nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2011‒12‒19
sixty-one papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Feeding the Cities and GHG Emissions: Beyond the Food Miles Approach By Stéphane De Cara; Anne Fournier; Carl Gaigné
  2. Housing Tenure and Housing Demand in Colombia By Maria Angelica Arbelaez; Roberto Steiner; Alejandro Becerra; Daniel Wills
  3. How to Improve the Economic Policy Framework for the Housing Market in Israel By Philip Hemmings
  4. Prepayment and delinquency in the mortgage crisis period By John Krainer; Elizabeth Laderman
  5. A New Way of Monitoring the Quality of Urban Life By Eduardo Lora; Andrew Powell
  6. Housing busts and household mobility: an update By Fernando Ferreira; Joseph Gyourko; Joseph Tracy
  7. Housing Finance Policy under Dutch Disease Pressure: The Mortgage Market in Trinidad and Tobago By Sebastián Auguste; Ramiro Moya; Sandra Sookram
  8. Are Uruguayan Housing Policies Reaching the Poor? An Assessment of Housing Deficit, Housing Informality and Usage of Housing Programs in Uruguay By Natalia Garabato; Magdalena Ramada-Sarasola
  9. Argentina`s Housing Market in the 2000s By Marcela Cristini; Ramiro Moya; Guillermo Bermudez
  10. Housing Markets in Uruguay: Determinants of Housing Demand and its Interaction with Public Policies By Natalia Garabato; Magdalena Ramada-Sarasola
  11. Migrant Youths‘ Educational Achievement: The Role of Institutions By Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Mathias Sinning; Steven Stillman
  12. How Local Are Labour Markets? Evidence from a Spatial Job Search Model By Alan Manning; Barbara Petrongolo
  13. Social Housing Policies in Latin America and Singapore: Lessons for China By Roger Sandilands
  14. Housing Finance in Peru: What is Holding it Back? By Miguel Palomino Bonilla; Rudy Wong Barrantes
  15. Housing Policy Matters for the Poor: Housing Conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1995-2006 By Eduardo Rojas; Nadin Medellín
  16. Housing Demand in Brazil: Evidence from the Formal and Informal Sectors By Julie Litchfield; Fernando Balderrama; Caio Piza
  17. Housing and debt over the life cycle and over the business cycle By Matteo Iacoviello; Marina Pavan
  18. Technological Dynamics and Social Capability: Comparing U.S. States and European Nations By Fagerberg, Jan; Feldman, Maryann; Srholec, Martin
  19. Housing Finance in Brazil: Institutional Improvements and Recent Developments By Bruno Martins; Eduardo Lundberg; Tony Takeda
  20. Does School Autonomy Make Sense Everywhere? Panel Estimates from PISA By Hanushek, Eric A.; Link, Susanne; Woessmann, Ludger
  21. Determinants of Property Prices in Hong Kong SAR: Implications for Policy By Changchun Hua; R. Sean Craig
  22. The Demand for Mortgages under Macro Volatility: The Argentine Case By Sebastián Auguste; Ricardo N. Bebczuk; Ramiro Moya
  23. Housing Finance in Mexico: Current State and Future Sustainability By Marco Lopez-Silva; Raul Abreu-Lastra; Alberto Saracho-Martinez; Agustin Paulin-Hutmacher
  24. Low-Income Housing Finance in Colombia By Maria Angelica Arbelaez; Carolina Camacho; Deisy Johanna Fajardo
  25. Impacts of an early education intervention on students' learning achievement: Evidence from the Philippines By Yamauchi, Futoshi; Liu, Yanyan
  26. Does Practice-Based Teacher Preparation Increase Student Achievement? Early Evidence from the Boston Teacher Residency By John P. Papay; Martin R. West; Jon B. Fullerton; Thomas J. Kane
  27. Policy-Induced Social Interactions and Schooling Decisions By Matteo Bobba; Jeremie Gignoux
  28. A long term analysis of the mechanisms underlying children’s activity-travel engagements in the Osaka metropolitan area By Susilo, Yusak O.; Waygood , E. Owen D.
  29. Do immigrant students succeed? Evidence from Italy and France based on PISA 2006 By Marina Murat
  30. How Immigrant Children Affect the Academic Achievement of Native Dutch Children By Ohinata, A.; Ours, J.C. van
  31. Tacit Collusion in the Santiago Housing Market By Fernando Lefort; Miguel Vargas
  32. Testing the 'Residential Rootedness' - Hypothesis of Self-Employment for Germany and the UK By Darja Reuschke; Maarten Van Ham
  33. The importance of public resources in the quality of local life: The case of Manizales, Colombia. By Liliana Velasquez
  34. GMM Estimation of Fixed Effects Dynamic Panel Data Models with Spatial Lag and Spatial Errors By Cizek, P.; Jacobs, J.P.A.M.; Ligthart, J.E.; Vrijburg, H.
  35. The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes. Evidence from a Field Experiment with Schoolchildren By Robert Fairlie; Jonathan Robinson
  37. Incentives and responses under No Child Left Behind: credible threats and the role of competition By Rajashri Chakrabarti
  38. Dynamic models of residential segregation: An analytical solution By Sebastian Grauwin; Florence Goffette-Nagot; Pablo Jensen
  39. From transfers to tax "co-occupation": the Italian reform of intergovernmental finance By Ernesto Longobardi
  40. Do borrower rights improve borrower outcomes?: evidence from the foreclosure process By Kristopher Gerardi; Lauren Lambie-Hanson; Paul S. Willen
  41. The Missing Foundations of Housing Finance: Incomplete Markets, Fragmented Policies and Emerging Solutions in Guatemala By Mario Cuevas; Sigfrido Lee; Maria Isabel Bonilla
  42. Immigrant Enclaves and Crime By Brian Bell; Stephen Machin
  43. "The regional distribution of unemployment. What do micro-data tell us?" By Enrique López-Bazo; Elisabet Motellón
  44. Estimating Verdoorn law for Italian firms and regions By Fazio, Giorgio; Maltese, Enza; Piacentino, Davide
  45. Homeownership and job-match quality in France By Carole Brunet; Nathalie Havet
  46. Transport modal choice by multinational firms : firm-level evidence from Southeast Asia By Hayakawa, Kazunobu; Tanaka, Kiyoyasu; Ueki, Yasushi
  47. A cross-country quarterly database of real house prices: a methodological note By Adrienne Mack; Enrique Martínez-García
  48. Comparing three models for introduction of competition into railways – is a Big Wolf so Bad after all? By Nash, Chris; Nilsson, Jan-Eric; Link, Heike
  49. Further investigations into the origin of credit score cutoff rules By Ryan Bubb; Alex Kaufman
  50. The BCA of HSR Should the government invest in high speed rail infrastructure? By De Rus, Ginés
  51. Infrastructure investment and incentives with supranational funding By Socorro, M. Pilar.; De Rus, Ginés
  52. SMEs´ absorptive capacities and large firms´ knowledge spillovers: Micro evidence from Mexico By De Fuentes, Claudia; Dutrénit, Gabriela
  53. Media market concentration, advertising levels, and ad prices. By Anderson, Simon P.; Foros, Øystein; Kind, Hans Jarle; Peitz, Martin
  54. Safeguarding Banks and Containing Property Booms: Cross-Country Evidence on Macroprudential Policies and Lessons from Hong Kong SAR By Ashvin Ahuja; Malhar Nabar
  55. Immigrant language barriers and house prices By Andreas M. Fischer
  56. A Comparative Perspective on Italy’s Human Capital Accumulation By Giuseppe Bertola; Paolo Sestito
  57. Are there Spillover Effects from Hong Kong and the United States to Chinese Stock Markets? By Katharina Diekmann
  58. Does Fiscal Decentralization Promote Fiscal Discipline? By Bilin Neyapti; Zafer Akin; Zeynep B. Cevik
  59. Linking scientific and practical knowledge in innovation systems By Isaksen, Arne; Nilsson, Magnus
  60. The value of time and external benefits in bicycle appraisal By Börjesson, Maria; Eliasson, Jonas
  61. Lending relationships and credit rationing: the impact of securitization By Carbo Valverde, S.; Degryse, H.A.; Rodriguez-Fernandez, F.

  1. By: Stéphane De Cara (UMR 210 Economie Publique, INRA-AgroParisTech.); Anne Fournier (UMR 7235 EconomiX-CNRS, University of Paris Ouest); Carl Gaigné (UMR 1302 SMART, INRA)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the impact of urbanization on the location of agricultural production and the GHG emissions related to transportation. We develop an economic geography model where the location of agricultural activities and urban population are endogenous. We show that increasing yields induce the spatial concentration of agricultural production in the most urban-crowded region if collection costs are relatively low and in the smallest one otherwise. In addition, we find that inter-regional trade in agricultural commodities may be desirable to reduce GHG emissions, except when urban population is equally split between cities. Finally, we highlight that the market may induce an excess of agricultural agglomeration when yields are high and/or collection costs are low.
    Keywords: Urbanization, Agricultural location, Transport, Greenhouse gas, Food miles
    JEL: F12 Q10 Q54 Q56 R12
    Date: 2011–08
  2. By: Maria Angelica Arbelaez; Roberto Steiner; Alejandro Becerra; Daniel Wills
    Abstract: Using the 2003 and 2008 Quality of Life Surveys, this paper identifies the factors that affect housing tenure decisions in Colombia. Households with higher incomes are more likely to purchase than to rent, and the choice of formal housing is positively associated with wealth. Households eligible for social housing subsidies are more likely to purchase than to rent, and those working in the informal sector are more likely to purchase informal dwellings. Subsidies and access to mortgage credit have a large positive impact on demand. Finally, savings have a positive effect on demand in 2008, but not in 2003. The positive effect on demand of both subsidies and credit is explained by demand for low- income housing.
    JEL: G21 O54 R21 R28 R38 R58
    Date: 2011–10
  3. By: Philip Hemmings
    Abstract: Israeli house prices have risen by over 50% over the past three years. In part this reflects the fact that for several years housing construction had not kept pace with increases in the number of households. In response to these developments, hitherto sluggish planning-approval processes are being speeded up. However, in addition low interest rates have been boosting demand, and there are concerns that prices have already been driven to bubble levels. Efforts have been made to subdue demand, and the market has cooled off somewhat, but there remains a risk of a hard landing with a sharp downward price correction and a contraction in construction activity. Recent price developments are not the only economic issue in Israeli housing. As in a number of other OECD countries, housing policies favour home ownership through tax settings and subsidies for house purchase, potentially raising issues of labour mobility. More generally, housing support (public housing and rent support as well as subsidies for purchase) endeavours to fulfil an unusually wide policy agenda that goes beyond simply assisting low-income households with their housing needs. This Working Paper relates to the OECD 2011 Economic Survey of Israel (<P>Marché du logement : comment améliorer le cadre de politique économique en Israël<BR>Ces trois dernières années, les prix des logements ont bondi de plus de 50 % en Israël. Cette envolée tient notamment au fait que, pendant plusieurs années, la construction de logements n'a pas suivi le rythme de l'augmentation du nombre de ménages. Face à cette situation, des mesures ont été prises pour accélérer les procédures relatives à l'aménagement du territoire, jusqu'à présent très lentes. Cependant, le faible niveau des taux d'intérêt stimule la demande de logements, et certains craignent que la hausse des prix n'ait déjà pris des proportions de bulle. Les autorités israéliennes s'efforcent de tempérer la demande, et une certaine détente du marché a pu être observée, mais il subsiste un risque d'atterrissage en catastrophe, qui se traduirait par une correction brutale à la baisse des prix et une contraction de l'activité dans le secteur de la construction. Le marché du logement israélien n'est pas seulement affecté par la flambée récente des prix : comme dans d'autres pays de l'OCDE, les politiques du logement favorisent l'accession à la propriété au moyen de mesures fiscales et de subventions à l'achat, ce qui pourrait avoir des conséquences négatives sur la mobilité de la main-d'oeuvre. D'une manière plus générale, l'aide au logement (qui englobe les logements sociaux, les allocations logement et les subventions à l'achat) est axée sur un éventail particulièrement vaste d'objectifs de l'action publique, qui va bien au-delà de l'aide aux ménages à bas revenus en matière de logement. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l’OCDE d’Israël 2011 (ël).
    Keywords: housing, construction, property tax, mortgages, housing support, rental market, Israel, housing markets, Israeli housing market, Israeli house prices, rents, planning regulation, public housing, rent support, rent subsidy, mortgage support, mortgage subsidy, logement, construction, impôt foncier, logement social, aides au logement, prêts hypothécaires, Israël, marché de l'immobilier israélien, prix des logements israéliens, règlementation relative à l'aménagement du territoire, allocation logement, subvention à la location, prêts hypothécaires aidés, subventions des prêts hypothécaires, marché de l'immobilier, marché de l'immobilier locatif, loyers
    JEL: G21 I38 R21 R3 R31 R38 R52
    Date: 2011–12–06
  4. By: John Krainer; Elizabeth Laderman
    Abstract: We study the interaction of borrower mortgage prepayment and mortgage delinquency during the period between 2001 and 2010. We show that when house prices flattened and began their subsequent decline, borrowers had increasingly slow prepayments and that this decline in prepayment rates roughly coincided with the sharp increase in their delinquency rates. Low credit score borrowers, in particular, display a pronounced negative correlation between default rates and prepayment rates. Shortfalls of actual prepayment rates from predicted rates based on an estimated prepayment model suggest that, in addition to the effects of declining house prices, tighter lending standards also may have played a role in weak prepayment activity.
    Keywords: Mortgage loans ; Mortgages
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Eduardo Lora; Andrew Powell
    Abstract: This paper proposes a methodology to resolve the problems that result from using a combination of objective and subjective information in evaluating urban quality of life. The paper further suggests techniques to identify and rank issues of potential importance for urban dwellers. In order to combine objective and subjective information in a coherent manner and focus on the most relevant dimensions of the quality of life in a city or neighborhood, the paper attempts to exploit the complementary nature of two approaches: the “hedonic” approach, which employs market prices for housing, and the “life satisfaction” approach, which addresses subjective well-being. Results using both approaches in selected Latin American cities are discussed and compared. The paper concludes with a discussion of potential uses of the two-pronged methodology for policy analysis.
    JEL: D19 H41 H42 I31
    Date: 2011–11
  6. By: Fernando Ferreira; Joseph Gyourko; Joseph Tracy
    Abstract: This paper provides updated estimates of the impact of three financial frictions—negative equity, mortgage lock-in, and property tax lock-in—on household mobility. We add the 2009 wave of the American Housing Survey (AHS) to our sample and also create an improved measure of permanent moves in response to Schulhofer-Wohl’s (2011) critique of our earlier work (2010). Our updated estimates corroborate our previous results: Negative equity reduces household mobility by 30 percent, and $1,000 of additional mortgage or property tax costs reduces household mobility by 10 to 16 percent. Schulhofer-Wohl’s finding of a slight positive correlation between mobility and negative equity appears due to a large fraction of false positives, as his coding methodology has the propensity to misclassify almost half of the additional moves it identifies relative to our measure of permanent moves. This also makes his mobility measure dynamically inconsistent, as many transitions originally classified as a move are reclassified as a nonmove when additional AHS panels become available. We conclude with directions for future research, including potential improvements to measures of household mobility.
    Keywords: Housing - Finance ; Equity ; Mortgages ; Property tax
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Sebastián Auguste; Ramiro Moya; Sandra Sookram
    Abstract: This work analyzes housing finance in Trinidad and Tobago during the last 20 years. The period covered is influenced by an economic bonanza led by the energy sector. Housing prices in this period skyrocketed, but the demand for mortgage loans was low. The results suggest that this is explained by affordability problems in the dynamics of the new post-shock equilibrium, as housing prices increased more rapidly than wages. Public housing finance also played a role, but in recent times it has been more prudently managed than during the previous boom of the 1970s.
    JEL: N96 R2 R28
    Date: 2011–12
  8. By: Natalia Garabato; Magdalena Ramada-Sarasola
    Abstract: This document surveys the Uruguayan housing market, first describing the main housing programs and policies, then comparing their design with households’ characteristics and needs. The document additionally measures Uruguay’s housing deficit, using the basis deficit as well as quantitative and qualitative deficits, and provides a definition of housing informality that captures most irregular housing situations, thus delineating the size and attributes of the informal housing market. Considering both the housing deficit and informality permits an understanding of which population segments have the most urgent housing needs and whether they are currently eligible for participation in housing programs. Finally, the study considers how many households eligible for housing programs actually make use of them. Uruguay’s housing programs do not necessarily target those who actually need them. On the other hand, although eligible households have housing deficits that could be addressed through the use of specific housing programs, program usage remains low.
    JEL: I38 O54 R21 R28 R31 R38
    Date: 2011–09
  9. By: Marcela Cristini; Ramiro Moya; Guillermo Bermudez
    Abstract: In the last three decades, the supply of housing in Argentina has not kept pace with demand. This study analyzes the main drivers of Argentina’s housing market and relates them to the macroeconomic environment in order to advance a policy agenda for housing policy reform. The demand for housing was calculated and tenure choice was analyzed. Structural characteristics affecting Argentina’s housing market include the high concentration of the urban population in a few large metropolitan areas, the association of urban poverty with the housing deficit, and overcrowding. The mortgage market lost its appeal following the 2001-02 crisis due to widespread breaches of contract legitimized through protective legislation (still in place), insufficient long-term financing, and high inflation. The housing deficit could be eliminated in five to eight years if well-coordinated policy initiatives to develop the mortgage market and provide low-income housing were adopted under a decentralized, demand-driven, subsidized program.
    JEL: O54 R21 R23 R28 R30 R31 R38 R58
    Date: 2011–09
  10. By: Natalia Garabato; Magdalena Ramada-Sarasola
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of housing demand for Uruguay and the extent to which housing policies have an impact on their target population. The paper first analyzes the determinants of housing demand, following an approach based on Rosen’s (1974) two-step procedure consisting of fitting a hedonic price regression in 34 different geographical units (or markets) to estimate a housing demand function. The determinants of formality and ownership choices were examined using a multinomial logit framework. Determinants of these choices include both household demographic attributes and access to and use of public housing programs and other social programs. Policy recommendations are offered on the basis of the finding that a price and income-inelastic formal housing market greatly contrasts with a rather price and income-elastic informal housing market.
    JEL: G21 I38 O54 R21 R28 R38
    Date: 2011–10
  11. By: Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Mathias Sinning; Steven Stillman
    Abstract: We use 2009 Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) data to link institutional arrangements in OECD countries to the disparity in reading, math, and science test scores for migrant and native-born students. We find that achievement gaps are larger for those migrant youths who arrive later and for those who do not speak the test language at home. Institutional arrangements often serve to mitigate the achievement gaps of some migrant students while leaving unaffected or exacerbating those of others. For example, earlier school starting ages help migrant youths in some cases, but by no means in all. Limited tracking on ability appears beneficial for migrants‘ relative achievement, while complete tracking and a large private school sector appear detrimental. Migrant students‘ achievement relative to their native-born peers suffers as educational spending and teachers‘ salaries increase, but is improved when examination is a component of the process for evaluating teachers.
    Keywords: Migrant youths; PISA test scores; schools; institutions; academic achievement
    JEL: F22 I24
    Date: 2011–11
  12. By: Alan Manning; Barbara Petrongolo
    Abstract: This paper uses data on very small UK geographies to investigate the effective size of local labour markets. Our approach treats geographic space as continuous, as opposed to a collection of nonoverlapping administrative units, thus avoiding problems of mismeasurement of local labour markets encountered in previous work. We develop a theory of job search across space that allows us to estimate a matching process with a very large number of areas. Estimates of this model show that the cost of distance is relatively high - the utility of being offered a job decays at exponential rate around 0.3 with distance (in km) to the job - so that labour markets are indeed quite 'local'. Also, workers are discouraged from applying to jobs in areas where they expect relatively strong competition from other jobseekers. The estimated model replicates fairly accurately actual commuting patterns across neighbourhoods, although it tends to underpredict the proportion of individuals who live and work in the same ward. Finally, we find that, despite the fact that labour markets are relatively 'local', local development policies are fairly ineffective in raising the local unemployment outflow, because labour markets overlap, and the associated ripple effects in applications largely dilute the impact of local stimulus across space.
    Keywords: Job search, local labour markets, location-based policies, ripple effects
    JEL: J61 J63 J64 R12
    Date: 2011–12
  13. By: Roger Sandilands (Department of Economics, The University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: This paper addresses the challenges facing China in accelerating the pace of rural-urban migration as part of its on-going economic development programme. It explains the push and pull influences on migration and in particular explains why a continuing focus on urbanisation is justified by the very large gap between rural and urban incomes and the relatively higher income elasticity of demand for urban-based goods and services. The provision of affordable housing is an integral part of this structural shift programme. The paper thus considers the most appropriate ways in which housing finance can be mobilised, and thence how both the quality and the affordability of the housing stock can be increased. Positive and negative lessons for China are offered from the different urbanisation experiences of Latin America (especially Colombia) and Singapore.
    Keywords: China, Colombia, Singapore, rural-urban migration, housing finance
    JEL: O16 O18 O57 R31 R52
    Date: 2011–11
  14. By: Miguel Palomino Bonilla; Rudy Wong Barrantes
    Abstract: Housing for most Peruvians is improving but is still grossly inadequate. Nonetheless, public housing finance policies mainly involve programs that subsidize middle-income families and banks that lend to them. Research summarized in this paper indicates that financing will not be the main obstacle to improving housing conditions in Peru and that public sector efforts would be better aimed at dealing with issues where significant externalities and institutional restrictions limit market development. Thus, public sector efforts and funds could temporarily support the development of: i) cheaper construction techniques and materials, ii) lower-cost credit technologies for low-income housing credits and iii) increasing the availability of adequately enabled land for large-scale low- income housing projects.
    JEL: G21 G28 H81 R31 R38
    Date: 2011–11
  15. By: Eduardo Rojas; Nadin Medellín
    Abstract: This paper discusses the evolution of housing conditions in urban areas of Latin America and the Caribbean from 1995 to 2006 based on data from household surveys done in 18 countries that comprise 95 percent of the urban population of the region. The results indicate that, on average, the proportion of urban households facing housing shortages is declining. This decline holds for households of all income levels, particularly those in the lower quintiles of the income distribution structure. The estimates made in this study indicate that in 2006 lack of infrastructure affected almost 19 million households. Further, about seven million households needed a new shelter and nine million needed significant improvements to their houses due to poor construction materials or overcrowding. Cross-country analysis shows that each country was facing a different combination of problems and was improving its housing conditions at a different pace, which indicates that it is highly unlikely that a ¿one-size-fits-all¿ solution exists.
    Keywords: Rural & Urban Development :: Housing, Public Sector :: Public Administration & Policy Making, Social Development :: Poverty, housing conditions, Latin America and the Caribbean, household growth
    JEL: R21 R30
    Date: 2011–12
  16. By: Julie Litchfield; Fernando Balderrama; Caio Piza
    Abstract: This paper describes the determinants of housing demand in Brazil, with the intention of informing policy aimed at reducing the housing deficit and increasing home ownership. As price elasticity for renters is slightly higher, public policies that aim to influence the price of dwellings and/or the income of households are expected to affect renters more than owners. Given that rent is a pro-cyclical variable and that housing-price supply elasticity tends to be low, a social housing policy focused on the rental market might be an effective option, at least in the short run, to satisfy the increasing housing demand observed in Brazil.
    JEL: O54 R21 R23 R28 R31 R58
    Date: 2011–10
  17. By: Matteo Iacoviello; Marina Pavan
    Abstract: We study housing and debt in a quantitative general equilibrium model. In the cross-section, the model matches the wealth distribution, the age pro.les of homeownership and mortgage debt, and the frequency of housing adjustment. In the time-series, the model matches the procyclicality and volatility of housing investment, and the procyclicality of mortgage debt. We use the model to conduct two experiments. First, we investigate the consequences of higher individual income risk and lower downpayments, and .nd that these two changes can explain, in the model and in the data, the reduced volatility of housing investment, the reduced procyclicality of mortgage debt, and a small fraction of the reduced volatility of GDP. Second, we use the model to look at the behavior of housing investment and mortgage debt in an experiment that mimics the Great Recession: we find that countercyclical financial conditions can account for large drops in housing activity and mortgage debt when the economy is hit by large negative shocks.
    Date: 2011
  18. By: Fagerberg, Jan (CIRCLE, Lund University); Feldman, Maryann (University North Carolina); Srholec, Martin (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes factors that shape the technological capabilities of individual U.S. states and European countries, which are arguably comparable policy units. The analysis demonstrates convergence in technological capabilities from 2000 to 2007. The results indicate that social capabilities, such as a highly educated labor force, an egalitarian distribution of income, a participatory democracy and prevalence of public safety, condition the growth of technological capability. The analysis also considers other aspects of territorial dynamics, such as the possible effects of spatial agglomeration, urbanization economies, and differences in industrial specialization and knowledge spillovers from neighboring regions.
    Keywords: innovation; technological capabilities; European Union; United States Disclaimer: All
    JEL: O33
    Date: 2011–12–12
  19. By: Bruno Martins; Eduardo Lundberg; Tony Takeda
    Abstract: Despite a recent expansion in housing finance, Brazil still faces a severe housing shortage, especially among lower-income people, and it is important to examine the development, limitations and prospects of the country`s housing finance market. This paper investigates the recent evolution of that market in Brazil, focusing on whether the current expansion in mortgage lending is the result of institutional and economic improvements favoring economic stability and compliance with contractual obligations or is merely an effect of the higher level of housing loans imposed by the government on financial institutions. Different explanations are found for private and public institutions.
    JEL: D23 N97 R21 R31 R38
    Date: 2011–09
  20. By: Hanushek, Eric A. (Stanford University); Link, Susanne (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Decentralization of decision-making is among the most intriguing recent school reforms, in part because countries went in opposite directions over the past decade and because prior evidence is inconclusive. We suggest that autonomy may be conducive to student achievement in well-developed systems but detrimental in low-performing systems. We construct a panel dataset from the four waves of international PISA tests spanning 2000-2009, comprising over one million students in 42 countries. Relying on panel estimation with country fixed effects, we identify the effect of school autonomy from within-country changes in the average share of schools with autonomy over key elements of school operations. Our results show that autonomy affects student achievement negatively in developing and low-performing countries, but positively in developed and high-performing countries. These results are unaffected by a wide variety of robustness and specification tests, providing confidence in the need for nuanced application of reform ideas.
    Keywords: school autonomy, decentralization, developing countries, educational production, international student achievement tests, panel estimation
    JEL: I20 O15 H75 I25
    Date: 2011–12
  21. By: Changchun Hua; R. Sean Craig
    Abstract: This paper uses an econometric model of residential property prices in Hong Kong SAR to assess the effectiveness of alternative policies in slowing the increase in property prices. The rapid rise in property prices is well explained by macroconomic fundamentals; real GDP per capital, real domestic credit, construction costs, land supply, and the real interest rate. Policy can influence the property market though land supply and prudential and tax policy, with the latter policies taking the form of a stamp duty on property transactions and a tighter loan-to-value ratio (LTV) on lending. Land supply is the most effective policy insturment for restraining property price increases but it operates with a significant lag. The LTV and stamp duty dampen speculative activity that drives up property prices. While these policies can slow the increase in the short run, they should be guided by their long run objectives of financial stability and counteracting speculation.
    Keywords: Economic models , Housing prices , Land prices , Price increases , Stamp duties , Tax policy ,
    Date: 2011–11–30
  22. By: Sebastián Auguste; Ricardo N. Bebczuk; Ramiro Moya
    Abstract: This paper analyzes mortgage loan demand in Argentina using a new survey administered in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area. It is found that recurring macro volatility and violation of financial property rights have increased demand for real estate as an investment, which in turn raises house prices and makes it more difficult for consumer households to meet minimum income requirements for obtaining a mortgage. Affordability thus seems to offer a better explanation than standard supply side constraints for the small size of the mortgage market in Argentina. Overall, the findings suggest that the shallow mortgage market has not posed a major impediment to home ownership rate in Argentina and that the small (and shrinking) mortgage market has more to do with lack of demand than credit supply constraints.
    JEL: G21 R21 R31
    Date: 2011–11
  23. By: Marco Lopez-Silva; Raul Abreu-Lastra; Alberto Saracho-Martinez; Agustin Paulin-Hutmacher
    Abstract: In 2001, Mexico introduced a comprehensive federal housing policy package. The results have been quantitatively impressive; however, there are qualitative concerns. It is also uncertain whether current subsidy programs have negative financial implications for participating mortgage issuers, as poorer applicants with lower job stability are injected into the pool of borrowers. This paper addresses that question by analyzing a large database provided by INFONAVIT, Mexico’s principal mortgage issuer, which contains information on borrowers’ repayment behavior. It is found that borrowers who received subsidies do not show higher default rates than borrowers who received no financial assistance. Borrowers receiving subsidies actually take longer to show their first default than borrowers not receiving subsidies. Therefore, current subsidy programs do not seem to have negative financial implications for participating mortgage institutions.
    JEL: G18 G21 G28 H81 R31 R38 R51
    Date: 2011–11
  24. By: Maria Angelica Arbelaez; Carolina Camacho; Deisy Johanna Fajardo
    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.
    JEL: D61 H81 I30 I31 I32 I38 O17 R20 R28 R31 R38
    Date: 2011–08
  25. By: Yamauchi, Futoshi; Liu, Yanyan
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of a large supply-side education intervention in the Philippines, the Third Elementary Education Project, on students' national achievement test scores. We find that the program significantly increased student test scores at grades 4 to 6. The estimate indicates that the six-year exposure to the program increases test scores by about 15 score points. Interestingly, the mathematics score is more responsive to this education reform than other subjects. We also find that textbooks, instructional training of teachers, and new classroom constructions particularly contributed to these outcomes. The empirical results also imply that early-stage investments improve student performance at later stages in the elementary school cycle, which suggests that social returns to such an investment are greater than what the current study demonstrates.
    Keywords: School quality, policy intervention, elementary schools, human capital formation,
    Date: 2011
  26. By: John P. Papay; Martin R. West; Jon B. Fullerton; Thomas J. Kane
    Abstract: The Boston Teacher Residency is an innovative practice-based preparation program in which candidates work alongside a mentor teacher for a year before becoming a teacher of record in Boston Public Schools. We find that BTR graduates are more racially diverse than other BPS novices, more likely to teach math and science, and more likely to remain teaching in the district through year five. Initially, BTR graduates for whom value-added performance data are available are no more effective at raising student test scores than other novice teachers in English language arts and less effective in math. The effectiveness of BTR graduates in math improves rapidly over time, however, such that by their fourth and fifth years they out-perform veteran teachers. Simulations of the program’s overall impact through retention and effectiveness suggest that it is likely to improve student achievement in the district only modestly over the long run.
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2011–12
  27. By: Matteo Bobba; Jeremie Gignoux
    Abstract: This paper considers a conditional cash transfer program targeting poor households in small rural villages and studies the effects of the geographic proximity between villages on individual enrollment decisions. Exploiting variations in the treatment status across contiguous villages generated by the randomized evaluation design, the paper finds that the additional effect stemming from the density of neighboring recipients amounts to roughly one third of the direct effect of program receipt. Importantly, these spatial externalities are concentrated among children from beneficiary house- holds. This suggests that the intervention has enhanced educational aspirations by triggering social interactions among the targeted population.
    JEL: C9 I2 J2 O2
    Date: 2011–12
  28. By: Susilo, Yusak O. (KTH); Waygood , E. Owen D. (University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK)
    Abstract: Using a series of conventional large-scale household travel surveys conducted in the Osaka metropolitan area of Japan in 1980, 1990 and 2000 this study examines the mechanisms underlying children’s activity and travel engagements and how these mechanisms have changed over time. The results from a structural equation model show that, in the last two decades, children’s trip patterns in the Osaka metropolitan area have become more efficient through greater trip chaining. At the same time, the results also show that boys have become less mobile and their non-school activities tend to be in fewer locations than those of girls. Further, Japanese boys are the ones who travelled by car more frequently than girls. Denser built environments, accessibility by rail transport, and a higher number of school trips have constantly reduced the amount of children’s private car trips in the last three decades. Moreover, private car availability did not significantly increase the amount of children trip chaining in any observed year. This finding goes against the commonly held belief that public transport is less suitable for trip chaining. This is presumably due to the travel environment created by the well developed transit networks and dense land use in the study area.
    Keywords: Children; Travel behaviour; Over time changes; SEM; The Osaka metropolitan area
    JEL: I18 O18 Z10
    Date: 2011–12–13
  29. By: Marina Murat
    Abstract: This paper uses data from PISA 2006 on science, mathematics and reading to analyse immigrant school gaps – negative difference between immigrants’ and natives’ scores - and the structural features of educational systems in two adjacent countries, Italy and France, with similar migration inflows and with similar schooling institutions, based on tracking. Our results show that tracking and school specific programs matter; in both countries, the school system upholds a separation between students with different backgrounds and ethnicities. Residential segregation or discrimination seem also to be at work, especially in France. Given the existing school model, a teaching support in mathematics and science in France and in reading in Italy would help immigrant students to converge to natives’ standards
    Keywords: International migration; educational systems; PISA;
    JEL: F22 I21
    Date: 2011–11
  30. By: Ohinata, A.; Ours, J.C. van (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze how the share of immigrant children in the classroom affects the educational attainment of native Dutch children. Our analysis uses data from various sources, which allow us to characterize educational attainment in terms of reading literacy, mathematical skills and science skills. We do not find strong evidence of negative spill-over effects from immigrant children to native Dutch children. Immigrant children themselves experience negative language spill-over effects from a high share of immigrant children in the classroom but no spill-over effects on maths and science skills.
    Keywords: Immigrant children;Peer effects;Educational attainment.
    JEL: I21 J15
    Date: 2011
  31. By: Fernando Lefort; Miguel Vargas
    Abstract: Given the numerous and widely acknowledged benefits of a well-functioning housing market, it is vital to understand the degree of competition in that market, which is the starting point for undertaking any policy tool aimed at improving its efficiency. This paper tests the extent of competition in the housing market in Santiago, Chile using a two-step methodology. In the first step, using a hedonic price model, the Santiago housing market is divided into sub-markets, which are analyzed separately. The second step is the tacit collusion test itself, which compares the industry markup with the business cycle in each sub-market using panel data regression models. Evidence of collusion is found in certain sub-markets.
    JEL: O54 R21 R23 R28 R31 R38 R58
    Date: 2011–07
  32. By: Darja Reuschke; Maarten Van Ham
    Abstract: Based on the notion that entrepreneurship is a 'local event' , the literature argues that selfemployed workers and entrepreneurs are 'rooted' in place. This paper tests the 'residential rootedness'-hypothesis of self-employment by examining for Germany and the UK whether the self-employed are less likely to move or migrate than employees. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio-economic Panel Study (SOEP) and the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and accounting for transitions in employment status we found little evidence that the self-employed in Germany and the UK are more rooted in place than employees. Firstly, the self-employed are not less likely to move or migrate over the period 2001-08. Secondly, those who are currently self-employed are also not more likely to have remained in the same place over a period of three years (2008-06 and 2005-03) as compared to those who are currently employed. Thirdly, those who are continuously self-employed are not less likely to have moved or migrated over a 3-period than those in continuous paid employment. Fourthly, in contrast to the prevalent 'residential rootedness'-hypothesis in economic geography and regional studies, we found that the entry into and the exit from selfemployment are associated with internal migration.
    Keywords: Self-employment, migration, residential mobility, rootedness hypothesis, UK, Germany
    JEL: D22 J61 J62 L26
    Date: 2011
  33. By: Liliana Velasquez
    Abstract: This paper applies a method designed by the BID to monitor of urban quality based on the combination of two approaches: hedonic prices and lifestile satisfaction. This combination allows the assessment of local public resources from both the market point of view and that of profitability. Unlike other monitoring systems, this one focuses on few dimensions (those related to the occupancy of the urban surroundings) and offers valuable information for the design and prioritization of public policies. The results of the application of the method for the city of Manizales, Colombia, reveal that, although for some public resources the assessment carried out by the market is suitable, for others there is an additional assessment represented in the well-being passed on to the inhabitants and which the market does not manage to capture.
    JEL: D60 H41 R28
    Date: 2011–06
  34. By: Cizek, P.; Jacobs, J.P.A.M.; Ligthart, J.E.; Vrijburg, H. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: We extend the three-step generalized methods of moments (GMM) approach of Kapoor et al. (2007), which corrects for spatially correlated errors in static panel data models, by introducing a spatial lag and a one-period lag of the dependent variable as additional explanatory variables. Combining the extended Kapoor et al. (2007) approach with the dynamic panel data model GMM estimators of Arellano and Bond (1991) and Blundell and Bond (1998) and specifying moment conditions for various time lags, spatial lags, and sets of exogenous variables yields new spatial dynamic panel data estimators. We prove their consistency and asymptotic normality for a large number of spatial units N and a xed small number of time periods T. Monte Carlo simulations demonstrate that the root mean squared error of spatially corrected GMM estimates|which are based on a spatial lag and spatial error correction|is generally smaller than that of corresponding spatial GMM estimates in which spatial error correlation is ignored. We show that the spatial Blundell-Bond estimators outperform the spatial Arellano-Bond estimators.
    Keywords: Dynamic panel models;spatial lag;spatial error;GMM estimation.
    JEL: C15 C21 C22 C23
    Date: 2011
  35. By: Robert Fairlie (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz); Jonathan Robinson (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz)
    Abstract: Are home computers are an important input in the educational production function? To address this question, we conduct a field experiment involving the provision of free computers to schoolchildren for home use. Low-income children attending middle and high schools in 15 schools in California were randomly selected to receive free computers and followed over the school year. The results indicate that the experiment substantially increased computer ownership and total computer use among the schoolchildren with no substitution away from use at school or other locations outside the home. We find no evidence that the home computers improved educational outcomes for the treatment group. From detailed administrative data provided by the schools and a follow-up survey, we find no evidence of positive effects on a comprehensive set of outcomes such as grades, test scores, credits, attendance, school enrollment, computer skills, and college aspirations. The estimates also do not indicate that the effects of home computers on educational outcomes are instead negative. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out even modestly-sized positive or negative impacts. The lack of a positive net effect on educational outcomes may be due to displacement from non-educational uses such as for games, social networking, and entertainment. We find evidence that total hours of computer use for games and social networking increases substantially with having a home computer, and increases more than total hours of computer use for schoolwork.
    Keywords: Computers, education, technology, experiment
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2011–09
  36. By: Marcucci E. (DIPES, University of Roma Tre, Italy); Stathopoulos A. (DISES University of Trieste, Italy); Gatta V. (Sapienza, University of Rome, Italy); Valeri E. (DISES, University of Trieste, Italy)
    Abstract: City logistics policies require an understanding of several issues (e.g. freight distribution context, preferences and relationship among agents) seldom accounted for in current research. Policies run the risk of producing unsatisfactory results because behavioural and contextual aspects are not considered. The acquisition of relevant data is crucial to test hypothesis and forecast agents’ reactions to policy changes. Despite recent methodological advances in modelling interactive behaviour the development of apt survey instruments is still lacking to test innovative policies acceptability. This paper expands and innovate the methodological literature by describing a stated ranking experiment to study freight agent interactive behaviour and discusses the experimental design implemented to incorporate agent-specific priors when efficient design techniques are employed.
    Keywords: urban freight distribution, group decision making, agent-specific interaction, stated preference, stated ranking experiments
    Date: 2011
  37. By: Rajashri Chakrabarti
    Abstract: The No Child Left Behind law mandated the institution of adequate yearly progress (AYP) objectives, on which schools are assigned a pass or fail. Fail status is associated with negative publicity and often sanctions. In this paper, I study the incentives and responses of schools that failed AYP once. Using data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and regression discontinuity designs, I find evidence in these schools of improvements in high-stakes reading and spillover effects to low-stakes language arts. The patterns are consistent with a focus on marginal students around the high-stakes cutoff, but this improvement did not come at the expense of the ends. Meanwhile, there is little evidence of improvement in high-stakes math or in low-stakes science and social studies. Performance in low-stakes grades suffered, as did performance in weaker subgroups despite their inclusion in AYP computations. While there is no evidence of robust effects in either test participation or graduation, attendance improved in threatened schools where it mattered for AYP. Finally, there is strong evidence in favor of response to incentives: Schools that failed AYP only in reading and/or math subsequently did substantially better in those subject areas. Credibility of threat mattered. AYP-failed schools that faced more competition responded more strongly and also more broadly, robust evidence in favor of improvements in all AYP objectives.
    Keywords: Education ; Public schools ; Reward (Psychology)
    Date: 2011
  38. By: Sebastian Grauwin (Phys-ENS - Laboratoire de Physique de l'ENS Lyon - CNRS : UMR5672 - École Normale Supérieure de Lyon); Florence Goffette-Nagot (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines); Pablo Jensen (Phys-ENS - Laboratoire de Physique de l'ENS Lyon - CNRS : UMR5672 - École Normale Supérieure de Lyon)
    Abstract: We propose an analytical solution to a Schelling segregation model for a relatively broad range of utility functions. Using evolutionary game theory, we provide existence conditions for a potential function, which characterizes the global configuration of the city and is maximized in the stationary state. We use this potential function to analyze the outcome of the model for three utility functions corresponding to different degrees of preference for mixed neighborhoods: (i) we show that linear utility functions is the only case where the potential function is proportional to collective utility, the latter being therefore maximized in stationary configurations; (ii) Schelling's original utility function is shown to drive segregation at the expense of collective utility; (iii) if agents have a strict preference for mixed neighborhoods but also prefer to be in the majority versus the minority, the model converges to perfectly segregated configurations, which clearly diverge from the social optimum. Departing from the existing literature, these conclusions are based on analytical results which open the way to analysis of many preference structures. Since our model is based on bounded rather than continuous neighborhoods as in Schelling's original model, we discuss the differences generated by the bounded- and continuous-neighborhood definitions and show that, in the case of the continuous neighborhood, a potential function exists if and only if the utility functions are linear. A side result is that our analysis builds a bridge between Schelling's model and the Duncan and Duncan segregation index.
    Date: 2012
  39. By: Ernesto Longobardi (Università di Bari)
    Abstract: The paper provides some insights into the current reform of the system of intergovernmental relations in Italy. A most relevant change is the abolition of transfers from a higher level of government as an ordinary means of finance for sub-central governments, with the exception of grants having an explicit equalisation purpose. Since the room for autonomous local taxes is quite narrow, transfers are going to be substituted, to a large extent, by different forms of "co-occupation" of central taxes. Using the OECD taxonomy about tax autonomy, it is shown that the effective increase in "infra-marginal" tax autonomy of sub-central governments brought about by the reform will be quite modest. At the margin, however, where autonomy really matters, there could be enough room for the exercise of effective discretion. The main problem is that both the central and the sub-central governments fear the decentralisation of tax power. The former because it feels that, at least in the transitional period, the electorate might not properly distinguish the different fiscal responsibilities; the latter because they would prefer not to tax their electorate, notwithstanding their preferences for more stable and predictable sources of finance with respect to the current system.
    Keywords: Intergovernmental finance, decentralisation, tax assignment, tax autonomy
    JEL: H71 H77
    Date: 2011–12
  40. By: Kristopher Gerardi; Lauren Lambie-Hanson; Paul S. Willen
    Abstract: The authors evaluate laws designed to protect borrowers from foreclosure. They find that these laws delay but do not prevent foreclosures. They first compare states that require lenders to seek judicial permission to foreclose with states that do not. Borrowers in judicial states are no more likely to cure and no more likely to renegotiate their loans, but the delays lead to a buildup in these states of persistently delinquent borrowers, the vast majority of whom eventually lose their homes. They next analyze a "right-to-cure" law instituted in Massachusetts on May 1, 2008. Using a difference-in-differences approach to evaluate the effect of the policy, they compare Massachusetts with neighboring states that did not adopt similar laws. They find that the right-to-cure law lengthens the foreclosure timeline but does not lead to better outcomes for borrowers.
    Keywords: Foreclosure
    Date: 2011
  41. By: Mario Cuevas; Sigfrido Lee; Maria Isabel Bonilla
    Abstract: In Guatemala there are substantial and growing imbalances in the housing market; at the same time, financial markets remain shallow and underdeveloped. The analytical framework applied in this paper starts by identifying the types of market failures responsible for the underdevelopment of the housing finance system. The working hypothesis is that there is a correlation between the nature and scope of market failures, and the kind of public interventions actually implemented. Evidence collected points to a rejection of the policy adequacy hypothesis. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that solutions have begun to emerge as economic agents learn to overcome market failures; these experiences are reinterpreted as “natural experiments” showing what could happen if market failures could be fixed at a large scale through appropriate government policy. Building on this framework, the paper proposes guidelines for the design and implementation of housing finance policy in Guatemala.
    JEL: G10 G18 G21 G22 G28 H54 H81 R31 R38 R51
    Date: 2011–09
  42. By: Brian Bell; Stephen Machin
    Abstract: There is conflicting evidence on the consequences of immigrant neighbourhood segregation for individual outcomes, with various studies finding positive, negative or insubstantial effects. In this paper, we document the evolution of immigrant segregation in England over the last 40 years. We show that standard measures of segregation point to gentle declines over time for all immigrant groups. However, this hides a significant increase in the number of immigrant enclaves where immigrants account for a substantial fraction of the local population. We then explore the link between immigrant segregation, enclaves and crime using both recorded crime and self-reported crime victimization data. Controlling for a rich set of observables, we find that crime is substantially lower in those neighbourhoods with sizeable immigrant population shares. The effect is non-linear and only becomes significant in enclaves. It is present for both natives and immigrants living in such neighbourhoods. Considering different crime types, the evidence suggests that such neighbourhoods benefit from a reduction in more minor, non-violent crimes. We discuss possible mechanisms for the results we observe.
    Keywords: Crime, immigrant segregation, enclaves
    JEL: F22 J15 K42
    Date: 2011–12
  43. By: Enrique López-Bazo (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Elisabet Motellón (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: Regional disparities in unemployment rates are large and persistent. The literature provides evidence of their magnitude and evolution, as well as evidence of the role of certain economic, demographic and environmental factors in explaining the gap between regions of low and high unemployment. Most of these studies, however, adopt an aggregate approach and so do not account for the individual characteristics of the unemployed and employed in each region. This paper, by drawing on micro-data from the Spanish wave of the Labour Force Survey, seeks to remedy this shortcoming by analysing regional differentials in unemployment rates. An appropriate decomposition of the regional gap in the average probability of being unemployed enables us to distinguish between the contribution of differences in the regional distribution of individual characteristics from that attributable to a different impact of these characteristics on the probability of unemployment. Our results suggest that the well-documented disparities in regional unemployment are not just the result of regional heterogeneity in the distribution of individual characteristics. Non-negligible differences in the probability of unemployment remain after controlling for this type of heterogeneity, as a result of differences across regions in the impact of the observed characteristics. Among the factors considered in our analysis, regional differences in the endowment and impact of an individual’s education are shown to play a major role.
    Keywords: Regional labour markets, Regional unemployment, Education, Gap decomposition for non-linear models. JEL classification:C25, J64, J70, R23
    Date: 2011–12
  44. By: Fazio, Giorgio; Maltese, Enza; Piacentino, Davide
    Abstract: In empirical regional economics, returns to scale are typically estimated at the regional level in search for evidence on alternative theories of growth and agglomeration. However, returns to scale may also have a firm-level dimension. In this paper, we exploit micro level data and estimate the dynamic Verdoorn law in a multilevel-setting, where returns to scale are obtained simultaneously for the micro and the regional level. Using Italian firm-level data and the NUTS-3 level of aggregation, we estimate the classic and augmented versions of Verdoorn law for all sectors and separately for manufacturing. Our results show that increasing returns to scale co-exist at both levels, with some degree of regional heterogeneity across the Italian peninsula.
    Keywords: Returns to scale; Verdoorn Law; Multilevel models; Italian firms
    JEL: O47 C31 R12 R11
    Date: 2011–12
  45. By: Carole Brunet (LED - Laboratoire d'économie dyonisien - Université Paris VIII - Vincennes Saint-Denis); Nathalie Havet (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure de Lyon)
    Abstract: Our empirical study stems from previous research on the inter-relations between residential status and microeconomic labour market outcomes. It focuses on employees and assesses the a priori ambiguous effect of homeownership on job-match quality. We use the French data set of the 1995-2001 European Community Household Panel to build a subjective measure of job downgrading. We estimate a recursive trivariate probit with partial observability that simultaneously models the residential status choice, its impact on the probability of being downgraded, and the selection into employment. The comparison with simpler models indicates that taking into account the selection into employment and controlling unobservable individual heterogeneity are of prime necessity to obtain robust conclusions.
    Keywords: residential status; job downgrading; overeducation; job matching
    Date: 2011–12–07
  46. By: Hayakawa, Kazunobu; Tanaka, Kiyoyasu; Ueki, Yasushi
    Abstract: We examine transport modal decision by multinational firms to shed light on the role of freight logistics in multinational activity. Using a firm-level survey in Southeast Asia, we show that foreign ownership has a significantly positive and quantitatively large impact on the likelihood that air/sea transportation is chosen relative to truck shipping. This result is robust to the shipping distance, cross-border freight, and transport infrastructure. Both foreign-owned exporters and importers also tend to use air/sea transportation. Thus, our analysis presents a new distinction between multinational and domestic firms in their decision over transport modes.
    Keywords: International business enterprises, Industrial management, Transportation, Costs, Southeast Asia, Transport mode, Logistics, Multinational firms, Multinomial logit
    JEL: F15 F23 R41
    Date: 2011–11
  47. By: Adrienne Mack; Enrique Martínez-García
    Abstract: We build from (mainly) publicly available national sources a database of (nominal and real) house prices—complemented with data on private disposable income (PDI)—for 19 advanced countries at a quarterly frequency, starting in the first quarter of 1975. We select a house price index for each country that is consistent with the U.S. FHFA quarterly nationwide house price index for existing single-family houses (formerly called OFHEO house price index), and extend the country series back to 1975 with available historical data whenever necessary. Each house price index is seasonallyadjusted over the entire sample period and then rebased to 2005 = 100.> ; The house price indexes are expressed in nominal terms, and also in real terms using the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator of the corresponding country. PDIs are always quoted in per capita terms using working age population of the corresponding country and can be similarly expressed in real terms with the PCE deflator. We aggregate all 19 countries in our database, weighted by their purchasing power parity-adjusted GDP shares in 2005, to compute an average (nominal and real) house price series and an average (nominal and real) per capita PDI series.
    Keywords: Macroeconomics - Econometric models ; Income ; Gross domestic product
    Date: 2011
  48. By: Nash, Chris (University of Leeds, UK); Nilsson, Jan-Eric (VTI); Link, Heike (DIW, Berlin, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper compares the experience of three European countries with long experience of competition in rail transport – Britain, Sweden and Germany. Britain is characterised by complete separation of infrastructure from operations, competition either for or in the market for the entire passenger network, open access for freight with two large operators and several smaller ones, strong regulation and careful attention to financial incentives. Sweden also has complete vertical separation, competitive tendering for all subsidised services, open access for freight and now also for commercial passenger services. Regulation, although now strengthened, is not as tight as in Britain. At the other extreme, Germany still has the dominant operator and the infrastructure company as subsidiaries to the same holding company, the regulator has had repeated disputes regarding their powers and – although there is some tendering of subsidised passenger services and open access for commercial passenger and freight – the incumbent still dominates the market. According to the general expectations of theoretical reasoning, we would expect the British approach to be the most successful in achieving an efficient, competitive rail system, with Sweden next and Germany least successful. But an examination of subsidy levels and trends in passenger and freight traffic finds that Germany has the slowest growth in public financial support for its railway as well as the lowest fares. Both Britain and Sweden have had faster growth in public financial support than Germany, although this has mainly been in infrastructure renewal and enhancement, and there has been debate as to the adequacy of current infrastructure spending in Germany. On most measures, Britain has lower absolute levels of financial support than Germany as well as faster traffic growth. Sweden clearly has much higher financial support, although this may be the result of low population density. Thus on balance it is not clear that the reform process has worked better in the other countries than in Germany, despite initial expectations. Further in depth research on the reasons for these changes in financial support and traffic levels would be needed to reach a more conclusive answer.
    Keywords: Deregulation; market opening; vertical separation; railway competition
    JEL: D02 H54
    Date: 2011–12–13
  49. By: Ryan Bubb; Alex Kaufman
    Abstract: Keys, Mukherjee, and Vig (2010a) argue that the evidence presented in Bubb and Kaufman (2009) is based on an inappropriate pooling of loans sold to private-label securitizers with loans sold to the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs). In this paper we investigate the issues raised by the authors and conclude that they do not change our basic analytical approach or conclusions. We examine samples that do not pool together loans sold to these two types of purchasers—a sample of loans bought by the GSEs, a sample of loans originated in 2008–2009 after the private-label market collapsed, and a sample of jumbo loans—and find discontinuities in the number and default rate of loans at credit score cutoffs in the absence of corresponding discontinuities in the securitization rate. We also examine a key assumption underlying their estimates—that no loans are both at risk of being sold to the GSEs and at risk of being sold to private-label securitizers—and show that the data are inconsistent with that assumption. We find that 18 percent of conforming loans in our sample at some time switched between GSE and private-label ownership, demonstrating that the GSEs and private-label securitizers competed for the same loans. Additionally, we show that lender screening cutoffs grew steadily over the period 1997–2010 during which the private-label market rose and collapsed.
    Keywords: Mortgage loans ; Credit scoring systems
    Date: 2011
  50. By: De Rus, Ginés
    Abstract: This paper deals with public investment in High Speed Rail (HSR) infrastructure and tries to understand the economic rationale for allocating public money to the construction of new HSR lines. The exam of data on costs and demand shows that the case for investing in HSR requires several conditions to be met: an ex ante high volume of traffic in the corridor where the new line is built, significant time savings, high average willingness to pay of potential users, the release of capacity in the conventional rail network and airports. On the contrary, net environmental benefits seem to be insignificant as to influence the social desirability of HSR investment. This paper discusses, within a cost-benefit analysis framework, under which conditions the expected benefits could justify the investment in HSR projects.
    Date: 2011–11
  51. By: Socorro, M. Pilar.; De Rus, Ginés
    Abstract: Public infrastructure investment is usually co-financed by supranational organizations. The selection of projects is supposed to be decided using the information provided by conventional cost-benefit analysis. Nevertheless, we show that the type of institutional design regarding the financing mechanism affects the incentives of national governments to reduce costs and increase revenues, affecting project selection, the infrastructure capacity, the choice of technology, and the type of contract used for the construction and operation of projects. With a total cost-plus financing mechanism there is no incentive in being efficient and the price charged for the use of the new infrastructure is zero, the market quantity excessive, and the level of supranational financing disproportionate. In contrast, with a sunk cost-plus financing mechanism social optimal pricing is always implemented, though there is no incentive in being efficient. Finally, with a fixed-price financing mechanism the maximal efficiency may be achieved, and the socially optimal pricing is always implemented.
    Date: 2011–11
  52. By: De Fuentes, Claudia (CIRCLE, Lund University); Dutrénit, Gabriela (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the relationship between large firms´ knowledge spillovers and small and medium enterprises absorptive capacities. We build ad-hoc indicators for these two concepts following a factor analysis methodology, and we carry out a structural equations analysis to determine the relationship between them. Based on firm level original data from a survey that focuses on SMEs in a Mexican locality, this paper argues that in a low-tech and mature sector, such as the machine shop sector, that operates in a loosely articulated local system, two knowledge spillover mechanisms are relevant: the backward linkages and the employees´ mobility. Regarding SMEs’ absorptive capacities they are strongly influenced by organizational capabilities and innovation and learning activities. We also argue that large firms’ knowledge spillovers are strongly correlated to SMEs absorptive capacities within the sector and locality analyzed.<p>
    Keywords: Absorptive capacities; Knowledge spillovers; SME-large firms interaction; Mexico
    JEL: O30
    Date: 2011–01–20
  53. By: Anderson, Simon P. (University of Virginia); Foros, Øystein (Department of Finance and Management Science); Kind, Hans Jarle (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Peitz, Martin (University of Mannheim)
    Abstract: Standard media economics models imply that increased platform competition decreases ad levels and that mergers reduce per-viewer ad prices. The empirical evidence, however, is mixed. We attribute the theoretical predictions to the combined assumptions that there is no advertising congestion and that viewers single-home. Allowing for crowding in viewer attention spans for ads may reverse standard results, as does allowing viewers to multi-home.
    Keywords: Media economics; pricing ads; advertising clutter; information congestion; mergers; entry.
    JEL: D11 D43 L13
    Date: 2011–12–15
  54. By: Ashvin Ahuja; Malhar Nabar
    Abstract: We assess the effectiveness of macroprudential policies against a number of different indicators of property sector activity and financial stability. At the cross-country level the use of LTV caps decelerates property price growth. Both LTV and DTI caps slow property lending growth. LTV caps also affect a broader range of financial stability indicators in economies with pegged exchange rates and currency boards. For Hong Kong SAR, LTV policy tends to be forward looking, with caps lowered to counter downward movements in mortgage rates, and higher growth in mortgage loan and volumes of transactions. The reduction in caps appears to respond to small and medium size flat price appreciation, and contributes to a decline in high-end volume growth after a year and total transactions volume growth after 1½–2 years. Price growth responds favorably after 2 years. The evidence suggests LTV tightening could affect property activity through the expectations channel rather than through the credit channel.
    Date: 2011–12–05
  55. By: Andreas M. Fischer
    Abstract: Are language skills important in explaining the nexus between house prices and immigrant inflows? The language barrier hypothesis says immigrants from a non common language country value amenities more than immigrants from common language countries.> ; In turn, immigrants from non common language countries are less price sensitive to house price changes than immigrants from a common language country. Tests of the language barrier hypothesis with Swiss house prices show that an immigration inflow from a non common language country equal to 1 percent of an area's population is coincident with an increase in prices for single-family homes of about 4.9 percent. Immigrant inflow from a common language country instead has no statistically significant impact.
    Keywords: Labor mobility
    Date: 2011
  56. By: Giuseppe Bertola (Edhec Business School and CEPR); Paolo Sestito (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the evolution of educational institutions and outcomes over the 150 years since Italy&#x2019;s unification, and discusses their interaction with national and regional growth patterns. While initial educational conditions contributed to differentiate across regions the early industrial take off in the late 19th century, and formal education does not appear to have played a major role in the postwar economic boom, the slowdown of Italy&#x2019;s economy since the 1990s may be partly due to interactions between its traditionally low human capital intensity and new comparative advantage patterns, and to the deterioration since the 1970s of the educational system&#x2019;s organization.
    Keywords: Education systems, tracking, economic growth, regional convergence
    JEL: N30
    Date: 2011–10
  57. By: Katharina Diekmann (Universitaet Osnabrueck)
    Abstract: Stock market integration of mainland China is analyzed before and after the liberalization of Chinese stock exchange segments. We apply a causality-in-variance procedure, using four mainland China stock market indices, two indices of the stock exchange in Hong Kong and the Dow Jones Industrial index. We find evidence of global and regional integration, but we do not find evidence for increasing integration after stock market liberalization, neither with Hong Kong nor with the United States.
    Keywords: Chinese Stock Market Integration, Spillover Effects, Causality-in-Variance
    JEL: C23 G10 G15
    Date: 2011–12–12
  58. By: Bilin Neyapti; Zafer Akin; Zeynep B. Cevik
    Date: 2011
  59. By: Isaksen, Arne (Dept of working life and innovation); Nilsson, Magnus (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: New research indicates that firms combining the science-based STI (Science, Technology, Innovation) and the experience-based DUI (Doing, Using, Interacting) modes of innovation are more efficient when it comes to improving innovation capacity and competitiveness. With regard to innovation policy, the STI mode calls for a supply driven policy, typically aimed to commercialise research results. The DUI mode suggests a demand driven policy approach, such as supporting the development of new products or services to specific markets. This paper analyses how the two types of innovation policy and the two innovation modes can be combined in regional innovation systems. The analysis builds on studies of the food industry and related knowledge organisations in two counties, Rogaland County (Norway) and Skåne County (Sweden), and two policy initiatives (NCE Culinology and Skåne Food Innovation Network) aimed at strengthening the innovative capability of the regional innovation systems. The analysis indicates that policies aimed to link science and user driven innovation activity should focus on building absorptive capacity of DUI firms (e.g. through increased scientific competence) and implementation capacity of STI firms (e.g. through increased market and process competence).
    Keywords: innovation policy; scientific knowledge; practical knowledge; regional innovation systems; food industry; Norway; Sweden
    JEL: O33 O38
    Date: 2011–12–12
  60. By: Börjesson, Maria (KTH, Royal Institute of Technology); Eliasson, Jonas (KTH, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: We estimate the value of time savings, different cycling environments and additional benefits in cost-benefit analysis of cycling investments. Cyclists’ value of travel time savings turns out to be high, considerably higher than the value of time savings on alternative modes. Cyclists also value other improvements highly, such as separated bicycle lanes. As to additional benefits of cycling improvements in the form of health and reduced car traffic, our results do not support the notion that these will be a significant part in a cost-benefit analysis. Bicyclists seem to take health largely into account when making their travel choices, implying that it would be double-counting to add total health benefits to the analysis once the consumer surplus has been correctly calculated. As to reductions in car traffic, our results indicate that the cross-elasticity between car and cycle is low, and hence benefits from traffic reductions will be small. However, the valuations of improved cycling speeds and comfort are so high that it seems likely that improvements for cyclists are cost-effective compared to many other types of investments, without having to invoke second-order, indirect effects. In other words, our results suggest that bicycle should be viewed as a competitive mode of travel and not primarily as a means to achieve improved health or reduced car traffic.
    Keywords: Cost benefit analysis; Value of time; Bicycle
    JEL: R41 R42 R48
    Date: 2011–12–13
  61. By: Carbo Valverde, S.; Degryse, H.A.; Rodriguez-Fernandez, F. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Do lending relationships mitigate credit rationing? Does securitization influence the impact of lending relationships on credit rationing? If so, is its impact differently in normal periods versus crisis periods? This paper combines several unique data sets to address these questions. Employing a disequilibrium model to identify credit rationing, we find that more intense lending relationships, measured through their length and lower number, considerable improve credit supply and reduce the degree of credit rationing. In general, we find that a relationship with a bank that is more involved in securitization activities relaxes credit constraints in normal periods; however, it also increases credit rationing during crisis periods. Finally, we study the impact of different types of securitization – covered bonds and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) – on credit rationing. While both types of securitization reduce credit rationing in normal periods, the issuance of MBS by a firm’s main bank aggravates these firm’s credit rationing in crisis periods.
    Keywords: lending relationships;financial crisis;securitization.
    JEL: G21
    Date: 2011

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