nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2014‒07‒05
twenty-one papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Sweden’s School Choice Reform and Equality of Opportunity By Edmark, Karin; Frölich, Markus; Wondratschek, Verena
  2. The role of external linkages and gatekeepers for the renewal and expansion of U.S. cities’ knowledge base, 1990-2004 By Stefano Breschi; Camilla Lenzi
  3. Ecological Barriers and Convergence: A Note on Geometry in Spatial Growth Models By Giorgio Fabbri
  4. Geography and Firm Performance in the Japanese Production Network By Andrew B. BERNARD; Andreas MOXNES; SAITO Yukiko
  5. The Impact of Education on Personality: Evidence from a German High School Reform By Sarah Dahmann; Silke Anger
  6. Wohnsitutation von Migrantenhaushalten: Eine Analyse mit Blick auf den Effekt der Mietpreisbenachteiligung By Andreas Hartung
  7. The Agglomeration of Bankruptcy By Efraim Benmelech; Nittai Bergman; Anna Milanez; Vladimir Mukharlyamov
  8. Culture, Spatial Diffusion of Ideas and their Long-Lasting Imprints: Evidence from Froebel's Kindergarten Movement By Stefan Bauernschuster; Oliver Falck
  9. Линейки ссудо-сберегательных тарифных планов: обобщение идеи стройсберкасс. By Polterovich, Victor; Starkov, Oleg; Ilinskiy, Dmitry
  10. Similar Challenges - Different Responses: Housing Policy in Germany and Russia between the Two World Wars By Konstantin A. Kholodilin; Mark G. Meerovich
  11. Do Immigrants Bring Good Health? By Osea Giuntella; Fabrizio Mazzonna
  12. Determinants of Migration, Revisited By Alexander, Gigi; Foley, Maggie
  13. Livelihoods Limitations: The Political Economy of Urban Poverty in Bangladesh By Nicola Banks
  14. Electoral politics and regional development. Assessing the geographical allocation of public investment in Turkey By Davide Luca; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
  15. Made in China, sold in Norway: Local labor market effects of an import shock. By Balsvik, Ragnhild; Jensen, Sissel; Salvanes, Kjell G.
  16. Comparing Itemized Tax Deductions across States: A Simple Decomposition Applied to Mortgage Interest Deductions By Wodon, Quentin
  17. Modeling and Design of Container Terminal Operations By Roy, D.; de Koster, M.B.M.
  18. The Nexus between Labour Wages and Property Rents in the Greater China Area By Chong, Terence Tai Leung; Shui, Kenny Chi Wai; Wong, Vivian H
  19. Local and Consistent Centrality Measures in Networks By Zenou, Yves; Dequiedt, Vianney
  20. ‘Youth Social Exclusion in Australian Communities: A New Index’ By Annie Abello; Rebecca Cassells; Anne Daly; Gabriela D'Souza; Riyana Miranti
  21. Heterogeneous determinants of local unemployment in Poland By Ciżkowicz, Piotr; Kowalczuk, Michał; Rzońca, Andrzej

  1. By: Edmark, Karin (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Frölich, Markus (University of Mannheim); Wondratschek, Verena (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW))
    Abstract: This study analyses whether the Swedish school choice reform, enacted in 1992, had different effects on students from different socio-economic backgrounds. We use detailed geographical data on students’ and schools’ locations to construct measures of the degree of potential choice. This allows us to study the effects of choice opportunities among public schools, whereas previous studies have focused on newly opened private schools. Our results suggest small positive or no effects of choice opportunities, depending on specification and outcome. We find no strong evidence of differences between subgroups; if anything, effects tend to be slightly more positive for disadvantaged groups, such as students from low-income families. Taken together, the results indicate that students from a socio-economically disadvantaged or immigrant background were not harmed by the reform.
    Keywords: School choice; School competition; Treatment evaluation; Cognitive and non-cognitive skills
    JEL: C21 I24
    Date: 2014–06–27
  2. By: Stefano Breschi; Camilla Lenzi
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of external linkages and gatekeepers for the renewal and expansion of cities’ knowledge base, by presenting new evidence about co-invention networks in U.S. metropolitan areas based on European Patent Office (EPO) data for the period 1990-2004. We argue that the relative importance of direct external linkages and external relations mediated by gatekeepers varies according to specific local conditions. In particular, our findings suggest that external relations are on average a chief conduit to inject non-redundant knowledge at the local level and contribute to broadening and rejuvenating the local knowledge base. However, cities are quite heterogeneous in how they benefit from external relations. Whereas direct external connections outperform, on average, external links mediated by gatekeepers, the latter are especially important in cities with a localized and specialized knowledge base, as they enable the trans-coding and absorption at the local level of externally sourced knowledge.
    Keywords: networks, gatekeepers, knowledge base
    JEL: O31 R11
    Date: 2014–06
  3. By: Giorgio Fabbri (EPEE, Université d’Evry-Val-d’Essonne (TEPP, FR-CNRS 3126))
    Abstract: We introduce an AK spatial growth model with a general geographical structure. The dynamics of the economy is described by a partial differential equation on a Riemannian manifold. The morphology interacts with the spatial dynamics of the capital and is one determinant of the qualitative behavior of the economy. We characterize on the geographical structure the conditions that guarantee, in the long run, the convergence of the detrended capital across locations and those inducing spatial capital agglomeration
    Keywords: Dynamical spatial model, growth, agglomeration, convergence, infinite dimensional optimal control problems, Riemannian manifolds
    JEL: R1 O4 C61
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Andrew B. BERNARD; Andreas MOXNES; SAITO Yukiko
    Abstract: Firms operate in complex supplier-customer networks that potentially range over long distances. However, the effects of supplier networks and supplier location on firm performance are largely unknown. This paper characterizes the domestic production network in Japan using detailed buyer-supplier data on over 950,000 firms. Beyond describing the characteristics of the Japanese production network, the paper examines the geographic features of the network links. Greater geographic distance plays an important role in reducing the probability of buyer-seller relations between pairs of firms. For a given firm, greater distance is associated with better performance measures of suppliers and customers. Geography, the density, and the quality of network connections are strongly correlated with downstream (customer) firm performance. Labor productivity, credit score, and size of a downstream firm are positively correlated with features of its upstream supply base including the number of suppliers and their average performance. In addition, geographic proximity of a firm's suppliers is associated with improved firm performance. The paper also provides the first evidence on the relationship between supplier network connections and downstream firm outcomes. Firm performance is better when its suppliers have more suppliers of their own. However, firm performance is lower when its suppliers are connected to more downstream customers.
    Date: 2014–06
  5. By: Sarah Dahmann; Silke Anger
    Abstract: This paper investigates the short-term effects of a reduction in the length of high school on students' personality traits using a school reform carried out at the state level in Germany as a quasi-natural experiment. Starting in 2001, academic-track high school (Gymnasium) was reduced from nine to eight years in most of Germany's federal states, leaving the overall curriculum unchanged. This enabled students to obtain a university entrance qualification (Abitur ) after a total of only 12 rather than 13 years of schooling. We exploit the variation in the length of academic-track high school over time and across states to identify the effect of schooling on students' Big Five personality traits and on their locus of control. Using rich data on adolescents and young adults from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study, our estimates show that shortening high school caused students on average to be more extroverted and less emotionally stable.Our estimates point to important heterogeneous e ects. In addition to di erences between East and West Germany, we nd that male students and students from disrupted families showed stronger personality changes following the reform: they became more agreeable and more extroverted, respectively. We conclude that the educational system plays an important role in shaping adolescents' personality traits.
    Keywords: Non-cognitive Skills, Big Five, Locus of Control, Skill Formation, High School Reform
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Andreas Hartung
    Abstract: In this paper a descriptive overview of the housing situation of immigrants in Germany is combined with a multivariate analysis on potential effects of rental price discrimination for specific groups of immigrants. The driving research question is, whether immigrants systematically pay higher rents for comparable flats. Utilizing data from the German Socio-economic Panel (SOEP) different variables classifying the specific housing situation and regional characteristics are used to ensure the comparability of the rental units. Theoretical argumentation is following the model of price formation on rental markets including the problem of rental-submarket formation as well as the work of Norbert Elias and John L. Scotson on the discrimination of "outsiders". The results are predominantly not supporting the theoretically derived hypothesis, which states that Turkish immigrants are in particular exposed to rental price discrimination on the German housing market. However, it also becomes apparent that due to the complexity of the problem a research design which focuses on the entire German housing population is probably not an appropriate one and more detailed and regionally limited analyses would be helpful to explain ethnic-specific discrimination on the housing market.
    Keywords: migration, habitation, housing market, consumption, ethnic discrimination
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Efraim Benmelech; Nittai Bergman; Anna Milanez; Vladimir Mukharlyamov
    Abstract: This paper identifies a new channel through which bankrupt firms impose negative externalities on non-bankrupt peers. The bankruptcy and liquidation of a retail chain weakens the economies of agglomeration in any given local area, reducing the attractiveness of retail centers for remaining stores leading to contagion of financial distress. We find that companies with greater geographic exposure to bankrupt retailers are more likely to close stores in affected areas. We further show that the effect of these externalities on non-bankrupt peers is higher when the affected stores are smaller and are operated by firms with poor financial health.
    JEL: G33 G34 R12 R32 R33
    Date: 2014–06
  8. By: Stefan Bauernschuster; Oliver Falck
    Abstract: We document the spatial diffusion of Friedrich Froebel's radical invention of kindergartens in 19th-century Germany. The first kindergarten was founded at Froebel's birthplace. Early spatial diffusion can be explained by cultural proximity, measured by historical dialect similarity, to Froebel's birthplace. This result is robust to the inclusion of higher order polynomials in geographic distance and similarity measures with respect to industry, geography or religion. Our findings suggest that a common cultural basis facilitates the spill-over of ideas. We further show that the contemporaneous spatial pattern of child care coverage is still correlated with cultural similarity to Froebel's place of birth.
    Keywords: Culture, spatial diffusion, public child care
    JEL: N33 J13 Z13
    Date: 2014
  9. By: Polterovich, Victor; Starkov, Oleg; Ilinskiy, Dmitry
    Abstract: Contractual savings for housing (Bausparkassen) with narrow ranges of tariff plans are used to coexist with banking hypothec, providing consumers a binary choice . We propose to form systems (lines) of savings and loan tariff plans (SLTP) for bank accounts «linking» these two mortgage institutions. We consider properties of lines of SLTP and develop a model for their design and analysis. Experimental calculations indicate that parameters of the line of SLTP may be selected so that efficiency of the mortgage system rises for all involved agents – consumers, banks and governments. Finally we analyze the impact of parameters of SLTP on objective functions of the agents.
    Keywords: mortgage, line of savings and loan plans, contractual savings for housing, savings and loan bank account for housing
    JEL: D02 D14 G21
    Date: 2014–05–28
  10. By: Konstantin A. Kholodilin; Mark G. Meerovich
    Abstract: The World War I played a key role in shaping modern housing policy. While in the pre-War time virtually no housing policy existed, the beginning of hostilities led to an almost immediate and comprehensive state intervention in the housing market, particularly among those engaged in the war. Despite initially similar conditions and challenges induced by the war, housing policy was carried out in different countries differently. This is particularly true for Germany and Russia. Even though both went through similar processes during the inter-war era, the different objective functions pursued by their political regimes shaped their housing policies in completely different manners. This paper compares the housing policies in Germany and Russia, identifying the similarities and differences.
    Keywords: Germany, Russia, housing policy, World War, rationing, tenant eviction, rent control
    JEL: N44 N94 P25 R38
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Osea Giuntella; Fabrizio Mazzonna
    Abstract: This paper studies the effects of immigration on health. We merge information on individual characteristics from the German Socio-Economic Panel (1984-2010) with detailed local labour market characteristics and exploit the longitudinal component of the data to analyse how immigration affects the health of both immigrants and natives over time. Upon their arrival, immigrants are found to be healthier than the natives (healthy immigrant effect), but their health deteriorates over time spent in Germany. We show that the convergence in health is heterogeneous across immigrants and occurs more rapidly among those working in more physically demanding jobs. Immigrants are significantly more likely to work in strenuous occupations. In light of these facts, we investigate whether changes in the spatial concentration of immigrants affect the health of the native population. Our results suggest that immigration reduces the likelihood that residents report negative health outcomes. We show that these effects are concentrated in blue-collar occupations and are larger among low educated natives and previous cohorts of immigrants. The improvement in the average working conditions and workload of natives contributes to explain the positive effect of immigration on the health of the native population.
    Keywords: Health, immigration, occupational choice
    JEL: I12 J24 J61
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Alexander, Gigi; Foley, Maggie
    Abstract: This empirical study investigates the impact on net state in-migration over the 2000-2003 period of a variety of economic and non-economic factors and thereby serves as a robustness test of previous studies. The empirical estimates indicate that the net state in-migration rate was an increasing function of median family income or expected median family income on the one hand and a decreasing function of the average cost of living. In addition, net state in-migration was an increasing function of the warmer temperatures, while being a decreasing function of the presence of hazardous waste sites. Finally, net state in-migration was an increasing function of fiscal surplus (measured as per capita state plus local government spending on public education minus per capita state plus local government property taxation) and a decreasing function of the presence of state individual income taxation.
    Keywords: net migration; state data; income; quality of life; fiscal surplus
    JEL: H71 H75 J61 Q00 R23
    Date: 2014–06–27
  13. By: Nicola Banks
    Abstract: Abstract Frameworks for understanding urban poverty have taken an asset-based approach that assesses livelihoods strategies on the basis of a household’s portfolio of assets. Research in Dhaka, Bangladesh reveals the limitations of such approaches. Their narrow focus on households and depoliticized definition of social capital may capture experiences of urban poverty, but cannot reconcile these with the significance of the structural drivers of urban poverty. Our understanding of urban poverty must recognize the informal systems of governance that dominate resource distribution at the community-level and keep the resources necessary for household improvement confined to a relatively small elite. Excluded from the accumulation networks that provide a platform for household mobility for the well-connected, most urban poor households are reliant upon survival networks in their search for security. Only through extending our analysis beyond the household to explore their position within this local political economy can we recognize the significant limitations placed on their efforts to extend and improve their livelihoods.
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Davide Luca; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
    Abstract: One of the most important decisions that governments face is how to allocate the public resources necessary for development, given each countrys budget constraints. According to the literature on the links between wealth and institutional performance, highly kleptocratic countries are expected to show higher levels of politicisation of the public purse. The article tests the extent to which socioeconomic criteria (equity and efficiency) or electoral concerns determined the geographical distribution of public investment in the 81 provinces of Turkey between 2004 and 2012. Our results show that, although electoral concerns mattered for the allocation, socioeconomic measures remained the most relevant predictors of investment. Moreover, in contrast to official regional development policy principles, the Turkish state tended to favour areas with a higher level of development over those with greater ‘socioeconomic need’. Our results therefore challenge much of the distributive politics literature, which has overly emphasised the role of pork-barrel in public policy-making. At the same time, they underline the need of paying more attention to the political economy of regional development strategies.
    Keywords: Regional development policies, distributive politics, public investments, political geography, Turkey.
    JEL: H76 O12 O53 R12 R58
    Date: 2014–06
  15. By: Balsvik, Ragnhild (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Jensen, Sissel (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Salvanes, Kjell G. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: We analyze whether regional labor markets are affected by exposure to import competition from China. We find negative employment effects for low-skilled workers, and observe that low-skilled workers tend to be pushed into unemployment or leave the labor force altogether. We find no evidence of wage effects. We partly expect this in a Nordic welfare state where firms are flexible at the employment margin, while centralized wage bargaining provides less flexibility at the wage margin. Our estimates suggest that import competition from China explains almost 10% of the reduction in the manufacturing employment share from 1996 to 2007 which is half of the effect found by Autor, Dorn and Hanson (2013) for the US.
    Keywords: Import Competition; Local Labor Markets; Norway.
    JEL: F16 H53 J23 J31
    Date: 2014–06–30
  16. By: Wodon, Quentin
    Abstract: This paper proposes a simple multiplicative decomposition that can help in comparing the levels of mortgage interest tax deductions observed in different states or areas, and some of the reasons leading to different levels of deductions. The key parameters in the decomposition are a state’s population, its number of tax filers, the share of filers claiming a specific deduction, the average taxes paid by filers, and the average deduction among claimants. The idea is that such simple decompositions can be useful for states and local authorities to better understand some of the reasons why they may have comparatively high or low deductions in their state, and whether the levels of deductions observed are as one might have expected given their overall tax receipts.
    Keywords: Tax deductions, Mortgage interest, District of Columbia
    JEL: H24
    Date: 2014–04
  17. By: Roy, D.; de Koster, M.B.M.
    Abstract: Design of container terminal operations is complex because multiple factors affect the operational perfor- mance. These factors include: topological constraints, a large number of design parameters and settings, and stochastic interactions that interplay among the quayside, vehicle transport, and stackside processes. In this research, we propose new integrated queuing network models for rapid design evaluation of container terminals with Automated Lift Vehicles (ALVs) and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). These models offer the flexibility to analyze alternate design variations and develop insights. For instance, the effect of alternate vehicle dwell point policy is analyzed using state-dependent queues, whereas the efficient terminal layout is determined using variation in the service time expressions at the stations. Further, using embedded Markov chain analysis, we develop an approximate procedure for analyzing bulk container arrivals. These models form the building block for design and analysis of large-scale terminal operations. We test the model efficacy using detailed in-house simulation experiments and real-terminal validation by partnering with an external party.
    Keywords: container terminal, intra-terminal transport, design decisions, queuing models
    Date: 2014–06–23
  18. By: Chong, Terence Tai Leung; Shui, Kenny Chi Wai; Wong, Vivian H
    Abstract: Tse and Chan (2003) investigated the relationship between property sales price and the value of commuting time without accounting for the fact that property sales price is subject to the inherent limitation of containing speculative elements. A better measure to use for such a study would be the rent paid by the genuine end-user of the property. This paper examines how equilibrium rents in different locations within Greater China are determined by the time value, or the shadow wage, of an individual. Using the rental information, we provide a first estimated ratio of time values for individuals in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei. Our results show that the shadow wage ratio of the households in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei is about 2.25: 1: 1.61.
    Keywords: Shadow wage; Property rental price; Central business district.
    JEL: J30 R30
    Date: 2014
  19. By: Zenou, Yves (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University); Dequiedt, Vianney (Université d’Auvergne)
    Abstract: The centrality of an agent in a network has been shown to be crucial in explaining different behaviors and outcomes. In this paper, we propose an axiomatic approach to characterize a class of centrality measures for which the centrality of an agent is recursively related to the centralities of the agents she is connected to. This includes the Katz-Bonacich and the eigenvector centrality. The core of our argument hinges on the power of the consistency axiom, which relates the properties of the measure for a given network to its properties for a reduced problem. In our case, the reduced problem only keeps track of local and parsimonious information. Our axiomatic characterization highlights the conceptual similarities among this class of measures.
    Keywords: Consistency; centrality measures; networks; axiomatic approach
    JEL: C70 D85
    Date: 2014–05–21
  20. By: Annie Abello (Commonwealth Grants Commission and Formerly NATSEM, University of Canberra); Rebecca Cassells (Curtin University); Anne Daly (University of Canberra); Gabriela D'Souza (CERAPH, University of Canberra); Riyana Miranti (NATSEM, University of Canberra)
    Abstract: Social exclusion and inclusion has been given a great deal of attention in Australia and throughout the world. This broader concept of disadvantage has replaced much of the social discourse around poverty and inequality, with the realisation from researchers, practitioners and policy makers that disadvantage is often a multi-dimensional occurrence, spanning many dimensions of an individual’s life. Despite the attention social exclusion has been given, particular population groups are often overlooked – particularly young people. A growing interest in the power of geographic data and the prevalence of social exclusion, has lead the authors to develop the first nation-wide geographically disaggregated index of youth social exclusion for Australia. A number of domains and indicators deemed important to youth wellbeing were identified and constructed to develop a comprehensive index of youth social exclusion for young people aged 15-19 years. Using specialised data from the 2011 Census, supplemented with national school assessment data, we use a domains approach to construct an index that is representative of youth at risk of social exclusion, using a combination of principal components and equal weighting techniques. Particular attention is paid to ‘youth’ as an important stage of life in its own right and the implications of the delayed transition into adulthood that is now seen in many developed nations. Many more young people now remain as dependent children well into their twenties. A final index of youth social exclusion across Australian communities is presented and discussed.
    Keywords: social exclusion; youth social exclusion; youth unemployment; spatial indexes; Australian communities
    JEL: I31 J13 R12
    Date: 2014–06
  21. By: Ciżkowicz, Piotr; Kowalczuk, Michał; Rzońca, Andrzej
    Abstract: We identify determinants of large disparities in local unemployment rates in Poland using panel data on NUTS-4 level (poviats). We find that the disparities are linked to local demographics, education and sectoral employment composition rather than to local demand factors. However, the impact of determinants is not homogenous across poviats. Where unemployment is low or income per capita is high, unemployment does not depend on the late working-aged share in the population but does depend relatively stronger on the share of early working-aged. Where unemployment is high or income per capita is low, unemployment does not depend on education attainment and is relatively less responsive to investment fluctuations. Where small farms are present, they are partial absorbers of workers laid off due to investment fluctuations.
    Keywords: local unemployment, Poland, panel data
    JEL: C23 J23 R23
    Date: 2014–04

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