nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2014‒05‒24
43 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The housing market: the impact of macroprudential measures in France By Labonne, Claire; Lecat, Rémy; Avouyi‑Dovi, Sanvi
  2. The Sources of the Urban Wage Premium by Worker Skills By Andersson, Martin; Klaesson , Johan; Larsson , Johan P
  3. Friendship Network in the Classroom: Parent Bias and Peer Effects By Landini, Fabio; Montinari, Natalia; Pin, Paolo; Piovesan, Marco
  4. The rose-colored glasses of homeowners By Carin van der Cruijsen; David-Jan Jansen; Maarten van Rooij
  5. “Factor Accumulation, Externalities and Absorptive Capacity in Regional Growth: Evidence from Europe” By Juan Jung; Enrique López-Bazo
  6. Transport Infrastructure Investment and Interindustry Spillovers: The Effects on the Cost Structure of Australian Industries By Amani Elnasri
  7. Urban Structure and Environmental Externalities By Regnier Camille; Sophie Legras
  8. The impact of low emission zones on particulate matter concentration and public health By Malina, Christiane; Fischer, Frauke
  9. What Factors Drive the Price-Rent Ratio for the Housing Market? A Modified Present-Value Approach By N. Kundan Kishor; James Morley
  10. Everybody needs good neighbours? By Steve Gibbons; Olmo Silva; Felix Weinhardt
  11. "Urban Land Policy in Frankfurt am Main at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: A Case Study of a German 'Social City' " By Satoshi Baba
  12. The Impact of the Sense of Security from Crime on Residential Property Values in Brazilian Metropolitan Areas By Rosa M. R. Massena; Kaizô I. Beltrão; David M. Vetter
  13. Mining Urban Performance: Scale-Independent Classification of Cities Based on Individual Economic Transactions By Stanislav Sobolevsky; Izabela Sitko; Sebastian Grauwin; Remi Tachet des Combes; Bartosz Hawelka; Juan Murillo Arias; Carlo Ratti
  14. Global House Price Fluctuations: Synchronization and Determinants. By Hideaki Hirata; M. Ayhan Kose; Chris Otrok; Marco TerronesÂ
  15. Crime, Punishment, and Schooling Decisions: Evidence from Colombian Adolescents By David Zarruk; Catherine Rodríguez; Ana María Ibáñez
  16. Calling into Question the Link between Educational Achievement and Migrant Background By Sara Bonfanti
  17. Trade and Cities By Cem Karayalcin; Hakan Yilmazkuday
  18. Determinants of self-employment among commuters and non-commuters By Backman, Mikaela; Karlsson, Charlie
  19. Do Social Networks Improve the Effectiveness of Incentive-Based Health Programs By Schroeter, Christiane; Richards, Tim; Hamilton, Steve
  20. The economic outlook and housing By Plosser, Charles I.
  21. The Effects of Air Pollution on Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Chile By Sebastián J. Miller; Mauricio A. Vela
  22. Co-evolutionary patterns in regional knowledge bases and economic structure: evidence from European Regions By Francesco Quatraro
  23. Further development of SAMPERS and modeling of urban congestion By Almroth, Andreas; Berglund, Svante; Canella , Olivier; Engelson, Leonid; Flötteröd, Gunnar; Jonsson, Daniel; Kristoffersson, Ida; West, Jens
  24. Labor Informality: Choice or Sign of Segmentation? A Quantile Regression Approach at the Regional Lvel for Colombia By Gustavo A. Garcia
  25. Influences of Social Networks on Food Choices: A Comparison of Local, Regional, and National Perspectives By Liang, Chyi-Lyi (Kathleen); Pescatore, Matthew
  26. Hub-based Network Analysis and Change in the US Air Transport System (ATS) By Huber, Hans
  27. House prices, credit and the effect of monetary policy in Norway: Evidence from Structural VAR Models By Ørjan Robstad
  28. Does Technology in Schools Affect Repetition, Dropout and Enrollment? Evidence from Peru By Pablo Garofalo; Alejo Czerwonko; Julian P. Cristia
  29. Industrial Clusters and Economic Performance in Brazil By Jose Claudio Linhares Pires; Tulio Cravo; Simon Lodato; Caio Piza
  30. Multivariate bubbles and antibubbles By Fry, John
  31. Preschool Education in Brazil: Does Public Supply Crowd Out Private Enrollment? By Paulo Bastos; Odd Rune Straume
  32. The Impact of Public Infrastructure on Productivity: New Evidence for Australia By Amani Elnasri
  33. Do loss profiles on the mortgage market resonate with changes in macro economic prospects, business cycle movements or policy measures? By Noordegraaf-Eelens, L.H.J.; Franses, Ph.H.B.F.
  34. Hard Times, New Directions? The Impact of Local Government Spending Cuts in London (Interim Report Summary) By Amanda Fitzgerald; Ruth Lupton
  35. Global public spending efficiency in Tuscan municipalities. By Laura Carosi; Giovanna D’Inverno; Letizia Ravagli
  36. Knowledge Spillovers of Innovation Policy through Labor Mobility: An Impact Evaluation of the FONTAR Program in Argentina By Rodolfo Stucchi; Sofía Rojo; Alessandro Maffioli; Victoria Castillo
  37. Consumption externalities and preference complementarities By Cleary, Rebecca; Carlson, Andrea
  38. Decentralization, Fiscal Effort and Social Progress in Colombia at the Municipal Level, 1994-2009: Why Does National Politics Matter? By Fabio Sánchez Torres; Mónica Pachón
  39. Small business performance in West African border regions: Do social networks pay off? By KUEPIE Mathias; TENIKUE Michel; WALTHER Olivier
  40. On Stable Equilibria in Discrete-Space Social Interaction Models By Akamatsu, Takashi; Fujishima, Shota; Takayama, Yuki
  41. The Impact of the 2013 CAP Reform on Land Capitalization By Pavel Ciaian; d'Artis Kancs; Johan Swinnen
  42. Racial Discrimination in the U.S. Labor Market: Employment and Wage Differentials by Skill By Daniel Borowczyk-Martins; Jake Bradley; Linas Tarasonis
  43. Peers at work: From the field to the lab By van Veldhuizen, Roel; Oosterbeek, Hessel; Sonnemans, Joep

  1. By: Labonne, Claire; Lecat, Rémy; Avouyi‑Dovi, Sanvi
    Abstract: The housing market is a central macroprudential policy concern in France due to the significant proportion of residential property loans in bank balance sheets and the high weight of housing in household wealth. The surge in house prices at the start of the 2000s means we cannot rule out the risk of a bubble or a sharp downward correction, even though prices currently seem to be stabilising. However, if the evolution of house prices does start to pose a threat to financial stability, French authorities have access to a number of macroprudential tools that can be used to modify trends in factors such as the provision of housing loans. Using a model, this article attempts to examine the impact of measures which directly or indirectly influence loan interest rates and maturities, or the size of repayments in relation to household income. The empirical results show that these measures have a significant impact on trends in home lending, but a more limited impact on house prices due to the way variations in lending affect housing supply.
    Keywords: Mortgage loans; Housing; Cost and standard of living; Real estate business;
    JEL: E64 E63 E01 D91 D31
    Date: 2014–04
  2. By: Andersson, Martin (CIRCLE, Lund University); Klaesson , Johan (Department of Economics, Finance and Statistics, Jönköping International Business School); Larsson , Johan P (Department of Economics, Finance and Statistics, Jönköping International Business School)
    Abstract: We estimate the respective importance of spatial sorting and agglomeration economies in explaining the urban wage premium for workers with different sets of skills. Sorting is the main source of the wage premium. Agglomeration economies are in general small, but are larger for workers with skills associated with non-routine job tasks. They also appear to involve human capital accumulation, as evidenced by the change in the wage of workers moving away from denser regions. For workers with routine jobs, agglomeration economies are virtually non-existent. Our results provide further evidence of spatial density bringing about productivity advantages primarily in contexts when problem-solving and interaction with others are important.
    Keywords: spatial sorting; selection; learning; non-routine skills; spatial wage disparities; density; agglomeration economies; innovation
    JEL: J24 J31 R12
    Date: 2014–05–22
  3. By: Landini, Fabio (Bocconi University); Montinari, Natalia (Department of Economics, Lund University); Pin, Paolo (Università di Siena); Piovesan, Marco (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: We interview both parents and their children enrolled in six primary schools in the district of Treviso (Italy). We study the structural differences between the children network of friends reported by children and the one elicited asking their parents. We find that the parents’ network has a bias: parents expect peer effects on school achievement to be stronger than what they really are. Thus, parents of low-performing students report their children to be friends of high-performing students. Our numerical simulations indicate that when this bias is combined with a bias on how some children target friends, then there is a multiplier effect on the expected school achievement.
    Keywords: social networks; primary school; friendships; parents’ bias; homophily; peer effects; Bonacich centrality
    JEL: D85 I21 Z13
    Date: 2014–05–18
  4. By: Carin van der Cruijsen; David-Jan Jansen; Maarten van Rooij
    Abstract: Based on annual household surveys between 2003 and 2012, we show that owners have a rosy picture of their current house value and hold optimistic views on the historical and expected change in house value compared to general price trends. Optimism is both driven by loss aversion and an endowment effect as overestimation of the house value is positively related to the mortgage loan-to-value ratio and tenure of the owner-occupier. After several years of national declines in house prices, the estimates in our sample have become more realistic but the glasses of homeowners remain rose-colored. Even groups of homeowners that are arguably well-informed, e.g. homeowners with moving plans and homeowners that are in charge of household finances, overestimate the value of their house.
    Keywords: housing prices; endowment effect; loss aversion; households; survey data
    JEL: R31 D12
    Date: 2014–04
  5. By: Juan Jung (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Enrique López-Bazo (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a model which incorporates capital accumulation and spatial spillovers across economies, while allowing for regional differences in absorptive abilities. This model is estimated using a sample of 215 European NUTS2 regions, before and after the 2004 enlargement of the single??market area. Results confirm the relevance of local absorptive capacities, as are found to be directly linked with the process of making the most of externalities. More than that, capital accumulation externalities do not seem to take place in absence of local capabilities. The process of capital deepening which took place in the period reduced the role of capital in explaining the productivity gap among regions, but so far has not been enough to help lagging regions to equal the return to human capital investments reached by most advanced regions.
    Keywords: Regional Disparities, Absorptive Capacity, Technological Interdependence, Spatial Econometrics. JEL classification: C21, O10, R11
    Date: 2014–05
  6. By: Amani Elnasri (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the provision of public transport infrastructure on the cost structure of the Australian economy within a context that recognises industry agglomeration externalities. The paper extends the symmetric generalised quadratic cost functionby incorporating public transportation capital as an external input and adapting the spatial econometric techniques to an industrial context to allow for industry spillovers in the cost analysis. Using industry level data over the period 1990-2010, the paper finds that while public transport has a productive effect in reducing the cost of production, neglecting interindustry spillovers has noticeably overestimates this effect.
    Keywords: Transport infrastructure, Interindustry spillovers, Flexible functional forms
    JEL: D24 H23 H41 H54
    Date: 2014–05
  7. By: Regnier Camille; Sophie Legras
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to analyze policy design for air pollution management in the spatial context of urban development. We base our analysis on the paper of Ogawa and Fujita (1982), which offers a proper theoretical framework of non-monocentric urban land use using static microeconomic theory where the city structure is endogenous. First, we show that when households internalize industrial pollution in their residential location choice, spatialization within the city is reinforced. This impacts directly the emissions of greenhouse gases from commuting. Then, we analyze policy instruments in order to achieve optimal land use pattern when the policy maker has to manage both industrial and commuting related polluting emissions, that interact through the land market.
    Keywords: Environmental externalities, Land use pattern, Air pollution
    JEL: Q53 D62 R14
    Date: 2014–05–05
  8. By: Malina, Christiane; Fischer, Frauke
    Abstract: A common policy for reducing particulate matter concentrations in the European Union is the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs), which may only be entered by vehicles meeting predefined emission standards. This paper examines the effectiveness of LEZs for reducing PM10 levels in urban areas in Germany and quantifies the associated health impacts from reduced air pollution within the zones. We employ a fixed effects panel data model for daily observations of PM10 concentrations from 2000 to 2009 and control, inter alia, for local meteorological conditions and traffic volume. We apply the regression outputs to a concentration response function derived from the epidemiological literature to calculate associated health impacts of the introduction of LEZs in 25 German cities with a population of 3.96 Mio. Associated uncertainties are accounted for in Monte-Carlo simulations. It is found that the introduction of LEZs has significantly reduced inner city PM10 levels. We estimate the total mean health impact from reduced air pollution in 2010 due to the introduction of stage 1 zones to be ~700 Mio. EUR in the 25 LEZ-cities in the sample, whereas total mean health benefits are ~2.4 Billion EUR for the more stringent stage 2 zones when applied to the same cities. --
    Keywords: Environmental policy,Germany,low emission zones,road transport,particulate matter,health effects
    Date: 2014
  9. By: N. Kundan Kishor (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Mulwaukee); James Morley (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a modified present-value model that takes into account the fact that movements in the price-rent ratio for housing may not be mean-reverting. Our approach decomposes the price-rent ratio into expected real rent growth, expected housing return and a non-present-value (NPV) component that represents the deviation of the price-rent ratio from its conventional present-value level for the 18 U.S. metropolitan areas and the nation from 1975 through 2012. This NPV component takes into account non-stationarity of the price-rent ratio. To estimate this modified present-value model, we use the unobserved component approach. Our findings suggest that the NPV component is significant and sometimes very large both at the national and the regional level. This is especially true for the MSAs that have experienced frequent booms and busts in the housing market. We also find that the MSAs that display larger deviation from the present-value model are more sensitive to mortgage rate changes. We also compare our results with a recent statistical test for periodically collapsing bubbles. The results from this test and for our model indicate that the MSAs that had large NPV components are also the MSAs that witnessed explosive sub-periods in their price-rent ratios, especially during the 2005-2007 subsample. Our approach also allows us to estimate the correlation between expected rent growth, expected housing return and the NPV component. We find that a shock to expected housing return and a shock to the non-stationary NPV component are highly positively correlated in the pre-2006 sample period, implying that they fed off of each other. This correlation declined significantly in the post-2006 sample period. Our results also show that most of the variation in the present-value component of the price-rent ratio arises due to the variation in expected housing return.
    Keywords: Price-Rent Ratio, Present-Value Model, Unobserved Component Model
    JEL: E31 G12 R31
    Date: 2014–04
  10. By: Steve Gibbons; Olmo Silva; Felix Weinhardt
    Abstract: There are large disparities between the achievements, behaviour and aspirations of children in different neighbourhoods - but does this mean that the place where you grow up determines your later life outcomes? Steve Gibbons, Olmo Silva and Felix Weinhardt outline the findings of a series of CEP studies of 'neighbourhood effects'.
    Keywords: Education, behaviour, attainment, neighbourhood effects, cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes, schools
    JEL: C21 I20 H75 R23
    Date: 2014–02
  11. By: Satoshi Baba (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)
    Abstract:    Germany's urban land policy (kommunale Bodenpolitik) attracted the attention of foreign countries. There were also many contemporary publications about this policy in Germany because it was a precondition for city planning, which included housing and transportation policies. The aim of this paper is to clarify Frankfurt am Main's land policy at the turn of the twentieth century, especially under Franz Adickes' era. Adickes, the third senior mayor (1891-1912), carried out urban land policy as a consciously planned intervention in the land market. His land policy had two additional objectives: The first was securing land for administrative buildings and public facilities. The second was the facilitation of city extension and the preparation for future incorporation. Frankfurt's municipal land increased from 4,229.17 ha in 1900 to 6,370.19 ha in 1913. Land purchased by the city consisted of 11,649 estates during the period 1895-1915. Conversely, land sold during the same period consisted of only 2,465 estates because it was difficult to set land prices. As a result, the Erbbaurecht (Heritable Building Right) was utilized as a substitute measure for land sales. Though Frankfurt's urban land policy produced good results, it was forced to change owing to 'the predominance of purchasing policy' and increasing debt. Thus, the state government also became involved with the land and housing policies. The land policy shifted from the stage of 'social city' to that of 'social state' after World War I.
    Date: 2014–02
  12. By: Rosa M. R. Massena; Kaizô I. Beltrão; David M. Vetter
    Abstract: Using a hedonic residential rent model for Brazil's metropolitan areas calibrated with microdata from Brazil's annual household survey, this study estimates that increasing the sense of security in the home by one standard deviation would increase average home values by R$1,513 (US$757), or about US$13. 6 billion if applied to all 18.0 million households in the study area. The principal components analysis of sense of security and crime victimization variables indicates that higher-income households feel more secure from crime in the home, even though theft and robbery victimization rise with household income and rent level. Higher levels of home protection measures by higher-income households partially explain this result.
    Keywords: Urban Development, Citizen Security & Crime Prevention, Housing, Sense of security, Crime, Hedonic residential rent model
    Date: 2013–06
  13. By: Stanislav Sobolevsky; Izabela Sitko; Sebastian Grauwin; Remi Tachet des Combes; Bartosz Hawelka; Juan Murillo Arias; Carlo Ratti
    Abstract: Intensive development of urban systems creates a number of challenges for urban planners and policy makers in order to maintain sustainable growth. Running efficient urban policies requires meaningful urban metrics, which could quantify important urban characteristics including various aspects of an actual human behavior. Since a city size is known to have a major, yet often nonlinear, impact on the human activity, it also becomes important to develop scale-free metrics that capture qualitative city properties, beyond the effects of scale. Recent availability of extensive datasets created by human activity involving digital technologies creates new opportunities in this area. In this paper we propose a novel approach of city scoring and classification based on quantitative scale-free metrics related to economic activity of city residents, as well as domestic and foreign visitors. It is demonstrated on the example of Spain, but the proposed methodology is of a general character. We employ a new source of large-scale ubiquitous data, which consists of anonymized countrywide records of bank card transactions collected by one of the largest Spanish banks. Different aspects of the classification reveal important properties of Spanish cities, which significantly complement the pattern that might be discovered with the official socioeconomic statistics.
    Date: 2014–05
  14. By: Hideaki Hirata; M. Ayhan Kose; Chris Otrok; Marco TerronesÂ
    Abstract: We examine the properties of house price fluctuations across eighteen advanced economies over the past forty years. We ask two specific questions: First, how synchronized are housing cycles across these countries? Second, what are the main shocks driving movements in global house prices? To address these questions, we first estimate the global components in house prices and various macroeconomic and financial variables. We then evaluate the roles played by a variety of global shocks, including shocks to interest rates, monetary policy, productivity, credit, and uncertainty, in explaining house price fluctuations using a wide range of FAVAR models. We find that house prices are synchronized across countries, and the degree of synchronization has increased over time. Global interest rate shocks tend to have a significant negative effect on global house prices whereas global monetary policy shocks per se do not appear to have a sizeable impact. Interestingly, uncertainty shocks seem to be important in explaining fluctuations in global house prices.
  15. By: David Zarruk; Catherine Rodríguez; Ana María Ibáñez
    Abstract: This paper uses a natural policy experiment to estimate how changes in the costs of engaging in criminal activity may influence adolescents¿ decisions in crime participation and school attendance. The study finds that, after an exogenous decrease in the severity of judicial punishment imposed on Colombian adolescents, crime rates in Colombian municipalities increased. This effect appears to be larger in municipalities with a higher proportion of adolescents between 14 and 15 years of age. The study provides suggestive evidence that one possible transmission channel for this effect is a decrease in the effort of the police force to capture teenage suspects. The study also finds that the probability that boys of this same age group attend school decreased following the change in the juvenile justice system. This effect is stronger for boys from homes where the heads of household are less educated.
    Keywords: Judicial Administration & Legal Reform, Education, Youth & Children, Citizen Security & Crime Prevention, Crime, School attendance, Adolescents
    Date: 2013–06
  16. By: Sara Bonfanti
    Abstract: In EU societies, the role that immigrants’ children play in the educational system is fiercely debated. There exists a consensus that immigrants’ children show, on average, lower educational performances than children of natives in all EU states, regardless of grade level, type of school, age, etc. This awareness has led to the perception that the concentration of immigrants’ children negatively affects overall school educational performances. This note aims to disentangle the link between educational performance and migration background showing how the reality is much more complex. Specifically, two questions are answered. First, given that immigrants’ children represent a heterogeneous group in terms of parents’ origin, age at arrival, etc., does a multicultural background bring any kind of advantage to school performance compared with a mono-cultural one? Second, what is the effect of attending schools with a high percentage of immigrants’ children in terms of average school performance, once controlled for school socio-economic resources?
    Date: 2014–04–11
  17. By: Cem Karayalcin (Department of Economics, Florida International University); Hakan Yilmazkuday (Department of Economics, Florida International University)
    Abstract: Many developing countries display remarkably high degrees of urban concentration, incommensurate with their levels of urbanization. The cost of excessively high levels of urban concentration can be very high in terms of overpopulation, congestion, and productivity growth. One strand in the theoretical literature suggests that such high levels of concentration may be the result of restrictive trade policies that trigger forces of agglomeration. Another strand in the literature, however, points out that trade liberalization itself may exacerbate urban concentration by favoring the further growth of those large urban centers that have better access to international markets. The empirical basis for judging this question has so far been weak: in the existing literature, trade policies are poorly measured (or not measured as when trade volumes are used spuriously). Here, we use new disaggregated tariff measures to empirically test the hypothesis. We also employ a treatment-and-control analysis of pre- versus post-liberalization performance of the cities in liberalizing and non-liberalizing countries. We find evidence that, controlling for, among others, largest cities that have ports and, thus, have better access to external markets, liberalizing trade does lead to a reduction in urban concentration. Finally, by using a cross-country level of analysis we provide some external validity to the more careful empirical studies that rely on single country data.
    Date: 2014–05
  18. By: Backman, Mikaela (Centre for Entrepreneurship and Spatial Economics (CEnSE) Center for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS), Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden); Karlsson, Charlie (Centre for Entrepreneurship and Spatial Economics (CEnSE) Center for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS), Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyse the determinants of the decision to become self-employed among commuters and non-commuters. In the entrepreneurship literature it is claimed that the rich-ness and quality of an individual’s business, professional and social networks play an im-portant role for the decision to become self-employed. People that commute between localities in the same region or between localities in different regions will most proba¬bly be able to develop richer personal networks than non-commuters, since they can develop network links both in the locality where they live and in the locality where they work. In this paper, we test this hypothesis using micro-data for around three million individuals in Sweden. As far as we know, this is the first time this hypothesis is tested. In our empirical analysis, we make a distinction between three groups of individuals: non-com¬muters, intra-regions commuter and inter-region commuters. For each of this groups we test how the probability of becoming self-employed is influenced by a number of characteristics of individuals, characteristics of home and work localities and regions. Our results indicate a significant difference between non-commuters and commuters in terms of the role of networks for becoming self-employed. On the one hand, we find for non-commuters that living and working in a locality with rich business networks reduce the probability of becoming self-employed. For commuters, on the other hand we find that working in a locality with rich business networks increase the probability to become self-employed. In this latter case, living in a municipality with rich business networks has a non-significant effect on the probability of becoming self-employed. Our results indicate that it is the business networks where people work, rather than where they live that exerts a positive influence on the probability of becoming self-employed.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; individual attributes; regional attributes; networks; micro-level data
    JEL: C21 J24 L26 R12
    Date: 2014–05–21
  19. By: Schroeter, Christiane; Richards, Tim; Hamilton, Steve
    Abstract: Although studies have shown that financial incentives are effective in promoting healthy behaviors, existing interventions have focused on adults in the workforce (e.g. Kullgren et al. 2013). Given that the school environment can be an effective instrument for behavior change, there is a need to examine incentive-based health programs in late-adolescent age groups. Largescale observational studies with about 9,000 freshmen at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) show that every year of college was associated with a 3% BMI increase, especially among minority populations. Reversing or slowing this dynamic has proven difficult because students entering university are newly independent, not experienced in making their own lifedecisions, and encounter many distractions (Nazmi et. al. 2012). On the other hand, university students are uniquely social and social networks have been shown to be effective in leading to behavioral change. Indeed, emerging evidence on peer networks suggests that health behaviors and outcomes are shared, transferred, and influenced through social ties (Christakis and Fowler, 2007; Cohen-Cohen-Cole and Fletcher, 2008). However, few interventions have been designed to capitalize on the behavioral pathways of social networks. The primary purpose of our intervention study is to determine whether financial incentives, mediated by social network effects, are effective in achieving improved diet quality outcomes as measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2010 (HEI). We will conduct a 3.5-month parallel-design, randomized controlled trial with a racially and ethnically diverse sample of participants who consume food in campus cafeterias. Our findings will provide a unique contribution by testing the efficiency of interventions in structural transmission networks. Given the ubiquitous and increasing existence of social networks, our applications are readily transferrable at relatively low cost to other largescale student populations in elementary, middle, and high schools.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Health Economics and Policy,
    Date: 2014
  20. By: Plosser, Charles I. (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
    Abstract: President Charles Plosser gives his views on the sustainable improvement in housing in the context of a broader economic recovery. He also discusses the Fed's monetary policy issues, including forward guidance.
    Date: 2014–05–20
  21. By: Sebastián J. Miller; Mauricio A. Vela
    Abstract: In addition to the morbidity and mortality concerns of outdoor air pollution, studies have shown that air pollution also generates problems for children`s cognitive performance and human capital formation. High concentrations of pollutants can affect children`s learning process by exacerbating respiratory illnesses, fatigue, absenteeism and attention problems. The purpose of this work is to analyze the possible contemporary effects of PM10 and other different air pollutants on standardized test scores in Chile. It examines results for 3,880 schools in the Metropolitan, Valparaiso and O'Higgins regions for children in fourth, eight and tenth grades between 1997 and 2012. Data for particulate matter (PM10 and PM2. 5), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and ozone (O3) were interpolated at school level using a kriging methodology. The results suggest that higher annual P M10 and O3 levels are clearly associated with a reduction in test scores. Nonetheless, as of 2012 many municipalities in these Chilean regions are still exceeding the annual P M10 international standard quality norm (50 micrograms per cubic meter) by 15 micrograms per cubic meter on average. Efforts to reduce pollution below this norm in the most polluted municipalities would account for improvements in reading and math test scores of 3.5 percent and 3.1 percent of a standard deviation, respectively.
    Keywords: Environmental Policy, Pollution, Educational Assessment
    Date: 2013–12
  22. By: Francesco Quatraro (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - CNRS : UMR7321 - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (UNS))
    Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of the co-evolutionary patterns of structural change in knowledge and economics. The former is made operational through an analysis of co-occurrences of technological classes in patent documents in order to derive indicators of coherence, variety and cognitive distance. The latter, on the other hand, is made operational in a synthetic way by implementing shift share analysis which decomposes labour productivity growth into effects caused by changes in the allocation of employment, those ascribed to intra-sector productivity growth and those caused by interaction of these two components. The results of the analysis conducted on a sample of 227 European regions show that increasing variety is associated with the reallocation of workforce across sectors whereas within sector productivity is associated with high levels of both coherence and cognitive distance of the regional knowledge base.
    Keywords: Recombinant Knowledge, Coherence, Variety, Regional Structural Change, Shift Share Analysis
    Date: 2013–11–04
  23. By: Almroth, Andreas (SWECO); Berglund, Svante (KTH / TLA); Canella , Olivier (WSP); Engelson, Leonid (KTH / TLA); Flötteröd, Gunnar (KTH); Jonsson, Daniel (KTH / TLA); Kristoffersson, Ida (SWECO); West, Jens (KTH / SWECO)
    Abstract: The need to more precisely represent the consequences of congestion mitigation policies in urban transport systems calls for replacement of the static equilibrium assignment by DTA in the integrated travel demand and traffic assignment models. Despite of the availability of DTA models and despite of the conceptual clarity of how such integration should take place, only few operational model systems have been developed for large-scale applications. We report on replacement of the static traffic assignment by two different DTAs in the four stage demand model for the Greater Stockholm region: the macroscopic analytic Visum DUE and microscopic simulation Transmodeler. First results show that even without systematic calibration the DTA is in reasonable agreement with observed traffic counts and travel times. The presented experiments did not reveal striking difference between using macroscopic and microscopic assignment package. However, given the clear trend to microscopic modeling and simulation on the travel demand side, the use of micro-simulation-based DTA package appears more natural from system integration perspective.
    Keywords: Dynamic traffic assignment; DTA; Microscopic simulation; Travel demand models
    JEL: R40
    Date: 2014–05–22
  24. By: Gustavo A. Garcia
    Abstract: The labor market in developing countries is remarkably heterogeneous with a small productive formal sector, enjoying high wages and attractive employment conditions and another large informal sector with low productivity and volatile wages. The informal sector is particularly diverse. In this paper we examine the heterogeneity of the informal sector at regional level in Colombia. In general, our ndings suggest that, both voluntary and involuntary informal employment co-exist by choice and as a result of labor market segmentation. We also nd that there are striking dierences in labor market characteristics between cities, in particular in the traditional informal segment.
    Keywords: Informality, local labor markets, quantile regression, selection bias, formal/informal wage gap decomposition
    JEL: O17 J42 J31 C21
    Date: 2014–04–01
  25. By: Liang, Chyi-Lyi (Kathleen); Pescatore, Matthew
    Abstract: There has been a growing interest in the U.S. to study local and regional food systems with respect to economic, social, and enterprise development. This paper discusses a series of on-going projects funded by the USDA focusing on two aspects of the relationships between social network and food choices – producers, and interactions between producers and consumers (buyers). Preliminary results showed distribution and opportunities for agricultural producers to exploit and implement new strategies that would enhance marketing and management by taking advantage of the capacity of social/economic networks in/around communities. Long-term goal on completion these studies will compare and contrast local, regional, and national approaches to design and implement effective marketing and management strategies that aim to promote local/regional food networks from social, economic, and ecological perspectives.
    Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Marketing,
    Date: 2014–05
  26. By: Huber, Hans
    Abstract: The US has been a pioneer w.r.t. the modern hub-and-spoke (HS) system which found near unequivocal support among aviation scholars over the last few decades. The author takes a more critical approach with regards to the central role that hub airports play within the ATS, particularly when assessing operational decisions that in effect may lead to highly skewed traffic distributions and increasing spatial concentration of air traffic. The behavior of airlines to organize traffic around central airports can be evaluated more meaningfully by differentiating for their constituent route-structures and comparing these ensembles for the largest airports in the entire system. A new understanding of behavior and evolution of the ATS as an aggregate of hub-driven networks can be obtained and alternative HS structures be compared. Our understanding of the scope of feasible hub strategies may expand beyond conventional strategies of ‘consolidation’ versus ‘de-hubbing’ and their impact on the overall ATS may plausibly be shown.
  27. By: Ørjan Robstad (Norges Bank)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the responses of house prices and household credit to monetary policy shocks in Norway, using Bayesian structural VAR models. I find that the effect of a monetary policy shock on house prices is large, while the effect on household credit is muted. This is consistent with a relatively small refinancing rate of the mortgage stock each quarter. Using monetary policy to guard against - financial instability by mitigating property-price movements may prove effective, but trying to mitigate household credit may prove costly in terms of GDP and inflation variation.
    Keywords: House Prices, Credit, Monetary Policy, Structural VAR
    JEL: E32 E37 E44 E52
    Date: 2014–05–15
  28. By: Pablo Garofalo; Alejo Czerwonko; Julian P. Cristia
    Abstract: Many developing countries are allocating significant resources to expanding technology access in schools. Whether these investments will translate into measurable educational improvements remains an open question because of the limited evidence available. This paper contributes to filling that gap by exploiting a large-scale public program that increased computer and Internet access in secondary public schools in Peru. Rich longitudinal school-level data from 2001 to 2006 are used to implement a differences-in-differences framework. Results indicate no statistically significant effects of increasing technology access in schools on repetition, dropout and initial enrollment. Large sample sizes allow ruling out even modest effects.
    Keywords: Enrollment, Repetition rate, Innovation, Primary & Secondary Education, Propensity-score matching, IDB-WP-477
    Date: 2014–01
  29. By: Jose Claudio Linhares Pires; Tulio Cravo; Simon Lodato; Caio Piza
    Abstract: Industrial clusters, which are commonly targeted to receive financial support allocated to locally based development projects, are seen as an effective industrial policy tool for improving productivity and generating employment. Nevertheless, identifying clusters and assessing their economic performance is a challenge for policymakers. This paper aims to address this challenge by identifying the location of clusters based on neighbor relationships and specialization in Brazil and providing some insights on their effects on employment generation. The paper uses both Location Quotient and Local Indicator of Spatial Association to identify potential clusters in 27 industrial sectors in 5564 Brazilian municipalities. In addition, it uses annual municipal panel data for 2006-2009 to assess whether the presence of potential clusters is correlated with employment generation. The results show that clusters located in municipalities whose neighbors have similar industrial structures perform better than those that present industry specialization only.
    Keywords: Industrial clusters
    Date: 2013–10
  30. By: Fry, John
    Abstract: In this paper we develop models for multivariate financial bubbles and antibubbles based on statistical physics. In particular, we extend a rich set of univariate models to higher dimensions. Changes in market regime can be explicitly shown to represent a phase transition from random to deterministic behaviour in prices. Moreover, our multivariate models are able to capture some of the contagious effects that occur during such episodes. We are able to show that declining lending quality helped fuel a bubble in the US stock market prior to 2008. Further, our approach offers interesting insights into the spatial development of UK house prices.
    Keywords: Econophysics Bubbles Antibubbles Contagion
    JEL: C0 C02 C10 G0 G01
    Date: 2014–05–19
  31. By: Paulo Bastos; Odd Rune Straume
    Abstract: This paper examines whether an expansion in the supply of public preschool crowds out private enrollment, using rich data for municipalities in Brazil from 2000-2006, where federal transfers to local governments change discontinuously with given population thresholds. Results from a regression-discontinuity design reveal that larger federal transfers lead to a significant expansion of local public preschool services, but show no effects on the quantity or quality of private provision. These findings are consistent with a theory in which households differ in willingness to pay for preschool services, and private suppliers optimally adjust prices in response to an expansion of lower-quality, free-of-charge public supply.
    Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Preschool education
    Date: 2013–11
  32. By: Amani Elnasri (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on the impact of public infrastructure on the Australian economy. The contribution of the paper is three-fold. First, it estimates measures of multifactor productivity for each of the states and territories. Second, it employs a new data set on public infrastructure. Third, the paper applies detailed econometric investigations in an attempt to readdress the crucial econometric shortcomings of earlier studies. The analysis presented here is designed to investigate two widely-debated questions. First, whether aggregate time-series analysis is incapable of capturing infrastructure spillovers to productivity and, consequently, results in incredibly high estimates of infrastructure elasticity. Second, whether state-specific characteristics exhibit a significant role in explaining effects on productivity. To answer the first question, the study applies time-series regressions on both a national and state-by-state basis. Results from this approach confirm the implausibly large effect of infrastructure for the whole economy and four states. To examine the second issue, the paper develops a panel cointegration model which controls for state fixed effects. In sharp contrast with findings from aggregate time-series, results from the fixed effects approach are more plausible and robust to sensitivity tests. In another piece of evidence, estimation of an error-correction model reveals that a long-run identification and modelling of the relationship (i.e. a cointegration) re ects the important positive role of infrastructure on productivity. However, short-run dynamics provide no support for a positive effect which explains why earlier studies which employed differenced data found infrastructure has no discernible effect on productivity. In addition, applying a causality test suggests a long-run unidirectional causality running from public infrastructure to productivity.
    Keywords: Productivity, Public Infrastructure, Cointegration, Disaggregated analysis
    JEL: H54 O47
    Date: 2014–05
  33. By: Noordegraaf-Eelens, L.H.J.; Franses, Ph.H.B.F.
    Abstract: __Abstract__ Over the years we see that mortgages with less risk of loss, due to more asset accumulation, have become more popular. We examine if this popularity resonates with macroeconomic features, business cycle movements and policy measures. Using detailed data from an important player in the Dutch mortgage market, covering 1990 to 2012, we seek to elicit the time series patterns of the loss profiles of customers. Over time we indeed find changes in loss profiles. The theoretical perspective used to situate this change in profile is prospect theory. Key findings of prospect theory are: interaction between framing of a decision, the attitude towards loss, and loss-averse behavior. Next, we find only very limited impact of changes in the macro economic situation on the loss profiles, that is, business cycle movements on the housing markets do not matter, nor do general business cycle movements. In contrast, we find that some changes in loss profiles are related to tax policy measures. Hence, we conclude that if policy makers want to stimulate loss-averse behavior through asset accumulation, they should actively encourage it.
    Keywords: mortgage market, macroeconomic policy, business cycles
    JEL: G0 G18 G21 R31 E32 F
    Date: 2014–04–08
  34. By: Amanda Fitzgerald; Ruth Lupton
    Abstract: Key Points: London local government has taken a 33 per cent real terms cut in service funding from central government between 2009/10 and 2013/14. Councils have been making strenuous efforts to make large savings without cutting front line services, and to protect services for those who need them most. Most savings have come through efficiencies, the sorts of savings which Councils have argued are neither detrimental to, nor noticeable at, the frontline. However, Councils have, reluctantly, had to reduce their own role in the provision of discretionary services. More of these services are being delivered by voluntary and community sector partners, so the landscape of local service provision has seen some change. The need for Councils to pare their own provision back to statutory services, increasingly targeting those most in need, may, ultimately, result in less local variation rather than more. In this the cuts could be running counter to the promotion of the localism agenda. A focus on the most in need, seen in greater targeting of services, could also further fuel rising demand, as lower level need goes unaddressed. Council officers and Members are concerned that the 'limits of efficiency' have been reached, and there is little scope for further large-scale savings without significant effects on frontline services.
    Keywords: regions and area inequalities, cities, london, area inequalities, social policy, inner london, outer london, london local government, metropolitan governance
    Date: 2014–01
  35. By: Laura Carosi; Giovanna D’Inverno; Letizia Ravagli
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is the study of Tuscan municipalities public ex- penditure efficiency, with particular attention on the effect of the municipal size, through a DEA analysis. In line with the existing literature, the study includes a second stage analysis to explain municipal ineciencies through a Tobit regression. The results obtained through the DEA analysis and explained by the Tobit regression appear consistent and could represent a sound suggestion to correct the expenditure of the inefficient municipalities. The new evidences related to the efficiency analysis of local government described in the paper provide an important contribution to the current debate, being this the first study carried out on Tuscan municipalities and introducing a new indicator for the computation of the eciency scores which offer a new way of procedure. Moreover, the study addresses the long debated issue on municipal size proving that the municipal size really affects the effciency of the public expenditure (i.e. the bigger is a munici- pality, the greater is its level of public spending efficiency).
    Keywords: Spending efficiency, Municipalities, Data Envelopment Analysis, Tobit regression.
    JEL: C24 C61 D78 H11 H72
    Date: 2014–02–01
  36. By: Rodolfo Stucchi; Sofía Rojo; Alessandro Maffioli; Victoria Castillo
    Abstract: Although knowledge spillovers are at the core of the innovation policy's justification, they have never been properly measured by any impact evaluation. This paper fills this gap by estimating the spillover effects of the FONTAR program in Argentina. We use an employer-employee matched panel dataset with the entire population of firms and workers in Argentina for the period 2002-2010. This dataset allows us to track the mobility of qualified workers from FONTAR beneficiary firms to other firms and, therefore, to identify firms that indirectly benefit from the program through knowledge diffusion. We use a combination of fixed effect and matching to estimate the causal effect-direct and indirect-of the program on various measures of performance. Our findings are robust to a placebo test based on anticipatory effects and show that the program increased employment, wages, and the exporting probability of both direct and indirect beneficiaries. The analysis of the dynamic of these effects confirms that performance does not improve immediately after the treatment for neither direct nor indirect beneficiaries.
    Keywords: Workforce & Employment, Impact evaluation, Innovation, labor mobility
    Date: 2014–02
  37. By: Cleary, Rebecca; Carlson, Andrea
    Abstract: Social interactions can lead to a variety of phenomena including consumption externalities and complementarities. Consumption externalities arise when the choices of others have an effect on the total value of a household's purchases; complementarities arise when the choices of others have an effect on the marginal value of a household's purchases. This paper develops a conceptual model that separately identifies consumption externalities and complementarities and illustrates their significance in an application to a household's choice of grocery store. We propose empirical measures of the value of consumption externalities and complementarities based on the benefit function and show how the two effects can be identified separately using household level data. Preliminary results show that purchases at traditional grocery stores have both positive externalities on other shoppers and complementarities with others' purchases whereas purchases at superstores have negative externalities on other shoppers and show no complementarity with others' purchases, even if those purchases are also made at a superstore.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics,
    Date: 2014–05
  38. By: Fabio Sánchez Torres; Mónica Pachón
    Abstract: The present paper explores the relationship between political competition and effective public goods delivery systems in a decentralized context to study whether the awareness generated through such a competitive environment and the existence of more political options are a part of the causal mechanisms for effective governance. In particular, we want to observe the effect of electoral competition on the incentives to build fiscal capacity and provide public goods such as education and water, that are to a large extent the responsibility of the local municipalities. The research hypothesis is that political competition strengthens the decentralized municipalities through building their local fiscal capacity. In turn, the fiscal capacity is the fundamental variable that explains the differences in sector performance across local governments. Local fiscal capacity brings about better policy outcomes, as well as a better match between resources and the needs - what we call responsiveness - which simultaneously ensures greater efficiency in local spending. Using a rich panel municipal dataset from 1994 till 2009, we have shown that on comparing the differences across education and the water and sewerage sectors, the power of fiscal effort appears to be the driving force behind better policy outcomes than any other resource commonly made available to the municipalities, such as national transfers or royalties.
    Keywords: Democracy, Decentralization, fiscal policy, local policy, water, sanitation
    Date: 2013–07
  39. By: KUEPIE Mathias; TENIKUE Michel; WALTHER Olivier
    Abstract: This paper studies the link between economic performance and social networks in West Africa. Using first-hand data collected on 358 small-scale traders in five border markets between Niger, Nigeria and Benin, we are particularly interested in testing whether the most well-connected actors of trade networks are also the most successful in terms of monthly sales and profit. The paper shows that the overall economic performance of traders is affected by the socio-professional position of the actors with whom they are connected. While social ties with local religious leaders have no effect on their business, support received from civil servants, politicians, and security authorities translates into economic performance. The paper also shows significant differences between countries, regions and marketplaces. Social connections developed with state representatives have a much greater effect on economic performances in Niger and Benin than in Nigeria, where average profit is much higher. Experience is more closely correlated with profit in the region where traders have developed re-export trade activities than where petty trade is the dominant form of business.
    Keywords: Social networks; border markets; economic performance; Benin; Niger; Nigeria
    JEL: D85 F14 L14 R11
    Date: 2014–05
  40. By: Akamatsu, Takashi; Fujishima, Shota; Takayama, Yuki
    Abstract: We investigate the differences and connections between discrete-space and continuous-space social interaction models. Although our class of continuous-space model has a unique equilibrium, we find that discretized models can have multiple equilibria for any degree of discretization, which necessitates a stability analysis of equilibria. We present a general framework for characterizations of equilibria and their stability under a broad class of evolutionary dynamics by using the properties of a potential game. Although the equilibrium population distribution in the continuous space is uniquely given by a symmetric unimodal distribution, we find that such a distribution is not always stable in a discrete space. On the other hand, we also show that any sequence of a discrete-space model's equilibria converges with the continuous-space model's unique equilibrium as the discretization is refined.
    Keywords: Social interaction; Agglomeration; Discrete space; Potential game; Stability; Evolutionary game theory
    JEL: C62 C72 C73 D62 R12
    Date: 2014–05–08
  41. By: Pavel Ciaian; d'Artis Kancs; Johan Swinnen
    Abstract: Decoupled direct payments were introduced in the EU in form of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) in 2005. The 2013 CAP reform changed both the implementation of the SPS and its budget. We assess the possible effects of the 2013 CAP reform on EU land markets; in particular the capitalization of the SPS in land rental values. Our analyses suggest that the implementation details of the 2013 CAP reform will largely determine the impact of the SPS on land markets. The key ones are the reference period for entitlement allocation, regionalization, payment differentiation and budgetary changes. Our analysis also implies that a number of relatively minor policy changes could have substantial impacts on land markets.
    Keywords: Capitalization, decoupled subsidies, CAP reform, land market, land prices.
    JEL: H22 L11 Q11 Q12 Q15 Q18 P32 R12
    Date: 2014–03–07
  42. By: Daniel Borowczyk-Martins (University of Bristol); Jake Bradley (University of Bristol); Linas Tarasonis (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)
    Abstract: In the US labor market the average black worker is exposed to a lower employment rate and earns a lower wage compared to his white counterpart. Lang and Lehmann (2012) argue that these mean differences mask substantial heterogeneity along the distribution of workers’ skill. In particular, they argue that black-white wage and employment gaps are smaller for high-skill workers. In this paper we show that a model of employer taste-based discrimination in a labor market characterized by search frictions and skill complementarities in production can replicate these regularities. We estimate the model with US data using methods of indirect inference. Our quantitative results portray the degree of employer prejudice in the US labor market as being strong and widespread, and provide evidence of an important skill gap between black and white workers. We use the model to undertake a structural decomposition and conclude that discrimination resulting from employer prejudice is quantitatively more important than skill differences to explain wage and employment gaps. In the final section of the paper we conduct a number of counterfactual experiments to assess the effectiveness of different policy approaches aimed at reducing racial differences in labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: employment and wage differentials, discrimination, job search
    JEL: J31 J64 J71
    Date: 2014–04
  43. By: van Veldhuizen, Roel; Oosterbeek, Hessel; Sonnemans, Joep
    Abstract: In an in influential study, Mas and Moretti (2009) found that worker effort is positively related to the productivity of workers who see him, but not workers who do not see him. They interpret this as evidence that social pressure can reduce free riding. In this paper we report an attempt to reproduce the findings of Mas and Moretti in a lab experiment. Lab experiments have the advantage of being able to shut down alternative channels through which workers can influence the productivity of colleagues whom they observe. Although the subjects in our experiment are aware of the productivity of others and although there is sufficient scope for subjects to vary their productivity, we find no evidence of the type of peer effects reported by Mas and Moretti. This suggests that their findings are less generalizable than has been assumed. --
    Keywords: peer effects,experiment,laboratory experiment
    JEL: C91 J24
    Date: 2014

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