nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2014‒09‒29
34 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Housing Affordability during the Urban Transition in Spain By Juan Carmona Pidal; Markus Lampe; Joan R. Rosés
  2. Metropolitan Governance of Transport and Land Use in Chicago By Olaf Merk
  3. Disruptive School Peers and Student Outcomes By Jannie H.G. Kristoffersen; Author-Name: Morten Visby Krægpøth; Helena Skyt Nielsen; Jannie Marianne Simonsen
  4. Illiquidity and its Discontents: Trading Delays and Foreclosures in the Housing Market By Aaron Hedlund
  5. The Spatial Polish Wage Curve with Gender Effects: Evidence from the Polish Labor Survey By Badi Baltagi; Bartlomiej Rokicki
  6. Technology Spillovers and International Borders: A Spatial Econometric Analysis By Amjad Naveed; Nisar Ahmad
  7. Regional dynamics and start-ups: Evidence from French departments in 2011 By Nadine Levratto; Denis Carré
  8. The political economy of public transport pricing and supply decisions By Bruno DE BORGER; Stefan PROOST
  9. How do people choose their commuting mode? An evolutionary approach to transport choices By Simone Borghesi; Chiara Calastri; Giorgio Fagiolo
  10. The Determinants and Consequences of Friendship Composition By Jason Fletcher; Stephen Ross; Yuxiu Zhang;
  11. Speed 2.0. Evaluating access to universal digital highways By Gabriel Ahlfeldt; Pantelis Koutroumpis; Tommaso Valletti
  12. The Impact of Information Provision on Agglomeration Bonus Performance: An Experimental Study on Local Networks By Banerjee, Simanti; de Vries, Frans P.; Hanley, Nick; van Soest, Daan
  13. The effect of personality traits on subject choice and performance in high school By Silvia Mendolia; Ian Walker
  14. Infrastructure gap in South Asia : inequality of access to infrastructure services By Biller, Dan; Andres, Luis; Dappe, Matias Herrera
  15. Age at Immigration and High School Dropouts By Sarit Cohen Goldner; Gil S. Epstein
  16. Regional Structures and Mobility Dispositions: A Multilevel Proportional- & Partial-Proportional Odds Approach By Christoph Kern
  17. Partner Selection into Policy Relevant Field Experiments By Belot, Michele; James, Jonathan
  18. Spatial Takeoff in the First Industrial Revolution By Trew, Alex
  19. Competition and Social Identity in the Workplace: Evidence from a Chinese Textile Firm By Takao Kato; Pian Shu
  20. Housing finance in France in 2013. By Point E.; Le Quéau E.
  21. Cost-effectiveness measurement in development : accounting for local costs and noisy impacts By Evans, David K.; Popova, Anna
  22. Spatial convergence and growth in Indian agriculture: 1967-2010 By Tirtha Chatterjee
  23. Are Local Tax Rates Strategic Complements or Strategic Substitutes? By Raphael Parchet; Massimiliano Vatiero
  24. State Mandated Financial Education and the Credit Behavior of Young Adults By Brown, Alexandra; Collins, J. Michael; Schmeiser, Maximilian D.; Urban, Carly
  25. Cultural diversity at the top: Does it increase innovation and firm performance? By Nikos Bozionelos; Thomas Hoyland
  26. Efficiency and effectiveness in the urban public transport sector: a critical review with directions for future research By Cinzia Daraio; Marco Diana; Flavia Di Costa; Claudio Leporelli; Giorgio Matteucci; Alberto Nastasi
  27. How do Co nsumers Respond to Gasoline By David P. Byrne, "; " Gordon Leslie
  28. Inequality of Educational Opportunities in Egypt By Lire Ersado; Jérémie Gignoux
  29. Theory of the Urban Firm: A Revival? By Joseph DeSalvo; Louis Eeckhoudt
  30. Good Jobs and Recidivism By Schnepel, Kevin
  31. Regional Economic Impact Analysis of High Speed Rail in China : Main Report By World Bank
  32. Mortgage Repayments after Permanent Modification By McGuinness, Anne
  33. Cross-Hauling and Regional Input-Output Tables: The Case of the Province of Hubei, China By Yongming Huang; Anthony T. Flegg; Timo Tohmo
  34. R&D Spillovers on a Salop Circle By Fabio Lamantia; Mario Pezzino

  1. By: Juan Carmona Pidal; Markus Lampe; Joan R. Rosés
    Abstract: During the decades previous to the Civil War, Spain experienced a rapid process of urbanization, which was accompanied by the demographic transition and sizeable rural-urban migrations. This article investigates how urban housing markets reacted to these far-reaching changes that increased demand for dwellings. To this end, we employ a new hedonic index of real housing prices and construct a cross-regional panel dataset of rents and housing price fundamentals. This new evidence indicates that rents were not a significant financial burden on low-income families and, hence, housing was affordable for working classes. Also, we show that families' access to new homes was facilitated by a sizable growth of housing supply. Substantial investments in urban infrastructure and the institutional framework enabled the construction of new homes at affordable prices. Our results suggest that housing problems were not pervasive during the urban transition as the literature often seems to claim.
    Keywords: Demand and Supply of Housing, Regulation in Housing Markets, Urban growth, Spain
    JEL: N93 N94 R30
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Olaf Merk
    Abstract: This study aims to assess the degree of institutional fragmentation of transport and land use planning in Chicago and to assess the main challenges related to this institutional fragmentation. It provides an overview of local governments in metropolitan Chicago and mechanisms for metropolitan coordination, including organisations at the metropolitan scale, dealing with planning, land use and transport. Five main challenges related to institutional fragmentation in transport and land use planning are identified: a lack of (1) interconnectivity, (2) coherence across transit modes, (3) regional freight planning, (4) accountability and (5) implementation power of regional planning and transport objectives. These challenges are analysed. The concluding section suggests some avenues for reform that could be explored in order to overcome the challenges of metropolitan fragmentation in transport and land use in Chicago.
    Keywords: Chicago, public transit, urban transport, urban infrastructure, metropolitan governance
    JEL: R4 R5
    Date: 2014–08–19
  3. By: Jannie H.G. Kristoffersen (Copenhagen Business School); Author-Name: Morten Visby Krægpøth (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark); Helena Skyt Nielsen (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark); Jannie Marianne Simonsen (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: This paper estimates how peers’ achievement gains are affected by the presence of potentially disruptive and emotionally sensitive children in the school-cohort. We exploit that some children move between schools and thus generate variation in peer composition in the receiving school- cohort. We identify three groups of potentially disruptive and emotionally sensitive children from detailed Danish register data: children with divorced parents, children with parents convicted of crime, and children with a psychiatric diagnosis. We find that adding potentially disruptive children lowers the academic achievement of peers by about 1.5-2 percent of a standard deviation.
    Keywords: Student Mobility, Crime, Special Educational Needs, Education, Value Added Model
    JEL: I21 J12
    Date: 2014–09–10
  4. By: Aaron Hedlund (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the macroeconomic effects of search risk in the housing market. To do so, I introduce a tractable directed search model of housing with mul- tidimensional buyer and seller heterogeneity. I incorporate this framework in an in- complete markets macroeconomic model with long-term mortgages and equilibrium default. I show that search risk spills over into higher foreclosure risk by creating a debt overhang problem. Heavily indebted sellers post high selling prices, take a long time to sell, and frequently end up in foreclosure. As a result, search risk increases mortgage default premia and tightens credit constraints, thus exacerbating the debt overhang problem by making refinancing more difficult. This mechanism establishes a novel link between housing and mortgage markets based on the illiquidity of housing.
    Keywords: housing, liquidity, search theory, credit constraints, household debt,foreclosure
    JEL: D31 D83 E21 E22 G11 G12 G21 R21 R31
    Date: 2014–09–12
  5. By: Badi Baltagi (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 426 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244); Bartlomiej Rokicki (University of Illinois)
    Abstract: This paper reconsiders the Polish wage curve using individual data from the Polish Labor Force Survey (LFS) at the 16 NUTS2 level allowing for spatial spillovers between regions. In addition it estimates the total and gender-specific regional unemployment rate elasticities on individual wages. The paper finds significant spatial unemployment spillovers across Polish regions. In addition, it finds that the results for the Polish wage curve are sensitive to genderspecific regional unemployment rates. This is especially true for women.
    Keywords: Wage Curve; Fixed Effects; Spatial Spillovers; Regional Labor Markets
    JEL: C26 J30 J60
    Date: 2014–08
  6. By: Amjad Naveed (Department of Border Region Studies, University of Southern Denmark); Nisar Ahmad (Department of Border Region Studies, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: The borders of the EU are open for the movement of resources but still there can be some strong negative effects of international borders on productivity and knowledge spillovers compared to the internal regional borders. These negative effects could be due to language barriers, cultural differences, local rules and regulation, legal issues, property rights, etc. These effects of international borders have economic significance that needs to be controlled when analyzing the regional knowledge spillovers. This aspect related to international borders has not been fully taken into account in the existing literature related to knowledge spillovers. Ignoring this effect might under or overestimate the effect of knowledge and technology spillovers. The results show that technology and knowledge spillovers are mainly coming from internal neighbor regions only, whereas spillovers across the international borders are statistically insignificant. Moreover, the results show that not properly incorporating border effects will lead to inaccurate estimates of the spillovers.
    Keywords: total factor productivity, knowledge spillovers, European regions, spatial econometrics, Extended Spatial Durbin Model
    JEL: C31 D24 O49 O52 R10
    Date: 2014–09
  7. By: Nadine Levratto; Denis Carré
    Abstract: This paper seeks to determine the exact role played by regional dynamics in the creation of companies. The notion that territorial dynamics influence entrepreneurial activity seems to be backed up, first of all, by the fact that it is at the regional level that the direct influence of the ecosystem of wealth and of material, human and organizational resources is strengthened through agglomeration effects. We empirically address this question considering the case of French departments in 2011. In order to take into account the role played by the neighbourhood and the resulting spatial dependence, we estimate the sensitivity of both the overall entry rate and the entry rate in the manufacturing industry using spatial econometric estimation techniques, an approach which enables us to control the effect of spatial autocorrelation. Our results show that the creation of companies highly depends on local factors and that the source of local dependence differs according to the entry rate used as an explained variable. Whereas a spatial lag applies at the overall level, the creation of companies in the manufacturing industry is more oriented by exogenous shocks so that a spatial error model is more appropriate.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, entry rate, spatial dependence, French departments
    JEL: L26 R11 C21
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Bruno DE BORGER; Stefan PROOST
    Abstract: This paper studies the political economy of public transport pricing and quality decisions in urban areas. We consider a hypothetical two-region federation. In each region there is a demand for public transport and for car use, and the group mainly using public transport may be a majority or minority in the region; moreover, part of the users of both the public transport system and the road network may come from outside the region. In this setting, we compare regional and federal decision making on public transport fares and supply characteristics. Under regional decision-making we find that, first, the political process may result in very low public transport fares, even if car owners are a large majority of the population. The fare preferred by car owners is increasing in the toll on car use. Cost recovery always improves with the share of outside users. Second, imposing a zero deficit constraint on regional public transport operators implements the second-best welfare optimum, independent of whether car owners or non-car owners have the political majority. Third, compared to centralized decision making, decentralized decision making leads to higher fares and better cost recovery. Our findings are consistent with the lack of opposition to very large public transport subsidies in Europe, and they provide a potential explanation for the tendency towards decentralization of public transport policy-making observed in many countries over the last decades.
    Date: 2014–06
  9. By: Simone Borghesi; Chiara Calastri; Giorgio Fagiolo
    Abstract: The issue of transportation is of primary importance in our societies. A large share of greenhouse gases is generated by the transport sector, and road casualties are one among the most common causes of death. In the present work, we study commuter choice between alternative transport modes using an evolutionary- game model, wherein commuters can choose between using their private car or taking the bus. We examine the possible dynamics that can emerge in a homogeneous urban population, where agents are boundedly rational and imitate the others. We obtain a different number of equilibria depending on the values of the parameters of the model. We carry out comparative-static exercises and examine possible policy measures that can be implemented in order to modify the agents' payoff, and consequently the equilibria of the system, leading the society towards more sustainable transportation patterns.
    Keywords: Commuter choices; Transportation; Evolutionary dynamics; Environmental policy
    Date: 2014–08–09
  10. By: Jason Fletcher (University of Wisconsin); Stephen Ross; Yuxiu Zhang;
    Abstract: This paper examines the demographic pattern of friendship links among youth and the impact of those patterns on own educational outcomes using the friendship network data in the Add Health. We develop and estimate a reduced form matching model to predict friendship link formation and identify the parameters based on across-cohort, within school variation in the "supply" of potential friends. We find novel evidence showing that small increases in the share of students with college educated mothers raises the likelihood of friendship links among students with high maternal education, and that small increases in the share of minority students increases the level of racial homophily in friendship patterns. We then use the predicted friendship links from the matching model in an instrumental variable analysis, and find positive effects of friends' high socioeconomic status, as measured by parental education, on own GPA outcomes among girls. The GPA effects are likely driven by science and English grades, and through non-cognitive factors.
    Keywords: Friendship Formation; Grades; Cohort Study; Peer Effects; Non-Cognitive Effects
    JEL: I21 J13 D85
    Date: 2014–09
  11. By: Gabriel Ahlfeldt (London School of Economics); Pantelis Koutroumpis (Imperial College London); Tommaso Valletti (Imperial College London, University of Rome “Tor Vergata” & CEPR)
    Abstract: This paper shows that having access to a fast Internet connection is an important determinant of capitalization effects in property markets. We combine microdata on property prices in England between 1995 and 2010 with local availability of Internet broadband connections. Rich variation in Internet speed over space and time allows us to estimate the causal effect of broadband speed on property prices. We find a significantly positive effect, but diminishing returns to speed. Our results imply that an upgrade from narrowband to a high-speed first-generation broadband connection (offering Internet speed up to 8 Mbit/s) could increase the price of an average property by as much as 2.8%. A further increase to a faster connection (offering speeds up to 24 Mbit/s) leads to an incremental price effect of an additional 1%. We decompose this effect by income and urbanization, finding considerable heterogeneity. These estimates are used to evaluate proposed plans to deliver fast broadband universally. We find that increasing speed and connecting unserved households passes a cost-benefit test in urban and some suburban areas, while the case for universal delivery in rural areas is not as strong.
    Keywords: Internet, property prices, capitalization, digital speed, universal access to broadband
    JEL: L1 H4 R2
    Date: 2014–09–05
  12. By: Banerjee, Simanti; de Vries, Frans P.; Hanley, Nick; van Soest, Daan
    Abstract: The Agglomeration Bonus (AB) is a mechanism to induce adjacent landowners to spatially coordinate their land use for the delivery of ecosystem services from farmland. This paper uses laboratory experiments to explore the performance of the AB in achieving the socially optimal land management configuration in a local network environment where the information available to subjects varies. The AB poses a coordination problem between two Nash equilibria: a Pareto dominant and a risk dominant equilibrium. The experiments indicate that if subjects are informed about both their direct and indirect neighbors’ actions, they are more likely to coordinate on the Pareto dominant equilibrium relative to the case where subjects have information about their direct neighbors’ action only. However, the extra information can only delay – and not prevent – the transition to the socially inferior risk dominant Nash equilibrium. In the long run, the AB mechanism may only be partially effective in enhancing delivery of ecosystem services on farming landscapes featuring local networks.
    Keywords: Agglomeration bonus, agri-environment schemes, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, information spillovers, Payments for Ecosystem Services, spatial coordination,
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Silvia Mendolia; Ian Walker
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between personality traits in adolescence and performance in high school using a large and recent cohort study. In particular, we investigate the impact of locus of control, self-esteem, and work ethics at age 15, on test scores at age 16, and on subject choices and subsequent performance at age 17-18. In particular, individuals with external locus of control or with low levels of self-esteem seem less likely to have good performance in test scores at age 16 and to pursue further studies at 17-18, especially in mathematics or science. We use matching methods to control for a rich set of adolescent and family characteristics and we find that personality traits do affect study choices and performance in test scores - particularly in mathematics and science. We explore the robustness of our results using the methodology proposed by Altonji et al. (2005) that consists in making hypotheses about the correlation between the unobservables that determine test scores and subjects’ choices and the unobservables that influence personality.
    Date: 2014
  14. By: Biller, Dan; Andres, Luis; Dappe, Matias Herrera
    Abstract: The South Asia region is home to the largest pool of individuals living under the poverty line, coupled with a fast-growing population. The importance of access to basic infrastructure services on welfare and the quality of life is clear. Yet the South Asia region's rates of access to infrastructure (sanitation, electricity, telecom, and transport) are closer to those of Sub-Saharan Africa, the one exception being water, where the South Asia region is comparable to East Asia and the pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean. The challenge of increasing access to these services across the South Asia region is compounded by the unequal distribution of existing access for households. This study improves understanding of this inequality by evaluating access across the region's physical (location), poverty, and income considerations. The paper also analyzes inequality of access across time, that is, across generations. It finds that while the regressivity of infrastructure services is clearly present in South Asia, the story that emerges is heterogeneous and complex. There is no simple explanation for these inequalities, although certainly geography matters, some household characteristics matter (like living in a rural area with a head of household who lacks education), and policy intent matters. If a poorer country or a poorer state can have better access to a given infrastructure service than in a richer country or a richer state, then there is hope that policy makers can adopt measures that will improve access in a manner in which prosperity is more widely shared.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development,Transport Economics Policy&Planning,Urban Slums Upgrading,Urban Services to the Poor,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2014–09–01
  15. By: Sarit Cohen Goldner (Bar-Ilan University); Gil S. Epstein (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: We focus on high school dropout rate among male and female immigrant children. We consider the relationship between the dropout rate and age of arrival of the immigrants. Using repeated cross sectional data from the Israeli Labor Force Surveys of 1996-2011 we show that the share of high school dropouts among immigrant children who arrived from the Former Soviet Union during 1989-1994 is at least as double than among natives in the same age group. Further, we show that among immigrant youth there is a monotonic negative relation between age at arrival and the share of high school dropouts. To understand our results we present a theoretical framework that links between age at arrival in the host country, language proficiency, quality of education and wages.
    Keywords: Immigrants,age at arrival, high-school dropouts.
    JEL: I21 J24 J61
    Date: 2014–07
  16. By: Christoph Kern
    Abstract: In the light of persistent regional disparities in Germany, a wide range of studies discuss the role of regional characteristics in explaining the mobility behavior of individuals. Although multi-stage mobility theories underline the importance of regional structures particularly within the first stage of the decision-making process - whereas the actual mobility behavior is often seen as being dependent on intervening factors and restrictions - only few studies consider contextual characteristics while modeling mobility intentions or dispositions. Above all the potentially varying subjective evaluation of local opportunity structures of different groups of actors is rarely taken into account in previous empirical investigations. In order to close this gap, the present study models mobility dispositions as a function of individual as well as regional covariates and also includes interactions between these two levels. With this approach, some light can be shed on the underlying mechanisms concerning regional structures in the decision-making process. The empirical findings show considerable main and interaction effects regarding the local labor market situation and, to a somewhat lesser extent, concerning the development of the regional economic climate. Formally, the empirical models are implemented using a multilevel proportional- as well as partial-proportional odds approach, whereby it is possible to relax the restrictive assumption of equal effects of the covariates at every stage of the ordered outcome variable. The incorporation of small scale structural features is enabled by the usage of SOEP-Geodata.
    Date: 2014
  17. By: Belot, Michele; James, Jonathan
    Abstract: This study investigates the issue of self-selection of stakeholders into participation and collaboration in policy-relevant experiments. We document and test the implications of self-selection in the context of randomised policy experiment we conducted in primary schools in the UK. The main questions we ask are (1) is there evidence of selection on key observable characteristics likely to matter for the outcome of interest and (2) does selection matter for the estimates of treatment eff ects. The experimental work consists in testing the e ffects of an intervention aimed at encouraging children to make more healthy choices at lunch. We recruited schools through local authorities and randomised schools across two incentive treatments and a control group. We document the selection taking place both at the level of local authorities and at the school level. Overall we nd mild evidence of selection on key observables such as obesity levels and socio-economic characteristics. We find evidence of selection along indicators of involvement in healthy lifestyle programmes at the school level, but the magnitude is small. Moreover, We do not find signifi cant di erences in the treatment e ffects of the experiment between variables which, albeit to a mild degree, are correlated with selection into the experiment. To our knowledge, this is the rst study providing direct evidence on the magnitude of self-selection in fi eld experiments.
    Keywords: Selection, Field Experiments, Randomised controlled trials, External Validity,
    Date: 2013
  18. By: Trew, Alex
    Abstract: Using the framework of Desmet and Rossi-Hansberg (forthcoming), we present a model of spatial takeoff that is calibrated using spatially-disaggregated occupational data for England in c.1710. The model predicts changes in the spatial distribution of agricultural and manufacturing employment which match data for c.1817 and 1861. The model also matches a number of aggregate changes that characterise the first industrial revolution. Using counterfactual geographical distributions, we show that the initial concentration of productivity can matter for whether and when an industrial takeoff occurs. Subsidies to innovation in either sector can bring forward the date of takeoff while subsidies to the use of land by manufacturing firms can significantly delay a takeoff because it decreases spatial concentration of activity.
    Keywords: Endogenous growth, first industrial revolution, economic geography, structural change,
    Date: 2013
  19. By: Takao Kato (Department of Economics Colgate University); Pian Shu (Harvard Business School, Technology and Operations Management Unit)
    Abstract: We study the impact of social identity on worker competition by exploiting the exogenous variations in workers' origins and the well-documented social divide between urban resident workers and rural migrant workers in large urban Chinese firms. We analyze data on weekly output, individual characteristics, and coworker composition for all weavers in an urban Chinese textile firm between April 2003 and March 2004. The firm's relative performance incentive scheme rewards a worker for outperforming her coworkers. We find that a worker does not act on the monetary incentives to outperform coworkers who share the same social identity, but does aggressively compete against coworkers with a different social identity. Our results highlight the important role of social identity in overcoming self-interest and enhancing intergroup competitions.
    Date: 2013–07
  20. By: Point E.; Le Quéau E.
    Abstract: The French housing market showed some recovery in 2013 amid furthermoderate price falls in the Paris area, Île de France and the rest of the country,at -1.5%, -1.6% and -1.4% respectively, and as interest rates stabilised athistorically low levels. The volume of transactions for existing homes, the mainmarket segment, grew again (+2.1%) and housing loan production reboundedsharply (+56%). However, the latter trend reflects an unprecedented volume ofloan transfers, 1 which accounted for 18.1% of production in 2013. Against thisbackdrop, total outstanding loans showed a relatively small increase comparedto the long-term trend (+3.9%). In general, the market remains characterised by strong fundamentals,particularly borrower solvency, which is the main lending criterion, althoughsome risk indicators stabilised at high levels: - The initial maturity of new loans fell relative to 2012, to 19.1 years, and theaverage residual maturity declined from 15.4 years to 15.3 years; - The share of borrowers with a debt service ratio (i.e. the ratio of repayment costs to income) of 35% and above in total production fell again in 2013, as did the average debt service ratio: at 30%, it showed its sharpest decrease since 2001, while remaining significantly above that year’s level (27.6%); - The proportion of fixed-rate loans in total production rose again slightly to 92.8%, and they continued to make up the vast majority of outstanding loans (83.2%). Uncapped floating-rate loans, which entail the highest risk for borrowers, were no more than 4.8% of total loans at end-2013. Interest-only loans represent only a tiny proportion of production (0.3% in 2013); - Almost every home loan is covered by a mortgage or lender’s lien, or by a guarantee issued by a credit institution or an insurance company; - The cost of risk on housing loans, which had slightly increased in 2012, dipped slightly to 0.065% of outstanding loans. However, there are certain trends that deserve attention, although some ofthem seem to reflect a change in borrower structure in favour of those withrelatively higher than average income and/or assets: - The average loan amount continued to rise in 2013 despite falling propertyprices throughout France. In addition, the average loan-to-value (LTV) ratio at origination, i.e. the loan amount relative to the property purchase price, having contracted in 2012, rebounded by more than 4 percentage points to 84.1%, its highest level since 2001. However, these two trends have not been matched by a rise in the average debt service ratio (see above). Moreover, the sharp rise in the average LTV at origination partly reflects some banks’ inadequate recording of loan transfers (see below) and the average LTV after origination may be estimated at just over 56% at the end of 2013, which is roughly unchanged relative to 2012; - The ratio of gross non-performing housing loans continued to rise in 2013, but, at just under 1.5%, it remained significantly below the average ratio of non-performing loans overall (3.8%), which grew much more sharply relative to 2012. Nevertheless, delinquency rates vary significantly from one segment to another, with first-time buyers in particular now exhibiting the highest levels (2.8%); - At the same time, the average coverage ratio for housing loans stabilised at around 27%. This is still significantly lower than the ratio for all types of loans to customers (55.4%), but it seems appropriate given the substantial guarantees provided to banks; - While banks benefit from borrowers’ relatively good level of insurance against death or work disability, they are still exposed to prolonged unemployment risk as only a small fraction of their customers has taken out job-loss insurance; The strong growth in loan transfers is a major focal point in this context. Suchtransfers, whose underlying objective of retaining customers and increasingdeposit taking from individuals appears hard to sustain over the long run giventhe relatively finite total volume of savings, should not lead to theunderestimation of borrower default risk, which must be properly reflected inlending rates. In addition, the annual survey of the French PrudentialSupervision and Resolution Authority (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et deRésolution - ACPR) reveals that some banks are not updating the valuation ofthe underlying properties when granting the new loans, which appearsinconsistent with a proper assessment of risk and should be corrected. Moregenerally, even though the aggregate value of financed property currentlyseems to comfortably exceed outstanding principal amounts, it is important thatbanks are able to regularly assess their tangible security throughout the life ofthe loans so that they are in a position to anticipate any sudden reversal in thehousing market Finally, while lower property prices and historically low lending rates havedriven some recovery in activity in the recent period, persistently difficultmacroeconomic conditions should encourage French banks to keep a closewatch on the development of risks within their housing loan portfolios.
    Keywords: housing loans, average loan amount, average loan maturity, loan-to-value ratio, debt-service ratio, non-performing loans and coverage, risk weighting.
    JEL: G21 R21 R31
    Date: 2014
  21. By: Evans, David K.; Popova, Anna
    Abstract: As evidence from rigorous impact evaluations grows in development, there have been more calls to complement impact evaluation analysis with cost analysis, so that policy makers can make investment decisions based on costs as well as impacts. This paper discusses important considerations for implementing cost-effectiveness analysis in the policy making process. The analysis is applied in the context of education interventions, although the findings generalize to other areas. First, the paper demonstrates a systematic method for characterizing the sensitivity of impact estimates. Second, the concept of context-specificity is applied to cost measurement: program costs vary greatly across contexts -- both within and across countries -- and with program complexity. The paper shows how adapting a single cost ingredient across settings dramatically shifts cost-effectiveness measures. Third, the paper provides evidence that interventions with fewer beneficiaries tend to have higher per-beneficiary costs, resulting in potential cost overestimates when extrapolating to large-scale applications. At the same time, recall bias may result in cost underestimates. The paper also discusses other challenges in measuring and extrapolating cost-effectiveness measures. For cost-effectiveness analysis to be useful, policy makers will require detailed, comparable, and timely cost reporting, as well as significant effort to ensure costs are relevant to the local environment.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Education For All,Teaching and Learning,Public Sector Expenditure Policy,Transport Economics Policy&Planning
    Date: 2014–09–01
  22. By: Tirtha Chatterjee (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)
    Abstract: Inter-state diversity has been a perennial feature of Indian agriculture. The study probes if per capita income in Indian agriculture has converged across states in the last four and a half decades. It finds strong evidence in favour of beta convergence but not in favour of sigma convergence. Spatial econometric techniques used in the study aid in identifying the impact of spatial neighbours on the growth of a state. Results indicate significant spatial dependence among states. The study also identifies the drivers of growth agriculture in the last four and a half decades and results indicate that infrastructure like roads, irrigation, electricity aid in growth and so do quality of human capital. Hence, investments targeting higher quality of infrastructure, both physical and human and efficient water management will aid in agricultural growth in India.
    Keywords: Agriculture, growth, regional convergence, spatial dependence
    JEL: O13 O18 R12 R15
    Date: 2014–09
  23. By: Raphael Parchet (Department of Economics, University of Siena, Italy); Massimiliano Vatiero (IRE and IdEP, Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland)
    Abstract: The identification of strategic interactions among local governments is typically plagued by endogeneity problems. This paper proposes an identification strategy that makes use of a multi-tier federal system. State-level fiscal reforms provide an arguably exogenous source of variation in tax rates of local jurisdictions. Moreover, state borders spatially bound the effects of state-level fiscal reforms across areas that are otherwise highly integrated. Using the fact that local jurisdictions located close to a state border have some neighbors in another state, I propose to instrument the (average) tax rate of neighbor jurisdictions with the state-level tax rate of the neighboring state. I use this instrument to identify strategic personal income tax setting by local jurisdictions in Switzerland. In contrast to most of the existing empirical literature and to all results based on standard instruments, I find that tax rates are strategic substitutes in most cases. Tax rates are found to be strategic complements only in the context of large tax cuts.
    Keywords: tax competition, fiscal federalism
    JEL: H24 H71 H77
    Date: 2014
  24. By: Brown, Alexandra (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)); Collins, J. Michael (School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison); Schmeiser, Maximilian D. (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)); Urban, Carly (Montana State University)
    Abstract: In the U.S., a number of states have mandated personal finance classes in public school curricula to address perceived deficiencies in financial decision-making competency. Despite the growth of financial and economic education provided in public schools, little is known about the effect of these programs on the credit behaviors of young adults. Using a panel of credit report data, we examine young adults in three states where personal financial education mandates were implemented in 2007: Georgia, Idaho, and Texas. We compare the credit scores and delinquency rates of young adults in each of these states pre- and post-implementation of the education to those of students in a synthetic control state and then bordering states without financial education. We find that young people who are in school after the implementation of a financial education requirement have higher relative credit scores and lower relative delinquency rates than those in control states.
    Keywords: Financial literacy; financial education; credit score; delinquency
    Date: 2014–09–03
  25. By: Nikos Bozionelos (Audencia Recherche - Audencia); Thomas Hoyland (HUBS - Hull University Business School - Hull University)
    Abstract: The article focuses on cultural diversity and whether it has economic value. Though it is undisputed that cultural diversity within a country increases entrepreneurial behaviour the question that remains is whether this heightened entrepreneurial activity results in greater economic achievements. The article reports on a study that was carried out within the London area that presented an ideal setting given that London is a "super-diverse" city with intense economic activity. The results showed that ethnic diversity in the team of owners and partners of firms was indeed associated with greater innovativeness. This was in line with the view that diversity brings a variety of perspectives, skills and ways of thinking that in turn are translated into greater novelty in products or services and ways of performing tasks. On the other hand, however, ethnic diversity at the top did not translate into success at bringing innovations to the market, neither to revenue growth. Neither did the idea that diversity would be especially beneficial for innovation in knowledge-intensive industries find support. Finally, the data suggested that immigrants become entrepreneurs by choice rather than due to lack of better alternatives. The findings of the study raise the serious question of why the greater innovativeness that diversity brings does not generally translate into market and economic success, which opens new avenues for future research.
    Keywords: Diversity; Super-diversity; Global cities; Innovativeness; Market success; Economic success; Discrimination; Financial institutions
    Date: 2014–05–01
  26. By: Cinzia Daraio (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"); Marco Diana (Politecnico di Torino, Italy); Flavia Di Costa (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"); Claudio Leporelli (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"); Giorgio Matteucci (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"); Alberto Nastasi (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza")
    Abstract: This paper proposes a self-contained reference for both policy makers and scholars who want to address the problem of efficiency and effectiveness of Local Public Transport (LPT) in a sound empirical way. Framing economic efficiency studies into a transport planning perspective, it offers a critical discussion of the existing empirical studies, relating them to the main methodological approaches used. The connection between such perspectives and Operations Research studies dealing with scheduling and tactical design of public transport services is also developed. The comprehensive classification of selected relevant dimensions of the empirical literature, namely inputs, outputs, kind of data analyzed, methods adopted and policy relevant questions addressed, and the systematic investigation of their interrelationships allows us to summarize the existing literature and to propose desirable developments and extensions for future studies in the field.
    Keywords: Public transport ; Variable and Total Cost Functions ; Efficiency ; Effectiveness ; OLS ; Translog ; DEA ; SFA ; Transport indicators ; Transit scheduling ; Tactical design
    Date: 2014
  27. By: David P. Byrne, "; " Gordon Leslie
    Abstract: This paper empirically studies howconsumers respond to retail gasoline price cycles. Our analys is uses new station-level price data from local markets in Ontario, Canada, and a unique market-level measure of consumer responsiveness based onweb traffic fromgasoline price reportingwebsites. We first document how stations use coordinated pricing strategies that give rise to large daily changes in price levels and dispersion in cycling gasoline markets. We then show consumer responsiveness exhibits cycles that move with these price fluctuations. Through a series of tests we further show that forward-looking stockpiling behavior by consumers plays a central role in generating these patterns.
    Keywords: Retail gasoline price cycles; Dynamic demand; Consumer search
    JEL: L11 L9 D22
    Date: 2013
  28. By: Lire Ersado (The World Bank - The World Bank); Jérémie Gignoux (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper documents inequalities in access to education and educational achievements at basic and secondary education levels in Egypt. Examination of three cohorts suggests that, although basic education has democratized, some inequities in access to general secondary and college education have persisted over the past two decades. The analysis of test-scores from TIMSS and national examinations over time shows that more than a quarter of learning outcome inequality is attributable to circumstances beyond the control of a student, such as socioeconomic background and birthplace. The high level of overall achievement inequality observed makes inequities in learning opportunities between Egyptian youth high compared to other countries in absolute levels. Moreover learning gaps among pupils from different backgrounds appear at early grades. High and unequal levels of expenditures in private tutoring and tracking into vocational and general secondary schools that depends on a high stakes examination substantially contribute to unequal learning outcomes.
    Keywords: Educational inequality ; Educational achievement ; Inequality of opportunity ; Tracking ; Private tutoring ; Egypt
    Date: 2014–09
  29. By: Joseph DeSalvo (Department of Economics, University of South Florida); Louis Eeckhoudt (Ieseg School of Management -- Lille)
    Abstract: The theory of the urban firm has been moribund for thirty years. We believe this is due to the perception that the theory cannot generate testable hypotheses. In fact, the theory yields unambiguous comparative static results. We find location and land use directly related to product price and inversely related to land rent. The theory is also amenable to risk analysis. We show that both product-price and land-rent risk lead the firm to choose less land and a location closer to the CBD than under certainty. We hope that our contribution rekindles interest in the theory of the urban firm.
    Date: 2013–11
  30. By: Schnepel, Kevin
    Abstract: I estimate the impact of employment opportunities on recidivism among 1.7 million offenders released from a California state prison between 1993 and 2009. The institutional structure of the California criminal justice system as well as location-, skill-, and industry-specific job accession data provide a unique framework to identify a causal effect of labor demand on criminal behavior. I find that increases in construction and manufacturing employment opportunities at the time of release are associated with significantly lower recidivism rates. Other types of employment opportunities, including those typically accessible to individuals with criminal records but characterized by much lower wages, do not influence recidivism rates. My results illustrate the importance of considering job quality when estimating the impact of employment opportunities on crime and when designing programs to help former inmates successfully reenter noninstitutionalized society.
    Date: 2014–09
  31. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Banks and Banking Reform Transport Economics Policy and Planning Social Protections and Labor - Labor Policies Economic Theory and Research Roads and Highways Finance and Financial Sector Development Transport Macroeconomics and Economic Growth
    Date: 2014–06
  32. By: McGuinness, Anne (Central Bank of Ireland)
    Abstract: This Economic Letter analyses the performance of permanently modified mortgage loans, of which there were some 38,086 in the domestic Irish banks at end-2013. For modified loans with prior default history (18,740), 55 per cent met the modified repayment amount at end-2013, up from 28 per cent in 2011. The proportion of default borrowers meeting modified repayments after three and twelve months is converging, at 68 and 60 per cent, respectively for modifications issued in 2013q4. This could be due to better loan modification strategies or the improving economic backdrop. Positive trends are welcomed, however more work is needed to address the large number of loans still in default but which have not been modified (28,585 in the Irish domestic banks as at end-2013), and the high proportion of partial (29 per cent) and non-paying (11 per cent) modified loans.
    Date: 2014–08
  33. By: Yongming Huang (Institute for Development of Central China and Center for Industrial Development and Regional Competitiveness, Wuhan University); Anthony T. Flegg (Department of Accounting, Economics, and Finance, University of the West of England); Timo Tohmo (School of Business and Economics, University of Jyväskylä)
    Abstract: Data for the Chinese province of Hubei are used to assess the performance of Kronenberg’s CHARM, a method that takes explicit account of cross-hauling when constructing regional input-output tables. A key determinant of cross-hauling is held to be the heterogeneity of the products of individual sectors, which is estimated using national data. However, contrary to the authors’ earlier findings for Finland, CHARM does not generate reliable estimates of Hubei’s sectoral exports, imports and volume of trade. It is crucial, therefore, especially in relatively small regions, to make adequate allowance for any known divergence between regional and national technology and heterogeneity.
    Keywords: regional input-output, non-survey methhods, CHARM, cross-hauling, China
    JEL: C67 C83 R15
    Date: 2014–07
  34. By: Fabio Lamantia; Mario Pezzino
    Date: 2014

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