nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2014‒12‒19
34 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Border Eff ects in House Prices By Martin Micheli; Jan Rouwendal; Jasper Dekkers
  2. House prices and land prices under the microscope: a property-level analysis for the Washington, DC area By Edward J. Pinto; Stephen D. Oliner; Morris A. Davis
  3. Criminality spread: a "Boomerang effect" of public transport improvements? By Carlos Augusto Olarte Bacares
  4. Do Tenant- and Place-Based Rental Housing Programs Complement Each Other? Evidence from Ohio By Barkley, Brett; Higgins, Amy; Richter, Francisca
  5. Has House Price Growth in Canadian Cities been Excessive? By Allen Head; Huw Lloyd-Ellis
  6. Cultural diversity and entrepreneurship in England and Wales By Andres Rodríguez-Pose; Daniel Hardy
  7. The ins and outs of mortgage debt during the housing boom and bust By Bhutta, Neil
  8. Working Paper 07-14 - Modal choice for travel to work and school - Recent trends and regional differences in Belgium By Karen Geurts
  9. In a Small Moment: Class Size and Moral Hazard in the Mezzogiorno By Joshua D. Angrist; Erich Battistin; Daniela Vuri
  10. The Demand for Effective Charter Schools By Christopher R. Walters
  11. Household wealth in the euro area: the importance of intergenerational transfers, homeownership and house price dynamics By Mathä, Thomas Y.; Porpiglia, Alessandro; Ziegelmeyer, Michael
  12. Are public transport improvements endogenous with respect to employment and income location in a city? By Carlos Augusto Olarte Bacares
  13. The Great Mortgaging: Housing Finance, Crises, and Business Cycles By Òscar Jordà; Moritz Schularick; Alan M. Taylor
  14. Pathways to Education: An Integrated Approach to Helping At-Risk High School Students By Philip Oreopoulos; Robert S. Brown; Adam M. Lavecchia
  15. Public Employment Policies and Regional Unemployment Differences By Caponi, Vincenzo
  16. The Impact of Short Term Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution on Cognitive Performance and Human Capital Formation By Victor Lavy; Avraham Ebenstein; Sefi Roth
  17. Collateral constraints and rental markets By Hippolyte D'Albis; Eleni Iliopulos
  18. Allergy Test: Seasonal Allergens and Performance in School By Marcotte, Dave E.
  19. Too Busy for School? The Effect of Athletic Participation on Absenteeism By Cuffe, Harold E.; Waddell, Glen R.; Bignell, Wesley
  20. Uncovering Our Self-Imposed Limits: Changes in Loan-to-Value and The Mortgage Market By Daniel Oda; Fernando Sepúlveda
  21. Does Management Matter In Schools? By Nicholas Bloom; Renata Lemos; Raffaella Sadun; John Van Reenen
  22. A Journey Home: What Drives How Long People Are Homeless? By Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Herault, Nicolas; Scutella, Rosanna; Tseng, Yi-Ping
  23. The Impact of a One Laptop per Child Program on Learning: Evidence from Uruguay By De Melo, Gioia; Machado, Alina; Miranda, Alfonso
  24. Labour market outcomes in the Roma population of Spain By Aisa, Rosa; Larramona, Gemma
  25. House Prices, Capital Inflows and Macroprudential Policy By Mendicino, Caterina; Punzi, Maria Teresa
  26. Property debt overhang: the case of Irish SMEs By McCann, Fergal; McIdnoe-Calder, Tara
  27. Sorting Between and Within Industries: A Testable Model of Assortative Matching By John M. Abowd; Francis Kramarz; Sébastien Pérez-Duarte; Ian M. Schmutte
  28. Transitivity matters. Norms Enforcement and diffusion using different neighborhoods in CAs. By Bertazzi, Ilaria
  29. School Size Policies: A Literature Review By Macarena Ares Abalde
  30. On the Question of Land Acquisition for Private Development: Lessons from the US, India, and China By Subhash C. Ray
  31. Why You Can't Find a Taxi in the Rain and Other Labor Supply Lessons from Cab Drivers By Farber, Henry
  32. The Local Government Crisis 2007-2014: When China's Financial Management Faltered By Leo F. Goodstadt
  33. Homophily, Group Size, and the Diffusion of Political Information in Social Networks: Evidence from Twitter By Yosh Halberstam; Brian Knight
  34. Cluster Policies and Firm Selection: Evidence from France By Lionel Fontagné; Pamina Koenig; Florian Mayneris; Sandra Poncet

  1. By: Martin Micheli; Jan Rouwendal; Jasper Dekkers
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of the Dutch-German border on house prices. In the last 40 years the development of house prices in the Netherlands and Germany has been substantially different. While the Netherlands have been hit by two real estate cycles, prices in Germany have been extraordinary stable. We develop a model for studying house prices and the impact of the border. Then we study the development of Dutch house prices close to the German border in the period 1985-2013. Next, combining German and Dutch real estate datasets, we study the jump in the housing price occurring at the border. Using different estimation strategies, we find that ask prices of comparable housing drop by about 16% when one crosses the Dutch-German border. Given that price discounts from the last observed asking price are substantially larger in Germany, we interpret our findings as indicating the willingness of Dutch households to pay up to 26% higher house prices to live among the Dutch.
    Keywords: House prices; European integration; border effects
    JEL: R31 F15 R21
    Date: 2014–10
  2. By: Edward J. Pinto (American Enterprise Institute); Stephen D. Oliner (American Enterprise Institute); Morris A. Davis (American Enterprise Institute)
    Abstract: Our data show that land prices were more volatile than house prices during the recent boom/bust cycle. In areas where land was inexpensive in 2000, the land share of property value jumped during the boom, and this rise in the landshare was a useful predictor of the subsequent crash in house prices. These results highlight the value of focusing on land for assessing house-price risk.
    Keywords: Housing finance, housing bubble, housing market
    JEL: R
    Date: 2014–05
  3. By: Carlos Augusto Olarte Bacares (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: The relationship between accessibility or the degree of improvement of urban transport and criminality has been underestimated and close to forgotten. This paper aims to reveal the importance of public transport policies in the evolution of crime configuration in a city. The hypothesis that the probability of transport improvements in a zone depends on some of its socio-economic characteristics is adopted. The use of the propensity score matching technique reveals that the presence of improvements of public transport in a zone of the city has a direct and significant impact on the increase of some types of crime. Likewise, spatial econometrics results expose that crime tends to be contagious in neighbouring zones. The presence of the Transmilenio system in Bogota may share out criminality to other zones of the city. Negative externalities like the better mobility of offenders and, then, their possible choice to expand their criminal activities to new zones, can spoil the positive effects of enhancement of public transport. Far from suggesting no developing public transport or isolating some "dangerous" neighbourhoods or inhabitants, this article shows that improvement of public transport may not only generate positive externalities; policy makers should take into consideration the mutation and shift of criminal behaviours in order to identify possible solutions such as the construction of more establishments providing health, welfare and sporting activities, as is evoked in the results. In this way, the "boomerang effect" of the improvement to transport will be reduced.
    Keywords: Urban public transports improvements; propensity score matching; crime contagion; spatial dependence
    Date: 2014–03
  4. By: Barkley, Brett (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland); Higgins, Amy (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland); Richter, Francisca (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)
    Abstract: We characterize Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) use in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units with the intent to explore whether the subsidy overlap responds to needs unmet by the HCV program alone. Lacking the data to contrast HCV use in and out of LIHTC units, we turn to a comparison of HCV users in LIHTC units relative to the overall HCV population. Our analysis of 2011 tenant-level LIHTC data from Ohio and HCV data from HUD suggests placed-based vouchers, which must be redeemed in an LIHTC unit, are more likely allocated to extremely low-income or special-needs households. On the other hand, HCV users who freely choose to redeem their voucher in an LIHTC unit are similar to the overall HCV population in terms of incomes and ethnicity, although they tend to be older. There is little evidence that using both programs in concert enables access to better neighborhoods for HCV users: households across both programs live in neighborhoods that tend to have poverty rates above 20 percent, with HCV-LIHTC users actually living in higher-poverty neighborhoods in most urban Ohio counties when compared to the HCV population as a whole.
    Keywords: Affordable Housing; Housing Choice Vouchers; Low-Income Housing; Tax Credit; Housing Policy; Neighborhood Quality; Poverty
    JEL: H71 R23 R38
    Date: 2014–11–19
  5. By: Allen Head (Queen's University); Huw Lloyd-Ellis (Queen's University)
    Abstract: The dramatic rise in Canada's average house price to average rent ratio has induced some commentators to argue that a speculative bubble is under way the collapse of which will have a calamitous effect on the economy. Others have argued, however, that the currently high level of house prices may be rationalized by the low cost of financing, given the decline in interest rates over the last two decades. In this article, we assess these arguments through the lens of a simple asset pricing model applied to city-level data. We quantify the etxent to which excess growth in Canadian house prices depends on the nature of the current regime governing real interest rates, expections of rent growth in different cities and variations in property taxes.
    Keywords: Price-rent ratio, Canadian cities, asset pricing
    JEL: E30 R31 R10
    Date: 2014–11
  6. By: Andres Rodríguez-Pose; Daniel Hardy
    Abstract: British regions are becoming increasingly culturally diverse, with migration as the main driver. Does this diversity benefit local economies? This research examines the impact of cultural diversity on the entrepreneurial performance of UK regions. We focus on two largely overlooked factors, the measurement of diversity, and the skills composition of diverse populations. First, more that demonstrating the importance of cultural diversity for entrepreneurship, we show that the type of cultural diversity measured is a decisive factor. Second, the skill composition of diverse populations is also key. Diversity amongst the ranks of the highly skilled exerts the strongest impact upon start-up intensities. The empirical investigation employs spatial regression techniques and carriers out several robustness checks, including instrumental variables specifications, to corroborate our findings.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, cultural diversity, high-skilled migration, knowledge spillovers
    JEL: J24 L26 M13 F22
    Date: 2014–11
  7. By: Bhutta, Neil (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.))
    Abstract: From 1999 to 2013, U.S. mortgage debt doubled and then contracted sharply. Our understanding of the factors driving this volatility in the stock of debt is hampered by a lack of data on mortgage flows. Using comprehensive, individual-level panel data on consumer liabilities, I estimate detailed mortgage inflows and outflows. During the boom, inflows from real estate investors tripled, far outpacing growth from other segments such as first-time homebuyers. During the bust, although defaults and deleveraging are popular explanations for the debt decline, a collapse in inflows has been the major driver. Inflow declines across counties have been associated not just with house price declines, but also with rising unemployment and higher minority population shares. Finally, inflow declines reflect, in part, a dramatic decline in first-time homebuying. First-time homebuying fell among both high and low credit score individuals, but much more precipitously for low score individuals. Further analysis suggests that the differential decline by credit score likely reflects markedly tightened credit supply.
    Keywords: Mortgage debt; mortgage default; first-time homebuyer; credit supply
    Date: 2014–07–23
  8. By: Karen Geurts
    Abstract: Recent transport research suggests that car use is reaching its saturation level in many advanced economies. Particularly in metropolitan areas, car use is declining in favour of slow and public transport modes. Also young adults are found to have shifted travel preferences away from private cars. Looking at changes in transport modes for travel to work and school, we find similar trends in Belgium. The results are based on recent mobility data from the Belgian Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Socio-Economic Survey of 2001.
    JEL: R41
    Date: 2014–10–15
  9. By: Joshua D. Angrist (MIT Economics); Erich Battistin (Queen Mary University of London and FBK-IRVAPP); Daniela Vuri (University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: An Instrumental Variables (IV) identication strategy that exploits statutory class size caps shows signficant achievement gains in smaller classes in Italian primary schools. Gains from small classes are driven mainly by schools in Southern Italy, suggesting a substantial return to class size reductions for residents of the Mezzogiorno. In addition to high unemployment and other social problems, however, the Mezzogiorno is distinguished by pervasive manipulation of standardized test scores, a finding revealed in a natural experiment that randomly assigned school monitors. IV estimates also show that small classes increase score manipulation. Estimates of a causal model for achievement with two endogenous variables, class size and score manipulation, suggest that the effects of class size on measured achievement are driven entirely by the relationship between class size and manipulation. Dishonest scoring appears to be a consequence of teacher shirking more than teacher cheating. These findings show how consequential score manipulation can arise even in assessment systems with few NCLB-style accountability concerns.
    Keywords: Class Size Effects, Score Manipulation, Quasi-experimental methods, Test scores
    JEL: C26 C31 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2014–11
  10. By: Christopher R. Walters
    Abstract: This paper uses a structural model of school choice and academic achievement to study the demand for charter schools in Boston, Massachusetts, with an emphasis on comparative advantage in school choice. I combine an optimal portfolio choice model of charter school application and attendance decisions with a selection correction approach that links students' school choices to the achievement gains generated by charter attendance. To estimate the model, I use instrumental variables derived from randomized entrance lotteries, together with a second set of instruments based on distance to charter schools. The estimates show that charter schools reduce achievement gaps between high- and low-achieving groups, so disadvantaged students and low-achievers have a comparative advantage in the charter sector. Higher-income students and students with high prior achievement have the strongest demand for charter schools, however, which implies that preferences for charters are inversely related to potential achievement gains. The structural estimates show a similar pattern of selection on unobservables. These findings imply that students do not sort into charter schools on the basis of comparative advantage in academic achievement; instead, disadvantaged students are less likely to apply to charter schools despite larger potential achievement gains. I use simulations of an equilibrium school choice model to quantify the consequences of this demand-side pattern for the effects of charter school expansion. The results suggest that in the absence of significant behavioral or institutional changes, the effects of charter expansion may be limited as much by demand as by supply.
    JEL: C25 I21 J2 J24
    Date: 2014–10
  11. By: Mathä, Thomas Y.; Porpiglia, Alessandro; Ziegelmeyer, Michael
    Abstract: Results from the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey reveal substantial variation in household net wealth across euro area countries that await explanation. This paper focuses on three main factors for the wealth accumulation process, i) homeownership, ii) housing value appreciation and iii) intergenerational transfers. We show that these three factors, in addition to the common household and demographic factors, are relevant for the net wealth accumulation process in all euro area countries, and moreover that, using various decomposition techniques, differences therein, in particular in homeownership rates and house price dynamics, are important for explaining wealth differences across euro area countries. JEL Classification: D31, E21, O52, C42
    Keywords: euro area, homeownership, household wealth, inheritance, property prices
    Date: 2014–07
  12. By: Carlos Augusto Olarte Bacares (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Previous research has proved the existence of a causal relationship between the concentration of jobs in a city and the income of inhabitants. Other researchers have studied the close and nearly causal relationship between those variables and the infrastructure such as highways in different zones of a city. Nevertheless, no one study has taken into account the degree to which each area of a city benefits from the latest improvements to public transport. The aim of this research is to analyse the relationship between the size of the labour market, the income and the employment concentration with respect to improvements to public transport (Transmilenio) in Bogota. The degree of enhancement of public transport in a zone is suspected to be endogenous. Through the use of OLS estimations and then 2SLS, the validation of endogeneity provides sufficient tools to infer causality of improvement of public transport. The size of companies, defined by the number of jobs they offer, plays the role of instrumental variable. In essence, the number of jobs, the size of the labour market and income are largely defined by the level of improvement to urban public transport in each zone of the city but the causality relationship changes depending on the size of companies established in each zone. In the case of Bogota, public transport improvements seams to have a causality relationship with the income of inhabitants in each zone and the number of jobs, and this changes with respect to the size of enterprises. In contrast, the size of the labour market, defined as the number of jobs reachable in a specific time, is not determined by the degree of the presence of public transport enhancement.
    Keywords: Causality; improvements of public transports; endogeneity; effective size of labor market; size of enterprises
    Date: 2014–02
  13. By: Òscar Jordà; Moritz Schularick; Alan M. Taylor
    Abstract: This paper unveils a new resource for macroeconomic research: a long-run dataset covering disaggregated bank credit for 17 advanced economies since 1870. The new data show that the share of mortgages on banks' balance sheets doubled in the course of the 20th century, driven by a sharp rise of mortgage lending to households. Household debt to asset ratios have risen substantially in many countries. Financial stability risks have been increasingly linked to real estate lending booms which are typically followed by deeper recessions and slower recoveries. Housing finance has come to play a central role in the modern macroeconomy.
    JEL: C14 C38 C52 E32 E37 E44 E51 G01 G21 N10 N20
    Date: 2014–09
  14. By: Philip Oreopoulos; Robert S. Brown; Adam M. Lavecchia
    Abstract: Pathways to Education is a comprehensive youth support program developed to improve academic outcomes among those entering high school from very poor social-economic backgrounds. The program includes proactive mentoring to each student, daily tutoring, group activities, career counseling, and college transition assistance, combined with immediate and long-term incentives to reinforce a minimum degree of mandatory participation. The program began in 2001 for entering Grade 9 students living in Regent Park, the largest public housing project in Toronto, and expanded in 2007 to include two additional Toronto projects. In all three locations, participation rates quickly rose, to more than 85 percent, even though parents and students were required to commit in writing to conditions and high expectations of the program. Comparing students from other housing projects before and after the introduction of the program, high school graduation and post secondary enrollment rates rose dramatically for Pathways eligible students, in some cases by more than 50 percent.
    JEL: I2 I3 J24
    Date: 2014–08
  15. By: Caponi, Vincenzo (Ryerson University)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the existing literature on public employment showing that the wage setting policy of the public sector can be an important determinant of private employment and unemployment. I look at the case of geographically homogeneous wages across regions with different private sector productivity, and show that public employment generates a crowding out effect against private employment. This effect is larger the larger is the public sector share of total employment. I present a two region two sector model based on Pissarides (2000) heterogeneous search and matching model where vacancies are posted by the private and the public sector as in Quadrini and Trigari (2007) and Gomes (2014). I calibrate the model to the Italian labor market and show that the uniform wage setting policy adopted by the central government, in the presence of productivity unbalance across regions, is responsible for up to 40% of the unemployment gap between the North and South. Policy experiments suggest that reducing the size of public employment reduces unemployment in lower productive regions while allowing for regional wage setting in the public sector almost eliminates the unemployment differential.
    Keywords: Italy, European unemployment, regional unemployment, public employment
    JEL: E24 J60
    Date: 2014–09
  16. By: Victor Lavy; Avraham Ebenstein; Sefi Roth
    Abstract: Cognitive performance is critical to productivity in many occupations and potentially linked to pollution exposure. We evaluate this potentially important relationship by estimating the effect of pollution exposure on standardized test scores among Israeli high school high-stakes tests (2000-2002). Since students take multiple exams on multiple days in the same location after each grade, we can adopt a fixed effects strategy estimating models with city, school, and student fixed effects. We focus on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide (CO), which are considered to be two of the most dangerous forms of air pollution. We find that while PM2.5 and CO levels are only weakly correlated with each other, both exhibit a robust negative relationship with test scores. We also find that PM2.5, which is thought to be particularly damaging for asthmatics, has a larger negative impact on groups with higher rates of asthma. For CO, which affects neurological functioning, the effect is more homogenous across demographic groups. Furthermore, we find that exposure to either pollutant is associated with a significant decline in the probability of not receiving a Bagrut certificate, which is required for college entrance in Israel. The results suggest that the gain from improving air quality may be underestimated by a narrow focus on health impacts. Insofar as air pollution may lead to reduced cognitive performance, the consequences of pollution may be relevant for a variety of everyday activities that require mental acuity. Moreover, by temporarily lowering the productivity of human capital, high pollution levels lead to allocative inefficiency as students with lower human capital are assigned a higher rank than their more qualified peers. This may lead to inefficient allocation of workers across occupations, and possibly a less productive workforce.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2014–10
  17. By: Hippolyte D'Albis (INED - Paris School of Economics - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne); Eleni Iliopulos (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)
    Abstract: We study a benchmark model with collateral constraints and heterogeneous discounting. Contrarily to a rich literature on borrowing limits, we allow for rental markets. By incorporating this missing market, we show that impatient agents choose to rent rather than to own the collateral in the neighborhood of the deterministic steady state. Consequently, impatient agents are not indebted and borrowing constraints play no role in local dynamics.
    Keywords: heterogeneous discounting; collateral constraints; rental market; credit market.
    Date: 2013–12–01
  18. By: Marcotte, Dave E. (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
    Abstract: Seasonal pollen allergies affect approximately 1 in 5 school age children. Clinical research has established that these allergies result in large and consistent decrements in cognitive functioning, problem solving ability and speed, focus and energy. However, the impact of seasonal allergies on achievement in schools has received no attention at all from economists. Here, I use data on daily pollen counts merged with school district data to assess whether variation in the airborne pollen that induces seasonal allergies is associated with performance on state reading and math assessments. I find substantial and robust effects: A one standard deviation in ambient pollen levels reduces the percent of 3rd graders passing ELA assessments by between 0.2 and 0.3 standard deviations, and math assessments by between about 0.3 and 0.4 standard deviations. I discuss the empirical limitations as well as policy implications of this reduced-form estimate of pollen levels in a community setting.
    Keywords: education, health, air quality
    JEL: I10 I20 I21
    Date: 2014–10
  19. By: Cuffe, Harold E. (Victoria University of Wellington); Waddell, Glen R. (University of Oregon); Bignell, Wesley (University of Washington)
    Abstract: While existing research supports that participation in high-school athletics is associated with better education and labour-market outcomes, the mechanisms through which these benefits accrue are not well established. We use data from a large public-school district to retrieve an estimate of the causal effect of high-school athletic participation on absenteeism. We show that active competition decreases absences, with most of the effect driven by reductions in unexcused absences – truancy among active male athletes declines significantly, with the effects larger in earlier grades and for black and Hispanic boys. Strong game-day effects are also evident, in both boys and girls, as truancy declines on game days are offset with higher rates of absenteeism the following day. Addressing the effects on academic performance, we find significant heterogeneity in the response to active athletic participation by race, gender and family structure, with boys not in dual-parent households exhibiting small academic improvements in semesters in which they experienced greater athletic participation.
    Keywords: education, truancy, attendance, athletes, sport
    JEL: I21 L83
    Date: 2014–08
  20. By: Daniel Oda; Fernando Sepúlveda
    Abstract: We analyze the possible effects of eventual changes in regulatory limits to the loan-to-value ratio (LTV) for residential mortgage loans in Chile. In Chile there are three major types of mortgage loans, but the market is concentrated in the type without regulatory limits to the LTV. However, most mortgage loans are still granted in the 80%-90% LTV range, suggesting that a “no money down” credit policy is infrequent in residential mortgages. Our analysis allows us to infer that a nonnegligible fraction of mortgage loans are paired with an unsecured consumer loan to finance their down payment. This implies not only to a higher effective interest rate, but also a significantly higher financial burden during the first few years of the mortgage. Thus, imposing such a constraint on the LTV ratio could prove riskier than expected. Given that even in the absence of restrictions we encounter these unsecured bridge loans, this practice may be exacerbated upon imposing regulatory limitations. Finally, assuming an inelastic supply for residential mortgage loans we estimate that imposing an 80% LTV ceiling would increase the cost of credit by 17-26 basis points and weaken the loan growth rate by 40 basis points, approximately. Complementing LTV restrictions with policies that restrict the use of bridge loans is important if this tool is to be used to limit the buildup of financial risk.
    Date: 2014–08
  21. By: Nicholas Bloom; Renata Lemos; Raffaella Sadun; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: We collect data on operations, targets and human resources management practices in over 1,800 schools educating 15-year-olds in eight countries. Overall, we show that higher management quality is strongly associated with better educational outcomes. The UK, Sweden, Canada and the US obtain the highest management scores closely followed by Germany, with a gap to Italy, Brazil and then finally India. We also show that autonomous government schools (i.e. government funded but with substantial independence like UK academies and US charters) have significantly higher management scores than regular government schools and private schools. Almost half of the difference between the management scores of autonomous government schools and regular government schools is accounted for by differences in leadership of the principal and better governance.
    Keywords: Management, pupil achievement, autonomy, principals
    JEL: L2 M2 I2
    Date: 2014–11
  22. By: Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. (University of Melbourne); Herault, Nicolas (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Scutella, Rosanna (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Tseng, Yi-Ping (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)
    Abstract: This paper uses survival analysis to model exits over time from two alternative notions of homelessness. We are unique in being able to account for time-invariant, unobserved heterogeneity. We find that duration dependence has an inverted U-shape with exit rates initially increasing (indicating positive duration dependence) and then falling. Like previous researchers, we find results consistent with negative duration dependence in models which ignore unobserved heterogeneity. Exit rates out of homelessness fall with age and with the education level of mothers. Women are more likely than men to exit homelessness when it is broadly conceived, but appear to be less likely to exit when it is narrowly defined. Finally, higher paternal education and exemptions from welfare-related activity requirements due to either mental or physical health conditions are all associated with higher exit rates.
    Keywords: homelessness, housing insecurity, survival analysis, duration dependence
    JEL: I3 R2 C4
    Date: 2014–09
  23. By: De Melo, Gioia (Banco de México); Machado, Alina (IECON, Universidad de la República); Miranda, Alfonso (CIDE, Mexico City)
    Abstract: We present evidence on the impact on students' math and reading scores of one of the largest deployments of an OLPC program and the only one implemented at a national scale: Plan Ceibal in Uruguay. Unlike previous work in the field, we have unique data that allow us to know the exact date of laptop delivery for every student in the sample. This gives us the ability to use a continuous treatment, where days of exposure are used as a treatment intensity measure. We use a panel data framework including fixed effects at the individual level. Given that there is some variation in the date of laptop delivery across individuals within the same school, we can identify the effect of the program net of potential heterogeneity in the rate schools gain improvements on student's achievement over time in the absence of the OLPC program across the country (i.e. we allow each school to follow a different learning growth curve over time due to unobservable time-varying heterogeneity). We also run an alternative specification where we allow for different learning growth curves over time between schools located in Montevideo and the rest of Uruguay. Our results suggest that in the first two years of its implementation the program had no effects on math and reading scores. The zero effect could be explained by the fact that laptops in class are mainly used to search for information on the internet.
    Keywords: impact evaluation, education, technology
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2014–09
  24. By: Aisa, Rosa; Larramona, Gemma
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to identify the drivers of labor market outcomes for the Spanish Roma population. Our analysis reveals that discrimination and education have an influence on the labor market outcomes of this ethnic group, and social networks also play a key role, via ethnic and cross-ethnic social contacts and family background. Discrimination and family background have a significant effect on unemployment rates of this population, while education and ethnic social contacts have an important influence on the levels of self-employment.
    Keywords: Spanish Roma population, labor market, discrimination, social networks
    JEL: J15 J24 J71
    Date: 2014–11–11
  25. By: Mendicino, Caterina; Punzi, Maria Teresa
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the monetary and macroprudential policies that mitigate the procyclicality arising from the interlinkage4s between current account deficits and financial vulnerabilities. We develop a two-country dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with heterogeneous households and collateralised debt. The model predicts that external shocks are important in driving current account deficits that are coupled with run-ups in house prices and household dept. In this context, optimal policy features an interestrate response to credit and a LTV ration that countercyclically responds to house price dynamics. By allowing an interest-rate response to changes in financial variables, the monetary policy authority improves social welfare, because of the large welfare gains accrued to the savers. The additional use of a countercyclical LTV ratio that responds to house prices, increases the ability of borrowers to smooth consumption over the cycle and is Pareto improving. Domestic and foreign shocks account for a similar fraction of the welfare gains delivered by such a policy.
    Keywords: house prices,financial frictions,global imbalances,saving glut,dynamic loan-to value ratios,monetary policy,optimized simple rules
    JEL: C33 E51 F32 G21
    Date: 2014
  26. By: McCann, Fergal (Central Bank of Ireland); McIdnoe-Calder, Tara (Central Bank of Ireland)
    Abstract: The detrimental impacts of credit booms, property booms and firm over-leverage are well-established in a growing literature highlighting their effects on household consump- tion, firm investment and economic growth. The link between credit-fuelled property market booms and firms' ability to service their debts has however up to this point not been studied. Using a unique data set on the property and "core" enterprise debts of Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at December 2013, we highlight the extent to which Irish non-real-estate SMEs have borrowed for property investment purposes. We show that the existence of such property-related debts is a crucial determinant of the probability of SME loan default, suggesting a large property-related debt overhang for these firms. We extend the analysis by showing that the intensity of firms' property- related borrowings has an additional impact on the probability of loan default. In doing so, we highlight an additional channel through which credit-driven property booms can have long-lasting harmful eects on economic growth prospects.
    Keywords: Property markets, SMEs, credit risk, firm leverage.
    Date: 2014–10
  27. By: John M. Abowd; Francis Kramarz; Sébastien Pérez-Duarte; Ian M. Schmutte
    Abstract: We test for sorting of workers between and within industrial sectors in a directed search model with coordination frictions. We fit the model to sector-specific vacancy and output data along with publicly-available statistics that characterize the distribution of worker and employer wage heterogeneity across sectors. Our empirical method is general and can be applied to a broad class of assignment models. The results indicate that industries are the loci of sorting-more productive workers are employed in more productive industries. The evidence confirms assortative matching can be present even when worker and employer components of wage heterogeneity are weakly correlated.
    JEL: C1 E24 J24 J31
    Date: 2014–09
  28. By: Bertazzi, Ilaria (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The study of norms' self-enforcement and diffusion is one of the most acknowledged application of ABMs. Peer pressure, limited knowledge and communication channels are some of the most accounted elements in this kind of modelization, and for these same reasons, cellular automata models are very popular for the subject. A very interesting model in this ambit is Centola, et al. (2005). "The Emperor's New Clothes", the popular fable, is used as example of a society where stable compliance to a norm that the majority does not want to observe is made possible by the presence of a committed minority that triggers compliance cascades through peer-pressure. This paper, starting from the original code, unfolds the concept of "cascade” phenomena. Changing the order of procedure and especially the neighborhood structure is not only a way to test results robustness; the transitivity structure of two different neighborhoods (Von Neumann and Moore neighborhood), on which the local rule is constructed, develops completely different emergent results, under similar initial conditions. Results from this work give insights on how code design strongly changes outcomes interpretation, in particular the concepts of “cascade” and “diffusion”.
    Date: 2014–10
  29. By: Macarena Ares Abalde
    Abstract: Recent demographic, economic and political trends have placed the issue of school size at the heart of school effectiveness and efficiency discussions. The subject of school size is particularly salient in remote and rural areas where the viability of small schools has been questioned. In spite of the relevance of school size policies, the literature on this issue is quite fragmented with few studies taking a comprehensive view on the implications of school size policies. This literature review attempts to bridge different strands of relevant research and describes existing country practices in order to provide a broader picture of the benefits and costs associated with different school sizes. The paper describes the different trends that have affected school enrolment and how different countries have managed school size policies, with a particular focus on school consolidation. It discusses the consequences of school consolidation and the alternatives to consolidation when schools are facing declining enrolment. It also reviews the different mechanisms through which school size affects the quality and efficiency of schools, and the existing empirical evidence on these effects.<BR>Les récentes évolutions démographiques, économiques et politiques ont placé la question de la taille des écoles au centre du débat sur l’efficacité et l’efficience du système éducatif. Le sujet de la taille des écoles est particulièrement important dans les régions isolées et rurales où la viabilité des petites écoles est mise en cause. Malgré l’importance des mesures visant à réguler la taille des écoles, la littérature sur ce sujet reste divisée et peu d’études présentent une vue d’ensemble de ces politiques et de leurs implications. Cette revue de littérature vise à rapprocher les différents courants de la recherche sur ce sujet et à examiner les pratiques existantes afin de présenter une vue exhaustive des coûts et bénéfices qu’impliquent différentes tailles d’écoles. Ce papier décrit les facteurs sous-tendant l’évolution des inscriptions ainsi que les politiques visant à réguler la taille des écoles menées dans différents pays. Il analyse les conséquences des politiques de consolidation d’écoles et des options alternatives à la consolidation lorsque les inscriptions sont en baisse. Il examine également les résultats empiriques relatifs à l’impact de la taille sur la qualité et l’efficience des écoles.
    Date: 2014–11–03
  30. By: Subhash C. Ray (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: In most countries the government is empowered by the Constitution to acquire privately owned land for public use on payment of fair compensation for the land acquired. For infrastructure projects like a highway or a dam, the land acquired remains under public ownership. In many cases, however, private land is often taken for industrialization or even construction of commercial and residential real estate in the name of urban redevelopment. In such cases, the acquired land is transferred to a private party. This paper draws upon the parallel between different incidents of forcible acquisition of private land in the US, India, and China. The cases of General Motors in Poletown near Detroit, MI in the 1980s and the recent events relating to Tata Motors and the agricultural land in Singur, West Bengal raise a number of questions about government taking of land for private development. A brief review of the history of land acquisition through Eminent Domain in the US serves as the background for a discussion of the different important questions like the problem of strategic holdouts and fair compensation. The essay also looks into the special problems of land acquisition in China.
    Keywords: Eminent Domain, Fifth Amendment, Strategic Holdout, Fair compensation, Land Use Rights, Industrialization
    JEL: R14 R52
    Date: 2014–11
  31. By: Farber, Henry (Princeton University)
    Abstract: In a seminal paper, Camerer, Babcock, Loewenstein, and Thaler (1997) find that the wage elasticity of daily hours of work New York City (NYC) taxi drivers is negative and conclude that their labor supply behavior is consistent with target earning (having reference dependent preferences). I replicate and extend the CBLT analysis using data from all trips taken in all taxi cabs in NYC for the five years from 2009-2013. Using the model of expectations-based reference points of Koszegi and Rabin (2006), I distinguish between anticipated and unanticipated daily wage variation and present evidence that only a small fraction of wage variation (about 1/8) is unanticipated so that reference dependence (which is relevant only in response to unanticipated variation) can, at best, play a limited role in determining labor supply. The overall pattern in my data is clear: drivers tend to respond positively to unanticipated as well as anticipated increases in earnings opportunities. This is consistent with the neoclassical optimizing model of labor supply and does not support the reference dependent preferences model. I explore heterogeneity across drivers in their labor supply elasticities and consider whether new drivers differ from more experienced drivers in their behavior. I find substantial heterogeneity across drivers in their elasticities, but the estimated elasticities are generally positive and only rarely substantially negative. I also find that new drivers with smaller elasticities are more likely to exit the industry while drivers who remain learn quickly to be better optimizers (have positive labor supply elasticities that grow with experience).
    Keywords: labor supply, reference dependent preferences
    JEL: J22 D01 D03
    Date: 2014–10
  32. By: Leo F. Goodstadt (Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research and Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and University of Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper investigates why China's leaders were unable to halt the mounting crisis in funding local government from 2009. The analysis traces a long history of co-option of the banking system by local officials. The national leadership was obstructed in monitoring and controlling the escalating dependence on banks to fund local administrations because of a long-standing failure to reform key legal, fiscal and administrative systems. The ideological reluctance to implement reforms in land ownership fostered an unauthorised and often unlawful symbiosis between local officials, property developers and bank executives. The paper argues that the Government's plans for restructuring local government finances through the use of bond flotations in particular will face considerable delay.
    Keywords: China, Local Government, Banking, Financial Crisis, Land Ownership, Reforms
    Date: 2014–10
  33. By: Yosh Halberstam; Brian Knight
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate political communications in social networks characterized both by homophily–a tendency to associate with similar individuals–and group size. To generate testable hypotheses, we develop a simple theory of information diffusion in social networks with homophily and two groups: conservatives and liberals. The model predicts that, with homophily, members of the majority group have more network connections and are exposed to more information than the minority group. We also use the model to show that, with homophily and a tendency to produce like-minded information, groups are disproportionately exposed to like-minded information and the information reaches like-minded individuals more quickly than it reaches individuals of opposing ideologies. To test the hypotheses of our model, we analyze nearly 500,000 communications during the 2012 US elections in a social network of 2.2 million politically-engaged Twitter users. Consistent with the model, we find that members of the majority group in each state-level network have more connections and are exposed to more tweets than members of the minority group. Likewise, we find that groups are disproportionately exposed to like-minded information and that information reaches like-minded users more quickly than users of the opposing ideology.
    JEL: D7 D8
    Date: 2014–11
  34. By: Lionel Fontagné (CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, Department of Economics - European University Institute, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne); Pamina Koenig (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, 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)); Florian Mayneris (UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) - Belgique, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) - Belgique); Sandra Poncet (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: In this paper, we shed light on the selection of the benefi ciaries from the French competitiveness cluster policy which was launched in 2005 and extended to 2012. We disentangle the selection and self-selection eff ects, as emphasized in the theoretical literature on regional and industrial policy. Our main conclusion is that winners were (self-)selected at both steps of the procedure, and that this holds for the three cluster types: worldwide clusters , potentially worldwide clusters and national clusters . We thus provide a methodology which allows us to contrast the e ffective outcomes of the selection process and the official objectives of cluster policies in terms of targeting, and which thus helps in their econometric evaluation.
    Keywords: Competitiveness, clusters, international trade, fi rm selection
    Date: 2013–12–09

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