nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2014‒01‒17
39 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. "Effects of School Quality on Student Achievement: Discontinuity Evidence from Kenya" By ADRIENNE M. LUCAS; ISAAC M. MBITI
  2. Spatial Patterns and Size Distributions of Cities By Wen-Tai Hsu; Tomoya Mori; Tony E. Smith
  3. Housing wealth accumulation : The role of public housing By Florence Goffette-Nagot; Modibo Sidibé
  4. The benefits of living in a social housing dwelling: effects on living standard and accommodation conditions By C. TREVIEN
  5. The Effects of Teacher Strike Activity on Student Learning in South African Primary Schools By Gabrielle Wills
  6. Do Inventors Talk to Strangers? On Proximity and Collaborative Knowledge Creation By Riccardo Crescenzi; Max Nathan; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
  8. xsmle: a Stata command for spatial panel-data models estimation By Federico Belotti; Gordon Hughes; Andrea Piano Mortari
  9. Inefficient equilibrium unemployment in a duocentric economy with matching frictions By Etienne LEHMANN; Paola L. MONTERO LEDEZMA; Bruno VAN DER LINDEN
  10. An Exploratory Analysis of Heterogeneity on Regional Labour Markets and Unemployment Rates in Colombia: An MFACT approach By Camilo Alberto Cárdenas Hurtado; María Alejandra Hernández Montes; Jhon Edwar Torres Gorron
  11. Housing, banking, and the recovery: the outlook By Williams, John C.
  12. Land governance of suburban areas of Vietnam By de Wit, J.
  13. Measuring the Value of Time in Freight Transportation By KONISHI Yoko; Se-il MUN; NISHIYAMA Yoshihiko; Ji Eun SUNG
  14. Do homeowners associations mitigate or aggravate negative spillovers from neighboring homeowner distress? By Cheung, Ron; Cunningham, Chris; Meltzer, Rachel
  15. Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India By Karthik Muralidharan; Nishith Prakash
  16. The Housing Market Impacts of Shale Gas Development By Muehlenbachs, Lucija; Spiller, Elisheba; Timmins, Christopher
  17. Why Is Housing Finance Still Stuck in Such a Primitive Stage? By Robert J. Shiller
  18. Service network design for an intermodal container network with flexible due dates/times and the possibility of using subcontracted transport By van Riessen, B.; Negenborn, R.R.; Dekker, R.; Lodewijks, G.
  19. Primary Schooling, Student Learning, and School Quality in Rural Bangladesh-Working Paper 349 By Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, Nazmul Chaudhury
  20. Long term impact of a major infrastructure project: the port of Gioia Tauro By Mario Genco; Emanuela Sirtori; Silvia Vignetti
  21. Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation By Benjamin Elsner; Gaia Narciso; Jacco J. J. � Thijssen
  22. Social Capital and Disaster Recovery: Evidence from Sichuan Earthquake in 2008-Working Paper 344 By Chung Wing Tse, Jianwen Wei, Yihan Wang
  23. CROSS-COUNTRY EVIDENCE ON THE CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POLICY UNCERTAINTY AND HOUSE PRICES By Ghassen El Montasser; Ahdi N. Ajmi; Tsangyao Chang; Beatrice D. Simo-Kengne; Christophe Andre; Rangan Gupta
  24. The Effects of Land-Use Development Policies on Forest Management By Maria A. Cunha-e-Sa; Sofia F. Franco
  25. Forest Management in an Urbanizing Landscape By Maria A. Cunha-e-Sa; Sofia F. Franco
  26. About predictions in spatial autoregressive models: Optimal and almost optimal strategies By Thomas-Agnan, Christine
  27. Properties of knowledge base and firm survival: Evidence from a sample of French manufacturing firms By Alessandra Colombelli; Jackie Krafft; Francesco Quatraro
  28. The Efficiency Implications of Using Proportional Evaluations to Shape the Teaching Workforce By Cory Koedel; Jiaxi Li
  29. High-growth firms in Georgia By Choi, Taelim; Robertson, John C.; Rupasingha, Anil
  30. Are we in a bubble? A simple time-series-based diagnostic By Franses, Ph.H.B.F.
  31. Influence and Social Tragedy in Networks By Yann Rébillé; Lionel Richefort
  32. Consumption Based Estimates of Urban Chinese Growth By Marcos Chamon; Irineu E. Carvalho Filho
  33. Heterogeneous Agglomeration By Giulia Faggio; Olmo Silva; William C. Strange
  34. Wages and Labour Productivity: the role of performance-related pay in Italian firms By Mirella Damiani; Fabrizio Pompei; Andrea Ricci
  35. Household debt and social interactions By Georgarakos, Dimitris; Haliassos, Michalis; Pasini, Giacomo
  36. Competition, integration, substitution: Myths and realities concerning the relationship between high-speed rail and air transport in Europe By Frédéric Dobruszkes; Moshe Givoni
  37. Who invests in home equity to exempt wealth from bankruptcy? By Corradin, Stefano; Gropp, Reint; Huizinga, Harry; Laeven, Luc
  38. Linking the poor to new modalities in service delivery. Partnership innovations in solid waste management in Bogotá, Colombia By Turcotte, I.; Gomez, G.M.
  39. The French cluster policy and the R&D spending of SME and intermediate-sized enterprises By C. BELLÉGO; V. DORTET-BERNADET

  1. By: ADRIENNE M. LUCAS (Department of Economics,University of Delaware); ISAAC M. MBITI (Department of Economics,Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: The most desirable Kenyan secondary schools are elite government schools that admit the best students from across the country. We exploit the random variation generated by the centralized school admissions process in a regression discontinuity design to obtain causal estimates of the effects of attending one of these elite public schools on student progression and test scores in secondary school. Despite their reputations, we find little evidence of positive impacts on learning outcomes for students who attended these schools, suggesting that their sterling reputations reflect the selection of students rather than their ability to generate value-added test-score gains.
    Keywords: Education, Kenya, returns to secondary school
    JEL: H52 I21
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Wen-Tai Hsu (School of Economics, Singapore Management University); Tomoya Mori (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University); Tony E. Smith (Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: City size distributions are known to be well approximated by power laws across many countries. One popular explanation for such power-law regularities is in terms of random growth processes, where power laws arise asymptotically from the assumption of iid growth rates among all cities within a given country. But this assumption has additional consequences. Since all subsets of cities have the same statistical properties, each subset must exhibit essentially the same power law. Moreover, this common power law (CPL) property must hold regardless of the spatial relations among cities. Using data from the US, this paper shows first that spatial partitions of cities based on geographical proximity are significantly more consistent with the CPL property than are random partitions. It is then shown that this significance becomes even stronger when proximity among cities is measured in terms of trade linkages rather than simple geographical distance. These results provide compelling evidence that spatial relations between cities do indeed matter for city-size distributions. Further analysis shows that these results hinge on the natural “spacing out” property of city patterns in which larger cities tend to be widely spaced apart with smaller cities organized around them.
    Keywords: power law, Zipf’s law, random growth, space, geography, Voronoi partition, economic region
    JEL: C49 L60 R12 R14
    Date: 2014–01
  3. By: Florence Goffette-Nagot (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France); Modibo Sidibé (Duke University, Department of Economics, Duke University, United States)
    Abstract: The public housing sector provides housing units at below-market rents, potentially allowing its tenants to save for a downpayment more quickly than they would have otherwise. In this paper, we analyze the e-ffect of a spell in public housing on age at first-time homeownership using the French Housing Survey. We use a pseudo-panel approach that takes into account the speci-cities of the local housing market, to derive individual tenure transitions from multiple cross-sections data. Using an IV strategy to control for a potential selection into public housing, we jointly estimate public housing tenancy and duration before -first-time homeownership, and take into account unobserved heterogeneity. Our results indicate that a spell in public housing increases the hazard to homeownership, supporting the idea that, in France, the public housing policy provides an important pathway to homeownership.
    Keywords: Homeownership, Public housing, Tenure choice, Duration model, Unobserved heterogeneity
    JEL: R21 R31 R38 C41
    Date: 2013
  4. By: C. TREVIEN (Insee)
    Abstract: This article provides evidence about how access to social housing affects living and accommodation conditions of households, using hedonic prices and stratified regression methods. First, I estimate the monthly monetary benefit of social housing tenants, which is the difference between the actual rent of a social housing dwelling and the potential value of a similar dwelling on the private rental market. This monthly implicit benefit amounts in 2006 to 261 euro each month and can be broken down into two parts: a living standard effect of 227 euro, e.g. an increase in household consumption of other goods and savings, and a 34 euro rise in the value of the home. More precisely, I compare the accommodation conditions of social housing tenants to the counterfactual accommodation conditions of the same households in a privately rented home without access to social housing. I obtain that when a household move to a social housing home, it lives in a larger dwelling, but in a poorer neighbourhood. Finally, access to social housing does not generate housing over-consumption.
    Keywords: social housing, hedonic prices, evaluation of public policies, stratified regressions
    JEL: R21 C31 H42
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Gabrielle Wills (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether teacher strikes affect student achievement at the primary school level in South Africa. A cross-subject analysis with student fixed effects is used to eliminate sources of endogeneity bias at the school and student level. Results indicate that teacher strike participation negatively affects learning for students in the poorest three quarters of schools in South Africa. A negative effect size as large as ten per cent of a standard deviation is observed. There is also evidence that more marginalised students, both in terms of socio-economic status and academic performance, are affected most negatively by strike action. However, application of a technique by Altonji, Taber and Elder (2005) indicates that it is not possible to rule out that measured strike effects may be driven by omitted variable bias. The student fixed effects strategy fails to adequately control for unobserved teacher characteristics that may influence both a teacher’s decision to strike and student achievement.
    Keywords: teachers, strikes, trade unions, student achievement, South Africa
    JEL: I21 J51 J52 J24
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Riccardo Crescenzi; Max Nathan; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
    Abstract: This paper investigates how physical, organisational, institutional, cognitive, social, and ethnic proximities between inventors shape their collaboration decisions. Using a new panel of UK inventors and a novel identification strategy, this paper systematically explores the net effects of all these 'proximities' on co-patenting. The regression analysis allows us to identify the full effects of each proximity, both on choice of collaborator and on the underlying decision to collaborate. The results show that physical proximity is an important influence on collaboration, but is mediated by organisational and ethnic factors. Over time, physical proximity increases in salience. For multiple inventors, geographic proximity is, however, much less important than organisational, social, and ethnic links. For inventors as a whole, proximities are fundamentally complementary, while for multiple inventors they are substitutes.
    Keywords: Innovation, patents, proximities, cities, regions, knowledge spillovers, collaboration, ethnicity
    JEL: O31 O33 R11 R23
    Date: 2014–01
  7. By: Glenn P. Jenkins (Department of Economics, Queen's University, Canada, Eastern Mediterranean University, Mersin 10, Turkey); Armin Zeinali (Queen’s University, Canada)
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to develop a model to arrive at a joint optimizing strategy for capital budgeting for the construction of new school buildings and for the renovation of existing schools. This model provides a practical tool for ranking construction projects so as to yield the maximum positive impact on the education system. A key aspect of the model is that it provides the optimal mix of renovation and new construction that should be undertaken under a fixed budget constraint. The model is applied to a sample dataset from the education sector of Limpopo Province, South Africa, in order to quantify the benefits of using the model.
    Keywords: education, cost-effectiveness, school location, school construction, school repair, South Africa
    JEL: D61 I28 H52 H75
    Date: 2014–01
  8. By: Federico Belotti (CEIS, Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Gordon Hughes (University of Edinburgh); Andrea Piano Mortari (CEIS, Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: This paper presents xsmle, a new Stata command for the estimation of spatial panel-data models. xsmle fits a spatial autoregressive model, a spatial error model, and a spatial Durbin model with fixed or random effects and with or without a dynamic component. Moreover, xsmle estimates the fixed-effects spatial autoregressive model with autoregressive disturbances and the generalized spatial random-effects model. Different weighting matrices may be specified when appropriate, and both Stata matrices and spmat objects are allowed. Of special note is that xsmle computes direct, indirect, and total effects according to Lesage (2008), implements Lee and Yu's (2010) data trasformation for fixed-effects models, performs a robust Hausman test, and may be used with the mi prefix when the panel is unbalanced.
    Date: 2013–11–01
  9. By: Etienne LEHMANN (CRED (TEPP) University Panthéon-Assas Paris 2 and CREST); Paola L. MONTERO LEDEZMA (Stockholm University and UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Bruno VAN DER LINDEN (FNRS and UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: This article examines unemployment disparities and efficiency in a densely populated economy with two job centers and workers distributed between them. We introduce commuting costs and search-matching frictions to deal with the spatial mismatch between workers and firms. In equilibrium, there exists a unique threshold location where job-seekers are indifferent between job centers. In a decentralized economy job-seekers do not internalize a composition externality they impose on all the unemployed. Their decisions over job-search is thus typically not optimal and hence the equilibrium unemployment rates are inefficient. We calibrate the model for Los Angeles and Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Simulations exercises suggest that changes in the workforce distribution have non-negligible effects on unemployment rates, wages and net output.
    Keywords: Spatial mismatch, commuting, urban unemployment, externality, United States
    JEL: J64 R13 R23
    Date: 2013–12–10
  10. By: Camilo Alberto Cárdenas Hurtado; María Alejandra Hernández Montes; Jhon Edwar Torres Gorron
    Abstract: In this paper we study the structural determinants of differentials in unemployment rates and labour markets’ performance for colombian cities. Following the framework proposed by Elhorst (2003) and using cross-sectional data for 23 metropolitan areas, we apply an extension of a principal axes method proposed by B´ecue-Bertaut and Pag`es (2004, 2008), Multiple Factor Analysis for Multiple Contingency Tables (MFACT), in order to establish unobserved factors that are relevant when disentangling the heterogeneity captured by groups of variables that are considered to explain regional unemployment differentials. Our findings suggest that differences on qualified labour supply levels, participation incentives and age structure are important to understand regional heterogeneity on labour markets and unemployment rates. In addition, we find that cities that display high unemployment rates do not necessarily share the same characteristics, that is, frictions that originate unemployment are not the same across colombian cities.
    Keywords: Unemployment; Unemployment rate, regional, heterogeneity, differentials, factor analysis. Classification JEL: R23, J40
    Date: 2014–01
  11. By: Williams, John C. (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)
    Abstract: Presentation to Lambda Alpha International and Arizona Bankers Association, Phoenix, Arizona, January 7, 2014
    Keywords: Housing
    Date: 2014–01–10
  12. By: de Wit, J.
    Abstract: After the Doi Moi (‘renovation’) reforms in Vietnam from 1986, land ownership rules were adjusted, effectively terminating former land collectivisation efforts. While land ownership remained fully under the control of the state, a 1993 land law conferred 20-year leaseholds to most farmers. They could now utilize farm land individually, and sell, swap and mortgage the land in a situation similar to private ownership. These leaseholds are now expiring and a new 2013 land law is in the making. This paper was initially written for UNDP Vietnam which supports Vietnam to help formulate a strong new land law, and brings out the complexities of land governance in the suburban areas of fast expanding Vietnamese cities. It first considers the present and changing land use of suburban areas and the key stakeholders involved here – powerful State Owned Enterprises, farmers, bureaucrats and communist party leaders. Planning practices are then assessed – and seen to be both rigid and complex, with different departments at various levels working at cross purposes under conditions of conflicting rules, laws and weak capacities. This is one reason for the dominance of informal arrangements and widespread corruption, where powerful actors benefit hugely and illegally from conditions of opacity and informal networks. Overall outcomes are that cities expand in a haphazard (‘leapfrog’) and inefficient manner, with insufficient attention for timely and adequate infrastructure, the environment and for people’s welfare as in social amenities and parks. As a result of lopsided incentive systems, it is the state which foregoes huge incomes and faces more costly investments, while many suburban farmers are affected through (arbitrary) land acquisition and inadequate compensation.
    Keywords: Vietnam, environment, land governance, planning, suburban land, urban housing
    Date: 2013–06–28
  13. By: KONISHI Yoko; Se-il MUN; NISHIYAMA Yoshihiko; Ji Eun SUNG
    Abstract: This paper presents an alternative approach to measuring the values of transport time for freight transportation, and examines its applicability through empirical analysis. We develop a model of the freight transportation market, in which carriers incur the cost associated with the effort to reduce transport time, and transport time is endogenously determined in the market. We estimate the freight charge function, expressway choice model, and transport time function, using microdata of freight flow in Japan collected by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Based on the estimated freight charge function, we obtain the values of transport time for shippers as an implicit price in the hedonic theory. The estimated values of transport time for shippers are larger than those obtained by the widely adopted method based on the discrete choice model. We also develop a method to evaluate the benefit of time-saving technological change (including infrastructure improvement) based on the hedonic approach. Application to the evaluation of expressway construction suggests that the benefits calculated by our method tend to be larger than those based on the other methods.
    Date: 2014–01
  14. By: Cheung, Ron (Oberlin College); Cunningham, Chris (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); Meltzer, Rachel (the New School)
    Abstract: Experiences reveal that the monitoring costs of the foreclosure crisis may be nontrivial, and smaller governments may have more success at addressing potential negative externalities. One highly localized form of government is a homeowners association (HOA). HOAs could be well-suited for triaging foreclosures, as they may detect delinquencies and looming defaults through direct observation or missed dues. On the other hand, the reliance on dues may leave HOAs particularly vulnerable to members’ foreclosure. We examine how property prices respond to homeowner distress and foreclosure within HOA communities in Florida. We combine data sets of HOAs, sales and aggregate loan delinquency, and foreclosures from 2000 through 2008. We find properties in HOAs are relatively less affected by more distressed neighbor homes compared with non-HOA properties, but only when considering less severe delinquency rates. We also find that negative price effects from higher delinquency exposure rates are ameliorated for properties in larger and newer HOAs.
    Keywords: associations; foreclosures; delinquency; house prices
    JEL: R00 R21 R31
    Date: 2013–12–01
  15. By: Karthik Muralidharan (University of California San Diego); Nishith Prakash (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: We study the impact of an innovative program in the Indian state of Bihar that aimed to reduce the gender gap in secondary school enrollment by providing girls who continued to secondary school with a bicycle that would improve access to school. Using data from a large representative household survey, we employ a triple difference approach (using boys and the neighboring state of Jharkhand as comparison groups) and find that being in a cohort that was exposed to the Cycle program increased girls' age-appropriate enrollment in secondary school by 30% and also reduced the gender gap in age-appropriate secondary school enrollment by 40%. Parametric and non-parametric decompositions of the triple-difference estimate as a function of distance to the nearest secondary school show that the increases in enrollment mostly took place in villages where the nearest secondary school was further away, suggesting that the mechanism for program impact was the reduction in the time and safety cost of school attendance made possible by the bicycle. We find that the Cycle program was much more cost effective at increasing girls' enrolment than comparable conditional cash transfer programs in South Asia, suggesting that the coordinated provision of bicycles to girls may have generated externalities beyond the cash value of the program, including improved safety from girls cycling to school in groups, and changes in patriarchal social norms that proscribed female mobility outside the village, which inhibited female secondary school participation.
    Keywords: Conditional transfers, school access, gender gaps, bicycle, girls' education, female empowerment, India, Bihar, MDG
    JEL: H42 I2 O15
    Date: 2013–08
  16. By: Muehlenbachs, Lucija (Resources for the Future); Spiller, Elisheba; Timmins, Christopher
    Abstract: Using data from New York and Pennsylvania and an array of empirical techniques to control for confounding factors, we recover hedonic estimates of property value impacts from shale gas development that vary with geographic scale and water source. Results indicate large negative impacts on nearby groundwater-dependent homes, while piped water-dependent homes are positively impacted by proximity (although by a smaller amount), suggesting an impact of lease payments. At a broader geographic scale, we find evidence that new wellbores can increase property values, but these effects diminish over time. Undrilled permits, conversely, may cause property values to decrease.
    Keywords: shale gas, groundwater, property values, hedonic models, nearest neighbor matching, differences-in-differences, triple differences
    JEL: Q53
    Date: 2013–12–09
  17. By: Robert J. Shiller (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: The institutions for financing owner-occupied housing have not progressed as they should, and the financial innovation that has followed the financial crisis of 2007-9 has not been focused on improving the risk management of individual homeowners. This paper lists a number of barriers to housing finance innovation, and in light of these barriers, the problems of some major innovations of the past and future: self-amortizing mortgages, price-level adjusted mortgages (PLAMs), shared appreciation mortgages (SAMs), housing partnerships, and continuous workout mortgages (CWMs).
    Keywords: Mortgages, securitization, Financial crises, Self-amortizing mortgages, Installment mortgages, Level-payment mortgages, Price-level-adjusted mortgages (PLAMs), Shared appreciation mortgages (SAMs), Housing partnerships, continuous workout mortgages (CWMs), Automatic workout mortgages (AWMs), Dodd-Frank Act, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (
    JEL: R31
    Date: 2014–01
  18. By: van Riessen, B.; Negenborn, R.R.; Dekker, R.; Lodewijks, G.
    Abstract: An intermodal container transportation network is being developed between Rotterdam and several inland terminals in North West Europe: the EUROPEAN GATEWAY SERVICES (EGS) network. This network is developed and operated by the seaports of EUROPE CONTAINER TERMINALS (ECT). To use this network cost-efficiently, a centralized planning of the container transportation is required, to be operated by the seaport. In this paper, a new mathematical model is proposed for the service network design. The model uses a combination of a path-based formulation and a minimum flow network formulation. It introduces two new features to the intermodal network-planning problem. Firstly, overdue deliveries are penalized instead of prohibited. Secondly, the model combines self-operated and subcontracted services. The service network design considers the network-planning problem at a tactical level: the optimal service schedule between the given network terminals is determined. The model considers self-operated or subcontracted barge and rail services as well as transport by truck. The model is used for the service network design of the EGS network. For this case, the benefit of using container transportation with multiple legs and intermediate transfers is studied. Also, a preliminary test of the influence of the new aspects of the model is done. The preliminary results indicate that the proposed model is suitable for the service network design in modern intermodal container transport networks. Also, the results suggest that a combined business model for the network transport and terminals is worth investigating further, as the transit costs can be reduced with lower transfer costs.
    Keywords: container transportation, intermodal planning, network optimization, ynchromodal planning
    Date: 2013–06–01
  19. By: Mohammad Niaz Asadullah, Nazmul Chaudhury
    Abstract: Using a primary school curricular standard basic mathematics competence test, this paper documents the low level of student achievement amongst 10-18 year old rural children in Bangladesh and tests the extent to which years spent in school increases learning. Our sample includes children currently enrolled in school as well as those out of school. About half of the children failed to pass the written competence test, a finding that also holds for those completing primary schooling. Even after holding constant a wide range of factors such as household income, parental characteristics, current enrollment status, and a direct measure of child ability, there remains a statistically significant correlation between schooling attained and basic mathematics competence above and beyond primary school completion. This pattern is more pronounced for girls who have lower competence compared to boys despite higher grade completion. We further show that the schooling-learning gradient and the gender gap therein are not explained by common differences in family background. Aggregate institutional indicators of school quality matters for overall learning outcomes, however, does not mitigate against the gender gap. These findings have wide implications for anti-poverty policies that emphasize on quantitative expansion of education in developing countries, without concurrent improvements in learning.
    Keywords: Cognitive ability; gender inequality; school quality
    JEL: I21 Z12 O12 O15
    Date: 2013–12
  20. By: Mario Genco (CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies); Emanuela Sirtori (CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies); Silvia Vignetti (CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies)
    Abstract: This paper illustrates the story of the Port of Gioia Tauro, a major infrastructure investment co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund in the period 1994-1998, but whose origin dates back to the beginning of the 1970s. It draws from a recent ex-post evaluation carried out for the European Commission on a sample of ten major infrastructures in the Transport and Environment sectors aimed at assessing the long term effects produced by the project and interpreting the key determinants of the observed performance. The analysis shows an emblematic story of great business success and unexploited potential for local development: the overall assessment of the economic impact of the project is mixed, stressing the multi-faceted dimensions of development plans. In particular, the paper discusses to what extent factors such as governance, managerial response and social acceptability can be key determinants of long term effects of a large infrastructure project, more than forecasting capacity or project technical design. It also offers a pilot case testing an innovative evaluation exercise combining cost-benefit analysis with qualitative assessment and adopting a long-run perspective (30 years), which extends into both the past and the future, and requires a mix of retrospective and prospective analysis.
    Keywords: Regional development, transport infrastructure, ex-post evaluation
    JEL: H54 O18 R58
    Date: 2013–06–28
  21. By: Benjamin Elsner (Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)); Gaia Narciso (Trinity College Dublin); Jacco J. J. � Thijssen (University of York)
    Abstract: Diaspora networks provide information to future migrants and influence both their decision to migrate and their success in the host country. While the existing literature explains the effect of networks on migration decisions through the size of the migrant community, we show that the quality of the network is an equally important determinant. We argue that networks that are more integrated in the society of the host country can give more accurate information about job prospects to future migrants. In a decision model with imperfect signalling we show that migrants with access to a better network are more likely to make the right decision - they migrate only if they gain - and they migrate earlier. We test these predictions empirically using data on recent Mexican migrants to the US, and exploit the geographic diffusion of Mexicans since the 1980s as well as the settlement of immigrants that came during the Bracero program in the 1950s to instrument for the quality of networks. The results provide strong evidence that connections to a better-integrated network lead to better outcomes after migration. Yet we find no evidence that the quality of the network affects the timing of migration.
    JEL: F22 J15 J61
    Date: 2014–01
  22. By: Chung Wing Tse, Jianwen Wei, Yihan Wang
    Abstract: Social capital can help reduce adverse shocks by facilitating access to transfers and remittances.This study examines how various measures of social capital are associated with disaster recovery after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. We find that households having a larger Spring Festival network in 2008 do better in housing reconstruction. A larger network significantly increases the amount of government aid received for housing reconstruction. Furthermore, households having larger networks receive monetary and material support from more people, which also explains the positive impacts on recovery from the earthquake. As for other measures of social capital, connections with government officials and communist party membership do not significantly contribute to disaster recovery. Human capital, measured by the years of schooling of household head, is not positively correlated with housing reconstruction.
    Keywords: natural disasters, social capital, Sichuan
    JEL: Q54 H84
    Date: 2013–09
  23. By: Ghassen El Montasser (École Supérieure de Commerce de Tunis, Université de la Manouba); Ahdi N. Ajmi (College of Science and Humanities in Slayel, Salman bin Abdulaziz University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia); Tsangyao Chang (Department of Finance, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan); Beatrice D. Simo-Kengne (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Christophe Andre (Economics Department, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: This paper empirically examines the causal linkages between policy uncertainty and house prices in a panel of seven advanced countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US. We implement a bootstrap panel causality test on quarterly data from 2001Q1 to 2013Q1, which allows us to circumvent the data limitation as observations are pooled across countries. Empirical results provide evidence of a bi-directional causality between real house prices and policy uncertainty, suggesting that high uncertainty related to future economic fundamentals and policies increases house price volatility, which in turn may amplify financial and business cycles. This finding is consistent with individual results for France and Spain, while contrasting with the unidirectional causality reported in the remaining countries. Particularly, support for a unidirectional causality running from policy uncertainty to real house prices is found in Canada, Germany and Italy, while a unidirectional causality running from real house prices to policy uncertainty prevails in the UK and the US.
    Keywords: House prices, Uncertainty, Cross-section Dependence and Heterogeneity, Panel Causality Test
    JEL: C32 C33 G18 R31
    Date: 2013–12
  24. By: Maria A. Cunha-e-Sa; Sofia F. Franco
    Abstract: This paper develops a model of a forest owner operating in an open-city environment, where the rent for developed land is increasing concave in nearby preserved open space and is rising over time reflecting an upward trend in households’ income. Thus, our model creates the possibility of switching from forestry to residential use at some point in the future. In addition it allows the optimal harvest length to vary over time even if stumpage prices and regeneration costs remain constant. Within this framework we examine how adjacent preserved open space and alternative development constraints affect the private landowner´s decisions. We find that in the presence of rising income, preserved open space hastens regeneration and conversion cuts but leads to lower density development of nearby unzoned parcels due to indirect dynamic effects. We also find that both a binding development moratorium and a binding minimum-lot-size policy can postpone regeneration and conversion cut dates and thus help to protect open space even if only temporarily. However, the policies do not have the same effects on development density of converted forestland. While the former leads to high-density development, the latter encourages low-density development. JEL codes: Q23, R11, R14
    Keywords: urban growth, development moratorium, minimum lot size, open space conservation, forest management practices
    Date: 2013
  25. By: Maria A. Cunha-e-Sa; Sofia F. Franco
    Abstract: This paper aims at building a theoretical framework to examine the impact of development pressure on private owner’s forest management practices, namely, on regeneration and conversion cut dates. As the rent for developed land is rising over time, our model creates the possibility of switching from forestry to residential use at some point in the future, thus departing from the Faustmann’s traditional setup. Comparative statics results with respect to stumpage prices, regeneration costs and urban growth parameters are provided. The results obtained depend on the impact on the opportunity cost of holding the stand and the impact on the opportunity cost of holding the land, generalizing Faustmann’s unambiguous results. JEL codes: Q23, R11, R14
    Keywords: urban growth, increasing residential rents, forest management practices
    Date: 2013
  26. By: Thomas-Agnan, Christine
    Abstract: We address the problem of prediction in the classical spatial autoregressive lag model for areal data. In contrast with the spatial econometrics literature, the geostatistical literature has devoted much attention to prediction using the Best Linear Unbiased Prediction approach. From the methodological point of view, we explore the limits of the extension of BLUP formulas in the context of the spatial autoregressive lag models for in sample prediction as well as out-of-sample prediction simultaneously at several sites. We propose a more tractable “almost best” alternative. From an empirical perspective, we present data-based simulations to compare the efficiency of the classical formulas with the best and almost best predictions.
    Keywords: Spatial simultaneous autoregressive models, out of sample prediction,best linear unbiased prediction
    Date: 2013–12–18
  27. By: Alessandra Colombelli (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR7321 - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis [UNS]); Jackie Krafft (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR7321 - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis [UNS]); Francesco Quatraro (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR7321 - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis [UNS])
    Abstract: The paper analyzes the effects of the properties of firms' knowledge base on the survival likelihood of firms. Drawing upon the analysis of the patterns of co-occurrence of technological classes in patent applications, we derive the coherence, variety and cognitive distance indexes, accounting respectively for technological complementarity, differentiation and dissimilarity in the firms' patent portfolios. The results of our analysis are in line with the previous literature, showing that innovation enhances the survival likelihood of firms. In addition, we show that the search strategies at work in the development of firms' knowledge base matter in reducing the likelihood of a failure event. Knowledge coherence and variety appear to be positively related to firms' survival, while cognitive distance exerts a negative effect. We conclude that firms able to exploit the accumulated technological competences have more chances to be successful in competing durably in the market arena, and derive some policy implications concerning the role of public intervention in the orientation of search efforts in local contexts.
    Keywords: Knowledge coherence; Variety; Cognitive distance; Firms' survival
    Date: 2013–10–01
  28. By: Cory Koedel (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Jiaxi Li
    Abstract: We examine the efficiency implications of imposing proportionality in teacher evaluation systems. Proportional evaluations force comparisons to be between equally-circumstanced teachers. We contrast proportional evaluations with global evaluations, which compare teachers to each other regardless of teaching circumstance. We consider a policy where administrators use the ratings from the evaluation system to help shape the teaching workforce, and define efficiency in terms of student achievement. Our analysis indicates that proportionality can be imposed in teacher evaluation systems without efficiency costs under a wide range of evaluation and estimation conditions. Proportionality is efficiency-enhancing in some cases. These findings are notable given that proportional teacher evaluations offer a number of other policy benefits.
    Keywords: teacher evaluation, evaluation systems, proportional evaluations, value-added
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2014–01–09
  29. By: Choi, Taelim (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); Robertson, John C. (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); Rupasingha, Anil (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of a study of the characteristics and direct employment impact of high-growth firms operating in Georgia. The longitudinal data used in this study are from the National Establishment Time-Series (NETS) database. Using a standard definition of high employment growth to classify firms, we track the direct employment contribution of high-growth firms in the state from 1989 to 2009. We find that only a small fraction of firms satisfied the high-growth employment criteria in any year, but these rapidly growing firms made a disproportionately large contribution to overall job creation in the state. We discover that, as has been found for the United States as a whole, the number of high-growth firms and their average job creation has declined during last decade. We also find that the incidence of high growth and the resulting job creation differ significantly according to size, age, industry, type of organizational structure, and ownership as well as location. A separate analysis focusing on firms with rapid sales revenue growth reveals that firms with fast-growing revenue- are not necessarily firms with fast-growing employment.
    Keywords: high-growth firms; NETS data; job creation; firm age; firm size; industry; organizational structure; business dynamics; location
    JEL: R11 R12
    Date: 2013–12–01
  30. By: Franses, Ph.H.B.F.
    Abstract: Time series with bubble-like patterns display an unbalance between growth and acceleration, in the sense that growth in the upswing is “too fast” and then there is a collapse. In fact, such time series show periods where both the first differences (1-L) and the second differences (1-L)2 of the data are positive-valued, after which period there is a collapse. For a time series without such bubbles, it can be shown that 1-L2 differenced data should be stable. A simple test based on one-step-ahead forecast errors can now be used to timely monitor whether a series experiences a bubble and also whether a collapse is near. Illustration on simulated data and on two housing prices and the Nikkei index illustrates the practical relevance of the new diagnostic. Monte Carlo simulations indicate that the empirical power of the test is high.
    Keywords: acceleration, growth, speculative bubbles, test
    JEL: C22
    Date: 2013–03–01
  31. By: Yann Rébillé (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272); Lionel Richefort (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - Université de Nantes : EA4272)
    Abstract: We model agents in a network game of strategic complements and negative externalities. Sufficient conditions for the existence of a unique Nash equilibrium and of a unique social optimum are established. Under these conditions, we find that players with more vulnerable locations in the network exert more effort at equilibrium, and that the most influential players should exert less effort at efficiency. We then find structural conditions under which each player exerts strictly more effort than her efficient level, whether the social optimum be interior or not.
    Keywords: Network; strategic complements; equilibrium; efficiency; social tragedy.
    Date: 2014–01–06
  32. By: Marcos Chamon; Irineu E. Carvalho Filho
    Abstract: This paper estimates the household income growth rates implied by food demand in a sample of urban Chinese households in 1993–2005. Our estimates, based on Engel curves for food consumption, indicate an average per capita income growth of 6.8 percent per year in 1993–2005. This figure is slightly larger than the 5.9 percent per year obtained by deflating nominal incomes by the CPI. We attribute this discrepancy to a small bias in the CPI, which is of a similar magnitude to the one often associated with the CPI in the United States. Our estimates indicate stronger gains among poorer households, suggesting that urban inflation up to 2005 in China was “pro-poor,†in the sense that the increase in the cost of living for poorer households was smaller than for the average one.
    Keywords: Economic growth;China;Income distribution;Private sector;Economic models;Household consumption; Income growth; CPI Bias
    Date: 2013–12–23
  33. By: Giulia Faggio; Olmo Silva; William C. Strange
    Abstract: Many prior treatments of agglomeration either explicitly or implicitly suppose that all industries agglomerate for the same reasons, with traditional Marshallian (1890) factors affecting all industries similarly. An important instance of this approach is the extrapolation of the agglomeration experience of one key sector or cluster to the larger economy. Another is the pooling of data to look at common tendencies in agglomeration. This paper uses UK establishment level data on coagglomeration to document heterogeneity across industries in the microfoundations of agglomeration economies. The pattern of heterogeneity that we document is consistent with both traditional Marshallian theories and with alternative approaches that emphasize the adaptive and organizational aspects of agglomeration. *Disclaimer: This work was based on data from the Business Structure Database and the Quarterly UK Labour Force Survey, produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and supplied by the Secure Data Service at the UK Data Archive. The data are Crown Copyright and reproduced with the permission of the controller of HMSO and Queen's Printer for Scotland. The use of the data in this work does not imply the endorsement of ONS or the Secure Data Service at the UK Data Archive in relation to the interpretation or analysis of the data. This work uses research datasets which may not exactly reproduce National Statistics aggregates.
    Keywords: Agglomeration, microfoundations, heterogeneity, clusters
    JEL: R00 R28
    Date: 2014–01
  34. By: Mirella Damiani; Fabrizio Pompei; Andrea Ricci
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of Performance Related Pay (PRP) agreements on labour productivity and wages. Its main contribution is thus to investigate the effects of PRP on both dimensions, i.e. productivity and distribution, whereas most of the studies of related literature are restricted to one of those aspects. All estimates are performed for a large sample of manufacturing and service Italian firms with more than five employees and a restricted sample including only unionised firms. It allows us to focus on a relevant feature of industrial relations represented by worker representation and its role in local wage setting in the Italian economy. The expected positive link between PRP and firm performance has been confirmed in all estimates, also controlling for a rich set of covariates. Furthermore, the comparison of productivity estimates with those for wages allows us to ascertain that payments by results might be not only rent-sharing devices, but schemes that substantially lead to efficiency enhancements. These findings have been validated by a number of robustness checks, also taking into account endogen eity by using instrumental variables and the treatments of 3SLS. The paper argues that well designed policies, that circumvent the limited implementation of PRP practices, would guarantee productivity improvement. The real effectiveness of these measures would not be weakened under union governance.
    Keywords: Efficiency, Wages, Performance–related pay, unions.
    JEL: D24 J31 J33 J51
    Date: 2013–11–18
  35. By: Georgarakos, Dimitris; Haliassos, Michalis; Pasini, Giacomo
    Abstract: Debt-induced crises, including the subprime, are usually attributed exclusively to supply-side factors. We uncover an additional factor contributing to debt culture, namely social influences emanating from the perceived average income of peers. Using unique information from a representative household survey of the Dutch population that circumvents the need to define the social circle, we consider collateralized, consumer, and informal loans. We find robust social effects on borrowing - especially among those who consider themselves poorer than their peers - and on indebtedness, suggesting a link to financial distress. We check the robustness of our results using several approaches to rule out spurious associations and handle correlated effects. --
    Keywords: Household finance,household debt,social interactions,mortgages,consumer credit,informal loans
    JEL: G11 E21
    Date: 2013
  36. By: Frédéric Dobruszkes; Moshe Givoni
    Abstract: Purpose – This chapter provides a critical discussion of air to rail mode substitution. Environmental impacts, intermodal competition and integration are considered, examining advantages and disadvantages as well as opportunities and constraints.Originality – Both operation and life-cycle analysis perspectives show that high-speed rail (HSR) is much ‘greener’ than air transport (per seat-km or per passenger-km) provided that the former achieves high load factors and the latter lower load factors and that freed runway capacity is not reused. HSR travel time is its main competitive advantage against air transport, and a 600-km flight is arguably the current limit for robust intermodal effects.Findings – The potential for air–HSR integration at the airport relies on various service, business and technical constraints. Even when it is successful, its environmental benefit appears to be marginal, if not negative, if airport capacity is reused for longer flights. In the current context, such integration appears more like a business opportunity for airlines, airports and train operators rather than a sustainable option. Yet the environmental benefit of integration may be larger within potential integrated transport policies.
    Keywords: High-speed rail; Mode substitution; Intermodal competition; Air–HSR competition; Air–HSR integration; Air–rail integration
    Date: 2013
  37. By: Corradin, Stefano; Gropp, Reint; Huizinga, Harry; Laeven, Luc
    Abstract: Homestead exemptions to personal bankruptcy allow households to retain their home equity up to a limit determined at the state level. Households that may experience bankruptcy thus have an incentive to bias their portfolios towards home equity. Using US household data for the period 1996 to 2006, we find that household demand for real estate is relatively high if the marginal investment in home equity is covered by the exemption. The home equity bias is more pronounced for younger households that face more financial uncertainty and therefore have a higher ex ante probability of bankruptcy --
    Keywords: Homestead exemptions,Personal bankruptcy,Portfolio allocation,Home ownership
    JEL: G11 K35 R21
    Date: 2013
  38. By: Turcotte, I.; Gomez, G.M.
    Abstract: Waste picking has become a prominent activity in the urban landscape, bridging the gap between shortfalls in service delivery and personal income generation in virtually all cities of the developing world. Overcoming previous stigmatization and work fragmentation through organization and dialogue, social economy organizations constituted by waste pickers are emerging as valuable actors in the governance framework, partnering at times with the public and private sectors to fulfil public service provision while aiming to improve the livelihoods of the poor and overcome the institutional nature of poverty. Bogota’s Plan Maestro Integral de Residuos Solidos (PMIRS) serves as a case study to explore these new modalities in service delivery, and to delve into the theoretical dimensions and practical implications of fomenting the inclusion of informal waste pickers into integrated solid waste management systems.
    Keywords: Bogotá (Colombia), governance, poverty, social economy, waste picking
    Date: 2012–09–05
  39. By: C. BELLÉGO (Insee); V. DORTET-BERNADET (Insee)
    Abstract: The French cluster policy Pôles de compétitivité has been launched in 2004 to foster collaborations between firms, research institutions, and training institutions. Many firms taking part in these clusters have obtained subsidies to finance R&D collaborative projects involving other firms and research institutions. This study analyzes the effects of taking part in a Pôle de compétitivité on the activity of firms. The effects are estimated by matching firms taking part in clusters to similar firms that remained out of the policy. This method only permits to estimate an effect for SME and intermediate-sized enterprises that spend less than 16 million euros in R&D per year, that are at least two years old, and that already realized R&D before taking part in a cluster. Firms participating in a Pôle de compétitivité would have increased their total R&D expenditures. Not all firms have taken part in a subsidized project, but they would have received more subsidies on average. These firms would have also benefited from higher amounts of Research tax credit (Crédit Impôt Recherche CIR) but overall we do not find any evidence of crowding out effect : public funds do not substitute private R&D. The effect seems to be additive : firms would add the amount of subsidies and tax credit to their private budget. Higher R&D spending is realized through an increase in investment and employment devoted to R&D. By cons, there is no significant short-term effect on the turnover and the number of patents. While cluster participation seems to increase R&D spending, it has not been possible to precisely disentangle the role played by the clusters and the role played by CIR, which has strongly reduced the cost of R&D at the end of the period of interest.
    Keywords: R&D, cluster policy, public policy evaluation, matching
    JEL: O38 O31 H25 C23
    Date: 2013

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