nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2011‒06‒25
28 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The effect of free primary school choice on ethnic groups – Evidence from a policy reform By Kerstin Schneider; Claudia Schuchart; Horst Weishaupt; Andrea Riedel
  2. Property Taxation, Zoning, and Efficiency: A Dynamic Analysis By Stephen Coate
  3. Separate When Equal? Racial Inequality and Residential Segregation By Patrick Bayer; Hanming Fang; Robert McMillan
  4. A Probabilistic Modeling Approach to the Detection of Industrial Agglomerations: Methodological Framework By Tomoya Mori; Tony E. Smith
  5. Economic Debate On Spatial Functional Linkages And Its Application to Key Spatial Development Challanges In Poland By Jacek Zaucha
  6. Patterns of Technology, Industry Concentration, and Productivity Growth Without Scale Effects By Colin Davis; Ken-ichi Hashimoto
  7. Invest locally or globally? A normative analysis of transport policies in a footloose capital model with interregional intraregional transportation costs By Paul CHIAMBARETTO; André DE PALMA; Stef PROOST
  8. Productivity Growth and Patterns of Industry Location Without Scale Effects By Colin Davis; Ken-ichi Hashimoto
  9. A Spatially-related Note on Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth By Torben Klarl
  10. How do Performance Targets Affect Future Performance by Students and Schools? By M. Sartarelli; A. Tampieri
  11. Making Visionary Design Work at Policy Level and in Practice By Frauke Burgdorff
  12. Competition and interest rates in the Dutch mortgage market: an econometric analysis over 2004-2010 By Machiel Mulder; Mark Lengton
  13. The Labour Market Impact of the Run on Northern Rock: Continuity and Evolution in an old Industrial Region By Stuart Dawley; Neill Marshall; Andy Pike; Jane Pollard; John Tomaney
  14. Are England’s Academies More Inclusive or More ‘Exclusive’? The Impact of Institutional Change on the Pupil Profile of Schools By Joan Wilson
  15. Hedonic Price Indexes for Housing By Robert Hill
  16. "Islamic house financing:current models and a proposal from social perspective By Hasan, Zubair
  17. User Participation: A New Approach to School Design in Korea By Sun-Young Rieh; Jin-Wook Kim; Woong-Sang Yu
  18. Federal Aid and Equality of Educational Opportunity: Evidence from the Introduction of Title I in the South By Elizabeth U. Cascio; Nora E. Gordon; Sarah J. Reber
  19. Speculators and Middlemen: The Role of Flippers in the Housing Market By Patrick J. Bayer; Christopher Geissler; James W. Roberts
  20. Measuring school value added with administrative data: the problem of missing variables By Alfonso Miranda; Sophia Rabe-Hesketh; Lorraine Dearden
  21. Welfare Magnets, Taxation and the Location Decisions of Migrants to the EU By Klaus Nowotny
  22. The optimal decentralization of public input provision for private producation By Clément Carbonnier
  23. Referral-based Job Search Networks By Christian Dustmann; Albrecht Glitz; Uta Schoenberg
  24. Financial Crisis and the Comovements of Housing Sub-markets: Do relationships change after a crisis? By Leung, Charles Ka Yui; CHEUNG, W. Y. Patrick; TANG, C. H. Edward
  25. Geography, Institutions and Principles. Bits and Pieces of Empirical Evidence from Small-scale Banking By Franz R. Hahn
  27. Maintaining taxes at the centre despite decentralization: interactions with national reforms By Giorgio Brosio; Juan Pablo Jiménez
  28. Fiscal Decentralization, Redistribution and Growth By Bilin Neyapti; Zeynep Burcu Bulut-Cevik

  1. By: Kerstin Schneider (Department of Economics Universität Wuppertal and CESifo); Claudia Schuchart (ZBL, University of Wuppertal); Horst Weishaupt (University of Wuppertal, DIPF - Frankfurt); Andrea Riedel (University of Wuppertal, DIPF - Frankfurt)
    Abstract: In 2008, school districts were abolished in North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous German federal state. Critics have argued that free school choice will lead to increased segregation and educational disparities. The data used is from Wuppertal, a major city in NRW. Since the Turkish population is the largest minority in Germany, but also one of the least integrated, the focus of this paper is on the effect of the new school law on the school choice of Turkish (Muslim) versus non-Turkish (non-Muslim) families. Free school choice has led, in fact, to increased choice on the part of both advantaged and (to a lesser extent) disadvantaged families. Motives behind choice include proximity, the composition of the school, and the academic quality of the school. The effect of this increased choice on segregation is inconclusive.
    Keywords: educational policy reform, school districts, school choice, segregation
    JEL: I20 H75 J15
    Date: 2011–02
  2. By: Stephen Coate
    Abstract: This paper revisits the classic argument that a system of local governments financing public service provision via property taxes will produce an efficient allocation of both housing and services if communities can implement zoning ordinances. The novel feature of the analysis is a dynamic model in which housing stocks and public policies are endogenously determined. In each period, citizens choose both the level of services for their communities and the zoning ordinances that govern future new construction. The main result of the paper is that there does not exist an equilibrium which has a steady state that is both efficient and satisfies a local stability property. The paper also develops examples in which equilibrium allocations converge to a steady state in which there is over-zoning and households are forced to over-consume housing. The findings of the paper challenge the well-known Benefit View of the property tax.
    JEL: H21 H72
    Date: 2011–06
  3. By: Patrick Bayer; Hanming Fang; Robert McMillan
    Abstract: This paper hypothesizes that segregation in US cities increases as racial inequality narrows due to the emergence of middle-class black neighborhoods. Employing a novel research design based on life-cycle variations in the relationship between segregation and inequality, we test this hypothesis using the 1990 and 2000 Censuses. Indeed, increased black educational attainment in a city leads to a significant rise in the number of middle-class black communities and segregation for older adults both in the cross-section and over time, consistent with our hypothesis. These findings imply a negative feedback loop that inhibits reductions in racial inequality and segregation over time.
    Keywords: Segregation, Racial Inequality, Neighborhood Formation, Racial Sorting, General Equilibrium, Negative Feedback
    JEL: H0 J7 R0 R2
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Tomoya Mori (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University); Tony E. Smith (Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Dating from the seminal work of Ellison and Glaeser [11] in 1997, a wealth of evidence for the ubiquity of industrial agglomerations has been published. However, most of these results are based on analyses of single (scalar) indices of agglomeration. Hence it is not surprising that industries deemed to be similar by such indices can often exhibit very different patterns of agglomeration - with respect to the number, size, and spatial extent of individual agglomerations. The purpose of this paper is thus to propose a more detailed spatial analysis of agglomeration in terms of multiple-cluster patterns, where each cluster represents a (roughly) convex set of contiguous regions within which the density of establishments is relatively uniform. The key idea is to develop a simple probability model of multiple clusters, called cluster schemes, and then to seek a “best” cluster scheme for each industry by employing a standard model-selection criterion. Our ultimate objective is to provide a richer characterization of spatial agglomeration patterns that will allow more meaningful comparisons of these patterns across industries.
    Keywords: Industrial Agglomeration, Cluster Analysis, Geodesic Convexity, Bayesian Information Criterion
    JEL: C49 L60 R12 R14
    Date: 2011–06
  5. By: Jacek Zaucha (Institute for Development, Sopot, Poland)
    Abstract: This article presents a synthesis of today's world economic knowledge and the results of the analyses concerning: a) the nature of spatial functional linkages, including network structures, b) diversity of approaches concerning the application of spatial structures in the policies of encouraging the macro-level economic development of territorial units. This debate has been applied for discussing concrete dilemmas of spatial development of Poland i.e. the concept of polycentric metropolis. Such metropolis is a key part of the spatial development strategy for Poland i.e. Concept of National Spatial Development drawn up in 2008-2011 defining the objectives and priorities of the national spatial policy until 2030. Moreover, the article points to issues that require further research and deep analyses.
    Keywords: spatial concentration, agglomeration patterns, spatial development, spatial policy
    JEL: R11 R12 R58
    Date: 2011–06
  6. By: Colin Davis (Institute for International Education, Doshisha University); Ken-ichi Hashimoto (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between geographic patterns of industrial activity and endogenous growth in a two region model of trade that exhibits no scale effect. The in-house process innovation of manufacturing firms drives productivity growth and is closely associated with firm-level scales of production and relative levels of accessible technical knowledge. Focusing on long-run industry shares and a cross-region productivity gap, we find that dispersed equilibria with positive industry shares for both regions always produce higher growth rates than core-periphery equilibria with all industry locating in one region. Moreover, the highest growth rate arises in a symmetric steady state that features no productivity gap and equal shares of industry leading to the conclusion that the geographic concentration of industry has a negative impact on overall growth. Convergence towards a dispersed equilibrium, however, is contingent on the levels of inter-regional transport costs and knowledge dispersion. Finally, we explore the implications of greater economic integration arising from reduced transport costs and greater knowledge dispersion for patterns of industry and productivity, and for regional welfare levels within a dispersed equilibrium.
    Keywords: Industry Concentration, Industry Share, Productivity Gap, Productivity Growth, Scale Effect
    JEL: F43 O30 O40 R12
    Date: 2011–06
    Abstract: In this paper, we introduce a distinction between interregional and intraregional transportation costs, in a footloose capital model. This allows assessing more precisely the effects of different types of transport policies, on the spatial distribution of activities. From a normative point of view, we find that, in absence of regulation, the concentration of firms is too high in the center. We show what set of transport policies improves the equilibrium.
    Date: 2011–06
  8. By: Colin Davis (Institute for International Education, Doshisha University); Ken-ichi Hashimoto (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between geographic patterns of economic activity and productivity growth in a two region model of trade and endogenous growth without scale effects. At the core of the model is the production and in-house innovation activities of manufacturing firms and, in a world of transport costs, imperfect knowledge dispersion and perfect capital mobility, these activities are located independently in the region that provides the lowest associated cost. In contrast to the existing literature, we remove scale effects by shifting the focus from aggregate research and development activity to innovation at the level of individual product lines and find that although industry concentration raises the level of product variety, it reduces the rate of productivity growth so that the pace of economic growth is highest when industry is equally dispersed across regions. We also study the effects of greater economic integration between regions and find that increases in the freeness of trade and the level of knowledge dispersion both have negative effects on productivity growth while raising the level of product variety. These opposing effects for growth and product variety lead to mixed results for the impacts of economic integration on regional welfare.
    Keywords: Industry Concentration, Industry Share, Productivity Growth, Scale Effect
    JEL: F43 O30 O40 R12
    Date: 2011–06
  9. By: Torben Klarl (University of Augsburg, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: A large and still growing body of literature suggests that entrepreneurship is of exceptional importance in explaining knowledge spillovers. Although quantifying the impact of entrepreneurial activity for economic growth is an interesting issue – particularly at the regional level – a concise formulation within a theoretical growth model is still missing. This paper in general tries to uncover the link between own- and neighbour-related regional entrepreneurial activity in innovation and regional growth within a spatial semi-endogenous growth model in the spirit of Jones (1995) reflecting recent empirical findings on entrepreneurial activity for economic growth. The paper derives an explicit solution for the transitional as well as for the balanced growth path level of ideas.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, economic growth, innovation, knowledge spillover
    JEL: M13 O31 R5
    Date: 2011–06
  10. By: M. Sartarelli; A. Tampieri
    Abstract: The paper examines whether meeting performance targets in tests at school has an effeect on students' subsequent achievement in education and the take-up by schools of financial support from the government for students. We build a theoretical model to describe the channels through which students' belief of their ability, as proxied by previous performance in tests, affect their current effort in preparing for a test, and how previous performance affects the effort in teaching by a school. We find that an increase in the performance target in the first test has an ambiguous effect on the effort exerted for the second test. A higher performance target in the current test increases the effort of low-ability students and teaching effort for low ability students, while it has an ambiguous effect on high ability ones. Finally, an increase in government funding per student increases the effort by students.
    JEL: I22 I28
    Date: 2011–06
  11. By: Frauke Burgdorff
    Abstract: Good architecture responds to contemporary challenges, irrespective of fashionable trends, and is characterised by rigorous building processes. Office buildings, housing, stadiums and theatres offer outstanding examples of this principle. But do school buildings figure among them? Happily, in Germany they do, although they are still too rare. This article focuses on school building processes and raises the following questions: what sort of challenges will we meet in the future? Will a culture of planning be sufficient to foster the emergence of modern and tailor-made learning environments?
    Keywords: building processes, participatory process, user participation, users’ needs, stakeholders
    Date: 2011–04
  12. By: Machiel Mulder; Mark Lengton (Netherlands Competition Authority)
    Abstract: Triggered by evidence that the mortgage interest margins have risen since 2009, an econometric analysis is conducted to explain the interest rates in the Dutch mortgage market at the bank level ver 2004 – 2010. Controlling for the influence of costs, risks and also for some regulatory measures, we find statistically significant evidence that the degree of competition in the Dutch mortgage market (measured by C3 or HHI) affected the level of the mortgage interest rates. An increase in market concentration equal to the size of its standard deviation over the period of analysis raised the mortgage interest rate by approximately 0.10 to 0.20 percentage points. The impact of costs as well as risks appears to be about twice as large as the impact of market concentration.
    JEL: G21 G28 L11 L85 C23
    Date: 2011–05
  13. By: Stuart Dawley; Neill Marshall; Andy Pike; Jane Pollard; John Tomaney
    Abstract: The Northern Rock mortgage bank was a high profile casualty of the credit crunch in 2007. A longitudinal investigation focused on the redundancy and resettlement of employees at the bank provides a case study of the labour market impact of the banking crisis on the North East of England. An evolutionary geographical political economy approach indicates that Northern RockÕs growth and decline was shaped by its location in an old industrial region, and echoes the historical position of the peripheral region in the spatial division of labour. The Northern Rock case highlights the enduring occupational structure of the regionÕs labour market, and suggests older industrial regions may suffer from a process of Ôoccupational disadvantageÕ that restricts their ability to adapt to economic change.
    Keywords: Financial crisis, Northern Rock, Labour market impact, Evolutionary geographical political economy
    Date: 2011–06
  14. By: Joan Wilson
    Abstract: In 2002 the former Labour government launched the Academies Programme of school improvement. This scheme has targeted entrenched issues of pupil underachievement within state secondary schools located in deprived areas, by enabling private sponsors to run the renewed schools and by granting Academies independence from local authority control. A total of 203 institutions were established by the end of Labour's time in power (April 2010). This paper considers the efficacy of the scheme in delivering on an objective determined at its inception - that requiring Academies to feature a more inclusive and mixed-ability background of pupils. Administrative information in the National Pupil Database is combined with school-level data to assess how the academic quality and composition of pupils entering year 7 of Academies and how their whole school composition has compared to those in predecessor and non-Academy schools. Difference-in-differences regression analysis is applied to a sample of 33 Academies and 326 control schools over the period 1997-2007. Findings reveal an immediate boost to intake quality among Academies once the policy came into effect and a fall in entry by pupils of weaker prior ability, while sampled Academies have also taken in fewer pupils from underprivileged backgrounds. Thus Academies have actually featured a more 'exclusive' pupil profile. The Coalition government - formed since May 2010 - has extended the policy to allow all state schools to become Academies. Newer Academies, like the original ones, may adapt their admissions in a performance-favouring way, implying a worsening of educational opportunity under both policy versions.
    Keywords: Academies, school improvement, school renewal, institutional change, pupil profile, pupil intake, pupil composition
    JEL: I2 I21 I28
    Date: 2011–05
  15. By: Robert Hill
    Abstract: Every house is different. It is important that house price indexes take account of these quality differences. Hedonic methods which express house prices as a function of a vector of characteristics (such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, land area and location) are particularly useful for this purpose. In this report I consider some of the developments in the hedonic methodology, as it is applied in a housing context, that have occurred in the last three decades. A number of hedonic house price indexes are now available. However, it is often difficult to see how these indexes relate to each other. For this reason the paper attempts to impose some structure on the literature by developing a taxonomy of hedonic methods, and then show how existing methods fit into this taxonomy. Also discussed are some promising areas for future research in the hedonic field, particularly the use of geospatial data and nonparametric methods for better capturing the impact of location on house prices. The main criticisms of the hedonic approach are evaluated and compared with the repeat sales and stratified median methods. The overall conclusion is that the advantages of the hedonic approach outweigh its disadvantages.<BR>Chaque maison est différente. Il est important que les indices de prix de l’ immobilier tiennent compte de ces différences de qualité. Les méthodes hédoniques qui expriment des prix de l'immobilier en fonction d'un vecteur de caractéristiques (telles que le nombre de chambres et salles de bains, superficie et l'emplacement) sont particulièrement utiles à cette fin. Dans le présent rapport je considère certains développements dans la méthode hédonique, telle qu'elle est appliquée dans un contexte de logement, qui se sont produits au cours des trois dernières décennies. Un certain nombre d'indices des prix hédoniques pour l’immobilier est maintenant disponible. Cependant, il est souvent difficile de voir comment ces indices sont liés les uns aux autres. C’est pour cette raison que ce papier tente d'imposer une structure sur la littérature en développant une taxonomie des méthodes hédoniques et montre alors comment les méthodes existantes s'insèrent dans cette taxonomie. Sont aussi discutées certains domaines prometteurs pour les futures recherches dans le domaine hédonique, notamment l'utilisation des données géo-spatiales et de méthodes non paramétriques pour mieux capter l'impact de l'emplacement sur le prix de l'immobilier. Certains des principaux critiques de l'approche hédonique sont évalués et comparés avec les ventes répétées et des méthodes stratifiées médians sont aussi discutées. Dans l'ensemble, on conclut que les avantages de l'approche hédonique l'emportent sur ses inconvénients.
    Date: 2011–02–04
  16. By: Hasan, Zubair
    Abstract: Shelter is one of the basic needs for human beings. Its availability for the people is an Islamic imperative. In view of the appalling living conditions of a substantial proportion of the population in most countries around the world, especially Muslim, Islamic banks have entered the field with various schemes for home financing. In this infant industry, this effort is understandably guided by the profit motive, but a social dimension has to surface in the course of time.Unfortunately, the models banks currently use for home financing remain under the juridical gaze, more so as the practice is not always found to be transparent. This paper looks at Islamic home financing models in a broader societal context. It evaluates the efficacy of the current financing structures practised and suggests a new approach.The proposed model is shown as superior to the existing ones. It meets the norms of equity, fair play and openness does not, presumably,violate any other Islamic norm. Finally, the paper makes some policy suggestions to integrate Islamic home financing into the broader social goals of an Islamic economy.
    Keywords: Housing problem; basic needs; resource allocation; ruralurban migration; conventional model; BBA in housing; the MMP model; diminishing balances; planning.
    JEL: D10 G28 D60 G21
    Date: 2010–12–08
  17. By: Sun-Young Rieh; Jin-Wook Kim; Woong-Sang Yu
    Abstract: The Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI) has recently initiated a pilot project to develop a new prototype school, involving users in the design phase. This is the first time in Korea that users have been consulted on issues relating to school design.
    Keywords: design process, user participation, educational facilities, feedback
    Date: 2011–04
  18. By: Elizabeth U. Cascio; Nora E. Gordon; Sarah J. Reber
    Abstract: Title I of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act substantially increased federal aid for education, with the goal of expanding educational opportunity. Combining the timing of the program’s introduction with variation in its intensity, we find that Title I increased school spending by 46 cents on the dollar in the average school district in the South and increased spending nearly dollar-for-dollar in Southern districts with little scope for local offset. Based on this differential fiscal response, we find that increases in school budgets from Title I decreased high school dropout rates for whites, but not blacks.
    JEL: H7 I2 J15
    Date: 2011–06
  19. By: Patrick J. Bayer; Christopher Geissler; James W. Roberts
    Abstract: In thinly traded markets for heterogenous, durable goods, such as housing, intermediaries may play especially important roles. Using a unique micro-level dataset of housing transactions in Los Angeles from 1988-2008 and a novel research design, we identify and measure the importance of two very distinct types of intermediaries, also known as "flippers". The first type act as middlemen who quickly match sellers and buyers, operate throughout housing market cycles and earn above average returns when they buy and sell. The second type act as speculators who attempt to time markets by holding assets for longer periods of time, perform relatively poorly when buying and selling and are strongly associated with price instability in their targeted areas. The presence of these unsophisticated speculators and positive feedback trading contribute the first pieces of evidence from the housing market to a growing body of work in other financial markets that questions whether speculators always act to stabilize prices.
    Keywords: Speculation, Housing Markets, Asset Pricing, Behavioral Finance, Financial Intermediaries, Middlemen
    JEL: D82 D84 R30
    Date: 2011
  20. By: Alfonso Miranda (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London. 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.); Sophia Rabe-Hesketh (Graduate School of Education and Graduate Group in Biostatistics, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK.); Lorraine Dearden (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 7 Ridgmount Street, London, WC1E 7AE; Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)
    Abstract: The UK Department for Education (DfE) calculates contextualised value added (CVA) measures of school performance using administrative data that contain only a limited set of explanatory variables. Differences on schools’ intake regarding characteristics such as mother’s education are not accounted for due to the lack of background information in the data. In this paper we use linked survey and administrative data to assess the potential biases that missing control variables cause in the calculation of CVA measures of school performance. We find that ignoring the effect of mother’s education leads DfE to erroneously over-penalise low achieving schools that have a greater proportion of mothers with low qualifications and to over-reward high achieving schools that have a greater proportion of mothers with higher qualifications. This suggests that collecting a rich set of controls in administrative records is necessary for producing reliable CVA measures of school performance.
    Keywords: contextualised value added, missing data, informative sample selection, administrative data, UK
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2011–06–17
  21. By: Klaus Nowotny (WIFO)
    Abstract: Migrants are among the groups most vulnerable to economic fluctuations. As predicted by the "welfare magnet" hypothesis, migrants can therefore be expected to – ceteris paribus – prefer countries with more generous welfare provisions to insure themselves against labour market risks. This paper analyses the role of the welfare magnet hypothesis for migrants to the EU 15 at the regional level. The empirical analysis based on a random parameters logit model shows that the regional location decisions of migrants are mostly governed by income opportunities, labour market conditions, ethnic networks and a common language. There is no strong evidence for the welfare magnet hypothesis in the EU, but the empirical model shows that the income tax system has a large and consistent effect on locational choice.
    Keywords: welfare magnet hypothesis, migration, random parameters logit model
    Date: 2011–04–04
  22. By: Clément Carbonnier (THEMA, Universite de Cergy-Pontoise)
    Abstract: This article presents a model of optimal decentralization of economic governance. It focuses on the provision of public input for private production. It considers that the decision power is given to a local government if it has the full right to decide new investments and new taxes to finance it. Three economic forces act on this optimal decentralization of the decision. First is the centripetal force which consists in the increasing accuracy and relevance of public investments when decided more locally. The second and third are the centrifugal forces of the administrative costs on the one hand and of the fiscal competition among decentralized jurisdictions on the other. Formal proofs of the existence and uniqueness of solutions are given under special hypotheses and in general. Numerical analysis is also done to understand the impact on the optimal decentralization level of the different model parameters.
    Keywords: Decentralization, Corporate taxes, Tax competition, Public input, Firm location
    JEL: H25 H72 R12 R51 R53
    Date: 2011
  23. By: Christian Dustmann (University College London); Albrecht Glitz (Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE); Uta Schoenberg (University College London and Institute for Employment Research (IAB))
    Abstract: This paper develops a model and derives novel testable implications of referral-based job search networks in which employees provide employers with information about potential job market candidates that they otherwise would not have. Using unique matched employeremployee data that cover the entire workforce in one large metropolitan labor market over a 20 year period, we find strong support for the predictions of our model. We first show that firms are more likely to hire minority workers from a particular group if the existing share of workers from that group employed in the firm is higher. We then provide evidence that workers earn higher wages, and are less likely to leave their firms, if they were hired by a firm with a larger share of minority workers from their own group and are therefore more likely to have obtained the job through a referral. The effects are particularly strong at the beginning of the employment relationship and decline with tenure in the firm. These findings have important implications in suggesting that job search networks help to reduce informational deficiencies in the labor market and lead to productivity gains for workers and firms.
    Keywords: Networks, Referrals, Uncertainty
    JEL: J61 J63 J31
    Date: 2011–06
  24. By: Leung, Charles Ka Yui; CHEUNG, W. Y. Patrick; TANG, C. H. Edward
    Abstract: This study of the co-movements of the transaction prices and trading volumes reveal that the mean correlation of prices, and trading volumes alike, among different housing sub-markets increases during the market boom. After a financial crisis, the correlations drop dramatically and stay low. The distribution of the correlations changes from skewed to symmetric. All these coincide with the increase in the total variance of prices, as well as the share of the idiosyncratic component in the total variance after the crisis. These findings are consistent to a family of theories which emphasize on “regime switch” in expectation.
    Keywords: financial crisis; hedonic pricing; structural break; evolution of valuation; rolling regression
    JEL: R30 G12 R20 E50 G10
    Date: 2011–06
  25. By: Franz R. Hahn (WIFO)
    Abstract: Theory suggests that the cross-border bank lending flow from rich countries to poor countries is facilitated when lending-related legal and social norms are shared and valued equally by both lenders and borrowers. According to this reasoning the fast adoption of Western-style democracy and market economy principles as established by EU standards by many of the East European "transformation countries" since the early 1990s should have raised cross-border lending by banks based in EU 15 countries to clients resident in new East European EU member countries. Exploring cross-border lending activities of Austrian small- to medium-sized regional banks over the period from 1995 to 2008 with panel and spatial econometric techniques this paper provides evidence that is supportive of this presumption.
    Keywords: panel econometric analysis, spatial econometric analysis, cross-border bank lending, institutions, neoclassical economics
    Date: 2011–04–04
  26. By: Anping Chen (School of Economics, Jinan University); Nicolaas Groenewold (UWA Business School, The University of Western Australia)
    Abstract: Inter-regional disparities in China have been an important concern for central-government policy-makers for most of the past 60 years. One of the main policy instruments for redressing the balance between the prosperous coastal region and the poorer inland region has been the allocation of investment spending. Yet there is little empirical work evaluating the response of disparities to changes in the regional distribution of investment. We help fill this gap and analyse the two-way relationship between these variables within a VAR/VECM framework, the results of which we tentatively interpret in terms of a simple demand model. We find, surprisingly, that changes in the regional allocation of investment have only a modest positive effect on inter-regional output disparities while the effect in the opposite direction is also positive but much larger. The effects of investment on output are larger, though, for the post-1978 period. We find our overall results to be robust to numerous variations in variable definition.
    Date: 2011
  27. By: Giorgio Brosio; Juan Pablo Jiménez
    Abstract: Although fiscal (de)centralization literature explains easily the centralization of taxes on the basis of a superior tax administration capacity, it finds more difficult to argue why in federal and decentralized systems subnational governments are ready to accept the demise of their taxing powers. This paper aims to contribute to the debate by analyzing the conditions under in which sub-national governments are willing to cede their taxing power to a central authority. A simple bargaining model is used to illustrate the choices available to both the central (federal) government and the sub-national governments (regions), where the main contribution lies in the introduction of the expenditure side of the budget and of its relevance for solving the commitment issue. We conclude that tax centralization will take place – transfers will prevail over sub-national taxes – if substantial efficiency gains from the centralized administration of taxes are expected. To support this conclusion, the paper presents evidence from decentralization processes in Argentina, Canada and Italy.
    Date: 2011–06
  28. By: Bilin Neyapti (Bilkent University); Zeynep Burcu Bulut-Cevik (METU)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the welfare implications of a transfer mechanism in a fiscally decentralized economy where local governments select their tax collection effort to maximize their lifetime utility. We consider a transfer rule that both punishes for the lack of efficiency in tax-collection and compensates for the deviation of pre-tax or transfer income from a target level; in addition, a portion of transfers is considered to be directed towards investment. Simulations of the model’s optimal solution reveal that increasing punishment always results in increased steady state effort, despite the disincentives that increasing income compensation or directed investment may generate. Increasing punishment also improves capital accumulation the lower the rate of directed investments and the lower the tax rate. Further, efficiency in tax collection is achieved the lower the rate of directed investment and the higher the punishment rate.
    Keywords: Fiscal decentralization, redistribution
    JEL: E62 H71 O23
    Date: 2011–06

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