nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2016‒11‒27
47 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Can Property Taxes Reduce House Price Volatility? Evidence from U.S. Regions By Tigran Poghosyan
  2. Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in the Low Track: Revisiting the Kenyan Primary School Experiment By Joseph Cummins
  3. What is Different about Urbanization in Rich and Poor Countries? Cities in Brazil, China, India and the United States By Juan Pablo Chauvin; Edward Glaeser; Kristina Tobio
  4. The Effect of Foreign Investors on Local Housing Markets: Evidence from the UK By Filipa Sa
  5. The Optimal Distribution of Population across Cities By David Albouy; Kristian Behrens; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud; Nathan Seegert
  6. Measuring network proximity of regions in R&D networks By Iris Wanzenböck
  7. Next train to the polycentric city: The effect of railroads on subcenter formation By Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López; Camille Hémet; Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal
  8. Multiple Equilibria in the Urban Spatial Structure: Evidence from the Hanshin Earthquake By Xu, Hangtian
  9. Phoenix from the Ashes: Bombs, Homes, and Unemployment in Germany, 1945-2011 By Caruana Galizia, Paul; Wolf, Nikolaus
  10. TOLLS VERSUS MOBILITY PERMITS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS By André De Palma; Stef Proost; Ravi Seshadri; Moshe Ben-Akiva
  11. From spatial to social accessibility: How socio-economic factors can affect accessibility? By Aurélie Mercier
  12. “Economic Impact of Cruise Activity: The Port of Barcelona” By Esther Vayá; José Ramón García; Joaquim Murillo; Javier Romaní; Jordi Suriñach
  13. Do Friends Improve Female Education? The Case of Bangladesh By Hahn, Youjin; Hassani Mahmooei, Behrooz; Islam, Asadul; Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
  14. Borrower heterogeneity within a risky mortgage-lending market By Punzi, Maria Teresa; Rabitsch, Katrin
  16. Gone with the wind: valuing the visual impacts of wind turbines through house prices By Stephen Gibbons
  17. Does the construction of biogas plants affect local property values? By Marco Modica
  18. The Role of Race in Mortgage Lending: Revisiting the Boston Fed Study By Raphael W. Bostic
  19. What Grades and Achievement Tests Measure By Lex Borghans; Bart Golsteyn; James J. Heckman; John Eric Humphries
  20. Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification and the Rising Returns to Skill By Lena Edlund; Cecilia Machado; Maria Sviatschi
  21. Local labor market effects of public employment By Jordi Jofre-Monseny; José I. Silva; Javier Vázquez-Grenno
  22. Social Contagion of Ethnic Hostility By Michal Bauer; Jana Cahlikova; Julie Chytilova; Tomas Zelinsky
  23. Synopsis: Cities and agricultural transformation in Africa: Evidence from Ethiopia By Vandercasteelen, Joachim; Tamru, Seneshaw; Minten, Bart; Swinnen, Johan
  24. The baraccati of Rome: internal migration, housing, and poverty in fascist Italy (1924-1933) By Stefano Chianese
  25. Social housing's role in the Irish property boom and bust By Michelle Norris; Michael Byrne
  26. Learning about Oneself: The Effects of Performance Feedback on School Choice By Bobba, Matteo; Frisancho, Veronica
  27. Student Victimization in U.S. Schools: Results from the 2013 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey By Deborah Lessne; Melissa Cidade; Amy Gerke; Karlesha Roland; Michael Sinclair
  28. Voter turnout in Italian municipal elections, 2002-2013. By Revelli, Federico
  29. Immigration and the macroeconomy: some new empirical evidence By Francesco Furlanetto; Ørjan Robstad
  30. Network Centrality in Labor Markets and Wage Dynamics By Marcelo Arbex; Ricardo Freguglia; Rafael Siano
  31. Housing Demand, Cost-of-Living Inequality, and the Affordability Crisis By David Albouy; Gabriel Ehrlich; Yingyi Liu
  32. Land rights, rental markets and the post-socialist cityscape By Castañeda Dower, Paul; Pyle, William
  33. The business cycle resilience of the Western Cape economy: a regional analysis of the 2009 recession and subsequent recovery By Pieter Laubscher
  34. Regional resilience to displacement: Evidence from Panel and Quantile regressions By Nyström, Kristina
  35. The "Flock" Phenomenon of the Sydney Lockout Laws: Dual Effects on Rental Prices By Georgia Perks; Shiko Maruyama
  36. Bringing War Home: Violent Crime, Police Killings and the Overmilitarization of the US Police By Federico Masera
  37. Service industries and regional analysis.New directions and challenges By Juan Ramón Cuadrado Roura
  38. Job Prospects and Pay Gaps: Theory and Evidence on the Gender Gap from U.S. Cities By Ben Sand; Chris Bidner
  39. Prepayment Risk and Expected MBS Returns By Peter Diep; Andrea L. Eisfeldt; Scott Richardson
  40. The Tragedy of Your Upstairs Neighbors: Is the Airbnb Negative Externality Internalized? By John J. Horton
  41. Gender in Banking and Mortgage Behavior By Stepan Jurajda; Radek Janhuba
  42. Does Inequality Lead to Credit Growth? Testing the Rajan Hypothesis Using State-Level Data By Steven Yamarik; Makram El Shagi
  43. Children Left Behind: Self-confidence of Pupils in Competitive Environments By Miroslava Federicova; Filip Pertold; Michael L. Smith
  44. Stocks or flows? New thinking about monetary transmission through the lending channel By Javier Villar Burke
  45. Regimes dependent speculative trading: Evidence from the United States housing market By Chen, Zhenxi
  46. The Life-saving Effect of Hospital Proximity By Paola Bertoli; Veronica Grembi
  47. Innovation, creative destruction and structural change: Firm-level evidence from European Countries By Dachs, Bernhard; Hud, Martin; Koehler, Christian; Peters, Bettina

  1. By: Tigran Poghosyan
    Abstract: We use a novel dataset on effective property tax rates in U.S. states and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) over the 2005–2014 period to analyze the relationship between property tax rates and house price volatility. We find that property tax rates have a negative impact on house price volatility. The impact is causal, with increases in property tax rates leading to a reduction in house price volatility. The results are robust to different measures of house price volatility, estimation methodologies, and additional controls for housing demand and supply. The outcomes of the analysis have important policy implications and suggest that property taxation could be used as an important tool to dampen house price volatility.
    Date: 2016–11–10
  2. By: Joseph Cummins (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)
    Abstract: I present results from a partial re-analysis of the Kenyan school tracking experiment first described in Duflo et. al (2011). My results suggest that, in a developing country school system with state-employed teachers, tracking can reduce short-run test scores of initially low-ability students with high learning potential. The highest scoring students subjected only to the tracking intervention scored well below comparable students in untracked classrooms at the end of the intervention. In contrast, students assigned to tracking under the experimental alternative teacher intervention experienced gains from tracking that increased across the outcome distribution. These alternative teachers were drawn from local areas, exhibited significantly higher effort levels and faced different incentives to produce learning. I conclude that although Pareto-improvements in test scores from tracking are possible, they are not guaranteed.
    Keywords: ability tracking, human capital, economic development
    JEL: I21 J45 O15
    Date: 2016–11
  3. By: Juan Pablo Chauvin (Harvard University); Edward Glaeser (Harvard University and NBERAuthor-Name: Yueran Ma; Harvard University); Kristina Tobio (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Are the well-known facts about urbanization in the United States also true for the developing world? We compare American metropolitan areas with analogous geographic units in Brazil, China and India. Both Gibrat’s Law and Zipf’s Law seem to hold as well in Brazil as in the U.S., but China and India look quite different. In Brazil and China, the implications of the spatial equilibrium hypothesis, the central organizing idea of urban economics, are not rejected. The India data, however, repeatedly rejects tests inspired by the spatial equilibrium assumption. One hypothesis is that spatial equilibrium only emerges with economic development, as markets replace social relationships and as human capital spreads more widely. In all four countries there is strong evidence of agglomeration economies and human capital externalities. The correlation between density and earnings is stronger in both China and India than in the U.S., strongest in China. In India the gap between urban and rural wages is huge, but the correlation between city size and earnings is more modest. The cross-sectional relationship between area-level skills and both earnings and area-level growth are also stronger in the developing world than in the U.S. The forces that drive urban success seem similar in the rich and poor world, even if limited migration and difficult housing markets make it harder for a spatial equilibrium to develop.
    Keywords: Urbanization; developing countries; spatial equilibrium; agglomeration economies; human capital externalities
    JEL: O15 O18 R12 R23
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Filipa Sa (School of Management and Business King's College; Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM))
    Abstract: I use newly-released administrative data on properties owned by overseas companies to study the effect of foreign investment on the housing market in England and Wales. To estimate the causal effect, I construct an instrument for foreign investment based on economic shocks abroad. Foreign investment is found to have a positive effect on house price growth. This effect is present at different percentiles of the distribution of house prices and is stronger in local authorities where housing supply is less elastic. Foreign investment is also found to reduce the rate of home ownership. There is no evidence of an effect on the housing stock or the share of vacant homes.
    Keywords: Foreign investors, House prices
    JEL: R21 F21
    Date: 2016–11
  5. By: David Albouy; Kristian Behrens; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud; Nathan Seegert
    Abstract: The received economic wisdom is that cities are too big and that public policy should limit their sizes. This wisdom assumes, unrealistically, that city sites are homogeneous, migration is unfettered, land is given freely to incoming migrants, and federal taxes are neutral. Should those assumptions not hold, large cities may be inefficiently small. We prove this claim in a system of cities with heterogeneous sites and either free mobility or local governments, where agglomeration economies, congestion, federal taxation, and land ownership create wedges. A quantitative version of our model suggests that cities may well be too numerous and underpopulated for a wide range of plausible parameter values. The welfare costs of free migration equilibria appear small, whereas they seem substantial when local governments control city size.
    JEL: H73 J61 R12
    Date: 2016–11
  6. By: Iris Wanzenböck
    Abstract: This paper proposes a new measure for assessing the network proximity between aggregated units, based on disaggregated information on the network distance of actors. Specific focus is on R&D network structures between regions. We introduce a weighted version of the proximity measure, related to the idea that direct and indirect linkages carry different types of knowledge. Here, first-order proximity arising from direct cross-regional linkages is to be distinguished from higher-order network proximity resulting from indirect linkages in the R&D network. We use an macroeconomic application where we analyse the productivity effects of R&D network spillovers across regions to illustrate the usefulness of a proximity measure specifically developed for aggregated units.
    Keywords: network proximity, aggregated networks, first-order proximity, higher-order proximity, R&D networks, knowledge spillovers
    Date: 2016–11
  7. By: Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and IEB); Camille Hémet (Ecole Normale Supérieure (PSE) and IEB); Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal (IEB and Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Recent evidence reveals that transportation’s improvements within metropolitan areas have a clear effect on population and job decentralization processes. Yet, very little has been said on how these improvements affect the spatial organization of the economic activity in the suburbs. This paper analyses the effects of transportation’s changes on employment subcenters formation. Using data from metropolitan Paris between 1968 and 2010, we first show that rail network improvements cause the expected job decentralization by attracting jobs to suburban municipalities. Our main contribution is to show that the new rail transit clearly affects the spatial organization of employment through the number and size of the employment subcenters: not only does the presence of a rail station increase the probability of a suburban municipality of belonging to a subcenter by 5 to 10 %, but a 10 % increase in municipality proximity to a suburban station is found to increase its chance to be part of a subcenter by 3 to 5 %.
    Keywords: Urban spatial structure, decentralization, subcenters, polycentric city, transportation.
    JEL: R11 R12 R14 R4 O2
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: Xu, Hangtian
    Abstract: Despite the theoretical predictions that multiple equilibria exist in urban spatial structure, there remains a dearth of related empirical literature. This study adopts the 1995 Hanshin earthquake, which devastated the major city of Kobe (Japan), as a natural experiment to investigate the existence of multiple equilibria. Using municipality-level population data for the period of 1988–2011 and synthetic control approach, the analysis reveals that 16 years after the earthquake, the urban spatial structure in quaked areas persistently differs from the pre-quake pattern, although the total population recovered. Because of the seismic damage to Kobe, residents from around it migrated to areas close to Osaka, another major city close to the epicenter but less damaged. The major motivation underlying the migration is the demand for services provided in major cities. This tendency was not reversed even after Kobe was reconstructed, because the equilibrium of population dynamics moved to a new steady state.
    Keywords: multiple equilibria; natural disaster; urban spatial structure; synthetic control approach
    JEL: R00 R2 R20
    Date: 2016–04–01
  9. By: Caruana Galizia, Paul; Wolf, Nikolaus
    Abstract: What shapes an economy's ability to absorb shocks? We test the hypothesis that high homeownership impairs the labour market's ability to absorb shocks through restricting labour mobility. Our results are relevant to the debate on Europe's high and unevenly distributed level of unemployment. We find that high homeownership hinders the convergence of unemployment rates across a panel of 85 German regions over 1998 to 2011. To deal with endogeneity, we use variation in the timing and intensity of WWII Allied bombing of Germany, which destroyed the country's housing stock and led to the wide-scale public provision of rental accommodation. We show how bombing during the war created substantial variation in post-WWII housing subsidies and contributed to persistent differences in homeownership across Germany. We find that moving from the first to second quartile in homeownership rates almost doubles the unemployment growth rate. Moreover, we provide evidence that homeownership restricts gross emigration rates, supporting the idea that labour mobility is the key mechanism behind our finding. Housing policies matter for labour markets.
    Date: 2016–11
  10. By: André De Palma (CES, ENS Cachan, CNRS, Universite Paris-Saclay, 94235 Cachan, France); Stef Proost (Department of Economics, KU Leuven); Ravi Seshadri (Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre); Moshe Ben-Akiva (MIT - Massachusetts Institute of technology [Cambridge])
    Abstract: To address traffic congestion, two categories of instruments are used: price regulation (for instance, road pricing or congestion tolling) and quantity regulation (credit-based mobility schemes). Although the comparison of price and quantity regulation has received significant attention in the economics community, the literature is relatively sparse in the context of transportation systems. This paper develops a methodology to compare the toll and mobility permit instruments using a simple transportation network consisting of parallel highway routes and a public transport alternative. The permits can be traded across roads. The demand for each route is determined by a mixed logit route choice model and the supply consists of static congestion. The comparison is based on the optimum social welfare which is computed for each instrument by solving a non-convex optimization problem involving the mixed logit equilibrium constraints. Equity considerations are also examined. Numerical experiments conducted across a wide range of demand/supply inputs indicate that the toll and mobility permit instruments perform very closely in efficiency terms. The permit system is on average more efficient, but only by a small margin.
    Keywords: Social Welfare, Mixed Logit,Tolls, Mobility Permits, Equity, Stochastic Demand
    Date: 2016–11–16
  11. By: Aurélie Mercier (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État [ENTPE] - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The concept of accessibility cannot only focus on " spatial accessibility " measurement but has to integer a " social accessibility " level to take into account individual inequalities and socioeconomic disparities to access to urban opportunities. In this context, this contribution focuses on socioeconomic disparities integration on accessibility measurement, considering the Lyon case study. The paper is divided into three parts The first part aims to present a method for integrating the socioeconomic dimension on accessibility measurement. The potential gravity-based access measure proposes a travel cost balanced by a sensitivity parameter. This parameter corresponds to the more or less travel cost resistance. This sensitivity value is obtained with a gravity-based transport model calibration from a household trip survey. The second part focuses on the sensitivity value. It illustrates that the different sensitivity values can varies according to different factors like trip purposes but also and socioeconomic factors. This contribution analyses how gender and socio-professional categories affect travel time sensitivity in the morning peak period. This empirical exercise at the Lyon agglomeration scale is based on a 2006 French transport survey called " Enquêtes Ménages Déplacements ". The third part presents cartographic impacts of differentiated travel cost sensitivity on accessibility results considering the Lyon metropolitan area. Social accessibility results, linked to the population distribution according the socio-professional categories, highlights areas with a gap between perceived and offered accessibility level.
    Keywords: social accessibility,spatial accessibility,travel time sensitivity,transport model calibration,Lyon metropolitan area
    Date: 2016–10–13
  12. By: Esther Vayá (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona); José Ramón García (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona); Joaquim Murillo (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona); Javier Romaní (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona); Jordi Suriñach (AQR-IREA, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: Tourism is a highly dynamic sector. An example of this is the boom that cruise tourism has seen in recent years, leading many countries to consider cruises a key product in their development of tourism. The Port of Barcelona has become the leading cruise port in the Mediterranean area (2.4 million cruise passengers in 2014), highlighting its role as both a port of call and a homeport. Such leadership is explained by the conjunction of several factors: its strategic geographical position, its high quality port and transportation infrastructures, and the attractiveness of the city of Barcelona itself, for both its cultural and artistic heritage and its leisure and shopping opportunities. This article quantifies the local and regional economic impact generated by cruise activity in the Port of Barcelona. Using input-output methodology, its overall impact is computed for the year 2014 as the sum of three partial impacts: direct effect, indirect effect and induced effect. This article is pioneering at the European level, in combining different issues: estimating the impact of the Barcelona Cruise Port activity, presenting these impacts disaggregated at a sectoral level, using a rigorous methodology and carrying out extensive fieldwork. The estimated impacts demonstrate that all sectors, not just traditional tourism-related sectors, benefit from cruise tourism. Despite the significant economic benefits that cruise activity has generated over the whole Catalan economy, it is important to note that such activity also generates negative externalities associated with congestion and environmental issues. The reduction of these negative effects is one of the major challenges in making the development of cruise tourism sustainable in a city like Barcelona.
    Keywords: Cruise Tourism, Port of Barcelona, Economic Impact, Input-Output Methodology JEL classification:C67
    Date: 2016–11
  13. By: Hahn, Youjin; Hassani Mahmooei, Behrooz; Islam, Asadul; Patacchini, Eleonora; Zenou, Yves
    Abstract: We randomly assign more than 6,000 students to work on math tests in one of three settings: individually, in groups with random mates, or in groups with friends. The groups consist of four people and are balanced by average cognitive ability and ability distribution. While the achievement of male students is not affected by the group assignment, low-ability females assigned to groups outperform low-ability females working individually. The treatment is particularly effective when low-ability females study with friends. To rule out sorting effects, we show that random groups with identical composition to that of friendship groups do not produce similar effects. Our study thus documents that there are teaching practices where mixing students by ability may improve learning, especially for low-ability female students.
    Keywords: ability; education; Gender; learning; Social interactions
    JEL: E21 I25 J16 O12
    Date: 2016–11
  14. By: Punzi, Maria Teresa; Rabitsch, Katrin
    Abstract: We propose a model of a risky mortgage-lending market in which we take explicit account of heterogeneity in household borrowing conditions, by introducing two borrower types: one with a low loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, one with a high LTV ratio, calibrated to U.S. data. We use such framework to study a deleveraging shock, modeled as an increase in housing investment risk, that falls more strongly on, and produces a larger contraction in credit for high-LTV type borrowers, as in the data. We find that this deleveraging experience produces significant aggregate effects on output and consumption, and that the contractionary effects are orders of magnitudes higher in a model version that takes account of borrower heterogeneity, compared to a more standard model version with a representative borrower.
    Keywords: Borrowing Constraints,Loan-to-Value ratio,Heterogeneity,Financial Amplification
    JEL: E23 E32 E44
    Date: 2016
  15. By: Amber Fox Crowell; Mark Fossett
    Abstract: This study examines the residential outcomes of Latinos in major metropolitan areas using new methods to connect micro-level analyses of residential attainments to overall patterns of segregation in the metropolitan area. Drawing on new formulations of standard measures of evenness, we conduct micro-level multivariate analyses using the restricted-use census microdata files to predict segregation-relevant neighborhood outcomes for individuals by race. We term the dependent variables segregation-relevant neighborhood outcomes because the differences in average outcomes for each group on these variables determine the values of the aggregate measures of evenness. This approach allows me to use standardization and components analysis to quantitatively assess the separate contributions that differences in social characteristics and differences in rates of return make towards determining the overall disparity in residential outcomes – that is, the level of segregation – between Whites and Latinos. Based on our micro-level residential attainment analyses we find that for Latinos, acculturation and gains in socioeconomic status are associated with greater residential contact with Whites, in agreement with spatial assimilation theory, which promotes lower segregation. However, our standardization and components analyses reveals that a substantial portion of White-Latino disparities in residential contact with Whites can be attributed to differences in rates of return; that is White-Latino differences in the ability to translate acculturation and gains in socioeconomic status into more residential contact with Whites. This is further elaborated upon by assessing the changes in contact with Whites for Whites and Latinos after manipulating single variables while holding all others constant. This can be interpreted as the role of discrimination which is emphasized by place stratification theory. Therefore we conclude that while members of minority groups make gains in residential outcomes that reduce segregation by attaining parity with Whites on social characteristics as spatial assimilation theory would predict, a substantial disparity will persist as Latinos cannot translate those gains into greater contact with Whites at the rate that Whites can. At the aggregate level of analysis, this means that White-Latino segregation remains substantial even when groups are equalized on social and economic characteristics.
    Date: 2016–01
  16. By: Stephen Gibbons
    Abstract: This study provides quantitative evidence on the local benefits and costs of wind farm developments in England and Wales, focussing on their visual environmental impacts. In the tradition of studies in environmental, public and urban economics, housing sales prices are used to reveal local preferences for views of wind farm developments. Estimation is based on quasi-experimental research designs that compare price changes occurring in places where wind farms become visible, with price changes in appropriate comparison groups. These groups include places close to wind farms that became visible in the past, or where they will become operational in the future and places close to wind farms sites but where the turbines are hidden by the terrain. All these comparisons suggest that wind farm visibility reduces local house prices, and the implied visual environmental costs are substantial.
    Keywords: housing prices; environment; wind farms; infrastructure; energy
    JEL: Q4 Q51 R3
    Date: 2015–07
  17. By: Marco Modica (IRCrES-CNR, Italy)
    Abstract: Despite biogas is considered a renewable source of energy, the social acceptability of biogas plants is controversial due to resistance from local communities who are afraid of potential local negative externalities. This paper aim at investigating this claim using evidence from the housing market by means of a diff-in-diff model. Indeed, if households evaluate the presence of biogas plant such as a disamenity, this should be incorporated in the housing values. To this purpose I use data on the housing market of Piedmont provinces where 167 biogas plants have been opened between 2006 and 2015. Results show no significant impact of the opening of a biogas plant on the housing values.
    Date: 2016–11
  18. By: Raphael W. Bostic
    Abstract: This paper reexamines claims that non-economic discrimination persists in mortgage loan origination decisions. I find that racial differences in outcomes do exist, as minorities fare worse regarding debt-to-income requirements but better for loan-to-value requirements. Overall, significant racial differentials exist only for "marginal" applicants and are not present for those with higher incomes or those with no credit problems. Thus, the claim that non-economic discrimination is a general phenomenon is refuted. Further, I can say little regarding the existence of discrimination among "marginal" applicants. To conclude that such discrimination exists, one must prove that the observed differences are not due to economic factors.
    Keywords: Discrimination ; mortgages ; race ; credit risk
  19. By: Lex Borghans (Maastricht University); Bart Golsteyn (Maastricht University and SOFI); James J. Heckman (The University of Chicago); John Eric Humphries (University of Chicago, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Intelligence quotient (IQ), grades, and scores on achievement tests are widely used as measures of cognition, yet the correlations among them are far from perfect. This paper uses a variety of data sets to show that personality and IQ predict grades and scores on achievement tests. Personality is relatively more important in predicting grades than scores on achievement tests. IQ is relatively more important in predicting scores on achievement tests. Personality is generally more predictive than IQ of a variety of important life outcomes. Both grades and achievement tests are substantially better predictors of important life outcomes than IQ. The reason is that both capture personality traits that have independent predictive power beyond that of IQ.
    Keywords: iq, personality traits, grades, achievement tests
    JEL: D03 J24
    Date: 2016–11
  20. By: Lena Edlund; Cecilia Machado; Maria Sviatschi
    Abstract: In 1980, Census data indicate, housing prices in large US cities rose with distance from the city center. By 2010, the relationship had reversed. We propose that this development can be traced to high-income households working longer hours. With little non-market time, proximity to work takes on added salience, leading high-income households to forgo suburban amenities and extending the gentrification trend beyond its 1970s niche status. In a tract-level data set covering the 27 largest US cities, years 1980-2010, we find support for our hypothesis. Using a Bartik-type demand shifter for skilled labor we find that full-time skilled workers favor centrality and the rising share in the population can account for the observed price changes in favor of the city center.
    Keywords: Gentrification; suburbanization; returns to skill; labor supply; location choice
    JEL: J13 J24
    Date: 2016–01
  21. By: Jordi Jofre-Monseny (IEB, Universitat de Barcelona); José I. Silva (Universitat de Girona); Javier Vázquez-Grenno (IEB, Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the impact of public employment on local labor markets in the long-run. We adopt two quantitative approaches and apply them to the case of Spanish cities. In the first, we develop a 3-sector (public, tradable and non-tradable) search and matching model embedded within a spatial equilibrium model. We characterize the steady state of the model, which we calibrate to match the labor market characteristics of the average Spanish city. The model is then used to simulate the local labor market effects of expanding public sector employment. In the second empirical approach, we use regression analysis to estimate the effects of public sector job expansions on decadal changes (1980-1990 and 1990-2001) in the employment and population of Spanish cities. This analysis exploits the dramatic expansion of public employment that followed the advent of democracy in the period 1980 to 2001. The instrumental variables’ approach thatwe adopt uses the capital status of cities to instrument for changes in public sector employment. The two empirical approaches yield qualitatively similar results and, thus, cross-check each other. One additional public sector job creates about 1.3 jobs in the private sector. However, these new jobs do not translate into a substantial reduction in the local unemployment rate as better labor market conditions attract new workers to the city. Increasing public employment by 50% only reduces unemployment from 0.156 to 0.150.
    Keywords: Public employment, search, local multipliers, unemployment.
    JEL: J45 J64 H70 R12
    Date: 2016–11
  22. By: Michal Bauer; Jana Cahlikova; Julie Chytilova; Tomas Zelinsky
    Abstract: Ethnic hostilities often spread rapidly. This paper investigates the influence of peers on willingness to sacrifice one’s own resources in order to cause harm to others. We implement a novel experimental design, in which we manipulate the identity of a victim as well as the social context, by allowing subjects to observe randomly assigned peers. The results show that the susceptibility to follow destructive peer behavior is great when harm is caused to members of the Roma minority, but small when it impacts co-ethnics. If not exposed to destructive peers, subjects do not discriminate. We observe very similar patterns in a norms elicitation experiment: destructive behavior towards Roma is not generally rated as more socially appropriate than when directed at co-ethnics but norms are more sensitive to social contexts. The findings can help to explain why ethnic hostilities can spread quickly among masses, even in societies with few visible signs of systematic inter-ethnic hatred, and why many societies institute hate crime laws.
    Keywords: ethnic conflict; discrimination; hostile behavior; contagion; peer effects;
    JEL: C93 D03 D74 J15
    Date: 2016–08
  23. By: Vandercasteelen, Joachim; Tamru, Seneshaw; Minten, Bart; Swinnen, Johan
    Abstract: Due to the rapid growth of cities in Africa, many more farmers are now living in rural hinterlands in relatively close proximity to cities. However, empirical evidence on how urbanization affects these farmers is scarce. To fill this gap, this paper explores the relationship between proximity to a city and the production behavior of rural staple crop producers. In particular, we analyze data from teff farmers in major teff producing areas around Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. We find that farmers located closer to Addis Ababa face higher wages and land rental prices, but because they receive higher teff prices they have better incentives to intensify production. Moreover, we observe that modern input use, land and labor productivity, and profitability in teff production improve with urban proximity. This urban proximity has a strong and significant effect on these aspects of teff production, possibly related to the use of more formal factor markets, lower transaction costs in crop production and marketing, and better access to information. In contrast, we do not find a strong and positive relationship between rural population density increases and agricultural transformation – increased population density seems to lead to immiserizing effects in these settings. Our results show that urban proximity should be considered as an important determinant of the process of agricultural intensification and transformation in developing countries.
    Keywords: ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, intensification, urban areas, productivity, urban rural migration, agricultural transformation
    Date: 2016
  24. By: Stefano Chianese
    Abstract: Newly discovered archival material is used to document the standard of living of slum dwellers in fascist Rome. As part of the regime's effort to suppress growing shanty towns in the capital, the Governorate of Rome conducted a census in 1933, gathering information on the identity and living conditions of their inhabitants, the "baraccati". The paper analyzes the mostly migrant families of the shanty towns, identifying their social and demographic characteristics.
    Keywords: fascism, household budgets, housing, internal migration, poverty, slum dwellers
    JEL: N01 R23
    Date: 2016–11–10
  25. By: Michelle Norris (Geary Institute for Public Policy and School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin); Michael Byrne (School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin)
    Date: 2016–11–21
  26. By: Bobba, Matteo (Toulouse School of Economics); Frisancho, Veronica (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: We design and implement a field experiment that provides students from less advantaged backgrounds with individualized feedback on academic performance during the transition from middle to high school. The intervention reduces the gap between expected and actual performance, as well as shrinks the variance of the individual belief distributions. Guided by a simple Bayesian model, we empirically document the interplay between variance reductions and mean changes of beliefs about students' own academic ability in shaping curricular choices. The shift in revealed preferences over high school tracks enabled by the intervention affects schooling trajectories, with better performing students being assigned into more academically oriented options.
    Keywords: information, Bayesian updating, biased beliefs, school choice
    JEL: D83 I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2016–11
  27. By: Deborah Lessne; Melissa Cidade; Amy Gerke; Karlesha Roland; Michael Sinclair
    Abstract: This report uses data from the 2013 School Crime Supplement (SCS) to examine student criminal victimization and the characteristics of crime victims and nonvictims.
    Keywords: student victimization, school, crime
    JEL: I
  28. By: Revelli, Federico (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of voter turnout in a panel dataset of over 15,000 Italian municipal elections through more than a decade. 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, and all ex post indicators of election closeness are estimated to influence voter turnout in the expected direction.
    Date: 2016–11
  29. By: Francesco Furlanetto (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway)); Ørjan Robstad (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))
    Abstract: We propose a new VAR identification scheme that enables us to disentangle immigration shocks from other macroeconomic shocks. Identification is achieved by imposing sign restrictions on Norwegian data over the period 1990Q1 - 2014Q2. The availability of a quarterly series for net immigration is crucial to achieving identification. Notably, immigration is an endogenous variable in the model and can respond to the state of the economy. We find that domestic labor supply shocks and immigration shocks are well identified and are the dominant drivers of immigration dynamics. An exogenous immigration shock lowers unemployment (even among native workers), has a positive effect on prices and on public finances in the medium run, no impact on house prices and household credit, and a negative effect on productivity.
    Keywords: Labor supply shocks, immigration shocks, job-related immigration, identification, VAR
    JEL: C11 C32 E32
    Date: 2016–10–27
  30. By: Marcelo Arbex (Department of Economics, University of Windsor); Ricardo Freguglia (Department of Economics, Federal University of Juiz de Fora); Rafael Siano (Department of Economics, Federal University of Juiz de Fora)
    Abstract: Network centrality measures how important an individual is for his network overall. We construct a novel measure of network centrality that takes into account a worker’s and coworkers’ tenure in the same occupation and firm. Using a linked employer-employee data source - the Brazilian Annual Social Information Report (RAIS) - we follow Brazilian workers in the formal labor market and we estimate the effects of a worker’s network centrality on their wages. For the period 2008-2013, we identify job networks and calculate a centrality index for workers in the city of São Paulo – Brazil. We present empirical evidence that job network relevance, measure by our centrality index, is important to explain wage differentials in the labor market. The wage returns are shown to be higher for those workers employed in larger companies, as well as for workers who have higher tenure. We also identify a positive relationship between a worker’s centrality index and his wage, which suggests that an increase of a worker’s relative relevance in his network is associated to higher wages. We believe that our study sheds light on the extent to which a worker’s importance in his job network can influence his wage over time.
    Keywords: Network centrality, Wage differentials, Peer effects, Labor markets
    JEL: J24 J31 D85
    Date: 2016–11
  31. By: David Albouy; Gabriel Ehrlich; Yingyi Liu
    Abstract: Since 1970, housing's relative price, share of expenditure, and ``unaffordability'' have all grown. We estimate housing demand using a novel compensated framework over space and an uncompensated framework over time. Our specifications pass tests imposed by rationality and household mobility. Housing demand is income and price inelastic, and appears to fall with household size. We provide a numerical non-homothetic constant elasticity of substitution utility function for improved quantitative modeling. An ideal cost-of-living index demonstrates that the poor have been disproportionately impacted by rising relative rents, which have greatly amplified increases in real income inequality.
    JEL: D12 E31 R21
    Date: 2016–11
  32. By: Castañeda Dower, Paul; Pyle, William
    Abstract: Inefficiently organized, factory-dominated cityscapes have been one of the more enduring legacies of the twentieth century experiment with socialist central planning in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Drawing on a unique survey of large, formerly state-owned urban industrial firms in Russia, we explore how land tenure reforms affect the pace at which this legacy is being erased. Specifically, the privatization of plots is shown to promote the development of a rental market that transfers land use rights away from socialist-era industrial users. We address the potential endogeneity of land tenure in two ways, including using a measure of regional variation in urban land policy as an instrumental variable.
    Keywords: land titles, firms, misallocation, transition, urban land, rental market, Russian Federation
    JEL: D22 D23 O18 P25 P26 R14
    Date: 2016–11–16
  33. By: Pieter Laubscher (Bureau for Economic Research, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: Business cycle research revived in the run-up to and in the aftermath of the Great Recession. This paper focuses on the concept of regional economic resilience as an applied field of business cycle research. The resilience of the Western Cape regional economy is analysed by assessing the impact of the 2009 recession. Being one of the leading provincial economies of South Africa, the question is asked to what extent the 2009 recession impacted the Western Cape’s longer term economic growth path. The latest research techniques in assessing economic resilience are applied, albeit that the analysis is narrowed down to quantifying the region’s resistance to and recoverability from the 2009 recession. While the national and provincial contexts receive attention, the focus is on the district economies of the Western Cape. The drivers of economic resilience are decomposed into two key forces, namely industry mix and regional competitiveness, using a shift-share analysis. Longer term structural change is also considered. The paper finds that the Eden and Overberg district economies’ growth paths, and the way in which these regions absorbed the recession impact, may provide policy makers with pointers as how to revive the Western Cape’s growth path, which took a knock with the 2009 recession.
    Keywords: Business cycles, Size and spatial distributions of regional economic activity
    JEL: E32 R12
    Date: 2016
  34. By: Nyström, Kristina (The Ratio Institute The Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to knowledge about regional resilience to displacement and examines the extent to which the characteristics of the i) regional closures, ii) individuals in a region, iii) regional industry, iv) regional economy and v) regional attractiveness influence the re-employment of displaced employees. The results indicate that regions where the average size of establishment closures is large or the regional displacement rate is high exhibit increased resilience in terms of re-employing displaced employees in the same region. Unrelated and related industrial variety are positively related to resilience to displacement in regions with low re-employment capacities, whereas there is some evidence that regional attractiveness is positively related to resilience in regions with a good ability to re-employ displaced employees.
    Keywords: Displacements; regional resilience; exit. Labor mobility; regional development; regional attractiveness
    JEL: J60 R10
    Date: 2016–11–21
  35. By: Georgia Perks (Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology, Sydney); Shiko Maruyama (Economics Discipline Group, University of Technology, Sydney)
    Abstract: Geographically targeted crime control is a controversial attempt to alleviate crime by targeting “hot spots”, which risks the potential displacement of crime into bordering areas. The 2014 Sydney lockout laws have severely decreased the nightlife economy in the once bustling entertainment district of the CBD, and there have been reports of increased violence in displacement, or “flock”, areas. These laws have also displaced attractive nightlife entertainment hubs into neighbouring suburbs, which may contribute to the land value of the displacement areas. To address the paucity of empirical evidence for the displacement effect of geographical alcohol regulations, this paper investigates the effect of the Sydney lockout laws on rental prices in the displacement areas. We find differential “flock effects”: a negative effect on small dwellings and a positive effect on large dwellings. The former effect is relatively weak and short-lived, while the latter is persistent, indicating that the positive effect dominates in the long run. We speculate that the differential effect arises because of difference in the locations of small and large dwellings. Our results suggest that well-designed geographically targeted alcohol control can enhance social welfare not only in targeted areas but also in surrounding areas.
    Keywords: Alcohol law; Geographically targeted crime control; Displacement; Housing markets; Difference-in-difference, Sydney
    JEL: K32 R2 R3
    Date: 2016–08–11
  36. By: Federico Masera
    Abstract: The withdrawal from the Afghan and Iraqi wars has led to the arrival of vast quantities of military equipment to the US. Much of this equipment, now unused by the military, has been redistributed to police departments via a program called 1033. In this paper, I study the causal effect on criminal activity and police behavior of the militarization of the police through this program. I do so by taking into account that military equipment is stored in various disposition centers. Police departments do not pay for the cost of these items but must cover all transportation costs. I then use the distance to a disposition center and the timing of the US withdrawal from the wars in an instrumental variable setting. Estimates show that military equipment reduces violent crime and is responsible for 60% of the rapid drop observed since 2007. More than one third of this effect is caused by the displacement of violent crime to neighboring areas. Because police departments do not consider this externality when making militarization decisions, they overmilitarize. Finally, I show that police militarization increases the number of people killed by the police. Estimates imply that all the recent increases in police killings are due to police militarization.
    JEL: H10 H72 K42
    Date: 2016–11–22
  37. By: Juan Ramón Cuadrado Roura
    Abstract: The service sector currently accounts for the largest share, both in terms of GDP and employment, of all developed economies, as well as many of the so-called emerging or developing ones. In spite of this, it has been the subject of far less research than manufacturing, although the situation has started to change in the past three decades and it must be pointed out that some activities – such as finance, commerce, transport and those most closely linked to tourism – do have significant analytical literature. In any case, this sector is undergoing very notable changes deriving from new technologies and the progress of digitalization, as well as economic globalization, in which services are playing a particularly relevant role. These changes demand specific and in-depth analyses to explain their causes and to understand their spatial and territorial effects. The objective of this work is to underscore the need for greater research effort focusing on the regional and urban aspects of services, and to suggest certain facts and trends that seem particularly relevant. Undoubtedly, services should occupy a privileged position in the new frontiers of Regional and Urban Analysis. This work aims to justify that need and pose some topics of interest for new research.
    Keywords: Service sector; growth factors; location and concentration; ICT and digitalization; research agenda.
    Date: 2016–11
  38. By: Ben Sand (York University); Chris Bidner (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: Are differences in the quality of workers' prospects outside of their current employment relationship influential in generating pay differentials? We consider the role of an economy's industrial structure in generating differences in outside prospects, and apply our analysis to the gender pay gap in the U.S. during the 1980-2010 period. We develop a formal search and matching model that connects outside prospects, industrial structure and wage gaps and use it to guide our subsequent empirical analysis of local labor markets. Our results suggest that an economy's within-industry gender pay gap-which also controls for human capital characteristics-is substantially influenced by gender differences in the quality of outside prospects generated by the economy's industrial structure. Our analysis reveals that the relatively sharp narrowing of the gender pay gap during the 1980s is accounted for by the relatively sharp decline in the outside prospects of men during this period.
    Keywords: Gender Pay Gap, Search Frictions, Industrial Structure
    JEL: J31 J71
    Date: 2016–11–21
  39. By: Peter Diep; Andrea L. Eisfeldt; Scott Richardson
    Abstract: We present a simple, linear asset pricing model of the cross section of Mortgage-Backed Security (MBS) returns. We measure prepayment risk and estimate security risk loadings using real data on prepayment forecasts vs. realizations. Estimated loadings are monotonic in securities' coupons relative to the par coupon, as predicted by the model. Prepayment risks appear to be priced by specialized MBS investors. In particular, we find convincing evidence that prepayment risk prices change sign over time with the sign of a representative MBS investor's exposure to prepayment risk.
    JEL: E02 G12 G2
    Date: 2016–11
  40. By: John J. Horton
    Abstract: A commonly expressed concern about the rise of the peer-to-peer rental market Airbnb is that hosts---those renting out their properties---impose costs on their unwitting neighbors. I consider the question of whether apartment building owners will, in a competitive rental market, set a building-specific Airbnb hosting policy that is socially efficient. I find that if tenants can sort across apartments based on the owners policy then the equilibrium fraction of buildings allowing Airbnb listing would be socially efficient.
    Date: 2015–12
  41. By: Stepan Jurajda; Radek Janhuba
    Abstract: Compared to men, women, even financial professionals, exhibit higher risk aversion. We exploit random assignment of clients to banking advisors ('private bankers') in a large Czech bank to study the effects of advisor gender on the probability of mortgage issuance and on the probability that a newly issued mortgage is insured, which we interpret as corresponding to risk averse mortgage behavior. Male advisors do not substantially affect the chances that their clients will take a new mortgage, but the mortgages that they issue are dramatically less likely to be insured, particularly so for female clients who never had an insured loan with the bank.
    Keywords: banking advisors; mortgage insurance;
    JEL: G21 G32 J16
    Date: 2016–05
  42. By: Steven Yamarik (California State University); Makram El Shagi (Henan UniversityAuthor-Name: Guy Yamashiro; California State University)
    Abstract: This paper uses state-level data to test the Rajan hypothesis, from his book Fault Lines, that an increase in inequality can lead to a credit boom. Using dynamic heterogeneous panel estimation methods (i.e. MG, PMG, DFE), we find a significant negative long-run relationship between inequality and real estate lending across U.S. states. In addition, we find evidence indicating that the path of causality runs from inequality to credit.
    Keywords: Rajan; inequality; loans; credit; PMG
    JEL: E62 H71 R11
    Date: 2016
  43. By: Miroslava Federicova; Filip Pertold; Michael L. Smith
    Abstract: Early-tracking systems naturally divide many classes of 11 years old students into two groups: students preparing for exams to enter better schools and everyone else, who decide not to compete for selective schools. Utilizing TIMSS data and a follow-up study in the Czech Republic, which has an early-tracking system similar to other European states following the German model, we show that this environment has a detrimental effect on the self-confidence of pupils in mathematics who do not apply for selective schools but have peers in their classroom who do apply. In particular, we show that girls who do not apply for selective schools experience a 11% drop in confidence in mathematics if they have four applicants among classmates and this effect is even larger if the applicants are successful in the admission process. We focus on self-confidence in mathematics as an outcome variable because the literature suggests it is directly linked to pupils' motivation to study STEM fields as well as subsequent educational achievement. Our results suggest that the decrease in selfconfidence among girls is long lasting and implies that gender gaps in self-confidence can be a result of the competitive environment of the educational system.
    Keywords: early tracking; gender differences; self-confidence; inequality aversion;
    JEL: I21 I24 J16 Z13
    Date: 2016–11
  44. By: Javier Villar Burke (European Commission)
    Abstract: The lending channel is conventionally understood to transmit monetary policy through the origination of new loans. In this paper, we postulate that the lending channel may also operate via the stock of existing loans. Monetary shocks generate two types of income effects: 1) monthly mortgage payments are impacted when rates are reset; 2) inflation erodes the real value of mortgage payments and increases the disposable income of borrowers. These income effects translate into variations in output due to the heterogeneous propensity to consume of individual economic agents. Three types of factors determine the importance of these income effects for individual households and at macro level: 1) borrowers’ features, such as income distribution, indebtedness and debt burden, 2) loan features, such as the period of rate fixation and 3) price developments. Significant differences in these factors across euro area Member States can distort a homogeneous transmission of the single monetary policy.
    Keywords: Euro area, monetary policy, monetary transmission, income effects, lending channel, mortgages.
    JEL: D33 D47 D90 E43 E51 E52 F36 F42 G21
    Date: 2016
  45. By: Chen, Zhenxi
    Abstract: This paper investigates the U.S. housing price dynamics from the perspective of speculative trading, in addition to the macro-finance factors such as the stock market, household disposable income and nominal interest rate. It is found that among the speculative investors, fundamental traders drive house price away from the fundamental value. Their trading is weakened in the regime of high nominal interest rate and their behavior even changes to push the price towards the fundamental value when price deviation is large. A second type of speculative traders is momentum traders who believe that the trend of the recent price movement would be persistent. Stock market has a positive effect on the house price. The positive effect of household income becomes pronounced when nominal interest rate is high. When the nominal interest rate is high, house price faces a negative effect from the nominal interest rate and the positive effect of inflation disappears. Among all the factors, speculative trading is the largest market force driving the U.S. housing market which exhibits self-correction in the long run.
    Keywords: Speculative trading,U.S. housing market,Wealth effect,Money illusion effect
    JEL: C2 C5 R2 D1
    Date: 2016
  46. By: Paola Bertoli; Veronica Grembi
    Abstract: We provide a new assessment of the effect of hospital proximity in an emergency situation exploiting the exogenous variation in the proximity to cities that are legally allowed to have a hospital based on their population size. Based on Italian municipal data, our instrumental variable results show that a one-standard-deviation increase in the distance to the nearest hospital (5 km) raises the fatality rate by 13.84% at the sample average. This figure is equal to 0.92 additional deaths per 100 accidents. We show that both OLS and DD estimates, generally used in the literature, provide a downward-biased measure of the true effect of hospital proximity because they do not fully solve spatial sorting problems. Proximity is more important when the level of road safety is low, when emergency services are less responsive, and when the nearest hospital has relatively low quality standards.
    Keywords: access to care; hospital proximity; road-traffic accidents; instrumental variables; difference in differences;
    JEL: C26 I10 R41
    Date: 2016–05
  47. By: Dachs, Bernhard; Hud, Martin; Koehler, Christian; Peters, Bettina
    Abstract: The shift of employment from lower to higher productive firms is an important driver for structural change and industry dynamics. We investigate this reallocation in terms of employment gains and losses from innovation. New employment created by product innovation may be offset by employment losses in related products, known as 'cannibalisation' or 'business stealing' effects in the literature, by employment losses from process and organisational innovation and by general productivity increases. The paper investigates this effect empirically with a large dataset from the European Community Innovation Survey (CIS). We find that employment gains and losses increase with technology intensity of the sector. High-technology manufacturing shows the strongest employment gains and losses from innovation, followed by knowledge-intensive services, low-technology manufacturing and less knowledge-intensive services. The net contribution of innovation to employment growth is mostly positive, an exception being manufacturing industries in recession periods.
    Keywords: innovation,employment,reallocation,technology intensity,compensation effect,displacement effect,cannibalisation effect
    JEL: O33 J23 C26 D2
    Date: 2016

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