nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2016‒11‒13
29 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Do Airbnb Properties Affect House Prices? By Steven Sheppard; Andrew Udell
  2. Political Turnover, Bureaucratic Turnover, and the Quality of Public Services By Mitra Akhtari; Diana Moreira; Laura Trucco
  3. Housing and credit markets in Italy in times of crisis By Michele Loberto
  4. The Compositional Effect of Rigorous Teacher Evaluation on Workforce Quality By Julie Berry Cullen; Cory Koedel; Eric Parsons
  5. Saving behavior and housing wealth: Evidence from German micro data By Gröbel, Sören; Ihle, Dorothee
  6. National Immigration Quotas and Local Economic Growth By Philipp Ager; Casper Worm Hansen
  7. Of Cities and Slums By Cavalcanti Ferreira, Pedro; Monge-Naranjo, Alexander; Torres de Mello Pereira, Luciene
  8. The effect of teenage employment on character skills, expectations and occupational choice strategies By Fuchs, Benjamin
  9. The Impact of Performance Ratings on Job Satisfaction for Public School Teachers By Cory Koedel; Jiaxi Li; Matthew G. Springer; Li Tan
  10. Misalignment of Productivity and Wages Across Regions ?Evidence from Belgian Matched Panel Data By François Rycx; Yves Saks; Ilan Tojerow
  11. Distributional price effects of rent controls in Berlin: When expectation meets reality By Thomschke, Lorenz
  12. Broken Cities: The Effect of Government Responsiveness on Citizens' Participation By Laura Trucco
  13. Regulating Publicly Funded Private Schools: A Literature Review on Equity and Effectiveness By Luka Boeskens
  14. Case Study of Central and Local Government Finance in Japan By Bessho, Shun-ichiro
  15. Better residential than ethnic discrimination! By François Bonnet; Etienne Lalé; Mirna Safi; Etienne Wasmer
  16. East Side Story: Historical Pollution and Persistent Neighborhood Sorting By Stephan Heblich; Alex Trew; Yanos Zylberberg
  17. Access to education and teenage childbearing By Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner; Jesse Matheson
  18. A dynamic factor model for forecasting house prices in Belgium By Marina Emiris
  19. Social Ties for Labor Market Access - Lessons from the Migration of East German Inventors By Bender, Stefan; Dorner, Matthias; Harhoff, Dietmar; Hinz, Tina; Hoisl, Karin
  20. A spatial approach to control for unobserved environmental conditions when measuring firms’ technology: an application to Norwegian electricity distribution networks By Orea, Luis; Álvarez, Inmaculada C.; Jamasb, Tooraj
  21. A Practical Guideline to Successful Bottom up Development: Resettling the Indus By Abdus Subhan; Sharmeen Khan
  22. Illuminating the world cup effect: Night lights evidence from South Africa By Pfeifer, Gregor; Wahl, Fabian; Marczak, Martyna
  23. The Role of Social Networks Among Low-Income Fathers: Findings from the PACT Evaluation By Angela Valdovinos D'Angelo; Emily Knas; Pamela Holcomb; Kathryn Edin
  24. Student responses to the changing content of school meals in India By Farzana Afridi; Bidisha Barooah; Rohini Somanathan
  25. Does credit scoring improve the selection of borrowers and credit quality? By Giorgio Albareto; Roberto Felici; Enrico Sette
  26. From Corn to Popcorn? Urbanization and food consumption in Sub-Sahara Africa: Evidence from rural-urban migrants in Tanzania By Cockx, Lara; De Weerdt, Joachim
  27. The Content, Predictive Power, and Potential Bias in Five Widely Used Teacher Observation Instruments By Brian Gill; Megan Shoji; Thomas Coen; Kate Place
  28. Voter turnout in Italian municipal elections, 2002-2013 By Federico Revelli
  29. Does Migration Cause Extreme Voting? By Sascha O. Becker; Thiemo Fetzer

  1. By: Steven Sheppard (Williams College); Andrew Udell (Dropbox)
    Abstract: The growth of peer-to-peer markets has provided a mechanism through which private individuals can enter a market as small scale, often temporary, suppliers of a good or service. Companies that facilitate this type of supply have attracted controversy in cities around the world, with concerns regarding Uber and Airbnb in particular. Both companies have been subject to criticism for failing to pay taxes to local authorities and for avoiding regulatory oversight that constrains more traditional suppliers of these services. It is not surprising that these companies have been criticized by more traditional suppliers of short term accommodation or transportation as presenting unfair competition, and attempts have been made to ban provision of these services in several cities around the world. A central complaint concerning Airbnb focuses on the impact of short-term rental properties on the value of residential property. A report prepared by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York lists these impacts among a number of concerns: do Airbnb rentals provide a black market in unsafe hotels? Do short-term rentals make New York City less affordable? Is the influx of out-of-town visitors upsetting the quiet of longstanding residential neighborhoods? These concerns pose difficulties because they imply different impacts on the values of residential properties. If short-term rentals provided via Airbnb create a concentration of what are effectively unsafe hotels, upsetting quiet residential neighborhoods, they would generate a local concentration of externalities that might be expected to depress property values rather than make housing less affordable. Alternatively, if these externality effects are modest relative to the impacts of space diverted from providing housing for residents to providing short-term accommodation for visitors, then local concentration of Airbnb properties may increase house prices. Perhaps because of this confusion, it is possible to find divergent viewpoints expressed about the impacts of Airbnb in the popular press and in consultant reports, but (to our knowledge) no careful study that estimates the direct impact of Airbnb rental availability on house prices. This paper presents such a study in the context of New York City.
    Date: 2016–10
  2. By: Mitra Akhtari; Diana Moreira; Laura Trucco
    Abstract: We study how political party changes in mayoral elections in Brazil affect the provision of public education. Exploiting a regression discontinuity design for close elections, we find that municipalities with a new party in office have test scores that are 0.07 standard deviations lower than comparable municipalities with no change in the ruling party. Party turnover leads to a sharp increase in the replacement rate of headmasters and teachers in schools controlled by the municipality. In contrast, we show that changes in the party of the mayor do not impact the rate of replacement of school personnel or student test scores for local (non-municipal) schools that are not controlled by the mayor's office. The findings suggest that political turnover in Brazilian municipalities negatively impacts student outcomes through political discretion over the municipal education bureaucracy. Political turnover can adversely affect the quality of public service provision in environments where the bureaucracy is not shielded from the political process.
    Date: 2016–01
  3. By: Michele Loberto (Bank of Italy Author-Name Francesco Zollino; Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We investigate the determinants of Italian house prices and residential investments in a structural model with possible disequilibria in the market for lending to both households and firms in the building sector. Based on a structural approach that takes into account the multifold relationships between demand and supply within the housing and the credit markets, we find that, while house prices react mostly to disposable income and demographic pressures, lending conditions also exert a significant impact. During the recent crises the contribution of declining bank rates to household lending was limited, due to the greater deleveraging needs of Italian banks. Conventional monetary policy has supported house prices, albeit with declining intensity as policy rates have gradually approached the lower bound. At the same time, unconventional monetary policy measures have sustained house prices via their effect on Italian sovereign spreads, which have shrunk by a sizeable amount since they peaked in the period between late 2011 and early 2013. Finally, we find that house price developments stayed in line with the fundamentals, during both the global financial and sovereign debt crisis, with only minor and occasional discrepancies.
    Keywords: house prices, credit, system of simultaneous equations
    JEL: E52 G21 R20 R30
    Date: 2016–10
  4. By: Julie Berry Cullen; Cory Koedel; Eric Parsons
    Abstract: Improving public sector workforce quality is challenging in sectors such as education where worker productivity is difficult to assess and manager incentives are muted by political and bureaucratic constraints. In this paper, we study how providing information to principals about teacher effectiveness and encouraging them to use the information in personnel decisions affects the composition of teacher turnovers. Our setting is the Houston Independent School District, which recently implemented a rigorous teacher evaluation system. Prior to the new system teacher effectiveness was negatively correlated with district exit and we show that the policy significantly strengthened this relationship, primarily by increasing the relative likelihood of exit for teachers in the bottom quintile of the quality distribution. Low-performing teachers working in low-achieving schools were especially likely to leave. However, despite the success, the implied change to the quality of the workforce overall is too small to have a detectable impact on student achievement.
    JEL: H75 I28 J45
    Date: 2016–11
  5. By: Gröbel, Sören; Ihle, Dorothee
    Abstract: Housing property is the most important position in a household's wealth portfolio. Even though there is strong evidence that house price cycles and saving patterns behave synchronously, the underlying causes remain controversial. The present paper examines if there is a wealth effect of house prices on savings using household-level longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for the period 1996-2012. We find that young renters increase and young homeowners decrease their savings in response to unanticipated house price shocks, whereas old households only hardly respond to house price changes. We interpret this as evidence of a housing wealth effect.
    Keywords: housing wealth,saving behavior,SOEP,Germany
    JEL: D91 E21 R31
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Philipp Ager (Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark); Casper Worm Hansen (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: The introduction of immigration quotas in the 1920s fundamentally changed US migration policy. We exploit this policy change to estimate the effect of immigration on local economic growth and industry development. Our analysis demonstrates that areas with larger pre-existing communities of immigrants of nationalities restricted by the quota system experienced larger population declines in the subsequent decades as the quotas reduced the supply of immigrants to these areas. We then show that the quotas led to negative agglomeration effects in the manufacturing sector, while productivity losses are only visible in urban counties, cities, and immigrant dependent industries. We also ?find that the quota system pushed native workers into low-wage occupations.
    Keywords: Immigration restrictions, National quota acts, Economic growth
    JEL: J11 J61 N12 O11 O47
    Date: 2016–11–08
  7. By: Cavalcanti Ferreira, Pedro (EPGE/FGV, Rio de Janeiro); Monge-Naranjo, Alexander (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Torres de Mello Pereira, Luciene (EPGE/FGV, Rio de Janeiro)
    Abstract: The emergence of slums is a common feature in a country's path towards urbanization, structural transformation and development. Based on salient micro and macro evidence of Brazilian labor, housing and education markets, we construct a simple model to examine the conditions for slums to emerge. We then use the model to examine whether slums are barriers or stepping stones for lower skilled households and for the development of the country as a whole. We calibrate our model to explore the dynamic interaction between skill formation, income inequality and structural transformation with the rise (and potential fall) of slums in Brazil. We then conduct policy counterfactuals. For instance, we find that cracking down on slums could slow down the acquisition of human capital, the growth of cities (outside slums) and non-agricultural employment. The impact of reducing housing barriers to entry into cities and of different forms of school integration between the city and the slums is also explored.
    Keywords: Skill formation; Locations; Occupations; Structural transformation
    JEL: O15 O18 R23 R31
    Date: 2016–10–01
  8. By: Fuchs, Benjamin
    Abstract: A growing body of research suggests that, even after controlling for cognitive abilities, personality predicts economic success in later life. The learning environment at school focuses on knowledge and cognitive skills. The transmission of character skills, however, is not at the center of attention. Leisure activities as informal learning activities outside of school may affect the formation of skills. By providing valuable opportunities, working part-time while attending full-time secondary schooling can be seen as a stepping stone toward independence and adulthood. The channel of the positive influence, however has not been identified empirically. I suggest that employment during adolescence promotes the formation of character skills that are known to have a positive effect on labor market outcomes and educational achievement. Employing a exible strategy combining propensity score matching and regression techniques to account for self-selection, I find beneficial e ects on character skills. Further, it improves future expectations, the knowledge on which skills and talents school students have and reduces the importance of parents advice with respect to their childs future career. The results are robust to several model specifications and varying samples and robust to including family-fixed effects.
    Keywords: human capital,teenage employment,non-cognitive skills,time use,treatment effect
    JEL: I21 J13 J24
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Cory Koedel (Department of Economics and Truman School of Public Affairs); Jiaxi Li (Department of Economics, at the University of Missouri); Matthew G. Springer (Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University); Li Tan (Department of Economics, at the University of Missouri)
    Abstract: Spurred by the federal Race to the Top competition, the state of Tennessee implemented a comprehensive statewide educator evaluation system in 2011. The new system is designed to increase the rigor of evaluations and better differentiate teachers based on performance. The use of more differentiated ratings represents a significant shift in education policy. We merge teacher performance evaluations from the new system with data from post-evaluation teacher surveys to examine the effects of the differentiated ratings on job satisfaction for teachers. Using a regression-discontinuity design, we show that higher ratings under the new system causally improve teachers’ perceptions of work relative to lower ratings. Our findings offer the first causal evidence of which we are aware on the relationship between performance ratings and job satisfaction for individual teachers.
    Keywords: personnel evaluation, teacher evaluation, job satisfaction, teacher quality
    JEL: I20 J38 J45
    Date: 2016
  10. By: François Rycx; Yves Saks; Ilan Tojerow
    Abstract: This paper is one of the first to estimate how the region in which an establishment is located affects its productivity, wage cost and costcompetitiveness (i.e. its productivity-wage gap). To do so, we use detailed linked employer-employee panel data for Belgium and rely on methodological approaches from both Hellerstein and Neumark (1995) and Bartolucci (2014) to estimate dynamic panel data models at the establishment level. Our findings show that inter-regional differences in productivity and wages are significant but vanish almost totally, both in industry and services, when controlling for a wide range of covariates, establishment fixed effects and endogeneity. Thus, our results suggest that wage cost and productivity differentials are ceteris paribus relatively well aligned across regions.
    Keywords: Regions; productivity; labour costs; linked panel data
    JEL: C33 J24 J31 R30
    Date: 2016–11–08
  11. By: Thomschke, Lorenz
    Abstract: An enormous increase of initial rents in many German cities over the last decade has prompted the current grand coalition to implement a new rent control called "Mietpreisbremse" in 2015 (literally a brake on rental prices). This reform aims to stop exploding rents and to provide particularly more affordable rental housing in the lower and medium rental price segment. Since then, rental prices of re-lettings are capped at a local rental index in declared areas. As an exception, newly built flats or those that have been reconstructed extensively are not affected by the reform and landlords may always uphold the rent paid by previous tenant. I apply a classical difference-in-difference strategy and a new changes-in-changes model including covariates in order to analyze both average and distributional price effects of the intervention in Berlin. The basis for empirical results is data on newly offered rental prices from 2012 to 2016 that is also enhanced with the local rental index and previous rents. Thereby, I can define the range of effects one could reasonably expect beforehand. Results indicate that the reform indeed lowered initial rents temporarily. In contrast to the reforms intention, however, significant effects are found only in the upper price segment. The effects also fall short of anticipated expectation and fade out too fast. Meanwhile, newly offered rental prices even outrun the pre-reform level, which highlights the lack of enforcement supplementary. I will therefore argue that the reform so far has failed to meet the intended objective and is poorly targeted.
    Keywords: rent control,quantile regression,counterfactual distribution,difference-in-difference,changes-in-changes
    JEL: R21 R23 R31 R33 C1
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Laura Trucco
    Abstract: What is the impact of government responsiveness on citizens? participation in local public goods provision? I explore whether receptiveness to requests for maintenance work (e.g., sidewalk repairs, tree pruning) affects the likelihood of citizens? demanding new government projects. I ran a field experiment in collaboration with the Government of the City of Buenos Aires that randomized the order of sidewalk repairs. I find that when the government repairs sidewalk problems reported by citizens, citizens are more likely to issue other requests for public maintenance work. The demands, however, do not come from the original complainant; rather other citizens are stimulated to participate. In particular, most demands come from citizens that had not filed a complaint in the past, which suggests that government performance has an ?enfranchising? effect. The evidence suggests that the repairs change underlying beliefs about government responsiveness rather than merely reminding citizens of other problems with maintenance. At the same time, I also find evidence that citizens? complaints do lead to government repairs. These findings lend support to the existence of strategic complementarities between government responsiveness and citizens? participation, which could contribute to explaining the substantial variation in public goods provision both across and within countries.
    Date: 2016–01
  13. By: Luka Boeskens
    Abstract: As school choice is an increasingly common feature of OECD education systems, the regulation of publicly funded private schools has become a salient concern for researchers and policy makers alike. Focussing on three areas of regulation – selective admission, add-on tuition fees and for-profit ownership – this paper provides a review of the theoretical and empirical literature concerning their effects on equity and educational effectiveness. It also offers an overview of different countries’ approaches to the funding of private education and the methodological challenges involved in their empirical evaluation. The available evidence confirms that the funding of private schools has yielded widely different results across educational systems and suggests that regulatory frameworks are an important factor shaping these outcomes. Selective admission and substantial add-on tuition fees in particular are likely to exacerbate social segregation and can undermine schools’ incentives to compete on the basis of educational quality. The evidence on subsidised for-profit schools is equally divergent across countries but evidence points to the importance of rigorous accreditation processes and clear conditions concerning selectivity and fees to guide allocation of public funds. Although important questions are yet to be conclusively addressed, including the interaction of different regulatory devices and their effect on specific student groups, the existing literature suggests that private school regulation can make an important contribution to the equity and effectiveness of school choice programmes. À mesure que le choix scolaire est une caractéristique des systèmes éducatifs de l'OCDE de plus en plus commune, la réglementation des écoles privées subventionnées par l’État est devenue une préoccupation saillante pour les chercheurs et les décideurs. En se concentrant sur trois domaines de la réglementation – l’admission sélective, les frais de scolarité et les établissements à but lucratif – ce rapport présente une revue de la littérature théorique et empirique concernant leurs effets sur l'équité et l'efficacité pédagogique. Il énumère également des approches différentes au financement des écoles privées et les défis méthodologiques impliqués dans leur évaluation empirique. Les données disponibles confirment que le financement de l'enseignement privé a donné des résultats très différents à travers les systèmes éducatifs et suggère que les cadres réglementaires sont un principal facteur affectant ces résultats. L’admission sélective et les frais de scolarité substantiels en particulier sont susceptibles d'aggraver la ségrégation sociale et de réduire les incitations des écoles de concourir sur la base de leur qualité éducative. Les données sur les écoles subventionnées à but lucratif sont également divergentes à travers des pays, mais ils soulignent l'importance d'un processus d'accréditation rigoureux et des conditions réglementaires en ce qui concerne leur qualité et sélectivité. Bien que des questions importantes doivent encore être abordées définitivement, la littérature existante suggère que la réglementation des écoles privées peut constituer une contribution importante à l'équité et l'efficacité des programmes de choix scolaire.
    Date: 2016–11–11
  14. By: Bessho, Shun-ichiro (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: This paper aims to provide an overview of the basics of Japan’s local public administration and finance system and to analyze how Japan’s municipalities restore their fiscal balance after a fiscal shock. In Japan, local governments play a major role in redistribution. Combined with regional disparities in tax capacities and an inflexible local tax system, there is a large vertical fiscal gap in Japan between the central and local governments—a gap that necessitates the transfer of funds from central to local governments. Under this system, the fiscal adjustments in Japan’s municipalities occur mainly via changes in government investment, and they account for 63%–95% of adjustments in permanent unit innovations in grants and own-source revenue. In contrast to the role of expenditure, the municipalities’ own-source revenue plays a limited role in balancing the local budget. The results of this study also reveal that 40% of the increase in own-source revenue is offset by a reduction in grants. Furthermore, municipalities can induce grants by expanding government current expenditure. Finally, this study offers and discusses some policy implications.
    Keywords: Japan; local government; administrative system; local public finance; local revenue; fiscal shock; fiscal balance; tax system; “flypaper effect”
    JEL: H70 H72 H77
    Date: 2016–11–08
  15. By: François Bonnet (PACTE - Politiques publiques, ACtion politique, TErritoires - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - UJF - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1 - IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Etienne Lalé (University of Bristol [Bristol]); Mirna Safi (OSC - Observatoire sociologique du changement - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Etienne Wasmer (Sciences Po)
    Abstract: This article investigates discrimination and the interplay of residential and ethnic stigma on the French housing market using two different methods, paired-testing au- dit study of real estate agencies and face-to-face interviews with real estate agents. The juxtaposition of their findings leads to a paradox: interviews reveal high levels of ethnic discrimination but little to none residential discrimination, while the audit study shows that living in deprived suburbs is associated with a lower probability of obtaining an appointment for a housing vacancy but ethnic origin (signaled by the candidate’s name) has no significant discriminatory effect. We have three priors po- tentially consistent with this apparent paradox and re-evaluate their likelihood in light of these findings: (i) agents make use of any statistical information about insolvency, including residency; (ii) there are two distinct and independent taste discriminations, one about space and one about ethnicity; (iii) these two dimensions exist and comple- ment each other.
    Keywords: Housing Market,Neighborhood Effects,Discrimination
    Date: 2016
  16. By: Stephan Heblich (University of Bristol); Alex Trew (University of St Andrews); Yanos Zylberberg (University of Bristol)
    Abstract: Why are the East sides of former industrial cities like London or New York poorer and more deprived? We argue that this observation is the most visible consequence of the historically unequal distribution of air pollutants across neighborhoods. In this paper, we geolocate nearly 5,000 industrial chimneys in 70 English cities in 1880 and use an atmospheric dispersion model to recreate the spatial distribution of pollution. First, individual-level census data show that pollution induced neighborhood sorting during the course of the nineteenth century. Historical pollution patterns explain up to 15% of within-city deprivation in 1881. Second, these equilibria persist to this day even though the pollution that initially caused them has waned. A quantitative model shows the role of non-linearities and tipping-like dynamics in such persistence.
    Keywords: Neighborhood Sorting, Historical Pollution, Deprivation, Per- sistence, Environmental Disamenity.
    JEL: R23 Q53 N90
  17. By: Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner; Jesse Matheson
    Abstract: We look at the effect of expanding secondary school access on teenage childbearing in Brazil. For this purpose we combine information from the Brazilian school census with vital statistics data. Variation in the introduction of schools across municipalities over time is used to estimate the effect of education access on teenage births. Our results show a 4.56% reduction in municipal teenage childbearing following a school introduction. These results suggest that Brazil’s secondary school expansion between 1997 and 2010 can account for 25% of a substantial decline in teenage childbearing observed over the same period.
    Keywords: Secondary education, teenage childbearing, Brazil
    JEL: I20 I26 J13
  18. By: Marina Emiris (Economics and Research Department, National Bank of Belgium)
    Abstract: The paper forecasts the residential property price index in Belgium with a dynamic factor model (DFM) estimated with a dataset of macro-economic variables describing the Belgian and euro area economy. The model is validated with out-of-sample forecasts which are obtained recursively over an expanding window over the period 2000q1-2012q4. We illustrate how the model reads information from mortgage loans, interest rates, GDP and inflation to revise the residential property price forecast as a result of a change in assumptions for the future paths of these variables
    Keywords: dynamic factor model, conditional forecast, house prices
    JEL: E32 G21 C53
    Date: 2016–11
  19. By: Bender, Stefan; Dorner, Matthias; Harhoff, Dietmar; Hinz, Tina; Hoisl, Karin
    Abstract: We study the impact of social ties on the migration of inventors from East to West Germany, using the fall of the Iron Curtain and German reunification as a natural experiment. We identify East German inventors via their patenting track records prior to 1990 and their social security records in the German labor market after reunification. Modeling inventor migration to West German regions after 1990, we find that Western regions with stronger historically determined social ties across the former East-West border attracted more inventors after the fall of the Iron Curtain than regions without such ties. However, mobility decisions made by inventors with outstanding patenting track records (star inventors) were not impacted by social ties. We conclude that social ties support labor market access for migrant inventors and determine regional choices while dependence on these ties is substantially reduced for star performers.
    Keywords: East Germany; inventors; migration; networks; social ties; transition
    JEL: J60 O30 P20 R23
    Date: 2016–11
  20. By: Orea, Luis; Álvarez, Inmaculada C.; Jamasb, Tooraj
    Abstract: An important methodological issue for the use of efficiency analysis in incentive regulation of regulated utilities is how to account for the effect of unobserved cost drivers such as environmental factors. This study combines the spatial econometric approach with stochastic frontier techniques to control for unobserved environmental conditions when measuring firms’ efficiency in the electricity distribution sector. Our empirical strategy relies on the geographic location of the firms as a useful source of information that has previously not been explored in the literature. The underlying idea in our empirical proposal is to utilise variables from neighbouring firms that are likely to be spatially correlated as proxies for the unobserved cost drivers. We illustrate our approach using the data of Norwegian distribution utilities for the years 2004 to 2011. We find that the lack of information on weather and geographic conditions can likely be compensated with data from surrounding firms using spatial econometric techniques. Combining efficiency analysis and spatial econometrics methods improve the goodness-of-fit of the estimated models and, hence, more accurate (fair) efficiency scores are obtained. The methodology can also be used in efficiency analysis and regulation of other types of utility sectors.
    Date: 2016
  21. By: Abdus Subhan (Beaconhouse National University , Lahore); Sharmeen Khan (Beaconhouse National University , Lahore)
    Abstract: This case study examines the bottom-up development management process of Resettling the Indus by highlighting the key aspects for successful relief and rehabilitation in certain flood and war affected regions of Pakistan. The study focuses on areas affected by the flood of 2010 in Southern Punjab, a region of Sindh hit by torrential rains of 2011 and areas of South Waziristan where war and insecurity have permanently damaged lifestyles and infrastructure. This research explains how in the long run, the villagers’ farm surplus can be connected with the urban markets. Resettling the Indus grass root development process explains how these activities brings villagers’ economic life cycles back on track, raise the income levels of villagers on a sustainable basis and strengthens the entire scaling-up process.
    Keywords: Resettling the Indus, Top-down Approach, Bottom-up Approach, Contractor-Driven Reconstruction, Owner-driven Reconstruction, Material Procurement Price Issues, Scaling Up, Social Business, Relief, Rehabilitation, and Economic Advancement Projects
    Date: 2015
  22. By: Pfeifer, Gregor; Wahl, Fabian; Marczak, Martyna
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the economic impact of the $14 billion preparatory investments for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. We use satellite data on night light luminosity at municipality and electoral district level as a proxy for economic development, applying synthetic control methods for estimation. For the average World Cup municipality, we find significantly positive, short-run effects before the tournament, corresponding to a reduction of unemployment by 1.3 percentage points. At the electoral district level, we reveal distinct effect heterogeneity, where especially investments in transport infrastructure are shown to have long-lasting, positive effects, particularly in more rural areas.
    Keywords: Football World Cup,Public Infrastructure,Development,Night Lights Data,Synthetic Control Methods,Mega Sports Events,South Africa
    JEL: H54 O18 R11 R42 Z28
    Date: 2016
  23. By: Angela Valdovinos D'Angelo; Emily Knas; Pamela Holcomb; Kathryn Edin
    Abstract: Findings from the qualitative study of the Parents and Children Together evaluation offer insight into the social networks of low-income fathers and the organizational supports they turn to for assistance.
    Keywords: PACT, parents and children together, social networks, low-income fathers
    JEL: I
  24. By: Farzana Afridi (Indian Statistical Institute); Bidisha Barooah (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)); Rohini Somanathan (Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics)
    Abstract: Can countries with binding budget constraints increase the benefits of school transfers through better program design? We use a cost-neutral change in the design of India's school meal program to study this question. Municipal schools in Delhi switched from packaged snacks to cooked meals in 2003, with no change in payments to meal providers. We use variation in the timing of this transition and child-level panel data to estimate a 3 percentage point rise in average monthly attendance in response to the new program. The effects are largest for early grades, morning school shifts and schools serving diverse menus.
    Keywords: school meals, attendance, program design
    JEL: D1 E31 F01
    Date: 2016–10
  25. By: Giorgio Albareto (Bank of Italy); Roberto Felici (Bank of Italy); Enrico Sette (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of credit scoring by banks on bank lending to small businesses by addressing the following questions: does credit scoring increase or decrease the propensity of banks to grant credit? Does it improve the selection of borrowers? Does credit scoring improve or reduce the likelihood that a borrower defaults on its loan? We answer these questions using a unique dataset that collects data from both a targeted survey on credit scoring models and the Central Credit Register. We rely on instrumental variables to control for the potential endogeneity of credit scoring. We find that credit scoring does not change the propensity of banks to grant loans to the generality of borrowers but helps them select borrowers. We also find that credit scoring reduces the likelihood that a borrower defaults, in particular for smaller borrowers and for banks that declare to use credit scoring mainly as a tool to monitor borrowers. These results are homogeneous across bank characteristics such as size, capital, and profitability. Overall our results suggest that credit scoring has a positive effect on the selection of borrowers and on credit performance.
    Keywords: credit scoring, credit supply, bank risk-taking, loan defaults
    JEL: G21
    Date: 2016–10
  26. By: Cockx, Lara; De Weerdt, Joachim
    Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa is currently in the midst of an unprecedented wave of urbanization that is expected to have wide-ranging implications for food and nutrition security. Though this spatial transformation of the population is increasingly put forward as one of the main drivers of changes in food consumption patterns, empirical evidence remains scarce and the comparative descriptive design of existing research is prone to selection bias as urban residence is far from random. Based upon unique longitudinal data from the Tanzania National Panel Survey and the Kagera Health and Development Survey, this study will be the first to assess the impact of urbanization on food consumption through comparing individuals’ food consumption patterns before and after they have migrated from rural to urban areas. We find that even after controlling for individual fixed heterogeneity, baseline observable characteristics and initial household fixed effects, urbanization is significantly associated with important changes in dietary patterns, including a shift away from traditional staples towards more processed and ready-to-eat foods. While there is some evidence of changes that can be deemed beneficial from a nutritional point of view - including increased consumption of vegetables and animal source foods - the results also largely confirm concerns about the association between urbanization and heightened consumption of sugar and fats. In addition, we find no support for the hypothesis that urbanization is associated with more diverse diets. Finally, the results clearly indicate that rural-urban migration significantly contributes to reducing volatility in food consumption.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Crop Production/Industries, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2016–09
  27. By: Brian Gill; Megan Shoji; Thomas Coen; Kate Place
    Abstract: This study seeks to inform decisions about the selection and use of teacher observation instruments using data from the Measures of Effective Teaching project.
    Keywords: educator performance evaluation, teacher evaluation or effectiveness, instructional methods or teaching practices, data use and systems, grade 4, grade 5, grade 6, grade 7, grade 8, grade 9, Colorado, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, at risk / low achieving students, Asian students, Black or African American students, Hispanic or Latino students, low-income students
    JEL: I
  28. By: Federico Revelli (Università di Torino)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of voter turnout in a panel dataset of more than 15,000 Italian municipal elections through over a decade (2002-2013). The estimation results show a significant negative effect of the size of the electorate on voter turnout, and an effect of its demographic structure that is compatible with the political life-cycle hypothesis. Moreover, turnout is systematically higher when municipal elections are held at the same time as more salient, higher stakes contests. Finally, all ex post indicators of election closeness are estimated to influence voter turnout in the expected direction.
    Keywords: voting, turnout, political life cycle, salience, electoral uncertainty
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2016–11
  29. By: Sascha O. Becker (University of Warwick); Thiemo Fetzer (Economic geography, market potential, structural gravity, trade costsAbstract: The 2004 accession of 8 Eastern European countries (plus Cyprus and Malta) to the European Union (EU) was overshadowed by feared mass migration of workers from the East due to the EU’s rules on free mobility of labour. While many incumbent EU countries imposed temporary restrictions on labour mobility, the United Kingdom did not impose any such restrictions. We document that following accession at least 1 million people (ca. 3% of the UK working age population) migrated from Eastern Europe to the UK. Places that received large numbers of migrants from Eastern Europe saw a significant increase in anti-European sentiment after 2004, measured by vote shares for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in elections to the European Parliament. We show that the migration wave depressed wages at the lower end of the wage distribution and contributed to increased pressure on public services and housing.)
    Keywords: Political Economy, Migration, Globalization, Voting, EU JEL Classification: R23, D72, N44, Z13creation-date: 2016

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