nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2012‒11‒17
forty-one papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Housing markets during the rural-urban transition : evidence from early 20th century Spain By Juan Carmona Pidal; Markus Lampe; Joan R. Rosés
  2. Explaining the Housing Bubble By Levitin, Adam; Wachter, Susan
  3. Urban sprawl occurrence under spatially varying agricultural bid-rent and amenities By Thomas Coisnon; Walid OUESLATI; Julien Salanié
  4. The desegregating effect of school tracking By De Fraja, Gianni; Martinez Mora, Francisco
  5. Human capital mobility and convergence : a spatial dynamic panel model of the German regions By Kubis, Alexander; Schneider, Lutz
  6. Competitive Equilibrium from Equal Incomes for Two-Sided Matching By He, Yinghua; Yan, Jianye
  7. Twenty years of internal migration in Italy. Answers from some economic and non-economic determinants By Mariangela Bonasia
  8. Homework assignment and student achievement in OECD countries By Torberg Falch and Marte Rønning
  9. Regional hot spots of exceptional longevity in Germany By Rembrandt D. Scholz; Sebastian Klüsener
  10. Violence and economic development in Colombian cities: a dynamic panel data analysis By Alexander Cotte Poveda
  11. Clustering and firm performance in project-based industries: The case of the global video game industry, 1972-2007 By Mathijs De Vaan; Ron Boschma; Koen Frenken
  12. On the Origins of Land Use Regulations: Theory and Evidence from US Metro Areas By Hilber, Christian A. L.; Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric
  13. Redefinition of the Greek electoral districts through the application of a region-building algorithm By Photis, Yorgos N.
  14. Highway to Success: The Impact of the Golden Quadrilateral Project for the Location and Performance of Indian Manufacturing By Ejaz Ghani; Grover Goswami; William R. Kerr
  15. What is a high school worth?: A model of Australian private secondary school fees By J. N. Lye and J. G. Hirschberg
  16. Competition in Multi-Modal Transport Networks: A Dynamic Approach By Adriaan Hendrik van der Weijde; Erik T. Verhoef; Vincent van den Berg
  17. Profiles of local growth and industrial change : facts and an explanation By Dauth, Wolfgang; Südekum, Jens
  18. Donating the Voucher: An Alternative Tax Treatment of Private School Enrollment By Andrew A. Samwick
  19. Exctractive Industries and Local Development in the Peruvian Highlands By Elisa Ticci; Javier Escobal
  20. Gaming the Boston School Choice Mechanism in Beijing By He, Yinghua
  21. Examining the roots of homelessness: The impact of regional housing market conditions and the social environment on homelessness in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany By Kröll, Alexandra; Farhauer, Oliver
  22. Supernova stars in knowledge-based regions By Kourtit, K.; Nijkamp, P.; Vught, F. van; Vulto, P.
  23. Cost Competitiveness Comparisons and Convergence in China By Kang, Lili; Peng, Fei
  24. The Impact of Pre-school on Adolescents' Outcomes: Evidence from a Recent English Cohort By Apps, Patricia; Mendolia, Silvia; Walker, Ian
  25. Coping with Regional Inequality in Sweden: Structural Change, Migrations and Policy, 1860-2000 By Enflo, Kerstin; Rosés, Joan
  26. How to Tame Two Leviathans? Revisiting the Effect of Direct Democracy on Local Public Expenditure By Sergio Galletta; Mario Jametti
  27. The Transformation of Mortgage Finance and the Industrial Roots of the Mortgage Meltdown By Fligstein, Neil; Goldstein, Adam
  28. Returns to Regional Migration: Causal Effect or Selection on Wage Growth? By Fabian Kratz; Josef Brüderl
  29. Higher Education, Merit-Based Scholarships and Post-Baccalaureate Migration By Maria D. Fitzpatrick; Damon Jones
  30. Competition and Price Discrimination in the Parking Garage Industry By Haizhen Lin; Yijia Wang
  31. Network Structure and the Aggregation of Information: Theory and Evidence from Indonesia By Alatas, Vivi; Banerjee, Abhijit; Chandrasekhar, Arun G.; Hanna, Rema; Olken, Benjamin A.
  32. “Entry Regulation Asymmetries and Gasoline Competition in a Mixed Motorway Network” By Daniel Albalate; Jordi Perdiguero
  33. Benchmarking of world cities through self-organizing maps By Arribas, D.; Kourtit, K.; Nijkamp, P.
  34. Vacancy Matching and Labor Market Conditions By Stadin, Karolina
  35. A structural approach for analyzing fiscal equalization By Audun Langørgen
  36. Does Labor Diversity Affect Firm Productivity? By Parrotta, Pierpaolo; Pozzoli, Dario; Pytlikova, Mariola
  37. An exploration of facility location metrics in international supply chain By Denise Ravet
  38. Under the Cover of Darkness: Using Daylight Saving Time to Measure How Ambient Light Influences Criminal Behavior By Jennifer L. Doleac; Nicholas J. Sanders
  39. The Nexus between Labor Diversity and Firm's Innovation By Parrotta, Pierpaolo; Pozzoli, Dario; Pytlikova, Mariola
  40. Incentive Effects on Efficiency in Education Systems’ Performance By Giuseppe Coco; Raffaele Lagravinese
  41. Leadership at School: Does the Gender of Siblings Matter? By Brunello, Giorgio; De Paola, Maria

  1. By: Juan Carmona Pidal; Markus Lampe; Joan R. Rosés
    Abstract: This paper discusses how Spain’s urban housing markets reacted to the farreaching changes that affected the demand for dwellings during the first phase of the rural-urban transition process. To this end, we construct a new hedonic index of real housing prices and assemble a cross-regional panel dataset of price fundamentals. The results of our econometric analysis suggest that urban housing markets did not face supply constraints and responded swiftly to the growing demand for accommodation. In light of this new evidence, we conclude that housing markets were not a burden for Spanish economic development and that Spain’s urban infrastructure and institutional framework and were suitable for the housing needs at the time
    Keywords: Hedonic prices, Demand and Supply of Housing, Regulation in Housing Markets
    JEL: N93 N94 R30
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Levitin, Adam; Wachter, Susan
    Abstract: There is little consensus as to the cause of the housing bubble that precipitated the financial crisis of 2008. Numerous explanations exist: misguided monetary policy; a global savings surplus; government policies encouraging affordable homeownership; irrational consumer expectations of rising housing prices; inelastic housing supply. None of these explanations, however, is capable of fully explaining the housing bubble. This Article posits a new explanation for the housing bubble. First, it demonstrates that the bubble was a supply-side phenomenon attributable to an excess of mispriced mortgage finance: mortgage-finance spreads declined and volume increased, even as risk increased—a confluence attributable only to an oversupply of mortgage finance. Second, it explains the mortgage-finance supply glut as resulting from the failure of markets to price risk correctly due to the complexity, opacity, and heterogeneity of the unregulated private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) that began to dominate the market in 2004. The rise of PLS exacerbated informational asymmetries between the financial institutions that intermediate mortgage finance and PLS investors. These intermediation agents exploited informational asymmetries to encourage overinvestment in PLS that boosted the financial intermediaries’ volume-based profits and enabled borrowers to bid up housing prices. This Article proposes the standardization of PLS as an information-forcing device. Reducing the complexity and heterogeneity of PLS would facilitate accurate risk pricing, which is necessary to rebuild a sustainable, stable housing-finance market.
    Keywords: housing bubble; securitization; mortgage; MBS; RMBS; CMBS; PLS; Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; GSE; informational asymmetries; community reinvestment act; affordable housing goals; irrational exuberance; standardization; housing finance; real estate
    JEL: L32 K23 L50 L15 R31
    Date: 2012–04–12
  3. By: Thomas Coisnon (Granem - Groupe de Recherche ANgevin en Economie et Management - Agrocampus Ouest - INRA : UMR49); Walid OUESLATI (UMR GRANEM - UMR MA 49 – Université d'Angers et Agrocampus Ouest - Université d'Angers); Julien Salanié (Granem - Groupe de Recherche ANgevin en Economie et Management - Agrocampus Ouest - INRA : UMR49)
    Abstract: This paper presents a spatially explicit model to examine the importance of agricultural amenities as a determinant of the urban and suburban spatial structure. By introducing endogenous agricultural amenities into the classical monocentric model, we provide an intuitive explanation of leapfrog development. We show how urban development patterns highly depend on the intensity of surrounding farms and their ability to produce amenities. We also show that, even in absence of a particular landscape feature or any exogenous source of amenities, fragmented urban sprawl is a natural development pattern for a city surrounded by a spatially varying agricultural environment. Finally, we show how land tax policies could curb urban sprawl under certain conditions on households' preferences and farming.
    Keywords: Etalement urbain; rente; agriculture; aménités; modèle monocentrique
    Date: 2012–09–28
  4. By: De Fraja, Gianni; Martinez Mora, Francisco
    Abstract: This paper makes the following point: “detracking” schools, that is preventing them from allocating students to classes according to their ability, may lead to an increase in income residential segregation. It does so in a simple model where households care about the school peer group of their children. If ability and income are positively correlated, tracking implies that some high income households face the choice of either living in the areas where most of the other high income households live and having their child assigned to the low track, or instead living in lower income neighbourhoods where their child would be in the high track. Under mild conditions, tracking leads to an equilibrium with partial income desegregation where perfect income segregation would be the only stable outcome without tracking.
    Keywords: income segregation; school choice; school selection; Tiebout; tracking
    JEL: H42 I24
    Date: 2012–11
  5. By: Kubis, Alexander (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Schneider, Lutz
    Abstract: "Since the fall of the iron curtain in 1989, the migration deficit of the Eastern part of Germany has accumulated to 1.8 million people, which is over 10 percent of its initial population. Depending on their human capital endowment, these migrants might either - in the case of low-skilled migration - accelerate or - in high-skilled case - impede convergence. Due to the availability of detailed data on regional human capital, migration and productivity growth, we are able to test how geographic mobility affects convergence via the human capital selectivity of migration. With regard to the endogeneity of the migration flows and human capital, we apply a dynamic panel data model within the framework of ß-convergence and account for spatial dependence. The regressions indicate a positive, robust, but modest effect of a migration surplus on regional productivity growth. After controlling for human capital, the effect of migration decreases; this decrease indicates that skill selectivity is one way that migration impacts growth." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Binnenwanderung, Qualifikationsniveau, regionale Disparität, Konvergenz, Zuwanderung, Abwanderung, Ostdeutschland, Westdeutschland, Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    JEL: R23 R11 C23
    Date: 2012–09–24
  6. By: He, Yinghua; Yan, Jianye
    Abstract: Competitive Equilibrium from Equal Incomes for Two-Sided Matching Using the assignment of students to schools as our leading example, we study many-to-one two-sided matching markets without transfers. Students are endowed with cardinal preferences and schools with ordinal ones, while preferences of both sides need not be strict. Using the idea of a competitive equilibrium from equal incomes (CEEI, Hylland and Zeckhauser (1979)), we propose a new mechanism, the Generalized CEEI, in which students face di¤erent prices depending on how schools rank them. It always produces fair (justified-envy-free) and ex ante e¢ cient random assignments and stable deterministic assignments if both students and schools are truth-telling. We show that each student's incentive to misreport vanishes when the market becomes large, given all others are truthful. The mechanism is particularly relevant to school choice as schools' priority orderings over students are usually known and can be considered as their ordinal preferences. More importantly, in settings like school choice where agents have similar ordinal preferences, the mechanismis explicit use of cardinal preferences may significantly improve eficiency. We also discuss its application in school choice with group-specific quotas and in one-sided matching.
    Date: 2012–10
  7. By: Mariangela Bonasia (-)
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to examine the determinants of interregional migration in Italy. In addition to the conventional variables used to explain migration decision, the impact of housing prices and externalities variables were studied. The period considered is 1985-2006, during which different migration trends took place. Using a GMM dynamic panel, the results show that this model, due to the complexity of the internal migration process, omits some important economic and non-economic variables and may not be representative of migration flow in Italy. Furthermore, the analysis confirms the perception that in different periods could be different also the reasons behind the migration decision.
    Keywords: Internal Migration; Panel Data, House Prices
    JEL: C23 R23
    Date: 2012–06–19
  8. By: Torberg Falch and Marte Rønning (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect of assigning homework on student achievement using data from 16 OECD countries that participated in TIMSS 2007. The model exploits withinstudent variation in homework across subjects in a sample of primary school students who have the same teacher in two related subjects; mathematics and science. Unobserved teacher and student characteristics are thus conditioned out of the model and the identification rests on random relative homework assignment across the subjects at the teacher and classroom level. We find a modest, but statistically significant effect of homework. The effect varies across countries, and it is positively correlated with the amount of time students and teachers spend in the classroom.
    Keywords: Homework assignment; student achievement
    JEL: I20 I21 I24 I
    Date: 2012–10
  9. By: Rembrandt D. Scholz (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Sebastian Klüsener (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)
    Abstract: In their contributions to the debate on exceptional longevity, several scholars have noted the existence of spatial hot spots, or areas with a high concentration of individuals who have survived to very high ages (e.g. Sardinia in Italy or Okinawa in Japan). However, most of these studies were based on a small number of cases. This study investigates the spatial pattern of exceptional longevity in Germany by place of birth and place of death. We used a large dataset of exceptional longevity that covered all recorded individuals who reached the age of 105 in Germany in the period 1991 to 2002 (N: 1,339). Our research results show that, even in Germany, with its troubled 20th-century past, most of the semi-supercentenarians reached the age of exceptional longevity in the same region in which they were born. The discovery of this highly localised pattern supports the view that an investigation of regional variation in exceptional longevity can produce meaningful results. In our analysis of spatial variation, we were able to detect hot spots of exceptional longevity in Berlin and in north-western Germany. These findings are remarkable, as life expectancy in Germany is currently characterised by a south-north gradient, with the areas of highest life expectancy at birth being located in the south. The observed pattern of exceptional longevity instead reflects the life expectancy at birth pattern in Germany in the early 20th century and to some degree also the current life expectancy at age 80 pattern. Our findings might be interpreted as support to the argument that early and late life conditions might play an important role in explaining spatial variation of exceptional longevity in Germany.
    Keywords: Germany, longevity, spatial analysis, spatial distance
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2012–11
  10. By: Alexander Cotte Poveda
    Abstract: This paper studies the socio-economic determinants of violence in the seven most important cities in Colombia. Derived from theories rooted in classic works, including Becker's paradigm, criminal inertia, social disorganisation, urbanism and strain, we formulate several hypotheses on the socio-economic determinants of violence. To test these hypotheses, a dynamic panel data analysis is employed. The analysis shows that cities’ deprivation and high population density are strong predictors of homicide rates. Comparing the results among Colombian cities, we find support indicating that city-level homicide rates are influenced by the city's level of development. Moreover, we find evidence that economic growth, inequality, poverty and human capital influence violence in the cities studied, which could generate negative effects on the economic and social development of Colombia.
    Date: 2012–11–05
  11. By: Mathijs De Vaan; Ron Boschma; Koen Frenken
    Abstract: Explanations of spatial clustering based on localization externalities are being questioned by recent empirical evidence showing that firms in clusters do not outperform firms outside clusters. We propose that these findings may be driven by the particularities of the industrial settings chosen in these studies. We argue that in project-based industries, negative localization externalities associated with competition grow proportionally with cluster size, while positive localization externalities increase more than proportionally related to cluster size. By studying the survival patterns of 4,607 firms and 1,229 subsidiaries in the global video game industry, we find that the net effect of clustering becomes positive after a cluster reaches a critical size. We further unravel the subtleties of the video game industry by differentiating between exits by failure and exit by acquisition, and conclude that being acquired is best considered as a sign of success rather than as a business failure.
    Keywords: localization externalities, survival analysis, acquisition, spinoff, cluster, video game industry
    JEL: L25 R11 R12
    Date: 2012–11
  12. By: Hilber, Christian A. L.; Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric
    Abstract: We model residential land use constraints as the outcome of a political economy game between owners of developed and owners of undeveloped land. Land use constraints benefit the former group via increasing property prices but hurt the latter via increasing development costs. In this setting, more desirable locations are more developed and, as a consequence of political economy forces, more regulated. These predictions are consistent with the patterns we uncover at the US metropolitan area level.
    Keywords: housing supply; land ownership; Land use regulations; zoning
    JEL: H7 Q15 R52
    Date: 2012–11
  13. By: Photis, Yorgos N.
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is the formulation of a methodological approach for the definition of homogenous spatial clusters, taking into account both geographical and descriptive characteristics. The proposed methodology, is substantiated by SPiRAL (SPatial Integration and Redistricting ALgorithm), a constrained-based spatial clustering algorithm, whose successive steps focus on the analysis of the characteristics of the areas being integrated, the designation of the spatial clusters and the validity of a joining criterion. We applied the methodological approach and used SPiRAL to solve a realistic electoral redistricting problem. Namely, the redefinition of the electoral districts of the Prefecture of Lakonia in Greece. The results demonstrate an improved layout of the study area’s electoral map as far as the problem’s criteria and constraints are concerned (adjacency, population and size), justifying in this respect the perspectives and potential of our approach in the analysis and confrontation of similar problems.
    Keywords: Spatial clustering; GIS; constraint-based algorithm; electoral districts; Greece
    JEL: R53 O2 D72
    Date: 2012–10
  14. By: Ejaz Ghani (World Bank); Grover Goswami (World Bank); William R. Kerr (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of the Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) highway project on the Indian organized manufacturing sector using enterprise data. The GQ project upgraded the quality and width of 5,846 km of roads in India. We use a difference-in-difference estimation strategy to compare non-nodal districts based upon their distance from the highway system. We find several positive effects for non-nodal districts located 0-10 km from GQ that are not present in districts 10-50 km away, most notably higher entry rates and increases in plant productivity. These results are not present for districts located on another major highway system, the North-South East-West corridor (NS-EW). Improvements for portions of the NS-EW system were planned to occur at the same time as GQ but were subsequently delayed. Additional tests show that the GQ project's effect operates in part through a stronger sorting of land-intensive industries from nodal districts to non-nodal districts located on the GQ network. The GQ upgrades further helped spread economic activity to moderate-density districts and intermediate cities.
    Keywords: Highways, roads, infrastructure, India, development, manufacturing, density, rent.
    JEL: L10 L25 L26 L60 L80 L90 L91 L92 M13 O10 R00 R10 R11 R14
    Date: 2012–11
  15. By: J. N. Lye and J. G. Hirschberg
    Abstract: Over the last few decades there have been significant increases in student enrolments in Australian non-government schools. It has been suggested that this growth has been the outcome of government subsidies to non-government schools. Despite this significant funding school fees have also been increasing. In this paper we examine these changes for Victoria and look at a number of comparisons between government and non-government schools. In addition, rather than examining the determinants of school selection we examine the determinants of fees at non-government schools by estimating a hedonic price model. We conclude that the characteristics of the schools such as university entrance performance do have a positive impact on the fees. In addition, we determine that the socioeconomic status of the other students has a positive impact as well as the scale of the school as measured by the number of staff, the variety of the offerings and the age of the school all have a positive impact.
    Date: 2012
  16. By: Adriaan Hendrik van der Weijde (VU University Amsterdam); Erik T. Verhoef (VU University Amsterdam); Vincent van den Berg (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We analyse the behaviour of market participants in a multi-modal commuter network where roads are not priced, but public transport has a usage fee, which is set while taking the effects on the roads into account. In particular, we analyse the difference between markets with a monopolistic public transport operator, which operates all public transport links, and markets in which separate operators own each public transport link. To do so, we consider a simple transport network consisting of two serial segments and two parallel congestible modes of transport. We obtain a reduced form of the public transport operator's optimal fare setting problem and show that, even if the total travel demand is inelastic, serial Bertrand-Nash competition on the public transport links leads to different fares than a serial monopoly; a result not observed in a static model. This results from the fact that trip timing decisions, and therefore the generalized prices of all commuters, are influenced by all fares in the network. We then use numerical simulations to show that, contrary to the results obtained in classic studies on vertical competition, monopolistic fares are not always higher than duopolistic fares; the opposite can also occur. We also explore how different parameters influence the price differential, and how this affects welfare.
    Keywords: Public transport; congestion; market structure; market design
    JEL: L10 L92 R41 R48
    Date: 2012–11–01
  17. By: Dauth, Wolfgang (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Südekum, Jens
    Abstract: "In this paper we take a detailed look at the sectoral anatomy of regional growth in German regions over the period 1978-2008. In the aggregate, the German economy is characterized by a secular decline of the manufacturing sector and a rise of the modern service economy. This trend of structural change (Petty's law) by no means occurs uniformly across space, however. Some regions exhibit this trend even at an accelerated pace, while other regions develop their local economic structures against the trend and expand their manufacturing bases. We first develop a novel empirical approach that allows us to categorize all German regions into one out of three groups with 'pro-trend', 'anti-trend' or 'featureless' regional growth. Afterwards we show that the differential exposure to international trade is an important cause of the divergent patterns of local industrial change." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Wirtschaftsstrukturwandel, regionale Verteilung, Welthandel, lokale Ökonomie, Beschäftigungsentwicklung, Wirtschaftsentwicklung, Wirtschaftssektoren
    JEL: R11 F16
    Date: 2012–09–17
  18. By: Andrew A. Samwick
    Abstract: Approximately 10 percent of school-age children in the United States are enrolled in private schools, relieving the financial burden on public school systems, and the taxpayers who support them, of the cost of their education. At present, the tax code does not allow families who provide this financial relief an income tax deduction, even though such relief is a gift to governments for exclusively public purposes and thus analogous to a charitable donation. Using the Public Use Microdata Sample of the American Community Survey and the NBER Internet Taxsim calculator, this paper estimates that granting families who enroll their children in private schools an income tax deduction equal to the per-pupil expenditures in their public school district would cost the federal government an average of $7.75 billion per year over the 2006 – 2010 period. This amount is less than one percent of federal income tax revenues. Because private school enrollment, public school expenditures, the likelihood of itemization, and marginal tax rates increase with taxpayer income, the dollar benefits of this change are positively related to income. At the margin, high-income taxpayers would receive about 35 cents in federal and state tax relief for each dollar of per-pupil expenditures foregone.
    JEL: H24 I22
    Date: 2012–11
  19. By: Elisa Ticci (Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development, University of Siena); Javier Escobal (Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE), Lima, Peru)
    Abstract: During the last decade, the mining sector in Peru has been experiencing sustained growth. Using Census, administrative, nationally and regionally representative data we compare districts in the Peruvian Highlands with a recent mining history with suitable counterfactuals. We find that the new mining activities attract migration inflows, and have some positive effects over educational indicators. The study also shows that districts which lower level of corporate social expenditure have on average smaller impacts. However, the local potential welfare effect of the mining boom is largely untapped and the role of corporate social responsibility for its full materialization is still limited.
    Keywords: extractive industry, local development, Latin America, Peru, propensity score matching
    JEL: L72 O12 N56 R12
    Date: 2012
  20. By: He, Yinghua
    Abstract: The Boston mechanism is criticized for its poor incentive and welfare performance compared to the Gale-Shapley deferred-acceptance mechanism (DA). Using school choice data from Beijing, I investigate parents’ behavior under the Boston mechanism, taking into account parents’ possible mistakes when they strategize. Evidence shows that parents are overcautious as they play "safe" strategies too often. Wealthier/more educated parents are less overcautious and perform slightly better because they have better outside options while not being any more adept at strategizing. Parents who are always truth-telling experience a utility gain in switching from the Boston mechanism to the DA, equivalent to a 7.1% decrease in the distance to a school. Among them, 44.2% are better off under the DA, while 35.5% are worse off.
    Date: 2012–05
  21. By: Kröll, Alexandra; Farhauer, Oliver
    Abstract: "Despite large-scale governmental efforts to combat homelessness, homelessness rates can only be reduced but not eliminated completely by the measures usually applied. Hence, there is an obvious need to investigate additional factors which contribute to homelessness and gain insights on how to further reduce homelessness. To begin with, the relationship between the conditions prevailing on the housing market and homelessness levels is made out with the help of a theoretical model. From this model, a critical income ensuring positive housing consumption can be deduced; individuals with an income below this critical threshold end up homeless. The empirical analysis draws on a panel data set comprising information on all districts (Kreise) of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2004-2009. The regression analysis underpins the theoretical results: High (net market) rents as well as low vacancy rates among small flats lead to rising homelessness. Homelessness also increases when the share of long-term unemployed and of those with a monthly income below EURO 700 is higher, since this makes it more difficult to reach the critical income needed to rent a flat. Finally, some policy conclusions resulting from the analysis are pointed out." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Wohnungslosigkeit, Obdachlosigkeit - Ursache, Langzeitarbeitslose, Einkommenshöhe, Armut, Wohnverhalten, Wohnkosten, Existenzminimum, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    JEL: R21 R31 R38 I38
    Date: 2012–05–09
  22. By: Kourtit, K.; Nijkamp, P.; Vught, F. van; Vulto, P.
    Date: 2012
  23. By: Kang, Lili; Peng, Fei
    Abstract: This paper examines provincial disparities and convergence of sectors in China from a labour cost perspective. We find that the provinces in the Northeast and Coastal regions have strong advantages in the manufacturing sector, while the Primary sector, Construction and Real estate sectors have better cost competitiveness in the Interior and West regions. The decrease of relative unit labour cost (RULC) is mainly due to the faster growth rates of relative labour productivity (RLP) than the growth rate of relative nominal labour costs (RNLC) in most cases. A decomposition analysis shows that there are much more cost competitiveness gains, as well as relative decrease of nominal labour costs and labour productivity improvement during the period 1978-1995 than the years afterwards. We find the fast convergence of RULC is consistent with the fast converging RLP among provinces with static wages, suggesting the importance of institutional factors such as rigid wage setting in Chinese labour markets.
    Keywords: Unit Labour Cost; Regional Development Planning; China
    JEL: R58 J30
    Date: 2012–11–05
  24. By: Apps, Patricia (University of Sydney); Mendolia, Silvia (University of Wollongong); Walker, Ian (Lancaster University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between attendance at nursery school and children's outcomes in adolescence. In particular, we are interested in child cognitive development at ages 11, 14 and 16, intentions towards tertiary education, economic activity in early adulthood, and in a group of non-cognitive outcomes, such as risky health behaviours (smoking, early pregnancy, use of cannabis) and personality traits (feelings and commitments about school; psychological well-being). Using matching methods to control for a very rich set of child's and family's characteristics, we find that pre-school childcare largely improves results in cognitive tests at age 11 and 14 and 16, and has a positive effect on intentions towards further education and economic activity at age 19-20. Positive effects are especially noticeable for children coming from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Results on non-cognitive outcomes are more mixed: we do not find any evidence of improvement in psychological well-being, but we do find some positive effects on health behaviours.
    Keywords: childcare, child outcomes
    JEL: J13 I21
    Date: 2012–10
  25. By: Enflo, Kerstin (Department of Economic History, Lund University); Rosés, Joan (Departamento de Historia Económica e Instituciones and Instituto Figuerola, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: In many countries, regional income inequality has followed an inverted U-shaped curve, growing during industrialisation and market integration and declining thereafter. By contrast, Sweden’s regional inequality dropped from 1860 to 1980 and did not show this U-shaped pattern. Accordingly, today’s regional income inequality in Sweden is lower than in other European countries. We note that the prime mover behind the long-run reduction in regional income differentials was structural change, whereas neo-classical and technological forces played a relatively less important role. However, this process of regional income convergence can be divided into two major periods. During the first period (1860-1940), the unrestricted action of market forces, particularly the expansion of markets and high rates of internal and international migrations, led to the compression of regional income differentials. In the subsequent period (1940-2000), the intended intervention of successive governments appears to have also been important for the evolution of regional income inequality. Regional convergence was intense from 1940 to 1980. In this period, governments aided the convergence in productivity among industries and the reallocation of the workforce from the declining to the thriving regions and economic sectors. During the next period (1980-2000), when regional incomes diverged, governments subsidised firms and people in the declining areas.
    Keywords: Convergence; regional policy; neo-classical growth model; labour reallocation
    JEL: N93 N94 R11 R12
    Date: 2012–10–25
  26. By: Sergio Galletta (Istituto di economia politica (IdEP), Facoltà di scienze economiche, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera); Mario Jametti (Istituto di economia politica (IdEP), Facoltà di scienze economiche, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera)
    Abstract: We explore how the vertical structure of direct democracy in a federal context affects expenditure decisions of sub-central governments. In so doing we revisit previous research on the effect of direct democratic institution on public policies. Particularly, the effect of upper-level (state) existence of direct democratic control on local expenditure. Empirically we exploit the fact that both states (cantons) and local governments (municipalities) enjoy a high autonomy in setting their degree of direct democracy. This allows us to take into account vertical differences between institutions, i.e. we can distinguish the effect of state direct democracy on local expenditures for municipalities with and without own direct democratic instruments. Considering 119 municipalities belonging to 22 Swiss cantons for the period 1993-2007 we highlight that municipalities without fiscal referenda belonging to cantons with fiscal referenda present higher expenditure, while the effect is much reduced and statistically significantly different for municipalities that also avail of referenda.
    Keywords: Direct Democracy, Local Public Expenditure, Vertical Interaction
    JEL: H72 H77 D72 D78
    Date: 2012
  27. By: Fligstein, Neil; Goldstein, Adam
    Abstract: The 2007-2009 financial crisis was centered on the mortgage industry. This paper develops a distinctly sociological explanation of that crisis based on Fligstein’s (1996) markets as politics approach and the sociology of finance. We use archival and secondary sources to show that the industry became dominated by an “industrial†conception of control whereby financial firms vertically integrated in order to capture profits in all phases of the mortgage industry including the production of financial products. The results of multivariate regression analyses show that the “industrial†model drove the deterioration in the quality of securities that firms issued and significantly contributed to the eventual failure of the firms that pursued the strategy. We show that large global banks which were more involved in the industrial production of U.S. mortgage securities also experienced greater investment losses. The findings challenge existing conventional accounts of the crisis and provide important theoretical linkages to the sociology of finance
    Keywords: Sociology, Mortgage Finance, Mortgage Meltdown
    Date: 2012–10–01
  28. By: Fabian Kratz; Josef Brüderl
    Abstract: Human capital theory predicts pecuniary returns to regional migration, but also positive self-selection of migrants. Therefore, when estimating the causal effect of migration one has to take care of potential self-selection. Several authors recommend using fixed effects models thereby controlling for time constant unobserved heterogeneity. However, if selection operates not only on wage level but also on wage growth conventional fixed effects models are also biased. In this paper we want to investigate, whether migrants are self-selected on wage growth and if this biases conventional fixed effects estimates of the returns to migration. We use data from the SOEP 1984-2010. First we analyze the time pattern of the wage differential between migrants and stayers to see whether they are on different wage trajectories. Second we introduce a fixed effects model with individual slopes to investigate whether conventional results are biased.
    Keywords: regional migration, causal- and selection-effects, selection on wage growth
    JEL: C33 J61 R23
    Date: 2012
  29. By: Maria D. Fitzpatrick; Damon Jones
    Abstract: Many merit-based scholarships for college are administered at the state level, targeted to in-state residents and require attendance at an in-state institution. Though these subsidies have the potential to affect lifetime education and migration decisions, much of the literature to date has focused on just one or two outcomes (e.g. college attendance and completion) and one or two states (e.g. Georgia). Given that one of the stated goals of these programs is to increase the quality of a state's workforce, understanding the long-term effects of merit-based scholarships on mobility is crucial for evaluating their effectiveness. In this paper, we utilize the broader expansion and long history of these programs to build a comprehensive picture of how merit aid scholarship availability affects residential migration and educational attainment. To do this, we incorporate data on the introduction of broad-based merit aid programs for fifteen states and Census data on all 24 to 32 year olds in the U.S. from 1990 to 2010. We use variation in merit aid eligibility across cohorts and within states to identify treatment effects. Eligibility for merit aid programs slightly increases the propensity of state natives to live in-state, while also extending enrollment in-state into the late twenties. These patterns notwithstanding, the magnitude of merit aid effects is of an order of magnitude smaller than the population treated, suggesting that nearly all of the spending on these programs is transferred to individuals who do not alter educational or migration behavior.
    JEL: H7 I2 R23
    Date: 2012–11
  30. By: Haizhen Lin (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business); Yijia Wang (NERA Economic Consulting)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between competition and price discrimination through an empirical examination of hourly price schedules in the parking garage industry. We find that the degree of price schedule curvature decreases with competition, implying a greater proportionate drop in low-end prices than in high-end prices when competition intensifies. We provide an explanation for our findings using differences in search behaviors between short- and long-term customers.
    Keywords: competition, price curvature, price discrimination, consumer search, parking garage industry
    JEL: L0 L11 L12
    Date: 2012–10
  31. By: Alatas, Vivi (World Bank); Banerjee, Abhijit (MIT); Chandrasekhar, Arun G. (Microsoft Research New England); Hanna, Rema (Harvard University); Olken, Benjamin A. (MIT)
    Abstract: We use a unique data-set from Indonesia on what individuals know about the income distribution in their village to test theories such as Jackson and Rogers (2007) that link information aggregation in networks to the structure of the network. The observed patterns are consistent with a basic diffusion model: more central individuals are better informed, and individuals are able to better evaluate the poverty status of those to whom they are more socially proximate. To understand what the theory predicts for cross-village patterns, we estimate a simple diffusion model using within-village variation, simulate network-level diffusion under this model for the over 600 different networks in our data, and use this simulated data to gauge what the simple diffusion model predicts for the cross-village relationship between information diffusion and network characteristics (e.g. clustering, density). The coefficients in these simulated regressions are generally consistent with relationships suggested in previous theoretical work, even though in our setting formal analytical predictions have not been derived. We then show that the qualitative predictions from the simulated model largely match the actual data in the sense that we obtain similar results both when the dependent variable is an empirical measure of the accuracy of a village's aggregate information and when it is the simulation outcome. Finally, we consider a real-world application to community based targeting, where villagers chose which households should receive an anti-poverty program, and show that networks with better diffusive properties (as predicted by our model) differentially benefit from community based targeting policies.
    JEL: D83 D85
    Date: 2012–10
  32. By: Daniel Albalate (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Jordi Perdiguero (Departament d'Economia Aplicada. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Regulatory and funding asymmetries in the Spanish motorway network produce huge differences in the structure of gasoline markets by motorway type: free or toll. While competition is encouraged among gas stations on free motorways, the regulations for toll motorways allow private concessionaires to auction all gas stations to the same provider, thereby limiting competition and consolidating market power. This paper reports how this regulatory asymmetry results in higher prices and fewer gas stations. Specifically, we show that competition is constrained on toll motorways by the granting of geographical monopolies, resulting in a small number of rivals operating in close proximity to each other, and allowing gas stations to operate as local monopolies. The lack of competition would seem to account for the price differential between toll and free motorways. According to available evidence, deregulation measures affecting toll motorway concessions could help to mitigate price inefficiencies and increase consumer welfare.
    Keywords: Geographical competition, Regional Monopolies, Gasoline prices, Motorways JEL classification: L11, L12, L43
    Date: 2012–11
  33. By: Arribas, D.; Kourtit, K.; Nijkamp, P.
    Date: 2012
  34. By: Stadin, Karolina (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper studies the probability of filling a vacancy, how it varies with the number of unemployed and number of vacancies in the local labor market, and what impact it has on employment. A greater availability of unemployed workers should make it easier for a firm to fill a vacancy but more vacancies at other firms should make it more difficult, due to the congestion effect. I use monthly panel data for all local labor markets in Sweden from 1992-2011. The results suggest that unemployment has a weak positive effect on the probability of filling a vacancy, while the number of vacancies in the local labor market has a significant and robust negative effect. Simulations of a theoretical model, with parameters based on the estimation, show economically significant effects of shocks to the number of vacancies on employment dynamics, while shocks to the number of unemployed are not very important. Matching frictions are more important for employment during booms than during recessions.
    Keywords: Vacancies; Unemployment; Matching; Labor demand; Employment dynamics; Business cycle
    JEL: E24 E39 J23 J63 J64
    Date: 2012–10–29
  35. By: Audun Langørgen (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Many countries apply cost-equalization and/or fiscal capacity equalization formulas to enable sub-national governments to provide comparable service standards at comparable tax rates. This paper demonstrates how measures of expenditure needs and fiscal capacity can be derived from a structural model of local government spending and taxing behavior. The structural parameters are shown to provide the information required to implement equalization according to the principle of horizontal equity.
    Keywords: Fiscal Equalization; Expenditure Needs; Fiscal Capacity; Structural Modeling
    JEL: H71 H72
    Date: 2012–11
  36. By: Parrotta, Pierpaolo (Aarhus School of Business); Pozzoli, Dario (Aarhus University); Pytlikova, Mariola (Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: Using a matched employer-employee data-set, we analyze how workforce diversity in terms of cultural background, education and demographic characteristics affects the productivity of firms in Denmark. Implementing a structural estimation of the firms' production function (Ackerberg et al. 2006), we find that labor diversity in education significantly enhances a firm's value added. Conversely, diversity in ethnicity and demographics induces negative effects on firm productivity. Therefore, the negative effects, which are derived from the communication and integration costs associated with a more culturally and demographically diverse workforce, seem to outweigh the positive effects of creativity and knowledge spillovers.
    Keywords: labor diversity, skill complementarity, communication barriers, total factor productivity
    JEL: J15 J16 J24 J61 J81 L20
    Date: 2012–10
  37. By: Denise Ravet (EA3713 - Centre de Recherche Magellan - Université de Lyon - Université Jean Moulin - Lyon III)
    Abstract: Companies could gain competitive advantage through the supply chain network. Especially facility location represent possible source of cost and service performance improvement. The goal of this article is to explore and expose what could be the facility key performance indicators. A literature review is conducted to examine research relating to supply chain network distribution performance measurement, facility location and KPIs on global and local level. An exploration of the supply chain performance literature reveals global and local KPIs that could used for the facility location measurement. A list of key performance metrics related to facility location is presented.
    Keywords: glocal strategy, distribution network design, facility location, supply chain performance measurement, KPIs
    Date: 2012–06–28
  38. By: Jennifer L. Doleac (Stanford University); Nicholas J. Sanders (Stanford University)
    Abstract: We use data from the National Incidence-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) to examine how the probability of getting caught when committing a crime, proxied by ambient daylight, impacts criminal activity. We exploit the existence of daylight saving time (DST) to provide within-hour exogenous shock to daylight, using both the discontinuous nature of DST as well as the 2007 extension of DST as sources of variation. Further, we consider both crimes where darkness is likely to play a role in avoiding capture and crimes where darkness would make little difference. Our preferred specification, a regression discontinuity design, shows robbery rates decrease by an average of 51% during the hour of sunset following the shift to DST in the spring. We also find large drops in cases of reported murder (48%) and rape (56%). Effects are largest during the hour of sunset prior to DST (i.e., the hour which was in darkness before but, post-DST, is now light), suggesting changes are due to ambient light rather than other factors such as increased police presence, and we find no changes in crimes where ambient light is unlikely to be a factor. As an additional robustness check, we exploit the variation in the impact of DST by hour and crime to repeat our analysis in a triple-difference framework and show results are largely consistent. Using the social cost of crime, we estimate the 2007 spring extension of DST resulted in $558 million in avoided social costs of crime per year, suggesting investment in lighting such as street lights could have high returns. Finally, we consider if our findings are the result of increased criminal incapacitation or deterrence of criminal behavior, and provide suggestive evidence the majority of the effect is due to deterrence.
    Date: 2012–11
  39. By: Parrotta, Pierpaolo (Aarhus School of Business); Pozzoli, Dario (Aarhus University); Pytlikova, Mariola (Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the nexus between firm labor diversity and innovation using a linked employer-employee data from Denmark. Specifically, exploiting information retrieved from this comprehensive database and implementing proper instrumental variable strategies, we are able to identify the contribution of workers' diversity in cultural background, education and demographic characteristics to valuable firm's innovation activity. The latter is measured by: (1) the firm's propensity to apply for a patent, (2) the number of patent applications (intensive margin) and (3) the firm's ability to patent in different technological areas (extensive margin). We find that ethnic diversity plays an important role in propelling firm's innovation outcomes.
    Keywords: labor diversity, ethnic diversity, patenting activity, extensive and intensive margins
    JEL: J15 J16 J24 J61 J82 O32
    Date: 2012–10
  40. By: Giuseppe Coco (University of Florence); Raffaele Lagravinese (University of Roma 3)
    Abstract: In the face of past ambiguous results on growth effects of education when measured through school attainment, some papers suggest that some countries may be unable to use productively their schooling output because of the scope of cronyism. We dig deeper and demonstrate that, in a stylized model, cronyism in the labour market, e.g. the ability to exert influence to gain high wage positions without merit, may impact heavily on the relationship between schooling inputs and cognitive skills, due to incentive effects. We then use a two-stage DEA approach to identify factors affecting inefficiency in education performance of OECD countries when the output is proxied by PISA scores. Along with other well known factors, a measure of corruption, our chosen proxy for cronyism, explains a substantial fraction of the inefficiency. This result suggests that, as in our model, in the presence of cronyism, incentives to cognitive skills acquisition are dampened. Analogously to developing countries but for different reasons, the best way to improve the education system performance in OECD countries may well be to fight corruption and increase transparency in labour access.
    Keywords: education, corruption, technical efficiency, DEA.
    JEL: C14 C61 D73 I21
    Date: 2012–10
  41. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); De Paola, Maria (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: Having leader positions at school, as well as participating in sports and clubs helps promoting valuable non cognitive skills, including leadership, self-discipline, motivation, competitiveness and self-esteem. We use survey data from the US and Japan to investigate whether these behaviors in middle and high school are affected by the gender composition of siblings. We find that having only sisters at age 15 increases substantially the probability of school leadership both for males and for females in the US and the probability of sport participation for males in Japan. We also find that parental education matters more for these behaviors in the US than in Japan, and that in the latter country the oldest son or daughter are more likely to be leaders in school.
    Keywords: non-cognitive skills, school behaviors, siblings
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2012–10

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