nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2015‒10‒25
forty-two papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Transfer Taxes and Household Mobility: Distortion on the Housing or Labor Market? By Christian A. L. Hilber; Teemu Lyytikäinen
  2. Jobs and land use within cities : a survey of theory, evidence, and policy By Goswami,Arti Grover; Lall,Somik V.
  3. Industry structure, entrepreneurship, and culture: An empirical analysis using historical coalfields By Stuetzer, Michael; Obschonka, Martin; Audretsch, David B.; Wyrwich, Michael; Rentfrow, Peter J.; Coombes, Mike; Shaw-Taylor, Leigh; Satchell, Max
  4. Do increases in subsidized housing reduce the incidence of homelessness?: evidence from the low-income housing tax credit By Jackson, Osborne; Kawano, Laura
  5. The Energy Implications of City Size and Density By William Larson; Anthony M. Yezer
  6. Urban networks: Spreading the flow of goods, people and ideas By Edward L. Glaeser; Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto; Yimei Zou
  7. Bobos in Paradise: Urban Politics and the New Economy By Saint-Paul, Gilles
  8. Measuring Teachers' Effectiveness: A Report from Phase 3 of Pennsylvania's Pilot of the Framework for Teaching By Stephen Lipscomb; Jeffrey Terziev; Duncan Chaplin
  9. Household Debt and Crises of Confidence By Hintermaier, Thomas; Koeniger, Winfried
  10. On the Welfare Cost of Rare Housing Disasters By Shaofeng Xu
  11. Cultural Dynamics, Social Mobility and Urban Segregation By Emeline Bezin; Fabien Moizeau
  12. Date Stamping Bubbles in Real Estate Investment Trusts By Escobari, Diego; Jafarinejad, Mohammad
  13. Endogenous Social Networks and Inequality in an Intergenerational Setting By Yannis Ioannides
  14. A profile of the labour market for school principals in South Africa: Evidence to inform policy By Gabrielle Wills
  15. Related variety and employment growth in Italy By Niccolò Innocenti; Luciana Lazzeretti
  16. Housing Bubbles and Policy Analysis By Pengfei Wang; Jing Zhou; Jianjun Miao
  17. Trade and Towns: Heterogeneous Adjustment to a Border Shock By Brülhart, Marius; Carrère, Céline; Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric
  18. Multiple equilibria in the Russian cities By Mikhailova, T.
  19. Trend-Spotting in the Housing Market By Askitas, Nikos
  20. Networks and Misallocation: Insurance, Migration, and the Rural-Urban Wage Gap By Kaivan Munshi; Mark Rosenzweig
  21. The Effect of Police Response Time on Crime Detection By Jordi Blanes i Vidal; Tom Kirchmaier
  22. Broadband Diffusion and Firm Performance in Rural Areas: Quasi-Experimental Evidence By Giulia Canzian; Samuele Poy; Simone Schüller
  23. The Predictability of cay and cayMS for Stock and Housing Returns: A Nonparametric Causality in Quantile Test By Mehmet Balcilar; Rangan Gupta; Ricardo M. Sousa; Mark E. Wohar
  24. Staffing a Low-Performing School: Behavioral Responses to Selective Teacher Transfer Incentives (Journal Article) By Ali Protik; Steven Glazerman; Julie Bruch; Bing-ru Teh
  25. Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet By Bulman, George; Fairlie, Robert W.
  26. Excess Commuting in the US: Differences between the Self-Employed and Employees By Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio; Molina, José Alberto; Velilla, Jorge
  27. Competitive Grant-Making: A Review of the Literature By Cara Orfield; Debra Lipson; Sheila Hoag
  28. Spillover Effects in a Federal Country with Vertical Tax Externalities By Lisa Grazzini; Alessandro Petretto
  29. Incentives and Children's Dietary Choices: A Field Experiment in Primary Schools By Belot, Michèle; James, Jonathan; Nolen, Patrick J.
  30. Night lights and regional income inequality in Africa By Mveyange Anthony
  31. Trends in Firm Entry and New Entrepreneurship in Canada By Shutao Cao; Mohanad Salameh; Mai Seki; Pierre St-Amant
  32. Associatons Between Public Housing and Individual Earnings in New Orleans By Sara Gleave
  33. Should Different People Have Different Governments? By Giacomo Ponzetto; Amedeo Piolatto; Federico Boffa
  34. ADBI WP543: Mortgage Lending and Financial Stability in Asia By Morgan, Peter; Zhang, Yan
  35. Learning to Tax ?- Interjurisdictional Tax Competition under Incomplete Information By Johannes Becker; Ronald B. Davies
  36. Testing for Spacial Lag and Spatial Error Dependence in a Fixed Effects Panel Data Model Using Double Length Artificial Regressions By Badi H. Baltagi; Long Liu
  37. State and Local Sales Taxes and Business Activity in the United States By Saxon, Nicholas; Tosun, Mehmet S.; Yang, Jingjing
  38. Local Television, Citizen Knowledge and Political Accountability: Evidence from the U.S. Senate By Nordin, Mattias
  39. Dynamic Comovements between Housing and Oil Markets in the US over 1859 to 2013: A Note By Nikolaos Antonakakis; Rangan Gupta; John W. Muteba Mwamba
  40. Achieving greater fiscal stability: guidance for the New England states By Kodrzycki, Yolanda; Zhao, Bo
  41. Perceived Threat, Contact and Attitudes towards the Integration of Immigrants. Evidence from Luxembourg By CALLENS Marie-Sophie; MEULEMAN Bart; VALENTOVA Marie
  42. Risk Attitudes and Household Migration Decisions By Christian Dustmann; Francesco Fasani; Xin Meng; Luigi Minale

  1. By: Christian A. L. Hilber; Teemu Lyytikäinen
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of the UK Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) - a transfer tax on the purchase price of property or land - on different types of household mobility using micro data. Exploiting a discontinuity in the tax schedule, we isolate the impact of the tax from other determinants of mobility. We compare homeowners with self-assessed house values on either sides of a cut-off value where the tax rate jumps from 1 to 3 percent. We find that a higher SDLT has a strong negative impact on housing-related and short distance moves but does not adversely affect job-induced or long distance mobility. Overall, our results suggest that transfer taxes may mainly distort housing rather than labor markets.
    Keywords: Transfer taxes, stamp duty, transaction costs, homeownership, household mobility
    JEL: D23 H21 H27 J61 R21 R31 R38
    Date: 2015–10
  2. By: Goswami,Arti Grover; Lall,Somik V.
    Abstract: Over the last century, the urban spatial structure of cities has transformed dramatically from the traditional monocentric configuration to varying forms of decentralized organization. This paper reviews the theory and empirical evidence to understand the urban morphology of jobs and land use within a city. This survey highlights four broad insights: (i) The evolution of monocentric to polycentric centers has been accompanied by structural changes in the city. (ii) The internal geography of a city is an outcome of the trade-off between the pull from agglomeration economies and the push from congestion. (iii) The presence of externalities implies that the equilibrium spatial organization achieved by profit-maximizing firms may not necessarily be optimal. This justifies the role of public policy in addressing the associated market failures. (iv) The productive edge and competitiveness of a city can be enhanced by introducing policies that increase the overall connectivity to take advantage of economic opportunities across the metropolitan area. The survey also puts together a wide range of policy instruments that are useful in closing the gap between equilibrium urban spatial structure and the optimal outcome.
    Keywords: Transport Economics Policy&Planning,National Urban Development Policies&Strategies,Urban Housing and Land Settlements,Environmental Economics&Policies,Urban Slums Upgrading
    Date: 2015–10–22
  3. By: Stuetzer, Michael; Obschonka, Martin; Audretsch, David B.; Wyrwich, Michael; Rentfrow, Peter J.; Coombes, Mike; Shaw-Taylor, Leigh; Satchell, Max
    Abstract: There is mounting evidence demonstrating that entrepreneurship is spatially clustered and that these spatial differences are quite persistent over long periods of time. However, especially the sources of that persistence are not yet well-understood, and it is largely unclear whether persistent differences in entrepreneurship are reflected in differences in entrepreneurship culture across space as it is often argued in the literature. We approach the cluster phenomenon by theorizing that a historically high regional presence of large-scale firms negatively affects entrepreneurship, due to low levels of human capital and entrepreneurial skills, fewer opportunities for entry and entrepreneurship inhibiting formal and informal institutions. These effects can become self-perpetuating over time, ultimately resulting in persistent low levels of entrepreneurship activity and entrepreneurship culture. Using data from Great Britain, we analyze this long-term imprinting effect by using the distance to coalfields as an exogenous instrument for the regional presence of large-scale industries. IV regressions show that British regions with high employment shares of large-scale industries in the 19th century, due to spatial proximity to coalfields, have lower entrepreneurship rates and weaker entrepreneurship culture today. We control for an array of competing hypotheses like agglomeration forces, the regional knowledge stock, climate, and soil quality. Our main results are robust with respect to inclusion of these control variables and various other modifications which demonstrates the credibility of our empirical identification strategy. A mediation analysis reveals that a substantial part of the impact of large-scale industries on entrepreneurship is through human capital.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; entrepreneurship culture; Industrial Revolution; industry structure; personality
    JEL: L26 L64 N13 N53 N94
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Jackson, Osborne (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston); Kawano, Laura (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
    Abstract: The provision of affordable housing for low-income families is often cited by policymakers and advocacy groups as a necessity for ending homelessness. The U.S. government spends a considerable amount on housing programs for the nation's poor, and the use of federal housing programs to mitigate homelessness has attracted increasing interest following the recent financial downturn and housing market crisis. While important for housing policy, however, the question of whether subsidized housing is effective for combating homelessness remains unresolved. In this paper, the authors examine the impact of subsidized housing on homelessness using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), the largest place-based housing program in the United States.
    Keywords: low-income housing; tax credits; homelessness; regression discontinuity
    JEL: H20 H31 I32 R21 R31
    Date: 2015–05–01
  5. By: William Larson (Federal Housing Finance Agency); Anthony M. Yezer
    Abstract: This paper develops a new open-city urban simulation model capable of showing the urban form and energy consumption effects of variation in city size. The model is able to consider city size differences caused by wage and amenity differentials, both with and without housing and land use regulation. The surprising conclusion is that per-capita energy use is relatively invariant to city size when growth is driven by wages but falls modestly with growth induced by rising amenity. Common land use policies, specifically density limits and greenbelts, can positively or negatively affect both city welfare and energy use.
    Keywords: urban simulation, congestion, commuting, gasoline, greenbelt
    JEL: Q40 R14
    Date: 2015–06
  6. By: Edward L. Glaeser; Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto; Yimei Zou
    Abstract: Should China build mega-cities or a network of linked middle-sized metropolises? Can Europe's mid-sized cities compete with global agglomeration by forging stronger inter-urban links? This paper examines these questions within a model of recombinant growth and endogenous local amenities. Three primary factors determine the trade-off between networks and big cities: local returns to scale in innovation, the elasticity of housing supply, and the importance of local amenities. Even if there are global increasing returns, the returns to local scale in innovation may be decreasing, and that makes networks more appealing than mega-cities. Inelastic housing supply makes it harder to supply more space in dense confines, which perhaps explains why networks are more popular in regulated Europe than in the American Sunbelt. Larger cities can dominate networks because of amenities, as long as the benefits of scale overwhelm the downsides of density. In our framework, the skilled are more likely to prefer mega-cities than the less skilled, and the long-run benefits of either mega-cities or networks may be quite different from the short-run benefits.
    Keywords: Cities, Networks, Growth, Migration
    JEL: R10 R58 F15 O18
    Date: 2015–09
  7. By: Saint-Paul, Gilles
    Abstract: This paper provides some elements to explain the observed takeover in some urban areas of a new kind of elite associated with new economy jobs, also known as "bourgeois bohème" (bobos). This takeover has been associated with greater investment in urban amenities and "clean" means of transport, with adverse effects on commuting time. The model allows us to explain those developments by productivity is growth in the new economy, and by the differences in production processes between the new and old economies. The consequences of bobo takeover for house prices and employment of unskilled service workers are also discussed. A bunkerized equilibrium in which skilled workers in the old economy no longer reside in the city and have been replaced by service workers is studied. In such an equilibrium urban amenities are at their maximum and commuting flows have been eliminated. For some parameter values, bobos are better-off under bunkerization, in which case they may gain by favoring it with a "diversity" subsidy for unskilled workers to reside in the city.
    Keywords: bobos; bunkerization; local public goods; New economy; residential choice; urban amenities; urban voting models
    JEL: H7 R3 R4 R5
    Date: 2015–10
  8. By: Stephen Lipscomb; Jeffrey Terziev; Duncan Chaplin
    Abstract: In this report we analyzed data on two measures of teacher performance—one (the Framework for Teaching or FFT) is based largely on classroom observations and the other (value-added) is based on student test scores. The data we analyzed cover 6,676 teachers from 269 districts in the state of Pennsylvania. Although FFT scores are overwhelmingly concentrated in the top performance categories, the positive correlations with VAM suggest that the FFT provides some meaningful differentiation and captures aspects of teacher skills related to student achievement growth.
    Keywords: Teacher evaluations, value-added measures, teacher observation scores, teaching practice
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–04–23
  9. By: Hintermaier, Thomas (University of Bonn); Koeniger, Winfried (University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: We show that the size of collateralized household debt determines an economy's vulnerability to crises of confidence. The house price feeds back on itself by contributing to a liquidity effect, which operates through the value of housing in a collateral constraint. Over a specific range of debt levels this liquidity feedback effect is strong enough to give rise to multiplicity of house prices. In a dynamic setup, we conceptualize confidence as a realization of rationally entertainable belief-weightings of multiple future prices. This delivers debt-level-dependent bounds on the extent to which confidence may drive house prices and aggregate consumption.
    Keywords: household debt, consumer confidence, collateral constraints, multiple equilibria
    JEL: E21 E32 D91
    Date: 2015–10
  10. By: Shaofeng Xu
    Abstract: This paper examines the welfare cost of rare housing disasters characterized by large drops in house prices. I construct an overlapping generations general equilibrium model with recursive preferences and housing disaster shocks. The likelihood and magnitude of housing disasters are inferred from historic housing market experiences in the OECD. The model shows that despite the rarity of housing disasters, Canadian households would willingly give up 5 percent of their non-housing consumption each year to eliminate the housing disaster risk. The evaluation of this risk, however, varies considerably across age groups, with a welfare cost as high as 10 percent of annual non-housing consumption for the old, but near zero for the young. This asymmetry stems from the fact that, compared to the old, younger households suffer less from house price declines in disaster periods, due to smaller holdings of housing assets, and benefit from lower house prices in normal periods, due to the negative price effect of disaster risk.
    Keywords: Asset Pricing, Economic models, Housing
    JEL: E21 E44 G11 R21
    Date: 2015
  11. By: Emeline Bezin (Paris School of Economics (PSE), France); Fabien Moizeau (CREM, UMR CNRS 6211, University of Rennes 1, France)
    Abstract: We consider the relationship between intergenerational mobility and urban segregation. To this end, we develop a model of neighbourhood formation and preference transmission. The key feature here is that the incentives the parents have to transmit their trait to their children depend on the endogenous social composition of the neighbourhood. When the urban equilibrium that emerges at each date is segregated, some urban areas are characterized by better social mobility prospects than others. Segregation also generates some persistence of socio-economic status within dynasties. We show that there exist multiple history-dependent steady-states in the joint dynamics of segregation and the distribution of culture traits. Further, segregation has ambiguous eects for long run efficiency. We show that depending on the degree of substitutability between the two instruments of socialization (i.e, individual eort and residential choice), integration may emerge endogenously and be efficient. This suggests public policies that would produce neighbourhood socio-economic compositions that are more favourable to the transmission of particular cultural traits, such as for instance group-based policies.
    Keywords: cultural transmission, peer effects, residential segregation, human capital inequality
    JEL: D31 I24 R23
    Date: 2015–09
  12. By: Escobari, Diego; Jafarinejad, Mohammad
    Abstract: We test for the existence of single and multiple bubble periods in four Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) indices using the Supremum Augmented Dickey-Fuller (SADF) and the Generalized SADF. These methods allow us to estimate the beginning and the end of bubble periods. Our results provide statistically significant evidence of speculative bubbles in the REIT index and its three components: Equity, Mortgage and Hybrid REITs. These results may be valuable for real estate financial managers and for investors in REITs.
    Keywords: Generalized Sup ADF; Real Estate; REITs; Speculative Bubbles
    JEL: C22 G12 R3
    Date: 2015–10–19
  13. By: Yannis Ioannides
    Abstract: In a world where individuals interact in myriads of ways, one wonders how the benefits of one's connections with others compare with those conferred by individual characteristics when it comes to acquisition of human capital. It is particularly interesting to be able to distinguish between connections that are the outcome of deliberate decisions by individuals and connections being given exogenously and beyond an individual's control. The paper explores the consequences of the joint evolution of social connections and human capital investments. It thus allows one to study a broad range of possibilities in which social connections may influence inequality in consumption, human capital invest- ment and welfare across the members of the economy, cross-sectionally and intertemporally. It embeds inequality analysis in models of endogenous social network formation. The novelty of the model lies in its joint treatment of human capital investment and social network formation in intergenerational settings, while distinguishing between the case of impact on human capital from endogenous as opposed to exogenous social networking. Among several results in the case of exogenous connections, we demonstrate conditions under which the limit distribution of human capital has a Pareto upper tail. One of the dynamic models we develop allow for intergenerational transfers in a dynastic version of the infinite horizon Ramsey- Cass-Koopmans model. The models share the property that human capital accumulation, transfers and social connections, when all are optimized, are, along steady states, proportional to cognitive skills. Thus, intergenerational transfers of both human capital endowments and social networking endowments are jointly determined. Interestingly, the consequences for inequality of the endogeneity of social connections are underscored by examining the models when they are assumed to be exogenous. When social connections are not optimized, individuals' human capital reflect a much more general dependence on social connections. We show that the dynamics of demographically increasingly complex models, as expressed by a sequence of models with increasing number of overlapping-generations, depend on the product of the adjacency matrices associated with each of the overlapping generations.
    JEL: C21 C23 C31 C35 C72 Z13
  14. By: Gabrielle Wills (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: In the past decade there has been a notable shift in South African education policy that raises the value of school leadership as a lever for learning improvements. Despite a growing discourse on school leadership, there has been a lack of empirical-based evidence on principals to inform, validate or debate the efficacy of proposed policies in raising the calibre of school principals. In response, this paper profiles the labour market for school principals in South Africa, highlighting its overarching characteristics with implications for principal policy reforms. A defining feature of this market is that principals are unequally distributed across schools with typically less qualified and less experienced principals overly represented in poorer schools. In part, the patterns of unequal principal sorting across schools are attributable to historically imposed policies that matched teachers and principals to schools along racial lines. However initial matching of new principals to schools continues to persist in line with historical patterns. In a context of low levels of principal mobility and high tenure, policies should be aimed at improving the initial match of principals to schools while developing incumbent principals over their length of tenure. Moreover improving the design and implementation of policies guiding the appointment process for principals is a matter of urgency. A substantial and increasing number of principal replacements are taking place across South African schools given a rising age profile of school principals. Selection criteria need to be amended to identify relevant expertise and skills, rather than relying on observed principal credentials in payroll which are shown to be poor signals of principal quality in school fixed effects estimations.
    Keywords: Principal labour market, Principal turnover, Principal appointments, School performance, Retirement, South Africa
    JEL: J45 J63 J26 I28
    Date: 2015
  15. By: Niccolò Innocenti (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa); Luciana Lazzeretti (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: The aim of the present research is to investigate, for the Italian case, the role and importance of Related variety to foster employment growth. The Related Variety approach received increasing attention in the literature, as it tried to identify the key drivers for economic development at regional and national level. This work supports the study of economic and local development from a related-variety approach’s perspective, focusing on the need to have some degree of cognitive proximity at local level to foster innovation and economic development covering the period 1991-2011 for the Italian case. The results underline that variety has a positive impact on employment growth, and related variety matters even more.
    Keywords: related variety, unrelated variety, employment growth.
    JEL: R11 O10
    Date: 2015
  16. By: Pengfei Wang (Hong Kong University of Science and Tech); Jing Zhou (HKUST); Jianjun Miao (Boston University)
    Abstract: This paper provides a theory of credit-driven housing bubbles in an infinite-horizon production economy. Entrepreneurs face idiosyncratic investment tax distortions and credit constraints. Housing is an illiquid asset and also serves as collateral for borrowing. A housing bubble can form because houses command a liquidity premium. The housing bubble can provide liquidity and relax credit constraints, but can also generate inefficient overinvestment. Its net effect is to reduce welfare. Property taxes, Tobin's taxes, macroprudential policy, and credit policy can prevent the formation of a housing bubble.
    Date: 2015
  17. By: Brülhart, Marius; Carrère, Céline; Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric
    Abstract: We study the effects of changes in trade openness on wages and employment of different-sized towns. To this end, we develop a multi-region model of intra-national adjustment to trade shocks. In equilibrium, small towns have more elastic labor-force responses than large towns. We test this prediction using fine-grained regional data for Austria and the fall of the Iron Curtain as a quasi-experimental setting for the exploration of trade-induced spatial effects. We find improved access to foreign markets to boost both employment and nominal wages, but large towns tend to have larger wage responses and smaller employment responses than small towns. The welfare gains of immobile factors are estimated to be 40% higher in border towns compared to interior towns.
    Keywords: city size; natural experiment; spatial adjustment; trade liberalization
    JEL: F15 R11 R12
    Date: 2015–10
  18. By: Mikhailova, T. (Russian presidental academy of national economy and public administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: In general, the results extend our knowledge about the effectiveness of regional policy in the short and in the long term. In particular, they allow us to understand, have any of the measures of the Soviet regional policy irreversible effect on the spatial structure of the Russian economy, and, if so, their effectiveness depends on natural features of the terrain.
    Keywords: regional policy, Russia, cities
    Date: 2015–09–17
  19. By: Askitas, Nikos (IZA)
    Abstract: I create a time series of weekly ratios of Google searches, in the US, on buying and selling in the Real Estate Category of Google Trends. I call this ratio the Google US Housing Market BUSE Index or simply the BUSE index. It expresses the number of "buy"-searches for each "sell"-search which, by means of certain regularity assumptions on the distribution of Internet users, I think is a good proxy of the number of prospective home buyers for each prospective home seller in the pool of prospective housing market participants. I show this ratio to have several unique, desirable properties which make it useful for understanding and nowcasting the US housing market. Firstly it has a significant correlation with the US national S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Since the latter is monthly and published as a three-month moving average with a two month lag and the Google Trends data is weekly we can have a short term nowcasting of housing prices in the US. In the seasonal variations of this ratio the BUSE index recaptures traces of prospect theory whose applicability in the housing market has been well documented. I show how these Google data can be used to create a consistent narrative of the post bubble burst dynamics in the US housing market and propose the BUSE index as an instrument for monitoring housing market conditions.
    Keywords: nowcasting, housing market, Google Trends, Google Search, S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price, complexity, behaviour, data science, computational social science, complex systems
    JEL: C81 E65 G21 R31
    Date: 2015–10
  20. By: Kaivan Munshi (University of Cambridge); Mark Rosenzweig (Yale University)
    Abstract: We provide an explanation for the large spatial wage disparities and low male migration in India based on the trade-off between consumption-smoothing, provided by caste-based rural insurance networks, and the income-gains from migration. Our theory generates two key empirically-verified predictions: (i) males in relatively wealthy households within a caste who benefit less from the redistributive (surplus-maximizing) network will be more likely to migrate, and (ii) males in households facing greater rural income-risk (who benefit more from the insurance network) migrate less. Structural estimates show that small improvements in formal insurance decrease the spatial misallocation of labor by substantially increasing migration.
    Date: 2015–10
  21. By: Jordi Blanes i Vidal; Tom Kirchmaier
    Abstract: Police agencies devote vast resources to minimising the time that it takes them to attend the scene of a crime. Despite this, the long-standing consensus is that police response time has no meaningful effect on the likelihood of catching offenders. We revisit this question using a uniquely rich dataset from the Greater Manchester Police. To identify causal effects, we exploit discontinuities in distance to the response station across locations next to each other, but on different sides of division boundaries. Contrary to previous evidence, we find large and strongly significant effects: in our preferred estimate, a 10% increase in response time leads to a 4.6 percentage points decrease in the likelihood of detection. A faster response time also decreases the number of days that it takes for the police to detect a crime, conditional on eventual detection. We find stronger effects for thefts than for violent offenses, although the effects are large for every type of crime. We identify the higher likelihood that a suspect will be named by a victim or witness as an important mechanism though which response time makes a difference.
    Keywords: Police crime, organisational performance
    JEL: D29 K40
    Date: 2015–10
  22. By: Giulia Canzian; Samuele Poy; Simone Schüller
    Abstract: This article analyzes the causal impact of advanced broadband accessibility on firm performance. We exploit a unique local policy intervention of a staged broadband infrastructure installation across rural municipalities in the Province of Trento (Italy), generating a source of exogenous (spatial and temporal) variation in the provision of next-generation broadband technology (ADSL2+). Employing a difference-in-differences strategy and using longitudinal firm-level data on annual balance sheet information of corporate enterprises, we show that ADSL2+ availability is associated with a significant increase in annual sales turnover of about 40 percent and an increase in value added of roughly 25 percent over the period of two years. The positive effect is found to be rather stable for different lengths of treatment exposure and across industrial sectors. However, no significant effects are found with respect to number of employees. Placebo estimations support a causal interpretation of our results. Overall, established corporate enterprises in ‘underserved’ rural and remote areas appear to profit considerably from enhanced broadband delivery programs in terms of economic performance.
    Keywords: broadband internet, firm performance, quasi experiment, regional development
    JEL: O33 J24 L24 L26
    Date: 2015–10
  23. By: Mehmet Balcilar (Eastern Mediterranean University, Turkey and University of Pretoria, South Africa); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); Ricardo M. Sousa (Department of Economics, University of Minho, Campus of Gualtar, 4710-057 - Braga - Portugal); Mark E. Wohar (University of Nebraska-Omaha, USA and Loughborough University, UK)
    Abstract: We use a nonparametric causality-in-quantiles test to compare the predictive ability of cay and cayMS for excess and real stock and housing returns and their volatility using quarterly data for the US over the periods of 1952:Q1-2014:Q3 and 1953:Q2-2014:Q3 respectively. Our results reveal strong evidence of nonlinearity and regime changes in the relationship between asset returns and cay or cayMS, which corroborates the relevance of this econometric framework. Moreover, we confirm the outperformance of cayMS vis-à-vis cay and their relevance for excess stock returns. Furthermore, we show that cayMS is particularly useful at forecasting certain quantiles of the conditional distribution. As for housing returns, the empirical evidence suggests that the predictive ability of cay and cayMS is relatively low. Yet, cay outperforms cayMS over the majority of the quantiles of the conditional distribution of the variance of real housing returns.
    Keywords: stock returns, housing returns, quantile, nonparametric, causality
    JEL: C32 C53 Q41
    Date: 2015–10
  24. By: Ali Protik; Steven Glazerman; Julie Bruch; Bing-ru Teh
    Abstract: In this journal article, Protik, Glazerman, Bruch, and Teh examine behavioral responses to an incentive program that offers high-performing teachers in ten school districts across the country $20,000 to transfer into the district's hardest-to-staff schools.
    Keywords: education, teachers, school, TTI, random assignment
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–10–02
  25. By: Bulman, George (University of California, Santa Cruz); Fairlie, Robert W. (University of California, Santa Cruz)
    Abstract: A substantial amount of money is spent on technology by schools, families and policymakers with the hope of improving educational outcomes. This chapter explores the theoretical and empirical literature on the impacts of technology on educational outcomes. The literature focuses on two primary contexts in which technology may be used for educational purposes: i) classroom use in schools, and ii) home use by students. Theoretically, ICT investment and CAI use by schools and the use of computers at home have ambiguous implications for educational achievement: expenditures devoted to technology necessarily offset inputs that may be more or less efficient, and time allocated to using technology may displace traditional classroom instruction and educational activities at home. However, much of the evidence in the schooling literature is based on interventions that provide supplemental funding for technology or additional class time, and thus favor finding positive effects. Nonetheless, studies of ICT and CAI in schools produce mixed evidence with a pattern of null results. Notable exceptions to this pattern occur in studies of developing countries and CAI interventions that target math rather than language. In the context of home use, early studies based on multivariate and instrumental variables approaches tend to find large positive (and in a few cases negative) effects while recent studies based on randomized control experiments tend to find small or null effects. Early research focused on developed countries while more recently several experiments have been conducted in developing countries.
    Keywords: technology, education, computers, internet, software
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2015–10
  26. By: Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio (University of Zaragoza); Molina, José Alberto (University of Zaragoza); Velilla, Jorge (University of Zaragoza)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose a new spatial framework to model excess commuting of workers and we show empirical differences between the self-employed and employees in the US. In a theoretical framework where self-employed workers minimize their commuting time, employees do not minimize their commuting time because they lack full information, and thus the difference between the time devoted to commuting by self-employed workers and employees is modeled as wasteful commuting (i.e., excess commuting). We first formulate a microeconomic framework for commuting by modeling the location of individuals in urban cores surrounded by rings. Using the American Time Use Survey for the years 2003-2013, our empirical results show that employees spend twelve more minutes per day, or forty percent of the average commuting time, compared to their self-employed counterparts. This is consistent with our "diana" model, in that location is an important factor.
    Keywords: excess commuting, urban cores, American Time Use Survey, self-employed workers, employees
    JEL: R20 R41 J64
    Date: 2015–10
  27. By: Cara Orfield; Debra Lipson; Sheila Hoag
    Abstract: As part of the evaluation of the Cities Expanding Health Access for Children and Families (CEHACF) program for Atlantic Philanthropies, Mathematica Policy Research conducted a targeted literature review of scholarly and other published sources to identify previous publications regarding competitive grant-making strategies. For this literature review, competitive grant-making is defined as a process whereby philanthropic organizations clearly define their goals and objectives, require bidders to compete against each other (sometimes through multiple rounds), thoroughly review those proposals, and grant awards to the strongest bids.
    Keywords: Competitive grant-making, philanthropic sustainability, foundation funding
    JEL: I
    Date: 2015–04–23
  28. By: Lisa Grazzini (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa); Alessandro Petretto (Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa)
    Abstract: We analyse how spillover effects may affect the choice of a federal tax rate in a federal country with vertical tax externalities. Our main result shows under which conditions the federal tax rate with spillover effects is lower or higher than the federal tax rate without spillover effects. The effects of vertical tax externalities can be modified by the reaction of the federal government to the horizontal externality due to spillover effects.
    Keywords: Fiscal federalism, Median voter, Positive spillovers
    JEL: H71 H77 H41
    Date: 2015
  29. By: Belot, Michèle (University of Edinburgh); James, Jonathan (University of Bath); Nolen, Patrick J. (University of Essex)
    Abstract: We conduct a field experiment in 31 primary schools in England to test the effectiveness of different temporary incentive schemes, an individual based incentive scheme and a competitive scheme, on increasing the choice and consumption of fruit and vegetables at lunchtime. The individual scheme has a weak positive effect whereas all pupils respond to positively to the competitive scheme. For our sample of interest, the competitive scheme increases choice of fruit and vegetables by 33% and consumption of fruit and vegetables by 48%, twice and three times as much as the individual incentive scheme, respectively. The positive effects generally carry over to the week immediately following the treatment but we find little evidence of any effects six months later. Our results show that incentives can work, at least temporarily, to increase healthy eating but there are large differences in effectiveness between schemes and across demographics such as age and gender.
    Keywords: incentives, health, habits, child nutrition, field experiments
    JEL: J13 I18 I28 H51 H52
    Date: 2015–10
  30. By: Mveyange Anthony
    Abstract: Estimating regional income inequality in Africa has been challenging due to the lack of reliable and consistent sub-national income data. I employ night lights data to circumvent this limitation. I find significant and positive associations between region
    Keywords: Economic growth, Income distribution, Poverty, Regional economics
    Date: 2015
  31. By: Shutao Cao; Mohanad Salameh; Mai Seki; Pierre St-Amant
    Abstract: Recently released data show downward trends for both the firm entry rate and the rate of new entrepreneurship since the early 1980s in Canada. This paper documents these trends and discusses potential explanations. A shift-share analysis suggests that changes to Canada’s industrial and demographic structures cannot explain the long-term downward trends, although population aging accounts for part of the decline in new entrepreneurship since around 2000. The paper also discusses other factors potentially contributing to the downward trends: increased industrial concentration, changing labour market conditions, an increased college wage premium and higher student debt. In-depth analysis of these factors is left for future research.
    Keywords: Firm dynamics; Market structure and pricing; Productivity
    JEL: L11 M13
    Date: 2015
  32. By: Sara Gleave
    Abstract: This study uses a sample of the civilian labor force aged 16-64 constructed from the Decennial Census and American Community Survey, along with data from the HUD dataset Picture of Subsidized Households, to compare the likelihood for job earnings in relation to public housing developments in the New Orleans MSA before and after Hurricane Katrina. Results from a series of hierarchical linear models (HLM) indicate significant relationships are altered between time periods, including those from public and mixed-income developments, suggesting a fluid relationship between neighborhoods and economic outcomes during physical, demographic and economic restructuring.
    Date: 2015–10
  33. By: Giacomo Ponzetto (CREI, U. Pompeu Fabra, & Barcelona GSE); Amedeo Piolatto (Barcelona Economics Institute (IEB)); Federico Boffa (Free University of Bolzano)
    Abstract: This paper studies fiscal federalism when regions differ in voters' ability to monitor public officials. We develop a model of political agency in which rent-seeking politicians provide public goods to win support from heterogeneously informed voters. In equilibrium, voter information increases government accountability but displays decreasing returns. Therefore, political centralization reduces aggregate rent extraction when voter information varies across regions. It increases welfare as long as the central government is required to provide public goods uniformly across regions. The need for uniformity implies an endogenous trade off between reducing rents through centralization and matching idiosyncratic preferences through decentralization. We find that a federal structure with overlapping levels of government can be optimal only if regional differences in accountability are sufficiently large. The model predicts that less informed regions should reap greater benefits when the central government sets a uniform policy. Consistent with our theory, we present empirical evidence that less informed states enjoyed faster declines in pollution after the 1970 Clean Air Act centralized environmental policy at the federal level.
    Date: 2015
  34. By: Morgan, Peter (Asian Development Bank Institute); Zhang, Yan (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: This paper presents estimates of the effect of the share of mortgage lending by individual banks on two measures of financial stability—the bank Z-score and the nonperforming loan ratio. The sample covers 212 banks in 19 emerging Asian economies for 2007–2013 from the Bankscope database. The findings suggest that mortgage lending is positive for financial stability, specifically by lowering the probability of default by financial institutions and reducing the nonperforming loan ratio, at least in noncrisis periods, for levels of mortgage shares up to 30%–40%. For higher levels of mortgage lending shares, the impact on financial stability turns negative. Mortgage lending can also be a useful measure of both financial development and financial inclusion.
    Keywords: financial stability; mortgage loan ratio; mortgage lending
    JEL: G21 O16 R30
    Date: 2015–10–21
  35. By: Johannes Becker; Ronald B. Davies
    Abstract: We present a multi-period model in which countries set source-based taxes without having precise information how their and their neighbours' tax rates affect the tax base. Countries can learn from past experience and from observing their neighbours' outcomes and/or tax policy choices. We consider the sequence of Markov perfect equilibria and show that the beliefs become more precise over time and, eventually, correct. The precision of beliefs in a given period increases in the number of observed countries. In equilibrium, tax rates are inefficiently low if the value of learning is positive and the pace of learning increases in the level of tax rates (because higher tax rates trigger larger tax base effects which helps learning); in the presence of fiscal externalities, tax rates are too homogeneous (because variance in tax policies enhances learning). If, due to fiscal externalities, the value of learning is negative, the opposite may be true. From the viewpoint of empirical measurement, the model generates time patterns that look as if countries react to each other even if there are no fiscal externalities. We conclude that the existing evidence may therefore be inconclusive with regard to the existence of tax competition.
    Keywords: Social learning; Policy diffusion; Tax competition
    JEL: H25 H32 H87
    Date: 2015–09
  36. By: Badi H. Baltagi (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 426 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244); Long Liu (Department of Economics, College of Business, University of Texas at San Antonio, One UTSA Circle, TX 78249-0633)
    Abstract: This paper revisits the joint and conditional Lagrange Multiplier tests derived by Debarsy and Ertur (2010) for a fixed effects spatial lag regression model with spatial auto-regressive error, and derives these tests using artificial Double Length Regressions (DLR). These DLR tests and their corresponding LM tests are compared using an empirical example and a Monte Carlo simulation.
    Keywords: Double Length Regresson; Spatial Lag Dependence; Spatial Error Dependence; Artificial Regressions; Panel Data; Fixed Effects
    JEL: C12 R15
    Date: 2015–09
  37. By: Saxon, Nicholas (U.S. Census Bureau); Tosun, Mehmet S. (University of Nevada, Reno); Yang, Jingjing (University of Nevada, Reno)
    Abstract: There has been an increasing reliance on sales taxation in both the states and counties in the United States. In this paper, we are examining the relationship between state and local sales taxation and business activity in the U.S. by utilizing county-level data for the period 2002-2011. We have found significant negative association between the state and county combined sales tax rate and annual payroll of businesses particularly in the manufacturing sector. There is also evidence of spatial dependence particularly in the payroll response of businesses within the contiguous region. While we found no significant relationship with employment, there is also statistically significant negative association with retail establishments and small establishments with less than 10 employees. It is possible that businesses respond to a sales tax rate increase first, or more directly, by reducing payroll rather than employment. While the economic significance of these results, however, is not found to be overwhelmingly strong, policymakers should still pay attention particularly to how manufacturing businesses respond to sales tax rate tax changes in the form of changes in payroll, and the responses from the small retail establishments.
    Keywords: state and county sales tax, business activity, payroll, employment, number and size of establishments, United States
    JEL: H25 H71 H73 J21
    Date: 2015–10
  38. By: Nordin, Mattias (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: I investigate the causal eect of access to relevant local television on i) U.S. citizens' knowledge of their senators' actions in the Senate and ii) whether citizens hold their senators accountable for these actions. To do so, I utilize the mismatch between the local television markets and the states. This mismatch causes citizens living in counties where local television stations are based in their own state (in-state counties) to have greater access to relevant news about their senators, compared to citizens living in coun- ties served by local television based in a neighboring state (out-of-state counties). Using survey data from the 2006 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, I find that the biased coverage of local television news leads to citizens in in-state counties, compared to out-of-state counties, to be more informed about their senators' roll-call votes, as well as more likely to hold opinions about these senators. However, I do not find that the increased knowledge aects the likelihood that citizens evaluate their senators based on the roll-call votes. This result suggests that passively acquired information through local television is not sucient for individuals to hold their senators accountable for their actions in the Senate.
    Keywords: Local television; political information; natural experiment; roll-call votes
    JEL: D72 D80 H50
    Date: 2015–10–09
  39. By: Nikolaos Antonakakis (University of Portsmouth, Webster Vienna Private University and Johannes Kepler University); Rangan Gupta (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria); John W. Muteba Mwamba (Department of Economics and Econometrics, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa)
    Abstract: In this study we examine the dynamic comovements between housing and oil market returns in the US over the period 1859-2013, while controlling for real GDP growth, in flation and interest rate that are known to affect both these markets. As such, we provide a bird's-eye view on the interdependencies between these two markets from a historical perspective. The results of our empirical analysis reveal that comovements between housing and oil market returns are consistently negative over time, apart from several US recessions the US economy experienced in the 19th century, wherein correlations are positive.
    Keywords: Housing market, oil market, dynamic comovements
    JEL: C32 E60 E66 G10
    Date: 2015–10
  40. By: Kodrzycki, Yolanda; Zhao, Bo (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
    Abstract: This report considers the New England states’ past preparedness for revenue downturns caused by business cycle fluctuations and assesses policy actions that could promote greater fiscal stability in the future.
    Date: 2015–10–01
  41. By: CALLENS Marie-Sophie; MEULEMAN Bart; VALENTOVA Marie
    Abstract: This paper examines the relation between immigration-related threat perceptions and the attitudes towards the integration (i.e. assimilation and multiculturalism) of immigrants by natives. Additionally it explores how that relationship interplays with intense contact with foreigners. The analysis is performed on a sample of natives in Luxembourg ? the country with the highest proportion of immigrants in Europe. The European Value Study from 2008 for Luxembourg and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is used to conduct the analyses. The outcomes of our analyses reveal that feelings of threat are associated with less support for multicultural attitudes, whereas the opposite can be found with respect to support for assimilation attitudes. Furthermore, it was found that more intense contact with immigrant friends is negatively correlated with threat perceptions and support for assimilation and positively correlated with support for multicultural attitudes. Lastly, more contact with immigrants is also directly related to integration preferences.
    Keywords: intergroup relations; assimilation; multiculturalism; perceived threat; contact; Luxembourg
    JEL: Z19
    Date: 2015–10
  42. By: Christian Dustmann (University College London); Francesco Fasani (Queen Mary University); Xin Meng (Australian National University); Luigi Minale (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the relation between individual migrations and the risk attitudes of other household members when migration is a household decision. We develop a simple model that implies that which members migrate depends on the distribution of risk attitudes among all household members, and that the risk diversification gain to other household members may induce migrations that would not take place in an individual framework. Using unique data for China on risk attitudes of internal (rural-urban) migrants and the families left behind, we empirically test three key implications of the model: (i) that conditional on migration gains, less risk averse individuals are more likely to migrate; (ii) that within households, the least risk averse individual is more likely to emigrate; and (iii) that across households, the most risk averse households are more likely to send migrants as long as they have at least one family member with sufficiently low risk version. Our results not only provide strong evidence that migration decisions are taken on a household level but also that the distribution of risk attitudes within the household affects whether a migration takes place and who will emigrate.
    Keywords: risk aversion, internal migration, risk diversification, China
    JEL: J61 R23 D81
    Date: 2015–10

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