nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2017‒03‒19
48 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. How do inventor networks affect urban invention? By Laurent Bergé; Nicolas Carayol, GREThA, UMR CNRS 5113, Université de Bordeaux; Pascale Roux
  2. Commuting and internet traffic congestion By Berliant, Marcus
  3. Adding fuel to fire? Social spillovers and spatial disparities in the adoption of LPG in India. By Suchita Srinivasan; Stefano Carattini
  4. Accessibility, Transportation Cost and Regional Growth: A Case Study for Egypt By Dina N. Elshahawany; Eduardo A. Haddad; Michael L. Lahr
  5. Monetary Policy, Hot Money and Housing Price Growth across Chinese Cities By Xiaoyu Huang; Tao Jin; Ji Zhang
  6. Surfing a Wave of Economic Growth By McGregor, Thomas; Wills, Samuel
  7. Sectoral Shifts, Diversification, Regional Unemployment on the Eve of Revolution in Tunisia: a Sequential Spatial Panel Approach By Walid Jebili; Lotfi Belkacem
  8. The private schooling phenomenon in India: A review By Geeta G. Kingdon
  9. The domestic productivity effects of FDI in Greece: loca(lisa)tion matters! By Jacob A. Jordaan; Vassilis Monastiriotis
  10. Do low-skilled employed workers benefit from further training subsidies? By Dauth, Christine
  11. Housing Wealth Reallocation Between Subprime and Prime Borrowers During Recessions By Sapci, Ayse; Vu, Nam
  12. The time-varying price of financial intermediation in the mortgage market By Fuster, Andreas; Lo, Stephanie; Willen, Paul S.
  13. Teacher Gender, Student Gender, and Primary School Achievement: Evidence from Ten Francophone African Countries By Lee, Jieun; Rhee, Dong-eun; Rudolf, Robert
  14. Firm and Regional Factors of Productivity: A Multilevel Analysis of Tunisian Manufacturing By Mohamed Amara; Khaled Thabet
  15. “Is your commute really making you fat?”: The causal effect of commuting distance on height-adjusted weight By Lorenz, Olga; Goerke, Laszlo
  16. Education Politics, Schooling Choice and Public School Quality: The Impact of Income Polarisation By Majda Benzidia; Michel Lubrano; Paolo Melindi-Ghidi
  17. Where's the Teacher? How Teacher Workplace Segregation Impedes Teacher Allocation in India By Fagernäs, Sonja; Pelkonen, Panu
  18. What has happened to Sub-Regional Public Sector Efficiency in England since the Crisis? By Samya Beidas-Strom
  19. Housing Decisions, Family Types and Gender. A look across LIS countries By Mariacristina Rossi; Eva Sierminska
  20. Supermarket Shopping and Nutritional Outcomes: A Panel Data Analysis for Urban Kenya By Demmler, Kathrin M.; Ecker, Olivier; Qaim, Matin
  21. Does teacher turnover affect young people's academic achievement? By Steve Gibbons; Vincenzo Scrutinio; Shqiponja Telhaj
  22. Gun violence in the U.S.: Correlates and causes By Kukharskyy, Bohdan; Seiffert, Sebastian
  23. Long Term Impacts of Class Size in Compulsory School By Leuven, Edwin; Løkken, Sturla Andreas
  24. Do neighbors help finding a job? Social networks and labor market By Jahn, Elke Jutta; Neugart, Michael
  25. Rent Control Dilemma Comeback in Egypt’s Governance: A Hedonic Approach By Shereen Attia
  27. Does Universal Preschool Hit the Target? Program Access and Preschool Impacts By Elizabeth U. Cascio
  28. Local Labor Markets and Human Capital Investments By Weinstein, Russell
  29. Travel Time Use Over Five Decades By Chong Song; Chao Wei
  30. Economic and Political Factors in Infrastructure Investment: Evidence from Railroads and Roads in Africa 1960–2015 By Remi Jedwab; Adam Storeygard
  31. Testing the Association between Foreclosure and Nearby House Values: Can Differences Deceive? By Anthony Yezer
  32. School Lunch Quality and Academic Performance By Michael L. Anderson; Justin Gallagher; Elizabeth Ramirez Ritchie
  33. The Historical State, Local Collective Action, and Economic Development in Vietnam By Melissa Dell; Nathaniel Lane; Pablo Querubin
  34. How Going to School Affects the Family By Rasmus Landersø; Helena Skyt Nielsen; Marianne Simonsen
  35. Income effects on children’s life satisfaction: Longitudinal Evidence for England By Knies, Gundi
  36. Innovation, and networks in the study of the territory (Innovación, redes y flujos en el estudio del territorio) By Pallares-Barbera, M.
  37. Do hospitals respond to rivals’ quality and efficiency? a spatial econometrics approach By Francesco Longo; Luigi Siciliani; Hugh Gravelle; Rita Santos
  38. The impact of road infrastructure investment on incumbent firms in Korea By Alexander C. Lembcke; Carlo Menon
  39. Pollution or Crime: The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Criminal Activity By Paul E. Carrillo; Andrea Lopez; Arun Malik
  40. Areas Taxonomy using GIS and Socioeconomic variables factor analysis (Taxonomías de áreas en el Pirineo Catalán: Aproximación metodológica al análisis de variables socioterritoriales) By Pallares-Barbera, M.; Tulla, A.; Badia, A.; Vera, Ana; Serra, P.
  41. Determinants of Emigration: Evidence from Egypt By Anda David; Joachim Jarreau
  42. Immigration externalities, knowledge flows and brain gain By Ernest MIGUELEZ; Claudia NOUMEDEM TEMGOUA
  43. Commercial Land Use and Interjurisdictional Competition By Büttner, Thiess
  44. Did pre-crisis mortgage lending limit post-crisis corporate lending? Evidence from UK bank balance sheets By Zhang, Lu; Uluc, Arzu; Bezemer, Dirk
  45. School Choice: Nash Implementation of Stable Matchings through Rank-Priority Mechanisms By Paula Jaramillo; Ça?atay Kay?; Flip Klijn
  46. Making Centralised Data work for Community Development: an Exploration of Area-Based Training Programmes in a Unified Framework By McGuinness, Seamus; Bergin, Adele; Whelan, Adele
  47. Residential Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Potential Unintended Consequences By Collins, Matthew; Dempsey, Seraphim
  48. An Analysis of Education Expenditures in Turkey by Income Groups By Elif Öznur Acar; Seyit Mümin Cilasun; Burak Günalp

  1. By: Laurent Bergé (CREA, Université du Luxembourg); Nicolas Carayol, GREThA, UMR CNRS 5113, Université de Bordeaux (GREThA, UMR CNRS 5113, Université de Bordeaux); Pascale Roux (GREThA, UMR CNRS 5113, Université de Bordeaux)
    Abstract: Social networks are expected to matter for invention in cities, but empirical evidence is still puzzling. In this paper, we provide new results on urban patenting covering more than twenty years of European patents invented by nearly one hundred thousand inventors located in France. Elaborating on the recent economic literatures on peer effects and on games in social networks, we assume that the productivity of an inventor’s efforts is positively affected by the efforts of his or her partners and negatively by the number of these partners’ connections. In this framework, inventors’ equilibrium outcomes are proportional to the square of their network centrality, which encompasses, as special cases, several well-known forms of centrality (Degree, Katz-Bonacich, Page-Rank). Our empirical results show that urban inventors benefit from their collaboration network. Their production increases when they collaborate with more central agents and when they have more collaborations. Our estimations suggest that inventors’ productivity grows sublinearly with the efforts of direct partners, and that they incur no negative externality from them having many partners. Overall, we estimate that a one standard deviation increase in local inventors’ centrality raises future urban patenting by 13%.
    Keywords: invention ; cities; network centrality; co-invention network; patent data
    JEL: O31 R11 D85
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Berliant, Marcus
    Abstract: We examine the fine microstructure of commuting in a game-theoretic setting with a continuum of commuters. Commuters' home and work locations can be heterogeneous. A commuter transport network is exogenous. Traffic speed is determined by link capacity and by local congestion at a time and place along a link, where local congestion at a time and place is endogenous. The model can be reinterpreted to apply to congestion on the internet. We find sufficient conditions for existence of equilibrium, that multiple equilibria are ubiquitous, and that the welfare properties of morning and evening commute equilibria differ.
    Keywords: Commuting; Congestion externality; Efficient Nash equilibrium
    JEL: L86 R41
    Date: 2017–03–09
  3. By: Suchita Srinivasan; Stefano Carattini
    Abstract: The Indian population is still heavily reliant on solid biomass as a cooking fuel, especially in the rural areas, despite its negative health implications. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a clean alternative, but its higher cost implies that its use is often limited to the richer, urban areas of the country. This paper investigates whether social spillovers might play a role in a household’s decision to use LPG, how these effects vary across different subpopulations, and whether they exacerbate or ameliorate existing spatial disparities in LPG use. Using data from the National Sample Survey (NSS) and the India Human Development Survey (IHDS), this paper provides multiples strands of evidence, which when analysed in conjunction, suggest the presence of positive social spillovers. Hence, households are more likely to adopt LPG if other households residing in the same village or urban block do so. We find divergence in the strength of this effect between rural and urban households, with more persistent spillovers amongst rural households. We also find that spillovers are stronger in states that have previously had low rates of adoption, supporting the idea of an S-shaped pattern of technological adoption. Spillovers are also found to be stronger for households that are members of associations or social networks such as caste associations. Our results provide evidence on convergence in LPG use rates across subgroups of the Indian population, and have strong implications for policymakers who could leverage lessons from social learning to encourage consumers to switch to cleaner sources of energy in developing countries.
    Keywords: Clean cooking fuels; LPG; Technological adoption; Social learning; India.
    JEL: D83 Q48 Q53 R12 R23 R29
    Date: 2016–12–20
  4. By: Dina N. Elshahawany (Zagazig University); Eduardo A. Haddad; Michael L. Lahr
    Abstract: The potential ability of transport infrastructure investments to produce transport benefits depends on the travel time reductions and accessibility. In this paper, we use an interregional computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to estimate the economic impacts of transportation cost change due specifically to changes in accessibility induced by new transportation projects. The model is integrated with a stylized geo-coded transportation network model to help quantify the spatial effects of transportation cost change. The analysis is focus on a proposed development corridor in Egypt. A main component of the project is a desert-based expansion of the current highway network. The paper focuses on the likely structural economic impacts that such a large investment in transportation could enable through a series of simulations. It is clear that an integrated spatial CGE model can be useful in estimating the potential economic impacts of transportation projects in Egypt. In this vein, this or similar models should support government decisions on such projects.
    Date: 2016–01–09
  5. By: Xiaoyu Huang; Tao Jin; Ji Zhang
    Abstract: We use a dynamic hierarchical factor model to identify the national, regional, and local factors of the city-level housing price growth in China from 2005 to 2014. We find that city-specific factors account for a large proportion of the variations in city-level housing price growth for most cities. However, the national factor also plays an important role in explaining the fluctuations of city-level housing price growth rates especially after 2009---the average explaining power of the national factor for housing price growth fluctuations reaches 18%. We use a VAR model to investigate the driving forces of the national factor and find that unexpected PBoC policy and hot money flow changes can affect the national housing prices significantly. A positive monetary policy shock has a significant negative impact on the national factor, which lasts for more than two years. Meanwhile, a positive hot money shock does cause a significant increase in the national factor. However, this effect is relatively transitory and reverses in half a year. Monetary policy also affects the national factor by responding positively to positive hot money and price shocks---the reversed effect of hot money shocks and the negative impact of positive price shocks on the national factor result from the tightening of monetary policy triggered by these shocks.
    Date: 2017–03
  6. By: McGregor, Thomas; Wills, Samuel
    Abstract: Does geography affect the location and pace of economic growth? While there is extensive evidence that natural advantages like rivers, ports, and resource endowments are important; evidence on natural amenities remains inconclusive. This paper estimates how natural amenities contribute to growth using three experiments that exploit detailed spatial and temporal variation in the quality of over 5000 surf breaks. The first finds that economic activity, proxied by night-time lights, grew by 0.4 percentage points p.a. more near 4-star breaks than 1-star breaks from 1992-2013. The effect is concentrated in nearby towns and emerging economies, suggesting both path dependence and institutions are important. This is worth up to $2.45 million per break per year. The second finds that discovering a high-quality break raises growth by 2.2 percentage points p.a., and the opposite when they disappear. It also shows that the invention of heated wetsuits raised growth near high-quality cold-water breaks by 2.6 percentage points p.a. The third shows that during El Niño years, famed for good surf, an unanticipated increase in aver-age wave height of 1 standard deviation increases growth near 4-star breaks by 5.6 percentage points p.a. relative to 1-star breaks. Taken together, these results show that natural amenities raise growth locally over both the short and medium run.
    Keywords: Economic growth, new economic geography, natural advantages, natural amenities, tourism, surfing, night-time lights
    Date: 2017–03
  7. By: Walid Jebili (University of Sousse); Lotfi Belkacem
    Abstract: This paper investigates how sectoral shifts and industry specialization patterns have influenced Tunisian labor market performance in the recent past years. Building on a sequential spatial framework, while taking into account spatial dependencies and externalities, our empirical investigation highlights that sectoral shifts and congestion effects induced by labor-supply growth exert a negative impact on unemployment dynamics. Our results suggest that some Marshallian externalities manage to soften, and even reverse, the diversification induced effect on unemployment. Moreover, we report high spatial dependence, which evidences a higher degree of contagion. Additionally, negative spillovers of sectoral shifts contrast with positive spillovers of specialization pattern, initial unemployment rate, labor-supply growth and the excess labor demand growth rate. Finally, the revolution had a detrimental effect on unemployment growth, except in the center-west region where unemployment was an inevitable result of an inner-process.
    Date: 2015–10
  8. By: Geeta G. Kingdon
    Abstract: This paper examines the size, growth, salaries, per-pupil-costs, pupil achievement levels and cost-effectiveness of private schools, and compares these with the government school sector. Official data show a steep growth of private schooling and a corresponding rapid shrinkage in the size of the government school sector in India, suggesting parental abandonment of government schools. Data show that a very large majority of private schools in most states are ‘low-fee’ when judged in relation to: state per capita income, per-pupil expenditure in the government schools, and the officially-stipulated rural minimum wage rate for daily-wage-labour. This suggests that affordability is an important factor behind the migration towards and growth of private schools. The main reason for the very low fee levels in private schools is their lower teacher salaries, which the data show to be a small fraction of the salaries paid in government schools; this is possible because private schools pay the market-clearing wage, which is depressed by a large supply of unemployed graduates in the country, whereas government schools pay bureaucratically determined minimum-wages. Private schools’ substantially lower per-student-cost combined with their students’ modestly higher learning achievement levels, means that they are significantly more cost-effective than government schools. The paper shows how education policies relating to private schools are harmful when formulated without seeking the evidence.
    Keywords: Private schooling; learning achievement; value for money; India
    Date: 2017
  9. By: Jacob A. Jordaan; Vassilis Monastiriotis
    Abstract: Despite an extensive empirical literature on the factors conditioning the size and prevalence of FDI productivity spillovers, the geographical dimension of these externalities remains relatively under-explored. In this paper we use firm level data from the Greek manufacturing sector to identify how three features of economic geography – spatial heterogeneity (location), spatial proximity (localisation) and spatial concentration (agglomeration) – influence the size and sign of FDI spillovers within and across industries. We find that FDI spillovers predominantly materialise at the sub-national level, with horizontal spillovers being more prominent at the regional scale (NUTS2) and vertical spillovers being highly localised (at the NUTS3 level). Furthermore, we find important synergies between spillovers from FDI and industry-region specific agglomeration. Also, FDI spillovers are found to be conditional on regional characteristics related to each region’s manufacturing base, FDI concentration, urban agglomeration and aggregate productivity. These results highlight the important role played by geography for the materialisation of productivity spillovers accruing from FDI and suggest that these key geographical features (location, localisation and agglomeration) ought to be taken into account both in the study of FDI spillovers and in the design of FDI-promotion and regional development policies.
    Date: 2016–12
  10. By: Dauth, Christine
    Abstract: I analyse the effects of further training subsidies for low-skilled employed workers on individual labor market outcomes in Germany for the period 2007 to 2012. Using detailed administrative data, I exploit cross-regional variation in conditional policy styles of local employment agencies, and use this fuzzy discontinuity as an instrument for program participation. I find that the subsidies caused significant gains in cumulative employment duration and earnings in the short run for the subgroup of compliers. These gains are particularly pronounced for women, younger workers and workers participating more than six months.
    JEL: J18 J24 I21
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Sapci, Ayse (Department of Economics, Colgate University); Vu, Nam (Department of Economics, Colgate University)
    Abstract: We study a general equilibrium model with a housing market to understand the role of credit access among borrowers and show that an adverse financial shock can increase the asymmetry in the housing wealth distribution of subprime and prime borrowers. Households with better credit access can take advantage of the low housing prices during recessions, especially when the subprimers are previously subjected to lax credit conditions. Our model is consistent with the data since the late 1980s, showing that the homeownership rates of the two groups move in opposite directions during turmoils as prime borrowers are more likely to invest in the housingmarket during recessions.
    Date: 2017–03–01
  12. By: Fuster, Andreas (Federal Reserve Bank of New York); Lo, Stephanie (Harvard University); Willen, Paul S. (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
    Abstract: The U.S. mortgage market links homeowners with savers all over the world. In this paper, we ask how much of the flow of money from savers to borrowers actually goes to the intermediaries that facilitate these transactions. Based on a new methodology and a new administrative dataset, we find that the price of intermediation, measured as a fraction of the loan amount at origination, is large—142 basis points on average over the 2008–2014 period. At daily frequencies, intermediaries pass on the price changes in the secondary market to borrowers in the primary market almost completely. At monthly frequencies, the price of intermediation fluctuates significantly and is highly sensitive to volume, likely reflecting capacity constraints: a one standard deviation increase in applications for new mortgages leads to a 30–35 basis point increase in the price of intermediation. Additionally, over 2008–2014, the price of intermediation increased about 30 basis points each year, potentially reflecting higher mortgage servicing costs and an increased legal and regulatory burden. Taken together, the sensitivity to volume and the positive trend led to an implicit total cost to U.S. households of about $140 billion over this period. Finally, the increases in application volume associated with “quantitative easing” (QE) led to substantial increases in the price of intermediation, which attenuated the benefits of QE to borrowers.
    Keywords: mortgage finance; financial intermediation; monetary policy transmission
    JEL: E44 E52 G21 L11
    Date: 2017–01–01
  13. By: Lee, Jieun; Rhee, Dong-eun; Rudolf, Robert
    Abstract: Using an exceptionally rich dataset comprising over 1,800 primary schools and nearly 40,000 students from ten francophone Sub-Saharan African countries, this study analyzes the relationship between teacher gender, student gender, and student achievement in mathematics and reading. Findings indicate that being taught by a female teacher increases academic achievements and that both performance and subject appreciation rise when taught by a same-gender teacher. Traditional academic gender stereotypes are prevalent among both male and female teachers. Our findings suggest that hiring more female teachers in Western and Central Africa can reduce educational gender gaps without hurting boys.
    Keywords: Gender; Educational quality; Female education; Sub-Saharan Africa; Same-gender teacher; PASEC.
    JEL: I21 I26 J16 O55
    Date: 2017–02–14
  14. By: Mohamed Amara (University of Tunis); Khaled Thabet
    Abstract: In this paper, we use multilevel models to simultaneously analyze individual, sectoral and regional characteristics that might affect the total factor productivity of Tunisian manufacturing firms for the period 1998-2004. Our results show that the individual characteristics of the firm have an important effect on both total factor productivity and labor productivity. We find that the oldest small firms are more productive than larger firms. Regional context has a significant direct impact on firms’ performance. More specifically, industrial density has a positive influence on total factor productivity. Our results show also that interaction effects or indirect effects are mostly driven by sectoral context. The intra-industrial wage disparities are beneficial only for firms with higher human capital and R&D. The interaction effects also show that larger and older firms will benefit more from industrial agglomeration. We conclude that multilevel models better fit our research questions that combine firm and contextual characteristics simultaneously, because they allow firm-specific characteristics to be differently associated to their regional and sectoral contexts.
    Date: 2016–01–09
  15. By: Lorenz, Olga; Goerke, Laszlo
    Abstract: This paper explores the causal relationship between commuting distance and height-adjusted weight (BMI) in Germany, using micro-level data for the period 2004 – 2012. In contrast to previous papers, we find no evidence that longer commutes are associated with a higher BMI. The non-existence of a relationship between BMI and commuting distance prevails when physical activity and eating habits are adjusted for.
    JEL: D00 I12 R41
    Date: 2016
  16. By: Majda Benzidia (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, EHESS); Michel Lubrano (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, & EHESS); Paolo Melindi-Ghidi (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, & EHESS)
    Abstract: Do communities with the same level of inequality but a different level of income polarisation perform differently in terms of public schooling? To answer this question, we extend the theoretical model of schooling choice and voting developed by de la Croix and Doepke (2009), introducing a more general income distribution characterised by a three-member mixture instead of a single uniform distribution. We show that not only income inequality, but also income polarisation, matters in explaining disparities in public education quality across communities. Public schooling is an important issue for the middle class, which is more inclined to pay higher taxes in return for better public schools. Contrastingly, poorer households may be less concerned about public education, while rich parents are more willing to opt-out of the public system, sending their children to private schools. Using micro-data covering 724 school districts of California and introducing a new measure of income polarisation, we find that school quality in low-income districts depends mainly on income polarisation, while in richer districts it depends mainly on income inequality.
    Keywords: schooling choice, income polarisation, probabilistic voting, education politics, Bayesian inference
    JEL: I24 D31 D72 H52 C11
    Date: 2016–11
  17. By: Fagernäs, Sonja (University of Sussex); Pelkonen, Panu (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Social or ethnic segregation can impede the equitable allocation of public resources in developing countries. We study an under-explored dimension; the allocation of public sector teachers in India. Using a register database for 2006-12, we construct indicators for the equality of teacher allocation and workplace segregation of teachers by gender and caste within districts. While pupil-teacher ratios have improved, the equality of teacher allocation has not. We show that allocation and segregation are connected; in districts with a higher degree of initial teacher segregation, a lower share of schools met pupil-teacher norms imposed by the Right to Education Act (2009).
    Keywords: teachers, public service delivery, segregation, caste, India, right to education
    JEL: H75 I24 J45 M54
    Date: 2017–02
  18. By: Samya Beidas-Strom
    Abstract: This paper estimates public sector service efficiency in England at the sub-regional level, studying changes post crisis during the large fiscal consolidation effort. It finds that despite the overall spending cut (and some caveats owing to data availability), efficiency broadly improved across sectors, particularly in education. However, quality adjustments and other factors could have contributed (e.g., sector and technology-induced reforms). It also finds that sub-regions with the weakest initial levels of efficiency converged the most post crisis. These sub-regional changes in public sector efficiency are associated with changes in labor productivity. Finally, the paper finds that regional disparities in the productivity of public services have narrowed, especially in the education and health sectors, with education attainment, population density, private spending on high school education and class size being to be the most important factors explaining sub-regional variation since 2003.
    Keywords: Public sector;United Kingdom;Government expenditures;Education;Health care;Public services;Expenditure efficiency;public sector efficiency or producivity, sub-regional fiscal federalism
    Date: 2017–02–14
  19. By: Mariacristina Rossi; Eva Sierminska
    Abstract: In this paper we shall examine homeownership trends over the past 3 to 4 decades and discuss differences related to the homeownership gap for women and men, with a focus on most recent trends. We shall compare differences in the US to those in countries with different institutional structures and shall pay particular attention to differences across family types. Our estimation techniques will allow us to discuss the role of determinants from a gender perspective. We find that single women are better off than single men without children and a reverse trend exists in families with children. The general negative effect for women remains for younger cohorts in the face of risking homeownership. The latest crisis did not change the general long-running trend of the homeownership gap except for the US and France. The findings of this paper could provide an international perspective on differential homeownership rates among women and men, across countries and over time. Given that the value of one’s own home (home equity) is the largest financial reserve in a household’s wealth portfolio, it is important to have a better understanding of the differences resulting from gender and family types.
    Keywords: Housing, Wealth, Gender, homeownership, time trends
    JEL: D1 D3 R2 J1
    Date: 2015–12
  20. By: Demmler, Kathrin M.; Ecker, Olivier; Qaim, Matin
    Abstract: Overweight and obesity are growing health problems in many developing countries. Rising obesity rates are the result of changes in people’s diets and lifestyles. Income growth and urbanization are factors that contribute to these changes. Modernizing food retail environments may also play a certain role. For instance, the rapid spread of supermarkets in many developing countries could affect consumer food choices and thus nutritional outcomes. However, concrete evidence about the effects of supermarkets on consumer diets and nutrition is thin. A few existing studies have analyzed related linkages with cross-sectional survey data. We add to this literature by using panel data from households and individuals in urban Kenya. Employing panel regression models with individual fixed effects and controlling for other factors we show that shopping in supermarkets significantly increases body mass index (BMI). We also analyze impact pathways. Shopping in supermarkets contributes to higher consumption of processed and highly processed foods and lower consumption of unprocessed foods. These results confirm that the retail environment affects people’s food choices and nutrition. However, the effects depend on the types of foods offered. Rather than thwarting modernization in the retail sector, policies that incentivize the sale of more healthy foods – such as fruits and vegetables – in supermarkets may be more promising to promote desirable nutritional outcomes.
    Keywords: Consumer/Household Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Health Economics and Policy, International Development, D12, I15, O13, Q18, R22,
    Date: 2017–03
  21. By: Steve Gibbons; Vincenzo Scrutinio; Shqiponja Telhaj
    Abstract: Do educational results suffer in schools where there is a high turnover among the teaching staff? Shqiponja Telhaj and colleagues explore this question by analysing data from all state secondary schools in England.
    Keywords: teacher turnover, student performance
    Date: 2017–03
  22. By: Kukharskyy, Bohdan; Seiffert, Sebastian
    Abstract: This paper provides a county-level investigation of the root causes of gun violence in the U.S. To guide our empirical analysis, we develop a simple theoretical model which suggests that firearm-related offenses in a given county increase with the number of illegal guns and decrease with social capital and police intensity. Using detailed panel data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the period 1986-2014, we find empirical evidence for the causal effects of illegal guns, social capital, and police intensity consistent with our theoretical predictions. Based on our analysis, we derive a range of policy recommendations.
    Keywords: gun violence,illegal guns,social capital,police intensity
    JEL: K14 K42 J22 I18
    Date: 2017
  23. By: Leuven, Edwin (University of Oslo); Løkken, Sturla Andreas (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: How does class size in compulsory school affect peoples' long run education and earnings? We use maximum class size rules and Norwegian administrative registries allowing us to observe outcomes up to age 48. We do not find any indication of beneficial effects of class size reduction in compulsory school. For a 1 person reduction in class size we can rule out effects on income as small as 0.087 percent in primary school and 0.12 percent in middle school. Population differences in parental background, school size or competitive pressure do not appear to reconcile our findings with previous studies.
    Keywords: class size, schooling, earnings, regression discontinuity
    JEL: I21 I28 J24 C30
    Date: 2017–02
  24. By: Jahn, Elke Jutta; Neugart, Michael
    Abstract: Social networks may affect individual workers' labor market outcomes. Using rich spatial data from administrative records, we analyze whether neighbors' employment status influences an individual worker's employment probability after establishment closure and, if hired, his wage. Our findings suggest that a 10 percentage point higher neighborhood employment rate increases the probability of having a job after six months by 0.8 percentage points and daily earnings by 1.7 percent. The neighborhood effect seems not to be driven by social norms but information transmission via neighborhoods and, additionally, via former co-worker networks.
    JEL: J63 J64 R23
    Date: 2016
  25. By: Shereen Attia (British University in Egypt)
    Abstract: This paper applies hedonic pricing models to estimate the relationship between housing prices and characteristics and determines the implicit amount of housing consumed by a typical consumer by tenure type. The hedonic price approach is used to set up quality-adjusted price indices using household survey data. By estimating a semi-log hedonic function, the results showed that uncontrolled rent is higher on average than controlled units by around 9 percent after controlling for quality, while about 18 percent of the discrepancy in nominal rents is due to the fact that rent control is in effect. Therefore, the underpriced units drive out affordable units because of over-pricing at the higher end of the market and underpricing at the lower end of the market.
    Date: 2016–02
  26. By: Emanuele Bracco; Maria De Paola; Colin Green; Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: Immigration has increasingly taken centre-stage in the political landscape. Part of this has been rise in far-right, anti-immigration parties in a range of countries. Existing evidence suggests that the presence of immigrants has a substantial effect on the political views of the electorate, generating an advantage to these parties with anti-immigration or nationalist platforms. This paper explores a closely related but overlooked issue: how immigrant behavior is influenced by these parties. We focus on immigrant location decisions in Northern Italy which has seen the rise of the anti-immigration party Lega Nord. We construct a dataset of mayoral elections in Italy for the years 2002-2014, and calculate the effect of electing a mayor belonging to, or supported by Lega Nord. To identify this relationship we focus on mayors who have been elected with narrow margins of victory in a Regression Discontinuity framework. The election of Lega Nord mayor discourages immigrants from moving into the municipality.
    Keywords: Immigration, Geographical Mobility, Voting Behavior, Political economy, Regression Discontinuity Design
    JEL: J15 J61 D72
    Date: 2017–03
  27. By: Elizabeth U. Cascio
    Abstract: Despite substantial interest in preschool as a means of narrowing the achievement gap, little is known about how particular program attributes might influence the achievement gains of disadvantaged preschoolers. This paper uses survey data on a recent cohort to explore the mediating influence of one key program attribute – whether disadvantage itself is a criterion for preschool admission. Taking advantage of age-eligibility rules to construct an instrument for attendance, I find that universal state-funded prekindergarten (pre-K) programs generate substantial positive effects on the reading scores of low-income 4 year olds. State pre-K programs targeted toward disadvantaged children do not. Differences in other pre-K program requirements and population demographics cannot explain the larger positive impacts of universal programs. The alternatives to universal and targeted state pre-K programs also do not significantly differ. Together, these findings suggest that universal preschools offer a relatively high-quality learning experience for low-income children not reflected in typical quality metrics.
    JEL: H75 I24 I28 J13 J24
    Date: 2017–03
  28. By: Weinstein, Russell (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
    Abstract: I study whether human capital investments are based on local rather than national demand, and whether this is explained by migration or information frictions. I analyze three sector-specific shocks with differential local effects, including the dot-com crash, the 2008 financial crisis, and a shock transforming Delaware into an international financial center. I find universities in areas more exposed to sectoral shocks experience greater changes in sector-relevant majors. Using rich student-level data, I find this is not explained by information frictions, but more likely by migration frictions. The results suggest encouraging human capital investments based on national demand may increase mismatch.
    Keywords: college major choice, local labor markets, migration frictions, information frictions
    JEL: J24 I20 R12
    Date: 2017–02
  29. By: Chong Song (University of International Business and Economics); Chao Wei (George Washington University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we use ve decades of time-use surveys in the U.S. to document trends in travel time uses. We nd that total travel time features an inverted-U shape, registering a 20 percent increase from 1975 to 1993, but an 18 percent decline from 1993 to 2013. We nd that demographic shifts explain roughly 45 percent of the increase from 1975 to 1993, but play a much smaller role afterwards. From 2003 to 2013 the shift of time allocation from travel-intensive non-market work to travel-non-intensive leisure accounts for around 50 percent of the decline in total travel time.
    Keywords: Travel time use, Tume-use survey, Market work, Non-market work, Leisure
    JEL: J22 R41 D13
    Date: 2016
  30. By: Remi Jedwab (George Washington University); Adam Storeygard (Tufts University)
    Keywords: Transportation Infrastructure; Public Investment; Railroads; Roads; Paved Roads; Africa; Growth; Institutions; History; World Development Indicators
    JEL: O18 O11 O20 H54 R11 R12 R40 N77
  31. By: Anthony Yezer (George Washington University)
    Abstract: Given their powerful position in presidential cabinets, technocrats are an important transmission mechanism for explaining economic policy choices, but have received less attention compared to other wellestablished channels such as elections or democratic tenure. I incorporate the role of technocratic advisors into a domestic policymaking framework. Specifcally, I contend that left governments tend to appoint technocrats, or ministers with mainstream economics training, to signal their commitment to sound governance to the electorate. This partisan technocratic pattern, however, is conditioned by a country’s place in its business cycle. During periods of high growth, left governments are more likely to align with their partisan preferences and appoint heterodox advisors that drift from scal discipline. Employing an originally constructed data index, the Index of Economic Advisors, I conduct a statistical test of 16 Latin American countries from 1960 to 2011, finding partisan shifts in technocratic appointments and fiscal governance that are conditioned by national business cycles.
    Keywords: Foreclosure, Specifcation error, Loan-to-value ratio, Externalities
    JEL: R23 R30 R31
    Date: 2016
  32. By: Michael L. Anderson; Justin Gallagher; Elizabeth Ramirez Ritchie
    Abstract: Improving the nutritional content of public school meals is a topic of intense policy interest. A main motivation is the health of school children, and, in particular, the rising childhood obesity rate. Medical and nutrition literature has long argued that a healthy diet can have a second important impact: improved cognitive function. In this paper, we test whether offering healthier lunches affects student achievement as measured by test scores. Our sample includes all California (CA) public schools over a five-year period. We estimate difference-in-difference style regressions using variation that takes advantage of frequent lunch vendor contract turnover. Students at schools that contract with a healthy school lunch vendor score higher on CA state achievement tests, with larger test score increases for students who are eligible for reduced price or free school lunches. We do not find any evidence that healthier school lunches lead to a decrease in obesity rates.
    JEL: I12 I20
    Date: 2017–03
  33. By: Melissa Dell; Nathaniel Lane; Pablo Querubin
    Abstract: This study examines how the historical state conditions long-run development, using Vietnam as a laboratory. Northern Vietnam (Dai Viet) was ruled by a strong centralized state in which the village was the fundamental administrative unit. Southern Vietnam was a peripheral tributary of the Khmer (Cambodian) Empire, which followed a patron-client model with weaker, more personalized power relations and no village intermediation. Using a regression discontinuity design across the Dai Viet-Khmer boundary, the study shows that areas historically under a strong state have higher living standards today and better economic outcomes over the past 150 years. Rich historical data document that in villages with a strong historical state, citizens have been better able to organize for public goods and redistribution through civil society and local government. This suggests that the strong historical state crowded in village-level collective action and that these norms persisted long after the original state disappeared.
    JEL: N15 O43
    Date: 2017–03
  34. By: Rasmus Landersø (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit, Denmark); Helena Skyt Nielsen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark); Marianne Simonsen (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: This paper investigates intra-family spillovers from the timing of school start on outcomes for the entire family. We document how the timing of a child’s school start affects the timing of all subsequent transitions between tiers in the educational system. Exploiting quasi-random variation in school starting age induced by date of birth, we find that the timing of transitions affect parental outcomes - including marriage and maternal employment - and older siblings’ academic performance. Our results indicate that families redistribute resources across the entire family in response to a single family member’s experiences as for example school start and graduation.
    Keywords: marital capital, marital dissolution, educational transition, regression discontinuity, spillover effects
    JEL: I21 J12
    Date: 2017–02–22
  35. By: Knies, Gundi
    Abstract: Using longitudinal data for children aged 10-15 years living in England in 2009-2014 we test the hypothesis that income matters for children’s life satisfaction. The results suggest that children are more satisfied with life the more income their family has. Income effects are larger the less income the family has and statistically significant for children from the age of 13. Overall, the effects are small and governments aiming to increase population well-being in this group may expect greater returns from addressing satisfaction gaps experienced during school holidays and focussing on British/Irish white males and females from ethnic minority backgrounds.
    Date: 2017–03–07
  36. By: Pallares-Barbera, M.
    Abstract: While space might shrink, the flows of goods in space gets constantly wider. Great inventions in history have marked the reorganization of space as well as some activities, some spatial relations and the value of territory. Space has been adapting to these needs offering new opportunities and challenges. Geography has become the leading science to analyze and mediate in these processes. The space of markets, the relations between the digital world and the real world, ?geolocalization? of services and new economic activities have moved geography to a new level within social sciences. This round table starts from the following standpoint: How do the extreme speed of flows affects the meaning and perception that in different social and cultural settings people have? Keywords: innovation, flows, networks.
  37. By: Francesco Longo (Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, UK); Luigi Siciliani (Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, UK); Hugh Gravelle (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK.); Rita Santos (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK.)
    Abstract: We investigate whether hospitals in the English National Health Service increase their quality (mortality, emergency readmissions, patient reported outcome, and patient satisfaction) or efficiency (bed occupancy rate, cancelled operations, and cost indicators) in response to an increase in quality or efficiency of neighbouring hospitals. We estimate spatial cross-sectional and panel data models, including spatial cross-sectional instrumental variables. Hospitals generally do not respond to neighbours’ quality and efficiency. This suggests the absence of spillovers across hospitals in quality and efficiency dimensions and has policy implications, for example, in relation to allowing hospital mergers.
    Keywords: quality, efficiency, hospitals, competition, spatial econometrics
    JEL: C21 C23 I11 L3 L11
  38. By: Alexander C. Lembcke; Carlo Menon
    Abstract: This paper develops an indicator that combines the area that residents can reach within a certain time of travel with population density to create a proxy for “accessibility”, i.e. access to employment and consumption opportunities. Using a large scale firm level dataset, with nearly one million firm year observations over 14 years, the paper quantifies the link between firm-level outcomes and the change in accessibility in Korea due to the expansion of the network of major roads. The results suggest that the most productive firms benefited in terms of employment, output, and productivity, as accessibility improved. For the majority of incumbent firms, improved accessibility leaves most balance sheet variables broadly unaffected, but is associated with a decrease in fixed assets. The estimates also suggest that there was little job displacement, with the exception of service sectors where employment increased in response to improved local accessibility and declined for long distance accessibility.
    Keywords: accessibility, capital, employment, firm-level data, highways, productivity, roads
    JEL: L23 R12 R32 R40
    Date: 2017–03–17
  39. By: Paul E. Carrillo (George Washington University); Andrea Lopez (George Washington University); Arun Malik (George Washington University)
    Keywords: Crime, Difference-in-Differences, Regression Discontinuity, Crime displace- ment
    JEL: C20 Q52 R28 R48
    Date: 2016
  40. By: Pallares-Barbera, M.; Tulla, A.; Badia, A.; Vera, Ana; Serra, P.
    Abstract: This article proposes a methodology based on geographical information systems and factor-analysis to carry out taxonomies for mountain areas in the Catalan Pyrenees. Initially, socio-economic and spatial variables have been used in the classification of the areas. Subsequently, the discrimination of homogeneous areas becomes important in order to undertake posterior studies about their development and to facilitate the creation of specific public policies adjusted to their main competitive advantages. The confrontation of such extreme and rival neighbouring uses in small Pyrenean regions -such as natural parks and productive activities- with externalities arising and affecting each others? activities, requires governmental instruments to intervene in order to achieve a more efficient allocation of resources in the face of externalities, to decrease production where there is external cost and to increase it where there are external benefits. Necessarily, these policies would have to be related to urban planning and to take into account economic and social aspects. Keywords: local development, GIS, multivariate analysis, rural mountainous areas, natural protected areas.
  41. By: Anda David (PSL Université Paris Dauphine); Joachim Jarreau
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of emigration at the individual and household level, using three waves of the Egyptian labor market panel survey (ELMPS) covering the 1998-2012 period. Exploiting the panel structure of the data allows us to reduce the risk of reverse causality, and to estimate the effect of migrant networks more accurately than in existing studies based on cross-sectional data. We confirm, in the Egyptian context, that migrants abroad are positively selected on the wealth of the origin household, due to migration costs; and that the growth of a network of past emigrants from the same community mitigates this positive selection, increasing the propensity to migrate among poorer households. We also offer a novel insight on the linkages between emigration decision and home country’s labor market conditions. We show that unemployment and informal employment appear as the main incentives to emigrate. This suggests that the scarcity of “quality jobs”, in particular on the skilled labor market, is one important factor driving emigration flows in Egypt.
    Date: 2016–04
    Abstract: This paper documents the influence of networks of highly-skilled migrants on international knowledge flows. It adds to the growing literature on highly-skilled international migration and its contribution to international knowledge diffusion, in migrants’ home as well as host countries. In particular, it first explores knowledge feedbacks to home countries generated by migrant inventors, a representative category of high-skilled migrants, most of them scientists and engineers. Second, it investigates the knowledge inflows to host countries brought by inventors. We test our hypothesis of a positive relationship between knowledge flows and highly skilled migration in a country-pair gravity model setting, for the period 1990-2010, using patent citations across countries as a measure of international knowledge diffusion. Our results confirm our initial assumption on the positive impact of highly skilled migrants on knowledge flows to their homelands as well as to their host countries. We find doubling the number of inventors of a given nationality at a destination country, leads to an 8.3% increase in knowledge outflows to their home economy from that same host land; while a similar increase in the number of migrant inventors produces a 6% increase in the knowledge inflows to the host economy.
    Keywords: migration, brain gain, diaspora, diffusion, inventors, patents, PCT patents
    JEL: C8 J61 O31 O33
    Date: 2017
  43. By: Büttner, Thiess
    Abstract: Commercial Land Use and Interjurisdictional Competition
    JEL: Z00 Z10 Z11
    Date: 2016
  44. By: Zhang, Lu (Sustainable Finance Lab, The Netherlands.); Uluc, Arzu (Bank of England); Bezemer, Dirk (Global Economics and Management, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.)
    Abstract: Was the bank credit crunch following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 in many economies due to a loan supply collapse or to a decrease in loan demand? This paper investigates the effects of UK banks’ pre-crises exposure to residential property markets on their post-crisis business lending to explore the existence of a negative post-crisis loan supply shock. We isolate the loan supply effect from a loan demand effect by using a unique quasi-experimental setting and a rich, tailor-made micro-level data set on bank lending volumes, bank balance sheets and mortgage loan characteristics. Controlling for a range of bank-specific factors, we find that banks with larger shares of residential mortgages in total loans in 2008 Q2 reduced their lending to business more after 2008 Q3. Post-crisis lending to business is also sensitive to the riskiness of banks’ mortgage portfolios. Banks having more mortgages to borrowers with impaired credit history, or more mortgages to the self-employed, or mortgages with higher loan to value ratios prior to the crisis reduced their lending to non-financial businesses more.
    Keywords: Credit crunch; bank balance sheets; mortgage lending; micro data; United Kingdom
    JEL: E20 E32 E51
    Date: 2017–03–03
  45. By: Paula Jaramillo; Ça?atay Kay?; Flip Klijn
    Abstract: We consider school choice problems (Abdulkadiro?lu and Sönmez, 2003) where students are assigned to public schools through a centralized assignment mechanism. We study the family of so-called rank-priority mechanisms, each of which is induced by an order of rank-priority pairs. Following the corresponding order of pairs, at each step a rank-priority mechanism considers a rank-priority pair and matches an available student to an unfilled school if the student and the school rank and prioritize each other in accordance with the rank-priority pair. The Boston or immediate acceptance mechanism is a particular rank-priority mechanism. Our first main result is a characterization of the subfamily of rank-priority mechanisms that Nash implement the set of stable (i.e., fair) matchings (Theorem 1). We show that our characterization also holds for "sub-implementation" and "sup-implementation" (Corollaries 3 and 4). Our second main result is a strong impossibility result: under incomplete information, no rank-priority mechanism implements the set of stable matchings (Theorem 2).
    Keywords: school choice, rank-priority mechanisms, stability, Nash implementation
    JEL: C78 D61 D78 I20
    Date: 2017–03
  46. By: McGuinness, Seamus; Bergin, Adele; Whelan, Adele
    Abstract: Data relating to community development activities is often decentralised in nature and does not easily facilitate any national level analysis. Given non-trivial spending in this area and increased pressure to show value for money in all areas of government expenditure, there is increased pressure for some measurement and assessment of community level spending. In Ireland, a single body, Pobal, co-ordinates a large proportion of community development activity under a national community development programme. The Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP) represented a central component of Ireland’s funding for community development which aims to tackle poverty, social exclusion and long-term unemployment through local engagement and partnerships between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies. This ‘bottom-up’ structure aims to enable participation by citizens in the design, planning and implementation of interventions at a local level. Organisations in receipt of funding under LCDP must record their activities within a single database. The availability of this data provides a unique opportunity to address a number of key questions, in a unified framework, regarding community development spending that will help inform policy both in Ireland and elsewhere. Specifically, the paper explores the relationship between community development training and goals and the links between provision and social deprivation, geography and cost. It also considers the extent to which the general requirement to demonstrate value for money in the public finances could, and/or should, be extended into the community development realm.
    Date: 2017–03
  47. By: Collins, Matthew; Dempsey, Seraphim
    Abstract: Improving the energy efficiency of the residential building stock has increasingly been promoted by policy makers as a means of reducing energy demand in the residential sector. We review the literature on some non-energy impacts of energy efficiency retrofitting measures aimed at increasing the air tightness and thermal insulation of residential properties. Specifically, we review the impact of retrofitting measures on indoor pollutants, mould growth, attenuation of radio signal and overheating. We show that without the provision of adequate ventilation, increased air tightness can result in higher levels of indoor pollutants and mould growth. Similarly, we show that in certain circumstances thermal insulation has the potential to result in increased signal attenuation and overheating. We detail the policy implications of these findings and outline policy actions that have been implemented in case study countries where these consequences are an issue.
    Date: 2017–03
  48. By: Elif Öznur Acar (Cankaya University); Seyit Mümin Cilasun; Burak Günalp
    Abstract: Using Turkish Household Budget Surveys from 2003, 2007 and 2012, this paper investigates the determinants of household education expenditures within an Engel curve framework. In particular, we estimate Tobit regressions of real educational expenditures by income groups using a number of household characteristics (i.e. rural residence, employment status, age, educational attainment of the household head, household size, share of female students and primary school students in the household, and total number of students in the household) to examine if and to what extent the determinants of educational expenditures differ by income groups; income elasticities of educational spending evolves over time; and children from middle-class and poor families can benefit enough from educational opportunities. The estimated expenditure elasticities have lower values for the top- and the bottom-income quartiles while they have larger values for the middle-income quartiles. The results also show that for all income groups the expenditure elasticity of education increases over time, indicating that Turkish households allocates greater share of their budgets to education expenditures
    Date: 2016–04

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