nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2011‒04‒02
forty-one papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The Effect of Credit Standards on Urban and School Segregation By Ouazad, Amine; Rancière, Romain
  2. Travel and activity time allocation: An empirical comparison between eight cities in Europe By Charles Raux; Tai-Yu Ma; Iragaël Joly; Vincent Kaufmann; Eric Cornelis; Nicolas Ovtracht
  3. Rental Housing Discrimination and the Persistence of Ethnic Enclaves By Bosch, Mariano; Carnero, M. Angeles; Farré, Lídia
  4. Housing policy and poverty in Springfield By Lynn E. Browne; with Marques Benton; Prabal Chakrabarti; Sol Carbonell; DeAnna Green; Yolanda Kodrzycki; Ana Patricia Muñoz; Anna Steiger; Richard Walker; Bo Zhao
  5. Segregation in primary schools - Do school districts really matter? Evidence from policy reforms By Anna Makles; Kerstin Schneider
  6. The Influence of Role Models on Immigrant Self-Employment: A Spatial Analysis for Switzerland By G. Guerra; R. Patuelli
  7. Persistence of Regional Unemployment: Application of a Spatial Filtering Approach to Local Labour Markets in Germany By R. Patuelli; N. Schanne; D. A. Griffith; P. Nijkamp
  8. Agglomeration, Congestion, and Regional Unemployment Disparities By Ulrich Zierahn;
  9. A Taste for Trips out of Town: Urban Sprawl and Access to Open Space By Wouter Vermeulen; Jan Rouwendal
  10. Does Abolishing Fees Reduce School Quality? Evidence from Kenya By Tessa Bold; Mwangi Kimenyi; Germano Mwabu; Justin Sandefur
  11. Media Clusters and Media Cluster Policies By Karlsson, Charlie; Picard, Robert
  12. Are compact cities environmentally friendly? By Carl GAIGNÉ; Stéphane Riou; Jacques-François THISSE
  13. Consumption and initial mortgage conditions: evidence from survey data By Giacomo Masier; Ernesto Villanueva
  14. Spatial Competition, Network Externalities, and Market Structure: An Application to Commercial Banking. By Spitzer, Matthew L; Talley, Eric
  15. Interactions Between Local and Migrant Workers at the Workplace By Gil S. Epstein; Yosef Mealem
  16. Does the Support of Innovative Clusters Sustainably Foster R&D Activity? Evidence from the German BioRegio and BioProfile Contests By D. Engel; T. Mitze; R. Patuelli; J. Reinkowski
  17. Informal Social Networks, organised crime and local labour market By Antonella Mennella
  18. Leaning Against Boom-Bust Cycles in Credit and Housing Prices By Luisa Lambertini; Caterina Mendicino; Maria Tereza Punzi
  19. Designing a Choice Modelling Survey to Value the Health and Environmental Impacts of Air Pollution from the Transport Sector in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area By Mia Amalia
  20. Agglomeration or Selection? The Case of the Japanese Silk-Reeling Clusters, 1908-1915 By Arimoto, Yutaka; Nakajima, Kentaro; Okazaki, Tetsuji
  21. HOUSE PRICES, CREDIT AND WILLINGNESS TO LEND By Sarah J. Carrington; Jakob B. Madsen
  22. Any port in a storm? The impact of new port infrastructure on New Zealand exporter behaviour By Richard Fabling; Arthur Grimes; Lynda Sanderson
  23. A Preliminary Analysis of SACMEQ III South Africa By Nic Spaull
  24. Small businesses in Springfield, Massachusetts: a look at Latino entrepreneurship By Ana Patricia Muñoz; with Lynn Browne; Sol Carbonell; Prabal Chakrabarti; DeAnna Green; Yolanda K. Kodrzycki; Anna Steiger; Richard Walker; Bo Zhao
  25. Local Residents’ Preferences for Second Home Tourism Development Policies: A Choice Experiment nalysis By Asgary , Ali; Rezvani, Mohammad Reza; Mehregan , Nader
  26. How Much Do People Value Clean Air? - A Case Study From Jakarta By Mia Amalia
  27. Securitization markets and central banking: an evaluation of the term asset-backed securities loan facility By Sean Campbell; Daniel Covitz; William Nelson; Karen Pence
  28. The closer the sportier? Children's sport activity and their distance to sport facilities By Steinmayr, Andreas; Felfe, Christina; Lechner, Michael
  29. Cognitive Ability and the Division of Labor in Urban Ghettos: Evidence From Gang Activity in U.S. Data By Richard Alan Seals Jr.
  30. Do electoral rules and elections matter in expenditure fragmentation? Empirical evidence from Italian regions By Santolini, Raffaella
  31. Wealth Shocks, Unemployment Shocks and Consumption in the Wake of the Great Recession By Dimitrios Christelis; Dimitris Georgarakos; Tullio Jappelli
  32. Credit cycle and adverse selection effects in consumer credit markets -- evidence from the HELOC market By Paul Calem; Matthew Cannon; Leonard Nakamura
  33. Quantitative and qualitative aspects of education in South Africa: An analysis using the National Income Dynamic Study By Mia de Vos
  34. Migration Paradigm Shifts and Transformation of Migrant Communities: The Case of Dutch Kiwis By Suzan van der Pas; Jacques Poot
  35. Asymptotic theory for nonparametric regression with spatial data By Peter Robinson
  36. Loan-to-Value Ratio as a Macro-Prudential Tool - Hong Kong's Experience and Cross-Country Evidence By Eric Wong; Ka-fai Li; Henry Choi
  37. Relocating the value chain: off-shoring and agglomeration in the global economy By Richard Baldwin; Anthony J. Venables
  38. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Regional Labor Mobility of German University Graduates By Stefan Krabel; Choni Flöther
  39. Economic integration, tax erosion, and decentralisation: an empirical analysis By Francesca Gastaldi; Paolo Liberati; Antonio Sciala'
  40. Sales tax competition and a multinational with a decreasing marginal cost By Alexei Alexandrov; Özlem Bedre-Defolie
  41. Bank Credit and Business Networks By Khwaja, Asim Ijaz; Mian, Atif; Qamar, Abid

  1. By: Ouazad, Amine; Rancière, Romain
    Abstract: This paper shows that the mortgage credit boom has significantly affected urban and school racial segregation from 1995 to 2007. We develop a model of urban segregation with credit constraints that shows that easier credit can either increase or decrease segregation, depending on the race of the marginal consumer who benefits from the expansion of credit. We then use the annual racial demographics of each of the approximately 90,000 public schools in the United States from 1995 to 2007, matched to a national comprehensive dataset of mortgage originations, linked to the neighborhood of the house, to show that higher leverage increases the segregation of African American and Hispanic students. Both segregation across schools and across school districts are higher when the leverage is higher. Higher leverage allows households to avoid interracial contact.
    Keywords: lending standards; mortgage; segregation
    JEL: H0 J15 R2 R3
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Charles Raux (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat); Tai-Yu Ma (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat); Iragaël Joly (GAEL - Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - INRA : UR1215 - Université Pierre Mendès-France - Grenoble II); Vincent Kaufmann (LaSUR - Laboratoire de sociologie urbaine - École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne); Eric Cornelis (Groupe de recherche sur les transports - Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix); Nicolas Ovtracht (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - CNRS : UMR5593 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat)
    Abstract: A study of daily time allocation to travel and out-of-home activity is conducted across eight European cities over three countries: France (Lyon, Grenoble, Strasbourg and Rennes), Switzerland (Geneva, Bern and Zurich) and Belgium (Brussels), based on individual travel survey data collected between 1997 and 2006. The effects of socio-demographic, spatial context, transport availability and city-specific variables are investigated thanks to the Cox proportional hazard model. The results indicate that socio-demographic characteristics and city (or country) specific effect play a major role while residential density and proximity to high level road or public transport networks have a very limited impact on time budgets for travel and out-of-home activities.
    Keywords: Travel ; Activity ; Time allocation ; Cities ; Europe ; Duration model
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Bosch, Mariano (Universidad de Alicante); Carnero, M. Angeles (Universidad de Alicante); Farré, Lídia (IAE Barcelona (CSIC))
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment to show that discrimination in the rental market represents a significant obstacle for the geographical assimilation process by immigrants. We employ the Internet platform to identify vacant rental apartments in different areas of the two largest Spanish cities, Madrid and Barcelona. We send emails showing interest in the apartments and signal the applicants' ethnicity by using native and foreign-sounding names. We find that, in line with previous studies, immigrants face a differential treatment when trying to rent an apartment. Our results also indicate that this negative treatment varies considerably with the concentration of immigrants in the area. In neighborhoods with a low presence of immigrants the response rate is 30 percentage points lower for immigrants than for natives, while this differential disappears when the immigration share reaches 50%. We conclude that discriminatory practices in the rental housing market contribute to perpetuate the ethnic spatial segregation observed in large cities.
    Keywords: immigration, discrimination, spatial segregation
    JEL: J15 J61
    Date: 2011–03
  4. By: Lynn E. Browne; with Marques Benton; Prabal Chakrabarti; Sol Carbonell; DeAnna Green; Yolanda Kodrzycki; Ana Patricia Muñoz; Anna Steiger; Richard Walker; Bo Zhao
    Abstract: This essay considers whether housing policies may have contributed to the concentration of poverty in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts – a question that emerged in conversations with local leaders. Springfield is not alone in having large numbers of lower income households living downtown. This pattern is common in American cities. Recent research emphasizes the role of public transportation in causing lower income households to live closer to downtown. However, spillover effects and government policies, including housing policies, have reinforced this tendency. The essay reviews federal housing policy, with a focus on Springfield. A dilemma for Springfield today is that housing and community development policies and resources tend to reflect the needs of communities with strong housing markets where preserving affordable housing is critical. In Springfield, with a much weaker housing market, these policies may perpetuate the status quo. A higher priority for Springfield is attracting a more economically diverse population.
    Keywords: Housing policy ; Housing policy - Massachusetts ; Poverty - Massachusetts ; Transportation
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Anna Makles (Department of Economics University of Wuppertal); Kerstin Schneider (Department of Economics University of Wuppertal)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of the abolition of school districts in North-Rhine Westphalia on ethnic segregation in primary schools, using data from the school statistics from 2006/07 to 2008/09. The effect of the new policy is not easily identified, because several additional changes to the school law and nationality law have also affected segregation. We propose using a measure of systematic segregation and a Wald test in order to test for differences in systematic segregation and to estimate a random effects model to explain differences in systematic segregation across municipalities. The ethnic groups analyzed are Turkish and non-Turkish students, non-German and German students, and Muslim and non-Muslim students. It is shown that abolishing school districts has not increased systematic segregation in primary schools. However, segregation has been affected by policy changes other than the abolition of school districts.
    Keywords: School choice, policy reform, systematic segregation, dissimilarity index, school districts
    JEL: H75 I21 I28 J15
    Date: 2011–03
  6. By: G. Guerra; R. Patuelli
    Abstract: Theoretical and empirical research suggests a connection between the presence of role models and the emergence of entrepreneurs. Existing entrepreneurs may act as role models for self-employment candidates by providing successful examples. By explicitly considering the self-employment rates of the natives, which may influence locally the decisions of immigrants towards entrepreneurship, we develop a simple model that explains immigrant self-employment rates for a sample of 2,490 Swiss municipalities. In addition, we accommodate for the presence of spatial spillovers in the distribution of rates, and test a spatial autoregressive model which takes into account the average self-employment rates of immigrants living in nearby municipalities. Our evidence shows a significant (positive) effect of such spatial network effects, which are characterized by a quick distance decay, suggesting spatial spillovers at the household and social network level. Additionally, we show that local conditions and immigrant pool characteristics differ, with respect to self-employment choices, when examining separately urban and rural contexts.
    JEL: C21 J24 J61 O15 R13
    Date: 2011–03
  7. By: R. Patuelli; N. Schanne; D. A. Griffith; P. Nijkamp
    Abstract: The geographical distribution and persistence of regional/local unemployment rates in heterogeneous economies (such as Germany) have been, in recent years, the subject of various theoretical and empirical studies. Several researchers have shown an interest in analysing the dynamic adjustment processes of unemployment and the average degree of dependence of the current unemployment rates or gross domestic product from the ones observed in the past. In this paper, we present a new econometric approach to the study of regional unemployment persistence, in order to account for spatial heterogeneity and/or spatial autocorrelation in both the levels and the dynamics of unemployment. First, we propose an econometric procedure suggesting the use of spatial filtering techniques as a substitute for fixed effects in a panel estimation framework. The spatial filter computed here is a proxy for spatially distributed region-specific information (e.g., the endowment of natural resources, or the size of the ‘home market’) that is usually incorporated in the fixed effects parameters. The advantages of our proposed procedure are that the spatial filter, by incorporating region-specific information that generates spatial autocorrelation, frees up degrees of freedom, simultaneously corrects for time-stable spatial autocorrelation in the residuals, and provides insights about the spatial patterns in regional adjustment processes. We present several experiments in order to investigate the spatial pattern of the heterogeneous autoregressive parameters estimated for unemployment data for German NUTS-3 regions. We find widely heterogeneous but generally high persistence in regional unemployment rates.
    JEL: C21 C23 R12
    Date: 2011–03
  8. By: Ulrich Zierahn (University of Kassel);
    Abstract: Regional labor markets are characterized by huge disparities of unemployment rates. Models of the New Economic Geography explain how disparities of regional goods markets endogenously arise but usually assume full employment. This paper discusses regional unemployment disparities by introducing a wage curve based on efficiency wages into the New Economic Geography. The model shows how disparities of regional goods and labor markets endogenously arise through the interplay of increasing returns to scale, transport costs, congestion costs, and migration. In result, the agglomeration pattern might be catastrophic or smooth depending on congestion costs. The transition between both patterns is smooth.
    Keywords: regional unemployment, New Economic Geography, core-periphery, wage curve, labor migration
    JEL: J64 R12 R23
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Wouter Vermeulen; Jan Rouwendal
    Abstract: Residential development at the urban fringe raises the cost of trips to open space. We derive a simple expression for the tax that internalizes this effect of sprawl in a monocentric city andapply it using survey data on recreational activity.
    JEL: Q26 R13 R52
    Date: 2011–03
  10. By: Tessa Bold; Mwangi Kimenyi; Germano Mwabu; Justin Sandefur
    Abstract: In 2003 Kenya abolished user fees in all government primary schools. We find that this Free Primary Education (FPE) policy resulted in a decline in public school quality and increased demand for private schooling. However, the former did not reflect a decline in value added by public schools - as anticipated if fees contribute to local accountability - but rather the selection of weaker pupils into free education. In contrast, affluent children who exited to the private sector in response to FPE benefited from a strong, causal effect on their exam performance which is robust to selection on unobserved ability.
    Keywords: user fees; school quality; private schools
    JEL: H52 I22 O15
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Karlsson, Charlie (Jönköping International Business School); Picard, Robert (Jönköping International Business School)
    Abstract: Large media clusters have emerged in a limited number of large cities, characterizing the geographical concentration of the global media industry. This paper explores the reasons behind the localization patterns of media industries, the effect of the rapid advancement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on media clusters and the role of media cluster policies. One might draw the conclusion that with the developments of the ICT sector and the fact that there are no raw materials or physical goods that should be transported in the media industry; media firms could locate anywhere and the urban regions would no longer host any clusters of media firms. Various reasons are provided as to why strong tendencies of media firms to cluster in large cities should still be expected and why media clusters differ from other clusters. The paper concludes that it is the type and form of interaction and transactions that matter and new communication technologies are mainly compliments to the still essential face-to-face interaction in the media industry. Policy makers have promoted agglomeration in both large and small cities since they have recognized that some media industries are encouraging economic growth and employment creation. Approaches to cluster governance and motivations for cluster policies are highlighted in the paper. Furthermore, different topics of future research challenges connected to media clusters are presented.
    Keywords: Clustering; media industry; media cluster policies; creative industry; Information and Communication Technology; Weightless Economy; regional development; agglomeration
    JEL: R11 R58
    Date: 2011–03–24
  12. By: Carl GAIGNÉ (INRA, French National Institute for Agricultural Research (France)); Stéphane Riou (UMR CNRS 5824 GATE Lyon-Saint-Etienne, Université de Saint-Etienne (France)); Jacques-François THISSE (CORE, Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium), Université du Luxembourg, CEPR, and RIEB, Kobe University)
    Abstract: There is a large consensus among international institutions and national governments to favor urban-containment policies - the compact city - as a way to improve the ecological performance of the urban system. This approach overlooks a fundamental fact: what matters for the ecological outcome of cities is the mix between the level of population density and the global pattern of activities. As expected, when both the intercity and intraurban distributions of activities are given, a higher population density makes cities more environmentally friendly. However, once we account for the fact that cities may be either monocentric or polycentric as well as for the possible relocation of activities between cities, the relationship between population density and the ecological performance of cities appears to be much more involved. Indeed, because changes in population density affect land rents and wages, firms and workers are incited to relocate, thus leading to new commuting and shipping patterns. We show that policies favoring the decentralization of jobs may be more environmentally desirable.
    Keywords: greenhouse gas, commuting costs, transport costs, cities; urbancontainment policy
    JEL: D61 F12 Q54 Q58 R12
    Date: 2011–03
  13. By: Giacomo Masier (PREVINET); Ernesto Villanueva (Banco de España)
    Abstract: Economic theory predicts that the consumption path of unconstrained homeowners responds to the interest rate, while the consumption path of credit constrained homeowners is determined by the size and timing of payments (mortgage maturity). We exploit the rapid expansion of mortgage markets during the last decade in Spain and a very detailed survey on household finances to estimate group-specific consumption responses to changes in the credit conditions. Our estimates suggest that the consumption of households headed by an individual with high school responds more to mortgage maturity than to the interest rate spread. The consumption of the rest of indebted households is insensitive to loan maturity. Those results are confirmed when we instrument loan maturity exploiting the fact that banks are reluctant to offer contracts with age at maturity above 65. An interpretation of those results is that households headed by middle education individuals, 8% of our sample, behave as credit constrained.
    Keywords: Credit constraints, mortgages, household consumption
    JEL: D91
    Date: 2011–03
  14. By: Spitzer, Matthew L; Talley, Eric
    Keywords: Law
    Date: 2011–03–24
  15. By: Gil S. Epstein (Department of Economics, Bar Ilan University); Yosef Mealem (Netanya Academic College)
    Abstract: In this paper we consider the interaction between local workers and migrants in the production process of a firm. Both local workers and migrants can invest effort in assimilation activities in order to increase the assimilation of the migrants into the firm and so by increase their interaction and production activities. We consider the effect, the relative size (in the firm) of each group and the cost of activities, has on the assimilation process of the migrants.
    Keywords: Assimilation; Contracts; Ethnicity; Market Structure; Networks; Harassment
    JEL: D74 F23 I20 J61 L14
    Date: 2010–08
  16. By: D. Engel; T. Mitze; R. Patuelli; J. Reinkowski
    Abstract: In this paper, we evaluate the R&D enhancing effects of two large public grant schemes aiming at encouraging the performance of firms organized in clusters. These are Germany's well known BioRegio and BioProfile contests for which we compare the research performance of winning regions in contrast with non-winning and non-participating comparison regions. We apply Difference-in-Difference estimation techniques in a generalized linear model framework, which allows to control for different initial regional conditions in the biotechnology related R&D activity. Our econometric findings support the view that winners generally outperform non-winning participants during the treatment period, thus indicating that exclusive funding as well as the stimulating effect of being a “winner" seems to work in the short-term. In contrast, no indirect impacts stemming from a potential mobilizing effect of the contest approaches have been detected. Also, we find only limited evidence for long-term effects of public R&D grants in the post-treatment period. The results of our analysis remain stable if we additionally augment the model to account for the particular role of spatial dependence in the R&D outcome variables.
    JEL: O38 R38 C23
    Date: 2011–03
  17. By: Antonella Mennella
    Abstract: This paper’s purpose is to show a new informal social networks interpretation, according to which social networks change their nature if they are located in social contexts where organised crime is relevant. Here the perusal of a social network is just a necessary condition to enter the labour market rather than a deliberate choice. Moreover this labour market is the ground where favouritisms and social and electoral consensus policies take place.
    Keywords: social networks, organised crime, labour market
    JEL: D85 J64 K00
    Date: 2011–03
  18. By: Luisa Lambertini; Caterina Mendicino; Maria Tereza Punzi
    Abstract: This paper studies the potential gains of monetary and macro-prudential policies that lean against news-driven boom-bust cycles in housing prices and credit generated by expectations of future macroeconomic developments. First, we find no trade-off between the traditional goals of monetary policy and leaning against boom-bust cycles. An interest-rate rule that completely stabilizes inflation is not optimal. In contrast, an interest-rate rule that responds to financial variables mitigates macroeconomic and financial cycles and is welfare improving relative to the estimated rule. Second, counter-cyclical Loan-to-Value rules that respond to credit growth do not increase inflation volatility and are more effective in maintaining a stable provision of financial intermediation than interest-rate rules that respond to financial variables. Heterogeneity in the welfare implications for borrowers and savers make it difficult to rank the two policy frameworks.
    JEL: E32 E44 E52
    Date: 2011
  19. By: Mia Amalia (Environmental Management and Development Program, Crawford School of Economics and Government, Australian National University)
    Abstract: Poor air quality in Indonesia's capital city is having a significant impact on residents' health and there is an urgent need to introduce new initiatives to deal with the problem. To help justify investment in such new strategies, a recent EEPSEA study has looked at the value that citizens in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area (JMA) place on pollution reduction policies for the transportation sector. The study shows that, although many residents are mistrustful of the government's ability to clean up the city's air, they do place a significant value on clean air. Households in the JMA are willing to pay up to USD 66.51 per annum over a three-year period. Nonetheless, on average, respondents in the JMA were willing to pay Rp 584,333 (USD 66.51), Rp 558,000 (USD 63.51) and Rp 579,333 (USD 65.94) per household per annum over a three-year period for the implementation of the improved public transport policy (TS), the vehicle restriction policy (RD), and the old-vehicle reduction strategy (RO), respectively. These policies would make a significant positive improvement to both Jakarta's air quality and to the health of its citizens.
    Keywords: pollution, Indonesia
    Date: 2010–11
  20. By: Arimoto, Yutaka; Nakajima, Kentaro; Okazaki, Tetsuji
    Abstract: We examine two sources of productivity improvement in the specialized industrial clusters of the early twentieth century Japanese silk-reeling industry. Agglomeration improves the productivity of each plant through positive externalities, shifting plant-level productivity distribution to the right. Selection expels less productive plants through competition, truncating distribution on the left. We find no evidence confirming a right shift in the distribution in clusters or that agglomeration promotes faster productivity growth. Rather, the distribution in clusters was severely left truncated, even for younger plants. These findings imply that the plant-selection effect was the source of higher productivity in the Japanese silk-reeling clusters.
    Keywords: Economic geography, Heterogenous firms, Industrial clusters, Productivity, R12, O18
    JEL: L10
    Date: 2011–03
  21. By: Sarah J. Carrington; Jakob B. Madsen
    Abstract: This paper establishes a Tobin’s q model in which house prices fluctuate around their long run equilibrium due to fluctuations in credit availability and income. It is shown that house prices are positively related to credit in the short run, however, negatively related to the availability of credit in the long run. Using survey data on banks’ willingness to lend and data on disintermediation for the US it is shown that the availability of credit is the principal variable driving house prices around their long run equilibrium. Shocks to interest rates and income have only secondary effects on house price fluctuations.
    Keywords: Willingness to lend, Tobin’s q. House prices
    JEL: E44 E51
    Date: 2011–03–23
  22. By: Richard Fabling; Arthur Grimes; Lynda Sanderson (Reserve Bank of New Zealand)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of port infrastructure on exporter behaviour, focusing on the opening of Metroport, a new inland port in Auckland. We model adoption of the new port facilities among local firms, and then relate uptake to future export growth performance. We find that the main determinants of uptake are product- and firm-related, rather than location-specific. Firms use the new port infrastructure in conjunction with the existing port in order to mitigate capacity constraints and/or access a greater range of transport options. We take early adoption of Metroport as a signal of an existing capacity constraint and analyse the effect of the new port on subsequent export growth, finding a positive but insignificant impact on export volumes.
    JEL: F10 H54
    Date: 2011–02
  23. By: Nic Spaull (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: The many and varied links between student socio-economic status and educational outcomes have been well documented in the South African economics of education literature. The strong legacy of apartheid and the consequent correlation between education and wealth have meant that, generally speaking, poorer students perform worse academically. The present study uses the recent Southern and East African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ III) dataset for South Africa to identify those factors that have a significant effect on student maths and reading performance in Grade 6. The research confirms previous findings that socio-economic status, and particularly school socioeconomic status, is important when understanding student success or failure. Other factors which contribute significantly to student performance are homework frequency, preschool education, and the availability of reading textbooks. In contrast, teacher-subject knowledge was found to have only a modest impact on Grade 6 student performance. Policy interventions are also highlighted. The study concludes that South Africa is still a tale of two schools: one which is wealthy, functional and able to educate students, while the other is poor, dysfunctional, and unable to equip students with the necessary numeracy and literacy skills they should be acquiring in primary school. Nevertheless, it suggests that there are some options available to policy-makers which are expected to have a positive effect on student performance.
    Keywords: SACMEQ, South Africa, primary education, education, education production function, education policy, economics of education
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2011
  24. By: Ana Patricia Muñoz; with Lynn Browne; Sol Carbonell; Prabal Chakrabarti; DeAnna Green; Yolanda K. Kodrzycki; Anna Steiger; Richard Walker; Bo Zhao
    Abstract: The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has been collaborating with community leaders in Springfield, Massachusetts, on exploring revitalization strategies. Latino entrepreneurship is playing an important and increasing role in Springfield's economic development—providing new jobs and services and maintaining storefronts that might otherwise be vacant. An analyst in the Fed's community development unit, Ana Patricia Muñoz, has recently completed a discussion paper on this topic, "Small Business in Springfield, Massachusetts: A Look at Latino Entrepreneurship." Among the implications: if Springfield stakeholders were to expand their support and technical assistance, these small businesses could broaden their role in the city's comeback. Adds Muñoz, "Although Latino self-employment has been growing, gaps relative to whites, to Massachusetts, and to the United States persist. It is therefore important to have strategies geared to Latino entrepreneurs and to reach out to them." The Fed is looking into whether the paper's recommendations might also benefit other postindustrial cities in New England.
    Keywords: Small business - Massachusetts ; Hispanic Americans - Massachusetts
    Date: 2011
  25. By: Asgary , Ali; Rezvani, Mohammad Reza; Mehregan , Nader
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with the preferences of the rural residents living in areas subject to rapid second home tourism development in Iran. Since second home development could have positive and negative social, cultural, economical and environmental impacts for local residents, planning policies should take into consideration public opinions and preferences for future planning and developments. Using a choice experiment method, we attempt to estimate the values that the rural households in Tehran province would place on different impacts of second home development policies.
    Keywords: second home; tourism; choice experiment method; Tehran
    JEL: O1 M1 L83
    Date: 2011–04–15
  26. By: Mia Amalia (Environmental Management and Development Program, Crawford School of Economics and Government, Australian National University)
    Abstract: Poor air quality in Indonesia's capital city is having a significant impact on residents' health and there is an urgent need to introduce new initiatives to deal with the problem. To help justify investment in such new strategies, this study has looked at the value that citizens in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area (JMA) place on pollution reduction policies for the transportation sector. The study shows that, although many residents are mistrustful of the government's ability to clean up the city's air, the do place a significant value on clean air. Households in the JMA are, on average, willing to pay up to USD 66.51 per annum over three-year period for the implementation of three new environmentally-beneficial transportation policies. These policies would make a significant positive improvement to both Jakarta's air quality and to the health of its citizens. The study uses the choice modeling approach in its assessment. The study carefully crafted the questionnaire to suit local conditions (a population with low literacy and have high dependency on oral than written communication) which are typical in developing countries.
    Keywords: pollution, Indonesia
    Date: 2010–11
  27. By: Sean Campbell; Daniel Covitz; William Nelson; Karen Pence
    Abstract: In response to the near collapse of US securitization markets in 2008, the Federal Reserve created the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, which offered non-recourse loans to finance investors' purchases of certain highly rated asset-backed securities. We study the effects of this program and find that it lowered interest rate spreads for some categories of asset-backed securities but had little impact on the pricing of individual securities. These findings suggest that the program improved conditions in securitization markets but did not subsidize individual securities. We also find that the risk of loss to the US government was small.
    Keywords: Asset-backed financing ; Mortgage-backed securities ; Financial crises ; Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility
    Date: 2011
  28. By: Steinmayr, Andreas; Felfe, Christina; Lechner, Michael
    Abstract: We investigate whether the distance between the next sport facilities and children's homes matter for their sports activities inside and outside of sport clubs. Our analysis is based on a large and informative cross-section of individual data of children and their families, the so-called KIGGS data. We use a semiparametric econometric method to investigate this relationship empirically. Our results suggest that while the distance does not matter in larger towns and cities, it does matter in smaller towns and in particular on the countryside.
    Keywords: Sport activities of children, KIGGS data, propensity score matching methods.
    JEL: I12 H42
    Date: 2011–02
  29. By: Richard Alan Seals Jr.
    Abstract: I examine the link between IQ and an individual¡¯s decision to join a gang. Data from the NLSY97 and Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) are used to estimate time-to-first gang participation. Results from a variety of models which account for sibling effects, neighborhood effects, and non-cognitive traits indicate low IQ is a robust predictor of gang participation. However, the PHDCN results reveal gang participation is affected by a person¡¯s relative IQ, with respect to one¡¯s neighborhood peers. Because the majority of trade and industry is underground, official statistics overlook that neighborhoods where gang activity is prevalent are often at full employment. If gangs provide security and enforce contracts where civil government does not, then low-IQ individuals may have comparative advantage in gang activities. Because gangs are often well-defined social groups within neighborhoods, cognitive traits could be expressed at the neighborhood level through this same economic channel.
    JEL: J24 Z13
    Date: 2011–03
  30. By: Santolini, Raffaella
    Abstract: The empirical literature shows that incumbent politicians move expenditure from one budget item to another before elections and under different electoral systems in order to capture voter consensus and gain re-election. However, little attention has been paid to measurement of the degree of spending items manipulation by incumbents in these circumstances. The aim of this paper is therefore to fill this gap by conducting an empirical investigation on a panel of Italian regions. Measuring the degree of spending items manipulation with the Hirschman-Herfindahl index of fragmentation, I find that total public expenditure is more fragmented when the regional electoral system moves from a proportional towards a mixed electoral system. In the panel dynamic analysis, the manipulation of regional spending items is on average 15%. Weak evidence is also found for more fragmented expenditure before regional elections. In this case, the manipulation is about 6-7%. I refine the analysis by considering only the fragmentation of current and capital expenditure. The results confirm that a shift towards a mixed electoral system produces more expenditure fragmentation in Italian regions. No robust evidence is found for expenditure concentration when regional elections are forthcoming.
    Keywords: Total expenditure fragmentation; Current and capital Expenditure fragmentation; Electoral rule; Electoral cycle
    JEL: H72 D72
    Date: 2011–03–21
  31. By: Dimitrios Christelis (University of Salerno and CSEF); Dimitris Georgarakos (Goethe University Frankfurt and CFS); Tullio Jappelli (University of Naples Federico II, CSEF and CEPR)
    Abstract: We use data from the 2009 Internet Survey of the Health and Retirement Study to examine the consumption impact of wealth shocks and unemployment during the Great Recession in the US. We find that many households experienced large capital losses in housing and in their financial portfolios, and that a non-trivial fraction of respondents have lost their job. As a consequence of these shocks, many households reduced substantially their expenditures. We estimate that the marginal propensities to consume with respect to housing and financial wealth are 1 and 3.3 percentage points, respectively. In addition, those who became unemployed reduced spending by 10 percent. We also distinguish the effect of perceived transitory and permanent wealth shocks, splitting the sample between households who think that the stock market is likely to recover in a year’s time, and those who don’t. In line with the predictions of standard models of intertemporal choice, we find that the latter group adjusted much more than the former its spending in response to financial wealth shocks.
    Keywords: Marginal Propensity to Consume; Wealth Shocks; Unemployment
    JEL: E21 D91
    Date: 2011–03–24
  32. By: Paul Calem; Matthew Cannon; Leonard Nakamura
    Abstract: The authors empirically study how the underlying riskiness of the pool of home equity line of credit originations is affected over the credit cycle. Drawing from the largest existing database of U.S. home equity lines of credit, they use county-level aggregates of these loans to estimate panel regressions on the characteristics of the borrowers and their loans, and competing risk hazard regressions on the outcomes of the loans. The authors show that when the expected unemployment risk of households increases, riskier households tend to borrow more. As a consequence, the pool of households that borrow on home equity lines of credit worsens along both observable and unobservable dimensions. This is an interesting example of a type of dynamic adverse selection that can worsen the risk characteristics of new lending, and suggests another avenue by which the precautionary demand for liquidity may affect borrowing.
    Keywords: Home equity loans ; Risk
    Date: 2011
  33. By: Mia de Vos (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: Based on a graphical and statistical analysis of the National Income Dynamic Study (NIDS), this paper provides a comprehensive picture of the educational context in South Africa. The main question under consideration is whether quantitative and qualitative educational attainment differs significantly along racial lines. The data shows that the government has been largely successful in reducing the race-based educational gap in terms of school enrolment and years of education successfully completed. Matriculation results and numeracy test scores unfortunately suggest that higher levels of educational attainment do not necessarily reflect positively on educational outcomes. This implies that the South African educational system is still characterized by large differentials in the quality of education.
    Keywords: Education quality, Cognitive skills, South Africa, Racial differential
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2011
  34. By: Suzan van der Pas (VU University Medical Center, EMGO Institute – LASA); Jacques Poot (National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, University of Waikato)
    Abstract: This paper explores the dynamics of Dutch community change in New Zealand since 1950. We find that there are three distinct cohorts of migrants from the Netherlands to New Zealand, each covering roughly 20 years of arrivals: post-war migrants (those who arrived in the 1950s and 1960s), skilled migrants (those who arrived in the 1970s and 1980s), and transnational professionals (those who arrived in the 1990s or more recently). The data sources utilised include the New Zealand census of population and dwellings, administrative arrivals and departures data, an annual survey of incomes and employment, and a longitudinal survey of families. The data show that the first cohort (the post-war migrants) were mostly younger on arrival, more religious, less educated and had more children than the subsequent cohorts. The most recent migrants are the best qualified, with more than half with a post-school qualification. After controlling for age and education, self-reported happiness and health levels are similar to those of the New Zealand born, but there is some evidence that more recent migrants have lesser health outcomes than comparable New Zealanders. These results not only provide novel insights into the transformation of the Dutch community in New Zealand, but they also provide a case study of the extent to which global economic, social and political changes have conditioned the character and volume of the migrant flows and the dynamics of migrant community development.
    Keywords: globalisation, push and pull factors of migration, ageing of migrant communities, migrant integration, cohort analysis
    JEL: F22 J61 Z13
    Date: 2011–03
  35. By: Peter Robinson (Institute for Fiscal Studies and London School of Economics)
    Abstract: <p>Nonparametric regression with spatial, or spatio-temporal, data is considered. The conditional mean of a dependent variable, given explanatory ones, is a nonparametric function, while the conditional covariance reflects spatial correlation. Conditional heteroscedasticity is also allowed, as well as non-identically distributed observations. Instead of mixing conditions, a (possibly non-stationary) linear process is assumed for disturbances, allowing for long range, as well as short-range, dependence, while decay in dependence in explanatory variables is described using a measure based on the departure of the joint density from the product of marginal densities. A basic triangular array setting is employed, with the aim of covering various patterns of spatial observation. Sufficient conditions are established for consistency and asymptotic normality of kernel regression estimates. When the cross-sectional dependence is sufficiently mild, the asymptotic variance in the central limit theorem is the same as when observations are independent; otherwise, the rate of convergence is slower. We discuss application of our conditions to spatial autoregressive models, and models defined on a regular lattice.</p>
    Date: 2011–02
  36. By: Eric Wong (Research Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority); Ka-fai Li (Research Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority); Henry Choi (Research Department, Hong Kong Monetary Authority)
    Abstract: This study assesses the effectiveness and drawbacks of maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratios as a macroprudential tool based on Hong Kong¡¦s experience and econometric analyses of panel data from 13 economies. The tool is found to be effective in reducing systemic risk stemming from the boom-and-bust cycle of property markets. Although the tool could impose higher liquidity constraints on homebuyers, empirical evidence shows that mortgage insurance programmes (MIPs) that protect lenders from credit losses on the portion of loans over maximum LTV thresholds can mitigate this drawback without undermining the effectiveness of the tool. This finding indicates the important role of MIPs in enhancing the net benefits of LTV policy. Our estimations also show that the dampening effect of LTV policy on household leverage is more apparent than its effect on property market activities, suggesting that the policy effect may mainly manifest in impacts on household sector leverage.
    Keywords: systemic risk, macroprudential policy, loan-to-value ratio, Hong Kong
    JEL: G21 G28
    Date: 2011–02
  37. By: Richard Baldwin; Anthony J. Venables
    Abstract: Fragmentation of stages of the production process is determined by international cost differences and by the benefits of co-location of related stages. The interaction between these forces depends on the technological relationships between these stages. This paper looks at both cost minimising and equilibrium fragmentation under different technological configurations. Reductions in trade costs beyond a threshold can result in discontinuous changes in location, with relocation of a wide range of production stages. There can be overshooting (off-shoring that is reversed as costs fall further) and equilibrium may involve less off-shoring than is efficient.
    Keywords: Fragmentation, off-shoring, parts and components, assembly, vertical linkages
    JEL: F1 F23 R3
    Date: 2011
  38. By: Stefan Krabel (Internationales Zentrum für Hochschulforschung (INCHER)); Choni Flöther (Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre: Fachgebiet Allg. Wirtschaftspolitik)
    Abstract: In this study we trace university graduates’ labor mobility when entering the labor market after graduation. We examine to what extent such mobility is determined by regional factors of the university region, personal characteristics of graduates as well as their field of study. Our analysis is based on a large-scale dataset of labor market mobility of individuals who graduated from 36 German universities in 2007. Our results suggest that graduates are less likely to leave metropolises and that regional labor markets influence mobility. Further, field of study and individual willingness to be mobile, as indicated by prior mobility from school to university and mobility during the studies, impact mobility when entering the labor market. These results indicate that both regional and individual factors influence graduate mobility. Moreover, by applying a two-stage model approach we find that mobility is mediated by the probability to find regular employment.
    Keywords: Regional Mobility, Regional Characteristics, University, Graduates, Employment, Labor Markets
    JEL: J62 J64 R11 I21
    Date: 2011
  39. By: Francesca Gastaldi (University of Roma Sapienza); Paolo Liberati (University of Roma Tre); Antonio Sciala' (University of Roma Tre)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the issues of whether and how the degree of economic integration may affect central government tax revenues and the intensity of decentralisation. To this purpose, we empirically test the direct impact of economic integration on central tax revenues using the concept of implicit tax rates (ITRs) updated to take into account mobile and immobile capital taxation. On this basis we derive a country-specific measure of tax erosion that is used as a determinant of the decentralisation of the public sector in an Arellano-Bond environment. We find that: i) an increase of economic integration generates a downward pressure on ITRs on mobile capital, which is growing at increasing rates as far as economic integration increases; ii) the process of tax erosion gives rise to a corresponding process of increasing public sector decentralisation.
    Keywords: Economic integration, Fiscal federalism, Tax competition.
    JEL: H77 H87 F20
    Date: 2011–01
  40. By: Alexei Alexandrov (Simon Graduate School of Business, University of Rochester); Özlem Bedre-Defolie (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)
    Abstract: We examine a multinational firm which has a decreasing marginal cost, and the optimal sales tax policies of the regions where that firm operates. We show that the regions set higher sales taxes than those given by a cooperative equilibrium. Each region fails to fully internalize the effects of its tax level on another region's welfare and the incentives for that region's authority. Exponential cost functions which exhibit economies of scale (for example Cobb-Douglas) and linear demand functions satisfy our assumptions. Our results suggest the need to coordinate sales tax levels between countries and between smaller entities, like states in the United States. Smaller regions benefit more from such coordination. Lowering sales taxes in each region increases welfare for all regions, profits for firms, and consumer welfare.
    Keywords: tax competition, sales taxes, multinationals, decreasing marginal cost, economies of scale
    JEL: F12 F23 H25 H71
    Date: 2011–03–24
  41. By: Khwaja, Asim Ijaz (Harvard University); Mian, Atif (University of California, Berkeley); Qamar, Abid (State Bank of Pakistan)
    Abstract: We construct the topology of business networks across the population of firms in an emerging economy, Pakistan, and estimate the value that membership in large yet diffuse networks brings in terms of access to bank credit and improving financial viability. We link two firms if they have a common director. The resulting topology includes a "giant network" that is order of magnitudes larger than the second largest network. While it displays "small world" properties and comprises 5 percent of all firms, it accesses two-thirds of all bank credit. We estimate the value of joining this giant network by exploiting "incidental" entry and exit of firms over time. Membership increases total external financing by 16.6 percent, reduces the propensity to enter financial distress by 9.5 percent, and better insures firms against industry and location shocks. Firms that join improve financial access by borrowing more from new lenders, particularly those already lending to their (new) giant-network neighbors. Network benefits also depend critically on where a firm connects to in the network and on the firm's pre-existing strength.
    JEL: D02 D85 L14 O16
    Date: 2011–03

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