nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2016‒03‒17
23 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Valuing in-vehicle comfort and crowding reduction in public transport By Björklund, Gunilla; Swärdh, Jan-Erik
  2. Policies to promote access to good-quality affordable housing in OECD countries By Angelica Salvi del Pero; Willem Adema; Valeria Ferraro; Valérie Frey
  3. Monetary Policy, Residential Investment, and Search Frictions: An Empirical and Theoretical Synthesis By Lunsford, Kurt Graden
  4. Sibling spillover effects in school achievement By Cheti Nicoletti; Birgitta Rabe
  5. Urban Road Pricing: A Comparative Study on the Experiences of London, Stockholm and Milan By Edoardo Croci; Aldo Ravazzi Douvan
  6. Teachers’ Perceptions of High-Stakes Testing By Adel Al-Bataineh; Jessica Gunn
  7. The fiscal cost of weak governance : evidence from teacher absence in India By Muralidharan,Karthik; Das,Jishnu; Holla,Alaka; Mohpal,Aakash
  8. A Spatial SAR Model in Evaluating Influence of Entrepreneurship and Investments on Unemployment in Poland By Michal Bernad Pietrzak; Adam P. Balcerzak
  9. Consumer risk appetite, the credit cycle, and the housing bubble By Breeden, Joseph L.; Canals-Cerda, Jose J.
  10. What Drives Racial and Ethnic Differences in High Cost Mortgages? The Role of High Risk Lenders By Patrick Bayer; Fernando Ferreira; Stephen L. Ross
  11. Family, Community and Long-Term Earnings Inequality By Paul Bingley; Lorenzo Cappellari; Konstantinos Tatsiramos
  12. Autonomy, Social Interactions and Culture By Marini, Annalisa; Navarra, Pietro
  13. Immigrants, Trust and Social Traps By Marini, Annalisa
  14. The lost generation: Effects of youth labor market opportunities on long-term labor market outcomes By Venke Furre Haaland
  15. Note on a new Seasonal Fractionally Integrated Separable Spatial Autoregressive Model By Papa Ousmane Cissé; Abdou Kâ Diongue; Dominique Guegan
  16. Monopsony, Minimum Wages and Migration By Eric Strobl; Frank Walsh
  17. Temporary and permanent migrant selection: Theory and evidence of ability-search cost dynamics By Chen, Joyce J.; Kosec, Katrina; Mueller, Valerie
  18. Access to pre-primary education and progression in primary School : evidence from rural Guatemala By Bastos,Paulo S. R.; Bottan,Nicolas Luis; Cristia,Julian
  19. Spatio-temporal analysis of micro economic activities in Rome reveals patterns of mixed-use urban evolution By Alessandro Fiasconaro; Emanuele Strano; Vincenzo Nicosia; Sergio Porta; Vito Latora
  20. Mali: Technical Assistance Report - Implementing Fiscal Decentralization By International Monetary Fund
  21. Elusive Recovery: The Brunswick MSA since the Great Recession By Mathews, Don
  22. Resource rents, coercion, and local development : evidence from post-apartheid South Africa By Bastos,Paulo S. R.; Bottan,Nicolas Luis
  23. Increasing Retention in Mathematics Courses: The role of self-confidence in Mathematics on Academic Performanc By Adriana Espinosa; Aleksandr Tikhonov; Jay Jorgenson

  1. By: Björklund, Gunilla (VTI); Swärdh, Jan-Erik (VTI)
    Abstract: The purpose of the present study is to estimate the willingness to pay (WTP) for comfort, i.e. to get a seat, and crowding reduction on board local public transport in Sweden, including the modes metro, tram, commuter train, and local bus. We use data from a stated-preference study conducted in the three largest urban areas of Sweden. Respondents were recruited both during a trip and from a web panel. The stated-preference questions comprised four attributes: price, travel time, sitting or standing during the trip, and crowding level. Crowding level was illustrated by pictures showing different numbers of standing travelers per square meter. The estimated results suggest a WTP for seating of SEK 41 to 61 (SEK 10 EUR 1) per hour depending on the crowding level. A reduction to no standing crowding from 4 and 8 standing passengers per square meter is valued SEK 6-7 and 20-40 respectively, depending on the seating or standing condition. If we instead interpret our estimated results as multipliers of the value of travel time savings, the worst travel condition in our study, i.e. standing in a crowding of 8 standing passengers per square meter, has a multiplier of about 2.9. All in all, our results seem plausible as they are relatively close to comparable estimated results from earlier studies that have valuated comfort and crowding reductions. Finally, sensitivity analysis also shows that the results seem to be both robust and in line with knowledge about the value of travel time savings.
    Keywords: Public transport; Comfort; Crowding; Willingness to pay; Value of travel time savings
    JEL: C25 R41
    Date: 2016–02–22
  2. By: Angelica Salvi del Pero; Willem Adema; Valeria Ferraro; Valérie Frey
    Abstract: Many households across OECD countries are overburdened by housing costs. On average nearly 15% of tenants and 10% of mortgage-payers spend over 40% of their disposable income on housing costs in OECD countries. The incidence of housing cost overburden is much higher among low-income households: 39% both for mortgage-payers and private sector tenants. Middle-class households are not immune: on average nearly 9% of mortgaged middle-class homeowners are overburdened by their monthly mortgage payment across OECD countries. Access to housing and housing quality also remain pressing concerns in many OECD countries. Significant numbers of people are homeless: while statistics are difficult to compare, most OECD countries report that 1 to 8 people in every thousand lack regular access to housing. In addition, many households live in low-quality dwellings: 15% of low-income households live in overcrowded dwellings and 14% do not have access to an indoor flushing toilet. Neighbourhood crime and pollution are also problematic for many households throughout the OECD.
    Keywords: Homeownership subsidies, Private rental housing subsidies, Social housing subsidies, Spatial segregation, Housing need, housing policies, Housing affordability
    JEL: H24 I38 R21 R31
    Date: 2016–02–26
  3. By: Lunsford, Kurt Graden (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)
    Abstract: Using a factor-augmented vector autoregression (FAVAR), this paper shows that residential investment contributes substantially to GDP following monetary policy shocks. Further, it shows that the number of new housing units built, not changes in the sizes of existing or new housing units, drives residential investment fluctuations. Motivated by these results, this paper develops a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model where houses are built in discrete units and traded through searching and matching. The search frictions transmit shocks to housing construction, making them central to producing fluctuations in residential investment. The interest rate spread between mortgages and risk-free bonds also transmits monetary policy to the housing market. Following monetary shocks, the DSGE model matches the FAVAR’s positive co-movement between nondurable consumption and residential construction spending. In addition, the FAVAR shows that the mortgage spread falls following an expansionary monetary shock, providing empirical support for the DSGE model’s monetary transmission mechanism.
    Keywords: Factor-augmented vector autoregression; interest rate spread; monetary policy; residential investment; search theory;
    JEL: C32 E30 E40 E50 R31
    Date: 2016–02–12
  4. By: Cheti Nicoletti; Birgitta Rabe
    Abstract: This paper provides empirical evidence on direct sibling spillover effects in school achievement using English administrative data. We extend previous strategies to identify peer effects by exploiting the variation in school test scores across three subjects observed at ages 11 and 16 as well as variation in the composition of school mates between siblings. We find a statistically significant positive spillover effect from the older sibling to the younger but not vice versa. Spillover effects from high achieving older siblings are larger than from low achieving ones, but this relationship is weaker for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
    Keywords: Family effects, peer effects, social interaction, education
    JEL: I22 I24
  5. By: Edoardo Croci; Aldo Ravazzi Douvan
    Abstract: Urban road pricing schemes have been designed in order to reduce externalities generated by traffic. Main impacts regard: time loss due to congestion, local pollution, noise; contribution to climate change caused by emissions of GHGs, pavement costs and road damages, increase in accidents risks, extra-fuel consumption, decrease in quality of life. Moreover road pricing schemes generate public revenues. The paper performs a comparative evaluation of the three main experiences of urban road pricing in Europe: London (in operations since 2003), Stockholm (in operations since 2007, after a period of trial in 2006) and Milan (in operations since 2008, with a shift from pollution to congestion charge in 2012). Since their launch, the schemes have been adjusted in terms of amount of charge, area of application and other features. The schemes have been able to reduce negative externalities generated by traffic, such as accidents, congestion and emissions, up to different levels. A comparative analysis of the three schemes is provided. Determinants of differences in the effectiveness of the schemes are evaluated with a particular focus on elasticity of use of private vehicles to charge. The results can be useful to design well targeted congestion charge schemes and to assess their efficacy.
    Keywords: Urban road pricing, Travel demand elasticity, Sustainable mobility
    JEL: H23 R41 R48 Q51 D12
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Adel Al-Bataineh (Illinois State University); Jessica Gunn (Illinois State University)
    Abstract: In recent years, the issue of high-stakes testing has been widely debated in the field of education. Studies have shown that high-stakes tests do little to promote learning in schools, yet there are still widely used. While many studies have examined how testing affects students, schools, and communities, little research has been done to determine how teachers perceive high-stakes tests. It is important for us to study not only how these tests impact our students, but how teachers feel about them as well. This study will use a structured survey to question elementary school educators from three Midwestern schools. The purpose of the study is to determine the viewpoints, opinions, and attitudes that teachers have regarding high-stakes tests. The results show that teachers feel there are some benefits to high-stakes testing, in that it allows students to be compared to their peers. The majority of teachers surveyed, however; felt the weakness of such testing outweighs the benefits. Teachers cite pressures from testing and feel that tests are not a valid way to assess what students know. Tests also shape curriculum in that more time is spent in tested subjects, while time spent in untested subjects is reduced or eliminated.
    Keywords: High-Stake Testing, Assessment, Teacher Perceptions
    JEL: I20 I29 I21
  7. By: Muralidharan,Karthik; Das,Jishnu; Holla,Alaka; Mohpal,Aakash
    Abstract: The relative return to input-augmentation versus inefficiency-reduction strategies for improving education system performance is a key open question for education policy in low-income countries. Using a new nationally-representative panel dataset of schools across 1297 villages in India, this paper shows that the large investments over the past decade have led to substantial improvements in input-based measures of school quality, but only a modest reduction in inefficiency as measured by teacher absence. In the data, 23.6 percent of teachers were absent during unannounced visits with an associated fiscal cost of $1.5 billion/year. There are two robust correlations in the nationally-representative panel data that corroborate findings from smaller-scale experiments. First, reductions in student-teacher ratios are correlated with increased teacher absence. Second, increases in the frequency of school monitoring are strongly correlated with lower teacher absence. Simulations using these results suggest that investing in better governance by increasing the frequency of monitoring could be over ten times more cost effective at increasing teacher-student contact time (net of teacher absence) than hiring more teachers. Thus, at current margins, policies that decrease the inefficiency of public spending in India are likely to yield substantially higher returns than those that augment inputs.
    Keywords: Education For All,Effective Schools and Teachers,Educational Populations,Tertiary Education,Primary Education
    Date: 2016–02–25
  8. By: Michal Bernad Pietrzak (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland); Adam P. Balcerzak (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland)
    Abstract: The research objective of the article is to analyse the impact of changes in the level of entrepreneurship and business investments on unemployment in Poland with the application of spatial econometrics methodology. A spatial SAR model was used to model unemployment, since this phenomenon exhibits the presence of positive spatial dependence. The research was done for 66 regions at NUTS 3 level for the year 2015. In order to provide interpretations of the results measures of average impact such as average direct impact, average indirect impact and average induced impact were applied. The obtained results indicate a positive impact of entrepreneurship and investment on decline in unemployment rate and improvement of Poland’s socio-economic situation.
    Keywords: spatial econometrics, SAR model, spatial dependence, unemployment, entrepreneurship, investments
    JEL: C21 E24
    Date: 2016–02
  9. By: Breeden, Joseph L. (Prescient Models LLC); Canals-Cerda, Jose J. (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
    Abstract: We explore the role of consumer risk appetite in the initiation of credit cycles and as an early trigger of the U.S. mortgage crisis. We analyze a panel data set of mortgages originated between the years 2000 and 2009 and follow their performance up to 2014. After controlling for all the usual observable effects, we show that a strong residual vintage effect remains. This vintage effect correlates well with consumer mortgage demand, as measured by the Federal Reserve Board’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey, and correlates well to changes in mortgage pricing at the time the loan was originated. Our findings are consistent with an economic environment in which the incentives of low-risk consumers to obtain a mortgage decrease when the cost of obtaining a loan rises. As a result, mortgage originators generate mortgages from a pool of consumers with changing risk profiles over the credit cycle. The unobservable component of the shift in credit risk, relative to the usual underwriting criteria, may be thought of as macroeconomic adverse selection.
    Keywords: Credit risk; Credit cycle; Mortgages; Lending standards; Financial crisis
    JEL: G20 G21 G32
    Date: 2016–02–18
  10. By: Patrick Bayer (Duke University); Fernando Ferreira (The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper examines racial and ethnic differences in high cost mortgage lending in seven diverse metropolitan areas from 2004-2007. Even after controlling for credit score and other key risk factors, African-American and Hispanic home buyers are 105 and 78 percent more likely to have high cost mortgages for home purchases. The increased incidence of high cost mortgages is attributable to both sorting across lenders (60-65 percent) and differential treatment of equally qualified borrowers by lenders (35-40 percent). The vast majority of the racial and ethnic differences across lenders can be explained by a single measure of the lender's foreclosure risk and most within-lending differences are concentrated at high-risk lenders. Thus, differential exposure to high-risk lenders combined with the differential treatment by these lenders explains almost all of the racial and ethnic differences in high cost mortgage borrowing.
    Keywords: mortgage lender, cost of credit, race, ethnicity, ratespread loans, foreclosure risk, delinquency risk, subprime, credit score, loan to value ratio, disadvantaged neighborhood
    JEL: G21 I28 J15 J71 R21
    Date: 2016–02
  11. By: Paul Bingley; Lorenzo Cappellari; Konstantinos Tatsiramos
    Abstract: Correlations between the earnings of siblings reflect shared family and community background, but evidence is mixed on the relative magnitudes of these influences. Using administrative data on the Danish population we link brothers, schoolmates and teenage neighbors and estimate a model of multiple group earnings dynamics to measure jointly the relative importance of family, neighborhoods and schools for long-term earnings. We find that: (1) family is by far the most relevant factor; (2) the influence of neighborhoods and schools falls rapidly, becoming insignificant by age 30; and (3) community effects are persistent and upward biased by a factor of five if family effects are ignored.
    Keywords: Sibling correlations; Neighbourhoods; Schools; Life-cycle earnings; Inequality
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Marini, Annalisa; Navarra, Pietro
    Abstract: The present paper, using a social interactions model, studies the impact of culture on autonomy of immigrants. The results suggest that: (i) immigrants' autonomy is largely influenced by the autonomy of individuals living in a host country; (ii) some immigrants are better off in countries and regions with better institutional environments. The results are robust to sensitivity checks. The contributions of the paper are as follows. First, we estimate a social interactions model that models both the formation of social interactions and the sorting of individuals to study the impact of culture on individual autonomy. Second, we estimate a model that analyzes the impact of both confidence in the individual and collective culture on individuals' decisions. Finally, since this is an observational learning model, policy suggestions may be drawn from the analysis.
    Keywords: Autonomy, Social Interactions and Culture
    JEL: C3 Z1
    Date: 2016–02
  13. By: Marini, Annalisa
    Abstract: The paper estimates a social interactions model to study the impact of culture on US immigrants' decisions. Findings vary by group of immigrants and by type of social interactions and they are robust to both additional checks and sensitivity analysis. The paper contributes to the literature as follows. It first estimates a social interactions model that models both group formation and the formation of social interactions. Besides, since this is an observational learning model policy suggestions may be drawn to favor integration of immigrants. Finally, it provides a new empirical strategy to study the impact of both inherited and contemporaneous culture on individual decisions.
    Keywords: Social Interactions, Culture, Sequential Logit, Simulations
    JEL: C1 C31 Z1
    Date: 2016–01
  14. By: Venke Furre Haaland (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: Utilizing registry data for all Norwegian males born in 1959–1973, I demonstrate that local unemployment rates at the typical age of graduation from compulsory school (age 16) and highschool (age 19) have persistent, negative effects on males’ earnings, employment, and disability pension utilization when measured as late as age 35. With data on every male IQ, I study how labor market conditions at age of graduation have differential effects for low- and high-ability males. As one would expect, low-ability males are particularly vulnerable to business cycles at the time of labor market entry.
    Keywords: Business cycle; graduation; careers
    JEL: E32 J31 J24
    Date: 2016–02
  15. By: Papa Ousmane Cissé (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LERSTAD - laboratoire d'Etudes et de recherches en Statistiques et Développement - Université Gaston Bergé Sénégal); Abdou Kâ Diongue (LERSTAD - laboratoire d'Etudes et de recherches en Statistiques et Développement - Université Gaston Bergé Sénégal); Dominique Guegan (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In this paper, we introduce a new model called Fractionally Integrated Separable Spatial Autoregressive processes with Seasonality and denoted Seasonal FISSAR for two-dimensional spatial data. We focus on the class of separable spatial models whose correlation structure can be expressed as a product of correlations. This new modelling allows taking into account the seasonality patterns observed in spatial data. We investigate the properties of this new model providing stationary conditions, some explicit expressions form of the autocovariance function and the spectral density function. We establish the asymptotic behaviour of the spectral density function near the seasonal frequencies and perform some simulations to illustrate the behaviour of the model.
    Keywords: spatial autocovariance,spatial stationary process,seasonality,spatial short memory,seasonal long memory,two-dimensional data,separable process
    Date: 2016–02
  16. By: Eric Strobl; Frank Walsh
    Date: 2016–02–18
  17. By: Chen, Joyce J.; Kosec, Katrina; Mueller, Valerie
    Abstract: The migrant selection literature concentrates primarily on spatial patterns. We integrate two workhorses of the labor literature, the Roy and search models, to illustrate the implications of migration duration for patterns of selection. Theory and empirics show that temporary migrants are intermediately selected on education, with weaker selection on cognitive ability. Longer migration episodes lead to stronger positive selection on both education and ability because the associated jobs involve finer employee-employer matching and offer greater returns to experience. Networks are more valuable for permanent migration, where search costs are higher. Labor market frictions explain observed complex network-skill interactions. When considering migrant selection, the economics literature has largely focused on patterns by area of origin. However, the duration of migration episodes–temporary versus permanent–is another important determinant of selection. We integrate two workhorses of the labor literature, the Roy model and a search model, to illustrate the implications of migration duration for patterns of self-selection. We provide theoretical and empirical evidence showing that, because short-term migration episodes have less scope for skill-based matching and greater need for screening, temporary migrants are more likely to display intermediate selection on education, with weaker selection on underlying cognitive ability. Longer term migration episodes, in contrast, allow for finer employee-employer matching and greater returns to experience, leading to stronger positive selection on both education and cognitive ability among permanent migrants. Networks are also found to be more valuable for permanent migration, where search costs tend to be higher. However, we also provide evidence of complex network-skill interactions, driven primarily by labor market frictions.
    Keywords: migration, labor markets, income, search costs, networks,
    Date: 2015
  18. By: Bastos,Paulo S. R.; Bottan,Nicolas Luis; Cristia,Julian
    Abstract: Evidence on the impacts of a large-scale expansion in pre-primary education is limited and mostly circumscribed to high- and middle-income nations. This study estimates the effects of such an expansion on progression in primary school in rural communities in Guatemala, where the number of pre-primary schools increased from about 5,300 to 11,500 between 1998 and 2005. Combining administrative and population census data in a difference-in-differences framework, the analysis finds that access to pre-primary education increased by 2.4 percentage points the proportion of students that progress adequately and attend sixth grade by age 12. These positive although limited effects suggest the need for complementary actions to produce substantial improvements in adequate progression.
    Keywords: Education For All,Disability,Social Cohesion,Population Policies,Primary Education
    Date: 2016–02–22
  19. By: Alessandro Fiasconaro; Emanuele Strano; Vincenzo Nicosia; Sergio Porta; Vito Latora
    Abstract: Understanding urban growth is one with understanding how society evolves to satisfy the needs of its individuals in sharing a common space and adapting to the territory. We propose here a quantitative analysis of the historical development of a large urban area by investigating the spatial distribution and the age of commercial activities in the whole city of Rome. We find that the age of activities of various categories presents a very interesting double exponential trend, with a transition possibly related to the long-term economical effects determined by the oil crisis of the Seventies. The diversification of commercial categories, studied through various measures of entropy, shows, among other interesting features, a saturating behaviour with the density of activities. Moreover, different couples of commercial categories exhibit over the years a tendency to attract in space. Our results demonstrate that the spatio-temporal distribution of commercial activities can provide important insights on the urbanisation processes at work, revealing specific and not trivial socio-economical dynamics, as the presence of crisis periods and expansion trends, and contributing to the characterisation of the maturity of urban areas.
    Date: 2016–02
  20. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: This Technical Assistance Report discusses key recommendations for implementing fiscal decentralization in Mali. It proposes to set an optimal administrative organization of the territory, which should aim at building consistent and sustainable local governments that are best suited to address specific local needs. In this context, the regions deemed to be best suited to handle funds are envisaged to be decentralized and with large-scale development actions. The local government revenue should be optimized through local taxation, and an efficient system of transfers from the central government should be introduced. The report also proposes establishing good financial governance in Mali.
    Keywords: Mali;Sub-Saharan Africa;government, decentralization, local governments, fiscal, central government
    Date: 2015–10–22
  21. By: Mathews, Don (Reg Murphy Center for Economic and Policy Studies)
    Abstract: While most MSAs in the U.S. have recovered from the Great Recession, some – including the MSA of Brunswick, Georgia – have continued to struggle. This paper empirically examines Brunswick’s struggle, comparing its economic performance with that of other MSAs since 2009.
    Keywords: Brunswick Georgia; economic performance by MSA; great recession
    JEL: E32 R11
    Date: 2016–02–23
  22. By: Bastos,Paulo S. R.; Bottan,Nicolas Luis
    Abstract: This paper examines how the dismantling of coercive institutions associated with the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994 affected the distribution of rents from natural resource exports. It identifies the interplay between coercive institutions and natural resource rents as an important driver of local development. Using data from the 1996 census, the paper documents large income gaps between communities located just-inside and just-outside the former self-governing territories set aside for black inhabitants. Examining relative changes between 1996 and 2011, the paper finds that spatial income convergence was considerably stronger among marginalized communities with higher initial exposure to resource rents. These results accord with standard bargaining theory in which the dismantling of coercive institutions improves the negotiating position of unionized workers in the mining industry.
    Keywords: Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies,Emerging Markets,Housing&Human Habitats,Investment and Investment Climate
    Date: 2016–02–22
  23. By: Adriana Espinosa (The City College of New York); Aleksandr Tikhonov (The City College of New York); Jay Jorgenson (The City College of New York)
    Abstract: Underachievement rates in mathematics for the United States have been alarming for a long time. While the reasons have been studied at length, a large area pays close attention to self-confidence as predictor of academic performance. Most research on this area however, is based on high school students. This study extends this line of work by assessing self-confidence and its effect on academic performance among college students. Using quantile regression we show that self-confidence positively impacts class performance for the middle and bottom quantiles, but not the top 75th percent. These results imply that simple and costless confidence boosting exercises conducted in the classroom may have a positive impact on at risk students, and consequently retention. The results appear to be generalizable, rather than localized to summer school students.
    Keywords: Retention, self-confidence, mathematics, Fennema-Sherman, academic performance

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