nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2012‒02‒15
five papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The impact of recovery efforts on residential vacancies By O. Emre Ergungor; Lisa Nelson
  2. Estimating the Effects of Friendship Networks on Health Behaviors of Adolescents By Jason M. Fletcher; Stephen L. Ross
  3. Efficient metaheuristics to solve the intermodal terminal location problem By Sörensen K.; Vanovermeire Ch.; Busschaert S.
  4. Myths and facts about the alleged over-pricing of U.S. real estate. Evidence from multi-factor asset pricing models of REIT returns By Massimo Guidolin; Francesco Ravazzolo; Andrea Donato Tortora
  5. An Econophysics Model for the Migration Phenomena By Anca Gheorghiu; Ion Spanulescu

  1. By: O. Emre Ergungor; Lisa Nelson
    Abstract: Legislation aimed at stabilizing housing markets since the recession has focused on providing funding to acquire and remediate foreclosed and abandoned homes or providing financial assistance and incentives to purchase homes. Cuyahoga County has received over $100 million in such funds since 2008. We investigate the impact of these funds on vacancy rates. We examine neighborhoods in Cuyahoga County where National Stabilization Program dollars were spent and find that the program helped reduce vacancies in neighborhoods where properties were primarily purchased for consumption purposes.
    Keywords: Housing policy ; Community development ; American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Jason M. Fletcher (Yale University and Columbia University); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effects of friends’ health behaviors, smoking and drinking, on own health behaviors for adolescents while controlling for the effects of correlated unobservables between those friends. Specifically, the effect of friends’ health behaviors is identified by comparing similar individuals who have the same friendship opportunities because they attend the same school and make similar friendship choices, under the assumption that the friendship choice reveals information about an individual’s unobservables. We combine this identification strategy with a cross-cohort, within school design so that the model is identified based on across grade differences in the clustering of health behaviors within specific friendship patterns. Finally, we use the estimated information on correlated unobservables to examine longitudinal data on the on-set of health behaviors, where the opportunity for reverse causality should be minimal. Our estimates for both behavior and on-set are very robust to bias from correlated unobservables.
    Keywords: Peer Effects, Friendship Networks, Adolescent Health, Smoking, Drinking, Cohort Study
    JEL: D85 I19 I21 J13
    Date: 2011–12
  3. By: Sörensen K.; Vanovermeire Ch.; Busschaert S.
    Abstract: Determining the optimal number and location of intermodal transshipment terminals is a decision that strongly influences the viability of the intermodal transportation alternative. In this paper, we develop a model and an optimization method that provides policy makers with a tool to help them take these decisions. The objective of the terminal location problem described in this paper is to determine which of a set of potential terminal locations to use and which not and how to route the supply and demand of a set of customers (representing zones of supply and demand) through the network (by both uni- and intermodal transport) so as to minimize the total cost. We develop two different metaheuristic procedures that both consist of two phases: a solution construction phase and a solution improvement phase. The first metaheuristic constructs solutions using a GRASP procedure, the second one uses the relatively unknown attribute based hill climber (ABHC) heuristic. Innovative in our approach is the integration of a fast heuristic procedure to approximate the total cost given the set of open terminals. Both metaheuristics are compared to the results of an MIP solver. A thorough performance assessment uncovers that both metaheuristics generate close-to-optimal solutions in very short computing times. An argument in favor of the ABHC approach is that it is parameter-free and hence more transparent and likely to be accepted in a business or policy environment.
    Date: 2012–01
  4. By: Massimo Guidolin (IGIER, Bocconi University and CAIR, Manchester Business School); Francesco Ravazzolo (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway)); Andrea Donato Tortora (Bocconi University, Milan)
    Abstract: This paper uses a multi-factor pricing model with time-varying risk exposures and premia to examine whether the 2003-2006 period has been characterized, as often claimed by a number of commentators and policymakers, by a substantial missprcing of publicly traded real estate assets (REITs). The estimation approach relies on Bayesian methods to model the latent process followed by risk exposures and idiosynchratic volatility. Our application to monthly, 1979-2009 U.S. data for stock, bond, and REIT returns shows that both market and real consumption growth risks are priced throughout the sample by the cross-section of asset returns. There is weak evidence at best of structural misspricing of REIT valuations during the 2003-2006 sample.
    Keywords: REIT returns, Bayesian estimation, Structural instability, Stochastic volatility, Linear factor models
    JEL: G11 C53
    Date: 2011–12–27
  5. By: Anca Gheorghiu; Ion Spanulescu
    Abstract: Knowing and modelling the migration phenomena and especially the social and economic consequences have a theoretical and practical importance, being related to their consequences for development, economic progress (or as appropriate, regression), environmental influences etc. One of the causes of migration, especially of the interregional and why not intercontinental, is that resources are unevenly distributed, and from the human perspective there are differences in culture, education, mentality, collective aspirations etc. This study proposes a new econophysics model for the migration phenomena.
    Date: 2012–02

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