nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2017‒06‒11
39 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The housing market in major Dutch cities By Melanie Hekwolter of Hekhuis; Rob Nijskens; Willem Heeringa
  2. Differentiated Accountability and Education Production: Evidence from NCLB Waivers By Steven W. Hemelt; Brian Jacob
  3. The Effect of School Quality on Housing Rent: Evidence from Matsue city in Japan By Yuta Kuroda
  4. An Evaluation of Bias in Three Measures of Teacher Quality: Value-Added, Classroom Observations, and Student Surveys By Andrew Bacher-Hicks; Mark J. Chin; Thomas J. Kane; Douglas O. Staiger
  5. How Do Peers Impact Learning? An Experimental Investigation of Peer-To-Peer Teaching and Ability Tracking By Kimbrough, Erik O.; McGee, Andrew; Shigeoka, Hitoshi
  6. The Impact of Free Early Childhood Education and Care on Educational Achievement: a Discontinuity Approach Investigating Both Quantity and Quality of Provision By Jo Blanden; Emilia Del Bono; Kirstine Hansen; Birgitta Rabe
  7. The Effect of Social Networks on the Economic Outcomes of a Disadvantaged Group: Evidence from Tribal Affiliations By Sin, Isabelle; Stillman, Steven
  8. The Effects of School Reform Under NCLB Waivers: Evidence from Focus Schools in Kentucky By Sade Bonilla; Thomas Dee
  9. High-Impact Minimum Wages and Heterogeneous Regions By Vom Berge, Philipp; Frings, Hanna
  10. Regional variation of innovation activity in Poland. The positive role of location in metropolitan areas affirmed By Tomasz; Anna Golejewska
  11. Do Childhood Experiences of Parental Separation Lead to Homelessness? By Julie Moschion; Jan C. van Ours
  12. Health effects of instruction intensity: Evidence from a natural experiment in German high-schools By Quis, Johanna Sophie; Reif, Simon
  13. Valuing Public Goods More Generally: The Case of Infrastructure By David Albouy; Arash Farahani
  14. School Performance, Accountability and Waiver Reforms: Evidence from Louisiana By Thomas Dee; Elise Dizon-Ross
  15. Beggar-Thy-Neighbour Tax Cuts: Mobility after a Local Income and Wealth Tax Reform in Switzerland By MARTINEZ Isabel
  16. Less Welfare or Fewer Foreigners? Immigrant Inflows and Public Opinion towards Redistribution and Migration Policy By Murard, Elie
  17. Real-Estate Agent Commission Structure and Sales Performance By Pieter Gautier; Arjen Siegmann; Aico van Vuuren
  18. Tax Advantages and Imperfect Competition in Auctions for Municipal Bonds By Daniel Garrett; Andrey Ordin; James W. Roberts; Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato
  19. Assignment of powers and number of states in Federal Philippines Discussion paper on federalizing Philippines By Tamayo, Adrian
  20. (Il)legal assignments in school choice By EHLERS, Lars; MORRILL, Thayer
  21. Testing for localization: A new approach By Yasusada Murata; Ryo Nakajima; Ryuichi Tamura
  22. Real Estate and Corporate Investmeent: Theory and Evidence of Heterogeneous Effects Across Firms By D. Fougère; R. Lecat; S. Ray
  23. Adults Behaving Badly: The Effects of Own and Peer Parents' Incarceration on Adolescent Criminal Activities By Fletcher, Jason M.
  24. Spatial Differencing: Estimation and Inference By Federico Belotti; Edoardo Di Porto; Gianluca Santoni
  25. Quantifying the Life-Cycle Benefits of a Prototypical Early Childhood Program By García, Jorge Luis; Heckman, James J.; Leaf, Duncan Ermini; Prados, Maria José
  26. Academies 2: the new batch - the changing nature of academy schools in England By Andrew Eyles; Stephen Machin; Olmo Silva
  27. Does neighbour’s grass matter? Exploring spatial dependent heterogeneity in technical efficiency of Italian hospitals By Cavalieri, M.; Di Caro, P.; Guccio, C.; Lisi, D.;
  28. Is housing a health insult? By Emma Baker; Andrew Beer; Laurence Lester; David Pevalin; Christine M E Whitehead; Rebecca Bentley
  29. Racial diversity, immigrants and the well-being of residents: Evidence from U.S. counties By Kuroki, Masanori
  30. Who trusts? Ethnicity, integration, and attitudes toward elected officials in urban Nigeria By Adrienne LeBas
  31. Strategies for mitigating air pollution in Mexico City By ITF
  32. Quantifying the Life-cycle Benefits of a Prototypical Early Childhood Program By Jorge Luis García; James J. Heckman; Duncan Ermini Leaf; María José Prados
  33. Collapse of an Online Social Network: The Blame on Social Capital By Laszlo Lorincz; Julia Koltai; Anna Fruzsina Gyor; Karoly Takacs
  34. Absolute-poverty, food and housing By Luigi Campiglio
  35. Regional Economic Competitiveness. The Case of Romania By Elena Pelinescu; Marioara Iordan; Nona Chilian; Mihaela Simionescu
  36. Transport Infrastructure, City Productivity Growth and Sectoral Reallocation: Evidence from China By Yang, Yang
  37. Secondary Towns and Poverty Reduction: Refocusing the Urbanization Agenda By Christiaensen, Luc; Kanbur, Ravi
  38. The Local Environment Shapes Refugee Integration: Evidence from Post-war Germany By Sebastian Till Braun; Nadja Dwenger
  39. Negative Shocks and Mass Persecutions: Evidence from the Black Death By Remi Jedwab; Mark Koyama; Noel Johnson

  1. By: Melanie Hekwolter of Hekhuis; Rob Nijskens; Willem Heeringa
    Abstract: The Dutch housing market is recovering, but not without considerable regional differences. Major cities such as Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam, as well as medium-sized cities like Groningen and Eindhoven, are witnessing stronger house price rises than the rest of the Netherlands. Moreover, housing market dynamics vary from city to city. How to explain this? Are the cities a harbinger for the rest of the country? This study concludes that, despite signs of overheating in the large urban housing markets, there is no credit-driven bubble as yet. Spiralling house prices in the cities are mainly attributable to scarcity pricing. Additionally, more and more buyers are also contributing own funds. Ongoing migration to the cities is spurring demand for urban housing and supply is failing to keep pace. The result is a shortage of affordable housing, particularly in the non-rent regulated rental sector. This is putting middle-income earners in a tight spot. Supply in the non-rent regulated sector is growing slowly due to planning restrictions on new-build developments, a lack of planning and construction capacity, and the absence of effective incentives for municipalities and housing associations. The government needs to do more to encourage municipalities and housing associations to increase supply in the non-rent regulated sector.
    Date: 2017–05
  2. By: Steven W. Hemelt; Brian Jacob
    Abstract: In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education granted states the opportunity to apply for waivers from the core requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In exchange, states implemented systems of differentiated accountability in which they identified and intervened in their lowest-performing schools (“Priority” schools) and schools with the largest achievement gaps between subgroups of students (“Focus” schools). We use administrative data from Michigan in a series of regression-discontinuity analyses to study the effects of these reforms on schools and students. Overall, we find that neither reform had appreciable impacts on various measures of school staffing, student composition, or academic achievement. We find some evidence that the Focus designation led to small, short-run reductions in the within-school math achievement gap – but that these reductions were driven by stagnant performance of lower-achieving students alongside declines in the performance of their higher-achieving peers. These findings serve as a cautionary tale for the capacity of the accountability provisions embedded in the recent reauthorization of NCLB, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), to meaningfully improve student and school outcomes.
    JEL: I20 I21 I28 J01 J08
    Date: 2017–06
  3. By: Yuta Kuroda
    Abstract: This study investigates the effect of public school quality on the housing rent within its school district by using Japanese data. I estimate the causal effect of school quality as measured by average test score on housing rent by using regression discontinuity design to control for unobserved characteristics of neighborhoods. Specifically, I focus on apartment buildings located on school attendance district boundaries. I find that school quality has significantly positive effect on housing rent of apartment for families, where school quality does not have significant effect on housing rent of houses for single person. This results show that parents are willing to pay more to send their child to better school.
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: Andrew Bacher-Hicks; Mark J. Chin; Thomas J. Kane; Douglas O. Staiger
    Abstract: There are three primary measures of teaching performance: student test-based measures (i.e., value added), classroom observations, and student surveys. Although all three types of measures could be biased by unmeasured traits of the students in teachers’ classrooms, prior research has largely focused on the validity of value-added measures. We conduct an experiment involving 66 mathematics teachers in four school districts and test the validity of all three types of measures. Specifically, we test whether a teacher’s performance on each measure under naturally occurring (i.e., non-experimental) settings predicts performance following random assignment of that teacher to a class of students. Combining our results with those from two previous experiments, we provide further evidence that value-added measures are unbiased predictors of teacher performance. In addition, we provide the first evidence that classroom observation scores are unbiased predictors of teacher performance on a rubric measuring the quality of mathematics instruction. Unfortunately, we lack the statistical power to reach any similar conclusions regarding the predictive validity of a teacher’s student survey responses.
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2017–06
  5. By: Kimbrough, Erik O. (Simon Fraser University); McGee, Andrew (University of Alberta); Shigeoka, Hitoshi (Simon Fraser University)
    Abstract: Classroom peers are believed to influence learning by teaching each other, and the efficacy of this teaching likely depends on classroom composition in terms of peers' ability. Unfortunately, little is known about peer-to-peer teaching because it is never observed in field studies. Furthermore, identifying how peer-to-peer teaching is affected by ability tracking – grouping students of similar ability – is complicated by the fact that tracking is typically accompanied by changes in curriculum and the instructional behavior of teachers. To fill this gap, we conduct a laboratory experiment in which subjects learn to solve logic problems and examine both the importance of peer-to-peer teaching and the interaction between peer-to-peer teaching and ability tracking. While peer-to-peer teaching improves learning among low-ability subjects, the positive effects are substantially offset by tracking. Tracking reduces the frequency of peer-to-peer teaching, suggesting that low-ability subjects suffer from the absence of high-ability peers to teach them.
    Keywords: peer-to-peer teaching, ability tracking, peer effects, group composition, education and inequality, laboratory experiment
    JEL: I24 C91 I28
    Date: 2017–05
  6. By: Jo Blanden (University of Surrey, CEP, LSE); Emilia Del Bono (ISER, University of Essex); Kirstine Hansen (University College London); Birgitta Rabe (ISER, University of Essex)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse whether entitlement to free part-time early childhood education and care at 3 years old affects educational attainment in the first year of primary school. Our identification strategy exploits date-of-birth discontinuities that lead to some children born just a few days apart being entitled to different amounts of free pre-school (up to 3.5 months) while starting school at the same time and within the same cohort. Using administrative data on all state school pupils in England, we carry out a regression discontinuity analysis and find that eligibility to free part-time early education and care results in a zero overall effect on educational achievement at age 5. This is true for advantaged and disadvantaged groups and for children attending high and low quality provision.
    Date: 2017–06
  7. By: Sin, Isabelle (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust); Stillman, Steven (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano)
    Abstract: Minority groups in many countries, particularly indigenous populations, live in very segregated envi-ronments. Many social scientists believe that social networks create poverty traps in these types of segregated environments, with a lack of positive role models reinforcing a lack of good job opportuni-ties. In this paper, we use data from the New Zealand Census to examine the relationship between the strength of an individual's local social network and their labor market outcomes. We focus on out-comes for Māori, which allows us to use tribes as exogenously formed networks, and traditional tribal ties to specific geographical regions as an exogenous shock to the locations of social networks. We thus avoid the typical problem of endogenously formed networks and network locations. We find that Māori who locate in areas with strong networks have modestly worse labour market outcomes than Māori from other tribes in the same areas. However, when we account for the endogenous selection of Māori into high networks areas, we find that they are negatively selected on both observables and unobservables and that social networks have a positive causal impact on employment and total income for women and wage rates for men. These results are consistent with those found in the literature on immigrant enclaves and allude to role that social networks play in improving job match quality.
    Keywords: social networks, mobility, labour market outcomes, New Zealand, Māori
    JEL: J61 J15 R23
    Date: 2017–05
  8. By: Sade Bonilla; Thomas Dee
    Abstract: Under waivers to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, the federal government required states to identify schools where targeted subgroups of students have the lowest achievement and to implement reforms in these “Focus Schools.” In this study, we examine the Focus School reforms in the state of Kentucky. The reforms in this state are uniquely interesting for several reasons. One is that the state developed unusually explicit guidance for Focus Schools centered on a comprehensive school-planning process. Second, the state identified Focus Schools using a “super subgroup” measure that combined traditionally low-performing subgroups into an umbrella group. This design feature may have catalyzed broader whole-school reforms and attenuated the incentives to target reform efforts narrowly. Using regression discontinuity designs, we find that these reforms led to substantial improvements in school performance, raising math achievement by 17 percent and reading achievement by 9 percent.
    JEL: H70 I2 I24
    Date: 2017–06
  9. By: Vom Berge, Philipp (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Frings, Hanna (RWI)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of the introduction and subsequent increases of a substantial minimum wage in Germany's main construction industry on wage and employment growth rates. Using a regional dataset constructed from individual employment histories, we exploit the spatial dimension and border discontinuities of the regional data to account for spillovers between districts and unobserved heterogeneity at the local level. The results indicate that the minimum wage increased the wage growth rate for East Germany but did not have a significant impact on the West German equivalent. The estimated effect on the employment growth rate reveals a contraction in the East of about 1.2 percentage points for a one-standard-deviation increase in the minimum-wage bite, amounting to roughly one quarter of the overall decline in the growth rate. We observe no change for the West.
    Keywords: construction sector, Germany, minimum wage, spatial heterogeneity, spatial panel data
    JEL: J31 J38
    Date: 2017–05
  10. By: Tomasz (Faculty of Economics, University of Gdansk; Institute for Development); Anna Golejewska (Faculty of Economics, University of Gdansk)
    Abstract: Poland’s innovation performance is unsatisfactory. In the context of the required shift of the present mostly-extensive growth paradigm to more knowledge and innovation-intensive one has to take into account the regional variation in innovative and economic activity in this middle-sized open economy in order to fine-tune its regional development and innovation policies. Using the firm-level data for manufacturing sector aggregated to NUTS3 regions as well as firm-level data from a unique qualitative survey carried out by the Institute for Development we try to identify the determinants of variation in innovative activity of firms within Poland in order to account for regional differences in particular between metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions. The analysis at aggregated NUTS3 level does not bring satisfactory results. The difference between metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions is statistically insignificant and the overall results are mixed. In the second step, we apply more sophisticated econometric methods controlling for firm-specific, sector-specific and region-specific features as suggested in the literature of the subject identifying the positive effect of location within metropolitan regions on the innovative performance of companies. Furthermore, the results point to the significance of firm-specific, internal, as well as region-specific – factors external to a firm, nonetheless, supporting the notion of regional innovation systems in which firms are embedded.
    Keywords: innovation, regional innovation system, regional economic performance, firm-level, logit model, Poisson model, negative binomial model
    JEL: O30 R11 R12 R58 C21
    Date: 2017–05
  11. By: Julie Moschion (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course; and EconomiX, University of Nanterre); Jan C. van Ours (Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen Institute; Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of parental separation on homelessness. Previous studies have only been able to provide descriptive evidence that parental separations relate to reductions in housing quality and stability. Using a unique dataset of disadvantaged Australians who provide retrospective information on parental separation and housing circumstances, we estimate bivariate duration models to examine transitions into homelessness following parental separation. Controlling for observed as well as unobserved family and individual characteristics, and exploiting the timing of events, we show that parental separation significantly increases the likelihood of experiencing homelessness in subsequent years if the separation occurred before the respondent was 12 years old. Parental separation occurring from the age of 12 only increases boys’ likelihood of becoming homeless, but not girls’.
    Keywords: Parental separation, homelessness, Australia
    JEL: D12 J12
    Date: 2017–06
  12. By: Quis, Johanna Sophie; Reif, Simon
    Abstract: A large literature aims to establish a causal link between education and health using changes in compulsory schooling laws. It is however unclear how well more education is operationalized by marginal increases in school years. We shed a new light on this discussion by analyzing the health effects of a reform in Germany where total years of schooling for students in the academic track were reduced from nine to eight while keeping cumulative teaching hours constant by increasing instruction intensity. The sequential introduction of the reform allows us to implement a triple difference-in-differences estimation strategy with data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. We find that increased weekly instruction time has negative health effects for females while they are still in school. However, after graduation, females even seem to benefit from reduced school years. We find no effects on males' health.
    Keywords: education and health,instruction intensity,natural experiment,SOEP
    JEL: I19 I21 I28
    Date: 2017
  13. By: David Albouy (University of Illinois); Arash Farahani (University of Illinois)
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between local public goods, prices, wages, and population in an equilibrium inter-city model. Non-traded production, federal taxes, and imperfect mobility all affect how public goods (or “amenities” more broadly) should be valued from data. Reinterpreting the estimated effects of public infrastructure on prices and wages in Haughwout (2002), we find infrastructure over twice as valuable with our more general model. New estimates based on more years, cities, and data-sets indicate stronger wage and positive population effects of infrastructure. These imply higher values of infrastructure to firms, and also to households if moving costs are substantial.
    Keywords: Infrastructure, public goods, capitalization, valuation, nontraded goods, federal taxation, imperfect mobility
    JEL: H54 H2 H4 J3 R2
    Date: 2017–03
  14. By: Thomas Dee; Elise Dizon-Ross
    Abstract: States that received federal waivers to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act were required to implement reforms in designated "Focus Schools" that contribute to achievement gaps. In this study, we examine the performance effects of such "differentiated accountability" reforms in the state of Louisiana. The Focus School reforms in Louisiana emphasized school-needs assessments and aligned technical assistance. These state reforms may have also been uniquely high-powered because they were linked to a new letter-based school-rating system. We examine the impact of these reforms in a sharp regression discontinuity (RD) design based on the assignment of schools to Focus status. We find that, over each of three years, Louisiana's Focus School reforms had no measurable impact on school performance. We discuss evidence that these findings may reflect policy uncertainty and implementation fidelity at the state and local level.
    JEL: H70 I2
    Date: 2017–06
  15. By: MARTINEZ Isabel
    Abstract: This paper analyzes mobility responses to a large, regressive local income tax cut benefiting the top 1% in the Swiss Canton of Obwalden in 2006. DiD estimations comparing Obwalden with neighboring cantons confirm that the reform was successful in increasing the share of rich taxpayers in the canton (+20-30%). Using individual tax data, I find a large elasticity of the inflow of rich taxpayers with respect to the average net-of-tax rate ranging from 3.2 to 6.5. DiD estimates of cantonal revenue, however, show that the tax cuts did not lead to an increase in cantonal tax revenue per capita. This is in line with a theoretical analysis suggesting Obwalden was not on the wrong side of the Laffer curve before the reform.
    Keywords: Mobility; Personal income tax; Tax competition; Local taxes; Regressive income tax
    JEL: H31
    Date: 2017–05
  16. By: Murard, Elie (IZA)
    Abstract: I examine the effect of immigrant inflows in Europe on natives' individual attitudes towards redistribu-tion and immigration policy over the last decade. Unlike previous studies, I analyze the evolution over time of these two types of attitudes in a joint empirical framework. Using migration data at the NUTS regional level from the European Labor Force Survey and individual attitudes data from the European Social Survey, I exploit variation over time and across regions in the size and composition of immigrant inflows. I address the endogeneity of immigrant inflows by using a shift share instrument and within-country specification. I find evidence coherent with a theoretical model in which individual attitudes depend essentially on how immigration is perceived to affect wages and net welfare benefits. Specifi-cally, I find that, when immigrants tend to compete with natives for jobs (due to having similar skills or occupations), natives prefer policies that support welfare and put restrictions on migration. When mi-grants are mostly low-skilled (high-skilled), European citizens typically favor lower (higher) levels of redistribution.
    Keywords: immigration, welfare state, political economy
    JEL: F22 F1 J61
    Date: 2017–05
  17. By: Pieter Gautier (VU Amsterdam and Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands); Arjen Siegmann (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Aico van Vuuren (University of Gothenburg)
    Abstract: Do higher real-estate agent fees imply better performance? This study uses a nation-wide data set of residential real-estate transactions in the Netherlands from 1985 to 2011 to provide evidence against this. Brokers with a flat-fee structure who charge an up-front fee (which is substantially lower than the average fee of traditional brokers) and leave the viewings to the seller sell faster and at - on average - 2.7 percent higher prices. We correct for fixed house- and time effects. We provide additional evidence that the price dfference is not due to a seller-selection effect.
    Keywords: real-estate brokers, broker incentives, housing, agency
    JEL: D80 L10 L80 R20 R30
    Date: 2017–05–31
  18. By: Daniel Garrett; Andrey Ordin; James W. Roberts; Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato
    Abstract: We show that the effect of tax advantages of municipal bonds on the market microstructure of municipal bond auctions is a crucial determinant of state and local governments’ borrowing costs. Reduced-form estimates show that increasing the tax advantage by 3 pp. lowers mean borrowing costs by 9-10%, consistent with a greater than-unity passthrough elasticity. Non-parametric evidence shows that strategic participation and bidding in imperfectly-competitive auctions generates this greater-than-unity passthrough. Using a structural auction model to evaluate the efficiency of Obama and Trump administration proposals, we find that the reduction in municipal borrowing costs is 2.8-times the revenue cost of the tax advantage.
    JEL: D44 H71 L13
    Date: 2017–06
  19. By: Tamayo, Adrian
    Abstract: This paper argues that the number of states or regional units the Philippine should have when it will federalize the country must be limited to 5. This claim meets the Samuelsonian principle of welfare theorem where marginal social cost is equal to marginal social benefit. The paper also argues that the states or regional governments should have the limited to earn revenue through taxing powers which will be used to spend for government operations. In this manner, efficiency is achieved and control of the federal government on the affairs of the states and regional governments is limited primarily to transfers through equalization parameters.
    Keywords: Fiscal powers, Philippine federalism, welfare analysis
    JEL: H3 H30 H72 H75
    Date: 2017–06–06
  20. By: EHLERS, Lars; MORRILL, Thayer
    Abstract: In public school choice, students with strict preferences are assigned to schools. Schools are endowed with priorities over students. Incorporating different constraints from applications, priorities are often modeled as choice functions over sets of students. It has been argued that the most desirable criterion for an assignment is fairness; there should not be a student having justified envy in the following way: he prefers some school to his assigned school and has higher priority than some student who got into that school. Justified envy could cause court cases. We propose the following fairness notion for a set of assignments: a set of assignments is legal if and only if any assignment outside the set has justified envy with some assignment in the set and no two assignments inside the set block each other via justified envy. We show that under very basic conditions on priorities, there always exists a unique legal set of assignments, and that this set has a structure common to the set of fair assignments: (i) it is a lattice and (ii) it satisfies the rural-hospitals theorem. This is the first contribution providing a "set-wise" solution for many-to-one matching problems where priorities are not necessarily responsive and schools are not active agents.
    JEL: C78 D61 D78 I20
    Date: 2017
  21. By: Yasusada Murata (Nihon University Population Research Institute (NUPRI); and University Research Center, Nihon University.); Ryo Nakajima (Faculty of Economics, Keio University); Ryuichi Tamura (Faculty of Economics, Keio University)
    Abstract: Recent empirical studies document that knowledge spillovers attenuate and industry localization decays with distance. It is thus imperative to detect localization accurately especially at short distances. We propose a new approach to testing for localization that corrects the first-order bias at and near the boundary in existing methods while retaining all desirable properties at interior points. Employing the NBER U.S. Patent Citations Data File, we illustrate the performance of our localization measure based on local linear density estimators. Our results suggest that the existing kernel density methods and regression approaches can be substantially biased at short distances.
    Keywords: localization, knowledge spillovers, local linear density, boundary bias, micro-geographic data
    JEL: R12 O31
    Date: 2017–05–03
  22. By: D. Fougère; R. Lecat; S. Ray
    Abstract: in this paper, we investigate the effect of real estate prices on productive investment. We build a simple theoretical framework of firms’ investment with credit rationing and real estate collateral. We show that real estate prices affect firms’ borrowing capacities through two channels. An increase in real estate prices raises the value of the firms’ pledgeable assets and mitigates the agency problem characterizing the creditor-entrepreneur relationship. It simultaneously cuts the expected profit due to the increase in the cost of inputs. While the literature only focuses on the first channel, the identification of the second channel allows for heterogeneous effects of real estate prices on investment across firms. We test our theoretical predictions using a large French database. We do find heterogeneous effects of real estate prices on productive investment depending on the position of the firms in the sectoral distributions of real estate holdings. Our preferred estimates indicate that a 10% increase in real estate prices causes a 1% decrease in the investment rate of firms in the first decile of the distribution but a 6% increase in the investment rate of firms belonging to the last decile.
    Keywords: Firms’ investment, Real estate prices, Collateral channel, Financial constraints.
    JEL: D22 G30 O52 R30
    Date: 2017
  23. By: Fletcher, Jason M. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Abstract: A maturing literature across the social sciences suggests important impacts of the intergenerational transmission of crime as well as peer effects that determine youth criminal activities. This paper ex-plores these channels by examining gender-specific effects of maternal and paternal incarceration from both own-parents and classmate-parents. This paper also adds to the literature by exploiting across-cohort, within school exposure to peer parent incarceration to enhance causal inference. While the intergenerational correlations of criminal activities are similar by gender (father-son/mother-son), the results suggest that peer parent incarceration transmits effects largely along gender lines, which is suggestive of specific learning mechanisms. Peer maternal incarceration increases adolescent female criminal activities and reduces male crime and the reverse is true for peer paternal incarceration. These effects are strongest for youth reports of selling drugs and engaging in physical violence. In contrast, the effects of peer parental incarceration on other outcomes, such as GPA, do not vary by gender.
    Keywords: crime, peer effects, intergenerational transmission
    JEL: J00 J24 J62
    Date: 2017–05
  24. By: Federico Belotti (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Edoardo Di Porto (Università di Napoli Federico II, CSEF and UCFS, Uppsala University); Gianluca Santoni (CEPII)
    Abstract: Spatial differencing is a spatial data transformation pioneered by Holmes (1998) increasingly used to estimate casual effects with non-experimental data. Recently, this transformation has been widely used to deal with omitted variable bias generated by local or site-specific unobservables in a “boundary-discontinuity” design setting. However, as well known in this literature, spatial differencing makes inference problematic. Indeed, given a specific distance threshold, a sample unit may be the neighbor of a number of units on the opposite side of a specific boundary inducing correlation between all differenced observations that share a common sample unit. By recognizing that the spatial differencing transformation produces a special form of dyadic data, we show that the dyadic-robust variance matrix estimator proposed by Cameron and Miller (2014) is, in general, a better solution compared to the most commonly used estimators.
    Keywords: Spatial differencing, Boundary discontinuity, robust inference, dyadic data.
    JEL: C12 C21
    Date: 2017–06–01
  25. By: García, Jorge Luis (University of Chicago); Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago); Leaf, Duncan Ermini (University of Southern California); Prados, Maria José (University of Southern California)
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the experimentally evaluated life-cycle benefits of a widely implemented early childhood program targeting disadvantaged families. We join experimental data with non-experimental data using economic models to forecast its life-cycle benefits. Our baseline estimate of the internal rate of return (benefit/cost ratio) is 13.7% (7.3). We conduct extensive sensitivity analyses to account for model estimation error, forecasting error, and judgments made about the empirical magnitudes of non-market benefits. We examine the performance of widely used, ad hoc estimates of long-term benefit/cost ratios based on short-term measures of childhood test scores and find them wanting.
    Keywords: childcare, early childhood education, life-cycle benefits, long-term forecasts, rates of return
    JEL: J13 I28 C93
    Date: 2017–05
  26. By: Andrew Eyles; Stephen Machin; Olmo Silva
    Abstract: The English education system has undergone large-scale restructuring through the introduction of academy schools. The most salient feature of these schools is that, despite remaining part of the state sector, they operate with more autonomy than the predecessors they replaced. Two distinct time periods of academy school introduction have taken place, under the auspices of different governments. The first batch was initiated in the 2002/03 school year by the Labour government of the time, and was a school improvement programme directly aimed at turning around badly performing schools. The second batch involved a mass academisation process following the change of government in May 2010 and the Academies Act of that year, which resulted in increased heterogeneity of new academies. This paper compares the two batches of introduction with the aim of getting a better understanding of their similarities and differences, and their importance for education policy. To do so, we study what types of schools were more likely to change to academy status in the two programmes, and the impact of this change on the quality of new pupil enrolments into the new types of school. Whilst we do point out some similarities, these are the exception rather than the norm. For the most part, our analysis reveals a number of marked dissimilarities between the two programmes, in terms of both the characteristics of schools that become academies and the changes in pupil intakes that occurred post-conversion.
    Keywords: Academies; Pupil Intake
    JEL: I20 I21 I28
    Date: 2017–05–27
  27. By: Cavalieri, M.; Di Caro, P.; Guccio, C.; Lisi, D.;
    Abstract: With respect to the other dimensions of hospital behaviour, studying the presence of interaction effects on efficiency involves the issue of which approach is most appropriate to incorporate the spatial dependence in the empirical efficiency model. Using a large sample of Italian hospitals, this paper explores the presence of spatial dependence in technical efficiency. To this purpose, we employ a Spatial Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SSFA) that allows us to robustly estimate the efficiency of each hospital while considering the presence of spatial dependence. Furthermore, we employ both standard spatial contiguity matrix and spatial matrixes exploring the idea of institutional contiguity. Overall, the results suggest an insignificant role for spatial dependence in the efficiency of Italian hospitals, regardless of the specific form of spatial dependence implicit in the weights matrix.
    Keywords: technical efficiency; hospitals; spatial dependence; SSFA;
    JEL: C21 I11 D61
    Date: 2017–06
  28. By: Emma Baker; Andrew Beer; Laurence Lester; David Pevalin; Christine M E Whitehead; Rebecca Bentley
    Abstract: In seeking to understand the relationship between housing and health, research attention is often focussed on separate components of people’s whole housing ‘bundles’. We propose in this paper that such conceptual and methodological abstraction of elements of the housing and health relationship limits our ability to understand the scale of the accumulated effect of housing on health and thereby contributes to the under-recognition of adequate housing as a social policy tool and powerful health intervention. In this paper, we propose and describe an index to capture the means by which housing bundles influence health. We conceptualise the index as reflecting accumulated housing “insults to health”—an Index of Housing Insults (IHI). We apply the index to a sample of 1000 low-income households in Australia. The analysis shows a graded association between housing insults and health on all outcome measures. Further, after controlling for possible confounders, the IHI is shown to provide additional predictive power to the explanation of levels of mental health, general health and clinical depression beyond more traditional proxy measures. Overall, this paper reinforces the need to look not just at separate housing components but to embrace a broader understanding of the relationship between housing and health.
    Keywords: housing; health; index; longitudinal
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2017–05–26
  29. By: Kuroki, Masanori
    Abstract: This paper presents empirical evidence that racial diversity and immigrant population at the local level tend to be associated with lower life satisfaction for Whites by matching individual data with the county-level population data during the period 2005-2010. The magnitudes I find suggest that a ten percentage-point increase in the share of the non-White population (approximately one-half of a standard deviation) is associated with 0.006 and 0.007 points reduction in life satisfaction on a four-point scale for White men and White women, respectively. For White men, this effect appears to be driven by the percentage of the population that is Black. I also find that a ten percentage-point increase in the percentage of the immigrant population (approximately two standard deviations) is associated with 0.009 and 0.021 points reduction in life satisfaction for White men and White women, respectively. The percentage of the non-White population seems to reduce older Whites’ life satisfaction more than that of younger Whites. Though the scale of the findings relating to the impact of local racial compositions and immigrant population is relatively modest, the findings may pose a challenge in the coming years as the percentage of the population that is non-White rises in the United States.
    Keywords: life satisfaction,happiness,well-being,racial,immigration
    JEL: J15 I31
    Date: 2017
  30. By: Adrienne LeBas
    Abstract: In the developing world, clientelism is common. In Africa, public office is often used to redistribute resources to ethnically defined constituencies, and this form of clientelistic exchange is a key determinant of vote choice. Does clientelistic exchange shape trust in elected officials as well? And does it continue to do so as cross-ethnic contact and integration increase? This paper uses public opinion data from urban Nigeria to investigate how an individual’s social position and experiences with the state affect trust in elected officials, especially at the local level. The paper finds that the trust deficit associated with local ethnic minority status does not significantly diminish as these individuals integrate. For members of locally dominant groups, greater crossethnic contact and lessened reliance on ethnicity actually dampen expressed trust in local elected officials. These findings suggest the need for greater attention to cross-ethnic contact when evaluating the political implications of ethnic inequality.
    Date: 2017
  31. By: ITF
    Abstract: This report examines air pollution mitigation strategies in Mexico City. It identifies a series of measures that can strengthen current approaches to air pollution mitigation adopted in Mexico's capital as well as nationally. Recommendation include actions in policy areas such as emissions standards and testing, incentives for cleaner vehicles, fuel quality, inspection and maintenance, restrictions on vehicle use, parking regulation and speed limits, air quality plans, enhancement and promotion of sustainable transport modes as well as improving enforcement and public communication. The publication assembles the findings of a workshop organised by the ITF and the Development Bank for Latin America (CAF) together with the Ministry of Environment of Mexico City (SEDEMA) in January 2017. This report is part of the International Transport Forum’s Case-Specific Policy Analysis series. These are topical studies on specific issues carried out by the ITF in agreement with local institutions.
    Date: 2017–06–09
  32. By: Jorge Luis García; James J. Heckman; Duncan Ermini Leaf; María José Prados
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the experimentally evaluated life-cycle benefits of a widely implemented early childhood program targeting disadvantaged families. We join experimental data with non-experimental data using economic models to forecast its life-cycle benefits. Our baseline estimate of the internal rate of return (benefit/cost ratio) is 13.7% (7.3). We conduct extensive sensitivity analyses to account for model estimation error, forecasting error, and judgments made about the empirical magnitudes of non-market benefits. We examine the performance of widely used, ad hoc estimates of long-term benefit/cost ratios based on short-term measures of childhood test scores and find them wanting.
    JEL: C93 I28 J13
    Date: 2017–06
  33. By: Laszlo Lorincz (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Corvinus University of Budapest); Julia Koltai (Centre for Social Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest); Anna Fruzsina Gyor (Corvinus University of Budapest); Karoly Takacs (MTA TK "Lendulet" Research Center for Educational and Network Studies (RECENS))
    Abstract: The rise and popularity of online social networks is a recent phenomenon. In this study, we analyze the reasons and mechanisms behind the collapse of an online social network (OSN), iWiW. Significant cascading mechanisms have been identified in the pattern of abandoning the site at its peak of popularity and after. It is of key importance to study who were the key actors that started these cascades and abandoned the site early compared to others in their network. We contrasted explanations based on preserving accumulated social capital vs. building new social capital with motives influenced by innovativeness. On the one hand, those who are well embedded in their existing network have more to lose. On the other hand, people might want to escape from redundancy and indebtedness indicated by a high local clustering coefficient. We find with heterogeneous choice models that lower degree and a high local clustering are associated with early abandonment. The significant effects of age and innovativeness that depend on the life stage of the OSN indicate that mechanisms related to social capital are not the only reasons for the collapse.
    Keywords: online social networks, social capital, innovation, embeddedness
    JEL: D70 D85
    Date: 2017–03
  34. By: Luigi Campiglio (DISCE, Università Cattolica)
    Abstract: Better nutrition and comfortable housing are complements in the capability space: however, for the poor and low-income families food and housing can be substitutes in the commodity space. We take Engel law to implement a simple food-based measure of absolute-poverty in a developed country, asking the question of who is paying the burden of the austerity policies in Italy. Food-based poverty measures are countercyclical, as well as the Sen index: boom and bust of housing and land bubble are a further burden on the poor. A major cause of absolute-poverty comes in the form of a negative market externality of the housing market: poor families pay “too much” for housing costs, forcing a constraint on food consumption for the worst-off. The share of fixed costs, food and housing, in 2013, was 49% for all the three main subsets, shifting upward since 1997. OLS and 2SLS estimates for 10 family types, North and South, lend support to the substitution effect between food and housing, and confirm a high degree of heterogeneity, even within the same family type and geographical area. Children and their families in absolute-poverty are the most hit group by the economic crisis: young families lost grounds. Absolute-poverty rates are higher for the families living in rented houses and with a lower level of education. Negative housing externalities on poverty could be balanced empowering women and children for their positive externalities.
    Keywords: Absolute-poverty, Food, House, Land, Austerity, Italy
    JEL: D12 D62 I32 R30
    Date: 2017–04
  35. By: Elena Pelinescu (Institute of Economic Forecasting); Marioara Iordan (Institute of Economic Forecasting); Nona Chilian (Institute of Economic Forecasting); Mihaela Simionescu (Institute of Economic Forecasting)
    Abstract: The paper approaches the issue of regional competitiveness in Romania, focusing on simple tools for analysis, namely the shift-share analysis (introduced by Dunn in 1960) and specific competitiveness indicators: RCA, RCA1 and RCA2. As documented in the literature, the level of such indicators and the changes that occur in their levels are key factors for an analysis of economic and social performance at regional and sub-regional levels (D’Elia, 2005; Chilian, 2012; Iordan et al., 2014; Pelinescu, 2015). The classical form of shift-share analysis chosen by the authors envisages to “divide†the dynamics of a certain growth factor in a certain region into three components: national, sectoral and regional. Given such issues, by using the sectoral shift-share analysis of exports completed by the indices-based competitiveness analysis in the paper will be identified the regions of Romania which reveal dynamics of their economic structures conducing to high levels of external competitiveness (and, thus, to a higher degree of integration into the European Single Market), and to sustainable specializations, adequate to the requirements of building a modern economy, with high flexibility and high technological level.
    Keywords: regional competitiveness, Romanian regions and counties, comparative advantage / disadvantage indices, shift-share analysis
    JEL: F14 R12 R15
    Date: 2017–01
  36. By: Yang, Yang (Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of highway expansion on aggregate productivity growth and sectoral reallocation between cities in China. To do so, I construct a unique dataset of bilateral transportation costs between Chinese cities, digitized highway network maps, and firm-level census. I first derive and estimate a market access measure for cities in China from 1995 to 2005. I then examine the channels through which the highway infrastructure affected economic outcomes. The results suggest that highways promoted aggregate productivity growth by facilitating the entry of new firms and reallocation among existing firms. I estimate the aggregate economic impact of China's national highway system and find that eliminating all highways in China would decrease aggregate productivity by 3.2%. There is also evidence that the national highway system led to a sectoral reallocation between cities in China.
    Keywords: Transport infrastructure, trade, highway, productivity, China
    JEL: F10 H54 O18 O40 R10
    Date: 2017–05–26
  37. By: Christiaensen, Luc; Kanbur, Ravi
    Abstract: This review is framed around the exploration of a central hypothesis: A shift in public investment towards secondary towns from big cities will improve poverty reduction performance. Of course the hypothesis raises many questions. What exactly is the dichotomy of secondary towns versus big cities? What is the evidence for the contribution of secondary towns versus cities to poverty reduction? What are the economic mechanisms for such a differential contribution and how does policy interact with them? We find preliminary evidence and arguments in support of our hypothesis, but the impacts of policy on poverty are quite complex even in simple settings, and the question of secondary towns and poverty reduction is an open area for research and policy analysis.
    Keywords: Mega Cities; Poverty Reduction; Rural-Urban Migration; Secondary Towns; Urbanization; Zipf’s Law
    Date: 2017–06
  38. By: Sebastian Till Braun (University of St Andrews); Nadja Dwenger (University of Hohenheim)
    Abstract: This paper studies how the local environment in receiving counties affected the economic, social, and political integration of the eight million expellees who arrived in West Germany after World War II. We first document that integration outcomes differed dramatically across West German counties. We then show that more industrialized counties and counties with low expellee inflows were much more successful in integrating expellees than agrarian counties and counties with high inflows. Religious differences between native West Germans and expellees had no effect on labor market outcomes, but reduced inter-marriage rates and increased the local support for anti-expellee parties.
    Keywords: Expellees; Forced migration; Immigration; Integration; Post-War Germany
    JEL: J15 J61 N34 C36
    Date: 2017–05–30
  39. By: Remi Jedwab (George Washington University); Mark Koyama (George Mason University); Noel Johnson (George Mason University)
    Abstract: In this paper we study the Black Death persecutions (1347-1352) against Jews in order to shed light on the factors determining when a minority group will face persecution. We develop a theoretical framework which predicts that negative shocks increase the likelihood that minorities are scapegoated and persecuted. By contrast, as the shocks become more severe, persecution probability may actually decrease if there are eco- nomic complementarities between the majority and minority groups. We compile city- level data on Black Death mortality and Jewish persecution. At an aggregate level we find that scapegoating led to an increase in the baseline probability of a persecution. However, at the city-level, locations which experienced higher plague mortality rates were less likely to engage in persecutions. Furthermore, persecutions were more likely in cities with a history of antisemitism (consistent with scapegoating) and less likely in cities where Jews played an important economic role (consistent with inter-group complementarities).
    Keywords: Ethnic Conflict; Religious Conflict; Minorities; Persecutions; Massacres; Libels; Black Death; Jewish Economic History; Middle Ages; Epidemics; Cities; Trade
    JEL: J15 D74 Z12 N33 N43 O1 R1

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