nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2012‒05‒08
thirty-one papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Change in the Distribution of House Prices across Spanish Cities By Nicodemo, Catia; Raya, Josep M.
  2. Home Ownership, Savings, and Mobility Over The Life Cycle By Jonathan Halket; Santhanagopalan Vasudev
  3. INCREASING RETURN TO SMART CITIES By Lööf, Hans; Nabavi, Pardis
  4. Forecasting the Prices and Rents for Flats in Large German Cities By Konstantin A. Kholodilin; Andreas Mense
  5. The Productivity Advantages of Large Cities: Distinguishing Agglomeration from Firm Selection By Combes, Pierre-Philippe; Duranton, Gilles; Gobillon, Laurent; Puga, Diego; Roux, Sébastien
  6. Different tourists to different destinations. Evidence from spatial interaction models By Emanuela Marrocu; Raffaele Paci
  7. Decomposing the Rural-Urban Differential in Student Achievement in Colombia Using PISA Microdata By Ramos, Raul; Duque, Juan Carlos; Nieto, Sandra
  8. Homeownerhip and Entrepreneurship By Philippe Bracke; Christian Hilber; Olmo Silva
  9. Taxing Home Ownership: Distributional Effects of Including Net Imputed Rent in Taxable Income By Figari, Francesco; Paulus, Alari; Sutherland, Holly; Tsakloglou, Panos; Verbist, Gerlinde; Zantomio, Francesca
  10. The impact of related variety on regional employment growth in Finland 1993-2006: high-tech versus medium/low-tech By Matté Hartog; Ron Boschma; Markku Sotarauta
  11. Electoral Impacts of Uncovering Public School Quality: Evidence from Brazilian Municipalities By Firpo, Sergio; Pieri, Renan; Souza, André Portela
  12. Modelling the emergence of spatial patterns of economic activity By Jung-Hun Yang; Dick Ettema; Koen Frenken
  13. Technological Leadership and Sectoral Employment Growth:A Spatial Econometric Analysis for U.S. Counties By Valerien O. Pede; Raymond J.G.M. Florax; Henri L.F. de Groot
  14. Households’ Willingness to Pay for Improved Urban Waste Management in Mekelle City, Ethiopia By Hagos, Dagnew; Mekonnen, Alemu; Gebreegziabher, Zenebe
  15. Peer Effects and Social Preferences in Voluntary Cooperation By Christian Thoeni; Simon Gaechter
  16. Localization of Interfirm Transaction Relationships and Industry Agglomeration By NAKAJIMA Kentaro; SAITO Yukiko Umeno; UESUGI Iichiro
  17. Measuring the Environmental Performance of Metropolitan Areas with Geographic Information Sources By Mario Piacentini; Konstantin Rosina
  18. Pricing and Provision of Transport Infrastructure with Nonlinear Income Taxation By Russo, Antonio
  19. Coping with Inefficiencies in a New Economic Geography Model By Theresa Grafeneder-Weissteiner; Ingrid Kubin; Klaus Prettner; Alexia Prskawetz; Stefan Wrzaczek
  20. Great Britain's Second-Order City Regions in Recessions, 1978-2010 By Tony Champion; Alan Townsend
  21. More Apples Less Chips? The Effect of School Fruit Schemes on the Consumption of Junk Food By Brunello, Giorgio; De Paola, Maria; Labartino, Giovanna
  22. Working Paper 12-11 - A computable general equilibrium for Belgium with a special focus on transport policies By Inge Mayeres; Alex Van Steenbergen; Marie Vandresse
  23. Regional Effects of Monetary Policy in Sweden By Svensson, Emma
  24. Does Access to Secondary Education Affect Primary Schooling? Evidence from India By Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop; Sahoo, Soham
  25. Sorting and Local Wage and Skill Distributions in France By Combes, Pierre-Philippe; Duranton, Gilles; Gobillon, Laurent; Roux, Sébastien
  26. Structural Reforms and Regional Convergence By Che, Natasha Xingyuan; Spilimbergo, Antonio
  27. Reconstruction of the Regional GDP of Portugal, 1890 1980 By Marc Badia- Miro; Jordi Guilera; Pedro Lains
  28. Breaking the Cycle of Deprivation: An Experimental Evaluation of an Early Childhood Intervention By Orla Doyle
  29. Assesing Educational Equality and Equity with Large-Scale Assessment Data: Brazil as a Case Study By J. Douglas Willms; Lucía Tramonte; Jesús Duarte; María Soledad Bos
  30. Forecasting demand for high speed rail By Börjesson , Maria
  31. The Birth and the Rise of the Cluster Concept By Luciana Lazzeretti; Silvia Rita Sedita; Annalisa Caloffi

  1. By: Nicodemo, Catia (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona); Raya, Josep M. (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: This paper presents the quantile estimation of house price between two years, 2004 and 2007 (a boom house price period) in several Spanish cities. We decompose the change in house price distribution into portions: changes in the distributions of the explanatory variables and changes in coefficients over time. Our main results are three. Firstly, from 2004 to 2007, the difference in housing price in Spain is larger at lower and higher percentiles. Secondly, the most important part of the difference in the distribution of housing prices between 2004 and 2007 is explained by coefficients (with all the variables contributing similarly). Thirdly, among cities, we can find a lot of variation in change of house price distribution. With respect to Spain's cities pattern, Madrid, Valencia and Bilbao, are the cities which big difference among them.
    Keywords: housing price distribution, housing market, quantile regression, counterfactual distribution
    JEL: C1 R21 R31
    Date: 2012–04
  2. By: Jonathan Halket; Santhanagopalan Vasudev
    Abstract: In a Bewley model with endogenous price volatility, home ownership and mobility across locations and jobs, we assess the contribution of financial constraints, housing illiquidities and house price risk to home ownership over the life cycle. The model can explain the rise in home ownership and fall in mobility over the life cycle. While some households rent due to borrowing constraints in the mortgage market, factors that effect propensities to save and move, such as risky house values and transactions costs, are more important determinants of the ownership rate.
    Date: 2012–03–01
  3. By: Lööf, Hans (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Nabavi, Pardis (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: The UN estimates that 70% of the world's growing population will live in cities by 2050. How will this affect climate change, economic growth and economic equality? The first conclusion in this paper is that the growing urban population and increased spatial density create opportunities for policy measures that could limit or reduce carbon emissions. Second, the economic importance of technological spillover, human capital externalities and innovation may have become more important over time. Since all these three factors are positively related to proximity, the implication is that the city's economic importance as a growth engine has become even stronger. The final conclusion is that the distribution of the value added will remain skewed also in the more populated and possible more productive cities.
    Keywords: Agglomeration economies; climate change; innovation; growth
    JEL: O18 O31 Q54 Q55 R11
    Date: 2012–04–27
  4. By: Konstantin A. Kholodilin; Andreas Mense
    Abstract: In this paper, we make multi-step forecasts of the monthly growth rates of the prices and rents for flats in 26 largest German cities. Given the small time dimension, the forecasts are done in a panel-data format. In addition, we use panel models that account for spatial dependence between the growth rates of housing prices and rents. Using a quasi out-of-sample forecasting exercise, we find that both pooling and accounting for spatial effects helps to substantially improve the forecast performance compared to the benchmark models estimated for each of the cities separately. In addition, a true out-of-sample forecasting of the growth rates of flats' prices and rents for the next six months is done. It shows that in most cities both prices and rents for flats are going to increase. In some cities, the average monthly growth rate even exceeds 1%, which is a very strong increase compared to the overall price level increase of about 2% per year.
    Keywords: Housing prices, housing rents, forecasting, dynamic panel model, spatial autocorrelation, German cities
    JEL: C21 C23 C53
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Combes, Pierre-Philippe (GREQAM, University of Aix-Marseille); Duranton, Gilles (University of Toronto); Gobillon, Laurent (INED, France); Puga, Diego (IMDEA); Roux, Sébastien (DARES French Ministry of Labour)
    Abstract: Firms are more productive on average in larger cities. Two main explanations have been offered: firm selection (larger cities toughen competition, allowing only the most productive to survive) and agglomeration economies (larger cities promote interactions that increase productivity), possibly reinforced by localised natural advantage. To distinguish between them, we nest a generalised version of a tractable firm selection model and a standard model of agglomeration. Stronger selection in larger cities left-truncates the productivity distribution whereas stronger agglomeration right-shifts and dilates the distribution. Using this prediction, French establishment level data, and a new quantile approach, we show that firm selection cannot explain spatial productivity differences. This result holds across sectors, city size thresholds, establishment samples, and area definitions.
    Keywords: productivity, firm selection, agglomeration, cities
    JEL: C52 R12 D24
    Date: 2012–04
  6. By: Emanuela Marrocu; Raffaele Paci
    Abstract: As tourism is becoming one of the most important sources of economic growth at the local level, it is imperative to identify and assess the relevant determinants of tourism flows. This paper investigates this issue by carrying out an econometric analysis based on the origin-destination (OD) spatial interaction models, which fully account for the spatial dependence generally featured by tourism flows. We contribute to the current debate by analyzing the tourism flows for the complete set of 107 Italian provinces (11449 OD flows) in terms of 2009 arrivals. Besides geographical distance, the explanatory variables include both pull and push locations’ characteristics to assess their relative role in determining the distinctive traits of emissiveness and attractiveness for all the provinces. We thus consider income, density, accessibility (low-cost flights, transport infrastructure), a set of cultural (museums) and natural (park areas, coasts, well-preserved beaches) factors and other amenities (renowned restaurants). The main results point out that there is a great deal of spatial correlation induced by neighboring provinces at both origin and destination, which is systematically overlooked if one relies only on the gravity specification. Once one controls for such a complex kind of dependence, most of the explanatory variables exhibit the expected effect, with distance and population density showing a negative impact on tourists’ decisions when choosing a specific destination, while amenities, accessibility and income turn out to be effective determinants of tourism flows.
    Keywords: tourism flows; spatial origin-destination interaction models; product differentiation; amenities; Italy
    JEL: Q26 C21 L83 D12 R11
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Ramos, Raul (University of Barcelona); Duque, Juan Carlos (Universidad EAFIT); Nieto, Sandra (University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: Despite the large number of studies that draw on Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) microdata in their analyses of the determinants of educational outcomes, no more than a few consider the relevance of geographical location. In going some way to rectify this, our paper examines the differences in educational outcomes between students attending schools in rural areas and those enrolled in urban schools. We use microdata from the 2006 and 2009 PISA survey waves for Colombia. The Colombian case is particularly interesting in this regard due to the structural changes suffered by the country in recent years, both in terms of its political stability and of the educational reform measures introduced. Our descriptive analysis of the data shows that the educational outcomes of rural students are worse than those of urban students. In order to identify the factors underpinning this differential, we use the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition and then exploit the time variation in the data using the methodology proposed by Juhn-Murphy-Pierce. Our results show that most of the differential is attributable to family characteristics as opposed to those of the school. From a policy perspective, our evidence supports actions addressed at improving conditions in the family rather than measures of positive discrimination of rural schools.
    Keywords: educational outcomes, rural-urban differences, decomposition methods
    JEL: J24 I25 R58
    Date: 2012–04
  8. By: Philippe Bracke; Christian Hilber; Olmo Silva
    Abstract: We study the link between homeownership and entrepreneurship by exploiting the longitudinal dimension of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and constructing a detailed monthly-spell dataset that tracks individuals‟ job history and tenure choice, coupled with other time-varying characteristics. Our fixed-effects estimates show that purchasing a house reduces the likelihood of starting a business by 20-25%. This result is driven by homeowners with mortgages and persists for several years after entering homeownership. The negative link can be rationalized by portfolio considerations: leveraged housing investments crowd out entrepreneurial investments. Alternative explanations based on credit constraints find little support in our data.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, homeownership, panel estimation
    JEL: L26 D14 G11 R21
    Date: 2012–04
  9. By: Figari, Francesco (ISER, University of Essex); Paulus, Alari (ISER, University of Essex); Sutherland, Holly (ISER, University of Essex); Tsakloglou, Panos (Athens University of Economics and Business); Verbist, Gerlinde (University of Antwerp); Zantomio, Francesca (University of Essex)
    Abstract: Imputed rental income of homeowners is tax exempt in most countries, despite the long-standing arguments recommending its inclusion in the tax base, on both equity and efficiency grounds. The current fiscal crisis revived interest towards this form of taxation. The paper investigates the fiscal and distributional consequences of including homeowners' imputed rent, net of mortgage interest and maintenance costs, in taxable income as any cash income source that extends consumption opportunities. Three scenarios are analysed in six European countries: in the first imputed rent is included in the taxable income of homeowners, while at the same time existing mortgage interest tax relief schemes and taxation of cadastral incomes are abolished. In two further revenue-neutral scenarios, the additional tax revenue raised through the taxation of imputed rent is redistributed to taxpayers, either through a proportional rebate or a lump-sum tax credit. Results show how including net imputed rent in the tax base might affect inequality in each of the countries considered. Housing taxation appears to be a promising avenue for raising additional revenues, or lightening taxation of labour, with no inequality-increasing side-effects.
    Keywords: housing taxation, imputed rent, income distribution, inequality, microsimulation
    JEL: D31 H23 I31 I32
    Date: 2012–04
  10. By: Matté Hartog; Ron Boschma; Markku Sotarauta
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of related variety on regional employment growth in Finland between 1993 and 2006 by means of a dynamic panel regression model. We find that related variety in general has no impact on growth. Instead, after separating related variety among low-and-medium tech sectors from related variety among high-tech sectors, we find that only the latter affects regional growth. Hence, we find evidence that the effect of related variety on regional employment growth is conditioned by the technological intensity of the local sectors involved.
    Keywords: evolutionary economic geography, Finland, high-tech, regional employment growth, related variety
    JEL: D62 O18 R11
    Date: 2012–05
  11. By: Firpo, Sergio (São Paulo School of Economics); Pieri, Renan (São Paulo School of Economics); Souza, André Portela (São Paulo School of Economics)
    Abstract: School accountability systems that establish the adoption of incentives for teachers and school managers usually impact positively students’ performance. However, in many circumstances, school accountability systems may face institutional restrictions to establish rewards and sanctions to administrators. In that aspect, the Brazilian accountability system is an interesting example: Most of primary public schools are run by municipal officials and federal government cannot enforce the adoption of incentives at local level. However, because mayors of Brazilian municipalities are the ultimate responsible for public elementary education we provide evidence that in 2008 local election, just some months after the publication of the second wave of a new evaluation of public schools run every two years by federal government, mayors became electorally accountable for not improving school quality. The results show that, on average, one point increase in a 0-10 scale index from 2005 to 2007 increased by around 5 percentage points the probability of re-election. This effect is even greater in localities with lower per capita income and those where the fraction of children at school age is larger. Therefore, electoral accountability may play a complementary role in school accountability systems that had not yet been fully exploited by education and political economics and political science literatures.
    Keywords: public education, school accountability, electoral accountability, mayoral re-election races
    JEL: H11 H41 H52 H72 I21 I28
    Date: 2012–04
  12. By: Jung-Hun Yang; Dick Ettema; Koen Frenken
    Abstract: Understanding how spatial configurations of economic activity emerge is important when formulating spatial planning and economic policy. A simple model was proposed by Simon, who assumed that firms grow at a rate proportional to their size, and that new divisions of firms with certain probabilities relocate to other firms or to new centres of economic activity. Simon's model produces realistic results in the sense that the sizes of economic centres follow a Zipf distribution, which is also observed in reality. It lacks realism in the sense that mechanisms such as cluster formation, congestion (defined as an overly high density of the same activities) and dependence on the spatial distribution of external parties (clients, labour markets) are ignored. The present paper proposed an extension of the Simon model that includes both centripetal and centrifugal forces. Centripetal forces are included in the sense that firm divisions are more likely to settle in locations that offer a higher accessibility to other firms. Centrifugal forces are represented by an aversion of a too high density of activities in the potential location. The model is implemented as an agent-based simulation model in a simplified spatial setting. By running both the Simon model and the extended model, comparisons are made with respect to their effects on spatial configurations. To this end a series of metrics are used, including the rank-size distribution and indices of the degree of clustering and concentration.
    Date: 2012–04
  13. By: Valerien O. Pede (Social Sciences Div., International Rice Research Institute); Raymond J.G.M. Florax (Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN); Henri L.F. de Groot (USDA:Economic Research Service, Washington, DC)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of technological catch-up and examines at a refined level of spatial and sectoral aggregation to what extent geographical and/or technological proximity to the technology leader impact regional employment growth. Technological progress is endogenously determined and depends on specialization, competition and diversity. We also allow technological progress to depend on agglomeration economies in proximate regions, and model technological progress by means of a hierarchical process of catch-up to the technology leader. Results indicate that human capital plays a crucial role in promoting sectoral employment growth. The effect of technological distance varies, depending on which sector is considered. Technological distance to the leader shows a positive and significant effect on employment growth in the sectors Construction & Manufacturing, Information & Utilities, and Services. No effect of technological distance was found for Finance & Management, Transportation & Trade, and Natural Resources. The effect of geographical distance to the technology leader on employment growth also varies across sectors. A negative effect is observed for Construction & Manufacturing and Finance & Management, while the effect is positive for Natural Resources and Transportation & Trade, and statistically not different from zero for Information and Utilities and Services.
    Keywords: regional employment growth, technology leadership, space
    JEL: R11 R12 C21 O32 O47
    Date: 2011
  14. By: Hagos, Dagnew; Mekonnen, Alemu; Gebreegziabher, Zenebe
    Abstract: Cities in developing countries experiencing rapid urbanization and population growth too often lack the financial resources and institutional capacity to provide needed municipal infrastructure for adequate solid waste management, despite citizens’ demand for it. This paper uses a cross-sectional survey of 226 randomly selected households in Mekelle City, Ethiopia, to assess the current municipal sanitation fees and the willingness to pay (WTP) of residents for improved urban waste management, and suggests mechanisms for cost recovery. We used Tobit and probit models in the empirical analysis to determine the factors that influence households’ WTP for improved solid waste management. Results reveal that residents’ WTP for improved solid waste management is significantly related to income and awareness of environmental quality, among other factors. Study results reveal that the current city fee for sanitation is far below the WTP of the residents. The mean WTP we found can be a guide for municipal officials in setting a more appropriate fee that can finance improvements in city SWM, where all households receive collection services, waste is disposed of properly, and recycling and composting features are added.
    Keywords: urban waste management, willingness to pay, cost recovery, developing countries, cities
    JEL: D13 Q51 Q53
    Date: 2012–04–27
  15. By: Christian Thoeni (University of St.Gallen); Simon Gaechter (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: Substantial evidence suggests the behavioral relevance of social preferences and also the importance of social influence effects (“peer effects”). Yet, little is known about how peer effects and social preferences are related. In a three-person gift-exchange experiment we find causal evidence for peer effects in voluntary cooperation: agents’ efforts are positively related despite the absence of material payoff interdependencies. We confront this result with major theories of social preferences which predict that efforts are unrelated, or negatively related. Some theories allow for positively-related efforts but cannot explain most observations. Conformism, norm following and considerations of social esteem are candidate explanations.
    Keywords: social preferences, voluntary cooperation, peer effects, reflection problem, gift-exchange; conformism; social norms; social esteem
    JEL: C92 D03
    Date: 2011–09
  16. By: NAKAJIMA Kentaro; SAITO Yukiko Umeno; UESUGI Iichiro
    Abstract: Using a unique dataset of more than 140,000 manufacturing firms in Japan containing information on their suppliers and customers, this paper looks at the physical distances between transaction partners to examine the localization of transaction relationships. We find the following. First, based on a counterfactual that controls for the location of firms and their potential partners, transaction relationships in about 90%-95% of the 150 three-digit manufacturing industries can be labeled as localized at distances of 40km or less. This indicates that physical distance is a key factor in firms' choice of transaction partners. Second, based on a counterfactual that controls for the average distance of transaction relationships in the manufacturing sector as a whole, we find that about 40% of industries transaction relationships are localized at short distances not exceeding 40km. Third, the extents of industrial localization and localization of transaction relationships are positively correlated. However, there are a number of exceptions, for which we provide potential explanations.
    Date: 2012–04
  17. By: Mario Piacentini; Konstantin Rosina
    Abstract: This paper presents recent work undertaken at the OECD to produce environmental indicators at the regional level from geographic data sources. New indicators have been tested and produced in five different domains: a) land cover, b) forest ecosystems, c) urban density, d) CO2 emissions, e) air quality. The indicators measure the environmental performance of administrative regions (OECD TL2 and TL3 regions) and of OECD metropolitan areas. High-quality geographic datasets have been combined and harmonized with the objectives of producing internationally comparable results, and of achieving the largest possible coverage of OECD and non-OECD countries. The results show that geographic information data are a key and underexploited resource for monitoring the state of local environmental assets. There are still methodological and measurement challenges in the use of geographic data for the analysis of environmental changes at the local level. More coordination across national and international programs producing geographic data is needed to further increase their policy relevance.
    Keywords: environment, regional development, Geographic Information Systems
    JEL: Q5 R1
    Date: 2012–04–25
  18. By: Russo, Antonio
    Abstract: We study optimal pricing and provision of transportation infrastructure (roads and public transport) in presence of nonlinear income taxes. Individuals are heterogeneous in unobservable earning ability. Each working day requires a commuting trip and daily work hours have diminishing returns. We study both linear and nonlinear transport tariffs. In spite of individuals having separable preferences for goods and leisure, pricing and provision of infrastructure can improve screening of types. Optimal per-trip tarifs depend on the time cost of travel and the effct on labor supply of changes in the amount of working days. Reducing the time cost of journeys facilitates screening. Therefore, redistribution provides an additional motive to raise per-trip car tariffs (thus curbing road congestion) and upgrade infrastructure. We also provide some insights on the usefulness of means-testing for transport tariffs.
    Keywords: road pricing, public transport pricing, infrastructure provision, income taxation
    JEL: H21 H23 H54 R41
    Date: 2012
  19. By: Theresa Grafeneder-Weissteiner; Ingrid Kubin; Klaus Prettner; Alexia Prskawetz; Stefan Wrzaczek
    Abstract: This article introduces a social planner version of a model central to the New Economic Geography for explicitly answering whether the symmetric equilibrium outcome of the decentralized market economy is socially desirable. We find that savings incentives are too weak, resulting in an inefficiently low capital stock and therefore an inadequate number of product varieties. The optimal subsidy and taxation scheme to remedy these distortions resulting from the monopolistic competition structure is shown to be a sales subsidy financed by a lump-sum tax that results in marginal cost pricing. Interestingly, implementing this optimal policy might actually destroy the stability of the symmetric equilibrium and result in unintended agglomeration processes.
    Keywords: New Economic Geography; Constructed Capital Model; Social Planner; Regional Policy; Agglomeration
    Date: 2012–05
  20. By: Tony Champion; Alan Townsend
    Abstract: While it is now accepted that the 2008-09 recession accentuated regional differences in Britain, it is more difficult to identify the role of major cities, especially over a longer time scale. Using previously established methods focussed on employment, this paper assesses the record of nine city regions in the 2008-09 recession, both in its own right and in comparison with the previous two recessions. The 2008-09 recession is found to have impacted the nine city regions less than the previous ones in absolute terms but not in relative terms compared with the London city region or the rest of Britain. Over the whole period from 1978, the paper has found the city regions to be fairly tightly in the grip of national cyclical trends of recession and recovery, but generally performing less resiliently than Britain as a whole. In comparison, London showed appreciably more cyclical behaviour between 1989 and 2002 than at other times, with the most remarkable recovery from recession in this period. The public sector helped the performance of second-order city regions from 1997 to 2010, including the peak of growth rates in city regions and their cores in 1998-2002, but its employment reductions will dominate the prospects for provincial cities for several years to come.
    Keywords: Recession, resilience, employment change, second-order city, city region, Great Britain
    JEL: J21 O18 R11 R12
    Date: 2012–04
  21. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria); Labartino, Giovanna (IRVAPP)
    Abstract: We use scanner data of supermarket sales to investigate the effects of the EU School Fruit campaign, conducted in a sample of primary schools in the city of Rome during 2010 and 2011, on the consumption of unhealthy snacks. We allocate supermarkets to treatment and control groups depending on whether they are located or not near treated schools and estimate the causal effect of the program by comparing the changes in the sales of snacks in treated stores with the changes in control stores. We find evidence that the campaign reduced the consumption of unhealthy snacks bought in stores located in high income areas. No effect is found in poorer areas. Repeated treatment does not strengthen the effects of the program.
    Keywords: EU School Fruit campaign, junk food, Rome
    JEL: I18
    Date: 2012–04
  22. By: Inge Mayeres; Alex Van Steenbergen; Marie Vandresse
    Abstract: This paper seeks to extend the PLANET model to allow for an endogenous influence of transport sector outcomes on the economy. To this end, we embed the PLANET data on freight and household transport for 2003 into a static CGE model of the Belgian economy. Households use transport for commuting and leisure transport, while production sectors use freight as an input. We allow for important feedback effects on generalized transport costs through congestion. To illustrate the model, we contrast the effects of a kilometre charge on freight only and a charge that targets household transport as well.
    JEL: C68 D58 D62 R41
    Date: 2011–08–25
  23. By: Svensson, Emma (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects on employment in 21 Swedish regions of a monetary policy shock using a VAR model with exogenous foreign variables for the 1993:1-2007:4 period. The regional impulse responses clearly indicate asymmetric effects in which employment falls significantly in some regions, while not changing significantly in others. These differences seem to stem from the interest and exchange rate channel, whereby regions with larger shares of employment in the goods sector and higher export intensity are adversely affected. In addition, there is one group of regions that, surprisingly, see increased employment in response to the same policy shock.
    Keywords: monetary transmission; vector autoregression (VAR); regional differences
    JEL: C32 E52 F41
    Date: 2012–04–28
  24. By: Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop (Indian Statistical Institute); Sahoo, Soham (Indian Statistical Institute)
    Abstract: This paper investigates if better access to secondary education increases enrolment in primary schools among children in the 6-10 age group. Using a household-level longitudinal survey covering 43 villages in a poor state in India, we find support for the hypothesis that better access to secondary education increases enrolment and attendance among children in the primary school-going age group. A 1 km decrease in the distance to the nearest secondary school increases the proportion of children in a household who are enroled in primary school by 6.5 percentage points. These results do not change significantly even after we account for endogenous placement of secondary schools and measurement error issues. Moreover, we find that the effect is consistent with what theory predicts: the marginal effect is larger for poorer households and boys (who are more likely to enter the labour force). Further, using a nationally representative survey for India (National Sample Survey 2007-08), we also provide some suggestive evidence that this effect may be quite widespread. This result gives support to the assertion that if the costs of post primary schooling are too high, as they would be if secondary schools are far away, parents have lesser interest in their children's education even at the primary stage.
    Keywords: primary schooling, returns to schooling, post primary schooling
    JEL: I2 I20 I21
    Date: 2012–04
  25. By: Combes, Pierre-Philippe (GREQAM, University of Aix-Marseille); Duranton, Gilles (University of Toronto); Gobillon, Laurent (INED, France); Roux, Sébastien (DARES French Ministry of Labour)
    Abstract: This paper provides descriptive evidence about the distribution of wages and skills in denser and less dense employment areas in France. We confirm that on average, workers in denser areas are more skilled. There is also strong over-representation of workers with particularly high and low skills in denser areas. These features are consistent with patterns of migration including negative selection of migrants to less dense areas and positive selection towards denser areas. Nonetheless migration, even in the long run, accounts for little of the skill differences between denser and less dense areas. Finally, we find marked differences across age groups and some suggestions that much of the skill differences across areas can be explained by differences between occupational groups rather than within.
    Keywords: skill distribution, wage distribution, sorting
    JEL: J31 J61 R12 R23
    Date: 2012–04
  26. By: Che, Natasha Xingyuan; Spilimbergo, Antonio
    Abstract: Which structural reforms affect the speed the regional convergence within a country? We found that domestic financial development, trade/current account openness, better institutional infrastructure, and selected labor market reforms facilitate regional convergence. However, these reforms have mixed effects on the growth of regions closer to the country’s development frontier. We also document that regional income disparity and average income are inversely correlated across countries so that speeding up regional convergence increases national income. We also present a theoretical model to discuss these results.
    Keywords: economic growth; income inequality; regional convergence; structural reforms
    JEL: J68 O11 O18 O25 O33
    Date: 2012–04
  27. By: Marc Badia- Miro; Jordi Guilera; Pedro Lains (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This methodological study provides estimates of Portuguese regional GDP per capita between 1890 and 1980. These estimates were obtained either by following the Geary and Stark (2002) method for industry or directly from regional production data or proxies thereof where available.
    Keywords: historical statistics, regional gdp, portugal
    JEL: N93 R12 N94
    Date: 2012
  28. By: Orla Doyle (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: Deprivation early in life has multiple long term consequences for both the individual and society. An increasing body of evidence finds that targeted, early interventions aimed at at-risk children and their families can reduce socioeconomic inequalities in children’s skills and capabilities. This paper describes a randomised control trial (RCT) evaluation of a five-year preventative programme which aims to improve the school readiness skills of socioeconomically disadvantaged children. The Preparing for Life (PFL) programme is one of the first studies in Ireland to use random assignment to experimentally modify the environment of high risk families and track its impact over time. This paper describes the design and motivation for the study, the randomisation procedure adopted and the baseline data collected. Using Monte Carlo permutation testing, it finds that the randomisation procedure was successful as there are no systematic differences between the treatment and control groups at baseline. This indicates that future analysis of treatment effects over the course of the five year evaluation can be causally attributed to the programme and used to determine the impact of Preparing for Life on children’s school readiness skills.
    Keywords: Early childhood intervention, RCT, school readiness, permutation testing
    Date: 2012–04–30
  29. By: J. Douglas Willms; Lucía Tramonte; Jesús Duarte; María Soledad Bos
    Abstract: Researchers have defined and assessed inequalities and inequities in education in various ways, making it difficult to make comparisons among countries or among jurisdictions within countries. This paper sets out practical definitions for equality and equity in education and discusses the prominent issues regarding the use of large-scale national and international assessment data to assess them. Examples are drawn from the national assessment data from Brazil.
    Keywords: Education :: Educational Assessment, Education :: Teacher Education & Quality, Education, equality, equity, indicators, school resources, student performance, teacher quality
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2012–03
  30. By: Börjesson , Maria (KTH)
    Abstract: It is sometimes argued that standard state-of-practice logit based models cannot forecast the demand for substantially reduced travel times, for instance due to High Speed Rail (HSR). The present paper investigates this issue by reviewing travel time elasticities for long-distance rail travel in the literature and comparing these with elasticities observed when new HSR lines have opened. This paper also validates the Swedish official long-distance model and its forecasted demand for a proposed new HSR track, using aggregate data revealing how the air-rail modal split varies with the difference in generalized travel time between rail and air. The official linear-in-parameters long-distance model is also compared to a model applying Box-Cox transformations. The paper contributes to the empirical literature on long-distance travel, long-distance elasticities and HSR passenger demand forecasts. Results indicate that the Swedish state-of-practice model, and similar models, is indeed able to predict the demand for a HSR reasonably well. The non-linear model, however, has better model fit and slightly higher elasticities.
    Keywords: High Speed Rail; Travel Demand; Forecasting; Air-rail Share; Cost-benefit Analysis
    JEL: C25 D61 J22 R41 R42
    Date: 2012–05–03
  31. By: Luciana Lazzeretti (University of Firenze); Silvia Rita Sedita (University of Padova); Annalisa Caloffi (University of Padova)
    Abstract: Why has the cluster concept proved so successful in this millennium? Which are the authors, the scientific areas, and journals that have helped to enliven the debate in this era, characterized by the transition from a solid modernity to a liquid modernity, as the well-known sociologist Zygmunt Bauman would say? With this work, we have aimed to answer these research questions by adopting an evolutionary approach. By means of a bibliometric analysis based on descriptive statistics and social network analysis tools, we have identified the founders and the main disseminators of the cluster concept across time. The point of departure is an original database, created by the authors, consisting of 1586 academic articles about industrial clusters that have been published from 1989 to 2010 in international scientific journals (source: ISI Web of Science). Our claim is that the Porterian contribution on clusters opens up a global debate over a concept that was Òin the airÓ many years before. The cluster concept is rooted in the Marshallian tradition, and is strongly related to the Italian and European literature, which is more familiar with the narrower concept of the industrial district. By relaxing some of the specific features that characterized the industrial district model, a more inclusive concept is promoted, which, in a prey-predator relationship, assimilates previous contributions. By now, the cluster concept has gained international recognition and been constantly sustained by a theoretical discussion that encompasses a variety of disciplines and approaches. Our evidence shows that this success can be attributed basically to the liquid properties we have identified: multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary qualities and global dimension.
    Keywords: cluster, industrial districts, liquid modernity, bibliometric analysis, co-citation analysis.
    JEL: R1
    Date: 2012–04

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