nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2016‒03‒29
forty-four papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Who benefits from public housing? By Eerola, Essi; Saarimaa, Tuukka
  2. School Vouchers and Student Achievement: First-Year Evidence from the Louisiana Scholarship Program By Atila Abdulkadiroglu; Parag A. Pathak; Christopher R. Walters
  3. Measuring School Demand in the Presence of Spatial Dependence. A Conditional Approach. By Laura López-Torres; Diego Prior Jiménez
  4. Can States Take Over and Turn Around School Districts? Evidence from Lawrence, Massachusetts By Beth E. Schueler; Joshua Goodman; David J. Deming
  5. Historical urban growth in Europe (1300–1800) By Rafael González-Val
  6. Breaking the Link between Housing Cycles, Banking Crises, and Recession By Avinash D. Persaud
  7. The Long-Run Effects of Disruptive Peers By Scott E. Carrell; Mark Hoekstra; Elira Kuka
  8. Growth agglomeration effects in spatially interdependent Latin American regions By Carolina Guevara
  9. Fear of Fracking: The Impact of the Shale Gas Exploration on House Prices in Britain By Steve Gibbons; Stephan Heblich; Esther Lho; Christopher Timmins
  10. Short-term Migration Rural Workfare Programs and Urban Labor Markets - Evidence from India By Imbert , Clément
  11. Effects of EU Regional Policy: 1989-2013 By O. Becker , Sascha
  12. Understanding peer effects : on the nature, estimation and channels of peer effects By Feld J.F.; Zölitz U.N.
  13. Growth agglomeration effects in spatially interdependent Latin American regions By Carolina Guevara
  14. Matching and credit frictions in the housing market By Eerola, Essi; Määttänen, Niku
  15. Agglomeration and innovation By Carlino, Gerald; Kerr, William R.
  16. The Effect of Education and School Quality on Female Crime By Javier Cano-Urbina; Lance Lochner
  17. (Un)Related Variety and Employment Growth at the Sub-Regional Level By Matthias Firgo; Peter Mayerhofer
  18. Economic concentration and finance: Evidence from Russian regions By Hattendorff, Christian
  19. Are Expectations Alone Enough? Estimating the Effect of a Mandatory College-Prep Curriculum in Michigan By Brian Jacob; Susan Dynarski; Kenneth Frank; Barbara Schneider
  20. Separate and Unequal in the Labor Market: Human Capital and the Jim Crow Wage Gap By Celeste K. Carruthers; Marianne H. Wanamaker
  21. Police Bias in the Enforcement of Drug Crimes: Evidence from Low Priority Laws By Gregory DeAngelo; R. Kaj Gittings; Amanda Ross; Annie Walker
  22. How does bank capital affect the supply of mortgages? Evidence from a randomized experiment By Valentina Michelangeli; Enrico Sette
  23. The effect of peer observation on consumption choices: experimental evidence By Sakha, Sahra; Grohmann, Antonia
  24. What Drives Racial and Ethnic Differences in High Cost Mortgages? The Role of High Risk Lenders By Patrick Bayer; Fernando V. Ferreira; Stephen L. Ross
  25. The causal effects of increased learning intensity on student achievement : evidence from a natural experiment By Andrietti, Vincenzo
  26. Double toil and trouble: grade retention and academic performance By Álvaro Choi; María Gil; Mauro Mediavilla; Javier Valbuena
  27. Judges, Juveniles and In-group Bias By Briggs Depew; Ozkan Eren; Naci Mocan
  28. The real effects of credit crunch in the Great Recession: evidence from Italian provinces By Guglielmo Barone; Guido de Blasio; Sauro Mocetti
  29. School Finance Reform and the Distribution of Student Achievement By Julien Lafortune; Jesse Rothstein; Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
  30. Double for Nothing? Experimental Evidence on the Impact of an Unconditional Teacher Salary Increase on Student Performance in Indonesia By Joppe de Ree; Karthik Muralidharan; Menno Pradhan; Halsey Rogers
  31. Agglomeration of knowledge in the German regional economy By Krenz, Astrid
  32. Determinants of local public expenditures on education: empirical evidence for Indonesian districts between 2005 and 2012 By Ivo Bischoff; Ferry Prasetyia
  33. Innovation and Immigration – Insights from a Placement Policy By Jahn, Vera; Steinhardt, Max Friedrich
  34. The Causal Effects of Cultural Relevance: Evidence from an Ethnic Studies Curriculum By Thomas Dee; Emily Penner
  35. Securitization, Asset Risk, and Capital Market Valuation: Evidence from Japanese Real Estate Investment Trusts (J-REITs) (Japanese) By EGAMI Masahiko; HOSONO Kaoru
  36. Peer-to-Peer Rental Markets in the Sharing Economy By Samuel P. Fraiberger; Arun Sundararajan
  37. Social Frictions to Knowledge Diffusion: Evidence from an Information Intervention By Arthur Alik-Lagrange; Martin Ravallion
  38. Interactions between Regional Public and Private Investment: Evidence from Japanese Prefectures By Tomomi Miyazaki
  39. Using Lagged Outcomes to Evaluate Bias in Value-Added Models By Raj Chetty; John N. Friedman; Jonah Rockoff
  40. Urbanization and poverty reduction: the role of secondary towns in Tanzania By Christiaensen, Luc; De Weerdt, Joachim; Kanbur, Ravi
  41. Migrants, Ancestors, and Investments By Konrad B. Burchardi; Thomas Chaney; Tarek A. Hassan
  42. Housing the Rangoon poor : Indians, Burmese, and town planning in colonial Burma By Osada, Noriyuki
  43. Growth, Urbanization and Poverty Reduction in India By Gaurav Datt; Martin Ravallion; Rinku Murgai
  44. How to Reform the Property Tax: Lessons from around the World By Enid Slack and Richard M. Bird

  1. By: Eerola, Essi; Saarimaa, Tuukka
    Abstract: ​This paper studies how much public housing generates rent savings for the tenants, how these savings are distributed among the tenants, and whether the tenants reside in better quality neighborhoods than similar low-income private rental tenants. Our rent savings estimates are based on a hedonic regression and detailed data on the private and public rental housing units from the city of Helsinki. We estimate that the total subsidy to public housing tenants is considerable and comparable in size to the housing allowance, the main tenant-based housing program. We also find that the subsidy is less targeted towards low-income households than the housing allowance. Regarding neighborhood quality, we find that public housing tenants live in lower quality neighborhoods than similar households living in private rental housing. This result suggests that public housing is not better than the housing allowance in delivering better neighborhood quality to low-income households.
    Keywords: hedonic regression, housing policy, public housing
    JEL: H22 R21 R23
    Date: 2015–12–17
  2. By: Atila Abdulkadiroglu; Parag A. Pathak; Christopher R. Walters
    Abstract: We evaluate the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP), a prominent school voucher plan. The LSP provides public funds for disadvantaged students at low-performing Louisiana public schools to attend private schools of their choice. LSP vouchers are allocated by random lottery at schools with more eligible applicants than available seats. We estimate causal effects of voucher receipt by comparing outcomes for lottery winners and losers in the first year after the program expanded statewide. This comparison reveals that LSP participation substantially reduces academic achievement. Attendance at an LSP-eligible private school lowers math scores by 0.4 standard deviations and increases the likelihood of a failing score by 50 percent. Voucher effects for reading, science and social studies are also negative and large. The negative impacts of vouchers are consistent across income groups, geographic areas, and private school characteristics, and are larger for younger children. These effects are not explained by the quality of fallback public schools for LSP applicants: students lotteried out of the program attend public schools with scores below the Louisiana average. Survey data show that LSP-eligible private schools experience rapid enrollment declines prior to entering the program, indicating that the LSP may attract private schools struggling to maintain enrollment. These results suggest caution in the design of voucher systems aimed at expanding school choice for disadvantaged students.
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Laura López-Torres; Diego Prior Jiménez (Business Department, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Improving educational quality is an important public policy goal. However, its success requires identifying factors associated with student achievement. At the core of these proposals lies the principle that increased public school quality can make school system more efficient, resulting in correspondingly stronger performance by students. Nevertheless, the public educational system is not devoid of competition which arises, among other factors, through the efficiency of management and the geographical location of schools. Moreover, families in Spain appear to choose a school on the grounds of location. In this environment, the objective of this paper is to analyze whether geographical space has an impact on the relationship between the level of technical qu ality of public schools (measured by the efficiency score) and the school demand index. To do this, an empirical application is performed on a sample of 1,695 public schools in the region of Catalonia (Spain). This application shows the effects of spatial autocorrelation on the estimation of the parameters and how these problems are addressed through spatial econometrics models. The results confirm that space has a moderating effect on the relationship between efficiency and school demand, although only in urban unicipalities.
    Keywords: school efficiency, school demand, spatial econometrics, spatial dependence
    JEL: C14 C21 C61 C67 I21
    Date: 2014–06
  4. By: Beth E. Schueler; Joshua Goodman; David J. Deming
    Abstract: The Federal government has spent billions of dollars to support turnarounds of low-achieving schools, yet most evidence on the impact of such turnarounds comes from high-profile, exceptional settings and not from examples driven by state policy decisions at scale. In this paper, we study the impact of state takeover and district-level turnaround in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Takeover of the Lawrence Public School (LPS) district was driven by the state’s accountability system, which increases state control in response to chronic underperformance. We find that the first two years of the LPS turnaround produced large achievement gains in math and modest gains in reading. Our preferred estimates compare LPS to other low income school districts in a differences-in-differences framework, although the results are robust to a wide variety of specifications, including student fixed effects. While the LPS turnaround was a package of interventions that cannot be fully separated, we find evidence that intensive small-group instruction led to particularly large achievement gains for participating students.
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2016–01
  5. By: Rafael González-Val (Universidad de Zaragoza & IEB)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the evolution of the European urban system from a long-term perspective (from 1300 to 1800) considering the historical data set of Bairoch et al. (1988). Using the method recently proposed by Clauset et al. (2009), a Pareto-type city size distribution (power law) is rejected from 1300 to 1600. A power law is a plausible model for the city size distribution only in 1700 and 1800, although the log-normal distribution is another plausible alternative model that we cannot reject. Moreover, random growth of cities is rejected using parametric and non-parametric methods. The results reveal a clear pattern of convergent growth in all periods.
    Keywords: City size distribution, power law, Pareto distribution, Zipf’s law, Gibrat’s law
    JEL: C12 C14 R11 R12
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Avinash D. Persaud (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: The housing market lies at the center of the biggest banking crises across the world. The recessions that follow these banking crises are generally deeper and longer than others. The collapse of housing prices amid rising unemployment is a major source of inequality. Persaud explains how the nexus between housing, banking, and the economy can be broken. He shows that two modest regulatory changes would result in life insurers and pension funds providing mortgage finance, which would better insulate the economy and homeowners from the housing cycle than financing from banks or markets can. History shows that safer housing finance would do more to make the financial system resilient than all the other recent initiatives combined.
    Date: 2016–03
  7. By: Scott E. Carrell; Mark Hoekstra; Elira Kuka
    Abstract: A large and growing literature has documented the importance of peer effects in education. However, there is relatively little evidence on the long-run educational and labor market consequences of childhood peers. We examine this question by linking administrative data on elementary school students to subsequent test scores, college attendance and completion, and earnings. To distinguish the effect of peers from confounding factors, we exploit the population variation in the proportion of children from families linked to domestic violence, who were shown by Carrell and Hoekstra (2010, 2012) to disrupt contemporaneous behavior and learning. Results show that exposure to a disruptive peer in classes of 25 during elementary school reduces earnings at age 26 by 3 to 4 percent. We estimate that differential exposure to children linked to domestic violence explains 5 to 6 percent of the rich-poor earnings gap in our data, and that removing one disruptive peer from a classroom for one year would raise the present discounted value of classmates' future earnings by $100,000.
    JEL: I21 I24 J12 J24
    Date: 2016–02
  8. By: Carolina Guevara (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - PRES Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of agglomeration on regional growth in Latin America, using panel data and spatial panel data techniques. By exploringthe role of development in the agglomeration-growth relationship, we find evidence of the Williamson's hypothesis: agglomeration growth effects are magnified in less-developed regions. Moreover, we measure the spatial effects of agglomeration. They have a large geographical scope. International connections of Latin American regions are beneficial to obtain positive spatial effects of agglomeration. Nevertheless, spatial effects are stronger within countries. This finding points out the strong border effects in Latin America. Abstract We investigate the effect of agglomeration on regional growth in Latin America, using panel data and spatial panel data techniques. By exploring the role of development in the agglomeration-growth relationship, we find evidence of the Williamson's hypothesis: agglomeration growth effects are magnified in less-developed regions. Moreover, we measure the spatial effects of agglomeration. They have a large geographical scope. International connections of Latin American regions are beneficial to obtain positive spatial effects of agglomeration. Nevertheless, spatial effects are stronger within countries. This finding points out the strong border effects in Latin America.
    Keywords: spatial interdepen-dence,Latin America,urbanization,growth,regional data,agglomeration economies
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Steve Gibbons; Stephan Heblich; Esther Lho; Christopher Timmins
    Abstract: Shale gas has grown to become a major new source of energy in countries around the globe. While its importance for energy supply is well recognized, there has also been public concern over potential risks – such as damage to buildings and contamination of water supplies – caused by geological disturbance from the hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) extraction process. Although commercial development has not yet taken place in the UK, licenses for drilling were issued in 2008 implying potential future development. This paper examines whether public fears about the geological impacts of fracking are evident in changes in house prices in areas that have been licensed for shale gas exploration. Our estimates suggest differentiated effects. Licensing did not affect house prices but areas where shale gas development was mentioned in the license application experienced an average house price decrease between 1 and 1.5 percent for the period 2008-2014. This was a response to geological events related to fracking. Specifically, two very minor earthquakes caused by the process in 2011 were strong drivers of this price drop. We find a 2.7-4.1 percent house price decrease in the area where the earthquakes occurred. Robustness checks confirm our findings.
    Keywords: Shale gas, Fracturing, Property valuation, Housing prices, Consumer expectation, hedonic price, United Kingdom.
    Date: 2016–03–03
  10. By: Imbert , Clément (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper provides some of the first evidence that rural development policies can have fundamental effects on the reallocation of labor between rural and urban areas. It studies the spillover effects of the world's largest rural workfare program, India's rural employment guarantee. We find that the workfare program has substantial con¬sequences: it reduces short-term (or seasonal) migration to urban areas by 9% and increases wages for manual, short-term work in urban areas by 6%. The implied elas¬ticity of unskilled wages with respect to short-term migration is high (-0.7).
    Keywords: internal migration, workfare programs, spillover effects, india
    JEL: O15 J61 R23 H53
    Date: 2016
  11. By: O. Becker , Sascha (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We analyze EU Regional Policy during four programming periods: 1989-1993, 1994-1999, 2000-2006, 2007-2013. When looking at all periods, we focus on the growth, employment and investment effects of Objective 1 treatment status. For the two later periods, we additionally look at the effects of the volume of EU transfers, overall and in sub-categories, on various outcomes. We also analyze whether the concentration of payments across spending categories affects the effectiveness if EU transfers. Finally, we pay attention to the role of EU funding for UK regions given the current debate in the UK.
    Keywords: Regional transfers, Heterogeneous local average treatment effects
    JEL: C21 O40 H54 R11
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Feld J.F.; Zölitz U.N. (ROA)
    Abstract: This paper estimates peer effects in a university context where students are randomly assigned to sections. While students benefit from better peers on average, lowachieving students are harmed by high-achieving peers. Analyzing students course evaluations suggests that peer effects are driven by improved group interaction rather than adjustments in teachers behavior or students effort. We further show, building on Angrist 2014, that classical measurement error in a setting where group assignment is systematic can lead to substantial overestimation of peer effects. With random assignment, as is the case in our setting, estimates are only attenuated.
    Keywords: Analysis of Education; Education and Inequality; Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity;
    JEL: I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Carolina Guevara (Université de Lyon, Lyon F- 69007, France; CNRS, GATE L-SE, Ecully, F- 69130, France; Université J. Monnet, Saint-Etienne, F- 42000, France
    Abstract: We investigate the effect of agglomeration on regional growth in Latin America, using panel data and spatial panel data techniques. By exploring the role of development in the agglomeration-growth relationship, we find evidence of the Williamson’s hypothesis : agglomeration growth effects are magnified in less-developed regions. Moreover, we measure the spatial effects of agglomeration. They have a large geographical scope. International connections of Latin American regions are beneficial to obtain positive spatial effects of agglomeration. Nevertheless, spatial effects are stronger within countries. This finding points out the strong border effects in Latin America.
    Keywords: growth, regional data, agglomeration economies, spatial interdependence, Latin America, urbanization, development
    JEL: R11 O18 O54
    Date: 2016
  14. By: Eerola, Essi; Määttänen, Niku
    Abstract: ​We study the interaction of matching and credit frictions in the housing market. In the model, risk-averse households may save or borrow in order to smooth consumption over time and finance owner housing. Prospective sellers and buyers meet randomly and bargain over the price. We analyze how borrowing constraints influence house price determination in the presence of matching frictions. We also show that credit frictions greatly magnify the effects of matching frictions. For instance, in the presence of matching frictions, a moderate tightening of the borrowing constraint increases idiosyncratic price dispersion and the average time-on-the-market substantially.
    Keywords: housing, borrowing constraint, matching
    JEL: E21 R21 C78
    Date: 2015–10–05
  15. By: Carlino, Gerald; Kerr, William R.
    Abstract: This paper reviews academic research on the connections between agglomeration and innovation. We first describe the conceptual distinctions between invention and innovation. We then discuss how these factors are frequently measured in the data and note some resulting empirical regularities. Innovative activity tends to be more concentrated than industrial activity, and we discuss important findings from the literature about why this is so. We highlight the traits of cities (e.g., size, industrial diversity) that theoretical and empirical work link to innovation, and we discuss factors that help sustain these features (e.g., the localization of entrepreneurial finance).
    Keywords: agglomeration, clusters, innovation, invention, entrepreneurship
    JEL: J2 J6 L1 L2 L6 O3 R1 R3
    Date: 2015–12–10
  16. By: Javier Cano-Urbina (Florida State University); Lance Lochner (The University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effects of educational attainment and school quality on crime among American women. Using changes in compulsory schooling laws as instruments, we estimate significant effects of schooling attainment on the probability of incarceration using Census data from 1960-1980. Using data from the 1960-90 Uniform Crime Reports, we also estimate that increases in average schooling levels reduce arrest rates for violent and property crime but not white collar crime. The estimated reductions in crime for women are smaller in magnitude than comparable estimates for men; however, the effects for women are larger in percentage terms (relative to baseline crime rates). Our results suggest small and mixed direct effects of school quality (as measured by pupil-teacher ratios, term length, and teacher salaries) on incarceration and arrests. Finally, we show that the effects of education on crime for women is unlikely to be due to changes in labor market opportunities and may be more related to changes in marital opportunities and family formation.
    Date: 2016
  17. By: Matthias Firgo; Peter Mayerhofer
    Abstract: Empirical results on the link between growth and diversity in (un)related industries proved to be highly dependent on the specific regional and temporal context. Making use of highly disaggregated employment data at the sub-regional level, we find that higher employment growth in Austria is mainly linked to unrelated variety. However, in-depth analyses by sectors and regional regimes illustrate substantial heterogeneity in the results, mainly driven by the service sector and by a large number of relatively small regions. Thus, our results argue against structural policy conclusions based on assessments across all economic sectors or different types of regions.
    Keywords: related variety, specialization, knowledge spillovers, employment growth, structural policy
    JEL: D62 J24 O33 R11 R58
    Date: 2016–03
  18. By: Hattendorff, Christian
    Abstract: ​The paper investigates the relationship between economic concentration and level of financial development to illuminate the linkage of real economy structure and financial markets. Using data from 81 Russian regions for the period 2005–2011, empirical evidence is offered to show that poor diversification weakens credit. Geographical variables are used as instruments of concentration in accounting for endogeneity. This work supports previous findings at the national level that policymakers seeking to promote economic development should place stronger emphasis on output diversification.
    Keywords: economic concentration, diversification, financial development, Russia
    JEL: E51 O11 R11
    Date: 2015–05–18
  19. By: Brian Jacob; Susan Dynarski; Kenneth Frank; Barbara Schneider
    Abstract: This paper examines the impacts of the Michigan Merit Curriculum, a statewide college preparatory curriculum that applies to the high school graduating class of 2008 and later. We use a student, longitudinal database for all public school students in Michigan for the main analyses, and complement this with analyses from a state-year panel. The study employs several non-experimental approaches, including a comparative interrupted time series and a synthetic control method. Our analyses suggest that the higher expectations embodied in the MMC has had little impact on student outcomes. Looking at student performance on the ACT, the only clear evidence of a change in academic performance comes in science. Our best estimates indicate that ACT science scores improved by 0.2 points (or roughly 0.04 standard deviations) as a result of the MMC. Students who entered high school with the weakest academic preparation saw the largest improvement, gaining 0.35 points (0.15 standard deviations) on the ACT composite score and 0.73 points (0.22 standard deviations) on the ACT science score. Our estimates for high school completion are very sensitive to the sample and methodology used. Some analysis suggests a small negative impact on high school graduation for students who entered high school with the weakest academic preparation, but other analysis finds no such effect.
    JEL: I0 I21 I3
    Date: 2016–02
  20. By: Celeste K. Carruthers; Marianne H. Wanamaker
    Abstract: The gap between black and white earnings is a longstanding feature of the United States labor market. Competing explanations attribute different weight to wage discrimination and access to human capital. Using new data on local school quality, we find that human capital played a predominant role in determining 1940 wage and occupational status gaps in the South despite the effective disenfranchisement of blacks, entrenched racial discrimination in civic life, and lack of federal employment protections. The 1940 conditional black-white wage gap coincides with the higher end of the range of estimates from the post-Civil Rights era. We estimate that a truly “separate but equal” school system would have reduced wage inequality by 40 - 51 percent.
    JEL: I24 J15 J7 N32
    Date: 2016–01
  21. By: Gregory DeAngelo (West Virginia University, Department of Economics); R. Kaj Gittings (Texas Tech University, Department of Economics); Amanda Ross (West Virginia University, Department of Economics); Annie Walker (University of Colorado, Denver, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: We consider the impact of adoption of a low priority initiative in some jurisdictions within Los Angeles County on police behavior. Low priority initiatives instruct police to make the enforcement of low level marijuana possession offenses their “lowest priority.†Using detailed data from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and a difference-indifferences strategy, we show that the mandate resulted in a lower arrest rate for misdemeanor marijuana possession in adopting areas. However, the lower relative arrest rate is driven by a spike in the arrest rate in areas not affected by the mandate rather than a reduction in adopting areas.
    Keywords: drug crimes, enforcement, police bias, laws
    Date: 2016–03
  22. By: Valentina Michelangeli (Bank of Italy); Enrico Sette (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We study the effect of bank capital on the supply of mortgages. We fully control for endogenous matching between borrowers, loan contracts, and banks by submitting randomized mortgage applications to the major online mortgage broker in Italy. We find that: higher bank capital is associated with a higher likelihood of application acceptance and lower offered interest rates; banks with lower capital reject applications by riskier borrowers and offer lower rates to safer ones. Finally, nonparametric estimates of the probability of acceptance and of the offered rate show that the effect of bank capital is stronger when capital is low.
    Keywords: mortgages, banks, household finance, randomized experiment
    JEL: G21 D14
    Date: 2016–02
  23. By: Sakha, Sahra; Grohmann, Antonia
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of peer observation on the consumption decisions of rural households in Thailand using a lab-in-the-field experiment. We find that those groups that observe each other show lower within group standard deviation in their decisions. Thus, we find evidence for conformity. Further, we find that individual's consumption choice is influenced by the group choice controlling for large number of individual, household, and village characteristics. We find that unfamiliarity of the product is counteracted by peer effects. Finally, we find evidence of treatment heterogeneity with regards to cognitive ability and village size.
    Keywords: Consumption,Peer Effects,Conformity
    JEL: D12 C21 C92
    Date: 2016
  24. By: Patrick Bayer (Duke University); Fernando V. Ferreira (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 both to sorting across lenders (60-65 percent) and to differential treatment of equally qualified borrowers by lenders (35-40 percent). The vast majority of the racial and ethnic differences across lender can be explained by a single measure of the lender’s foreclosure risk and most of the within-lender 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: 2016–03
  25. By: Andrietti, Vincenzo
    Abstract: I exploit a unique educational policy - implemented in most German states between 2001 and 2007 - that reduced high school duration by one year while keeping its curriculum unaltered to investigate how the resulting increase in learning intensity affected student achievement. Using 2000-2009 PISA data and a difference-in-differences approach, I find robust evidence that the reform significantly improved the reading, mathematics, and science literacy skills acquired by academic-track high school students upon treatment. A more direct estimate of the effects of the increased learning intensity - as measured by the cumulative weekly number of instructional hours delivered in high school grades - corroborates the latter finding. Furthermore, there is some evidence that the effects of the reform differ by gender and grade retention. Finally, I find no evidence of a significant average effect of the reform on high school grade retention, although I do find that the latter increased significantly for boys and for students with a migration background.
    Keywords: Difference-in-Differences; Student achievement; Instructional hours; Learning intensity; G8; Academic-track high school
    JEL: D04 I28 I21
    Date: 2015–09–01
  26. By: Álvaro Choi (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB); María Gil (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid); Mauro Mediavilla (Universitat de València & IEB); Javier Valbuena (Universitat de Girona)
    Abstract: Most recent available evidence points to the scarce efficacy of grade retention for levelling the performance of students. Yet, the fact that many countries persist in applying this measure reflects longstanding traditions, cultural factors and social beliefs as well, it would seem, the lack of robust empirical evidence to do otherwise. We contribute to the literature by analysing the impact of grade retention on the reading competencies of lower secondary school students in Spain, a country where almost one out of every three students will repeat at least one grade by age 16. We overcome the absence of longitudinal data by creating a pseudo-panel that combines microdata from two international assessments, PIRLS and PISA. Having controlled for reverse causality, our study confirms the negative and heterogeneous impact of grade retention. This paper provides new evidence of the pressing need to rethink this educational policy, and our results highlight the importance of early intervention as opposed to only employing remedial measures.
    Keywords: Grade retention, academic achievement, PISA, PIRLS
    JEL: I21 I28 I24
    Date: 2016
  27. By: Briggs Depew; Ozkan Eren; Naci Mocan
    Abstract: We investigate the existence of in-group bias (preferential treatment of one’s own group) in court decisions. Using the universe of juvenile court cases in a U.S. state between 1996 and 2012 and exploiting random assignment of juvenile defendants to judges, we find evidence for negative racial in-group bias in judicial decisions. All else the same, black (white) juveniles who are randomly assigned to black (white) judges are more likely to get incarcerated (as opposed to being placed on probation), and they receive longer sentences. Although observed in experimental settings, this is the first empirical evidence of negative in-group bias, based on a randomization design outside of the lab. Explanations for this finding are provided.
    JEL: D03 J15 K4 K41
    Date: 2016–02
  28. By: Guglielmo Barone (Bank of Italy); Guido de Blasio (Bank of Italy); Sauro Mocetti (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper estimates the effects on the real economy of the sharp reduction in the supply of credit following the 2008 financial crisis. We develop a measure of local credit supply that is based on the market shares of the banks that serve a local economy and the national change in each bank’s lending that is attributable to supply factors (i.e. purged of local demand factors). The decrease in our credit supply indicator, which is strongly correlated to the growth of outstanding loans, accounts for 13 per cent of the contraction in real value added with respect to the pre-crisis period. The negative effects also concern employment, although to a lesser extent. The real effects of the credit crunch are concentrated on small firms and in the areas that are more dependent upon external finance. Finally, credit supply shocks affected lending but not real outcomes in the pre-crisis period.
    Keywords: credit crunch, economic crisis, local growth
    JEL: E51 G21 R11
    Date: 2016–02
  29. By: Julien Lafortune; Jesse Rothstein; Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach
    Abstract: We study the impact of post-1990 school finance reforms, during the so-called "adequacy" era, on gaps in spending and achievement between high-income and low-income school districts. Using an event study design, we find that reform events--court orders and legislative reforms--lead to sharp, immediate, and sustained increases in absolute and relative spending in low-income school districts. Using representative samples from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, we also find that reforms cause gradual increases in the relative achievement of students in low-income school districts, consistent with the goal of improving educational opportunity for these students. The implied effect of school resources on educational achievement is large.
    JEL: H73 H75 I22
    Date: 2016–02
  30. By: Joppe de Ree; Karthik Muralidharan; Menno Pradhan; Halsey Rogers
    Abstract: How does a large unconditional increase in salary affect employee performance in the public sector? We present the first experimental evidence on this question to date in the context of a unique policy change in Indonesia that led to a permanent doubling of base teacher salaries. Using a large-scale randomized experiment across a representative sample of Indonesian schools that affected more than 3,000 teachers and 80,000 students, we find that the doubling of pay significantly improved teacher satisfaction with their income, reduced the incidence of teachers holding outside jobs, and reduced self-reported financial stress. Nevertheless, after two and three years, the doubling in pay led to no improvements in measures of teacher effort or student learning outcomes, suggesting that the salary increase was a transfer to teachers with no discernible impact on student outcomes. Thus, contrary to the predictions of various efficiency wage models of employee behavior (including gift-exchange, reciprocity, and reduced shirking), as well as those of a model where effort on pro-social tasks is a normal good with a positive income elasticity, we find that unconditional increases in salaries of incumbent teachers had no meaningful positive impact on student learning.
    JEL: C93 I21 J31 J45 O15
    Date: 2015–12
  31. By: Krenz, Astrid
    Abstract: This article investigates the geographical location of workers in jobs with high-knowledge requirements in the German economy. Our analysis takes individual-level data from the German socioeconomic panel (GSOEP) and combines them with the knowledge information for different jobs that comes from the US Department of Labor. We make use of the regional information inherent to the GSOEP that can be accessed only through a special user contract. High-knowledge employment is differently distributed across the German regions. Whereas highknowledge employment in communication and media as well as public safety is rather concentrated across regions, high-knowledge employment in computers and electronics, engineering and technology, education and training and mechanical tasks is more dispersed. Eastern German regions display a lower share of highknowledge workers in computers, engineering, mechanical tasks and public safety. The results are important to understand the regional development potential across the German regions. Our analysis detects a division in high-knowledge employment between the East and West of Germany.
    Keywords: agglomeration,knowledge,Germany
    JEL: R11 R12 J24
    Date: 2016
  32. By: Ivo Bischoff (University of Kassel); Ferry Prasetyia (Brawijaya University)
    Abstract: We provide an empirical analysis of the factors that drive expenditures on primary and secondary education in Indonesian districts. We use a panel-data set covering 398 districts between 2005 and 2012. We account for the impact of socio-economic, political and geographical factors on expenditures per pupil and on the share of the overall budget spent on education. Our results are in line studies from other countries showing that educational expenditures are rising in the municipalities’ fiscal capacity. Landlocked districts are found to spend less on education than non-landlocked ones. We find some support for the notion that the share of educational expenditures in total expenditures increases in the demand for education, though our indicators for demand are not associated with higher expenditures per pupil. Somewhat surprisingly, the characteristics of the local municipal council do not influence educational expenditures.
    Keywords: Indonesia, local government, educational expenditures, determinants
    JEL: H75 I25 N35
    Date: 2015
  33. By: Jahn, Vera (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg); Steinhardt, Max Friedrich (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg)
    Abstract: The paper examines the impact of immigration on innovation. We exploit an immigrant placement policy which took place during the early nineties in Germany when large numbers of so called ethnic Germans entered the country. This allows us to overcome the potential bias of endogenous location decisions and to estimate how regional inflows of ethnic Germans affected patent applications over time. Although the majority of ethnic German inflows was unskilled, we do not find any evidence of a negative impact on innovations. Instead, our panel estimates suggest that immigration had no or even a positive impact on innovations.
    Keywords: Innovation; Immigration; Ethnic Germans; Quasi-experimental setting
    JEL: F22 O32 R11
    Date: 2016–02–29
  34. By: Thomas Dee; Emily Penner
    Abstract: An extensive theoretical and qualitative literature stresses the promise of instructional practices and content aligned with the cultural experiences of minority students. Ethnic studies courses provide a growing but controversial example of such “culturally relevant pedagogy.” However, the empirical evidence on the effectiveness of these courses is limited. In this study, we estimate the causal effects of an ethnic studies curriculum piloted in several San Francisco high schools. We rely on a “fuzzy” regression discontinuity design based on the fact that several schools assigned students with eighth-grade GPAs below a threshold to take the course in ninth grade. Our results indicate that assignment to this course increased ninth-grade student attendance by 21 percentage points, GPA by 1.4 grade points, and credits earned by 23. These surprisingly large effects are consistent with the hypothesis that the course reduced dropout rates and suggest that culturally relevant teaching, when implemented in a supportive, high-fidelity context, can provide effective support to at-risk students.
    JEL: I0
    Date: 2016–01
  35. By: EGAMI Masahiko; HOSONO Kaoru
    Abstract: How does securitization affect issuers' asset risk? And how do capital markets respond to securitization? We answer these questions by examining changes in the asset values of the sponsors of Japanese Real Estate Investment Trusts (J-REITs) before and after the announcements of the establishment of J-REITs. To this aim, we precisely estimate the sponsors' asset values and compare their levels, volatilities, and comovements with the market index of the real estate industries. While no consistent change is found for the levels and volatilities of asset values, a negative effect of the announcement of J-REITs is consistently found for the comovements with the market index of the real estate industries. Furthermore, for the sponsors that do not fall in the real estate industries, the comovements with their own industries are found likely to be larger after the announcement of J-REITs.
    Date: 2016–03
  36. By: Samuel P. Fraiberger (Northeastern University, Network Science Institute, 177 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115); Arun Sundararajan (Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012)
    Abstract: To investigate whether peer-to-peer rental markets for durable goods are welfare-improving, we develop a new dynamic model of such markets in which users with heterogeneous utilization rates may also trade in secondary markets. We calibrate our model with US automobile industry data and transaction-level data from Getaround, a large peer-to-peer car rental marketplace. Counterfactual analyses illustrate significant shifts away from asset ownership as marketplace access grows. Used-good prices fall and replacement rates rise, while gains in consumer surplus range from 0.8% to 6.6%. The changes in consumption mix and the surplus increases are significantly more pronounced for below-median income consumers.
    Keywords: sharing economy, electronic markets, social media, durable goods, collaborative economy, on-demand, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, p2p, Internet, ecommerce, Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Lending Club, Blablacar, WeWork, Instacart, Ola
    JEL: D4 L1 L81
    Date: 2015–10
  37. By: Arthur Alik-Lagrange; Martin Ravallion
    Abstract: Does knowledge about antipoverty programs spread quickly within poor communities or are there significant frictions, such as due to social exclusion? We combine longitudinal and intra-household observations in estimating the direct knowledge gain from watching an information movie in rural India, while randomized village assignment identifies knowledge sharing with those in treatment villages who did not watch the movie. Knowledge is found to be shared within villages, but less so among illiterate and lower caste individuals, especially when also poor; these groups relied more on actually seeing the movie. Sizable biases are evident in impact estimators that ignore knowledge spillovers.
    JEL: D83 I38 O12
    Date: 2016–01
  38. By: Tomomi Miyazaki (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of government investment on private sector capital investment by investigating Japanese prefecture data. Empirical results show that crowding-out effect is observed in some sectors especially in rural areas where the government had invested heavily before the 1990s. This suggests that public investment is not necessarily useful to stimulate the economic activities through private capital formation there.
    Keywords: Regional public investment; Crowding-in/out effect; Sector investment
    JEL: E62 H54 R42
    Date: 2016–03
  39. By: Raj Chetty; John N. Friedman; Jonah Rockoff
    Abstract: Value-added (VA) models measure the productivity of agents such as teachers or doctors based on the outcomes they produce. The utility of VA models for performance evaluation depends on the extent to which VA estimates are biased by selection, for instance by differences in the abilities of students assigned to teachers. One widely used approach for evaluating bias in VA is to test for balance in lagged values of the outcome, based on the intuition that today’s inputs cannot influence yesterday’s outcomes. We use Monte Carlo simulations to show that, unlike in conventional treatment effect analyses, tests for balance using lagged outcomes do not provide robust information about the degree of bias in value-added models for two reasons. First, the treatment itself (value-added) is estimated, rather than exogenously observed. As a result, correlated shocks to outcomes can induce correlations between current VA estimates and lagged outcomes that are sensitive to model specification. Second, in most VA applications, estimation error does not vanish asymptotically because sample sizes per teacher (or principal, manager, etc.) remain small, making balance tests sensitive to the specification of the error structure even in large datasets. We conclude that bias in VA models is better evaluated using techniques that are less sensitive to model specification, such as randomized experiments, rather than using lagged outcomes.
    JEL: C18 H75 I21 J01 J08 J45 M50 M54
    Date: 2016–02
  40. By: Christiaensen, Luc; De Weerdt, Joachim; Kanbur, Ravi
    Abstract: In 2007, the world reached an important “tipping point” — half its population became urban. But not only is the world urbanizing, it has been doing so much more rapidly. While it took Industrial Europe 110 years (1800-1910) to increase its rate of urbanization from 15 to 40 percent, Asia and Africa did so in only 50 years (1960-2010), or twice as fast. And the urban population in the developing world is also concentrating, living increasingly in few large cities. This also holds in Africa, which already has a clear bimodal distribution of its urban population (Dorosh and Thurlow, 2013). Nonetheless, barring some exceptions, the academic literature and policy mind-sets have been squarely focused on the aggregate rate of urbanization. They seldom go beyond the dichotomous rural-urban distinction, thereby ignoring the distribution of the urban population across cities of different sizes. Results from our research suggest, however, that the composition of urbanization might be as important as its aggregate rate.
    Keywords: Tanzania; poverty reduction; urbanization
    Date: 2016–01
  41. By: Konrad B. Burchardi; Thomas Chaney; Tarek A. Hassan
    Abstract: We use 130 years of data on historical migrations to the United States to show a causal effect of the ancestry composition of US counties on foreign direct investment (FDI) sent and received by local firms. To isolate the causal effect of ancestry on FDI, we build a simple reduced-form model of migrations: migrations from a foreign country to a US county at a given time depend on (i) a push factor, causing emigration from that foreign country to the entire United States, and (ii) a pull factor, causing immigration from all origins into that US county. The interaction between time-series variation in country-specific push factors and county-specific pull factors generates quasi-random variation in the allocation of migrants across US counties. We find that a doubling of the number of residents with ancestry from a given foreign country relative to the mean increases by 4.2 percentage points the probability that at least one local firm invests in that country, and increases by 31% the number of employees at domestic recipients of FDI from that country. The size of these effects increases with the ethnic diversity of the local population, the geographic distance to the origin country, and the ethno-linguistic fractionalization of the origin country.
    JEL: F21 G15 J61 L14 N3 O11
    Date: 2016–01
  42. By: Osada, Noriyuki
    Abstract: In Rangoon/Yangon, the ex-capital city of Burma/Myanmar, there still remain many old buildings today. Those buildings were constructed in the British colonial period, especially from the 1900s to the 1930s, and formed Rangoon's built environment as something modern. In focusing on the period before and after the inauguration of the Rangoon Development Trust in 1921, this paper describes how the colonial administrative authorities perceived urban problems and how their policy and practice affected urban society. It also suggests the possibility that competition for habitation among the lower strata of Rangoon society was a cause of the serious urban riot in 1930.
    Keywords: Myanmar, Urban planning, Housing, Colonial policy, Colonialism, Migration, Urban societies, History, Burma/Myanmar, Urban history, Town-planning, Immigration
    JEL: N95
    Date: 2016–03
  43. By: Gaurav Datt; Martin Ravallion; Rinku Murgai
    Abstract: Longstanding development issues are revisited in the light of our newly-constructed dataset of poverty measures for India spanning 60 years, including 20 years since reforms began in earnest in 1991. We find a downward trend in poverty measures since 1970, with an acceleration post-1991, despite rising inequality. Faster poverty decline came with both higher growth and a more pro-poor pattern of growth. Post-1991 data suggest stronger inter-sectoral linkages: urban consumption growth brought gains to the rural as well as the urban poor and the primary-secondary-tertiary composition of growth has ceased to matter as all three sectors contributed to poverty reduction.
    JEL: I32 O15 O18 O47
    Date: 2016–02
  44. By: Enid Slack and Richard M. Bird (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: Property taxes are generally considered by economists to be good taxes, and many countries are being advised to increase and improve their property taxes. In practice, however, property tax reforms have often proved to be difficult to carry out successfully. This paper discusses why property taxes are particularly challenging to reform and suggests several ways in which efforts to reform this tax may become more successful in the future.
    Keywords: property tax, tax reform, local finance, political economy
    JEL: H24 H25 H71 D78
    Date: 2015–08

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