nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2015‒10‒04
53 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Vehicle Fuel-Efficiency Choices, Emission Externalities, and Urban Sprawl By Kim, Jinwon
  2. Intra-household Commuting Choices and Local Labour Markets By Jennifer Roberts; Karl Taylor
  4. The Labor Market and School Finance Effects of the Texas Shale Boom on Teacher Quality and Student Achievement By Marchand, Joseph; Weber, Jeremy
  5. Hot Property in New Zealand: Empirical Evidence of Housing Bubbles in the Metropolitan Centres By Greenaway-McGrevy, RT; Phillips, PCB
  6. Financial and Housing Wealth, Expenditures and the Dividend to Ownership By Sheng Guo; William Hardin
  7. The spatial component of R&D networks By Tobias Scholl; Antonios Garas; Frank Schweitzer
  8. R&D networks and regional knowledge production in Europe. Evidence from a space-time model By Iris Wanzenböck; Philipp Piribauer
  9. Joint Dynamics of House Prices and Foreclosures By Yavuz Aslan; Bulent Guler; Temel Taskin
  10. Network Centrality and Market Prices: An Empirical Note By Matthias Firgo; Dieter Pennerstorfer; Christoph R. Weiss
  11. Housing Booms and Busts, Labor Market Opportunities, and College Attendance By Kerwin Kofi Charles; Erik Hurst; Matthew J. Notowidigdo
  12. The political economy of public transport pricing and supply decisions By DE BORGER, Bruno; PROOST, Stef
  13. The Geography of Unconventional Innovation By Ruben Gaetani; Enrico Berkes
  14. Assessing Regional Quality of Life: A Call for Action in Regional Science By Dan S. Rickman
  15. Financial Frictions, the Housing Market, and Unemployment By Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau
  16. Paving Streets for the Poor: Experimental Analysis of Infrastructure Effects By Climent Quintana-Domeque; Marco Gonzalez-Navarro
  17. Car Ownership and Residential Parking Subsidies: Evidence from Amsterdam By Jesper de Groote; Jos van Ommeren; Hans R.A. Koster
  18. Causal Influence for Ex-post Evaluation of Transport Interventions By Daniel J. Graham
  19. “Factors Explaining Inter-municipal Cooperation in Service Delivery: A Meta-Regression Analysis” By Germà Bel; Mildred E. Warner
  20. Usage of Practices Promoted by School Improvement Grants By Lisa Dragoset; Susanne James-Burdumy; Kristin Hallgren; Irma Perez-Johnson; Mariesa Herrmann; Christina Tuttle; Megan Hague Angus; Rebecca Herman; Matthew Murray; Courtney Tanenbaum; Cheryl Graczewski
  21. Financialization, Housing Bubble, and the Great Recession: an interpretation based on a circuit of capital model By Fernando Rugitsky
  22. State Taxes and Spatial Misallocation By Owen Zidar; Juan Carlos Serrato; Eduardo Morales; Pablo Fajgelbaum
  23. Achievement Effects of Individual Performance Incentives in a Teacher Merit Pay Tournament By Margaret Brehm; Scott A. Imberman; Michael F. Lovenheim
  24. Social Networks, Ethnicity, and Entrepreneurship By William R. Kerr; Martin Mandorff
  25. Measuring regional competitiveness: A survey of approaches, measurement and data By Gabor Bekes
  26. Social Interactions in Job Satisfaction By Semih Tumen; Tugba Zeydanli
  27. Offshoring and the Geography of Jobs in Great Britain By Gagliardi, Luisa; Iammarino, Simona; Rodriguez-Pose, Andres
  28. Trade Shocks and Mexican Local Labor Markets in the Great Recession By Oscar Mendez
  29. Foreclosure Auctions By Niedermayer, Andreas; Shneyerov, Artyom; Xu, Pia
  30. Lobbying and the political economy of pricing car access to downtown commercial districts By DE BORGER, Bruno; RUSSO, Antonio
  31. Are public libraries improving quality of education ? when the provision of public goods is not enough By Rodriguez Lesmes,Paul Andres; Trujillo,Jose Daniel; Valderrama Gonzalez,Daniel
  32. The Economics of Crowding in Public Transport By André De Palma; Robin Lindsey; Guillaume Monchambert
  33. Can State Tax Policies Be Used to Grow Small and Large Businesses? By Eric Borchers; John Deskins; Amanda Ross
  34. Anticipated vs. Unanticipated House Price Movements and Transaction Volume By Yavuz Arslan; Birol Kanik; Bulent Koksal
  35. Job loss at home: children’s school performance during the Great Recession in Spain By Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela
  36. The Benefits of Forced Experimentation: Striking Evidence from the London Underground Network By Ferdinand Rauch; Shaun Larcom; Tim Willems
  37. Labour as a knowledge carrier – How increased mobility influences entrepreneurship By Braunerhjelm, Pontus; Ding, Ding; Thulin, Per
  38. High school track choice and financial constraints : evidence from urban Mexico By Avitabile,Ciro; Bobba,Matteo; Pariguana,Marco
  39. Convergence with Stagnation: Mexico's Growth at the Municipal level 1990-2010 By Maria E. Davalos; Esquivel Gerardo; López-Calva Luis Felipe; Carlos Rodríguez-Castelán
  40. Spatial Patterns of Manufacturing Agglomeration in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Thailand By Toshitaka GOKAN; Ikuo KUROIWA; Nuttawut LAKSANAPANYAKUL; Yasushi UEKI
  41. Learning Externalities in Opaque Asset Markets: Evidence from International Commercial Real Estate By Fuess, Roland; Ruf, Daniel
  42. The Macroeconomics of Rural-Urban Migration By Mike Waugh; David Lagakos
  43. The Volatility of School District Income Tax Revenues: Is Tax Base Diversification a Good Idea? By Joshua Hall; Antonis Koumpias
  44. Doing evolution in economic geography By Andy Pike; Andrew Cumbers; Stuart Dawley; Danny MacKinnon; Robert McMaster
  45. Racial Discrimination in Local Public Services: A Field Experiment in the US By Corrado Giulietti; Mirco Tonin; Michael Vlassopoulos
  46. Executive Summary: Usage of Policies and Practices Promoted by Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants By Susanne James-Burdumy
  47. Childhood Homelessness and Adult Employment: The Role of Education, Incarceration, and Welfare Receipt By Deborah A. Cobb-Clark; Anna Zhu
  48. New media, competition and growth: European cities after Gutenberg By Jeremiah Dittmar
  49. Local Tax: A comparison of hypotheses By Patrizia Lattarulo; Alessandro Petretto
  50. Evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund: Implementation and Impacts of Pay-for-Performance After Two Years By Hanley Chiang; Alison Wellington; Kristin Hallgren; Cecilia Speroni; Mariesa Herrmann; Steven Glazerman; Jill Constantine
  51. The Optimum Size of Local Public Administration By J.A. Bikker; D.E. van der Linde
  52. Not All Credit is Created Equal: Mortgage vs Non-mortgage Debt and Private Saving Rate in Turkey By Cengiz Tunc; Abdullah Yavas
  53. Micro-founded measurement of regional competitiveness in Europe By Gabor Bekes; Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano

  1. By: Kim, Jinwon
    Abstract: This paper shows that a city where both a congestion externality and an externality from greenhouse gas emissions are corrected by efficient policies is more compact than the laissez-faire equilibrium city. Motivated by recent empirical studies showing a positive relationship between population density and vehicle fuel-efficiency, the consumer is assumed to choose vehicle fuel-efficiency jointly with housing consumption and residential location. By incorporating the consumer's vehicle choice into the urban spatial model, we can represent the total amount of vehicle emissions released by the city residents. We first establish the well-known result that the congestion externality as a source of market failure is associated with excessive urban sprawl. We then show that vehicle emissions are an additional source of market failure, which also leads to excessive urban sprawl. The source of excessive sprawl arising from the emission externality is the use of larger and less-fuel efficient vehicles in more sprawled cities, which is different from that of the congestion externality. We also analyze the effect of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards on urban spatial structure and its efficacy as a second-best tool for correcting the emission externality.
    Keywords: urban sprawl; vehicle fuel-efficiency; emission externality; congestion
    JEL: Q53 R14 R41
    Date: 2015–09–25
  2. By: Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Karl Taylor (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: While the job search literature has increasingly recognised the importance of the spatial distribution of employment opportunities, local labour market conditions have been a notable omission from much of the empirical literature on commuting outcomes. This study of the commute times of dual earner couples in England and Wales finds that local labour market conditions are closely associated with commute times and their effects are not gender neutral. Male commute times are much more sensitive to local unemployment rates than women’s; where women earn less than one–third of household income, their commute times do not seem to be sensitive to local unemployment. In addition, the more conducive the local labour market is to female employment, the less time women spend commuting. On average the ‘female friendliness’ of the local labour market has no effect on male commute times, but in households where women earn the majority of household income, men commute further if the local labour market is female friendly. We also show that it is important to account for the heterogeneity of household types; there are important differences in our results according to female income share, housing tenure, mover status and mode of travel.
    Keywords: local labour market; dual earner households
    JEL: D19 J24 R40
    Date: 2015–09
  3. By: Daniela Di Cagno (Università LUISS "Guido Carli"); Andrea Fabrizi (Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico); Velentina Meliciani (Università di Teramo); Iris Wanzenböck (Austrian Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of “relational” spillovers arising from participation in European research networks on knowledge creation across European regions. We use links in EU Framework Programmes (from the Fourth to the Seventh) to weight foreign R&D in order to construct a relational distance matrix across 257 European regions over the period 1995-2010. We, then, assess the impact of relational spillovers on regional patent applications controlling also for local spatial spillovers. We find that relational spillovers matter for knowledge creation although spatial contiguity remains a crucial factor. We also find that spillovers are higher when regions with different levels of R&D participate in European networks. .
    Keywords: Relational spillovers, R&D collaboration, knowledge, EU Framework Programmes, spatial correlation, patents.
    JEL: O31 R12 C23
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Marchand, Joseph (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Weber, Jeremy (University of Pittsburgh)
    Abstract: Resource booms can affect student achievement through greater labor demand, where rising wages pull students or teachers out of schools, and through an expanded tax base, where increased school spending alters teacher quality or student productivity. Using shale depth variation across Texas school districts with annual oil and gas price variation, this study finds that resource development slightly decreased student achievement despite providing schools with more money. Vocational and economically disadvantaged students were pulled into the labor market, while teacher turnover and inexperience increased. Schools responded to the tax base expansion by spending more on capital projects but not on teachers.
    Keywords: local labor markets; local school finance; resource booms; teacher quality
    JEL: H70 I22 J24 J40 Q33 R23
    Date: 2015–09–30
  5. By: Greenaway-McGrevy, RT; Phillips, PCB
    Abstract: Using recently developed statistical methods for testing and dating exhuberant behavior in asset prices we document evidence of episodic bubbles in the New Zealand property market over the past two decades. The results show clear evidence of a broad-based New Zealand housing bubble that began in 2003 and collapsed over mid 2007 to early 2008 with the onset of the worldwide recession and the financial crisis. New methods of analyzing market contagion are also developed and are used to examine spillovers from the Auckland property market to the other metropolitan centres. Evidence from the latest data reveals that the greater Auckland metropolitan area is currently experiencing a new property bubble that began in 2013. But there is no evidence yet of any contagion effect of this bubble on the other centres, in contrast to the earlier bubble over 2003-2008 for which there is evidence of transmission of the housing bubble from Auckland to the other centres. One of our primary conclusions is that the expensive nature of New Zealand real estate relative to potential earnings in rents is partly due to the sustained market exuberance that produced the broad based bubble in house prices during the last decade and that has continued through the most recent bubble experienced in the Auckland region since 2013.
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Sheng Guo (Department of Economics, Florida International University); William Hardin (Tibor and Sheila Hollo School of Real Estate, College of Business Administration, Florida International University)
    Abstract: For a household, home ownership provides necessary shelter, potential investment returns associated with property appreciation and a hedge against increased housing related cash outlays. In addition to potential appreciation, individual households benefit over time from a housing dividend defined as the difference between the market rent for the individual household’s housing unit and the household’s actual house ownership costs. The purchase of a house can substantially fix a household’s recurring housing related expenditures and generates a hedge (implied housing dividend) that increases with ownership tenure. This expenditure hedge (dividend) to home ownership is documented using pooled, cross-year samples from the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX). The housing dividend delivers a non-trivial effect on household non-housing expenditures after controlling for housing value, housing equity, financial assets and income.
    Keywords: Housing, Imputed Rent, Consumption, Wealth Effect, Expenditure, Dividend
    JEL: D11 D12 G14 R21 R31
    Date: 2015–09
  7. By: Tobias Scholl; Antonios Garas; Frank Schweitzer
    Abstract: We study the role of geography in R&D networks by means of a quantitative, micro-geographic approach. Using a large database that covers international R&D collaborations from 1984 to 2009, we localize each actor precisely in space through its latitude and longitude. This allows us to analyze the R&D network at all geographic scales simultaneously. Our empirical results show that despite the high importance of the city level, transnational R&D collaborations at large distances are much more frequent than expected from similar networks. This provides evidence for the ambiguity of distance in economic cooperation which is also suggested by the existing literature. In addition we test whether the hypothesis of local buzz and global pipelines applies to the observed R&D network by calculating well-defined metrics from network theory.
    Date: 2015–09
  8. By: Iris Wanzenböck (Innovation Systems Department, Austrian Institute of Technology); Philipp Piribauer (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate space-time impacts of the embeddedness in R&D networks on regional knowledge production by means of a dynamic spatial panel data model with non-linear effects for a set of 229 European NUTS-2 regions in the period 1999-2009. Embeddedness refers to the positioning in networks where nodes represent regions that are linked by joint R&D endeavours in European Framework Programmes. We observe positive immediate impacts on regional knowledge production arising from increased embeddedness in EU funded R&D networks, in particular for regions with lower own knowledge endowments. However, long-term impacts of R&D network embeddedness are comparatively small.
    Keywords: R&D networks, European Framework Programme, regional knowledge production, dynamic spatial panel data model, space-time impacts
    JEL: C33 O31 R12
    Date: 2015–09
  9. By: Yavuz Aslan; Bulent Guler; Temel Taskin
    Abstract: This paper studies the joint transitional dynamics of the foreclosures and house prices in a standard life-cycle incomplete markets model with housing and a realistic long-term mortgage structure. We calibrate our model to match several long term features of the US housing market, and analyze the effects of several unexpected and permanent shocks on the house price and the foreclosure rate both across the steady-states and along the transition between the steady-states. We examine permanent, unexpected shocks to the risk-free interest rate, the minimum down payment ratio, and unemployment. During the transition, these shocks create large movements in house prices. More importantly, the foreclosure dynamics are quite significant along the transition compared to the steady-state changes, and there are strong feedbacks between foreclosures and house prices. We assess the effects of a temporary reduction in the risk-free interest rate, which has moderate effects on house prices but little effect on foreclosure dynamics. We also study the effects of an ex-ante macroprudential policy, which establishes a minimum downpayment requirement at a higher threshold. Such a macroprudential policy helps substantially stabilize both house prices and foreclosures.
    Keywords: Housing, House price, Interest rate, Mortgage contract, Mortgage default, Home equity
    JEL: D91 E21 G01 R21
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Matthias Firgo (Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)); Dieter Pennerstorfer (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business; Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)); Christoph R. Weiss (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: We empirically investigate the importance of centrality (holding a central position in a spatial network) for strategic interaction in pricing for the Austrian retail gasoline market. Results from spatial autoregressive models suggest that the gasoline station located most closely to the market center - defined as the 1-median location - exerts the strongest effect on pricing decisions of other stations. We conclude that centrality influences firms' pricing behavior and further find that the importance of centrality increases with market size.
    Keywords: Network Centrality, Spatial Competition, Retail Markets, Gasoline Prices
    JEL: C21 D43 L11 L81 R12
    Date: 2015–09
  11. By: Kerwin Kofi Charles; Erik Hurst; Matthew J. Notowidigdo
    Abstract: We study how the recent national housing boom and bust affected college enrollment and attainment during the 2000s. We exploit cross-city variation in local housing booms, and use a variety of data sources and empirical methods, including models that use plausibly exogenous variation in housing demand identified by sharp structural breaks in local housing prices. We show that the housing boom improved labor market opportunities for young men and women, thereby raising their opportunity cost of college-going. According to standard human capital theories, this effect should have reduced college-going overall, but especially for persons at the margin of attendance. We find that the boom substantially lowered college enrollment and attainment for both young men and women, with the effects concentrated at two-year colleges. We find that the positive employment and wage effects of the boom were generally undone during the bust. However, attainment for the particular cohorts of college-going age during the housing boom remain persistently low after the end of the bust, suggesting that reduced educational attainment may be an enduring effect of the housing cycle. We estimate that the housing boom explains roughly 30 percent of the recent slowdown in college attainment.
    JEL: E24 I21 J24
    Date: 2015–09
  12. By: DE BORGER, Bruno; PROOST, Stef
    Abstract: This paper studies the political economy of public transport pricing and quality decisions in a hypothetical two-region federation. In each region there are two types of people: people not owning a car using only public transport, and car owners that demand both public transport and car trips. Each group may be a majority in the region and may also travel in the other region. Under regional decision-making, the political process may result in very low public transport fares, even if car owners are a large majority of the population. Cost recovery always improves with the share of outside users. Second, imposing a zero deficit constraint on regional public transport operators implements the second-best welfare optimum. Third, decentralized decision making leads to higher fares and better cost recovery. Our findings are consistent with very large public transport subsidies in Europe, and with the tendency towards decentralization of public transport policy-making.
    Keywords: Public transport pricing, Tax competition, Federalism
    JEL: H23 D62 R41 R48
    Date: 2015–05
  13. By: Ruben Gaetani (Northwestern University); Enrico Berkes (Northwestern University)
    Abstract: Using a newly assembled dataset of narrowly georeferenced patents, we document that innovation activity is not as concentrated in densely populated areas as commonly believed: suburban regions are responsible for a substantial share of the innovation produced. Nevertheless, high-density areas disproportionately generate innovation of unconventional nature. We provide causal evidence for a mechanism that can generate this pattern: unconventional ideas are more likely to emerge when people interact in a dense and technologically diverse environment. An endogenous growth model with heterogeneous innovation and spatial sorting reveals that optimal place-based policy in the U.S. would foster urbanization to promote unconventional ideas, at the cost of sacrificing growth and inducing higher congestion.
    Date: 2015
  14. By: Dan S. Rickman (Oklahoma State University)
    Abstract: Intellectual appeal and simplicity of use has led to the widespread application of the spatial hedonic model in assessing regional quality of life. Yet, the traditional spatial hedonic approach contains numerous assumptions, which typically are untested. Violation of the assumptions in practice can lead to significantly biased estimates of regional quality of life. More sophisticated econometric approaches have been developed to reduce the biases. However, each approach typically only addresses one or two of the concerns. More promising, is the use of structural models, which by design have the potential to overcome all the limitations of the spatial hedonic approach.
    Keywords: Hedonic estimation, Spatial equilibrium, Quality of life, Urban economics, Economic geography
    JEL: Q5 R23 R31
    Date: 2014–08
  15. By: Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: We develop a two-sector search-matching model of the labor market with imperfect mobility of work- ers, augmented to incorporate a housing market and a frictional goods market. Homeowners use home equity as collateral to finance idiosyncratic consumption opportunities. A financial innovation that raises the acceptability of homes as collateral raises house prices and reduces unemployment. It also triggers a reallocation of workers, with the direction of the change depending on firms' market power in the goods market. A calibrated version of the model under adaptive learning can account for house prices, sectoral labor flows, and unemployment rate changes over 1996-2010.
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Climent Quintana-Domeque; Marco Gonzalez-Navarro
    Abstract: We provide the first experimental estimation of the effects of the supply of publicly financed urban infrastructure on property values. Using random allocation of first-time street asphalting of residential streets located in peripheral neighbourhoods in Mexico, we show that within two years of the intervention households are able to transform their increased property wealth into significantly larger rates of vehicle ownership, household appliances, and home improvements. Increased consumption is made possible via both credit use and less saving. A cost-benefit analysis indicates that the valuation of street asphalting as capitalized into property values is about as large as construction costs. We provide the first experimental estimation of the effects of the supply of publicly financed urban infrastructure on property values. Using random allocation of first-time street asphalting of residential streets located in peripheral neighbourhoods in Mexico, we show that within two years of the intervention households are able to transform their increased property wealth into significantly larger rates of vehicle ownership, household appliances, and home improvements. Increased consumption is made possible via both credit use and less saving. A cost-benefit analysis indicates that the valuation of street asphalting as capitalized into property values is about as large as construction costs.
    Keywords: development, infrastructure, credit use, wealth effect, randomized controlled trial
    JEL: C93 H41 O12 O18
    Date: 2015–09–10
  17. By: Jesper de Groote (VU University Amsterdam); Jos van Ommeren (VU University Amsterdam); Hans R.A. Koster (VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Many cities around the world have introduced paid parking but implicitly subsidize parking for example by providing residential parking permits for street parking. We study the welfare effects of residential parking subsidies through changes in car ownership for Amsterdam. We employ a boundary-discontinuity design that exploits spatial variation in the length of waiting lists for permits and therefore in the size of the parking subsidy. In the city center, the waiting time for a permit is up to four years. Our results indicate that one additional year of waiting for a parking permit reduces car ownership with 2 percentage points corresponding to a price elasticity of car demand of -0.8. We demonstrate that subsidizing residential parking induces a substantial welfare loss. On average, a parking permit induces an annual deadweight loss of € 270. Furthermore, we show that the provision of parking permits is an income-regressive policy: rich households are five times more likely than poor households to receive these (implicit) parking subsidies.
    Keywords: parking policy; car ownership; household location choice
    JEL: R20 R40 R42
    Date: 2015–09–28
  18. By: Daniel J. Graham
    Abstract: This paper reviews methods that seek to draw causal inference from non-experimental data and shows how they can be applied to undertake ex-post evaluation of transport interventions. In particular, the paper discusses the underlying principles of techniques for treatment effect estimation with non-randomly assigned treatments. The aim of these techniques is to quantify changes that have occurred due to explicit intervention (or ‘treatment’). The paper argues that transport interventions are typically characterized by non-random assignment and that the key issues for successful ex-post evaluation involve identifying and adjusting for confounding factors. In contrast to conventional approaches for ex-ante appraisal, a major advantage of the statistical causal methods is that they can be applied without making strong a-priori theoretical assumptions. The paper provides empirical examples of the use of causal techniques to evaluate road network capacity expansions in US cities and High Speed Rail investments in Spain.
    Date: 2014–10
  19. By: Germà Bel (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Mildred E. Warner (Dep. of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University)
    Abstract: Inter-municipal cooperation is an important public service delivery reform, whose drivers move beyond simple concerns with costs and economic efficiency, to policy issues related to governance structure and spatial context. We conduct a meta-regression analysis based on the existing multivariate empirical literature to explore what factors explain divergence in results in the existing empirical studies. We find strong evidence that fiscal constraints, spatial, and organizational factors are significant drivers of cooperation. Our meta regressions do not yield results to explain divergence in results on community wealth, economies of scale or racial homogeneity. More studies on these factors are needed to understand how these factors might affect cooperation. Future theoretical and empirical research should give more attention to spatial and organizational factors to develop a better understanding of factors driving cooperation and how they differ across local government structures and regions.
    Keywords: Intermunicipal Cooperation, Local government, Intergovernmental Relations, Meta-regression analysis JEL classification: H70, H77, R51
    Date: 2015–09
  20. By: Lisa Dragoset; Susanne James-Burdumy; Kristin Hallgren; Irma Perez-Johnson; Mariesa Herrmann; Christina Tuttle; Megan Hague Angus; Rebecca Herman; Matthew Murray; Courtney Tanenbaum; Cheryl Graczewski
    Abstract: This report summarizes findings from Mathematica’s multi-year evaluation of School Improvement Grants (SIG) for the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. It describes the practices schools reported using in spring 2012.
    Keywords: School Improvement Grants, school reform, school turnaround
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–09–29
  21. By: Fernando Rugitsky
    Abstract: This paper offers an interpretation of the Great Recession based on Foley’s circuit of capital model. It is maintained that the contractionary effects of financialization were compensated by the housing bubble, from the mid-1990s to the early 2006. The busting of the bubble, then, was followed by the crisis. The model is calibrated with reference to quarterly data from the Flow of Funds Accounts, from 1960 to 1995. The interaction of financialization and the housing bubble, from 1996 to 2006 and from 2006 to 2009, is examined by simulating a baseline version of the model and imposing the observed shocks
    Keywords: circuit of capital; stock-flow consistent models; financialization; housing buble; Great Recession
    JEL: B51 E11 N12
    Date: 2015–09–15
  22. By: Owen Zidar (University of Chicago); Juan Carlos Serrato; Eduardo Morales (Princeton University); Pablo Fajgelbaum (UCLA)
    Abstract: Dispersion in sales, income, and corporate taxes across U.S. states leads to spatial misallocation by distorting workers' decisions about where to live and how much to consume, as well as firms' decisions about where to locate, how much to produce, and where to sell. How big is the impact of this spatial misallocation on real output and welfare? To answer this question we build a quantitative trade model with imperfect firm and labor mobility that accommodates heterogeneity in tax structures across states. In the model, workers decide where to locate based on income, cost of living, and local amenities, while firms decide where to locate and how much to produce based on productivity, market potential, and costs of hiring workers and using land and intermediate inputs. The extent of misallocation depends on the elasticity of the number of firms with respect to profits, of employment with respect to real wages, and of inter-state trade with respect to import prices. We estimate these elasticities using data on state taxes and economic activity in the U.S. since 1980 and structural equations from the model that link variation in firm location, employment, and trade to variation in sales, income, and corporate taxes across states and over time. We then use the estimated elasticities and the structure of the model to predict the real-income effects associated with the changes in the number of firms, labor supply, and internal trade generated with counterfactual changes in the state tax distribution.
    Date: 2015
  23. By: Margaret Brehm; Scott A. Imberman; Michael F. Lovenheim
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effect of the individual incentives teachers face in a teacher-based value-added merit pay tournament on student achievement. We first build an illustrative model in which teachers use proximity to an award threshold to update their information about their own ability, which informs their expected marginal return to effort. The model predicts that those who are closer to an award cutoff in a given year will increase effort and thus will have higher achievement gains in the subsequent year. However, if value-added scores are too noisy, teachers will not respond. Using administrative teacher-student linked data, we test this prediction employing a method akin to the bunching estimator of Saez (2010). Specifically, we examine whether teachers who are proximal to a cutoff in one year exhibit excess gains in test score growth in the next year. Our results show consistent evidence that teachers do not respond to the incentives they face under this program. In line with our model, we argue that a likely reason for the lack of responsiveness is that the value-added measures used to determine awards were too noisy to provide informative feedback about one's ability. This highlights the importance of value-added precision in the design of incentive pay systems.
    JEL: H75 I21 J33 J38
    Date: 2015–09
  24. By: William R. Kerr; Martin Mandorff
    Abstract: We study the relationship between ethnicity, occupational choice, and entrepreneurship. Immigrant groups in the United States cluster in specific business sectors. For example, Koreans are 34 times more likely than other immigrants to operate dry cleaners, and Gujarati-speaking Indians are 108 times more likely to manage motels. We develop a model of social interactions where non-work relationships facilitate the acquisition of sector-specific skills. The resulting scale economies generate occupational stratification along ethnic lines, consistent with the reoccurring phenomenon of small, socially-isolated groups achieving considerable economic success via concentrated entrepreneurship. Empirical evidence from the United States supports our model's underlying mechanisms.
    JEL: D21 D22 D85 F22 J15 L14 L26 M13
    Date: 2015–09
  25. By: Gabor Bekes (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and CEPR)
    Abstract: This paper reviews a set of issues related to the concept and measurement of regional competitiveness. First, the concept of growth and competitiveness is argued to be different at regional level from the national level. In particular, the relationship between agglomeration and performance, the role of FDI in regions, and the key aspect of local institutions are analyzed. Second, a detailed review is carried out on potential data sources to gauge regional competitiveness using official, private sector as well as academic datasets.
    Keywords: regional competitiveness, data audit
    JEL: R11 R38
    Date: 2015–06
  26. By: Semih Tumen; Tugba Zeydanli
    Abstract: The literature documents that job satisfaction is positively correlated with worker performance and productivity. We examine whether aggregate job satisfaction in a certain labor market environment can have an impact on individual-level job satisfaction. If the answer is yes, then policies targeted to increase job satisfaction can increase productivity not only directly, but through spillover externalities too. We seek an answer to this question using two different data sets from the United Kingdom characterizing two different labor market environments: Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS) at the workplace level (i.e., narrowly defined worker groups) and British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) at the local labor market level (i.e., larger worker groups defined in industry–region cells). Implementing an original empirical strategy to identify spillover effects, we find that one standard deviation increase in aggregate job satisfaction leads to a 0.42 standard deviation increase in individual-level job satisfaction at the workplace level and 0.15 standard deviation increase in individual-level job satisfaction at the local labor market level. These social interactions effects are sizable and should not be ignored in assessing the effectiveness of the policies designed to improve job satisfaction.
    Keywords: Job satisfaction, Social interactions, Spillovers, Hierarchical model, WERS, BHPS
    JEL: C31 D62 J28
    Date: 2015
  27. By: Gagliardi, Luisa; Iammarino, Simona; Rodriguez-Pose, Andres
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of the offshoring of production activities on domestic jobs in Great Britain. The paper considers both the spatial heterogeneity across local labour markets and variations in the intensity of outward flows of investments abroad (OFDI) across industries in order to shed new light on the job creation/destruction implications of offshoring. The results suggest that offshoring may generate significant job losses in routine occupations in areas that have been more exposed to the relocation of production abroad, regardless of whether the relocation has been to developed or developing/emerging countries. Offshoring to developing/emerging countries has, by contrast, a positive effect on the generation of non-routine jobs. Efficiency gains accruing from the international reorganization of production increase in the long-run, with compensation mechanisms operating through growth of employment in higher value added activities at home. Overall, our results uncover important spatial and interpersonal inequalities in job creation, which provide new challenges for public policy.
    Keywords: job creation and destruction; local labour markets; offshoring; routine and non-routine occupations
    JEL: F21 J23 J24 J42
    Date: 2015–09
  28. By: Oscar Mendez (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)
    Abstract: This paper studies the spread of the U.S. credit crisis to Mexican local labor markets, explicitly identifying the role that trade played in the transmission of the negative shock across the two countries. To identify the trade channel empirically, I exploit the variation in dependence on the U.S. market displayed by Mexican local labor markets. Differences in manufacturing industry structure caused by Mexico's opening process have made a subset of Mexican municipalities especially vulnerable to economic events in the U.S. Mexican municipalities that exported relatively more to the U.S. experienced large and significant differential effects when compared to municipalities more focused on the domestic market. Mexican regions with significant ties to the U.S. market experienced, during the crisis, a significantly larger decrease in employment and wages, and greater within local labor market adjustments than their less open counterparts.
    JEL: E24 F14 F16 J30 L60
    Date: 2015–09–24
  29. By: Niedermayer, Andreas; Shneyerov, Artyom; Xu, Pia
    Abstract: We develop a novel theory of real estate foreclosure auctions, which have the special feature that the lender acts as a seller for low and as a buyer for high prices. The theory yields several empirically testable predictions concerning the strategic behavior of the agents, both under symmetric and asymmetric information. Using novel data from Palm Beach County (FL, US), we �nd evidence of both strategic behavior and asymmetric information, with the lender being the informed party. Moreover, the data are consistent with moral hazard in mortgage securitization: banks collect less information about the value of the mortgage collateral.
    Keywords: Foreclosure Auctions; Asymmetric Information; Bunching; Discontinuous Strategies; Securitization
    JEL: C72 D44 D82 G21
    Date: 2015–09–22
  30. By: DE BORGER, Bruno; RUSSO, Antonio
    Abstract: We develop a positive theory of pricing car access (by parking fees or cordon tolls) to downtown commercial districts. The model accounts for the special interests of downtown retailers and competing superstores at the edge of the city, and studies how lobbying by both groups shapes the government’s policy. We find that downtown retailers typically have steeper lobbying contribution schedules than superstores, which induces the government to underprice central roads and parking spaces. This result is strengthened if some consumers visit both downtown and edge of town retailers. The presence of an alternative travel mode (e.g. public transport) does not weaken downtown retailers’ incentives to oppose car tariffs. Finally, extending the model to allow for lobbying by residents within the downtown retail district we find that residents may lobby for higher or lower parking fees, depending on their relative concern for the vitality of the central district. As a consequence, depending on parameter values, the outcome of lobbying may produce car fees below or above first-best levels. We argue that our results are in line with empirical observations.
    Keywords: Parking, Road pricing, Lobbying, Retailers, Superstores
    JEL: D72 H23 D43 R41
    Date: 2015–05
  31. By: Rodriguez Lesmes,Paul Andres; Trujillo,Jose Daniel; Valderrama Gonzalez,Daniel
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relation between public, education-related infrastructure and the quality of education in schools. The analysis uses a case study of the establishment of two large, high-quality public libraries in low-income areas in Bogotá, Colombia. It assesses the impact of these libraries on the quality of education by comparing national test scores (SABER 11) for schools close to and far from the libraries before (2000?02) and after (2003?08) the libraries were opened. The paper introduces a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition on di?erence-in-di?erences estimates to assess whether variation of traditional determinants of mathematics, verbal, and science test scores explains the estimates. The analysis ?nds differences that are not statistically di?erent from zero that could be attributed to the establishment of the libraries. These results are robust to alternative speci?cations, a synthetic control approach, and an alternative measure of distance.
    Keywords: Education For All,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–09–30
  32. By: André De Palma (ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan, Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS); Robin Lindsey (Sauder - Sauder School of Business [British Columbia] - University of British Columbia); Guillaume Monchambert (ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan)
    Abstract: We analyze trip-timing decisions of public transit users who trade off crowding costs and disutility from traveling early or late. Considering fixed and then endogenous demand, we derive the equilibrium distribution of users across trains for three fare regimes: no fare, an optimal uniform fare, and an optimal train-dependent fare that supports the social optimum. We also derive the optimal number of trains and train capacity, and compare them across fare regimes. Finally we calibrate the model to a segment of the Paris RER A mass transit system and estimate the potential welfare gains from train-dependent fares.
    Keywords: public transport, crowding, pricing, optimal capacity
    Date: 2015–09–21
  33. By: Eric Borchers (Creighton University); John Deskins (West Virginia University, College of Business and Economics); Amanda Ross (West Virginia University, College of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: The existing literature studying the relationship between small business activity and U.S. state tax policy has focused primarily on a few measures of small business. We expand this literature by estimating the effect of state tax policy on small businesses by using a broader measures of small business activity using a longitudinal dataset for the U.S. states. We also estimate the relationship between state tax policy and large business activity. Results provide evidence that state tax policy can influence small business firm, establishment, payroll, and employment growth in important ways but provide limited evidence that such policy significantly influences large business growth.
    JEL: H2 H7 R1
    Date: 2015–05
  34. By: Yavuz Arslan; Birol Kanik; Bulent Koksal
    Abstract: Using data from England and Wales, we analyze the relationship between house prices and transaction volume (number of houses sold) and find that there is a negative relationship. When we decompose price changes into anticipated and unanticipated components we find that while anticipated house price changes positively affect transaction volume, unanticipated price changes have a negative effect. These findings give insights for the theories which try to explain the relationship between house prices and transaction volume. Our findings are inconsistent with the 'down-payment effect' approach developed by Stein (1995) and Ortalo-Magne and Rady (2006), and with the 'loss aversion behavior' approach discussed by Genesove and Mayer (2001). However, our results support the evidence of asymmetric decisions on the buyer and seller side documented in Case and Shiller (1988) and partially support the mechanisms in search and matching models.
    Keywords: Expectations, Transaction volume, House prices
    JEL: D8 G1 R3
    Date: 2015
  35. By: Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of parental job loss on children's school performance during the Great Recession in Spain, using an original panel dataset for students observed since the beginning of the crisis in a school in the province of Barcelona. By using fixed effects, this paper is more likely to deal with the problem of selection into troubled firms which is prevalent in the literature. Fixed effect estimates show that students experience a negative and significant decrease on average grades of about 13% of a standard deviation after father's job loss. The impact of paternal job loss is not homogeneous across students, but it is largely concentrated among children whose fathers suffer long unemployment spells after job loss and students in already disadvantaged families in terms of the father's education level. These results suggest that paternal job loss is a mechanism through which further inequalities might develop during and after a deep economic crisis.
    Keywords: Parental job loss; school performance; Great Recession
    JEL: I20 J63 J65
    Date: 2015–07
  36. By: Ferdinand Rauch; Shaun Larcom; Tim Willems
    Abstract: We estimate that a significant fraction of commuters on the London underground do not travel their optimal route. Consequently, a tube strike (which forced many commuters to experiment with new routes) taught commuters about the existence of superior journeys -- bringing about lasting changes in behaviour. This effect is stronger for commuters who live in areas where the tube map is more distorted, thereby pointing towards the importance of informational imperfections. We argue that the information produced by the strike improved network-efficiency. Search costs are unlikely to explain the suboptimal behaviour. Instead, individuals seem to under-experiment in normal times, as a result of which constraints can be welfare-improving.
    Keywords: Experimentation, Learning, Optimization, Rationality, Search
    JEL: D83 L91 R41
    Date: 2015–09–09
  37. By: Braunerhjelm, Pontus (Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), & Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum); Ding, Ding (Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS), & Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)); Thulin, Per (Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), & Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum)
    Abstract: According to the knowledge-based spillover theory of entrepreneurship (KSTE), entrepreneurship is positively associated with the knowledge endowment level. An increase in knowledge expands the opportunity set, which is then exploited by heterogeneous entrepreneurs. The objective of this paper is to empirically test the validity of the KSTE by employing a detailed database comprising more than 19 million observations for the period 2001–2008 at the level of individuals, firms and regions in Sweden. Knowledge is claimed to be partly embodied in labour, implying that an increase in labour mobility can be expected to influence knowledge endowment at the regional level. Our dependent variable is an individual who has remained in a region throughout the time period considered. Controlling for a number of other variables, inter-regional labour inflows and intra-regional mobility levels are shown to exert a strong positive effect on entrepreneurship. This contrasts with inter-regional outflows, which negatively affect entrepreneurial entry. Another noteworthy result is that the probability of exploiting an increased knowledge stock through entrepreneurship increases by 15 percentage points if the individual has previous experience in starting a firm.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Knowledge-based spillover theory of entrepreneurship; Knowledge diffusion; Labour mobility
    JEL: J61 L26 O33
    Date: 2015–09–28
  38. By: Avitabile,Ciro; Bobba,Matteo; Pariguana,Marco
    Abstract: Parents and students from different socioeconomic backgrounds value differently school characteristics, but the reasons behind this preference heterogeneity are not well understood. In the context of the centralized school assignment system in Mexico City, this study analyzes how a large household income shock affects choices over high school tracks exploiting the discontinuity in the assignment of the welfare program Oportunidades. The income shock significantly increases the probability of choosing the vocational track vis-a-vis the other more academic-oriented tracks. The findings suggest that the transfer relaxes the financial constraints that prevent relatively low-ability students from choosing the schooling option with higher labor market returns.
    Keywords: Education For All,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–09–28
  39. By: Maria E. Davalos (World Bank); Esquivel Gerardo (Colmex); López-Calva Luis Felipe (World Bank); Carlos Rodríguez-Castelán (World Bank)
    Abstract: Using municipality-level income data this paper tests for income convergence across municipalities in Mexico from 1990 to 2010. With a unique dataset obtained using the small-area estimation method of poverty mapping, results show that the income of poorer municipalities has grown faster than that of richer municipalities (beta-convergence) in the period under study, particularly from 2000 to 2005. Even with this pattern of beta-convergence across the period, regional disparities (sigma-convergence) only started to fall in the 2000s, after a sharp increase from 1990 to 2000. The convergence process observed in Mexico, however, seems to stem from a combination of positive and relatively higher income growth for those at the very bottom of the income distribution of municipalities and negative growth for those at the top. For the vast majority of municipalities the growth rate of income has been virtually stagnant throughout the period.
    JEL: O54 O47 R11
    Date: 2015–09–24
  40. By: Toshitaka GOKAN (Institute of Developing Economies – Japan External Trade Organization); Ikuo KUROIWA (Institute of Developing Economies – Japan External Trade Organization, Bangkok, Thailand); Nuttawut LAKSANAPANYAKUL (Thailand Development Research Institute Foundation); Yasushi UEKI (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia)
    Abstract: Due to lowering trade and transport costs, participation in the global value chains (GVCs) is becoming one of the most effective development strategies for many developing countries. Participation in the GVCs, however, is not sufficient; the formation of industrial linkages and clusters is critical for sustained economic growth. This paper identifies the manufacturing clusters in Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Thailand, using the method proposed by Mori and Smith (2013). The paper provides a map of industrial clusters by industry, which is tested against the hypothesis of spurious clusters. Moreover, the paper indicates the spatial structure of industrial agglomerations using the global extent and local density indices.
    Keywords: industrial agglomeration, cluster analysis, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia, Thailand
    JEL: L60 R12 R14
    Date: 2015–09
  41. By: Fuess, Roland; Ruf, Daniel
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique dataset to empirically test the implications of limited transparency in decentralized asset markets. We capture differences in the level of transparency as a linkage mechanism among international commercial real estate markets. This connectivity arises from the strategic interaction of informed and uninformed investors. Our identification strategy exploits the unique feature of spatial econometrics to analyze the transmission of learning externalities across segmented opaque markets. We find empirical evidence of cross-sectional dependence and implied co-movements among global real estate excess returns. Furthermore, we show that local shocks are amplified via spillover effects and feedback loops, which provide a potential source of instability in the international commercial property sector.
    Keywords: Commercial real estate, cross-sectional dependence, learning externalities, opaque markets, spatial econometrics, transparency risk
    JEL: C33 D82 D83 G15 R30
    Date: 2015–09
  42. By: Mike Waugh (New York University); David Lagakos (University of California, San Diego)
    Abstract: This paper uses new tracking surveys for several developing countries to analyze rural-urban migration and their macroeconomic implications. We document that migrants from rural to urban areas typically experience large consumption growth one year after migrating, though overall migration rates are low. To understand these facts we build a model that generates a rural-urban gap in average consumption due to three factors: income risk from migration, worker sorting, and disutility from migration. We structurally estimate the model and assess the relative importance of each factor in explaining rural-urban consumption gaps. We then cross-check the model's predictions using evidence from a controlled migration experiment. Quantitative experiments using the model provide guidance about the quantitative importance of migration policy on aggregate consumption growth.
    Date: 2015
  43. By: Joshua Hall (West Virginia University, College of Business and Economics); Antonis Koumpias (Georgia State University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: School districts typically derive their own-source revenue from the property tax. Ohio is a prominent exception as local school districts have the option of diversifying their revenue base by adopting a residency-based income tax. While diversification has clear benefits, a potential downside is greater revenue volatility. Using a panel of 609 Ohio school districts from 1990 to 2008, we find that while school district revenues from the income tax are pro-cyclical, they fluctuate mildly. We also find that for every dollar increase in school district income, revenues from the income tax increased by 25 cents per pupil.
    Keywords: revenue volatility, tax base diversification, Ohio, short-run elasticity
    JEL: H71 H75
    Date: 2015–06
  44. By: Andy Pike; Andrew Cumbers; Stuart Dawley; Danny MacKinnon; Robert McMaster
    Abstract: Evolutionary approaches in economic geography face questions about the relationships between their concepts, theories, methods, politics and policy implications. Amidst the growing but unsettled consensus that evolutionary approaches should employ plural methodologies, the aims here are, first, to identify some of the difficult issues confronting those working with different frameworks. The concerns comprise: specifying and connecting research objects, subjects and levels; handling agency and context; engaging and integrating the quantitative and the qualitative; comparing cases; and, considering politics, policy and praxis. Second, the purpose is to articulate a distinctive geographical political economy approach, methods and illustrative examples in addressing these issues. Bringing different views of evolution in economic geography into dialogue and disagreement renders methodological pluralism a means towards improved understanding and explanation rather than an end in itself. Confronting such thorny matters needs to be embedded in our research practices and supported by greater openness, more and better substantiation of our conceptual, theoretical and empirical claims, enhanced critical reflection, and deeper engagement with politics, policy and praxis.
    Date: 2015–09
  45. By: Corrado Giulietti; Mirco Tonin; Michael Vlassopoulos
    Abstract: Discrimination in access to public services can act as a major obstacle towards addressing racial inequality. We examine whether racial discrimination exists in access to a wide spectrum of public services in the US. We carry out an email correspondence study in which we pose simple queries to more than 19,000 local public service providers. We find that emails are less likely to receive a response if signed by a black-sounding name compared to a white-sounding name. Given a response rate of 72% for white senders, emails from putatively black senders are almost 4 percentage points less likely to receive an answer. We also find that responses to queries coming from black names are less likely to have a cordial tone. Further tests suggest that the differential in the likelihood of answering is due to animus towards blacks rather than inferring socioeconomic status from race.
    Keywords: discrimination, public services provision, school districts, libraries, sheriffs, field experiment, correspondence study
    Date: 2015–09
  46. By: Susanne James-Burdumy
    Abstract: This executive summary describes key findings from a two-volume report from Mathematica’s multi-year evaluation of Race to the Top (RTT) and School Improvement Grants (SIG) programs for the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.
    Keywords: School Improvement Grants, Race to the Top, school reform, school turnaround
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–09–29
  47. By: Deborah A. Cobb-Clark (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne); Anna Zhu (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes children’s long-term consequences of experiencing homelessness. Our primary goal is to assess the importance of the potential pathways linking childhood homelessness to adult employment. We use novel panel data that link survey and administrative data for a sample of disadvantaged adults who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. We find that those experiencing homelessness for the first time as children are less likely to be employed than those who were never homeless as a child. For women, this relationship is largely explained by the lower educational attainment and higher welfare receipt (both in general and in the form of mental illness-related disability payments) of those experiencing childhood homelessness. Higher rates of high-school incompletion and incarceration explain some of the link between childhood homelessness and men’s employment, however, childhood homelessness continues to have a substantial direct effect on male employment rates. Classification-J1, J2, I2
    Keywords: Employment, homelessness, welfare receipt, education, incarceration
    Date: 2015–09
  48. By: Jeremiah Dittmar
    Abstract: This research studies how variations in competition and in media content characterized the use and impact of Gutenberg's printing press technology during the European Renaissance. The research constructs annual firm-level panel data on the publications produced by 7,000+ printing firms operating in over 300 European cities 1454- 1600. Evidence on the timing of the premature deaths of firm owner-managers is used to isolate shocks to competition. Firms where owner-managers died experienced large negative shocks to output. However, at the citylevel deaths of incumbent managers were associated with significant increases in entrance and with a positive and persistent impact on competition and city output. Variations in city supply induced by heterogeneous manager deaths are used to study the relationship between the diffusion of ideas in print and city growth. A uniquely strong relationship is observed between the new business education literature and local growth. This is consistent with historical research on the transformative impact business education ideas had on commercial practices and European capitalism.
    Keywords: Information technology; IO; media; growth; history; business education
    JEL: L1 N9 N93 O11 O18 O33
    Date: 2015–08
  49. By: Patrizia Lattarulo (Istituto Regionale per la Programmazione Economica della Toscana); Alessandro Petretto (Università di Firenze)
    Abstract: The progressive intensification of the tax burden at local scale which has taken place in the last few years as well as the want of stable resources by local bodies is urging a general reconsideration of the modalities in which Italian municipalities are financed. This work discusses the introduction of the Local Tax in Italy, and presents different hypotheses on how it should be devised. The first part recalls the theoretical principles underpinning a tax scheme aimed at financing municipal services and confirms the soundness of a real estate property tax; the second part illustrates the equity implications of the reform proposals meant to shift from the property tax to the Local Tax; the third part presents a comparison among the different types of local tax recommended in the current debate, drawing attention to the possible effects on the tax burden and on the balancing of local bodies’ budgets. The hypotheses compared are a “secondary” municipal property tax (Imposta Municipale Secondaria – IMU S), a “minimal” local tax; and a local tax that involves a partial or complete exemption for the main house. The first hypothesis has a poor effect, particularly as regards the goal of simplification, given the low amounts and the reduced number of municipalities involved, so that it does not seem appropriate as a means of local financing. The second one, which complies with vertical harmonization, modifies the taxable base of municipalities, thus implying a reform of their present organization, a fact that, considering the current budgetary difficulties, makes this the most complex of these hypothesis. The third one, which is the one privileged in the current debate, pursues the goals of equity; the present work analyzes the possible effects of the alternatives of partial versus total exemption for the main house and discusses the modalities to finance the manoeuvre. The financing of the exemption for the main house through transfer taxes is obviously the easiest and straightest way, but it lessens the tax autonomy, and thus the financial responsibility, of local governments. Conversely, financing the exemption with an increase of the property tax on secondary houses has a limited impact in terms of tax burden and municipal revenues, since the two amounts largely compensate each other. Then again, the distributive impact is quite uncertain. From a distribution point of view, this works underlines the efficacy of a system of permanent deductions as well as the prospective relevance of Land Registry’s reform.
    Keywords: taxation, local finance, real estate property taxes
    JEL: H31 H71
    Date: 2015
  50. By: Hanley Chiang; Alison Wellington; Kristin Hallgren; Cecilia Speroni; Mariesa Herrmann; Steven Glazerman; Jill Constantine
    Abstract: As part of Mathematica’s seven-year evaluation of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) program, this is the first report to describe the effects of performance-based bonuses within the TIF program. Researchers found that TIF schools’ student achievement on standardized tests in reading was higher by 1 percentile point—the equivalent of about three weeks of additional learning—for schools that offered pay-for-performance bonuses, compared with ones that did not. The study also showed similarly positive, but not statistically significant, improvements in math.
    Keywords: Teacher quality, TIF, value-added, pay-for-performance
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–09–24
  51. By: J.A. Bikker; D.E. van der Linde
    Abstract: A renewed interest in decentralization has profoundly affected local public governance around the world. Faced with an increasing number of tasks, Dutch municipalities have recently sought physical centralization, merging into larger jurisdictions in order to target new policy areas more effectively and cost efficiently. Is such a policy of physical centralization wise? We study economies of scale in local public administration, and find – given transfer payments from central government and current cooperation between municipalities and after controlling for geographical, demographic and socio-economic variables – substantial unused scale economies of 20% for the average municipality. Between 2005 and 2014 the optimum size of municipalities increases from around 49,000 to 66,260 inhabitants, pointing at an increased importance of fixed costs relative to variable costs in local public administration. For other local government activities, we find either lower or no optimum scales.
    Keywords: Fiscal federalism, Decentralization, Local public administration, municipalities
    Date: 2015
  52. By: Cengiz Tunc; Abdullah Yavas
    Abstract: The private saving rate in Turkey has decreased substantially since 2000. In this study, we investigate the determinants of the private saving rate in Turkey, with a special focus on the role of mortgage debt. We find a strong and robust negative effect of mortgage credit growth on private saving rate. Nonmortgage consumer credit growth also has a negative and robust effect on private saving rate, though its effect is smaller than that of mortgage credit. Business credit growth, on the other hand, has a positive impact on private saving rate. Our results provide strong support for the argument that the high growth rate of consumer credit is a primary reason for the recent decrease in private saving rate in Turkey. We also find that private saving rate displays strong persistence, and public saving rate partially crowds out private saving rate. In addition, per capita real income growth rate and macroeconomic uncertainty have positive impact on private saving rate.
    Keywords: Saving, Mortgage Debt
    JEL: E21 G21
    Date: 2015
  53. By: Gabor Bekes (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and CEPR); Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano (London School of Economics, University of Bologna, CEP and CEPR)
    Abstract: Enhancing competitiveness is a popular target in economic policy making – not only at the national, but at the regional level as well despite neither generally accepted definition nor any strong agreement on how to measure it. In this chapter we discuss the conceptual underpinnings of why it is interesting to unpack the economic performance of a country into the economic performance of its regions. We argue that as firms compete; measuring regional competitiveness should be also based on comparing firm performance across EU regions. Given available data, we propose a new way to gauge how firms fare is to look at their ability to access and penetrate world markets. The key index is export per worker from a region to non-EU destinations relative to the EU average – a ‘regional competitiveness’ index that captures the capacity of a region’s firms to outperform the firms of the average EU region in terms of exports.
    Keywords: export, regional competitiveness, measurement, granularity
    JEL: R11 F14 R58
    Date: 2015–06

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