nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2012‒07‒08
37 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. "Are NEG Models Capable of Simulating Agglomeration in the Real World?" By Takatoshi Tabuchi
  2. The Economics of Density: Evidence from the Berlin Wall By Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt; Stephen J. Redding; Daniel M. Sturm; Nikolaus Wolf
  3. Housing Price and Investment Dynamics in Finland By Christophe André; Clara García
  4. Choosing secondary school by moving house: school quality and the formation of neighbourhoods By Rebecca Allen; Simon Burgess; Tomas Key
  5. The territorial dynamics of innovation in China and India By Riccardo Crescenzi; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Michael Storper
  6. Spatial Variations in Amenity Values: New Evidence from Beijing, China By Wenjie Wu
  7. House price forecasts in times of crisis: Do forecasters herd? By Pierdzioch, Christian; Rülke, Jan Christoph; Stadtmann, Georg
  8. Inter-industrial relations and sectoral employment development in German regions By Kowalewski, Julia
  9. Independent Schools and Long-Run Educational Outcomes - Evidence from Sweden’s Large Scale Voucher Reform By Böhlmark, Anders; Lindahl, Mikael
  10. Ontario's Best Public Schools: 2009-2011 By David Johnson; Robbie Brydon
  11. One more in my backyard? Insights from the 2011 Italian nuclear referendum By G. Pignataro; G. Prarolo
  12. Regionalization of national input-output tables: Empirical evidence on the use of the FLQ formula By Kowalewski, Julia
  13. Forecasting U.S. Housing Starts Under Asymmetric Loss By Christian , Pierdzioch; Rülke, Jan-Christoph; Stadtmann, Georg
  14. Regional inequality and decentralization – an empirical analysis By Christian Lessmann
  15. Spatial Pricing on Land Rental Markets By Graubner, Marten; Balmann, Alfons
  16. Local Governments’ Fiscal Balance, Privatization, and Banking Sector Reform in Transition Countries By Ernesto Crivelli
  17. Entrepreneurship, Social Capital, Governance and Regional Economic Development By Karlsson, Charlie
  18. Why House Price Indexes Differ: Measurement and Analysis By Mick Silver
  19. Impact of Bilingual Education Programs on Limited English Proficient Students and Their Peers: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Texas By Aimee Chin; N. Meltem Daysal; Scott A. Imberman
  20. Modal choice and optimal congestion By Quentin David; Renaud Foucart, ECARES, Université libre de Bruxelles
  21. Shannon's measure of information, path averages and the origins of random utility models in transport itinerary or mode choice analysis By Marc Gaudry; Emile Quinet
  22. Peer Effects in Program Participation By Gordon B. Dahl; Katrine V. Løken; Magne Mogstad
  23. Kindergarten for all: Long run effects of a universal intervention By Nina Drange, Tarjei Havnes and
  24. Price dispersion, search costs and consumers and sellers heterogeneity in retail food markets. By Anania, Giovanni; Nistico, Rosanna
  25. Bureaucratic delay, local-level monitoring, and delivery of small infrastructure projects: Evidence from a eld experiment in Bolivia By Carlos Gustavo Machicado; Monica Yanez
  26. The socio-economic gradient in teenagers’ literacy skills: how does England compare to other countries? By John Jerrim
  27. Does Performance-Based Pay Improve Teaching? By OECD
  28. Cost of Traffic Injuries in Latin America By Esteban Diez-Roux; Kavi Bahlla
  29. Optimal transport and Cournot-Nash equilibria By Adrien Blanchet; Guillaume Carlier
  30. The behavioralist goes to school: Leveraging behavioral economics to improve educational performance By Levitt, Steven D.; List, John A.; Neckermann, Susanne; Sado, Sally
  31. Information immobility, industry concentration, and institutional investors’ performance By Mark Fedenia; Sherrill Shaffer; Hilla Skiba
  32. The Impact of Population Ageing on House Prices: A Micro-simulation Approach By Chen, Yu; Gibb, Kenneth D.; Leishman, Chris; Wright, Robert E.
  33. Hedonic pricing Evaluation of Agritourism Activity in Italy By Ohe, Yasuo; Adriano, Ciani
  34. Rethinking regional develpment strategy in the context of structural funds: Lessons from the Irish cross-border region By John Bradley; Michael Best
  35.  The Temptation of Social Ties: When Interpersonal Network Transactions Hurt Firm Performance By  Leif Brandes;  Marc Brechot;  Egon Franck
  36. A New Context for Teachers in Latin America and the Caribbean By María Soledad Bos; Marcelo Cabrol; Carlos Rondón
  37. Stereotypes, segregation, and ethnic inequality By Yuki, Kazuhiro

  1. By: Takatoshi Tabuchi (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper shows that new economic geography models are capable of simulating the real-world tendency for urban agglomeration to the primate city. It is often observed that while regional populations were dispersed in early times, they have been increasingly concentrated into one capital region over recent years. The present paper thus demonstrates that multi-region new economic geography models are able to simulate the real-world population distribution trends witnessed over the past few centuries.
    Date: 2012–06
  2. By: Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt; Stephen J. Redding; Daniel M. Sturm; Nikolaus Wolf
    Abstract: This paper develops a quantitative model of city structure to separate agglomeration forces, dispersion forces and fundamentals as determinants of location choices. The model remains tractable and amenable to empirical analysis because of stochastic shocks to worker productivity, which yield a gravity equation for commuting flows. To empirically disentangle alternative determinants of location choices, we use Berlin's division and reunification as a source of exogenous variation in the surrounding concentration of economic activity. Using disaggregated data on land prices, workplace employment and residence employment for thousands of city blocks for 1936, 1986 and 2006, we find that the model can account both qualitatively and quantitatively for the observed changes in city structure.
    Keywords: agglomeration, dispersion, density, cities
    JEL: N34 O18 R12
    Date: 2012–06
  3. By: Christophe André; Clara García
    Abstract: The Finnish housing market is volatile. After declining significantly as the global financial crisis unfolded, housing prices and investment recovered to reach new peaks. This paper uses a small econometric model to assess the role of fundamentals in housing price and investment developments. Current housing valuations and residential investment are broadly in line with the model estimates. Housing market volatility is exacerbated by fluctuations in the wider economy, which given its size and openness is vulnerable to external shocks. Structural features of the housing market also make it prone to volatility. The paper describes institutional characteristics of the Finnish housing market that bear on house price volatility and supply responsiveness. These relate to the structure of tenures, housing taxation and subsidies, social housing, financing, land-use planning, and competition in the construction industry.<P>Prix du logement et la dynamique d'investissement en Finlande<BR>Le marché du logement finlandais est volatile. Après avoir diminué de manière significative durant la crise financière mondiale, les prix des logements et l'investissement résidentiel se sont redressés et ont atteint de nouveaux sommets. Ce document de travail utilise un petit modèle économétrique pour évaluer le rôle des fondamentaux dans les évolutions des prix des logements et de l’investissement résidentiel. Les valorisations actuelles des logements et l'investissement résidentiel sont globalement conformes estimations du modèle. La volatilité du marché du logement est exacerbée par les fluctuations de l'économie, qui compte tenu de sa taille et de son ouverture est vulnérable aux chocs extérieurs. Les caractéristiques structurelles du marché du logement le rendent également sujet à la volatilité. Le document décrit les caractéristiques institutionnelles du marché du logement finlandais qui influent sur la volatilité des prix et la réactivité de l'offre de logement. Celles-ci concernent la répartition entre propriétaires et locataires, la fiscalité du logement et les subventions, le logement social, le financement, l'aménagement du territoire, et la concurrence dans l'industrie de la construction.
    Keywords: Finland, construction, mortgage markets, housing market, housing policies, housing prices, land-use planning, household wealth, property taxation, prix des logements, Finlande, construction, marchés hypothécaires, marché immobilier, politiques du logement, aménagement du territoire, patrimoine des ménages, fiscalité immobilière
    JEL: E21 G21 H24 L74 R21 R31 R38 R52
    Date: 2012–05–23
  4. By: Rebecca Allen (Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.); Simon Burgess (Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol.); Tomas Key (University of Oxford.)
    Abstract: This paper uses the pupil census in England to explore how family house moves contribute to school and residential segregation. We track the moves of a single cohort as it approaches the secondary school admission age. We also combine a number of cohorts and estimate a dynamic nonlinear model for house moving with unobserved effects. These approaches yield the same result: moving is significantly negatively correlated with school quality, and segregation does increase as a cohort reaches age 11. However, this relationship is weak: the increase in segregation is slight and quantitative significance of the estimated relationship is low.
    Keywords: school quality, moving, segregation, neighbourhoods
    JEL: I20 R23
    Date: 2010–12–31
  5. By: Riccardo Crescenzi; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Michael Storper
    Abstract: This paper analyses the geography of innovation in China and India. Using a tailor-made panel database for regions in these two countries, we show that both countries exhibit increasingly strong polarisation of innovative capacity in a limited number of urban areas. But the factors behind this polarisation and the strong contrasts in innovative capacity between the provinces and states within both countries are quite different. In China, the concentration of innovation is fundamentally driven by agglomeration forces, linked to population, industrial specialisation and infrastructure endowment. Innovative areas in China, rather than generate knowledge spillovers, seem to produce strong backwash effects. In India, by contrast, innovation is much more dependent on a combination of good local socioeconomic structures and investment in science and technology. Indian innovation hubs also generate positive knowledge spillovers to other regions.
    Keywords: Innovation; R&D; socioeconomic conditions; geography; regions; China; India
    JEL: R11 R12 O32 O33
    Date: 2012–06–22
  6. By: Wenjie Wu
    Abstract: Using parks as an example, this paper explores the robustness and sources of spatial variation in the values for estimated amenities using an extended geographically weighted regression (GWR) technique. This analysis, illustrated with estimates using geo-coded data from Beijing's residential land market, has three important implications. First, it provides a powerful estimation strategy to evaluate how sensitive GWR parameters are to unobserved amenities and complementarities between amenities. Second, it compares the spatial variation patterns for the marginal prices of proximity to parks, estimated using a range of GWR model specifications. The answers generated using the GWR approach still reveal a significant underlying problem of omitted variables. Finally, it highlights the importance of conceptualizing amenity values not just in terms of their structural characteristics but how those characteristics interact with or are conditioned by local socio-economic, and other contextual characteristics.
    Keywords: Land market, parks, spatial variation, geographically weighted regression, GIS,China
    JEL: C21 Q51 R14
    Date: 2012–06
  7. By: Pierdzioch, Christian; Rülke, Jan Christoph; Stadtmann, Georg
    Abstract: We used Wall Street Journal survey data for the period 2006 - 2010 to analyze whether forecasts of house prices and housing starts provide evidence of (anti-)herding of forecasters. Forecasts are consistent with herding (anti-herding) of forecasters if forecasts are biased towards (away from) the consensus forecast. We found that anti-herding is prevalent among forecasters of house prices, where anti-herding is less strong in the case of medium-term forecasts, especially in the case of housing starts. --
    Keywords: Forecasts of house prices and housing starts,Herding
    JEL: E37 D84 C33
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Kowalewski, Julia
    Abstract: This paper aims to find evidence for the positive impact of cluster structures on employment development in Germany. It develops a new way of measuring the co-location of suppliers and buyers of intermediate goods in a region as well as the importance for the employment development in individual industries. The findings indicate that co-location of inter-connected industries did have a positive effect on employment growth in 16 out of 56 industries between 1998 and 2007 supporting the assumption that agglomeration advantages tend to occur within regional clusters rather than within single industries. However, for the majority of industries such advantages cannot be identified. --
    Keywords: input-output,shift-share,regional cluster,employment development
    JEL: R12 R15 J49
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Böhlmark, Anders (Swedish Institute for Social Research); Lindahl, Mikael (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates average educational performance effects of an expanding independentschool sector at the compulsory level by assessing a radical voucher reform that was implemented in Sweden in 1992. Starting from a situation where all public schools were essentially local monopolists, the degree of independent schools has developed very differently across municipalities over time as a result of this reform. We regress the change in educational performance outcomes on the increase in the share of independent-school students between Swedish municipalities. We find that an increase in the share of independent-school students improves average performance at the end of compulsory school as well as long-run educational outcomes. We show that these effects are very robust with respect to a number of potential issues, such as grade inflation and pre-reform trends. However, for most outcomes, we do not detect positive and statistically significant effects until approximately a decade after the reform. This is notable, but not surprising given that it took time for independent schools to become more than a marginal phenomenon in Sweden. We do not find positive effects on school expenditures. Hence, the educational performance effects are interpretable as positive effects on school productivity. We further find that the average effects primarily are due to external effects (e.g., school competition), and not that independent-school students gain significantly more than public-school students.
    Keywords: school choice; independent schools: educational performance; external effects
    JEL: H40 I20
    Date: 2012–06–19
  10. By: David Johnson (Wilfrid Laurier University); Robbie Brydon (C.D. Howe Institute)
    Abstract: This study compares student outcomes at Ontario (Canada) elementary schools where students come from similar socio-economic backgrounds, revealing “good” schools where principals, teachers and staff are making a noticeably positive difference to student performance. Several schools achieve positive student outcomes that exceed the expectations suggested by socio-economic factors. Another thought-provoking finding is that students who attend middle schools starting in Grade 6 underperform compared to similar students at other elementary schools.
    Keywords: Social Policy, Education Papers, Ontario (Canada), elementary schools, socio-economic characteristics, Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2012–06
  11. By: G. Pignataro; G. Prarolo
    Abstract: This paper investigates the 2011 Italian referendum on nuclear power as a clean laboratory for recovering information on the spatial pattern of votes about the construction (or restoration) of nuclear facilities. Our results show that voting preferences on building nuclear facilities are sensible to proximity determined by a strong local component. Voters’opposition to nuclear installments tends to be even higher when the effect of both existing and proposed plants is taken into account. The study tracks the changes of risk perception and voting preferences finding a positive correlation between the distance-related perceived nuclear risk and the share of participation against nuclear power. The perceived risk and the consequent voting pattern are even higher in communities close to proposed nuclear plants compared to the existing ones. This holds even after taking into account local, regional and political features and several municipality characteristics which may influence preferences over nuclear power.
    JEL: D72 H41 Q48
    Date: 2012–06
  12. By: Kowalewski, Julia
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the ongoing debate about deriving the value of the exponent when using Flegg's location quotient (FLQ) formula which helps to simulate regional input-output tables. Using a survey-based regional input-output table, the empirical analysis provides evidence of an optimal for the German Federal of State Baden-Wuerttemberg. Furthermore, an extended formula (SFLQ) is introduced allowing for variation in by industry. Finally, this paper demonstrates the advantage of the SFLQ and finds evidence for a close relationship between the spatial concentration of an industry at the national level and its propensity to import goods and services from other regions. --
    Keywords: regional input-output table,non-survey method,empirical analysis
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Christian , Pierdzioch (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg); Rülke, Jan-Christoph (WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management,); Stadtmann, Georg (Europa-Universität Viadrina)
    Abstract: Survey data of forecasts of the housing market may provide a particularly rich data nvironment for researchers and policymakers to study developments in housing markets. Based on the approach advanced by Elliott et al. (Rev. Ec. Studies. 72, 1197-1125, 2005), we studied the properties of a large set of survey data of housing starts in the United States. We document the heterogeneity of forecasts, analyze the shape of forecasters’ loss function, study the rationality of forecasts, and the temporal variation in forecasts.
    Keywords: Housing starts; Loss function; Rationality of forecasts
    JEL: D84
    Date: 2012–06–27
  14. By: Christian Lessmann (Technische Universität Dresden & CESifo)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of political and fiscal decentralization on regional inequalities using a unique data set which covers 56 countries at different stages of economic development. Cross-section and panel data estimations show that decentralization decreases regional inequalities in general. However, estimations using an interaction variable approach imply that the effect depends on the level of economic development. While rich countries benefit from decentralization with regard to a more equal regional income distribution, decentralization may lead to higher regional inequalities in developing and emerging economies. The results are pointing in the same direction for measures of fiscal and political decentralization implying that both -autonomy in decision making and fiscal authority- are decisive in this context. Thus, when fostering decentralization in developing countries -as proposed by international development agencies- the potential negative redistributional consequences should be taken into account.
    Keywords: Regional inequality, decentralization, panel data
    JEL: H11 H77 R11
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Graubner, Marten; Balmann, Alfons
    Abstract: This paper analyzes spatial competition on land rental markets. It contributes to the small body of literature that investigates the optimal spatial price policy under competition and extents previous work by considering economies of size. Because the consideration of increasing or decreasing returns of additional land and the endogenous choice of spatial pricing is analytically intractable, a computational economics approach is used to simulate spatial pricing in the presence of economies of size. This paper is a first step towards a spatial competition model of a land rental market and based on selected simulations it shows that price discrimination is likely to arise.
    Keywords: Industrial Organization, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2012
  16. By: Ernesto Crivelli
    Abstract: Several transition economies have undertaken fiscal decentralization reforms over the past two decades along with liberalization, privatization, and stabilization reforms. Theory predicts that decentralization may aggravate fiscal imbalances, unless the right incentives are in place to promote fiscal discipline. This paper uses a panel of 20 transition countries over 19 years to address a central question of fact: Did privatization help to promote local governments’ fiscal discipline? The answer is clearly ‘no’ for privatization considered in isolation. However, privatization and subnational fiscal autonomy along with reforms to the banking system - restraining access to soft financing - may prove effective at improving fiscal balances among local governments.
    Date: 2012–06–06
  17. By: Karlsson, Charlie (Jönköping International Business School)
    Abstract: In this paper, we discuss three factors of critical importance for regional economic develop-ment, namely entrepreneurship, social capital and governance. We conclude firstly that the relationships between regional entrepreneurship, regional social capital, regional governance and regional economic development are complex and interdependent. Secondly, to influence these factors and the relationship between them policy-makers must have a long-term per-spective and be both patient and persistent in their efforts. It is our hope that this paper pro-vides both a somewhat better understanding of the relationships between regional entrepre-neurship, regional social capital, regional governance and regional economic development and some help to national and regional policy-makers in formulating and implementing the proper long-term regional policies needed.
    Keywords: Regional economic development; entrepreneurship; social capital; governance
    JEL: D70 G38 L26 R58
    Date: 2012–06–13
  18. By: Mick Silver
    Abstract: A key element in the build-up to the global recession and subsequently was the movement in house price indexes (HPIs). These indexes are particularly prone to methodological and coverage differences which can undermine both within-country and cross-country economic analysis. The paper outlines key measurement issues and reports on empirical work using an international panel data set that (i) considers whether differences in HPI measurement matter and, if so, in what way, and (ii) revisits the measurement of global house price inflation and the modeling of the determinants of house price inflation using HPIs corrected for differences in measurement practice.
    Keywords: Consumer price indexes , Cross country analysis , Housing prices ,
    Date: 2012–05–15
  19. By: Aimee Chin; N. Meltem Daysal; Scott A. Imberman
    Abstract: Texas requires a school district to offer bilingual education when its enrollment of limited English proficient (LEP) students in a particular elementary grade and language is twenty or higher. Using school panel data, we find a significant increase in the probability that a district offers bilingual education above this 20-student cutoff. Using this discontinuity as an instrument for district bilingual education provision, we find that bilingual education programs do not significantly impact the standardized test scores of students with Spanish as their home language (comprised primarily of ever-LEP students). However, there are significant positive spillover effects to their non-LEP peers.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2012–06
  20. By: Quentin David (CREA, University of Luxembourg); Renaud Foucart, ECARES, Université libre de Bruxelles (ECARES, Université libre de Bruxelles)
    Abstract: We study the choice of transportation modes within a city where commuters have het- erogeneous preferences for a car. As in standard models of externalities, the market outcome never maximizes aggregate welfare. We show that in the presence of multiple equilibria prob- lems of coordination can worsen this result. Hence, a social planner focusing on the marginal impact of policies may miss the largest source of inefficiency. We discuss two policy tools: taxation and traffic separation (e.g. exclusive lanes for public transportation). Setting the optimal levels of taxation and of traffic separation constitutes a necessary but not a sufficient condition to reach the first best equilibrium. Comparing the relative efficiency of both poli- cies, we show that traffic separation should be preferred for large-scale policies while taxation better applies to marginal modifications of commuting patterns.
    Keywords: Modal choice, Coordination, Network effect, Cross-modal congestion
    JEL: R4 L5 H2
    Date: 2012
  21. By: Marc Gaudry (AJD - Agora Jules Dupuit - Université de Montréal - Département de sciences économiques); Emile Quinet (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris - ENS Paris - INRA, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: We interpret the often mentioned difference between Logsum and average utility in terms of Shannon's (1948) information measure S, leading to a Path Aggregation THeorem (PATH). It states that, in transport networks where unique measures of the utility of multiple paths are required for demand model formulation purposes and the true path choice model is Multinomial Logit (MNL), constructs based on weighted averages of path characteristics derived from multipath assignments always underestimate the utility of multiple paths, a deficit exactly equal to S (corresponding to minus-one times entropy) if the weights are the path choice probabilities. We study the properties of this S measure of aggregation error, along with those arising from other types of averages of path characteristics, outlining some implications for demand estimation and project appraisal. Notably, the validity of the PATH does not depend on the specific contents of the representative utility functions (RUF) associated to paths, such as their mathematical form or their eventual inclusion of alternative-generic constants (AGC). We show by simulation that averaging modes or sub-modes ― a frequent feature of traffic modeling studies ― can lead to important error in terms of level of traffic and welfare measurement. Concerning the mathematical form of the RUF, we recall that, after the publication of Abraham's 1961 random utility model (RUM) of road path choice deriving the Probit specification based on the Gaussian error distribution (and another specification based on the Rectangular error distribution), French engineers used this seminal approach as justification of road path choice formulae then in current use and assigned the name "Abraham's Law" to a particular standard one, effectively a "Logarithmic Logit" close to the logarithmic RUF carefully specified for Logit mode choice by Warner in 1962. For transit problems, the preference went to a linear RUF, as evidenced in Barbier's casual binomial Probit application to bus and metro, published in 1966, which may have inspired the later generalizations by Domencich and McFadden. In view of many founders' conscientiously crafted nonlinear Logit formulations, and more generally of the repeatedly demonstrated presence of nonlinearity in RUF path and mode specifications since their careful work 50 years ago, we analyze the impact of such nonlinearity on S. This impact is tractable through a comparison of measures S2 and S1 associated with two path choice models differing only in RUF form, as determined by Box-Cox transformations applied to their level-of-service (LOS) variables. We show that, although the difference between measures S2 and S1 may reach a minimum or a maximum with changes in LOS, the solution for such a turning point cannot be established analytically but requires numerical methods: the demonstrable impact on S of nonlinearity, or asymmetry of Logit curve response, is tractable, but only at non trivial computational cost. We point out that the path aggregation issue, whereby aggregation of paths by Logsums differs from aggregation of their characteristics by averages, is not limited to public transit (PT) projects with more or less "common" lines competing in dense urban transit networks (our particular Paris predicament motivating the analysis) but also arises in other modes whenever distinct itineraries or lines compete within a single mode. Concerning dense urban PT networks, we hypothesize that Logsums based on multiple path assignments treating all transit means (about 10 in our problem) as one modal network should, using Ockham's razor, be simpler than the insertion of a layer of choice hierarchies among such urban means based on non nested specifications embodying assumptions on the identity of "higher" and "lower" means, the latter reasserting the multiple path access problems the hierarchies were designed to solve in the first place. Concerning road networks, the proper accounting of multiple path use to avoid Shannon aggregation error points to an abandonment of Wardrop's equilibrium in favor of Logit choice. This completed shift should favor transit when it is the minority mode.
    Keywords: Multipath assignment ; Aggregation of path characteristics ; Path aggregation ; Inclusive values ; Multinomial Logit ; Shannon's measure of information ; Origins of Random Utility Models (RUM) ; Probit ; Logarithmic Logit ; Abraham's Law of traffic assignment ; Kirchhoff's distribution ; Non linearity of Representative Utility Functions (RUF) ; Box-Cox transformations (BCT) ; French engineers ; Claude Abraham ; Stanley Warner ; Michel Barbier ; Robert Fogel ; Daniel McFadden ; Abraham-McFadden approach ; EOLE ; Paris RER E westerly extension ; Public Transit (PT) assignment ; transit hierarchies ; SAMPERS ; PRISM ; CUBE Voyager ; VISUM ; NODUS
    Date: 2012–06
  22. By: Gordon B. Dahl; Katrine V. Løken; Magne Mogstad
    Abstract: The influence of peers could play an important role in the take up of social programs. However, estimating peer effects has proven challenging given the problems of reflection, correlated unobservables, and endogenous group membership. We overcome these identification issues in the context of paid paternity leave in Norway using a regression discontinuity design. Our approach differs from existing literature which attempts to measure peer effects by exploiting random assignment to peer groups; in contrast, we study peer effects in naturally occurring peer groups, but exploit random variation in the “price” of a social program for a subset of individuals. Fathers of children born after April 1, 1993 in Norway were eligible for one month of governmental paid paternity leave, while fathers of children born before this cutoff were not. There is a sharp increase in fathers taking paternity leave immediately after the reform, with take up rising from 3% to 35%. While this quasi-random variation changed the cost of paternity leave for some fathers and not others, it did not directly affect the cost for the father’s coworkers or brothers. Therefore, any effect on the brother or the coworker can be attributed to the influence of the peer father in their network. Our key findings on peer effects are four-fold. First, we find strong evidence for substantial peer effects of program participation in both workplace and family networks. Coworkers and brothers are 11 and 15 percentage points, respectively, more likely to take paternity leave if their peer father was induced to take up leave by the reform. Second, the most likely mechanism is information transmission about costs and benefits, including increased knowledge of how an employer will react. Third, there is essential heterogeneity in the size of the peer effect depending on the strength of ties between peers, highlighting the importance of duration, intensity, and frequency of social interactions. Fourth, the estimated peer effect gets amplified over time, with each subsequent birth exhibiting a snowball effect as the original peer father's influence cascades through a firm. Our findings demonstrate that peer effects can lead to long-run equilibrium participation rates which are substantially higher than would otherwise be expected.
    JEL: D62 H23 I38 J13
    Date: 2012–06
  23. By: Nina Drange, Tarjei Havnes and (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Theory and evidence points towards particularly positive effects of high-quality child care for disadvantaged children. At the same time, disadvantaged families often sort out of existing programs. To counter differences in learning outcomes between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, European governments are pushing for universal child care. However, empirical evidence on the effects of universal programs is scarce. We provide evidence on the long-run effect on schooling of mandating kindergarten at age 5--6. Our identifying variation comes from a reform that lowered school starting-age from 7 to 6 in Norway in 1997. Our precise DD estimates reveal hardly any effect, both overall, across subsamples, and over the grading distribution. A battery of specification checks supports our empirical strategy.
    Keywords: kindergarten; early childhood intervention; distributional effects; difference-in-differences; child care; child development
    JEL: J13 H40
    Date: 2012–06
  24. By: Anania, Giovanni; Nistico, Rosanna
    Abstract: Price dispersion, i.e. a homogeneous product being sold at different prices by different sellers, is among the most replicated findings in empirical economics. The paper assesses the extent and determinants of spatial price dispersion for 14 perfectly homogeneous food products in more than 400 retailers in a market characterized by the persistence of a large number of relatively small traditional food stores, side by side large supermarkets. The extent of observed price dispersion is quite high, suggesting that monopolistic competition prevails as a result of the heterogeneity of consumers and services offered. When prices in an urban area (where the spatial concentration of sellers is much higher and consumer search costs significantly lower) are compared with those in smaller towns and rural areas, differences in search costs and the potentially higher degree of competition do not yield lower prices; quite the contrary, they are, on average, higher in the urban area for 11 of the 14 products considered. Supermarkets proved to be often, but not always, less expensive than traditional retailers, although average savings from food shopping at supermarkets were extremely low. Finally, the results of the study suggest that retailers have different pricing strategies; these differences emerge both at the firm level and for supermarkets within the same chain. The results presented in the paper suggest that what is important in explaining price dispersion is the contemporaneous heterogeneity of retailers (in terms of services) and consumers (in terms of search and shopping preferences), which makes it possible for a monopolistic competition structure of the market to emerge and for small traditional food retailers to remain in business.
    Keywords: price dispersion, retail pricing, food markets., Agribusiness, Consumer/Household Economics, Demand and Price Analysis, Industrial Organization, L81, D83, D43, Q13.,
    Date: 2012
  25. By: Carlos Gustavo Machicado (Institute for Advanced Development Studies); Monica Yanez (Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, The World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper examines bureaucratic delay within the allocation of small infrastructure projects by sub-municipal governments in Bolivia, and it presents a randomized eld experiment designed to improve public service delivery by promoting voice, transparency, and accountability among grass- roots organizations. The experiment consists of randomly providing sub-municipal governments with a mailing tracking system, which provides public ocials and grassroots organizations real- time information about the processing of small infrastructure projects requests by sub-municipal governments. The objective of this intervention is twofold. First, is to facilitate the involvement of grassroots organizations in the process of reviewing, tracking, and monitoring small infrastructure project allocations. Second, is to explicitly alter the probability of detecting inecient adminis- trative practices within district councils and, therefore, to implicitly increase the expected cost of engaging in such practices among public ocials. The ndings of this paper suggest that moni- toring tools that promote access to information by citizens might play a critical role in improving public service delivery outcomes. Yet, in settings where mechanisms of local accountability are subject to be captured by local elites or are weak, monitoring tools might have limited capacity to improve outcomes. In such settings, major transparency related reforms might be needed to improve public service delivery outcomes.
    Keywords: Bolivia, transparency, accountability, local-level monitoring, bureaucratic delay
    JEL: D73 C93 H76
    Date: 2012–06
  26. By: John Jerrim (Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)
    Abstract: A number of studies have explored the link between family background and children's achievement in a cross-national context. A common finding is that there is a stronger association in England than other parts of the developed world. Rather less attention has been paid, however, to England's comparative position at different points of the conditional achievement distribution. Is the test score gap particularly big between the most able children from advantaged and disadvantaged homes, or are differences particularly pronounced between low achievers? This issue is investigated using the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 dataset. The association between family background and high achievement is found to be stronger in England than other developed countries, and that there is little evidence that this has changed over time. However, socio-economic differences at the bottom of the achievement distribution are no more pronounced in England than elsewhere. I discuss the implications of these findings for social mobility and educational policy in the UK.
    Keywords: Words: PISA, educational inequality, social mobility
    JEL: J24 J31 J45
    Date: 2012–06–29
  27. By: OECD
    Abstract: PISA has long established that high-performing education systems tend to pay their teachers more. They also often prioritise the quality of teaching over other choices, including class size. But in the current budgetary climate, paying everybody more may not be a viable alternative. So many countries are now targeting salary increases to schools with particular needs or short supplies of teachers, or have developed greater local flexibility in salary schemes. Some countries have responded with systems of individual pay. But is recognising and rewarding teaching performance through pay an effective way to leverage improvement?
    Date: 2012–05
  28. By: Esteban Diez-Roux; Kavi Bahlla
    Abstract: This presentation was given by Esteban Diez-Roux and Kavi Bahlla at the Ibero-American Road Safety Conference (CISEV) which took place in Bogota, Colombia in June, 2012. This presentation describes how the high rate of traffic accidents in Latin America places a burden on economies in the region. The authors present the methods and results of a study which assigns a monetary cost to these deaths and injuries as a percent of GDP. The presentation ends with conclusions and implications.
    Keywords: Health :: Health Care, Infrastructure & Transport :: Roads & Highways
    Date: 2012–06
  29. By: Adrien Blanchet (GREMAQ - Groupe de recherche en économie mathématique et quantitative - CNRS : UMR5604 - Université des Sciences Sociales - Toulouse I - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - INRA : UMR); Guillaume Carlier (CEREMADE - CEntre de REcherches en MAthématiques de la DEcision - CNRS : UMR7534 - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine)
    Abstract: We study a class of games with a continuum of players for which Cournot-Nash equilibria can be obtained by the minimisation of some cost, related to optimal transport. This cost is not convex in the usual sense in general but it turns out to have hidden strict convexity properties in many relevant cases. This enables us to obtain new uniqueness results and a characterisation of equilibria in terms of some partial differential equations, a simple numerical scheme in dimension one as well as an analysis of the inefficiency of equilibria.
    Keywords: Cournot-Nash equilibria ; mean-field games ; optimal transport ; externalities ; Monge-Amp\ère equations ; convexity along generalised geodesics
    Date: 2012–06–25
  30. By: Levitt, Steven D.; List, John A.; Neckermann, Susanne; Sado, Sally
    Abstract: Decades of research on behavioral economics have established the importance of factors that are typically absent from the standard economic framework: reference dependent preferences, hyperbolic preferences, and the value placed on non-financial rewards. To date, these insights have had little impact on the way the educational system operates. Through a series of field experiments involving thousands of primary and secondary school students, we demonstrate the power of behavioral economics to influence educational performance. Several insights emerge. First, we find that incentives framed as losses have more robust effects than comparable incentives framed as gains. Second, we find that non-financial incentives are considerably more cost-effective than financial incentives for younger students, but were not effective with older students. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, consistent with hyperbolic discounting, all motivating power of the incentives vanishes when rewards are handed out with a delay. Since the rewards to educational investment virtually always come with a delay, our results suggest that the current set of incentives may lead to underinvestment. For policymakers, our findings imply that in the absence of immediate incentives, many students put forth low effort on standardized tests, which may create biases in measures of student ability, teacher value added, school quality, and achievement gaps. --
    Keywords: educational economics,behavioral economics,field experiment
    Date: 2012
  31. By: Mark Fedenia; Sherrill Shaffer; Hilla Skiba
    Abstract: This paper examines foreign institutional investors’ portfolio allocation and performance in US securities. We test how information immobility, proxied by cultural and geographical distance between the investors’ home markets and the US, influences portfolio strategies. Consistent with theoretical predictions, foreign institutional investors’ total investment in the US is negatively related to information immobility. Similarly, information immobility is a significant driver of portfolio under-diversification across industries. Industry concentration has declined over time, consistent with declining search costs. Industry-concentrated portfolios outperform more diversified portfolios for both foreign and US institutional investors. Concentration especially helps institutional investors with the easiest access to information.
    JEL: G11 G15 G23 Z10
    Date: 2012–06
  32. By: Chen, Yu (University of Glasgow); Gibb, Kenneth D. (University of Glasgow); Leishman, Chris (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh); Wright, Robert E. (University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: This paper attempts to estimate the impact of population ageing on house prices. There is considerable debate about whether population ageing puts downwards or upwards pressure on house prices. The empirical approach differs from earlier studies of this relationship, which are mainly regression analyses of macro time-series data. A micro-simulation methodology is adopted that combines a macro-level house price model with a micro-level household formation model. The case study is Scotland, a country that is expected to age rapidly in the future. The parameters of the household formation model are estimated with panel data from the British Household Panel Survey covering the period 1999-2008. The estimates are then used to carry out a set of simulations. The simulations are based on a set of population projections that represent a considerable range in the rate of population ageing. The main finding from the simulations is that population ageing – or more generally changes in age structure – is not likely a main determinant of house prices, at least in Scotland.
    Keywords: population ageing, house prices, Scotland
    JEL: J1 R2
    Date: 2012–06
  33. By: Ohe, Yasuo; Adriano, Ciani
    Keywords: diversification of agritourism, local cultural heritage, facility-based activity, internalization of externalities, cultural capital, ordered logit model, hedonic pricing, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, Farm Management,
    Date: 2012–08–22
  34. By: John Bradley (EMDS - Economic Modelling and Development Strategies); Michael Best
    Date: 2012–06
  35. By:  Leif Brandes (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich);  Marc Brechot (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich);  Egon Franck (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We introduce agency concerns to social capital theory and predict that managers can use individual social capital to reduce personal effort costs, which is not in the best interest of the firm. To test this prediction, we collect data on all 8,019 hiring decisions from general managers in the National Basketball Association between 1981 and 2011. We find that managers have a clear preference for hiring players through social ties. The probability that a manager hires players from an NBA franchise to which he is socially tied is 27.6% higher than for an untied franchise. To isolate the motivation for this behavior, we complement our data with information on the sporting performance of teams. In line with agency theory, we find that the hiring of players through social ties reduces team performance. The effect is large: on average, each social-tie player reduces team winning percentage by 5.4%. Overall, this paper documents first empirical evidence that decision makers’ use of individual social capital can lead to reduced firm-level performance.  
    Keywords: Social Networks, Social Capital, Principal-Agent-Relationship, Worker Allocation, Basketball
    Date: 2012
  36. By: María Soledad Bos; Marcelo Cabrol; Carlos Rondón
    Abstract: School attendance in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has increased exponentially in the last two decades, almost every child goes to primary school and access to preschool and high school is fast catching up. This increase in access has been mostly led by more attendance to school of previously excluded children and youth -poor, rural and indigenous populations-, which has created a heterogeneous pool of students with very diverse needs, abilities and interests. Based on descriptive statistics on increased access to education and some learning and life outcomes, this paper discusses in detail how the new roles called upon teachers can help improve the quality of education in LAC. This paper concludes with some promising examples on how countries and international organizations are attempting to create a teaching force that can fulfill these roles.
    Keywords: Education :: Teacher Education & Quality, Education :: Primary & Secondary Education, Education :: School-to-Work Transition, access to school, indigenous populations, roles for teachers, violence, discrimination, teenage pregnancy, labor market
    JEL: I22 I28
    Date: 2012–04
  37. By: Yuki, Kazuhiro
    Abstract: Disparities in economic outcomes among different ethnic, racial, or religious groups continue to be serious concerns in most economies. Relative economic standings of different groups are rather persistent, although some groups initially in disadvantaged positions successfully caught up with then-advantaged groups. Two obstacles, costly skill investment and negative stereotypes or discriminations in the labor market, seem to distort investment and sectoral decisions and slow down the economic progress of the disadvantaged. How do these obstacles affect skill investment and sectoral choices of individuals of different groups and the dynamics of their economic outcomes and inter-group inequality? Is affirmative action necessary to significantly improve conditions of the disadvantaged, or redistributive policies sufficient? In order to tackle these questions, this paper develops a dynamic model of statistical discrimination and examines how initial economic standings of groups and initial institutionalized discrimination affect subsequent dynamics.
    Keywords: ethnic or racial inequality; statistical discrimination; labor market segregation; skill investment
    JEL: J62 J31 O17 J71 J15 J24
    Date: 2012–06–28

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