP; growth accounting; Cobb-Douglas
    JEL: O11
    Date: 2010–09
  14. By: Patacchini, Eleonora (La Sapienza University of Rome, EIEF, IZA and CEPR.); Rainone, Edoardo (La Sapienza University of Rome); Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University, Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), GAINS, IZA and CEPR. Email:)
    Abstract: We study peer effects in education. We first develop a network model that predicts a relationship between own education and peers’ education as measured by direct links in the social network. We then test this relationship using the four waves of the AddHealth data, looking at the impact of school friends nominated in the first wave in 1994-1995 on own educational outcome reported in the fourth wave in 2007-2008. We find that there are strong and persistent peer effects in education since a standard deviation increase in peers’ education attainment translates into roughly a 10 percent increase of a standard deviation in the individual’s education attainment (roughly 3.5 more months of education). We also find that peer effects are in fact significant only for adolescents who were friends in grades 10-12 but not for those who were friends in grades 7-9. This might indicate that social norms are important in educational choice since the individual’s choice of college seems to be influenced by that of friends in the two last years of high school.
    Keywords: Social networks; education; peer effects; identification strategy
    JEL: C21 I21 Z13
    Date: 2011–01–25
  15. By: Bernard Fingleton (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde.); Miguel Gómez-Antonio (Department of Public Finance and Fiscal System,Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine whether variations in the level of public capital across Spain?s Provinces affected productivity levels over the period 1996-2005. The analysis is motivated by contemporary urban economics theory, involving a production function for the competitive sector of the economy („industry?) which includes the level of composite services derived from 'service' firms under monopolistic competition. The outcome is potentially increasing returns to scale resulting from pecuniary externalities deriving from internal increasing returns in the monopolistic competition sector. We extend the production function by also making (log) labour efficiency a function of (log) total public capital stock and (log) human capital stock, leading to a simple and empirically tractable reduced form linking productivity level to density of employment, human capital and public capital stock. The model is further extended to include technological externalities or spillovers across provinces. Using panel data methodology, we find significant elasticities for total capital stock and for human capital stock, and a significant impact for employment density. The finding that the effect of public capital is significantly different from zero, indicating that it has a direct effect even after controlling for employment density, is contrary to some of the earlier research findings which leave the question of the impact of public capital unresolved.
    Keywords: Public capital, urban economics, spatial econometrics.
    JEL: C21 R11 R12
    Date: 2011–01
  16. By: Agarwal, Sumit (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Amromin, Gene (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago); Ben-David, Itzhak (Ohio State University); Chomsisengphet, Souphala (Office of the Comptroller of Currency); Evanoff, Douglas D. (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)
    Abstract: We study the effects of securitization on post-default renegotiation of residential mortgages over the current financial crisis. Unlike prior studies, we employ unique data that directly observes lender renegotiation actions and covers more than 60% of US mortgage market. Exploiting within-servicer variation in this data, we find that bank-held loans are 26% to 36% more likely to be renegotiated than comparable securitized mortgages (4.2 to 5.7% in absolute terms). Also, modifications of bank-held loans are more efficient: conditional on a modification bank-held loans have lower post-modification default rate by 9% (3.5% in absolute terms). Our findings support the view that frictions introduced by securitization create a significant challenge to effective renegotiation of residential loans.
    JEL: D10 D80 G10 G20
    Date: 2011–01
  17. By: Yasusada Murata; Ryo Nakajima; Ryosuke Okamoto; Ryuichi Tamura
    Abstract: We develop a new approach to localized knowledge spillovers by incorporating the concept of control patents (Jaffe, Trajtenberg and Henderson 1993) into the distance-based test of localization (Duranton and Overman, 2005). Using microgeographic data, we identify localization distance while allowing for cross-boundary spillovers, unlike the existing literature where the extent of localized knowledge spillovers is detected at the state or metropolitan statistical area level. We revisit the recent debate by Thompson and Fox-Kean (2005) and Henderson, Jaffe and Trajtenberg (2005) on the existence of localized knowledge spillovers, and find solid evidence supporting localization, even when finer controls are used.
    Date: 2011–01
  18. By: Abraham, Vinoj
    Abstract: The “new economic geography” of the IT industry is shaped by two characteristic features of the industry, smaller size of the firms and zero transportation costs of its products that provide its ability of being a ‘footloose’ industry. The IT industry could locate itself in a region on the basis of two factors, namely, the nearness to large markets that ensures steady demand for its products, and the nearness to its factors of production. The importance of proximity to large markets in the case of Indian IT industry is only marginal as the IT industry, mainly dominated by the computer software segment, is a highly export oriented industry. There are reasons, however to believe that the location of firms in the ICT industry would be based on the supply of its crucial factor of production, namely, skilled labour. The IT industry being a skilled-labour-intensive, export-oriented industry it is by reducing the cost of labour, relative to capital, that it can reap comparative advantage benefits. Moreover, the skill requirement of this industry being very flexible and is subjected to fast rate of obsolescence it remains important for the firm, in order to have uninterrupted production, to locate itself in large pools of skilled labour. Correlations drawn between the location of firms and regional supply of skills tend to support the hypothesis that the quantity and quality of skills supplied in a region could determine the location of firms in a region and clustering of firms to a city.
    Keywords: Skill Supply; Information Technology Industry; Location; Region; India; Economic Geography; Agglomeration Economies.
    JEL: L25 R1 J44 L86 R11
    Date: 2010–03–10
  19. By: Zhang, Junfu (Clark University); Zhao, Zhong (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: We hypothesize that individuals with a larger social-family network are more likely to choose self-employment. We test this hypothesis using data on temporary rural-urban migrants in China. The size of a migrant’s social-family network is measured by the number of relatives and friends this migrant greeted during the past Spring Festival. Our empirical analysis faces two challenges. First, there is an endogeneity problem in that a migrant may want to develop and maintain a large social-family network exactly because he is self-employed. For this reason, a simple correlation between the probability of being self-employed and the size of the migrant’s social-family network cannot be interpreted as causal. Second, the size of the social-family network is measured using survey data, which is subject to measurement error. To overcome these problems, we take an instrumental variable (IV) approach. More specifically, we examine the distance an individual migrated when he first moved to a city and use this variable to instrument for the current size of the social-family network. We establish the credibility of the IV by emphasizing the unique institutional context of rural-urban migration in China and focusing on the sample of migrants who originally started as wage workers in urban areas and currently are not in their first jobs. Our IV results indeed show that a rural-urban migrant with a larger social-family network is more likely to be self-employed in the city. This finding is robust to alternative model specifications and various restrictions on the sample used in estimation.
    Keywords: social-family network, self-employment, rural-urban migrants
    JEL: J23 J61 D85
    Date: 2011–01
  20. By: Gál, Zoltán; Ptáček, Pavel
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the specific role of mid-range universities in knowledge transfer and explores the knowledge flows from these mid-range universities facing a number of extra constraints in transitional Central Eastern European (CEE) regions. Mid-range universities, very often located outside of the metropolitan regions, represent the keystones of regional innovation systems for the less developed regions where the “density of contacts” is much lower and possible spillovers emerge more sparsely. The first part of the paper focuses on the types of possible linkages between mid-range universities and industry, and limitations of these relations bringing examples from Western Europe where the position of universities in the collaboration with business sector and their role in the innovation system is quite different form their CEE counterparts. It is mainly due to the different development path of innovation systems and development trajectories in post-communist countries described in the paper. Based on case studies bringing examples mainly from the non-metropolitan regions of Hungary and the Czech Republic, where the number of constraints, such as the lack of critical mass in their techno-economic systems, the traditionally weaker role of university based experimental researches, the mismatch between the economic and knowledge sectors, the weak regional innovation systems and less intense university–industry links are the major impediments of knowledge transfer. The paper argues that ambitious university-based developmental models have to be revised in CEE regions and the future role of universities has to be reconsidered as potential engines of local economic development from a more realistic perspective. The paper also argues, that the regional techno-economic system needs to achieve a certain degree of maturity in order to be able to determine the foci of a research and innovation-oriented regional development within the reindustrializing CEE regions and makes policy recommendation for the mid-range universities to take on new role, which means a stronger regional engagement in also medium-tech innovations and in social and organizational innovation.
    Keywords: mid-range universities; knowledge transfer; non-metropolitan regions; Central & Eastern Europe; regional engagement;
    JEL: P36 I23 D83 O33 D8 O31 R11
    Date: 2010–09–12
  21. By: Coskun, Yener
    Abstract: Real estate is one of the foremost and traditional investments for Turkish household. In addition to this traditional demand, it has also observed that Turkish real estate market becomes one of the popular investment destination for foreign investors. 2003-2007 period would be accepted as the boom period for Turkish economy in general and real estate sector in specific. Although there are considerable opportunities in the market, both Turkish economy and real estate sector suffer important structural problems. Hence, the objective assesment for the Turkish real estate market requires a costbenefit analysis. In this paper, the author is attempting to reach an objective approach presenting both strong and also weak sides of market. The critical point is current deficiencies of the market may result negative impacts on further development. As a solution, we suggest that Real Estate Regulation and Supervision Agency should be established as a new government agency. To our view, primary expectation of this agency is to issue regulations/standards for real estate brokerage/ marketing/appraisal,and also housing finance to enhance consumer protection, public interest and market efficiency.
    Keywords: Turkish real estate market; consumer protection in real estate; real estate appraisal; Real Estate Regulation and Supervision Agency
    JEL: O18 R14 G21
    Date: 2010–06–26
  22. By: Torberg Falch (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: This paper utilizes a Norwegian experiment with exogenous wage changes to study teacher’s turnover decisions. Within a completely centralized wage setting system, teachers in schools with a high degree of teacher vacancies in the past got a wage premium of about 10 percent during the period 1993-94 to 2002-03. The empirical strategy exploits that several schools switched status during the empirical period. In a fixed effects framework, the wage premium reduces the probability to quit by 6-7 percentage points and increases recruitment by 4-7 percentage points.
    Date: 2010–04–26
  23. By: Douglas A. Wolf; Janet M. Wilmoth
    Abstract: Past research has shown that income from the Social Security program has contributed to trends towards smaller households, greater residential independence—the tendency to live alone rather than with others—and a greater prevalence of home ownership late in life. However, the mechanism through which these associations operate has remained relatively unstudied. This paper addresses the possibility that Social Security income mediates the consequences of adverse events, whether “health shocks” such as a stroke or hip fracture, or “marital shocks,” principally the death of a spouse. We measure housing consumption using the ratio of dwelling unit size (number of rooms) to number of household members—i.e., “rooms per person.” We use panel data from the Health and Retirement Survey to model current housing consumption in relation to Social Security income as well as the occurrence of health and marital shocks over the two-year period preceding each survey year (1995; 2000; 2002; 2004; and 2006). We also use an instrumental-variables approach to deal with omitted-variables bias in the housing consumption equation, and include an additional control for selective loss from the sample due to entry into a nursing home. We find no effects of Social Security income on housing consumption once we control for selection and endogeneity, a result that contrasts sharply with past research findings. We also fail to find any evidence that Social Security mediates either health or marital shocks. However, we do find that health shocks, and to a lesser extent marital shocks, are strongly associated with both nursing home entry and changes in housing consumption.
    Date: 2010–09
  24. By: Karpestam, Peter (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Residents in rural China doubt the benefits from education, yet there is empirical evidence supporting positive effects in urban and rural areas. This paper investigates whether education affects a variety of income attainment indicators for households in rural China, using a household survey from the provinces of Hebei and Liaoning. The analysis estimates education effects for household residents, but also for temporary migrants (rural-urban migrants) and children who have moved permanently (rural-rural migrants). This can help to answer a set of three related questions: 1) Does household welfare in rural China depend on education? 2) Is the effect of education contingent on the decision to migrate? and 3) Does education have dissimilar effect for rural-urban and rural-rural migrants? The results support that education has positive income effects and that migration yields no additional payoffs. However, there is no evidence that households benefit from higher education if migration is only temporary. Altogether, this signals positive payoffs of educational expenses to rural households but households which consider sending a migrant into the urban labor force are better off if the more educated stay at home.
    Keywords: East Asia; China; Education; Migration; Remittances; Non-Farm Incomes;
    JEL: D13 F24 I20 J60 R23
    Date: 2011–01–18
  25. By: Diana Hancock; Wayne Passmore
    Abstract: We employ empirical pricing models for mortgage-backed security (MBS) yields and for mortgage rates to measure deviations from normal market functioning in order to assess how the Federal Reserve MBS purchase program--a 16 month program announced on November 25, 2008 and completed on March 31, 2010--affected risk premiums that were embedded in mortgage and swap markets. Our pricing models suggest that the announcement of the program, which signaled strong and credible government backing for mortgage markets in particular and for the financial system more generally, reduced mortgage rates by about 85 basis points between November 25 and December 31, 2008, even though no MBS had (yet) been purchased by the Federal Reserve ; Once the Federal Reserve's MBS program started purchasing MBS, we estimate that the abnormal risk premiums embedded mortgage rates decreased roughly 50 basis points. However, observed mortgage rates declined only slightly because of generally rising interest rates. ; After May 27, 2009 fairly normal pricing conditions existed in U.S. primary and secondary mortgage markets; that is, the relationship between mortgage rates and its determinants was similar to that observed prior to the financial crisis. After the end of the Federal Reserve's MBS purchase program on March 31, 2010, mortgage rates and interest rates more generally were significantly less than they had been at the beginning. ; In sum, we estimate that the Federal Reserve's MBS purchase program removed substantial risk premiums embedded in mortgage rates because of the financial crisis. The Federal Reserve also re-established a robust secondary mortgage market, which meant that the marginal mortgage borrower was funded by the capital markets and not directly by the banks during the financial crisis-had bank funding been the only source of funds, primary mortgage rates would have been much higher. ; Lastly, many observers have attributed part of the Federal Reserve's effect from purchasing MBS to portfolio rebalancing. We find that if portfolio rebalancing had a substantial effect, it may have had its greatest importance only after the Federal Reserve's purchases ended, but while the Federal Reserve held a substantial portion of the stock of outstanding MBS.
    Date: 2011
  26. By: Victor Matheson
    Abstract: The Super Bowl is America’s premier sporting event. This paper details basic economic facts about the game and examines the controversy surrounding the purported economic impact of the game on host communities. While the league and sports boosters claim that the game brings up to a $500 million economic impact to host cities, a review of the literature suggests that the true economic impact is a fraction of this amount.
    Keywords: sports, stadiums, Super Bowl, impact analysis, football
    JEL: L83
    Date: 2010–01
  27. By: Yukichi Mano (Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development; National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Takashi Yamano (Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development; National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Aya Suzuki (Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development; National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Tomoya Matsumoto (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: We examine the roles of local and personal networks in the employment process and the emergence and development of the labor market in Ethiopia’s growing cut flower industry. Using primary survey data of 320 workers randomly sampled from all 64 farms, we find that workers who were recruited informally using the social ties were paid less than the formally-recruited workers at hiring. However, these workers quickly increased their productivity, and the effect of social ties on wages disappeared over time. Further, we find that the development of labor market for this newly-emerged industry took place particularly within the industrial clusters (100 words).
    Keywords: Labor, Market, Cluster, Cut Flower, Ethiopia, Africa
    Date: 2011–01
  28. By: Alfredo Marvão Pereira (Department of Economics, The College of William and Mary); Jorge M. Andraz (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Algarve)
    Abstract: Purpose: To present a comprehensive discussion of the empirical research on the impact of public investment in infrastructure on economic performance in terms of the methodological approaches and respective conclusions. Design/methodology/approach: The paper includes an integrated discussion of the methodological developments that successively have led to the estimation of production functions, cost and profit functions and, more recently, vector autoregressive models. Findings: The paper reveals some important areas for future research and highlights the natural convergence of this literature with the macro literature on the effects of fiscal policies. Originality/value: This paper is an up-to-date survey of the most important literature on the effects of public investment on economic performance and therefore constitutes an essential starting reference for academic researchers and policy makers alike. Paper type: Literature review.
    Keywords: public investment, infrastructure, economic performance, evidence for the US, regional evidence, industry-specific evidence, international evidence.
    JEL: C01 E62 H54 O57
    Date: 2011–01–23
  29. By: Magnus Hatlebakk; Vegard Iversen; Gaute Torsvik
    Abstract: We study how local connections to persons in influential positions affect access to lucrative international migrant jobs and attractive government employment. In rural Nepal, it would not be surprising if social status, captured by a household’s caste but also by wealth or education, strongly influenced or perhaps even exclusively determined the access to attractive labour market opportunities.  This is not the case. Although much of the variation in migration can be attributed to wealth, education and social identity, household networks have a separate impact on external employment. Well-connected households are more likely to get government jobs and appear to have favorable access to the manpower agencies and the informal loans required to finance migration to the Persian Gulf or Malaysia.  
    Date: 2010
  30. By: Robert A. Baade (Department of Business and Economics, Lake Forest College); Victor A. Matheson (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)
    Abstract: This paper examines public financing of professional sports facilities with a focus on both early and recent developments in taxpayer subsidization of spectator sports. The paper explores both the magnitude and the sources of public funding for professional sports facilities.
    Keywords: Stadiums, arenas, sports, subsidies
    JEL: L83 O18 R53 J23
    Date: 2011–01
  31. By: A. Tampieri
    Abstract: This paper argues that assortative matching may explain over-education. Education determines individuals' income and, due to the presence of assortative matching, the quality of the partner, who can be a colleague or a spouse. Thus an individual acquires some education to improve the expected partner's quality. But since everybody does that, the partner's quality does not increase and over-education emerges. Tax progression to correct over-education has ambiguous effects on the educational incentives according to the individuals' ability. We test the model using the British Household Panel Survey. The empirical results support our theoretical findings.
    JEL: I21 J12
    Date: 2011–01
  32. By: Alfredo Marvão Pereira (Department of Economics, The College of William and Mary); Jorge M. Andraz (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Algarve)
    Abstract: The empirical results in this note are based on state-level VAR estimates using private output, employment, and investment, as well as different measures of highway investment to capture, for each state, both the direct effects of highway investment in the state itself and spillover effects of highway investment in other states. Empirical results suggest that the largest states tend to also be the biggest beneficiaries of highway investments which means that highway investment has not only contributed to regional concentration of economic activity in the country but has done so in many of the largest states thereby contributing to regional asymmetries in the country.
    Date: 2011–01–23
  33. By: Lamont K. Black; Chenghuan Sean Chu; Andrew Cohen; Joseph B. Nichols
    Abstract: Differences in the organizational structure of CMBS loan originators may reflect differences in the incentives they face for underwriting risky loans. We treat an originator's type--that is, commercial bank, investment bank, insurance company, finance company, conduit lender, or foreign-owned entity--as a proxy for incentives related to warehousing risk, balance sheet lending, and regulatory constraints. After controlling for observable credit characteristics of over 30,000 loans securitized into CMBS after 1999, we find considerable differences in loan performance across originator types. The results suggest that moral hazard--captured by lack of warehousing risk-negatively affected the quality of loans underwritten by conduit lenders. On the other hand, despite opportunities for adverse selection, balance sheet lenders--commercial banks, insurance companies and finance companies--actually underwrote higher quality loans.
    Date: 2011
  34. By: Carlos Medina; Jorge Andrés Tamayo
    Abstract: We assess the effect of the homicide rate, individual´s perception of security in their neighborhood of residence, and of the effect of their having been victimized, on life satisfaction. We find a negative effect of the homicide rate on life satisfaction for the subsample of individuals living in their current houses for at least 10 years or more, who had moved to that place at some point in the past. We also find a positive and robust effect of the perception of security in the households´neighborhood for the whole sample, and for different subsamples considered. Having been victim of an offense is also robustly negatively related to life satisfaction, in particular in the cases where the offense was robbery.
    Date: 2011–01–25
  35. By: Engel, Eduardo (Yale University); Fischer, Ronald (University of Chile); Galetovic, Alexander (Universidad de los Andes, Chile)
    Abstract: We examine the economics of infrastructure finance, focusing on public provision and Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). We show that project finance is appropriate for PPP projects, because there are few economies of scope and because assets are project specific. Furthermore, we suggest that the higher cost of finance of PPPs is not an argument in favour of public provision, since it appears to reflect the combination of deficient contract design and the cost-cutting incentives embedded in PPPs. Thus, in the case of a correctly designed PPP contract, the higher cost of capital may be the price to pay for the efficiency advantages of PPPs. We also examine the role of government activities in PPP financing (e.g. revenue guarantees, renegotiations) and their consequences. Finally, we discuss how to include PPPs revenue guarantees and the results of PPP contract negotiation in the government balance sheet.
    Keywords: Fiscal accounting; PPP premium; Project finance; Renegotiations; Revenue guarantees; Special Purpose Vehicule
    JEL: G32 H54 R42
    Date: 2010–12–17

This nep-ure issue is ©2011 by Steve Ross. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.