nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2016‒05‒08
34 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Structural versus Ethnic Dimensions of Housing Segregation By Yana Kucheva; Richard Sander
  2. New road infrastructure: the effects on firms By Gibbons, Steve; Lyytikainen, Teemu; Overman, Henry G; Sanchis-Guarner, Rosa
  3. Blight remediation in the Southeast: local approaches to design and implementation By Carpenter, Ann; Mitchell, Emily; Price, Shelley
  4. Government-Backed Mortgage Insurance, Financial Crisis, and the Recovery from the Great Recession By Passmore, Wayne; Sherlund, Shane M.
  5. The Long-term Consequences of Teacher Discretion in Grading of High-stakes Tests By Rebecca Diamond; Petra Persson
  6. Building the City: Sunk Capital, Sequencing and Institutional Frictions By J. Vernon Henderson; Tanner Regan; Anthony J. Venables
  7. Housing conditions, social housing demand and policy recommendations . Analysis and proposals for Modena By Manuel Reverberi; Silvia Sitton
  8. The 'Pupil' Factory: Specialization and the Production of Human Capital in Schools By Roland G. Fryer, Jr
  9. The Postwar Conquest of the Home Ownership Dream By Matthew Chambers; Carlos Garriga; Don E. Schlagenhauf
  10. Capital Requirements, Risk Shifting and the Mortgage Market By Uluc, Arzu; Wieladek, Tomasz
  11. Child Access Prevention Laws, Youth Gun Carrying, and School Shootings By Anderson, D. Mark; Sabia, Joseph J.
  12. The Fiscal Risk of Local Government Revenue in the People’s Republic of China By Fan, Ziying; Wan, Guanghua
  13. “Innovation, heterogeneous firms, and the region” By Enrique López-Bazo; Elisabet Motellón
  14. How do regional labor markets adjust to immigration? A dynamic analysis for post-war Germany By Braun, Sebastian Till; Weber, Henning
  15. State Aid to Local Governments: How Hawaii’s State Government Shares Transient Accommodation Tax Revenues With Its Local Governments By James Mak
  16. Rural-Urban Migrants in Vietnam: Should we Stay in the Cities or Return Home? By Nguyen, Duc Loc; Grote, Ulrike
  17. Economic opportunity and income mobility--remarks at the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development Annual Community Development Conference, New York City By Dudley, William
  18. Canary in a Coal Mine: Infant Mortality, Property Values, and Tradeoffs Associated with Mid-20th Century Air Pollution By Karen Clay; Joshua Lewis; Edson Severnini
  19. Flooded cities By Adriana Kocornik-Mina; Thomas K.J. McDermott; Guy Michaels; Ferdinand Rauch
  20. The causal effects of an intensified curriculum on cognitive skills : evidence from a natural experiment By Andrietti, Vincenzo
  21. Right to the City or Urban Commoning? Thoughts on the Generative Transformation of Property Law By Ugo Mattei; Alessandra Quarta
  22. On Peer Effects: Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior in Charitable Giving and The Role of Social Identity By Eugen Dimant
  23. Regional distribution of the national system of innovation actors and economic development: an international comparison By Ulisses Pereira dos Santos
  24. Social capital, perceptions and economic performance By Hernández, José; Guerrero-Luchtenberg, César
  25. Efficiency assessment of Portuguese municipalities using a conditional nonparametric approach By Cordero, José Manuel; Pedraja-Chaparro, Francisco; Pisaflores, Elsa C.; Polo, Cristina
  26. Environmental Taxes and Rural-Urban Migration - A Study from China By Jing Cao
  27. Partition, independence, and population geography in Bengal By Shonchoy, Abu S.; Tsubota, Kenmei
  28. Regional Economic Development, Energy Consumption and Carbon Emissions in China By Chunhua Wang
  29. National Borders and Urban Growth: Evidence from the Annexation of Alsace and Lorraine By Iakov T. Kuga
  30. Not too close, not too far: testing the Goldilocks principle of ‘optimal’ distance in innovation networks By Rune Dahl Fitjar; Franz Huber; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
  31. Robust small area estimation under spatial non-stationarity By Baldermann, Claudia; Salvati, Nicola; Schmid, Timo
  32. Improving Interchanges: Introducing Best Practices on Multimodal Interchange Hub Development in the People's Republic of China By Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  33. The Effect of Land Value and Local Community Characteristics on Best Management Practice Adoption By Zhong, Hua; Hu, Wuyang
  34. Superstition, Conspicuous Spending, and Housing Markets: Evidence from Singapore By Agarwal, Sumit; He, Jia; Liu, Haoming; Png, I. P. L.; Sing, Tien Foo; Wong, Wei-Kang

  1. By: Yana Kucheva; Richard Sander
    Abstract: Racial residential segregation is still very high in many American cities. Some portion of segregation is attributable to socioeconomic differences across racial lines; some portion is caused by purely racial factors, such as preferences about the racial composition of one’s neighborhood or discrimination in the housing market. Social scientists have had great difficulty disaggregating segregation into a portion that can be explained by interracial differences in socioeconomic characteristics (what we call structural factors) versus a portion attributable to racial and ethnic factors. What would such a measure look like? In this paper, we draw on a new source of data to develop an innovative structural segregation measure that shows the amount of segregation that would remain if we could assign households to housing units based only on non-racial socioeconomic characteristics. This inquiry provides vital building blocks for the broader enterprise of understanding and remedying housing segregation.
    Date: 2016–03
  2. By: Gibbons, Steve; Lyytikainen, Teemu; Overman, Henry G; Sanchis-Guarner, Rosa
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of new road infrastructure on employment and productivity using plant level longitudinal data for Britain. Exposure to transport improvements is measured through changes in accessibility, which is calculated at a detailed geographical scale from changes in minimum journey times along the road network. These changes are induced by the construction of new road link schemes. We deal with the potential endogeneity of scheme location by identifying the effects of changes in accessibility from variation across wards close to the scheme. We find substantial positive effects on employment and numbers of plants for small-scale geographical areas (electoral wards). In contrast, for firms already in the area we find negative effects on employment coupled with increases in output per worker and wages. A plausible interpretation is that new transport infrastructure attracts transport intensive firms to an area, but with some cost to employment in existing businesses.
    Keywords: accessibility; employment; productivity; transport
    JEL: D24 O18 R12
    Date: 2016–04
  3. By: Carpenter, Ann (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); Mitchell, Emily (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta); Price, Shelley (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)
    Abstract: Blight—or the proliferation of vacant, abandoned, or poorly maintained properties—is a critical community issue in many cities in the Southeast as in other regions of the United States, as economic shifts experienced in the past few decades have changed neighborhoods significantly. Municipalities dealing with this issue recognize what is well documented in the literature—that blight is associated with social, economic, environmental, and public health effects on neighborhoods. The recent recession has led to a surge of abandoned and bank-owned properties, disproportionately located in poor and unstable neighborhoods. The causes of blight vary by city and even by neighborhood, but many cities are dealing with blighted parcels as a result of some combination of suburbanization, population decline, job losses (particularly in the manufacturing sector), foreclosures, and natural events that render structures or lots unusable. Southeastern cities are also unique in that lower population densities often deter revitalization. {{p}} To understand how various blight remediation strategies have been implemented, we selected two case study communities for analysis, which included extensive interviews with local stakeholders. We chose New Orleans, Louisiana, and Macon, Georgia, based on their location, size, the extent of their blight issues, and their commitment to blight remediation. New Orleans and Macon have each experienced significant blight and are leaders in the Southeast in creating and refining robust strategies for combating blight. {{p}} This paper describes several findings in terms of regional blight remediation efforts. Lessons learned include the importance of data collection and visualization, the need for an overarching, jurisdiction-wide blight strategy, the value of transparent and realistic metrics, the need for strong leadership and strategic partnerships that leverage political will and resources, the need for public participation, and the effectiveness of strategies such as strong code enforcement and land banking over expropriation or eminent domain.
    Keywords: blight; vacant property; code enforcement; local policy
    JEL: H70 K11 R11 R38
    Date: 2015–11–01
  4. By: Passmore, Wayne; Sherlund, Shane M.
    Abstract: The Great Recession provides an opportunity to test the proposition that government mortgage insurance programs mitigated the effects of the financial crisis and enhanced the economic recovery from 2009 to 2014. We find that government-sponsored mortgage insurance programs have been responsible for better economic outcomes in counties that participated heavily in these programs. In particular, counties with high levels of participation from government-sponsored enterprises and the Federal Housing Authority had relatively lower unemployment rates, higher home sales, higher home prices, lower mortgage delinquency rates, and less foreclosure activity, both in 2009 (soon after the peak of the financial crisis) and in 2014 (six years after the crisis) than did counties with lower levels of participation. The persistence of better outcomes in counties with heavy participation in federal government programs is consistent with a view that lower government liquidity premiums, lower government credit-risk premiums, and looser government mortgage-underwriting standards yield higher private-sector economic activity after a financial crisis.
    Keywords: Financial crisis ; Great Recession ; mortgages ; government policy
    JEL: G01 G21 G28
  5. By: Rebecca Diamond; Petra Persson
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the long-term consequences of teacher discretion in grading of high-stakes tests. Evidence is currently lacking, both on which students receive test score manipulation and on whether such manipulation has any real, long-term consequences. We document extensive test score manipulation of Swedish nationwide math tests taken in the last year before high school, by showing significant bunching in the distribution of test scores above discrete grade cutoffs. We find that teachers use their discretion to adjust the test scores of students who have "a bad test day," but that they do not discriminate based on gender or immigration status. We then develop a Wald estimator that allows us to harness quasi-experimental variation in whether a student receives test score manipulation to identify its effect on students' longer-term outcomes. Despite the fact that test score manipulation does not, per se, raise human capital, it has far-reaching consequences for the beneficiaries, raising their grades in future classes, high school graduation rates, and college initiation rates; lowering teen birth rates; and raising earnings at age 23. The mechanism at play suggests important dynamic complementarities: Getting a higher grade on the test serves as an immediate signaling mechanism within the educational system, motivating students and potentially teachers; this, in turn, raises human capital; and the combination of higher effort and higher human capital ultimately generates substantial labor market gains. This highlights that a higher grade may not primarily have a signaling value in the labor market, but within the educational system itself.
    JEL: I20 J24
    Date: 2016–04
  6. By: J. Vernon Henderson; Tanner Regan; Anthony J. Venables
    Abstract: This paper models a growing city, and focuses on investment decisions and consequent patterns of land use and urban density. We distinguish between formal and informal sector construction. The former can be built tall (at a cost), but structures once built are durable and cannot be modified. Investments are based on expectations about future growth of the city. In contrast, informal structures are malleable and do not involve sunk costs. As the city grows areas will initially be developed informally, and then formally; formal areas are redeveloped periodically. This process can be hindered by land right issues which raise the costs of converting informal to formal sector development. The size and shape of the city are sensitive to the expected returns to durable investments and to the costs of converting informal to formal sector usage. We take the model to data on the built environment for Nairobi, to study urban growth and change between 2004 and 2015 in a context where population is growing at about 4% a year. We study the evolution of building footprints and heights, development at the fringe, infilling, and redevelopment of the formal sector.
    Keywords: city, urban, urban growth, slum development, urban structure, urban form, housing investment, capital durability
    JEL: O14 O18 R1 R3
    Date: 2016–04
  7. By: Manuel Reverberi; Silvia Sitton
    Abstract: In the following paper we use the dataset from IcesMo in order to present an in-depth overview of the living conditions of Modena families. We pay particular attention to those families who every month have to pay a hard-to-afford rent. Secondly, we try to estimate the local demand for social housing. In conclusion, we suggest some possible policies to carry out in order to solve housing problems.
    Keywords: housing policies, unaffordable rent, housing condition, social housing requirement, local survey
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2016–02
  8. By: Roland G. Fryer, Jr
    Abstract: Starting in the 2013-2014 school year, I conducted a randomized field experiment in fifty traditional public elementary schools in Houston, Texas designed to test the potential productivity benefits of teacher specialization in schools. Treatment schools altered their schedules to have teachers specialize in a subset of subjects in which they have demonstrated relative strength (based on value-add measures and principal observations). The average impact of teacher specialization on student achievement is -0.042 standard deviations in math and -0.034 standard deviations in reading, per year. Students enrolled in special education and those with younger teachers demonstrated marked negative results. I argue that the results are consistent with a model in which the benefits of specialization driven by sorting teachers into a subset of subjects based on comparative advantage is outweighed by inefficient pedagogy due to having fewer interactions with each student. Consistent with this, specialized teachers report providing less attention to individual students (relative to non-specialized teachers), though other mechanisms are possible.
    JEL: D24 I20 J0
    Date: 2016–04
  9. By: Matthew Chambers (Department of Economics, Towson University); Carlos Garriga (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Don E. Schlagenhauf (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
    Abstract: The post-WorldWar II witnessed the largest housing boom in recent history. The objective of this paper is to develop a quantitative equilibrium model of tenure choice to analyze the key determinants in the co-movement between home ownership and house prices over the period 1940 to 1960. The parameterized model is consistent with key aggregate and distributional features observed in the 1940 U.S. economy and is capable of accounting for the observed postwar housing boom. The paper shows, both theoretically and quantitatively, that the key to explaining the co- movement is an asymmetric productivity change that favors the goods sector relative to the construction sector. Other factors such as demographics, income risk, and government policy are important determinants of the home ownership rate but have relatively small e¤ects on housing prices.
    Keywords: Housing Finance, first-time buyers, life-cycle.
    JEL: E2 E6
    Date: 2016–04
  10. By: Uluc, Arzu; Wieladek, Tomasz
    Abstract: We study the effect of changes to bank-specific capital requirements on mortgage loan supply with a new loan-level dataset containing all mortgages issued in the UK between 2005Q2 and 2007Q2. We find that a rise of a 100 basis points in capital requirements leads to a 5.4% decline in individual loan size by bank. Loans issued by competing banks rise by roughly the same amount, which is indicative of credit substitution. Borrowers with an impaired credit history (verified income) are not (most) affected. This is consistent with origination of riskier loans to grow capital by raising retained earnings. No evidence for credit substitution of non-bank finance companies is found.
    Keywords: Capital requirements; credit substitution.; loan-level data; mortgage market
    JEL: G21 G28
    Date: 2016–04
  11. By: Anderson, D. Mark (Montana State University); Sabia, Joseph J. (San Diego State University)
    Abstract: Despite intense public interest in keeping guns out of schools, next to nothing is known about the effects of gun control policies on youth gun carrying or school violence. Using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS) for the period 1993-2013, this study is the first to examine the relationship between child access prevention (CAP) gun controls laws and gun carrying among high school students. Our results suggest that CAP laws are associated with a 13 percent decrease in the rate of past month gun carrying and an 18 percent decrease in the rate at which students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property. In addition, we find that CAP laws are associated with a lagged decline in the probability that students miss school due to feeling unsafe. These results are concentrated among minors, for whom CAP laws are most likely to bind. To supplement our YRBS analysis, we collect a novel dataset on school shooting deaths for the period 1991-2013. We find that while CAP laws promote a safer school environment, they have no observable impact on school-associated shooting deaths.
    Keywords: gun control, youth risky behavior, school violence
    JEL: K4 I2 H7
    Date: 2016–03
  12. By: Fan, Ziying (Asian Development Bank Institute); Wan, Guanghua (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Since the Tax Sharing Reform in 1994, the local government revenue of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has faced downward risk problems. This paper reviews the fiscal and taxation reforms in the central and local governments of the PRC and focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of fiscal transfers. We find that, to a certain extent, fiscal transfers significantly promote the construction of local infrastructure. Earmarked transfers had an effect, but lump-sum transfers did not. Results showed every 1% increase in earmarked transfers to be associated with a 5% increase in local spending on infrastructure. These fiscal transfers also increased the size of local government spending such that a 1% increase of fiscal transfer would increase the ratio of local fiscal spending to gross domestic product by 1%. The risk of the local fiscal revenue sources was also assessed, and results showed that land finance, local government bonds, and fiscal transfers from the central government are not sustainable in the long term. The local fiscal system in the PRC needs to focus on improving local taxes in the future, such as the property tax.
    Keywords: PRC fiscal risk; fiscal transfers; fiscal and tax reforms
    JEL: H54 H68 H71
    Date: 2016–04–22
  13. By: Enrique López-Bazo (AQR Research Group-IREA, University of Barcelona); Elisabet Motellón (AQR Research Group-IREA, University of Barcelona. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of regional determinants on innovation performance controlling by the firm’s absorptive capacity and other sources of firm heterogeneity. The findings for a sample of firms in Spain support the hypothesis that regional determinants matter, though their role is subtler than the one frequently assumed. Rather than a direct influence on firm’s innovation, the regional context moderates the effect of internal determinants. In the case of product innovation the most important mechanism of interaction seems to be operating through cooperation in innovation, whereas for process innovation it seems to be through highly skilled labour.
    Keywords: product innovation, process innovation, firm, multilevel modelling, Spanish regions JEL classification: D21; O31; R10; R15
    Date: 2016–04
  14. By: Braun, Sebastian Till; Weber, Henning
    Abstract: We draw on two decades of historical data to analyze how regional labor markets in West Germany adjusted to one of the largest forced population movements in history, the mass inflow of eight million German expellees after World War II. The expellee inflow was distributed very asymmetrically across two West German regions. A dynamic two-region search and matching model of unemployment, which is exposed to the asymmetric expellee inflow, closely fits historical data on the regional unemployment differential and the regional migration rate. Both variables increase dramatically after the inflow and decline only gradually over the next decade. We show that despite the large and long-lasting dynamics following the expellee inflow, native workers experience only a modest loss in expected discounted lifetime labor income of 1.38%. Per-period losses in native labor income, however, are up to four times as large. The magnitude of income losses also depends on the initial location and labor market status of native workers. In counterfactual analyses, we furthermore show that economic policy interventions that affect the nature of the immigration inflow can effectively reduce native income losses and dampen adjustment dynamics in regional labor markets. One such intervention is to distribute the inflow more evenly over time. Smaller immigration inflows, similar in magnitude to the refugee inflow that Germany is experiencing today, also reduce native income losses markedly but decrease the duration of labor market adjustment only modestly.
    Keywords: immigration,labor market adjustments,dynamic search and matching model of unemployment,asymmetric labor supply shock,post-war Germany
    JEL: J61 F22
    Date: 2016
  15. By: James Mak (Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Fellow, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization)
    Abstract: Many states in the U.S. give unrestricted financial support to their local governments. The reasons some state governments provide aid and others do not, and why a particular mode of revenue sharing is adopted remain unclear. This paper examines Hawaii’s recent effort at developing a model to allocate the state’s transient accommodation tax revenues between the State and the county governments. The paper documents the process and explains the rationale behind the model.
    Keywords: Intergovernmental revenue sharing; transient accommodation tax; hotel occupancy tax
    JEL: H7
    Date: 2016–05
  16. By: Nguyen, Duc Loc; Grote, Ulrike
    Abstract: This paper investigates the factors determining the length of migration and return plans of rural migrants within Vietnam. The findings shows that migrants coming from rural households that faced a higher number of idiosyncratic shocks increase their stays in the cities, while those from original households that experienced transient shocks shorten the length of their stays in the cities. An increased length of migration is also observed among migrants and households with higher human capital. A decreased income gap between destination and original provinces due to the higher economic growth of original places also increases the duration of migration. The results of the analysis on the migration intensity imply that the plans of migrants to return not only increase in case they face shocks in the cities, but also with the improvement of the living conditions at their original places.
    Keywords: Migration Intensity, Length of Migration, Random-Effect Tobit Regression, Vietnam, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Labor and Human Capital, D13, J28, J61, O15, O18, Z13,
    Date: 2015–12
  17. By: Dudley, William (Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
    Abstract: Remarks at the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development Annual Community Development Conference, New York City.
    Keywords: dual objective; dual mandate; American Dream; equal opportunity; upward mobility; Raj Chetty; intergenerational mobility; residential segregation; school quality; school vouchers; residential mobility
    Date: 2016–04–11
  18. By: Karen Clay; Joshua Lewis; Edson Severnini
    Abstract: Pollution is a common byproduct of economic activity. Although policymakers should account for both the benefits and the negative externalities of polluting activities, it is difficult to identify those who are harmed and those who benefit from them. To overcome this challenge, our paper uses a novel dataset on the mid-20th century expansion of the U.S. power grid to study the costs and the benefits of coal-fired electricity generation. The empirical analysis exploits the timing of coal-fired power plant openings and annual variation in plant-level coal consumption from 1938 to 1962, when emissions were virtually unregulated. Pollution from the burning of coal for electricity generation is shown to have quantitatively important and nonlinear effects on county-level infant mortality rates. By 1962, it was responsible for 3,500 infant deaths per year, over one death per thousand live births. These effects are even larger at lower levels of coal consumption. We also find evidence of clear tradeoffs associated with coal-fired electricity generation. For counties with low access to electricity in the baseline, increases in local power plant coal consumption reduced infant mortality and increased housing values and rental prices. For counties with near universal access to electricity in the baseline, increases in coal consumption by power plants led to higher infant mortality rates, and lower housing values and rental prices. These results highlight the importance of considering both the costs and benefits of polluting activities, and suggest that demand for policy intervention may emerge only when the negative externalities are significantly larger than the perceived benefits.
    JEL: I18 N22 Q52 Q53
    Date: 2016–04
  19. By: Adriana Kocornik-Mina; Thomas K.J. McDermott; Guy Michaels; Ferdinand Rauch
    Abstract: Does economic activity relocate away from areas that are at high risk of recurring shocks? We examine this question in the context of floods, which are among the costliest and most common natural disasters. Over the past thirty years, floods worldwide killed more than 500,000 people and displaced over 650,000,000 people. This paper analyzes the effect of large scale floods, which displaced at least 100,000 people each, in over 1,800 cities in 40 countries, from 2003-2008. We conduct our analysis using spatially detailed inundation maps and night lights data spanning the globe's urban areas. We find that low elevation areas are about 3-4 times more likely to be hit by large floods than other areas, and yet they concentrate more economic activity per square kilometre. When cities are hit by large floods, the low elevation areas also sustain more damage, but like the rest of the flooded cities they recover rapidly, and economic activity does not move to safer areas. Only in more recently populated urban areas, flooded areas show a larger and more persistent decline in economic activity. Our findings have important policy implications for aid, development and urban planning in a world with rising urbanization and sea levels.
    Keywords: Urbanization; flooding; climate change; urban recovery
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2015–12
  20. By: Andrietti, Vincenzo
    Abstract: This paper exploits a unique universal educational policy - implemented in most German states between 2001 and 2008 - that compressed the academic-track high school curriculum into a (oneyear) shorter time span, thereby increasing time of instruction and share of curriculum taught per grade. Using 2000-2012 PISA data and a quasi-experimental approach, I estimate the impacts of this intensified curriculum on cognitive skills. I find robust evidence that the reform improved, on average, the reading, mathematical, and scientific literacy skills acquired by academic-track ninthgraders upon treatment. However, I also provide evidence that the reform widened the gap in student performance with respect to parental migration background and student ability. Finally, although the reform did not affect, on average, high school grade retention, I find that the latter increased for students with parental migration background. Taken together, these findings suggest that moving to a compressed high-school curriculum did not compromise and benefited, on average, students' cognitive skills. However, they also raise equity concerns that policy-makers should be aware of.
    Keywords: Remedial education; Grade retention; Academic-track high school; Cognitive skills; Instructional time; Learning intensity; Intensified curriculum; G8 reform
    JEL: D04 I28 I21
    Date: 2016–04
  21. By: Ugo Mattei (UC Hastings, University of Turin & IUC Turin); Alessandra Quarta (University of Turin & IUC Turin)
    Abstract: The economic and political transformations determined by the rise of neoliberalism are usually studied at a state dimension, while the urban one is quite ignored. Nevertheless, the government of the city has been influenced by global and national recent changes and all the municipal sectors have been touched by the austerity's recipe. The decrease of urban public spaces, their privatizations as well as gentrification transform city planning that is often unable to elaborate alternative solutions against the overexploitation of the urban territory and the increase of inequalities caused by economic crisis. In a city, after all, it is impossible to hide inequalities and injustices. In the last years, cities have often been the theater of political struggles against the privatization of public spaces, evictions and the dissolution of the urban welfare. In many cases, the demonstrators have occupied parks or abandoned buildings (theatre, condominiums...), and used them to find a temporary solution to their different needs (housing, social space, new forms of work, urban gardens...). They denounce the great number of public or private empty spaces (for instance, the abandoned infrastructures left by the process of de-industrialization) and their neglect. According to the right to the city they claim, the inhabitants have to produce urban spaces starting from their own needs: empty spaces become an opportunity, the urban care is a collective task. This approach shares the logic of the commons, which reclaims a new paradigm based on inclusion, participation and social and ecological use of resources: according to many scholars, also urban spaces are commons. After a description of this wide context, the article explores the connection between commons and the right to the city.
    Keywords: urban commons, right to the city, privatization, grassroots action, neoliberalism
    JEL: B59 K11 O18 P48
    Date: 2015–12
  22. By: Eugen Dimant (Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: Social interactions and the resulting peer effects loom large in both economic and social contexts. This is particularly true for the spillover of pro- and anti-social behavior in explaining how such behavior and norms spread across individual people, neighborhoods, or even cultures. Although we observe the outcomes of such contagion effects, little is known about the drivers and the underlying mechanisms, especially with respect to the role of social identity with one’s peers and the pro- and anti-sociality of behavior one is exposed to. We use a variant of a power-to-take dictator game to shed light on these aspects in a controlled laboratory setting. Our experiment contributes to the existing literature in two ways: first, using a novel approach of inducing social identification with one’s peers in the lab, our design allows us to analyze the spillover-effects of behavior under varied levels of social identity. Second, we study whether pro- and anti-social behavior are equally contagious. Our results suggest that anti-social behavior is more contagious than pro-social behavior and that the extent of social identification to one’s peers particularly drives the contagion of anti-social behavior. Our findings yield strong policy implications with regards to designing effective nudges and interventions to facilitate (reduce) pro- (anti-) social behavior.
    Keywords: anti-social behavior, behavioral contagion, charitable giving, peer effects, social identity
    JEL: C91 D03 D73 D81
    Date: 2016–04
  23. By: Ulisses Pereira dos Santos (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: It is believed that actors of the National System of Innovation (NSI) influence and are influenced by regional aspects, such as geographical distribution. Based on this perspective the scientific, technological and economical performances in sub-national divisions of nine developed and developing countries are analyzed in this paper. The aim is to evaluate the hypothesis on the existence of higher regional concentration of NSI actors in developing countries. The results suggest that this hypothesis may be correct, since science, technology and innovation activities are more likely to be regionally concentrated in the richest regions in the developing countries under consideration, contrary to that observed in developed countries.
    Keywords: National Systems of Innovation, Regional Development, Economic Development, Developing Countries.
    JEL: O10 O57 R58
    Date: 2016–03
  24. By: Hernández, José; Guerrero-Luchtenberg, César
    Abstract: This paper describes how social capital emerges, relates to economic performance and evolves in the long run. Using the concept of psychological equilibrium, two types of individuals are generated in the population regarding their willingness to cooperate. We propose an evolutionary (learning) process over those types driven by the total payoffs of the psychological game, and provide a complete description of its dynamics. Macro-perceptions, defined as the individual perception of how cooperative the society is as a whole, are key to explain convergence to the full social capital state in the long run.
    Keywords: Psychological Equilibrium, Belief-dependent Behavior, Evolutionary Games, Replicator Dynamics, Economic Development.
    JEL: C73 O1
    Date: 2016–04–16
  25. By: Cordero, José Manuel; Pedraja-Chaparro, Francisco; Pisaflores, Elsa C.; Polo, Cristina
    Abstract: Measuring local government efficiency is a complex task that has to take into account that they usually operate in a heterogeneous context. Therefore, the estimation of relative efficiency measures of their performance needs to account for the effect of contextual and exogenous variables on the production process. This should assure that the respective measures adequately reflect the portion of inefficiency that may be attributable to local authorities. In this paper, we apply time-dependent conditional frontier estimators to assess the performance of the 278 Portuguese mainland municipalities for the 2009-2014 period. By applying this nonparametric approach, we can avoid the strong assumptions on the specification of the estimated production function required by traditional two-stage methods. Furthermore, we examine the effect of contextual and exogenous variables on municipal efficiency levels and technological change. The results reveal that the recent local reforms introduced after the bailout agreement have slightly enhanced the performance of local authorities, but only for small and medium-sized municipalities.
    Keywords: Efficiency, Local governments, Operational environment, Nonparametric estimation, Conditional approach
    JEL: D24 H71 H83
    Date: 2016–04–12
  26. By: Jing Cao (Harvard China Project, Harvard University Center for the Environment and School of Economics and Management Tsinghua University, Beijing)
    Abstract: This study investigates the potential impact of two environmental tax regimes on the movement of rural people to China's cities. The study models the impact of a fuel tax and an output tax on the country's economy to get a full picture of how they would affect people's livelihoods and welfare, and how this would, in turn, affect rural-urban migration. The study sheds light on the implications of future environmental taxes and how they would affect urbanization and "rural-urban" migration in China. The study finds that both proposed taxes would discourage the flow of migrants from China's countryside to its cities. This would therefore exacerbate the current distortions in the country's labour market, where there is a surplus of rural labour. A comparison of the impact of the two taxes shows the fuel tax to be more efficient in terms of reducing pollution emissions and their associated environmental and health impacts. It also produces less distortion in the rural-urban migration process than the output tax. The study therefore recommends that this would be the preferable policy.
    Keywords: environmental taxation, rural-urban, China
    Date: 2016–04
  27. By: Shonchoy, Abu S.; Tsubota, Kenmei
    Abstract: This study quantitatively explores the changing population geography in Bengal, with a particular focus on Partition in India in 1947 and Independence of Bangladesh in 1971. Based on decadal census data from 1901 to 2001 at the district level, this paper explores how trends in regional population growth evolved with such historical events. Following Redding and Sturm (2008), Differences-in-Differences estimation is also employed. Estimation results show that there were different shocks on both sides and from both events. In West Bengal, the change in the regional population trends occurred in 1947 and remained similar thereafter. On the other hand, in East Bengal, the population growth became statistically significant after 1971. Further robustness checks show that the impacts were not uniform with respect to the distance from the border. Overall analyses show that the emergence of the international border in Bengal had asymmetric impacts on both sides.
    Keywords: Population, Independence movements, Separatism, Regional population dynamics, Border regions, Partition and independence
    JEL: F15 N95 R12 R23
    Date: 2016–03
  28. By: Chunhua Wang (School of International Trade and Economics, University of International Business and Economics)
    Keywords: Energy Consumption,Carbon Emissions, China
    Date: 2016–03
  29. By: Iakov T. Kuga (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: According to the Treaty of Frankfurt (1871) France lost Alsace and Lorraine. In the paper I estimate how the new border affected a growth of nearby towns. Applying difference-in-differences methodology to census data for 1831-1911, I obtain paradoxical result. The new border boosted the growth of nearby towns. Extra urban growth in a 70 km border region reached 4.23 per cent p.a. in 1872-6, and was smaller, but still significantly positive, later. Point estimate of the total border effect in 1872-1911 is 134 per cent. This effect survives in more homogeneous subsamples and is robust to a number of specification changes. Both immigration of Alsatians, garrison growth and fort construction have sizable and significant positive effect on urban growth; however, the border effect remains significantly positive after accounting for these factors
    Keywords: market potential, population, France, Alsace, Lorraine, difference-in-differences.
    JEL: F15 N93
    Date: 2016
  30. By: Rune Dahl Fitjar; Franz Huber; Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
    Abstract: This paper analyses how the formation of collaboration networks affects firm-level innovation by applying the ‘Goldilocks principle’. The ‘Goldilocks principle’ of optimal distance in innovation networks postulates that the best firm-level innovation results are achieved when the partners involved in the network are located at the ‘right’ distance, i.e. ‘not too close and not too far’ from one another, across non-geographical proximity dimensions. This principle is tested on a survey of 542 Norwegian firms conducted in 2013, containing information about firm-level innovation activities and key innovation partners. The results of the ordinal logit regression analysis substantiate the Goldilocks principle, as the most innovative firms are found amongst those that collaborate with partners at medium levels of proximity for all non-geographical dimensions. The analysis also underscores the importance of the presence of a substitution-innovation mechanism, with geographical distance problems being compensated by proximity in other dimensions as a driver of innovation, whilst there is no support for a potential overlap-innovation mechanism.
    Keywords: Proximities, innovation, networks, collaboration, Goldilocks principle, Norway
    JEL: O31 O33 D85
    Date: 2016–05
  31. By: Baldermann, Claudia; Salvati, Nicola; Schmid, Timo
    Abstract: Geographically weighted small area methods have been studied in literature for small area estimation. Although these approaches are useful for the estimation of small area means efficiently under strict parametric assumptions, they can be very sensitive to outliers in the data. In this paper, we propose a robust extension of the geographically weighted empirical best linear unbiased predictor (GWEBLUP). In particular, we introduce robust projective and predictive small area estimators under spatial non-stationarity. Mean squared error estimation is performed by two different analytic approaches that account for the spatial structure in the data. The results from the model-based simulations indicate that the proposed approach may lead to gains in terms of efficiency. Finally, the methodology is demonstrated in an illustrative application for estimating the average total cash costs for farms in Australia.
    Keywords: bias correction,geographical weighted regression,mean squared error,model-based simulation,spatial statistics
    Date: 2016
  32. By: Asian Development Bank (ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB) (East Asia Department, ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB) (East Asia Department, ADB); Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    Abstract: The multimodal interchange hub is vital for achieving a sustainable transport system. It stitches together diff erent modes of transport and serves as the gateway to mobility and greater accessibility. This publication presents planning and design ideas to improve interchanges and the overall journey experience of passengers. It highlights how the hub can be a place not only of transport connection, but also of social interaction. The lessons and recommendations presented here may be used to build the next generation of multimodal hubs in the People’s Republic of China.
    Keywords: transport system, transport connection, multimodal hub, interchange hubs, railway station, traffic facilities, subway station, high-speed rail, People's Republic of China
    Date: 2015–10
  33. By: Zhong, Hua; Hu, Wuyang
    Abstract: Land premium added by the increase of environmental quality could motivate farmers to adopt Best Management Practices (BMPs). Local community also demands nearby farms to abate agricultural pollution and implement BMPs. Our study attempts to examine whether land values and local community characteristics can influence BMP adoption in addition to the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. We aggregate our survey data on BMP adoption conducted between 2011 and 2012 in Kentucky and the public data by using the geographic information, and then use Probit models to estimate choices of BMP adoption. In the model, we measure the land value effect by using percentage differences of farmland values between 2007 and 2012, and approximate the local community characteristic effect by including rural effect, urban effect, residential effect, and local farm business effect. Results show that increasing land values would motivate farmers to adopt additional riparian buffers; the local equine inventory have the positive impact on farmers’ future adoption of animal fences and nutrient management; farms located at the rural communities are less likely to fence off animal from water resources.
    Keywords: best management practice, land value, local community, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, Q52, Q56,
    Date: 2016
  34. By: Agarwal, Sumit (National University of Singapore); He, Jia (National University of Singapore); Liu, Haoming (National University of Singapore); Png, I. P. L. (National University of Singapore); Sing, Tien Foo (National University of Singapore); Wong, Wei-Kang (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: For most people, buying a home is their single largest financial commitment. Previous research shows that Chinese buyers pay less for homes with unlucky addresses and more for homes with lucky addresses. Using Singapore data on housing transactions combined with a plethora of individual buyer characteristics including ethnicity, age, nationality, education, and employment, we study the source of these preferences. We find evidence that buyers are heterogeneous. Consistent with superstition, older people, those who suffered from more traffic accidents, and people buying new apartments have stronger preference for lucky addresses, while people with Western names and senior public-sector employees have weaker preference. Consistent with conspicuous spending, people with Western names, senior public-sector employees, and people buying in luxury districts have weaker preference for lucky addresses.
    Keywords: superstition, conspicuous spending, real estate, prices, behavioral economics
    JEL: D1 R3 Z1
    Date: 2016–04

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