nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2013‒08‒05
eighteen papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Locomotives of Local Growth: The Short- and Long-Term Impact of Railroads in Sweden By Thor Berger; Kerstin Enflo
  2. Convergence in US house prices By Montañés , Antonio; Olmos, Lorena
  3. The Icarus Syndrome: Why Do Some High Flyers Soar While Others Fall? By Eric Parsons
  4. Distant Event, Local Effects? Fukushima and the German Housing Market By Thomas K. Bauer; Sebastian Braun; Michael Kvasnicka
  5. Distributional Effects of a School Voucher Program: Evidence from New York City By Marianne P. Bitler; Thurston Domina; Emily K. Penner; Hilary W. Hoynes
  6. Transition to Higher Education Examination Outcomes: Does High School Matter? By Bengi Yanik Ilhan; Sumru Oz
  7. School Resources, Behavioral Responses and School Quality: Short-Term Experimental Evidence from Niger By Elise Huillery; Elizabeth Beasley
  8. Economic distress and resurgence in U.S. central cities: concepts, causes, and policy levers By Yolanda K. Kodrzycki; Ana Patricia Muñoz
  9. Econometric Modeling and Estimation of Theoretically Consistent Housing Price Indexes By Alicia N. Rambaldi; D.S. Prasada Rao
  10. Immigrants Equilibrate Local Labor Markets: Evidence from the Great Recession By Brian C. Cadena; Brian K. Kovak
  11. U.S. Regional Poverty Post-2000: The Lost Decade By Partridge, Mark; Rickman, Dan; Tan, Ying; Olfert, M. Rose
  12. A retrospective analysis of the house prices macro-relationship in the United States By Ahamada, Ibrahim; Diaz Sanchez, Jose Luis
  13. Housing and Subjective Wellbeing in Urban China By Zhiming Cheng; Russell Smyth; Haining Wang
  14. Are Internet and Face-to-Face Contacts Complements or Substitutes? Evidence from Internet Traffic between Cities By David Cuberes
  15. Trip-timing decisions with traffic incidents By Fosgerau, Mogens; Lindsey, Robin
  16. Learning Style and Academic Achievement of Secondary School Students By Rajshri Vaishnav
  17. The deadly effect of high-stakes testing on teenagers with reference-dependent preferences By Liang Choon Wang
  18. A link based network route choice model with unrestricted choice set By Fosgerau, Mogens; Frejinger, Emma; Karlstrom, Anders

  1. By: Thor Berger (Lund University); Kerstin Enflo (Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper uses city-level data to examine the impact of a first wave of railroad construction in Sweden, between 1855 and 1870, from the 19th century until today. We estimate that railroads accounted for 50% of urban growth, 1855-1870. In cities with access to the railroad network, property values were higher, manufacturing employment increased, establishments were larger, and more information was distributed through local post offices. Today, cities with early access to the network are 62% larger and to be found 11 steps higher in the urban hierarchy, compared to initially similar cities. We hypothesize that railroads set in motion a path dependent process that shapes the economic geography of Sweden today.
    Keywords: Railroads, Industrialization, Urban Growth, Path Dependence.
    JEL: N73 N93 R12 R40
    Date: 2013–07
  2. By: Montañés , Antonio; Olmos, Lorena
    Abstract: This paper analyses the convergence of US house prices. Our results confirm the existence of some degree of segmentation in the US housing market. We also provide robust evidence that the bursting of the housing price bubble has altered this market, observing different results when the sample includes information posterior to 2010. However, we appreciate different effects depending on the geographical level of disaggregation that is employed.
    Keywords: US Housing prices Convergence Clubs
    JEL: C22 R2 R3
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Eric Parsons (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Abstract: This paper follows a cohort of initially high performing Missouri students from grade-3 through grade-9 and examines which school factors influence their academic success. Three key findings emerge. First, in terms of performance on standardized tests, schools that are effective in promoting academic growth among low performing students are also generally effective with high performing students. Second, high performing students who attend disadvantaged schools are more likely to take Algebra I later relative to their counterparts who attend more advantaged schools. Third, somewhat surprisingly, increasing the number of high performing students in a school negatively affects high performing student outcomes.
    Keywords: economics of dducation, high performing students, No Child Left Behind, exam score performance
    JEL: I20 I24 I28
    Date: 2013–07–15
  4. By: Thomas K. Bauer; Sebastian Braun; Michael Kvasnicka
    Abstract: The Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan in March 2011 caused a fundamental change in Germany's energy policy which led to the immediate shut down of nearly half of its nuclear power plants. This paper uses data from Germany's largest internet platform for real estate to investigate the effect of Fukushima on the German housing market. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that Fukushima reduced house prices near nuclear power plants that were in operation before Fukushima by almost 6%. House prices near sites that were shut down right after the accident even fell by 10.8%. Our results suggest that economic reasons are of prime importance for the observed fall in house prices near nuclear power plants
    Keywords: Fukushima,Nuclear Power Plants,Housing Prices,Germany
    JEL: R31 Q48 Q58
    Date: 2013–07
  5. By: Marianne P. Bitler; Thurston Domina; Emily K. Penner; Hilary W. Hoynes
    Abstract: We use quantile treatment effects estimation to examine the consequences of a school voucher experiment across the distribution of student achievement. In 1997, the School Choice Scholarship Foundation granted $1,400 private school vouchers to a randomly-selected group of low-income New York City elementary school students. Prior research indicates that this program had no average effect on student achievement. If vouchers boost achievement at one part of the distribution and hurt achievement at another, zero or small mean effects may obscure theoretically important but offsetting program effects. Drawing upon prior research related to Catholic schools and school choice, we derive three hypotheses regarding the program’s distributional consequences. Our analyses suggest that the program had no significant effect at any point in the skill distribution.
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2013–07
  6. By: Bengi Yanik Ilhan (Faculty of Economics, Istanbul Kemerburgaz University); Sumru Oz (Economic Research Forum, Koc University-TUSIAD)
    Abstract: Abstract This paper estimates the impact of school quality on the transition to higher education examination (abbreviated as YGS in Turkey) outcomes by controlling for the student quality. Either the class size or the teacher-pupil ratio in main branches is used as a proxy for the quality of schools. Due to data limitations we concentrate on the Anatolian High Schools (AHS) in Istanbul. This choice gives us the opportunity to control for the student quality by making use of the minimum OKS score required for admission to each AHS. Using YGS scores for 2010&2011 and OKS scores for 2006&2007 corresponding to the same cohort, we find that student quality explains the transition to higher education examination outcomes to a large extent. Holding constant student quality however, we find no evidence that class size or the teacher-pupil ratio affects average YGS score of AHS. This can be explained by the relatively standardized school resources devoted to AHS. The results are robust to different scorings of YGS and to the inclusion of clustering.
    Keywords: Unemployment; Education, High schools, Entrance exams, Cluster.
    JEL: I20 I21 C38
    Date: 2013–07
  7. By: Elise Huillery (Département d'économie); Elizabeth Beasley
    Abstract: Increasing school resources has often shown disappointing effects on school quality in developing countries, a lack of impact which may be due to student, parent or teacher behavioral responses. We test the short-term impact of an increase in school resources under parental control using an experimental school grant program in Niger.
    JEL: H52 O15 I21 I28
    Date: 2013–04
  8. By: Yolanda K. Kodrzycki; Ana Patricia Muñoz
    Abstract: This paper provides a review of the literature on U.S. central city growth and distress during the second half of the twentieth century. It finds that city growth tended to be higher in metropolitan areas with favorable weather, higher growth, and greater human capital, while distress was strongly correlated with city-level manufacturing legacy. The article affirms that distress has been highly persistent, but that some cities have achieved resurgence through a combination of strong leadership, collaboration across sectors and institutions, clear and broad-based strategies, and significant infrastructure investments. Finally, the article explores measurement issues by comparing two methodologies used to identify poorly performing central cities: comparisons across a comprehensive national cross-section of cities and comparisons within smaller samples of similar cities. It finds that these approaches have produced similar assessments of a city’s status, except in some cases where the city’s progress has been uneven across time or with respect to alternative criteria.
    Keywords: Metropolitan areas ; Metropolitan areas - Statistics ; Cities and towns ; Economic policy
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Alicia N. Rambaldi (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland); D.S. Prasada Rao (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Recent developments in the economic theory behind hedonic price models and price index numbers have shown that the preferred combination is one where hedonic imputed price indexes (HI) are computed using predictions from time varying hedonic functions. This paper proposes a spatial time series model as the econometric model consistent with the theoretical developments. In addition, the paper deals with issues relating to HI index numbers including weighting systems, seasonality in housing sales data, and the construction of annual and monthly chained indexes.
    Date: 2013–07
  10. By: Brian C. Cadena; Brian K. Kovak
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates that low-skilled Mexican-born immigrants' location choices in the U.S. respond strongly to changes in local labor demand, and that this geographic elasticity helps equalize spatial differences in labor market outcomes for low-skilled native workers, who are much less responsive. We leverage the wage rigidity that occurred during Great Recession to identify the severity of local downturns, and our results confirm the standard finding that high-skilled populations are quite geographically responsive to employment opportunities while low-skilled populations are much less so. However, low-skilled immigrants, primarily those from Mexico, respond even more strongly than high-skilled native-born workers. These results are robust to a wide variety of controls, a pre-recession falsification test, and two instrumental variables strategies. A novel empirical test reveals that natives living in cities with a substantial Mexican-born population are insulated from the effects of local labor demand shocks compared to those in cities with few Mexicans. The reallocation of the Mexican-born workforce among these cities reduced the incidence of local demand shocks on low-skilled natives' employment outcomes by more than 40 percent.
    JEL: F22 J21 J61 R23
    Date: 2013–07
  11. By: Partridge, Mark; Rickman, Dan; Tan, Ying; Olfert, M. Rose
    Abstract: The strong U.S. real income gains and reductions in poverty during the 1990s were largely erased in the following decade, which contained two economic recessions and tepid job growth otherwise. Areas most affected by weak U.S. economic performance could be expected to also have experienced the largest increases in poverty, particularly if interregional labor market adjustment is increasingly limited. We examine this issue, finding that not only was regional poverty affected by regional labor demand shocks, the effect was stronger post-2000, particularly in the long run. Consistent with the poverty results are findings of greater post-2000 regional labor demand effects on employment rates and reduced population adjustments to asymmetric labor demand shocks.
    Keywords: US Poverty; Spatial Equilibrium; Great Recession
    JEL: I32 R11 R23
    Date: 2013–07–21
  12. By: Ahamada, Ibrahim; Diaz Sanchez, Jose Luis
    Abstract: This study provides empirical evidence on the strengthening of the impact of house prices on the US macroeconomy. The stability of the house prices macro-link is tested in a small-dimensional vector autoregressive model over the last fifty years. The estimated break-points are used to split the sample into different segments and a multivariate time series analysis is performed within subsamples. The paper finds a robust structural break in the mid-1980s. In addition, time series analysis across segments provides evidence that the effect of house prices, not only on private consumption, but also on economic activity, has intensified since the mid-1980s.
    Keywords: Markets and Market Access,Economic Theory&Research,Financial Intermediation,Emerging Markets,Housing Finance
    Date: 2013–07–01
  13. By: Zhiming Cheng; Russell Smyth; Haining Wang
    Abstract: This study explores the relationship between home ownership and subjective wellbeing in urban China using a nationally representative dataset. Compared with the limited extant literature on this topic for China, we use a more recent dataset, allow for a greater range of ownership forms, consider the source through which ownership was acquired and not only consider whether homeowners have a home loan, but also consider the source of the loan and its effect on subjective wellbeing. We find that not only home ownership, but the property rights one acquires and the source of those property rights matters for subjective wellbeing. Moreover, not only whether one has a home loan, but the type of home loan one has matters for subjective wellbeing. We also identify important differences in the homeownership-subjective wellbeing relationship across genders, generations and between those with a rural and urban household registration.
    Keywords: Subjective wellbeing, housing, China
    Date: 2013–07
  14. By: David Cuberes (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This paper uses a new dataset on Internet flows between cities around the world to study whether electronic communication and face-to-face contacts are substitutes or complements. In order to test these competing hypotheses I estimate a regression of bilateral Internet traffic on physical distance between pairs of cities and several city and country-specific variables that include a control for cities’ population, countries’ population and per capita GDP, the number of Internet users, the intensity of trade between countries, and several dummies that aim to capture city specific effects and the degree of familiarity between residents of different countries. The estimates reveal a strong and robust negative effect of distance on the intensity of electronic communications, suggesting that Internet and face-to-face contacts are more likely to be complements than substitutes.
    Keywords: cities; Internet; face-to-face contacts; death of distance
    JEL: R12
    Date: 2013
  15. By: Fosgerau, Mogens; Lindsey, Robin
    Abstract: This paper analyzes traffic bottleneck congestion when drivers randomly cause incidents that temporarily block the bottleneck. Drivers have general scheduling preferences for time spent at home and at work. They independently choose morning departure times from home to maximize expected utility without knowing whether an incident has occurred. The resulting departure time pattern may be compressed or dispersed according to whether or not the bottleneck is fully utilized throughout the departure period on days without incidents. For both the user equilibrium (UE) and the social optimum (SO) the departure pattern changes from compressed to dispersed when the probability of an incident becomes sufficiently high. The SO can be decentralized with a time-varying toll, but drivers are likely to be strictly worse off than in the UE unless they benefit from the toll revenues in some way. A numerical example is presented for illustration. Finally, the model is extended to encompass minor incidents in which the bottleneck retains some capacity during an incident.
    Keywords: Departure-time decisions, bottleneck model, traffic incidents; congestion; scheduling utility; morning commute; evening commute
    JEL: C61 D62 R41
    Date: 2013
  16. By: Rajshri Vaishnav
    Abstract: Learning style refers to the ability of learners to perceive and process information in learning situations. One of the most important uses of learning styles is that it makes it easy for teachers to incorporate them into their teaching. There are different learning styles. Three of the most popular ones are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic in which students take in information. This study is an analysis of learning styles prevalent among secondary school students. It was conducted on three learning styles- visual, auditory and kinesthetic (VAK). It also tries to find out relation and effect of different learning styles on academic achievements of students. A sample of 200 students of class 9th, 10th and 11th standard of Maharashtra state was selected for the study. Findings of the study reveal that, kinesthetic learning style was found to be more prevalent than visual and auditory learning styles among secondary school students. There exist positive high correlation between kinesthetic learning style and academic achievement. The main effects of the three variables - visual, auditory and kinesthetic are significant on academic achievement. Key words: learning, learning style, academic achievement
    Date: 2013–03
  17. By: Liang Choon Wang
    Abstract: This paper explains why suicidal tendency and test performance of teenagers may not be inversely related when individuals have reference-dependent preferences. Using panel survey data of South Korean secondary school students, I show that the relationship between suicidal ideation and test performance is consistent with reference-dependent preferences. When a student’s rank in the high-stakes College Scholastic Ability Test falls below her average ranks in prior national examinations, she exhibits greater suicidal tendency. The reference dependent effects, however, are absent for low-stakes in-school academic performance. The findings highlight the potential adverse consequences of disappointment in high-stakes testing.
    Keywords: High-Stakes Testing, Reference-Dependent Preference, Suicide, Suicidal Ideation, Korea.
    JEL: I12 I21 I31
    Date: 2013–07
  18. By: Fosgerau, Mogens; Frejinger, Emma; Karlstrom, Anders
    Abstract: This paper considers the path choice problem, formulating and discussing an econometric random utility model for the choice of path in a network with no restriction on the choice set. Starting from a dynamic specification of link choices we show that it is equivalent to a static model of the multinomial logit form but with infinitely many alternatives. The model can be consistently estimated and used for prediction in a computationally efficient way. Similarly to the path size logit model, we propose an attribute called link size that corrects utilities of overlapping paths but that is link additive. The model is applied to data recording path choices in a network with more than 3,000 nodes and 7,000 links.
    Keywords: discrete choice; recursive logit; networks; route choice; infinite choice set
    JEL: C25 C5
    Date: 2013–07

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