nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2015‒09‒11
37 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The Distributional Consequences of Public School Choice By Christopher Avery; Parag A. Pathak
  2. The Impact of Foreclosure Delay on U.S. Employment By Kyle F. Herkenhoff; Lee E. Ohanian
  3. Investing in Schools: Capital Spending, Facility Conditions, and Student Achievement By Francisco Martorell; Kevin M. Stange; Isaac McFarlin
  4. Price Expectations and the U.S. Housing Boom By Pascal Towbin; Sebastian Weber
  5. Estimating the Effect of Transit on Residential Property Values: The Case of the Portland MAX System By Keith Klovers; Alfredo Marvão Pereira
  6. Housing and the Business Cycle in South Africa By Goodness C. Aye; Mehmet Balcilar Author-Name-First Mehmet; Adel Bosch; Rangan Gupta
  7. Dense Enough To Be Brilliant: Patents, Urbanization, and Transportation in Nineteenth Century America By Elisabeth Ruth Perlman
  8. Do Boys and Girls Use Computers Differently, and Does It Contribute to Why Boys Do Worse in School than Girls? By Fairlie, Robert W.
  9. KIBS and the Dynamics of Industrial Clusters: a Complex Adaptive Systems Approach By Benoît Desmarchelier; Faridah Djellal; Faïz Gallouj
  10. The Permanent Effects of Transportation Revolutions in Poor Countries: Evidence from Africa By Remi Jedwab; Alexander Moradi
  11. Competition between Cities and Their Spatial Structure By AGO Takanori
  12. Can Universal Screening Increase the Representation of Low Income and Minority Students in Gifted Education? By David Card; Laura Giuliano
  13. Test-Based Promotion Policies, Dropping Out, and Juvenile Crime By Briggs Depew; Ozkan Eren
  14. Risk sharing and internal migration By De Weerdt, Joachim; Hirvonen, Kalle
  15. Academies 2: The New Batch By Andrew Eyles; Stephen Machin; Olmo Silva
  16. Fiscal Policy Shocks and the Dynamics of Asset Prices: The South African Experience By Goodness C. Aye; Mehmet Balcilar; Rangan Gupta; Charl Jooste; Stephen M. Miller; Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir
  17. The Academic Progress of Hispanic Immigrants By Hull, Marie C.
  18. Understanding Residential Real Estate in China By Mali Chivakul; Raphael W. Lam; Xiaoguang Liu; Wojciech Maliszewski; Alfred Schipke
  19. ‘Good’ Firms, Worker Flows and Local Productivity By Michel Serafinelli
  20. Hospital Employment and Local Unemployment: Evidence from French Health Reforms By Andrew E. Clark; Carine Milcent
  21. Decentralization, Local Government Reforms and Perceptions of Local Actors: The Greek Case By Ioannidis, Panos
  22. The scaling of income inequality in cities By Somwrita Sarkar; Peter Phibbs; Roderick Simpson; Sachin Wasnik
  23. United States: Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
  24. Gauging Housing Supply in Canada: A Stock Approach By Julien Reynaud
  25. Dirty spatial econometrics By Giuseppe Arbia; Giuseppe Espa; Diego Giuliani
  26. Internet search behavior, liquidity and prices in the housing market By Dorinth van Dijk; Marc Francke
  27. Two Speed Recovery? Spatial Development in Ireland By Morgenroth, Edgar
  28. Quasifiltering for time-series modeling By Tsyplakov, Alexander
  29. Absorptive capacity and space By Mário Alexandre Patrício Martins da Silva
  30. Estimation of Drivers of Public Education Expenditure: Baumol’s Effect Revisited By Manabu Nose
  31. Workforce location and equilibrium unemployment in a duocentric economy with matching frictions By Etienne Lehmann; Paola L. Montero Ledezma; Bruno Van der Linden
  32. The cost of road infrastructure in low and middle income countries By Collier,Paul; Kirchberger,Martina; Söderbom,Måns
  33. School Vouchers: A Survey of the Economics Literature By Dennis Epple; Richard E. Romano; Miguel Urquiola
  34. Forms of knowledge and eco-innovation modes: Evidence from Spanish manufacturing firms By Alberto Marzucchi; Sandro Montresor
  35. Do we have the right kind of diversity in Innovation Policies among EU Member States? By Reinhilde Veugelers
  36. Regional co-evolution of firm population, innovationand public research? Evidence from the West German laser industry By Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg; Guido Buenstorf
  37. Has Suburbanization Caused Obesity? Evidence Across Gender, Race, and Income By Naghsh Nejad, Maryam; Ross, Amanda

  1. By: Christopher Avery; Parag A. Pathak
    Abstract: School choice systems aspire to delink residential location and school assignments by allowing children to apply to schools outside of their neighborhood. However, the introduction of choice programs affect incentives to live in certain neighborhoods, which may undermine the goals of choice programs. We investigate this possibility by developing a model of public school and residential choice. We consider two variants, one with an exogenous outside option and one endogenizing the outside option by considering interactions between two adjacent towns. In both cases, school choice rules narrow the range between the highest and lowest quality schools compared to neighborhood assignment rules, and these changes in school quality are capitalized into equilibrium housing prices. This compressed distribution generates incentives for both the highest and lowest types to move out of cities with school choice, typically producing worse outcomes for low types than neighborhood assignment rules. Paradoxically, even when choice results in improvement in the worst performing schools, the lowest type residents may not benefit.
    JEL: H44 I20
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: Kyle F. Herkenhoff; Lee E. Ohanian
    Abstract: This paper documents that the time required to initiate and complete a home foreclosure rose from about 9 months on average prior to the Great Recession to an average of 15 months during the Great Recession and afterward. We refer to these changes as foreclosure delay. We also document that many borrowers who are in foreclosure ultimately exit foreclosure and keep their homes by making up for missed mortgage payments. We analyze the impact of foreclosure delay on the U.S. labor market as an implicit credit line from a lender to a borrower (mortgagor) within a search model. In the model, foreclosure delay provides unemployed mortgagors with additional time to search for a high-paying job. We find that foreclosure delay decreases mortgagor employment by about 0.75 percentage points, nearly doubles the stock of delinquent mortgages, increases the rate of homeownership by about 0.3 percentage points, and increases job match quality, as mortgagors search longer. Severe foreclosure delays, such as those observed in Florida and New Jersey, can depress mortgagor employment by up to 1.3 percentage points. The model results are consistent with PSID and SCF data that show that employment rates rise for delinquent mortgagors once the mortgagor is in the foreclosure process.
    JEL: E24 J0 R3
    Date: 2015–09
  3. By: Francisco Martorell; Kevin M. Stange; Isaac McFarlin
    Abstract: Public investments in repairs, modernization, and construction of schools cost billions. However, little is known about the nature of school facility investments, whether it actually changes the physical condition of public schools, and the subsequent causal impacts on student achievement. We study the achievement effects of nearly 1,400 capital campaigns initiated and financed by local school districts, comparing districts where school capital bonds were either narrowly approved or defeated by district voters. Overall, we find little evidence that school capital campaigns improve student achievement. Our event-study analyses focusing on students that attend targeted schools and therefore exposed to major campus renovations also generate very precise zero estimates of achievement effects. Thus, locally financed school capital campaigns – the predominant method through which facility investments are made – may represent a limited tool for realizing substantial gains in student achievement or closing achievement gaps.
    JEL: H75 I22 I24
    Date: 2015–09
  4. By: Pascal Towbin; Sebastian Weber
    Abstract: Between 1996 and 2006 the U.S. has experienced an unprecedented boom in house prices. As it has proven to be diffcult to explain the large price increase by observable fundamentals, many observers have emphasized the role of speculation, i.e. expectations about future price developments. The argument is, however, often indirect: speculation is treated as a deviation from a benchmark. The present paper aims to identify house price expectation shocks directly. To that purpose, we estimate a VAR model for the U.S. and use sign restrictions to identify house price expectation, housing supply, housing demand, and mortgage rate shocks. House price expectation shocks are the most important driver of the boom and account for about 30 percent of the real house price increase. We also construct a model-based measure of exogenous changes in price expectations and show that this measure leads a survey-based measure of changes in house price expectations. Our main identification scheme leaves open whether expectation shifts are realistic or unrealistic. In extensions, we provide evidence that price expectation shifts during the boom were primarly unrealistic and were only marginally affected by realistic expectations about future fundamentals.
    Keywords: Housing prices;United States;Price increases;Expectations;Econometric models;Housing Market, House Price Expectations, Speculation, Housing Boom, VAR
    Date: 2015–07–30
  5. By: Keith Klovers (Department of Economics, The College of William and Mary); Alfredo Marvão Pereira (Department of Economics, The College of William and Mary)
    Abstract: Using a hedonic price model with demographic, spatial, and house characteristic data, this study finds significant property value premiums associated with access to rail mass transit in the Portland, Oregon. Incremental changes to a "benchmark" model - similar to many used in the literature - lead to the adoption of a more appropriate "target" model that incorporates several innovations. This paper finds that assessment data is more appropriate and consistent than sale price data; that the use of a continuous measurement of the distance to transit is more powerful than a binary measure; and that the consideration of "community amenities" - such as schools or parks -in the model specification improves the resulting estimates. The target model finds significantly higher transit access premiums than prior models, suggesting that municipalities may see greater property tax benefits from transit construction than previously estimated.
    Keywords: Residential Property Values, Rail Mass Transit, Hedonic Price Model, Portland
    JEL: H71 L92 R12 R32 R51
    Date: 2015–08–31
  6. By: Goodness C. Aye (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria Author-Email:; Mehmet Balcilar Author-Name-First Mehmet (Department of Economics, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, Northern Cyprus); Adel Bosch (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: This paper examines the housing-output growth nexus in South Africa by accounting for the time variation in the causal link with a bootstrapped rolling Granger non-causality test. We use quarterly data on real gross domestic product, real house prices, real gross fixed capital formation and number of building plans passed. Our data span 1971Q2-2012Q2. Using full sample bootstrap Granger causality tests, we find a uni-directional causality from output to number of building plans passed; a uni-directional causality from real house price to output and a bi-directional causal link between residential investment and output. However, using parameter stability tests, we show that estimated VARs are unstable, thus full-sample Granger causality inference may be invalid. Hence, we use a bootstrap rolling window estimation to evaluate Granger causality between the housing variables and the growth rate. In general, we find that the causality from housing to output and, vice versa, differ across different sample periods due to structural changes. Specifically speaking, house price is found to have the strongest causal relationship with output compared to residential investment and number of building plans passed, with real house price showing predictive ability in all but one downward phase of the business cycle during this period.
    Keywords: House price; residential investment; number of building plans; GDP; bootstrap; time varying causality
    JEL: C32 E32 R31
    Date: 2014
  7. By: Elisabeth Ruth Perlman
    Abstract: This paper explores the geographical distribution of patenting in the nineteenth century United States, as it evolves in response to improvements in access to transportation. I revisit the Sokoloff (1988) hypothesis that increasing market access, caused by the spread of transportation infrastructure, led to an acceleration of innovation. I find that twenty years after the arrival of the railroad in a county, the number of patents per capita has doubled. Using cardinal detection lines from the most important ports in 1826 as an instrumental variable suggests that 30-70% of the increase in patenting between 1850 and 1860 was caused by the spread of the railroad in this period, and 15-30% of the increase between 1850 and 1870. These results are driven by the area of a county that is close enough make a round trip to transportation with in a day, and not by area further away. A 1% increase in the area of the county that is within 1.5 miles of some form of transport corresponds to a to a 1.5% increase in patenting. These results are robust to controls for urbanization. Much of the effect comes from patenting in counties that had not previously patented, suggesting that new access to existing markets spurs development and leads to integration into broader markets for innovation.
    Date: 2015–03
  8. By: Fairlie, Robert W. (University of California, Santa Cruz)
    Abstract: Boys are doing worse in school than are girls, which has been dubbed "the Boy Crisis". An analysis of the latest data on educational outcomes among boys and girls reveals extensive disparities in grades, reading and writing test scores, and other measurable educational outcomes, and these disparities exist across family resources and race. Focusing on disadvantaged schoolchildren, I then examine whether time investments made by boys and girls related to computer use contribute to the gender gap in academic achievement. Data from several sources indicate that boys are less likely to use computers for schoolwork and are more likely to use computers for playing games, but are less likely to use computers for social networking and email than are girls. Using data from a large field experiment randomly providing free personal computers to schoolchildren for home use, I also test whether these differential patterns of computer use displace homework time and ultimately translate into worse educational outcomes among boys. No evidence is found indicating that personal computers crowd out homework time and effort for disadvantaged boys relative to girls. Home computers also do not have negative effects on educational outcomes such as grades, test scores, courses completed, and tardies for disadvantaged boys relative to girls.
    Keywords: technology, computers, ICT, education, gender, field experiment, poverty
    JEL: C93 I24 J16
    Date: 2015–08
  9. By: Benoît Desmarchelier (Xi'an Jiaotong University [Chine] - Xi'an Jiaotong University); Faridah Djellal (CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et technologies); Faïz Gallouj (CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et technologies)
    Abstract: An important and highly debated question in economic geography is how to explain the dynamics of industrial clusters, i.e. their emergence and evolution through time. Two main theories are generally explored, without being confronted: the cluster life cycle theory-which mainly adopts an aggregate point of view-and the network-based approach. Although KIBS are an important actor of industrial clusters, these two theories pay little attention to them as a potential driver of clusters' dynamics. We show in this paper that properly taking KIBS into account requires considering an alternative and integrative approach that conciliates these two theories. In particular, we argue that complex adaptive systems (CAS) constitute a promising basis for such a synthesis. We then operationalize the CAS approach by studying an existing industrial cluster-Skywin (aeronautics in Wallonia region, Belgium)-within this framework. For this purpose, we use an exhaustive list of the innovation projects undertaken within this cluster between 2006 and 2014 and we build temporal innovation networks linking the agents of the cluster. It appears that Skywin's innovation networks exhibit a small-world effect. This implies that any agent who takes part into an innovation project of this cluster can easily benefit from knowledge and information generated within another ongoing project. We argue that this effect is an interesting proxy of a cluster's attractiveness and an appropriate aggregate variable for studying clusters' dynamics as it shows cluster's potential for further growth. We also demonstrate that KIBS are the main responsible for the emergence of this small-world effect in Skywin's innovation networks.
    Date: 2015–05
  10. By: Remi Jedwab; Alexander Moradi
    Abstract: We exploit the construction and eventual demise of the colonial railroads in Africa to study the impact of transportation investments in poor countries. Using Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, we assembled new data on railroads and cities spanning over one century to show that: (i) Railroads had large effects on the spatial distribution and aggregate level of economic activity during the colonial period, as they constituted a transportation revolution in a context where no modern transportation technology previously existed. (ii) These effects have persisted to date, although railroads collapsed and road networks expanded considerably in the post-independence period. The analysis contributes to our understanding of the heterogeneous impact of transportation investments. It shows that initial investments may have a large effect in poor countries with basic infrastructure. As the countries develop, increasing returns may then solidify their spatial distribution, and subsequent investments may have a smaller effect on local economic development.
    Keywords: Transportation, Railroads, Development, Cities, Path Dependence, Roads
    JEL: O1 O3 O18 R4 R1 N97
    Date: 2015–01
  11. By: AGO Takanori
    Abstract: Spatial competition has dealt with a single city over which firms compete. This paper extends it to a model with multiple cities. Specifically, we construct a spatial Cournot model with circular cities where consumers can choose which city to go under the spatial distribution of firms as determined by a location-quantity game. As a result, firms can agglomerate at a point even in the circular cities in equilibrium due to their ability to enhance consumer surplus at their locating city and rob more consumers of the rival city if they agglomerate to commit to the lower price. A welfare analysis shows excess agglomeration.
    Date: 2015–09
  12. By: David Card; Laura Giuliano
    Abstract: Low income and minority students are under-represented in gifted education programs. One explanation for this pattern is that the usual process for identifying gifted students, through parent and teacher referrals, systematically misses many potentially qualified disadvantaged students. We use the experiences in a large urban school district following the introduction of a universal screening program for second grade students to study this hypothesis. With no change in the standards for gifted eligibility the screening program led to large increases in the fractions of economically disadvantaged students and minorities placed in gifted programs. Comparisons of the newly identified gifted students with those who would have been placed in the absence of screening show that blacks and Hispanics, free/reduced price lunch participants, English language learners, and girls are all systematically "under-referred" in the traditional parent/teacher referral system.
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2015–09
  13. By: Briggs Depew; Ozkan Eren
    Abstract: Over the past decade, several states and school districts have implemented accountability systems that require students to demonstrate a minimum level of proficiency through standardized tests. With many states and school districts ending social promotion, policy makers and researchers have gained renewed interest in the role of grade retention and remedial education in US schools. This paper examines the potential effects of summer school and grade retention on high school completion and juvenile crime. To do so, we use administrative data from a number of state agencies in Louisiana and a regression discontinuity design to analyze Louisiana's statewide promotion policy administered to students in fourth and eighth grades. In general, our results indicate that potential grade retention, even at fourth grade, increases the propensity that a student drops out of school at a later point in time. In addition, eighth grade remedial education assignment in the form of summer school appears to provide a positive benefit by decreasing the likelihood that a student later drops out. As for fourth grade students, however, we do not find any effect of summer school assignment on the likelihood of dropping out. Finally, for eighth graders, we find that the test-based promotion policies decrease the probability of committing serious juvenile offenses.
  14. By: De Weerdt, Joachim; Hirvonen, Kalle
    Abstract: Over the past two decades, more than half the population in our sample of rural Tanzanians has migrated out of their home-communities. We hypothesize that this powerful current of internal migrants is changing the nature of traditional institutions such as informal risk sharing. Mass internal migration has created geographically disperse networks, on which we collected detailed panel data. By quantifying how shocks and consumption co-vary across linked households we show that, while both migrants and stayers insure negative shocks to stayers, there is no one in the network who insures the migrants’ negative shocks. While migrants do share some of their positive shocks, they ultimately end up nearly twice as rich as those at home by 2010, despite practically identical baseline positions in the early nineties prior to migration. Taken together, these findings point to migration as a risky, but profitable endeavour, for which the migrant will bear the risk and also reap most of the benefit. We interpret these results within the existing literature on risk-sharing and on the disincentive effects of redistributive norms.
    Keywords: internal migration; risk; insurance; institutions; Africa; tracking data
    JEL: O12 O15 O17 R23
    Date: 2015–04
  15. By: Andrew Eyles; Stephen Machin; Olmo Silva
    Abstract: The English education system has undergone a large restructuring programme through the introduction of academy schools. The most salient feature of these schools is that, despite remaining part of the state sector, they operate with more autonomy than the predecessor schools they replace. Two distinct time periods of academy school introduction have taken place, under the auspices of different governments. The first batch was initiated in the 2002/03 school year by the Labour government of the time and was directly aimed at turning around badly performing schools. The second batch involved a mass academisation process following the change of government in May 2010 and the Academies Act of that year and resulted in increased heterogeneity of new academies. This paper compares the two batches of introduction with the aim of getting a better understanding of their similarities and differences. To do so, we study what types of schools were more likely to change to academy status in the two programmes, and the impact of this change on the quality of new pupil enrolments into the new types of school. Whilst we do point out some similarities, these are the exception rather than the norm. For the most part, our analysis reveals a number of marked dissimilarities between the two programmes in terms of both the characteristics of schools that become academies and the subsequent changes in intakes.
    Keywords: Academies, pupil intake
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2015–09
  16. By: Goodness C. Aye (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Mehmet Balcilar (Department of Economics, Eastern Mediterranean University); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Charl Jooste (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Stephen M. Miller (Department of Economics, University of Nevada); Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir (Department of Economics, Gazi University)
    Abstract: This study assesses how fiscal policy affects the dynamics of asset markets, using Bayesian vector autoregressive models. We use sign restrictions to identify government revenue and government spending shocks, while controlling for generic business cycle and monetary policy shocks. In addition to examining the effects of anticipated and unanticipated revenue and spending shocks, we also analyse three types of fiscal policy scenarios: a deficit-financed spending increase, a balanced budget spending increase (financed with higher taxes), and a deficit-financed tax cut (revenue decreases but government spending stays unchanged). Using South African quarterly data from 1966:Q1 to 2011:Q2, we show that a deficit spending shock does not affect house prices, but temporarily exerts a positive effect on stock prices. With a deficit-financed tax cut shock, house prices increase persistently while stock prices increase quickly, but only temporarily. A balanced budget shock permanently decreases house prices and temporarily reduces stock prices.
    Keywords: Bayesian Sign-Restricted VAR, fiscal policy, housing prices, stock prices
    JEL: C32 E62 G10 H62
    Date: 2014
  17. By: Hull, Marie C. (University of North Carolina, Greensboro)
    Abstract: Past research has shown that Hispanic students make test score gains relative to whites as they age through school; however, this finding stands in contrast to the experience of blacks, who show little change in their relative position over the same time frame. Distinguishing Hispanic students by immigrant generation, I find that the children of immigrants (first- and second-generation Hispanics) drive the improvement in Hispanic test scores. Later-generation Hispanics consistently perform slightly below whites, perhaps due to negative selection into ethnic identification. Thus, previous estimates vastly understate the progress of first- and second-generation Hispanic immigrants. From a negative gap in 3rd grade, these students surpass socioeconomically similar whites in math and reading by middle school and end 8th grade as much as a quarter of a standard deviation ahead. Assimilation alone cannot explain this progress; a potential explanation is that immigrant parents create a home environment that fosters achievement.
    Keywords: human capital, achievement gap, Hispanic immigrants
    JEL: J24 I24 J15
    Date: 2015–08
  18. By: Mali Chivakul; Raphael W. Lam; Xiaoguang Liu; Wojciech Maliszewski; Alfred Schipke
    Abstract: China’s residential real estate sector plays an important role in the economy and has been a key driver of growth. Since 2014 the sector has softened visibly, reflecting overbuilding across many cities. An orderly adjustment of the sector is welcome. The key questions are how severe the adjustment will be and how long it will last. This paper uses various datasets, an analytical framework to estimate demand and supply conditions, and develops a number of scenarios to determine the oversupply both at the national level and by city tiers. It highlights that the adjustment will be a multiyear process with adverse implications for investment and growth. Smaller cities, as well as those in the Northeast region, face more challenging demand-supply dynamics. The key will be to allow the adjustment to take place, while avoiding a too sharp of an economic slowdown.
    Keywords: China;Economic growth;Investment;Real estate prices;Supply and demand;Real estate, Property, Growth, price, cities, prices, market, General,
    Date: 2015–04–28
  19. By: Michel Serafinelli (Department of Economics, University of Toronto, Canada)
    Abstract: This paper is the first to present direct evidence showing how localized knowledge spillovers arise from workers changing jobs within the same local labor market. Using a unique dataset combining Social Security earnings records and balance sheet information for the Veneto region of Italy, I first identify a set of highly productive firms, then show that hiring workers with experience at these firms significantly increases the productivity of other firms. My findings imply that worker flows explain around 10 percent of the productivity gains experienced by incumbent firms when new highly productive firms are added to a local labor market.
    Date: 2015–08
  20. By: Andrew E. Clark (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC)); Carine Milcent (CEPREMAP - Centre pour la recherche économique et ses applications - Centre pour la recherche économique et ses applications, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: We here ask whether French local authorities respond to depressed local labour markets by increasing employment in State-owned hospitals. We use 2006-2010 panel data to examine within-hospital employment changes: higher local unemployment is associated with greater employment in State-owned hospitals, but not for any other hospital type. Our data cover a reimbursement reform introducing competition between hospitals. This reform reduced public-hospital employment, but had no overall effect on the relationship between public-hospital employment and local unemployment. Further analysis shows that this continuing relationship is only found in higher unemployment areas, where public-hospital employment remained counter-cyclical.
    Date: 2015–08
  21. By: Ioannidis, Panos
    Abstract: Decentralization deployed in the last two decades in Greece via two local government reforms. Kapodistrias Plan and Kallikrates Project amalgamated successively the huge number of 5.775 municipalities and communities into 325 enlarged municipalities, institutionalized the 13 regions as second tiers of local government and transferred an unparalleled set of rights and powers to municipalities and regions. The abovementioned reforms changed the operation of local governments and established new conditions for the role of local actors in regional planning. This paper aims to assess the decentralization process in Greece, by taking into account the perceptions of local actors. A primary research was held in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace region, in order to understand the affiliation of local actors to the reforms. Results demonstrate that Kapodistrias reform had bigger social acceptance than Kallikrates, as economic crisis and rough spatial planning deter the effective implementation of the second wave of reforms. Non institutional actors and members of societal and cultural organizations perceived more substantially the reforms, than institutional actors and non members of local organizations did. Further improvements are necessary for the modernization of Greek local governments, in the fields of financial decentralization and administrative capacity
    Keywords: Decentralization, Local Government Reforms, Greece, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
    JEL: H73 R28 R58
    Date: 2015–09–03
  22. By: Somwrita Sarkar; Peter Phibbs; Roderick Simpson; Sachin Wasnik
    Abstract: Developing a scientific understanding of cities in a fast urbanizing world is essential for planning sustainable urban systems. Recently, it was shown that income and wealth creation follow increasing returns, scaling superlinearly with city size. We study scaling of per capita incomes for separate census defined income categories against population size for the whole of Australia. Across several urban area definitions, we find that lowest incomes grow just linearly or sublinearly ($\beta = 0.94$ to $1.00$), whereas highest incomes grow superlinearly ($\beta = 1.00$ to $1.21$), with total income just superlinear ($\beta = 1.03$ to $1.05$). These findings support the earlier finding: the bigger the city, the richer the city. But, we also see an emergent metric of inequality: the larger the population size and densities of a city, higher incomes grow more quickly than lower, suggesting a disproportionate agglomeration of incomes in the highest income categories in big cities. Because there are many more people on lower incomes that scale sublinearly as compared to the highest that scale superlinearly, these findings suggest a scaling of inequality: the larger the population, the greater the inequality. Urban and economic planning will need to examine ways in which larger cities can be made more equitable.
    Date: 2015–09
  23. By: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
    Abstract: This Selected Issues paper analyzes the current state of housing finance in the United States. Although a number of important steps have been taken to address the structural weaknesses exposed by the crisis in mortgage markets, comprehensive housing finance reform remains the largest piece of unfinished business. Mortgage markets, even eight years after the start of the crisis, continue to function with extensive government support. Reform of the government-sponsored enterprises, which remain in conservatorship, has stalled—generating uncertainty and complicating other policy initiatives. However, there has been progress in building other components for a well-functioning housing finance system.
    Keywords: Credit risk;Financial stability;Housing;Loans;Mortgages;United States;Selected Issues Papers;mortgage, housing finance, finance, monetary fund
    Date: 2015–07–07
  24. By: Julien Reynaud
    Abstract: This paper estimates Canada’s housing stock to gauge the supply-side component of the recent exuberance in the Canadian housing sector. The paper adds to the current related literature by focusing on housing units and reconstructing housing stock and households series. An error correction model is estimated at the provincial level over the period 1980-2013 to estimate a measure of housing stock desequilibrium. The model predicts an excess supply in the order of ½ percent above the housing stock level consistent with fundamentals as of 2013.
    Keywords: Canada;Housing prices;Housing;Supply and demand;Real Estate, household, housing stock, housing units, construction, Regional, Urban, and Rural Analyses, Housing Demand, Housing Supply and Markets,
    Date: 2015–06–22
  25. By: Giuseppe Arbia; Giuseppe Espa; Diego Giuliani
    Abstract: Spatial data are often contaminated with a series of imperfections that reduce their quality and can dramatically distort the inferential conclusions based on spatial econometric modeling. A ÒcleanÓ ideal situation considered in standard spatial econometrics textbooks is when we fit Cliff-Ord-type models to data where the spatial units constitute the full population, there are no missing data and there is no uncertainty on the spatial observations that are free from measurement and locational errors. Unfortunately in practical cases the reality is often very different and the datasets contain all sorts of imperfections: they are often based on a sample drawn from the whole population, some data are missing and they almost invariably contain both attribute and locational errors. This is a situation of ÒdirtyÓ spatial econometric modelling. Through a series of Monte Carlo experiments, this paper considers the effects on spatial econometric model estimation and hypothesis testing of two specific sources of dirt, namely missing data and locational errors.
    Date: 2015
  26. By: Dorinth van Dijk; Marc Francke
    Abstract: In this article we employ detailed internet search data to examine price and liquidity dynamics of the Dutch housing market. The article shows that the number of clicks on online listed properties proxies demand and the amount of listed properties proxies supply. The created market tightness indicator Granger causes both changes in prices and market liquidity. The results of the panel VAR suggest a demand shock results in a temporary increase in liquidity and a permanent increase in prices. This is in accordance with search and matching models. This paper also provides evidence for loss aversion for current homeowners as prices generally declined during the sample period (2011 - 2013).
    Keywords: House prices; Liquidity; Internet search data; Funda; Panel VAR
    JEL: R21 R31 C81
    Date: 2015–08
  27. By: Morgenroth, Edgar
    Date: 2014–12
  28. By: Tsyplakov, Alexander
    Abstract: In the paper a method for constructing new varieties of time-series models is proposed. The idea is to start from an unobserved components model in a state-space form and use it as an inspiration for development of another time-series model, in which time-varying underlying variables are directly observed. The goal is to replace a state-space model with an intractable likelihood function by another model, for which the likelihood function can be written in a closed form. If state transition equation of the parent state-space model is linear Gaussian, then the resulting model would belong to the class of score driven model (aka GAS, DCS).
    Keywords: time-series model, state-space model, score driven model
    JEL: C22 C51
    Date: 2015–07–10
  29. By: Mário Alexandre Patrício Martins da Silva (Faculdade de Economia do Porto)
    Abstract: In this paper, we assume that the absorptive capacity of firms located in a given region is positively influenced by territorial-dependent aspects, and analyze the effects of the spatial elements that explain the differences between territories to access and absorb external knowledge on the innovative performance of regions and the possibility of arising local increasing returns.
    Keywords: Absorptive capacity, knowledge spillovers, complementarities, proximity, innovation, R&D
    JEL: O33 R11
    Date: 2015–09
  30. By: Manabu Nose
    Abstract: This paper analyzes drivers of rising per-pupil public education spending, including Baumol’s “cost disease†effect. Higher wages paid to teachers contributed significantly to the increase in per-pupil spending over the past decades. Empirical analyses using a large dataset of advanced and developing economies show that the contribution of Baumol’s effect was much smaller than impled by theory. Rather, the spending inccrease reflects rising wage premiums paid for teachers in excess of market wages, especially in middle-income countries. The strong wage premium effect suggests that institutional characteristics that govern teachers’ wage setting are key determinants of education expenditure.
    Keywords: Education spending;Wage increases;Unit labor cost;Developed countries;Developing countries;Econometric models;Parameter estimation;Public education expenditure, Baumol’s effect, wage premium, institutions
    Date: 2015–07–28
  31. By: Etienne Lehmann (CRED (TEPP) University Panthéon Assas, Paris 2); Paola L. Montero Ledezma (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Bruno Van der Linden (FNRS and UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: This article examines unemployment disparities and efficiency in a densely populated economy with two job centers and workers distributed between them. We introduce commuting costs and search-matching frictions to deal with the spatial mismatch between workers and firms. In a decentralized economy job-seekers do not internalize a composition externality they impose on all the unemployed. With symmetric job centers, a change in the distribution of the workforce can lead to asymmetric equilibrium outcomes. We calibrate the model for Los Angeles and Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Simulations suggest that changes in the workforce distribution have non-negligible effects on unemployment rates, wages, and net output, but cannot be the unique explanation of a substantial mismatch problem.
    Keywords: Spatial mismatch, commuting, urban unemployment, externality
    JEL: J64 R13 R23
    Date: 2015–08–26
  32. By: Collier,Paul; Kirchberger,Martina; Söderbom,Måns
    Abstract: The connections between transport infrastructure and economic development have been extensively analyzed in previous research, but little is known about the cost of infrastructure investments in poor countries. This paper examines drivers of unit costs of construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure in low and middle income countries and documents that: (i) there is a large dispersion in unit costs for comparable road work activities; (ii) after accounting for environmental drivers of costs, residual unit costs are significantly higher in conflict countries; (iii) there is evidence that costs are higher in countries with higher levels of corruption; (iv) these effects are robust to controlling for a country?s public investment capacity and business environment. Our findings have implications for governments aiming to increase connectivity in poor countries.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,E-Business,Economic Theory&Research,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures,Governance Indicators
    Date: 2015–09–02
  33. By: Dennis Epple; Richard E. Romano; Miguel Urquiola
    Abstract: We review the theoretical, computational, and empirical research on school vouchers, with a focus on the latter. In this substantial body of work, many studies find insignificant effects of vouchers on educational outcomes; however, multiple positive findings support continued exploration. Specifically, the empirical research on small scale programs does not suggest that awarding students a voucher is a systematically reliable way to improve educational outcomes. Nevertheless, in some settings, or for some subgroups or outcomes, vouchers can have a substantial positive effect on those who use them. Studies of large scale voucher programs find student sorting as a result of their implementation, although of varying magnitude. Evidence on both small scale and large scale programs suggests that competition induced by vouchers leads public schools to improve. Moreover, research is making progress on understanding how vouchers may be designed to limit adverse effects from sorting while preserving positive effects related to competition. Finally, our sense is that work originating in a single case (e.g., a given country) or in a single research approach (e.g., experimental designs) will not provide a full understanding of voucher effects; fairly wide ranging empirical and theoretical work will be necessary to make progress.
    JEL: H4 I2
    Date: 2015–09
  34. By: Alberto Marzucchi (Catholic University of Milan (Italy)); Sandro Montresor (Kore University of Enna (Italy))
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relevance of different forms of knowledge for the firm’s propensity to pursue eco-innovation (EI) strategies. The incidence of different types of internal and external knowledge is disentangled in search of specific EI-modes. We employ panel data on around 4,700 manufacturing firms from the Spanish PITEC dataset. Results show that a Science, Technology, EI-mode (STEI) prevails, though generally in an attenuated way, in the use of internal knowledge, with R&D knowledge more pivotal than some (embodied vs. disembodied) non-R&D one. On the other hand, a synthetic kind of external knowledge, typically drawn from business actors, is more important than the analytical one mainly coming from the “world of science”, suggesting a Doing, Using, Interacting EI-mode (DUIEI) in external terms. Overall, a hybrid EI-mode emerges across the internal and external realm of the firm, with interesting qualifications when specific EI strategies (e.g. cleaner production technologies vs. product eco-innovations) are considered.
    Keywords: Eco-innovation, knowledge, innovation modes, DUI, STI
    JEL: Q55 O31 O32
    Date: 2015–09
  35. By: Reinhilde Veugelers
    Abstract: This contribution focuses on the heterogeneity in innovation capacity within Europe across its different Member State. Who are the leading and who are the lagging EU countries? Is there a trend towards convergence over time? And how has the crisis affected this trend of convergence? We then take a look at the research and innovation policies which the EU countries have in place and try to assess whether these policies match with the heterogeneous EU countries’ innovation capacity positions. We examine both the budgets allocated by EU Member States to R&I as well as the various kinds of R&I policy programmes being deployed. More particularly, we examine how heterogeneous the deployment of policy instruments is across EU member states and whether this matches with the heterogeneity in innovation capacity development among EU countries. Notwithstanding the large and increasing heterogeneity among EU countries in innovation capacity development, the evidence on innovation policies in EU countries shows a relative homogeneity of policy mixes in different countries. Current innovation policy mixes of instruments do not well reflect the countries’ levels of innovation capacity development.
    Keywords: Innovation, Innovation policy, Institutional reforms, Multi-level governance
    JEL: O31 O38
    Date: 2015–08
  36. By: Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg (Chair of Economic Policy and SME Research, University of Göttingen; Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3, 37073 Göttingen, Germany); Guido Buenstorf (Institute of Economics, University of Kassel; Nora-Platiel-Strasse 5, 34109 Kassel, Germany)
    Abstract: We explore the regional co-evolution of firm population size, private-sector patenting and public research in the empirical context of German laser research and manufacturing over more than 40 years from the emergence of the industry to the mid-2000s. Our qualitative as well as quantitative evidence is suggestive of a co-evolutionary process of mutual interdependence rather than a unidirectional effect of public research on private- sector activities.
    Keywords: co-evolution, innovation systems, vector autoregression, laser technology
    JEL: B52 O31 R12
    Date: 2015–08–05
  37. By: Naghsh Nejad, Maryam (IZA); Ross, Amanda (West Virginia University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the effect of suburbanization on obesity rates. Our study is an improvement over the existing literature because we will use county level data for our analysis, enabling us to look at the effect of moving from the central city to the suburbs. Previous research has only had health data at the MSA level, and therefore could not look at the effect of urban growth on obesity rates within an MSA, particularly the suburbs versus the central city. To estimate the relationship between obesity and urban sprawl, we will use county-level data on obesity rates from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Because there are likely unobserved selection issues regarding obesity and urban sprawl, we instrument for population density using the 1947 Interstate Highway Program. We find that counties that are less sprawled, defined by a higher population density, have lower obesity rates.
    Keywords: obesity, health, suburbanization
    JEL: I12 I14 O18
    Date: 2015–08

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