nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2013‒07‒05
24 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Urban Area and Hinterland: Defining Large Cities in England, Scotland and Wales in terms of their constituent neighbourhoods By Alex Fenton
  2. Low-demand Housing and Unpopular Neighbourhoods Under Labour By Alex Fenton; Ruth Lupton
  3. Understanding Irish house price movements - a user cost of capital approach By Browne, Frank; Conefrey, Thomas; Kennedy, Gerard
  4. A Spatial Analysis of the Role of Residential Real Estate Investment in the Economic Development of the Northeast Region of the United States By Jayaraman, Praveena; Lacombe, Donald; Gebremedhin, Tesfa
  5. Time-Varying Effects of Housing and Stock Prices on U.S. Consumption By Beatrice D. Simo-Kengne; Stephen M. Miller; Rangan Gupta; Goodness C. Aye
  6. Personal income distribution at the local level. An estimation for Spanish municipalities using tax microdata By Miriam Hortas-Rico; Jorge Onrubia; Daniele Pacifico
  7. The economic future of British cities By Henry Overman
  8. Trade and the Topography of the Spatial Economy By Treb Allen; Costas Arkolakis
  9. The Effect of High School Exit Exams on Graduation, Employment, Wages and Incarceration By Olesya Baker; Kevin Lang
  10. "Natural Disasters and the Housing Problem in Japan" (in Japanese) By Naoto Kunitomo
  11. Predictors of Employment Growth and Unemployment in U.S. Central Cities, 1990-2010 By Laura Wolf-Powers
  12. Identifying local tax mimicking: Administrative borders and a policy reform By Baskaran, Thushyanthan
  13. The Effect of School Quality on House Prices: A Meta-Regression Analysis By Yadavalli, Anita P.; Florax, Raymond J.G.M.
  14. Do households with debt problems spend less? By Lydon, Reamonn
  15. Do elected councils improve governance ? experimental evidence on local institutions in Afghanistan By Beath, Andrew; Christia, Fotini; Enikolopov, Ruben
  16. Environmental Policy with Collective Waste Disposal By Hamilton, Stephen F.; Sproul, Thomas W.; Sunding, David; Zilberman, David
  17. How does space affect the distribution of the EU RDP funds? By Camaioni, B.; Esposti, R.; Lobianco, A.; Pagliacci, F.; Sotte, F.
  18. Food Inflation in EU: Distribution Analysis and Spatial Effects By Angelos Liontakis; Dimitris Kremmydas
  19. "Billions and Billions Served" Heterogeneous Effects of Food Source on Child Dietary Quality By Smith, Travis A.
  20. The Influence of Dining Location on Adult Overweight and Obesity in Urban China By Wahl, Thomas I.
  21. The Choice of Airport, Airline, and Departure Date and Time: Estimating the Demand for Flights By Escobari, Diego; Mellado, Cristhian
  22. The habit for voting, “civic duty” and travel distance By Tim Powlowski; Dennis Coates
  23. A global urban risk index By Brecht, Henrike; Deichmann, Uwe; Wang, Hyoung Gun
  24. Real Estate Valuation, Current Account and Credit Growth Patterns, Before and After the 2008-9 Crisis By Joshua Aizenman; Yothin Jinjarak

  1. By: Alex Fenton
    Keywords: urban areas, cities, neighbourhoods
    Date: 2013–04
  2. By: Alex Fenton; Ruth Lupton
    Keywords: housing,neighbourhoods
    Date: 2013–04
  3. By: Browne, Frank (Central Bank of Ireland); Conefrey, Thomas (Central Bank of Ireland); Kennedy, Gerard (Central Bank of Ireland)
    Abstract: This paper employs the user cost of capital to examine Irish house price movements. The bundle of services afforded by a dwelling can be accessed either by renting the dwelling or by outright purchase. Between 2002 and 2007, a combination of factors including rapid house price appreciation and the prevailing fiscal and monetary environment created a strong bias towards homeownership. This was reflected in a negative user cost of housing as capital gains exceeded funding costs (both direct mortgage cost and the opportunity cost) thereby incentivising home ownership and fuelling further increases in prices. We find that the collapse in house prices since 2007 has contributed to a reversal of this process. From mid-2007 onwards, the user cost has soared as capital losses have greatly exceeded the funding costs (albeit falling) causing house prices to fall further. Both fiscal and financial policy measures which could enable a more efficient functioning of the housing market are discussed.
    Keywords: house prices, user cost, bubbles, rents, equilibrium
    JEL: R3 R31 E62
    Date: 2013–06
  4. By: Jayaraman, Praveena; Lacombe, Donald; Gebremedhin, Tesfa
    Abstract: Spatial dependence is an important factor in regional economic growth analysis, especially in terms of population, employment, and per capita income. This paper employs spatial econometric techniques and U.S. Census Bureau county-level data for the period of 1980-2010 to identify and estimate the impacts of residential real estate investment on the economic development of the Northeast region. A spatial panel method is used to analyze the spillover effect of county level economic development on neighboring counties
    Keywords: Residential Real Estate Investments, Spatial Econometrics, Spatial Panel, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Public Economics, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods,
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Beatrice D. Simo-Kengne (University of Pretoria); Stephen M. Miller (University of Nevada, Las Vegas and University of Connecticut); Rangan Gupta (University of Pretoria); Goodness C. Aye (University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: This paper applies a time-varying parameter vector autoregressive (TVP-VAR) approach to estimate the relative effects of housing and stock prices on US consumption over time. We use annual data from 1890 to 2012 and find that over different horizons and over time, generally the housing price positively affects consumption while the stock price negatively affects consumption. These opposite responses to changes in housing and stock prices suggest different mechanisms through which wealth affects consumption. Further, the housing price effect proves larger in absolute value than the stock price effect after 1980. Between 1980 and 2007, housing wealth generally exerted a larger effect on consumption. This sub-period includes the 1997/2002 asset price boom/bust where house prices continued to rise moderately as stock prices fell. Finally, the co-occurrence of the decline in both housing and stock prices during the 2007-2009 episode produced bigger effects of the housing price for the first five years of the impulse responses while the higher magnitude of the stock price effect appears in the 6-year horizon. These findings suggest that the magnitude of the relative price effects differs with both time and horizons and also depends on whether prices increase or decrease.
    Keywords: Asset Prices, Consumption, TVP-VAR
    JEL: C32 E21 G10
    Date: 2013–06
  6. By: Miriam Hortas-Rico (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.); Jorge Onrubia (Universidad Complutense de Madrid); Daniele Pacifico (Department of the Treasury – Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance; Centre for North-South Economic Research, University of Cagliari, Italy)
    Abstract: Local income data is a key element to analyze residents’ standard of living and wellbeing as well as an important economic indicator, very used in a wide range of studies related to regional convergence, urban economics, fiscal federalism, housing and spatial welfare analysis. Despite its importance, there is a lack of official data on local incomes and, most importantly, on local income distributions. In this paper we use official data on personal income tax returns and a reweighting procedure to derive a representative income sample at the local level. Unlike previous attempts in the literature to get local income estimates, the results obtained allow us to derive not only an average value of income but its local distribution, a valuable and informative tool for distributional and income inequality analysis. We apply this methodology to Spanish micro-data and illustrate its potential use in income inequality analysis by means of computed Gini and Atkinson coefficients for a set of municipalities.
    Keywords: local income distribution, sample reweighting, income inequality
    Date: 2013–05–04
  7. By: Henry Overman
    Abstract: Henry Overman surveys the evidence on potentially effective responses to the recession and longer-term structural change.
    Keywords: cities, urban economies, recession
    Date: 2013–06
  8. By: Treb Allen; Costas Arkolakis
    Abstract: We develop a versatile general equilibrium framework to determine the spatial distribution of economic activity on any surface with (nearly) any geography. Combining the gravity structure of trade with labor mobility, we provide conditions for the existence, uniqueness, and stability of a spatial economic equilibrium and derive a simple set of differential equations which govern the relationship between economic activity and the geography of the surface. We then use the framework to estimate the topography of trade costs, productivities, amenities and the strength of spillovers in the United States. We find that geographic location accounts for 24% of the observed spatial distribution of income. Finally, we calculate that the construction of the interstate highway system increased welfare by 3.47%, roughly twice its cost.
    JEL: F10 O18 R12 R13
    Date: 2013–06
  9. By: Olesya Baker; Kevin Lang
    Abstract: We evaluate the effects of high school exit exams on high school graduation, incarceration, employment and wages. We construct a state/graduation-cohort dataset using the Current Population Survey, Census and information on exit exams. We find relatively modest effects of high school exit exams except on incarceration. Exams assessing academic skills below the high school level have little effect. However, more challenging standards-based exams reduce graduation and increase incarceration rates. About half the reduction in graduation rates is offset by increased GED receipt. We find no consistent effects of exit exams on employment or the distribution of wages.
    JEL: I21 I24 I28 J24 J3
    Date: 2013–06
  10. By: Naoto Kunitomo (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: We have several lessons from the recent "Higashi-Nihon-Daisinsai," a big earthquaqe and Tsunami occurred in 2011.3.11. After the last natural dissaster, the central and local governments asked the Housing Companies to make a large number of temporary houses within two-to-three months. We review that events and evaluate what had happened then critically. We point out several issues including the possible use of statistical extreme valyue theory on the housing problem with possible natural dissasters.
    Date: 2013–06
  11. By: Laura Wolf-Powers (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: This paper considers employment growth and unemployment from 1990-2010 in a cross-section of cities in light of practical tools that city governments have at their disposal to provide relief. In particular, I test educational attainment (both initial levels and growth over time) and public capital investment as influences on job growth and changes in unemployment rates in 83 central cities in the United States. Change in educational attainment over time is suggestive of causing higher job growth and lower unemployment. The implication is that initiatives to attract and retain college-educated professionals and investments in increasing college attainment among incumbent residents have the potential to reduce joblessness and improve social welfare. Despite some evidence that public capital outlays led to employment growth and reduced unemployment in the 1990s, the overall association between capital outlays and labor market health is weak. Intergovernmental spending as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), however, was found to have a positive effect on unemployment rates in 2009 and 2010. A relatively weak correlation between the two dependent variables used in the analysis—employment growth and unemployment rates—underscores the mitigating roles of migration and labor force participation in translating job creation into employment growth for members of the unemployed population.
    Keywords: regional labor markets, unemployment, employment policy, human capital, public capital
    JEL: O15 R23 J68
    Date: 2013–06
  12. By: Baskaran, Thushyanthan
    Abstract: This paper exploits an exogenous reform of the local fiscal equalization scheme in the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia to identify tax mimicking by municipalities in the neighboring state of Lower Saxony. The spatial lag regressions provide no evidence for the existence of strategic interactions in municipal business and property taxes. In contrast, traditional spatial lag regressions that rely on variation in neighbors' demographic, political, or economic characteristics for identification provide strong evidence for strategic interactions. This pattern of results indicates that most of the extant literature overestimates the importance of local tax mimicking. --
    Keywords: Tax mimicking,business tax,property tax,intergovernmental equalization
    JEL: H20 H71 H77
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Yadavalli, Anita P.; Florax, Raymond J.G.M.
    Abstract: The evidence on whether school quality affects house prices is uncertain. This paper employs meta-regression analysis on 48 studies to understand what factors influence the discrepancy among analogous studies. We estimate Fischer0s Z transformation, ordered probit, and linear regression models to incorporate eight different school quality variables. Our results suggest the Fischer0s Z model is less preferred to the ordered probit model given the entire sample of school quality measures, and to the linear regression model given a reduced sample of studies with only the primary school test score measure.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics,
    Date: 2013
  14. By: Lydon, Reamonn (Central Bank of Ireland)
    Abstract: At the end of 2012, almost one-fth of owner-occupier mortgages were in arrears. A further ve per cent not in arrears were classied as "restructured" loans. This Economic Letter looks at the impact of nancial distress on household expenditure patterns by comparing the behaviour of households in mortgage distress with similar households in the general population. It nds that, controlling for a wide range of observable household characteristics, including income levels and household composition, households with debt problems spend 18 per cent less on average. We conclude that the mortgage arrears problem exerts a signicant drag on aggregate consumption in the economy.
    Date: 2013–05
  15. By: Beath, Andrew; Christia, Fotini; Enikolopov, Ruben
    Abstract: Using data from a field experiment in 500 villages, this paper studies how local institutions affect the quality of governance, as measured by aid distribution outcomes. In villages where elected councils exist and manage distributions, aid targeting improves. However, if the distribution is not clearly assigned to either the council or customary leaders, the creation of elected councils increases embezzlement and makes decision-making less inclusive. Requiring that women manage the distribution jointly with customary leaders also increases embezzlement. Thus, while elected councils can improve governance, overlapping mandates between new and existing institutions may result in increased rent-seeking.
    Keywords: Social Accountability,Governance Indicators,National Governance,Housing&Human Habitats,Peri-Urban Communities
    Date: 2013–06–01
  16. By: Hamilton, Stephen F.; Sproul, Thomas W.; Sunding, David; Zilberman, David
    Abstract: Centralized collection and disposal is an integral component of waste management strategies for many solid and liquid wastes, and carbon capture and storage is currently being considered for gaseous waste. In this paper we show how collective waste disposal systems introduce essential changes in the design of optimal environmental policy. Absent collective disposal, an optimal environmental policy imposes relatively stringent regulations on polluters in regions where local environmental damage functions are “high”; however, under collective waste disposal, the optimal environmental policy level increases monotonically over distance from the disposal site, and this is true irrespective of the degree of spatial heterogeneity in local environmental damage functions. We characterize the optimal spatial pattern of environmental policy levels under collective waste disposal and identify optimal membership size for waste disposal networks comprised of homogeneous producers.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2013
  17. By: Camaioni, B.; Esposti, R.; Lobianco, A.; Pagliacci, F.; Sotte, F.
    Abstract: This paper aims at investigating what influences the distribution of the RDP funds across the EU space. Eventually, funds allocation is the consequence of some political decision. Nonetheless, this political decision can not be directly observed. While the allocation across countries and, when present, across NUTS2 regions is explicitly decided ex-ante, the allocation at a lower territorial level can only be observed ex-post. This “local” allocation depends not only on the top-down decision taken at some national or local political level but also on the bottom-up (or local) capacity to attract and use these funds. To investigate this more “local” level, funds distribution across 1300 EU NUTS3 regions is considered. Three different effects are admitted as major drivers of this spatial allocation. The country effect takes into account the well known differentials in the size and intensity of support across EU countries. The rural effect captures the fact that, at least in principle, the more rural a given region is the larger is the amount of RDP support it is expected to receive. In practice, however, this effect may vary according to alternative definition of rurality, The last effect is the pure spatial effect and expresses the influence on the amount of support received by a region of the bordering regions and, in particular, of their degree of rurality. These effects are estimated adopting and estimating alternative spatial model specifications: the spatial Durbin model, the SEM and the SAR model.
    Keywords: spatial econometrics, EU rural development policy, rurality indicators, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, R58, Q01, O18,
    Date: 2013–06
  18. By: Angelos Liontakis (Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece); Dimitris Kremmydas (Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece)
    Abstract: In the European Union homogenous inflation forces are expected to prevail due to the increased economic integration, especially after the creation of the single currency area. This expectation is directly related to the issue of inflation convergence which has gained increasing attention by both academia and policy makers in Europe. While the examination of the core inflation is of great importance for macroeconomic policy, the prominent role of disaggregate inflation indices and especially food inflation has been also frequently emphasized in the literature. However, the issue of food inflation convergence has been largely ignored in empirical studies. This study explores the evolving distribution of the food inflation rates in the EU-25 member states, using the distribution dynamics analysis and covering the period from January 1997 to March 2011. This analysis rests on the assumption that each country represents an independent observation which provides unique information that can be used to estimate the transition dynamics of inflation. However, we show that inside EU-25, spatial autocorrelation prevails and therefore, the independency assumption is violated. To insure spatial independence, the Getis spatial filter is implemented prior to the distribution dynamics analysis. The results of the analysis confirm the existence of convergence trends which are even more clear after the spatial filtering procedure, indicating, on the one hand, the influence of spatial effects on food inflation and, on the other hand, the effectiveness of Getis spatial filtering.
    Keywords: European Union, inflation, convergence, spatial filtering
    JEL: E31 C21 R12
    Date: 2013
  19. By: Smith, Travis A.
    Abstract: This paper estimates heterogeneous eects of food source (food away from home, at home and from school) on child dietary quality. Using a quantile estimator designed for panel data, two non-consecutive days of intake are used to identify the eect of food source across the unconditional distribution of dietary quality. Main results suggest that food away from home has a negative impact on dietary quality for all children except those falling in the very lowest portion of the unconditional distribution. As compared to home-prepared food, school food is found to increase dietary quality for children falling in the bottom quartile of the distribution. For children with a very high underlying proneness to consume a healthful diet, food from school has a negative eect. While food consumed under the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs may not benet every child (especially at the mean), it does improve the diets of many children whom otherwise would have poorer dietary quality. The implication is that U.S. schools are fertile grounds to improve nutrition skill formation, especially for the most disadvantaged.
    Keywords: Unconditional quantiles, panel data, dietary quality, school food programs, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Public Economics, C31, D39, I12, I18,
    Date: 2013–05–29
  20. By: Wahl, Thomas I.
    Abstract: Chinese have been experiencing dramatic changes in their body weight in the last ten years. Food service sector is believed to have significant effect on the rise of obesity in China. This paper analyses Body Mass Index (BMI) and overweight issue of adults 18 years and above in urban China with respect to food eating locations and other socio-economic and demographic variables. The data are from household surveys in three representative Chinese cities: Xi’an, Shenyang, and Xiamen. OLS is used to estimate the relationship between continuous BMI and food eating outlets, and an ordered probit model is fit to the categorical BMI. Findings indicate that the number of meals eaten at cafeterias significantly increases the probability of being overweight and obese while decreasing the probability of staying underweight and normal. The probability that a person in Xi’an, Shenyang and Xiamen is underweight and normal decreases by 0.25 and 0.49 percentage point respectively if consuming one additional meal at a cafeteria. And one unit increase in the number of meals ate at a cafeteria increases the probability to become overweight and obese by 0.55 and 0.19 percentage point correspondingly. The number of meals consumed at full service restaurants and fast food outlets are found to be insignificant on the body weight of Chinese adults. Education, household income and employment status all have significant effects on body weight change, as well as smoking status and physical activity.
    Keywords: BMI, Overweight and Obese, Food Eating Location, Dining Location, Socio-economics, China, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2013
  21. By: Escobari, Diego; Mellado, Cristhian
    Abstract: This paper estimates the demand for flights in an international air travel market using a unique dataset with detailed information not only on flight choices but also on contemporaneous prices and characteristics of all the alternative non-booked flights. The estimation strategy employs a simple discrete choice random utility model that we use to analyze how choices and its response to prices depend on the departing airport, the identity of the carrier, and the departure date and time. The results show that a 10\% increase in prices in a 100-seat aircraft throughout a 100-period selling season decreases quantity demanded by 7.7 seats. We also find that the quantity demanded is more responsive to prices for Delta and American, during morning and evening flights and that the response to prices changes significantly over different departure dates.
    Keywords: Airline demand, discrete choice, flight choice, demand estimation.
    JEL: C25 L93 R41
    Date: 2013–07
  22. By: Tim Powlowski (University of Tübingen); Dennis Coates (UMBC)
    Abstract: There is a rich literature addressing the paradox of not voting and election turnout from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. By taking advantage of a unique dataset from an “experimental” setting, this paper is the first to estimate the utility that drives the “civic duty” or the habit for voting. Consistent with the general turnout literature, education level, marital status, household size, and distance all affect the persistence of voter participation.
    Keywords: voting participation; election turnout; travel distance; travel cost.
    Date: 2013–06
  23. By: Brecht, Henrike; Deichmann, Uwe; Wang, Hyoung Gun
    Abstract: Which cities have the highest risk of human and economic losses due to natural hazards? And how will urban exposure to major hazards change over the coming decades? This paper develops a global urban disaster risk index that evaluates the mortality and economic risks from disasters in 1,943 cities in developing countries. Concentrations of population, infrastructure, and economic activities in cities contribute to increased exposure and susceptibility to natural hazards. The three components of this risk measure are urban hazard characteristics, exposure, and vulnerability. For earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and landslides, single hazard risk indices are developed. In addition, a multi-hazard index gives a holistic picture of current city risk. Demographic-economic projection of city population growth to 2050 suggests that exposure to earthquake and cyclone risk in developing country cities will more than double from today's levels. Global urban risk analysis, as presented in this paper, can inform the prioritization of resources for disaster risk management and urban planning and promote the shift toward managing risks rather than emergencies.
    Keywords: Population Policies,Hazard Risk Management,Food&Beverage Industry,Natural Disasters,Insurance&Risk Mitigation
    Date: 2013–06–01
  24. By: Joshua Aizenman; Yothin Jinjarak
    Abstract: This paper explores the stability of the key conditioning variables accounting for the real estate valuation before and after the crisis of 2008-9, in a panel of 36 countries, for the period of 2005:I -2012:IV, recognizing the crisis break. Our paper validates the robustness of the association between real estate valuation of lagged current account patterns, both before and after the crisis. The most economically significant variable in accounting for real estate valuation changes turned out to be the lagged real estate valuation appreciation (real estate inflation minus CPI inflation), followed by changes of the current account deficit/GDP, domestic credit/GDP, and equity market valuation appreciation (equity market appreciation minus CPI inflation). The first three effects are economically substantial: a one standard deviation increase in lagged real estate appreciation is associated with a 10 % increase in the present real estate appreciation, much larger than the impact of a one standard deviation increase in the current account deficit (5%) and of the domestic credit/GDP growth (3%). Thus, the results are supportive of both current account and credit growth channels, with the animal-spirits and momentum channels playing the most important role in the boom and bust of real estate valuation.
    JEL: F15 F21 F32 R21 R31
    Date: 2013–06

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