nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2011‒10‒01
thirty-one papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Cities in Transition By Oleksandr Shepotylo
  2. Slum Clearance and Urban Renewal in the United States By William J. Collins; Katharine L. Shester
  3. Spatial frictions By Behrens, Kristian; Mion, Giordano; Murata, Yasusada; Südekum, Jens
  4. Everybody Needs Good Neighbours? Evidence from Students' Outcomes in England By Gibbons, Steve; Silva, Olmo; Weinhardt, Felix
  5. The impact of social housing developments on nearby property prices: A Nelson Mandela Bay Case Study By M. Du Preez; M.C. Sale
  6. Low-income housing finance in Colombia By Arbelaez, Maria Angelica; Camacho, Carolina; Fajardo, Johanna
  7. Regional environmental efficiency and economic growth: NUTS2 evidence from Germany, France and the UK By Halkos, George; Tzeremes, Nickolaos
  8. Do rent-seeking and interregional transfers contribute to urban primacy in sub-Saharan Africa? By Kristian Behrens; Alain Pholo Bala
  9. A non linear model of the new economic geography for Portugal. Another perspective By Martinho, Vítor João Pereira Domingues
  10. Valuing local environmental amenity: Using discrete choice experiments to control for the spatial scope of improvements By Bruno Lanz; Allan Provins
  11. School-based management, school decision-making and education outcomes in Indonesian primary schools By Chen, Dandan
  12. Is the Persistence of Teacher Effects in Early Grades Larger for Lower-Performing Students? By Konstantopoulos, Spyros; Sun, Min
  13. The Competitiveness of Global Port-Cities: The Case of the Seine Axis (Le Havre, Rouen, Paris, Caen) - France By Olaf Merk; César Ducruet; Patrick Dubarle; Elvira Haezendonck; Michael Dooms
  14. A spatial model of the Keynesian theory for Portugal By Martinho, Vítor João Pereira Domingues
  15. Non-cognitive Skills and the Gender Disparities in Test Scores and Teacher Assessments: Evidence from Primary School By Cornwell, Christopher; Mustard, David B.; Van Parys, Jessica
  16. Income inequality, decentralisation and regional development in Western Europe By Vassilis Tselios; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Andy Pike; John Tomaney; Gianpiero Torrisi
  17. The economic theory and the Portuguese manufactured industry. Another approach By Martinho, Vítor João Pereira Domingues
  18. Socio-Economic Development and Violence: An Empirical Application for Seven Metropolitan Areas in Colombia By Alexander Cotte Poveda
  19. Measuring Economic Localization: Evidence from Japanese Firm-level Data By Nakajima, Kentaro; Saito, Yukiko Umeno; Uesugi, Iichiro
  20. The economic theory and the Portuguese manufactured industry By Martinho, Vítor João Pereira Domingues
  21. Foreclosures, House Prices, and the Real Economy By Atif Mian; Amir Sufi; Francesco Trebbi
  22. Is teenage motherhood contagious? Evidence from a Natural Experiment. By Monstad, Karin; Propper, Carol; Salvanes, Kjell G.
  23. Mobilizing Cities towards a Low Carbon Future: Tambourines, Carrots and Sticks By Leonardo Meeus; Erik Delarue
  24. Innovation, Spillovers and Venture Capital Contracts By Dessi, Roberta
  25. Re-examining the Impact of Dropping Out on Criminal and Labor Outcomes in Early Adulthood By Bjerk, David
  26. Academic Performance and Single-Sex Schooling: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Switzerland By Gerald Eisenkopf; Zohal Hessami; Urs Fischbacher; Heinrich Ursprung
  27. Impairment and Negative Equity in the Irish Mortgage Market By Kelly, Robert; McCarthy, Yvonne; McQuinn, Kieran
  28. Ethnic Solidarity and the Individual Determinants of Ethnic Identification By Thomas Bossuroy
  29. Collective Efficiency Strategies: A Regional Development Policy Contribution for Competitiveness Enhancement By Rui Nuno Baleiras
  30. Regional Inequality in Contemporary China By Qinghua Zhang; Heng-fu Zou
  31. Health is wealth: an empirical note across the US states By Alexiadis, Stilianos; Eleftheriou, Konstantinos

  1. By: Oleksandr Shepotylo (Kyiv School of Economics, Kyiv Economic Institute)
    Abstract: Cities in transition face a unique set of challenges that came forth due to interplay of the legacy of socialist urban policies and transition to the market economy. The socialist urban policies restrained growth of the largest cities and distorted the spatial equilibrium towards more uniform distribution of urban population. The transition to the market economy reduces distortions but the convergence is slow. Housing market rigidities, inadequate urban infrastructure, and inconsistent government policies prevent people from moving to the largest cities.
    Keywords: urban development, transition, cities, Zipf's law, local governance, housing market
    JEL: P25 R12 R23
    Date: 2011–09
  2. By: William J. Collins; Katharine L. Shester
    Abstract: We study the local effects of the Housing Act of 1949, which established a federally subsidized program that helped cities clear areas for redevelopment, rehabilitate deteriorating structures, complete comprehensive city plans, and enforce building codes. We use an instrumental variable strategy to estimate the program’s effects on city-level measures of median income, property values, employment and poverty rates, and population. The estimates are generally positive and economically significant, and they are not driven by differential changes in cities’ demographic composition. The results are consistent with a model of spatial equilibrium in which local productivity is enhanced.
    JEL: H7 K0 N12 R0
    Date: 2011–09
  3. By: Behrens, Kristian; Mion, Giordano; Murata, Yasusada; Südekum, Jens
    Abstract: The world is replete with spatial frictions. Shipping goods across cities entails trade frictions. Commuting within cities causes urban frictions. How important are these frictions in shaping the spatial economy? We develop and quantify a novel framework to address this question at three different levels: Do spatial frictions matter for the city-size distribution? Do they affect individual city sizes? Do they contribute to the productivity advantage of large cities and the nature of competition in cities? The short answers are: no, yes, and it depends.
    Keywords: city-size distribution; markups; productivity; trade frictions; urban frictions
    JEL: F12 R12
    Date: 2011–09
  4. By: Gibbons, Steve (London School of Economics); Silva, Olmo (Harvard Kennedy School); Weinhardt, Felix (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of neighbours' characteristics and prior achievements on teenage students' educational and behavioural outcomes using census data on several cohorts of secondary school students in England. Our research design is based on changes in neighbourhood composition caused explicitly by residential migration amongst students in our dataset. The longitudinal nature and detail of the data allows us to control for student unobserved characteristics, neighbourhood fixed effects and time trends, school-by-cohort fixed effects, as well as students' observable attributes and prior attainments. The institutional setting also allows us to distinguish between neighbours who attend the same or different schools, and thus examine interactions between school and neighbourhood peers. Overall, our results provide evidence that peers in the neighbourhood have no effect on test scores, but have a small effect on behavioural outcomes, such as attitudes towards schooling and anti-social behaviour.
    Keywords: peer and neighbourhood effects, cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, secondary schools
    JEL: C21 I20 H75 R23
    Date: 2011–09
  5. By: M. Du Preez; M.C. Sale
    Abstract: Social housing projects often face substantial “Not-in-my-backyard†(NIMBY) sentiment and as a result are frequently plagued by local opposition from communities who argue that nearby property prices will be affected adversely by these developments. International hedonic pricing studies conducted have, however, produced mixed results with some concluding that social housing developments may in fact lead to an improvement in surrounding property values. There is, however, a paucity of South African evidence. This study considers the validity of the most pervasive NIMBY argument, the claim that social housing developments negatively affect nearby property values, by considering the property prices of 170 single-family homes in the Walmer neighbourhood, Nelson Mandela Bay, as a function of their proximity to an existing low-cost housing development. The results of this study indicate that in the case of one Nelson Mandela Bay low-cost housing development, a negative impact is exerted on the property values of nearby houses.
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Arbelaez, Maria Angelica; Camacho, Carolina; Fajardo, Johanna
    Abstract: This paper explores the role played by policy instruments in access to housing finance by low-income households. It also analyzes the impact of housing credit and subsidies on both the quality of life and the quality of dwelling of the beneficiaries. Using the Quality of Life Surveys conducted in Colombia in 2003 and 2008, the study finds that policy instruments aimed at easing access of low-income households to affordable housing such as subsidies and loan guarantees have played a modest role in increasing the use of mortgages as a source of funding. Despite this, subsidies were found to have had a significant impact on both the quality of dwelling and the quality of life. Therefore, this paper suggests promoting the use of both instruments by improving their design and targeting.
    Keywords: Low-income housing; Housing finance; Housing subsidies; Quality of life; Quality of dwelling; Low-income housing mortgage market
    JEL: I30 I31 R31 I32 O17 I38 R20 D61 H81 R38
    Date: 2011–08
  7. By: Halkos, George; Tzeremes, Nickolaos
    Abstract: This paper by applying nonparametric techniques measures spatial environmental heterogeneities of 98 regions from Germany, France and the UK. Specifically environmental performance indexes are constructed for the 98 regions (NUTS 2 level) identifying their ability to produce higher growth rates and reduce pollution (in the form of municipal waste) generated from regional economic activity. By applying conditional stochastic kernels and local constant estimators it investigates the regional economic activity – environmental quality relationship. The results indicate several spatial environmental heterogeneities among the examined regions. It appears that regions with higher GDP per capita levels tend to have higher environmental performance.
    Keywords: Regional environmental efficiency; directional distance function; conditional stochastic kernel; nonparametric regression
    JEL: Q50 O13 C60
    Date: 2011–09
  8. By: Kristian Behrens; Alain Pholo Bala
    Abstract: We develop an economic geography model where mobile skilled workers choose to either work in a production sector or to become part of an unproductive elite. The elite sets income tax rates to maximize its own welfare by extracting rents, thereby influencing the spatial structure of the economy and changing the available range of consumption goods. We show that either unskilled labor mobility, or rent-seeking behavior, or both, are likely to favor the occurence of agglomeration and of urban primacy. In equilibrium, the elite may tax the unskilled workers but does not tax the skilled workers, and there are rural-urban transfers towards the agglomeration. The size of the elite and the magnitude of the tax burden that falls on the unskilled decrease with product differentiation and with the expenditure share for manufacturing goods. All these results are broadly in line with observed patterns of urban primacy and economic development in sub-Saharan African countries.
    Keywords: economic geography; rent-seeking; interregional transfers; urban primacy; Sub-Saharan Africa.
    JEL: D72 F12 R12
    Date: 2011
  9. By: Martinho, Vítor João Pereira Domingues
    Abstract: With this work we try to present a non linear model for Portugal based on the new economic geography. We built the model taking into account an analyse about the agglomeration process in Portugal, using the New Economic Geography models, in a non linear way. In a non linear way, of referring, as summary conclusion, that with this work the existence of increasing returns to scale and low transport cost, in the Portuguese regions, was proven and, because this, the existence of agglomeration in Portugal.
    Keywords: new economic geography; non linear models; Portuguese regions
    JEL: O18 C20 C50 R12
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Bruno Lanz (Centre for Energy Policy and Economics (CEPE), Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich); Allan Provins (Economics for the Environment Consultancy (eftec) ltd., London, U.K.)
    Abstract: We report results from a series of discrete choice experiments designed to elicit preferences for environmental improvements brought about by local regeneration initiatives. Amenities we consider are areas of open space, restoration of derelict properties, outdoor recreation facilities, street cleanliness, public areas, and the provision of paths dedicated to cycling and walking. We include a measure for the spatial coverage of the policy as an attribute, making the trade-off between space and other attributes explicit. The experimental design is selected to efficiently estimate the first order interaction effects between the spatial attribute and the nimprovements based on a constrained version of the D-efficiency criteria. We use a mixed logit model to analyse observed choices and derive a second order Taylor approximation for the mean willingness to pay for marginal improvement in the presence of preference heterogeneity and price insensitive respondents. We find evidence that the spatial scope of improvements affects both the intensity and heterogeneity of preferences. Our results suggest significant economic values in dimensions that are difficult to capture in observed market transaction data, thereby contributing to ex-ante assessment of local regeneration policies.
    Keywords: Non-market valuation, Discrete choice experiments, Spatial analysis, Urban planning, Regeneration policy
    JEL: Q Q28 Q51 R R53 R58 C C21 C35 C81
    Date: 2011–08
  11. By: Chen, Dandan
    Abstract: This paper examines the key aspects of the practices of school-based management in Indonesia, and its effect on education quality. Using a conceptual framework of an accountability system of public service delivery, the paper explores the relations among Indonesian parents, school committees, schools, and government education supervisory bodies from three tenets: participation and voice; autonomy; and accountability. Using the data from a nationally representative survey of about 400 public primary schools in Indonesia, the paper finds that the level of parental participation and voice in school management is extremely low in Indonesia. While the role of school committees is still limited to community relations, school facilities, and other administrative areas of school management, school principals, together with teachers, are much more empowered to assert professional control of the schools. The accountability system has remained weak in Indonesia's school system, which is reflected by inadequate information flow to parents, as well as seemingly low parental awareness of the need to hold schools accountable. The accountability arrangement of the Indonesian school system currently puts more emphasis on top-down supervision and monitoring by government supervisory bodies. The findings show that although the scope of school-based management in Indonesia is limited, it has begun to help schools make the right decisions on allocation of resources and hiring additional (non-civil servant) teachers, and to create an enabling environment of learning, including increasing teacher attendance rates. These aspects are found to have significantly positive effects on student learning outcomes.
    Keywords: Education For All,Tertiary Education,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning,Disability
    Date: 2011–09–01
  12. By: Konstantopoulos, Spyros (Michigan State University); Sun, Min (Virginia Polytechnic University)
    Abstract: We examined the persistence of teacher effects from grade to grade on lower-performing students using high-quality experimental data from Project STAR, where students and teachers were assigned randomly to classrooms of different sizes. The data included information about mathematics and reading scores and student demographics such as gender, race, and SES. Teacher effects were computed as residual classroom achievement within schools and within grades. Then, teacher effects were used as predictors of achievement in following grades and quantile regression was used to estimate their persistence. Results consistently indicated that all students benefited similarly from teachers. Overall, systematic differential teacher effects were not observed and it appears that lower-performing students benefit as much as other students from teachers. In fourth grade there was some evidence that lower-performing students benefit more from effective teachers. Results from longitudinal analyses suggested that having effective teachers in successive grades is beneficial to all students and to lower-performing students in particular in mathematics. However, having low-effective teachers in successive grades is detrimental to all students and to lower-performing students in particular in reading.
    Keywords: teacher effects, low-achievers, quantile regression
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2011–09
  13. By: Olaf Merk; César Ducruet; Patrick Dubarle; Elvira Haezendonck; Michael Dooms
    Abstract: This working paper offers an evaluation of the performance of the ports of the Seine Axis (Le Havre, Rouen, Caen and Paris), as well as an analysis of the impact of the ports on their territory and an assessment of policies and governance in this field. It examines declining port performance in the last decade and identifies the principal factors that have contributed to it. In addition, the report studies the potential for synergies between the different ports, and surveys impending developments that are likely to influence port performance. The effect of the ports on economic, social and environmental questions is studied and quantified where possible. The value added of the port cluster of Le Havre/Rouen is calculated and its interlinkages with other economic sectors and other regions in France delineated. The paper outlines the impact of the ports' operations, and shows how their activities spill over into other regions. The major policies governing the ports are assessed, along with policies governing transport and economic development, innovation, the environment and spatial planning. These include measures instituted by the port authorities, as well as by local, regional and national governments. Governance mechanisms at these different levels are described and analysed. A port reform package, implemented in 2011, has changed the roles of the principal actors within the ports, and initiatives at the regional level have been intensified. Based on the report's findings, recommendations are proposed with a view to improving port performance and increasing the positive effects of the ports on their territory.
    Keywords: transportation, ports, regional development, regional growth, urban growth, inter-regional trade, input-output
    JEL: D57 L91 R11 R12 R15 R41
    Date: 2011–09–14
  14. By: Martinho, Vítor João Pereira Domingues
    Abstract: With this work we try to present a spatial model for Portugal based on the Keynesian theory. We built the model analysing, through cross-section estimation methods, the influence of spatial effects in productivity in the NUTs III economic sectors of mainland Portugal from 1995 to 1999 and from 2000 to 2005, considering the Verdoorn relationship. Bearing in mind the results of estimations, it can been that the effects of spatial spillovers, spatial lags and spatial error, influence the Verdoorn relationship when it is applied to the economic sectors of Portuguese regions.
    Keywords: Spatial Econometric; Verdoorn Law; Portuguese Regions
    JEL: O18 C20 C50 R11
    Date: 2011
  15. By: Cornwell, Christopher (University of Georgia); Mustard, David B. (University of Georgia); Van Parys, Jessica (Columbia University)
    Abstract: We extend the analysis of early-emerging gender differences in academic achievement to include both (objective) test scores and (subjective) teacher assessments. Using data from the 1998-99 ECLS-K cohort, we show that the grades awarded by teachers are not aligned with test scores, with the disparities in grading exceeding those in testing outcomes and uniformly favoring girls, and that the misalignment of grades and test scores can be linked to gender differences in non-cognitive development. Girls in every racial category outperform boys on reading tests and the differences are statistically significant in every case except for black fifth-graders. Boys score at least as well on math and science tests as girls, with the strongest evidence of a gender gap appearing among whites. However, boys in all racial categories across all subject areas are not represented in grade distributions where their test scores would predict. Even those boys who perform equally as well as girls on reading, math and science tests are nevertheless graded less favorably by their teachers, but this less favorable treatment essentially vanishes when non-cognitive skills are taken into account. White boys who perform on par with white girls on these subject-area tests and exhibit the same non-cognitive skill level are graded similarly. For some specifications there is evidence of a grade "bonus" for white boys with test scores and behavior like their girl counterparts. While the evidence is a little weaker for blacks and Hispanics, the message is essentially the same.
    Keywords: gender differences, test scores, grades, educational attainment
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2011–09
  16. By: Vassilis Tselios (University of Groningen); Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (IMDEA Social Sciences Institute); Andy Pike (Newcastle University); John Tomaney (Newcastle University); Gianpiero Torrisi (Newcastle University)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the relationship between decentralisation, regional economic development, and income inequality within regions. Using multiplicative interaction models and regionally aggregated microeconomic data for more than 100,000 individuals in the European Union (EU), it addresses two main questions. First, whether fiscal and political decentralisation in Western Europe has an effect on within regional interpersonal inequality. Second, whether this potential relationship is mediated by the level of economic development of the region. The results of the analysis show that greater fiscal decentralisation is associated with lower interpersonal income inequality, but as regional income rises, further decentralisation is connected to a lower decrease in inequality. This finding is robust to the measurement and definition of income inequality, as well as to the weighting of the spatial units by their population size.
    Keywords: Income inequality; income per capita; fiscal and political decentralization; interaction; regions; Europe
    Date: 2011–09–16
  17. By: Martinho, Vítor João Pereira Domingues
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to present a further contribution to the analysis of absolute convergence, associated with the neoclassical theory, of the manufactured industry productivity at regional level and for the period from 1995 to 1999 (1)(Martinho, 2011a). This work aims, also, to test the Verdoorn Law, with the alternative specifications of (2)Kaldor (1966), for the five Portuguese regions (NUTS II), from 1995 to 1999. It is intended to test, yet in this work, the alternative interpretation of (3)Rowthorn (1975) about the Verdoorn's Law for the same regions and period (4)(Martinho, 2011b). This paper pretends, yet, to analyze the importance which the natural advantages and local resources are in the manufacturing industry location, in relation with the "spillovers" effects and industrial policies. To this, we estimate the Rybczynski equation matrix for the various manufacturing industries in Portugal, at regional level (NUTS II) and for the period 1995 to 1999 (5)(Martinho, 2011c).
    Keywords: Verdoorn law; convergence theories; geographic concentration; panel data; manufactured industries; Portuguese regions
    JEL: O18 C23 R11 L60
    Date: 2011
  18. By: Alexander Cotte Poveda
    Abstract: This work uses several empirical approaches to examine the effects of poverty and inequality on violence in the seven metropolitan areas in Colombia. To this end, this study describes the main determinants of violence in these cities; these determinants are all fundamental features of social instability. For this description, this paper uses several econometric approximations to compare and determine an adequate estimator for the analysis of Colombian urban violence. This hypothesis was supported by evidence showing that factors related to poverty, inequality, and education directly influenced violence in the cities. Because of their effects over time and their incidence rates across society, these factors also had negative effects on the economic and social development of every city analysed.
    Date: 2011–09–13
  19. By: Nakajima, Kentaro; Saito, Yukiko Umeno; Uesugi, Iichiro
    Abstract: This paper examines location patterns of Japan’s manufacturing industries using a unique firm-level dataset on the geographic location of firms. Following the point-pattern approach proposed by Duranton and Overman (2005), we find the following. First, about half of Japan’s manufacturing industries can be classified as localized and the number of localized industries is largest for a distance level of 40 km or less. Second, several industries in the textile mill products sector are among the most localized, which is similar to findings for the UK, suggesting that there exist common factors across countries determining the concentration of industrial activities. Third, the distribution of distances between entrant (exiting) firms and remaining firms is, in most industries, not significantly different from a random distribution. These results suggest that most industries in Japan neither become more localized nor more dispersed over time and are in line with similar findings by Duranton and Overman (2008) for the UK. Fourth, a comparison with the service sector indicates that the share of localized industries is higher in manufacturing than in services, although the extent of localization among the most localized manufacturing industries is smaller than that among the most localized service industries, including financial service industries
    Keywords: Micro-geographic data, Economic geography
    JEL: R11
    Date: 2011–09
  20. By: Martinho, Vítor João Pereira Domingues
    Abstract: This work aims to test the Verdoorn Law, with the alternative specifications of (1)Kaldor (1966), for the five Portuguese regions (NUTS II), from 1986 to 1994. It is intended to test, yet in this work, the alternative interpretation of (2)Rowthorn (1975) about the Verdoorn's Law for the same regions and period. The results of this study are about each one of the manufactured industries operating in the Portuguese regions. The aim of this paper is, also, to present a further contribution to the analysis of absolute convergence, associated with the neoclassical theory, of the manufactured industry productivity at regional level and for the period from 1986 to 1994. This paper pretends, yet, to analyze the importance which the natural advantages and local resources are in the manufacturing industry location, in relation with the "spillovers" effects and industrial policies. To this, we estimate the Rybczynski equation matrix for the various manufacturing industries in Portugal, at regional level (NUTS II) and for the period 1986 to 1994.
    Keywords: Verdoorn law; convergence theories; geographic concentration; panel data; manufactured industries; Portuguese regions
    JEL: O18 C23 R11 L60
    Date: 2011
  21. By: Atif Mian (University of California, Berkeley and NBER (email:; Amir Sufi (University of Chicago Booth School of Business and NBER (email:; Francesco Trebbi (University of British Columbia, CIFAR, and NBER (email:
    Abstract: A central idea in macroeconomic theory is that negative price effects from the leverage-induced forced sale of durable goods can amplify negative shocks and reduce economic activity. We examine this idea by estimating the effect of U.S. foreclosures in 2008 and 2009 on house prices, residential investment, and durable consumption. We show that states that require judicial process for a foreclosure sale have significantly lower rates of foreclosures relative to states that have no such requirement. Using state laws requiring a judicial foreclosure as an instrument for actual foreclosures, as well as a regression discontinuity design around state borders with differing foreclosure laws, we show that foreclosures have a large negative impact on house prices. Foreclosures also lead to a significant decline in residential investment and durable consumption. The magnitudes of the effects are large, suggesting that foreclosures have been an important factor in weak house price, residential investment, and durable consumption patterns during and after the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009.
    Date: 2011–09
  22. By: Monstad, Karin (University of Bergen); Propper, Carol (University of Bristol); Salvanes, Kjell G. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: There is relatively little research on peer effects in teenage motherhood despite the fact that peer effects, and in particular social interaction within the family, are likely to be important. We estimate the impact of an elder sister’s teenage fertility on the teenage childbearing of their younger sister. To identify the peer effect we utilize an educational reform that impacted on the elder sister’s teenage fertility. Our main result is that within families, teen births tend to be contagious and the effect is larger where siblings are close in age and for women from low resource households.
    Keywords: Teenage pregnancy; spillover effects; education.
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2011–07–05
  23. By: Leonardo Meeus; Erik Delarue
    Abstract: In the transition towards a decarbonized energy system, we need city authorities to lead by example as public actors, to govern the actions of the private urban actors as local policy makers, and to conceive and manage the implementation of an integrated approach as coordinators, which we introduce in this paper as three levels of city smartness. Local governments however have institutional disincentives to act, and if they do act, they are confronted with urban actors that are reluctant to follow. This paper analyzes how city pioneers in Europe have been able to overcome these disincentives thanks to a combination of local circumstances and interventions by higher levels of government. We categorize the state of the art instruments that have been used by higher levels of government into “tambourines”, “carrots”, and “sticks”, and reflect on how the state of the art could be improved.
    Keywords: cities; climate change; governance
    Date: 2011–02–04
  24. By: Dessi, Roberta (IDEI, Toulouse School of Economics)
    Abstract: Innovative start-ups and venture capitalists are highly clustered, benefiting from localized spillovers: Silicon Valley is perhaps the best example. There is also substantial geographical variation in venture capital contracts: California contracts are more "incomplete". This paper proposes an economic explanation for these observations, often attributed to regional cultural differences. In the presence of significant spillovers, it becomes optimal for an innovative start-up and its financier to adopt contracts with fewer contingencies: these contracts maximize their ability to extract (part of) the surplus they generate through positive spillovers. This relaxes ex-ante financing constraints and makes it possible to induce higher innovative effort.
    JEL: D82 D86 G24 L22
    Date: 2011–09–13
  25. By: Bjerk, David (Claremont McKenna College)
    Abstract: This paper shows that while high school dropouts fare far worse on average than otherwise similar high school completers in early adulthood outcomes such as success in the labor market and future criminal activity, there are important differences within this group of dropouts. Notably, those who feel "pulled" out of school (i.e, they say they dropped out of school to work or take care of family) do similarly with respect to labor market and criminal outcomes in their early twenties to individuals with similar pre-dropout characteristics who complete high school. It is only those who feel they are more "pushed" out of school (i.e, they say they drop out for other reasons including expulsion, poor grades, moving, and not liking school) who do substantially worse than otherwise similar high school completers. These results suggest that any detrimental impacts from dropping out of school arise primarily when the drop out does not have a plan for how to use his time after dropping out.
    Keywords: dropouts, crime, wages, earnings, idleness
    JEL: J31 K42 I21
    Date: 2011–09
  26. By: Gerald Eisenkopf (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany); Zohal Hessami (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany); Urs Fischbacher (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany); Heinrich Ursprung (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: We study the effects of random assignment to coeducational and single-sex classes on the academic performance of female high school students. Our estimation results show that single-sex schooling improves the performance of female students in mathematics. This positive effect increases if the single-sex class is taught by a male teacher. An accompanying survey reveals that single-sex schooling also strengthens female students’ selfconfidence and renders the self-assessment of their mathematics skills more level-headed. Single-sex schooling thus has profound implications for human capital formation and the mind-set of female students.
    JEL: I21 J16
    Date: 2011–09–19
  27. By: Kelly, Robert (Central Bank of Ireland); McCarthy, Yvonne (Central Bank of Ireland); McQuinn, Kieran (Central Bank of Ireland)
    Abstract: Understanding the true scale of the difficulties in the Irish mortgage market is of key importance from a financial stability, fiscal and social perspective. To date, much of the analysis and discussion of the Irish market has tended to focus on either the concept of mortgage repayment distress or potential negative equity. However, the combination of these two factors raises fundamental policy issues. Building on earlier work, which used the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), we marry existing estimates of repayment distress with estimates of negative equity for a representative sample of Irish households. Using copula modelling we then examine the dependence structure across the distributions of mortgage delinquency and solvency for these households. As a result, we are in a position to estimate the probability that a household experiencing repayment distress might also be in negative equity.
    Keywords: Credit, Solvency, Delinquency, Copula
    JEL: D14 C16 C81
    Date: 2011–05
  28. By: Thomas Bossuroy
    Abstract: This paper examines the individual determinants of ethnic identication using large sample surveys (about 30,000 respondents) representative of seven capitals of West-African countries. A small model that relates ethnic identication to an investment in ethnic capital suggests that individuals initially deprived of social or human capital resort to ethnicity to get socially inserted, and do even more so if their ethnic group itself is well inserted. Empirical results are consistent with this simple theory. First, education lowers ethnic salience. Second, ethnic identication is higher for uneducated unemployed or informal workers who seek a new or better job, and is further raised by the share of the individual's ethnic group integrated on the job market. Third, ethnic identication is higher among migrants, and raised by the share of the migrant's ethnic group that is employed. Group solidarity makes ethnic identity more salient for individuals deprived of other means for upward mobility.
    Keywords: Ethnicity, Identity, Social capital, Networks, Africa
    JEL: A13 A14 D74 O17
    Date: 2011
  29. By: Rui Nuno Baleiras (Universidade do Minho - NIPE)
    Abstract: This is an article on policy instrument design wholly embodied in the state of the art endogenous regional development theory. The family of Collective Efficiency Strategies (CES) was originally con-ceived in Portugal during the 2005/2009 legislative term and is very much replicable in other geogra-phies and socio-economic environments, in emerging as well as in developed territories. They matter to deliver competitiveness and jobs by boosting business links among partnership members. Firms are indispensable to operate these networks but many other private, social and public agents whose action helps to internalise agglomeration and network externalities are also welcome. Four types of CES were launched, each aiming to address specific development bottlenecks: Growth and Competitiveness Poles, Other Clusters, Urban Regeneration and Development Actions and Programmes for the Economic Enhancement of Endogenous Resources. Taken together, they provide policy action to stimulate trade-oriented knowledge provision, innovation in goods and services or processes, urban economic drivers and sustainable and durable networks of economic activity in low-density territories. Before presenting the CES, the paper provides the relevant theoretical background. A synthesis of current endogenous regional development models paves the way to introduce the key concept of collective efficiency. Some data on the application country helps to motivate the discussion.
    Keywords: collective efficiency; endogenous development; regional development policy; Portugal; NSRF
    JEL: L52 L53 O25 R38 R58
    Date: 2011
  30. By: Qinghua Zhang (Peking University); Heng-fu Zou (CEMA, Central University of Finance and Economics)
    Date: 2011
  31. By: Alexiadis, Stilianos; Eleftheriou, Konstantinos
    Abstract: An attempt is made to establish the relation between risk-health factors (encapsulated in terms of obesity) and regional convergence, with special reference to the US states. The econometric results indicate that obesity does have an impact on regional growth and convergence. A preliminary examination of these findings shows harmful effects on the process of catching-up between ‘poor’ and ‘rich’ regions. Nevertheless, considerably more research is required before this relation can be discussed with confidence.
    Keywords: Health risk factors; obesity; regional convergence; US states
    JEL: R11 I10
    Date: 2011–02–26

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