nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2018‒04‒02
forty-nine papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Tourism and regional development: a spatial econometric model for Portugal at municipal level By Ana Catarina Vieira; Luis Delfim Santos
  2. Growth and the geography of knowledge By Marta Aloi; Joanna Poyago-Theotoky; Frederic Tournemaine
  3. Family Background, School Choice, and Students’ Academic Performance: Evidence from Sri Lanka By Harsha Aturupane; Tomokazu Nomura; Mari Shojo
  4. Recovering Social Networks from Panel Data: Identification, Simulations and an Application By De Paula, Áureo; Rasul, Imran; Souza, Pedro
  5. Boosting taxes for boasting about houses? Status concerns in the housing market By Schünemann, Johannes; Trimborn, Timo
  6. A tiger by the tail: estimating the UK mortgage market vulnerabilities from loan-level data By Chakraborty, Chiranjit; Gimpelewicz, Mariana; Uluc, Arzu
  7. Condominium Prices and Inflation: The Role of Financial Inflows and Transaction Volumes in Japan By Jun Nagayasu
  8. Financial Fragility with SAM? By Tim Landvoigt; Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh; Daniel Greenwald
  9. Class composition and student achievement: Evidence from Portugal By João Firmino; Luís Catela Nunes; Ana Balcão Reis; Carmo Seabra
  10. Medical Malpractice Reforms and the Location Decisions of New Physicians By Pinka Chatterji; Siyang Li; Gerald R. Marschke
  11. Growth and agglomeration in the heterogeneous space: A generalized AK approach By Raouf Boucekkine; Giorgio Fabbri; Salvatore Federico; Fausto Gozzi
  12. Human Capital Effects of Kindergarten and School Enrolment Timing By Agnes Szabo-Morvai; Daniel Horn; Anna Lovasz; Kristof De Witte
  13. Down payment and mortgage rates: evidence from equity loans By Benetton, Matteo; Bracke, Philippe; Garbarino, Nicola
  14. Does increasing compulsory education decrease or displace adolescent crime? New evidence from administrative and victimization datail By Ylenia Brilli; Marco Tonello
  15. “Causes of Sprawl”: A (Further) Public Finance Extension By McMillan, Melville L.
  16. Gender and Peer Effects on Performance in Social Networks By Julie Beugnot Marie Claire Villeval; Bernard Fortin; Guy Lacroix; Marie Claire Villeval
  17. Residential Satisfaction for a Continuum of Households: Evidence from European Countries By Riccardo, Borgoni; Alessandra, Michelangeli; Federica, Pirola;
  18. Agglomeration patterns in a multi-regional economy without income effects By José M. Gaspar; Sofia B.S.D. Castro; João Correia-da-Silva
  19. Stress Tests and Small Business Lending By Kristle Cortés; Yuliya Demyanyk; Lei Li; Elena Loutskina; Philip E. Strahan
  20. Culture, Diversity, and the Welfare State By Klaus Gründler; Sebastian Köllner
  21. Spillovers in space and time: where spatial econometrics and Global VAR models meet By Elhorst, J. Paul; Gross, Marco; Tereanu, Eugen
  22. Mortgages: estimating default correlation and forecasting default risk By Neumann, Tobias
  23. Ice(berg) Transport Costs By Maarten Bosker; Eltjo Buringh
  24. Manufacturing (Co)Agglomeration in a Transition Country: Evidence from Russia By Ekaterina Aleksandrova; Kristian Behrens; Maria Kuznetsova
  25. The impact of patent protection on R&D. Evidence using export markets. By Joel Blit; Mikal Skuterud; Jue Zhang
  26. Integrating Community, Creativity, and Literacy to Support Refugees Transitioning to Our Schools and Community By Kara Kavanagh; Holly McCartney
  27. Demographic trends and the real interest rate By Lisack, Noëmie; Sajedi, Rana; Thwaites, Gregory
  28. Inter-Ethnic Friendship and Hostility between Roma and Non-Roma Students in Hungary - The Role of Exposure and Academic Achievement By Tamas Hajdu; Gabor Kertesi; Gabor Kezdi
  29. The role of infrastructure efficiency in economic development – the case of underused highways in Europe By José Pedro Pontes; Joana Pais
  30. How Much Does Anticipation Matter? Evidence from Anticipated Regulation and Land Prices By Branko Boskovic; Linda Nøstbakken
  31. The Impact of Healthy Harlem on the Body Mass Index and Weight Status of Adolescents after Two and Three Years By Martha Bleeker; James Mabli; Mary Kay Fox; Betina Jean-Louis; Marlene Fox
  32. The Effect of R&D Growth on Employment and Self-Employment in Local Labour Markets By Tommaso Ciarli; Alberto Marzucchi; Edgar Salgado; Maria Savona
  33. Early Childcare and Child Non-Cognitive Outcomes By Daniela Del Boca; Enrica Maria Martino; Chiara Pronzato
  34. Can HRM Improve Schools' Performance? By Bryson, Alex; Stokes, Lucy; Wilkinson, David
  35. A Nonparametric Approach to Measure the Heterogeneous Spatial Association: Under Spatial Temporal Data By Zihao Yuan; Qing Zhang; Yunxia Li
  36. Segregation in an era of inclusion? The role of special classes in Irish mainstream schools By Banks, Joanne; McCoy, Selina
  38. The Geographic Flow of Bank Funding and Access to Credit: Branch Networks and Local-Market Competition By Victor Aguirregabiria; Robert Clark; Hui Wang
  39. Equilibrium selection and stability in dynamic core-periphery models with heterogeneous preferences By DELLOYE Justin; PEETERS Dominique; THARAKAN Joe
  40. Value Added, Wages, and Labor Market Flows at the Establishment Level By Merkl, Christian; Stüber, Heiko
  41. Municipally owned enterprises: Nested principal-agent relations and conditions for accountability By Bergh, Andreas; Erlingsson, Gissur; Gustafsson, Anders; Wittberg, Emanuel
  42. The value of data: an analysis of closed-urban-data-based and open-data-based business models By Bruno Carballa Smichowski
  43. On Quantitative Spatial Economic Models By Kristian Behrens; Yasusada Murata
  44. Race, Representation and Local Governments in the US South: the effect of the Voting Rights Act By Bernini, Andrea; Facchini, Giovanni; Testa, Cecilia
  45. International Technology Sourcing and Knowledge Spillovers: Evidence from OECD Countries By Sophia Chen; Estelle Dauchy
  46. Prices, Policing and Policy: The Dynamics of Crime Booms and Busts By Tom Kirchmaier; Stephen Machin; Matteo Sandi; Robert Witt
  47. Upward Income Mobility and Legislator Support for Education Policies By Bellani, Luna; Fabella, Vigile Marie
  48. Financial inclusion of urban street vendors in Kigali By Irankunda, D.; van Bergeijk, P.A.G.
  49. Do Ban the Box Laws Increase Crime? By Joseph J. Sabia; Taylor Mackay; Thanh Tam Nguyen; Dhaval M. Dave

  1. By: Ana Catarina Vieira (Faculdade de Economia do Porto); Luis Delfim Santos (Faculdade de Economia do Porto)
    Abstract: This study examines the importance of tourism as a factor for regional economic development in Mainland Portugal, emphasizing the inter-regional spatial spillover effects. A spatial analysis of the main variables of the tourism sector revealed strong evidence of positive spatial autocorrelation across the municipalities of Portugal. A significant spatial clustering of these activities on coastal location was identified, leading to the formation of hot spots in coastal regions and cold spots in inland regions. Furthermore, this work specifies spatial econometric models aiming to estimate the relevance of the tourism sector in regional economic development, on a municipal level. The results show that tourism is a significant driver of regional economic development. Moreover, they revealed the presence of positive and significant inter-regional spillover effects, which strongly enhance tourism’s economic impact.
    Keywords: tourism sector; spillover effects; spatial econometrics; Portugal
    JEL: C21 R12
    Date: 2017–05
  2. By: Marta Aloi; Joanna Poyago-Theotoky; Frederic Tournemaine
    Abstract: We analyse how spatial disparities in innovation activities, coupled with migration costs, affect economic geography, growth and regional inequality. We provide conditions for existence and uniqueness of a spatial equilibrium, and for the endogenous emergence of industry clusters. Spatial variations in knowledge spillovers lead to spatial concentration of more innovative firms. Migration costs, however, limit the concentration of economic activities in the most productive region. Narrowing the gap in knowledge spillovers across regions raises growth, and reduces regional inequality by making firms more sensitive to wage differentials. The associated change in the spatial concentration of industries has positive welfare effects.
    Keywords: Growth; Economic geography; Geographic labour mobility; Innovation; Knowledge spillovers; Regional economics
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Harsha Aturupane (The World Bank); Tomokazu Nomura (Aichi Gakuin University and Kobe University); Mari Shojo (The World Bank)
    Abstract: Sri Lanka has made great strides in increasing access to schooling. The country stands out as the only country in South Asia that has attained universal primary completion. Despite this past progress, Sri Lankan students still display weak performance. The key challenge now is to enhance the quality of education and improve student academic performance. This paper investigates how the student- and school-level factors are related to the academic performance of Sri Lankan grade 8 students in public schools. It also analyzes the factors related to school choice and how the school choice affects the students’ performance. The results of the study suggest that there are large dispersion of average test score among the schools. Looking at the school type, Type 1AB schools outperforms the other types of schools. Students who come from a family with high socioeconomic status are more likely to attend Type 1AB school, and treatment effect of attending Type 1AB school on academic performance is considerably large. Socioeconomic status also explains a significant part of dispersion of academic performance within a school. However, the result does not clearly show the relation between the observable characteristics of the teachers and academic performance of the students.
    Keywords: education, academic performance, school choice, socioeconomic status
    JEL: I25 O15
    Date: 2018–03
  4. By: De Paula, Áureo; Rasul, Imran; Souza, Pedro
    Abstract: It is almost self-evident that social interactions can determine economic behavior and outcomes. Yet, information on social ties does not exist in most publicly available and widely used datasets. We present methods to recover information on the entire structure of social networks from observational panel data that contains no information on social ties between individuals. In the context of a canonical social interactions model, we provide sufficient conditions under which the social interactions matrix, endogenous and exogenous social effect parameters are all globally identified. We describe how high-dimensional estimation techniques can be used to estimate the model based on the Adaptive Elastic Net GMM method. We showcase our method in Monte Carlo simulations using two stylized and two real world network structures. Finally, we employ our method to study tax competition across US states. We find the identified network structure of tax competition differs markedly from the common assumption of tax competition between geographically neighboring states. We analyze the identified social interactions matrix to provide novel insights into the long-standing debate on the relative roles of factor mobility and yardstick competition in driving tax setting behavior across states. Most broadly, our method shows how the analysis of social interactions can be usefully extended to economic realms where no network data exists.
    Date: 2018–03
  5. By: Schünemann, Johannes; Trimborn, Timo
    Abstract: There is empirical evidence that households use residential houses as status goods. In particular, people are shown to compare their houses with those at the top of the distribution. In this paper, we introduce a residential housing sector and status concerns for housing into a neoclassical model with heterogeneous agents. We find that status concerns exert a negative externality and calculate a progressive Pigovian tax schedule that corrects for the externality, implying a housing tax for rich households of 4.6%. Implementing the tax schedule is associated with a sizable welfare gain. We also find that when the utilitarian social planner is constrained to housing taxes, Pigovian taxation is not constrained efficient. Further increasing the tax for rich households to 7.9% would maximize welfare in the constrained optimum.
    Keywords: Status Concerns,Residential Housing,Pigovian Tax,Constrained Efficiency
    JEL: O10 D10 H21 R31
    Date: 2018
  6. By: Chakraborty, Chiranjit (Bank of England); Gimpelewicz, Mariana (Bank of England); Uluc, Arzu (Bank of England)
    Abstract: Following the global financial crisis, macroprudential regulators in a number of countries took actions to mitigate risks arising from stressed mortgage markets to financial and economic stability. Having disaggregated information on the stock of mortgages allows policymakers to analyse particular cohorts of the market that may be more vulnerable to stress, and model how these cohorts may evolve in the future and might affect the outlook for financial and economic stability. To this end, we produce the first ever estimate of the current stock of all regulated UK mortgages at the level of individual loans using data from the flow of new mortgages. We use loan-level information of 14 million UK mortgages at the point each loan was originated or re-mortgaged. Using a series of algorithms from Computer Science, we identify individual loans in the flow of lending that are likely to be still in the stock at different points in time. Then we estimate how key characteristics of mortgages (including borrower incomes, house prices and outstanding loan amounts) are likely to have evolved over time since origination. We validate our overall model by comparing key variables to information available from other sources that provide partial characteristics of the stock, including household surveys and regulatory returns. Our stock estimate suggests that there may have been more vulnerable borrowers in recent years than household surveys suggest. Finally, we illustrate the type of cohort analysis that can be done using the loan-level estimate.
    Keywords: Mortgage market; housing market; matching; loan-level data; stock model
    JEL: D04 E24 G21 R20 R21 R23 R31
    Date: 2017–12–21
  7. By: Jun Nagayasu
    Abstract: We investigate the dynamics of condominium prices by using a new dataset contain- ing national and regional data on prices and disaggregate transaction volumes for Japan. In particular, we are interested in the role of capital inflows and transaction volumes, which have recently been discussed worldwide as important determinants of property prices. First, by using the multivariate cointegration method, we show that the condominium market has not experienced real estate bubbles since 2008. We document several economic fundamentals; notably, real income, mortgage rates, and capital flows, have influenced the long-term trend in condominium prices. Sec- ond, on some occasions, we find that condominium price inflation can be explained by transaction volumes, which are positively linked to information inflows, consis- tent with the market microstructure model. Transaction volumes influence price inflation in Tokyo, in particular at times of high market activities.
    Date: 2018–03
  8. By: Tim Landvoigt (University of Texas at Austin); Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh (New York University); Daniel Greenwald (MIT)
    Abstract: Shared Appreciation Mortgages (SAMs) feature mortgage payments that adjust with house prices. Such mortgage contracts can stave off home owner default by providing payment relief in the wake of a large house price shock. SAMs have been hailed as an innovative solution that could prevent the next foreclosure crisis, act as a work-out tool during a crisis, and alleviate fiscal pressure during a downturn. They have inspired Fintech companies to offer home equity contracts. However, the home owner’s gains are the mortgage lender’s losses. We consider a model with financial intermediaries who channel savings from saver households to borrower households. The financial sector has limited risk bearing capacity. SAMs pass through more aggregate house price risk and lead to financial fragility when the shock happens in periods of low intermediary capital. We compare house prices,mortgage rates, the size of the mortgage sector, default and refinancing rates, as well as borrower and saver consumption between an economy with standard mortgage contracts and an economy with SAMs.
    Date: 2017
  9. By: João Firmino; Luís Catela Nunes; Ana Balcão Reis; Carmo Seabra
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of several class compositional dimensions on individual student achievement. We make use of a rich dataset that allows tackling major endogeneity concerns stemming from non-random allocation of students between and within schools. We find that increasing the percentage of high achievers in a 6th grade class has a negative effect on student performance, while in a 9th grade class the effect is in general non-significant. Students with no past retentions do better with an increasing proportion of this same type of classmate. Larger shares of low-income classmates hurt performance in general. Apart from the past retention dimension in which there is evidence supporting students’ tracking, along all other compositional dimensions each class should reflect the respective school-grade population heterogeneity. Class composition rearrangements are estimated to provide a larger increment to performance than comparable reductions of class size. JEL codes: I21
    Keywords: class composition; peer effects; student achievement
    Date: 2018
  10. By: Pinka Chatterji; Siyang Li; Gerald R. Marschke
    Abstract: Spatial inequalities in access to physicians is a long-standing problem in the US, and it may be an important underlying cause of SES-related and racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes. One important factor underlying spatial inequalities may be the enactment of state-level malpractice reforms, which could affect physician supply to a state, and/or lead to sorting among physicians across states along characteristics such as physician quality. In this study, we test whether state-level malpractice laws affect new physicians’ location decisions and sorting of physicians by quality measures across states. We use data from the New York State (NYS) Residents’ Exit Survey, which includes all exiting medical residents from hospitals in NYS, and includes the practice locations these new physicians have chosen. We focus on two malpractice reforms – caps on noneconomic damages and caps on punitive damages. Our findings suggest that both types of reforms are associated with an increased probability of new physicians locating in the state that passed the reform, but only the caps on noneconomic damages are statistically significant at conventional levels. Effects of the laws are stronger for physicians in specialties which tend to face the highest risk of malpractice awards, while the opposite is true for physicians in specialties with the lowest risk of malpractice awards, as well as for osteopathic physicians. Physicians entering solo practice and partnerships respond more to damage cap laws than physicians entering group practices, hospital-based practices and other practice settings. While we do not find that median MCAT scores in the medical schools attended (among physicians from medical schools in New York State (NYS)) interact with the effects of the laws, we do find that US citizens attending foreign medical schools, as well as international medical graduates more generally, respond more to damage caps laws compared to physicians trained only in the US. If we consider the degree of selectivity of the medical school to be a measure of physician ability, this finding may suggest that damage cap laws influence location choices more among lower-ability physicians.
    JEL: I1
    Date: 2018–03
  11. By: Raouf Boucekkine (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales); Giorgio Fabbri (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Salvatore Federico (LPMA - Laboratoire de Probabilités et Modèles Aléatoires - UPMC - Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 - UPD7 - Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Fausto Gozzi (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali - Libera Università INTERNAZIONALE DEGLI STUDI SOCIALI G. CARLI)
    Abstract: We provide an optimal growth spatio-temporal setting with capital accumulation and diffusion across space in order to study the link between economic growth triggered by capital spatio-temporal dynamics and agglomeration across space. The technology is AK, K being broad capital. The social welfare function is Benthamite. In sharp contrast to the related literature, which considers homogeneous space, we derive optimal location outcomes for any given space distributions for technology and population. Both the transitional spatio-temporal dynamics and the asymptotic spatial distributions are computed in closed form. Concerning the latter, we find, among other results, that: (i) due to inequality aversion, the consumption per capital distribution is much flatter than the distribution of capital per capita; (ii) endogenous spillovers inherent in capital spatio-temporal dynamics occur as capital distribution is much less concentrated than the (pre-specified) technological distribution ; (iii) the distance to the center (or to the core) is an essential determinant of the shapes of the asymptotic distributions, that is relative location matters.
    Keywords: Growth, agglomeration, heterogeneous and continuous space,capital mobility,infinite dimensional optimal control problems Journal of Economic Literature
    Date: 2018–02–18
  12. By: Agnes Szabo-Morvai (Institute of Economics Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Daniel Horn (Institute of Economics Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary); Anna Lovasz (Institute of Economics Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Kristof De Witte (Leuven Economics of Education Research University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium)
    Abstract: Using instrumental variables approach this paper studies the effect of kindergarten starting age jointly with that of school starting age. We show that estimating the effect of kindergarten or school enrolment timing on later human capital outcomes separately, without taking their inter-relatedness into account, may confound the two effects and produce endogenous results. The instruments originate from exogenous birthdate-related enrolment cutoffs in kindergarten and school admissions. Using a rich Hungarian database, we show that both earlier kindergarten enrolment and later school enrolment have a significant and non-negligible positive effect on standardised test scores in grade 6, 8, and 10, class marks given by the teacher, aspirations for higher education, and track choice. These effects tend to decrease over time and are heterogeneous across mother’s education, as earlier kindergarten enrolment age seems to matter only for the children of low educated mothers.
    Keywords: Kindergarten enrolment age; School enrolment age; Instrumental Variables
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2017–12
  13. By: Benetton, Matteo (London School of Economics); Bracke, Philippe (Bank of England); Garbarino, Nicola (Bank of England)
    Abstract: We present new evidence that lenders use down payment size to price unobservable borrower risk. We exploit the contractual features of a UK scheme that helps home buyers top up their down payments with equity loans. We find that a 20 percentage point smaller down payment is associated with a 22 basis point higher interest rate at origination, and a higher ex-post default rate. Lenders see down payment as a signal for unobservable risk, but the relative importance of this signal is limited, as it accounts for only 10% of the difference in mortgage rates between loans with 75% and 95% loan to value ratio.
    Keywords: Mortgage design; asymmetric information; leverage; housing policy
    JEL: G21 R20 R30
    Date: 2018–02–23
  14. By: Ylenia Brilli; Marco Tonello
    Abstract: This paper estimates the contemporaneous effect of education on adolescent crime by exploiting the implementation a reform that increases the school leaving age in Italy by one year. We find that the Reform increases the enrollment rate of all ages, but decreases the offending rate of 14-year-olds only, who are the age group explicitly targeted by the Reform. The effect mainly comes from natives males, while females and immigrants are not affected. The Reform does not induce crime displacement in times of the year or of the day when the school is not in session, but it increases violent crimes at school. By using measures of enrollment and crime, as well as data at the aggregate and individual level, this paper shows that compulsory education reforms have a crime reducing effect induced by incapacitation, but may also lead to an increase of crimes in school facilities plausibly due to a higher concentration of students.
    Keywords: adolescent crime; school enrollment; crime displacement; incapacitation
    Date: 2017
  15. By: McMillan, Melville L. (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: There are good reasons to expect that attributes of local public finance may impact urban land use and, specifically, sprawl. A detailed and novel investigation of U.S. metropolitan areas (Burchfield et al., 2006) provides substantial insights into the causes of sprawl, but it overlooks the main characteristics of local public finance (taxes and user charges). Using a subset of the data matched to city public finance data, a parallel analysis yielded evidence that greater reliance on local property taxes reduces sprawl and suggested that user charges (primarily for water, sewerage and solid waste services) could have a similar effect (McMillan, 2016). Expansion of the local public finance data set allowed extension of the data analyzed from 83 to 109 observations. The subsequent analysis was expected to enable a refinement of the estimates made in the 2016 paper. However, analysis of the extended data set as reported in this paper indicates more nuanced results. In particular, the impacts of property taxes on sprawl depend upon the population of the metropolitan area.
    Keywords: urban sprawl; local taxes; property taxes
    JEL: H71 R51 R52
    Date: 2018–03–21
  16. By: Julie Beugnot Marie Claire Villeval; Bernard Fortin; Guy Lacroix; Marie Claire Villeval
    Abstract: We investigate whether peer effects at work differ by gender and whether gender differences in peer effects -if any- depend on work organization. We develop a social network model with gender heterogeneity that we test in a real-effort laboratory experiment. We compare sequential networks in which information flows from peers to the worker and simultaneous networks where it disseminates bi-directionally. We identify strong gender differences as females disregard their peers’ performance in simultaneous networks, while males are influenced by peers in both networks. Females may perceive the environment in simultaneous networks as being more competitive than in sequential networks.
    Keywords: Gender, Peer effects, Social Networks, Work effort, Experiments
    JEL: C91 J16 J24 J31 M52
    Date: 2018
  17. By: Riccardo, Borgoni; Alessandra, Michelangeli; Federica, Pirola;
    Abstract: Residential satisfaction depends on housing and neighborhood conditions in addition to housing cost affordability. To determine the relative importance of these factors, their average effect is usually estimated using sample data, eventually split in sub-samples in order to represent social classes. A concern about the division of households into groups is that, as groups are modified or group assignment change, results of quantitative analysis applied to such data can dramatically change. This paper follows a subjective well-being approach to study residential satisfaction. We propose a novel empirical strategy independent of the concept of social class, to estimate how the effect of drivers of residential satisfaction change on continuous according to households' income. We apply our methodology to investigate residential satisfaction in 23 European countries using 2012 EU-SILC module on housing conditions. Our results show that: (i) in Europe residential satisfaction is driven first by housing-specific characteristics, followed by neighborhood conditions and individual/household characteristics; (ii) the probability to be satisfied or very satisfied strongly differs across countries, anything else being equal; (iii) residents with different monetary resources attach importance to particular determinants of residential satisfaction.
    Keywords: housing, subjective well-being, Europe, EU-SILC Survey
    JEL: R11 R21
    Date: 2018–03–27
  18. By: José M. Gaspar (FEP, University of Porto. Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.); Sofia B.S.D. Castro (CMUP and Faculty of Economics, University of Porto); João Correia-da-Silva (CEF.UP and Faculty of Economics, University of Porto)
    Abstract: We study the long-run spatial distribution of industry using a multi-region core-periphery model with quasi-linear log utility (Pflüger, 2004). We show that a distribution in which industry is evenly dispersed among some of the regions while the other regions have no industry cannot be stable. A spatial distribution where industry is evenly distributed among all regions except one can be stable, but only if that region is significantly more industrialized than the other regions. When trade costs decrease, the type of transition from dispersion to agglomeration depends on the fraction of workers that are mobile. If this fraction is low, the transition from dispersion to agglomeration is catastrophic once dispersion becomes unstable. If it is high, there is a discontinuous jump to partial agglomeration in one region and then a smooth transition until full agglomeration. Finally, we find that mobile workers benefit from more agglomerated spatial distributions whereas immobile workers prefer more dispersed distributions. The economy as a whole shows a tendency towards over-agglomeration for intermediate levels of trade costs.
    Keywords: Core-periphery model, Footloose Entrepreneur, Multiple regions, Welfare
    JEL: R10 R12 R23
    Date: 2017–07
  19. By: Kristle Cortés; Yuliya Demyanyk; Lei Li; Elena Loutskina; Philip E. Strahan
    Abstract: Post-crisis stress tests have altered banks’ credit supply to small business. Banks affected by stress tests reduce credit supply and raise interest rates on small business loans. Banks price the implied increase in capital requirements from stress tests where they have local knowledge, and exit markets where they do not, as quantities fall most in markets where stress-tested banks do not own branches near borrowers, and prices rise mainly where they do. These reductions in supply are concentrated among risky borrowers. Stress tests do not, however, reduce aggregate credit. Small banks increase their share in geographies formerly reliant on stress-tested lenders.
    JEL: G2
    Date: 2018–03
  20. By: Klaus Gründler; Sebastian Köllner
    Abstract: We show that culture and diversity strongly influence welfare systems around the globe. To disentangle culture from institutions, we employ regional instruments as well as data on the prevalence of the pathogen Toxoplasma Gondii, linguistic differences, and the frequency of blood types. The generosity of the welfare system is higher in countries with loose family ties and individualistic attitudes, high prevalence of trust and tolerance, and low acceptance of unequally distributed power. Apart from their direct effects, these traits also exert indirect impact by influencing the transmission of inequality to redistribution. Finally, we show that redistribution and diversity are linked non-linearly: moderate levels of diversity impede redistribution, while higher levels offset the negative effect.
    Keywords: culture, redistribution, diversity
    JEL: H11 I38 Z10 D31
    Date: 2018
  21. By: Elhorst, J. Paul; Gross, Marco; Tereanu, Eugen
    Abstract: We bring together the spatial and global vector autoregressive (GVAR) classes of econometric models by providing a detailed methodological review of where they meet in terms of structure, interpretation, and estimation methods. We discuss the structure of cross-section connectivity (weight) matrices used by these models and its implications for estimation. Primarily motivated by the continuously expanding literature on spillovers, we define a broad and measurable concept of spillovers. We formalize it analytically through the indirect effects used in the spatial literature and impulse responses used in the GVAR literature. Finally, we propose a practical step-by-step approach for applied researchers who need to account for the existence and strength of cross-sectional dependence in the data. This approach aims to support the selection of the appropriate modeling and estimation method and of choices that represent empirical spillovers in a clear and interpretable form. JEL Classification: C33, C38, C51
    Keywords: GVARs, spatial models, spillovers, weak and strong cross-sectional dependence
    Date: 2018–02
  22. By: Neumann, Tobias (Bank of England)
    Abstract: Default correlation is a key driver of credit risk. In the Basel regulatory framework it is measured by the asset value correlation parameter. Though past studies suggest that the parameter is over-calibrated for mortgages — generally the largest asset class on banks’ balance sheets — they do not take into account bias arising from small samples or non-Gaussian risk factors. Adjusting for these biases using a non-Gaussian, non-linear state space model I find that the Basel calibration is appropriate for UK and US mortgages. This model also forecasts mortgage default rates accurately and parsimoniously. The model generates value-at-risk estimates for future mortgage default rates, which can be used to inform stress-testing and macroprudential policy.
    Keywords: Mortgages; bank regulation; credit risk; default correlation; state space model; Basel Committee; stress testing; macroprudential policy
    JEL: G11 G17 G21 G28
    Date: 2018–02–09
  23. By: Maarten Bosker; Eltjo Buringh
    Abstract: Iceberg transport costs are one of the main ingredients of modern trade and economic geography models: transport costs are modelled by assuming that a fraction of the goods shipped “melts in transit”. In this paper, we investigate whether the iceberg assumption applies to the costs of transporting the only good that literally melts in transit: ice. Using detailed information on Boston’s nineteenth-century global ice trade, we show that ice(berg) transport costs in practice were a combination of a true ad-valorem iceberg cost: melt in transit, and freight, (off)loading and insurance costs. The physics of the melt process and the practice of insulating the ice in transit imply an immediate violation of the iceberg assumption: shipping ice is subject to economies scale.
    Keywords: iceberg transport costs, nineteenth-century Boston ice trade
    JEL: F10 N70 N51
    Date: 2018
  24. By: Ekaterina Aleksandrova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Kristian Behrens (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maria Kuznetsova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: We document geographic concentration patterns of Russian manufacturing using microgeographic data. About 42–52% of 4-digit and 63–75% of 3-digit industries are localized, with a higher share in the European part than in the Asian part. About 70% of 3-digit industry pairs are coagglomerated, especially those with stronger buyer-supplier links, more knowledge sharing, and lower transport costs. Pairs with a more similar workforce are, however, less coagglomerated, which points to impediments in labor mobility between regions and firms. Overall, the agglomeration forces are fairly similar to those operating in developed countries, with transportation likely to be a key driver.
    Keywords: agglomeration; coagglomeration; determinants of geographic concentration; manufacturing industries; Russia.
    JEL: R12
    Date: 2018
  25. By: Joel Blit (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo); Mikal Skuterud (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo); Jue Zhang (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of changes in skilled-immigrant population shares in 98 Canadian cities between 1981 and 2006 on per capita patents. The Canadian case is of interest because its `points system’ for selecting immigrants is viewed as a model of skilled immigration policy. Our estimates suggest that the impact of increasing the share of university-educated immigrants on patenting rates is smaller than the impact that both native-borns have in Canada and immigrants have in the U.S.. The modest contribution of Canadian immigrants to innovation is largely explained by the fact that only about one-third of Canadian STEM-educated immigrants find employment in STEM jobs (relative to two-fifths of the Canadian-born and one-half of immigrants in the U.S.). Consistent with this, we find a large and significant effect of STEMeducated immigrants when we also condition on STEM employment. Our results suggest potential benefits from giving employers a role in the selection of skilled immigrants.
    JEL: J61 J18 O31
  26. By: Kara Kavanagh (James Madison University); Holly McCartney (James Madison University)
    Abstract: In summer of 2016, members of the Harrisonburg,VA (USA) refugee community, Harrisonburg City Schools, James Madison University?s Department of Early, Elementary, and Reading Education, and Church World Service Refugee Resettlement Agency, implemented a three week summer program for refugee children and parents that integrated literacy, creativity, and community-based field trips. College pre-service teachers earned 6 graduate credits for organizing, implementing, and facilitating integrated lessons, morning meetings, rituals, and routines to help ease the transition of newly arrived children ages 4-9 into our community and schools. This presentation will provide an overview of how this program started and illuminate the challenges and opportunities of sustaining a partnership between universities, local schools, community agencies, and leaders in the refugee community who wish to support and advocate for refugees in their community. Findings from our empirical investigation into the pilot CARE (Creativity and Reading Education) program will be discussed. Initial findings from the second implementation of this program (Summer 2017) will also be shared.
    Keywords: refugee education, integrated teaching, parental engagement, community-based teaching, literacy, creativity
    Date: 2017–10
  27. By: Lisack, Noëmie (Bank of England); Sajedi, Rana (Bank of England); Thwaites, Gregory (Bank of England)
    Abstract: We quantify the impact of past and future global demographic change on real interest rates, house prices and household debt in an overlapping generations model. Falling birth and death rates can explain a large part of the fall in world real interest rates and the rise in house prices and household debt since the 1980s. These trends will persist as the share of the population in the high-wealth 50+ age bracket continues to rise. As the United States ages relatively slowly, its net foreign liability position will grow. The availability of housing and debt as alternative stores of value attenuates these trends. The increasing monopolisation of the economy has ambiguous effects.
    Keywords: Demographics; population ageing; neutral interest rates
    JEL: E13 E21 E43 J11
    Date: 2017–12–21
  28. By: Tamas Hajdu (Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Gabor Kertesi (Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Gabor Kezdi (Survey Research Center, University of Michigan and senior research fellow Institute of Economics, Center for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: This study examines friendship and hostility relations between Roma students and the ethnically homogeneous non-Roma majority in Hungarian schools. Using data on friendship and hostility relations of 15-year-old students from 82 schools the study focuses on the interaction between exposure to the other ethnic group and academic achievement of Roma students. High-achieving Roma students are shown to have significantly more friends and fewer adversaries than low-achieving ones, due to better inter-ethnic relations while having similar within-ethnic group relations. As a result, higher exposure to Roma students translates to more friendship and less hostility from non-Roma students in environments where more of the Roma students have higher achievement. Therefore, policies helping the achievement of Roma students can have immediate as well as long-term positive effects. Simulations suggest that a mixed policy of desegregation and closing the achievement gap may best foster positive interethnic relations. The results also support that exposure is more likely to improve intergroup contact if status is more equal.
    Keywords: Social interactions, Minority students, Achievement gap
    JEL: J15 I24
    Date: 2017–11
  29. By: José Pedro Pontes; Joana Pais
    Abstract: In this paper, we establish a two way causality between the phenomenon of the infrastructure which is underused (the so called “white elephant case”) and the aggregate productivity level (TFP) of the economy. On the one hand, the fact that a transport infrastructure is not used so much as it could be is itself a cause of low TFP, because it represents a low productivity for an important item of social capital. On the other hand, low aggregate productivity makes firms strategies founded on large scale of production and exports more risky, given the possibility that the political decision to build the required transport infrastructure may never be taken.
    Keywords: Total Factor Productivity, Efficiency in Infrastructure Use; Economic Development, Transport Economics
    JEL: O12 O47 R40
    Date: 2018–03
  30. By: Branko Boskovic; Linda Nøstbakken
    Abstract: Land prices across administrative boundaries can be useful for estimating the causal effects of local policy. Market anticipation about potential boundary changes can confound identification, so studies often avoid markets where this may arise. We develop an approach to quantify anticipation by separately identifying the causal effect of local policy and the market's subjective beliefs that administrative boundaries will change. Using land prices and changes to land use regulation boundaries, our estimates indicate that anticipation does matter quantitatively: it increases the welfare cost of the policy by one-quarter and empirical analysis that omits anticipation underestimates this cost by nearly one-half.
    Keywords: anticipation, local policy, land values, regulation, border discontinuity
    JEL: D84 L50 R30
    Date: 2018
  31. By: Martha Bleeker; James Mabli; Mary Kay Fox; Betina Jean-Louis; Marlene Fox
    Abstract: This issue brief focuses on body mass index (BMI)-based outcomes of overweight and obese middle and high school students who received both the Prevention and Get Fit components of Healthy Harlem, after two and three years.
    Keywords: Healthy Harlem, BMI, body mass index, childhood obesity, nutrition, obese, overweight, afterschool program, Harlem Children’s zone, student health
    JEL: I0 I1 I
  32. By: Tommaso Ciarli (SPRU, University of Sussex); Alberto Marzucchi (SPRU, University of Sussex); Edgar Salgado (SPRU, University of Sussex); Maria Savona (SPRU, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: The paper investigates the effects of firms’ investment in Research and Development (R&D) on employment dynamics in the British local labour markets (Travel to Work Areas). We distinguish between local areas characterised by the initial level of routinised employment of the workforce. We implement a instrumenting strategy to address endogeneity issues in the relation between innovation and employment. Our results suggest that increases in R&D investments mainly affect routinised areas, where the employment created is low skilled, concentrated in non-tradable sectors (like transport, construction) and services. A significant share of the jobs created is self-employment, concentrated in the 25-34 age cohort. We qualify the effect of R&D on self-employment by looking at local firms’ dynamics, which suggest that the increase in self-employment is reflected in a higher number of micro-firms. Rather, in non-routinized areas, R&D results in the expected increase in the demand of high-skilled workers and a reduced demand of low-skill employment.
    Keywords: Innovation; R&D investments; Employment; Self-employment; Local Labour Markets; Routinisation; Skills
    JEL: O33 J24 D3
    Date: 2018–03
  33. By: Daniela Del Boca; Enrica Maria Martino; Chiara Pronzato
    Abstract: In this study, we analyze the impact of attendance of formal early childcare on a number of non- cognitive child outcomes, conditional on several socio-demographic characteristics of the household and the child. While several studies have explored the determinants of cognitive outcomes, in our analysis we focus on non-cognitive skills that were found to be important determinants of cognitive skills and of later life outcomes. Using a newly available data-set for Northern Italy on child care and child outcomes1, we consider the impact of attendance of formal childcare on non-cognitive outcomes, such as attitudes to schooling and social behavior, identified among children born in 2006 at the end of the first year of primary school. Using innovative empirical strategies to deal with endogeneity and imperfect measurement of non-cognitive outcomes, we show that attending an infant toddler center significantly improves school readiness and social interactions a few years later. Coherently with previous literature, these results are more significant for boys and for children of lower educated mothers.
    Keywords: non-cognitive ability, child development, childcare.
    Date: 2017
  34. By: Bryson, Alex (University College London); Stokes, Lucy (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)); Wilkinson, David (University College London)
    Abstract: Evidence on schools' performance is confined to comparisons across schools, usually based on value-added measures. We adopt an alternative approach comparing schools to observationally equivalent workplaces in the rest of the British economy using measures of workplace performance that are common across all workplaces. We focus on the role played by management practices in explaining differences in the performance of schools versus other workplaces, and performance across the schools' sector. We find intensive use of HRM practices is correlated with substantial improvement in workplace performance, both among schools and other workplaces. However, the types of practices that improve school performance are different from those that improve performance elsewhere in the economy. Furthermore, in contrast to the linear returns to HRM intensity in most workplaces, improvements in schools' performance are an increasing function of HRM intensity.
    Keywords: school performance, human resource management, matching, first differences
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2018–02
  35. By: Zihao Yuan; Qing Zhang; Yunxia Li
    Abstract: Spatial association and heterogeneity are two critical areas in the research about spatial analysis, geography, statistics and so on. Though large amounts of outstanding methods has been proposed and studied, there are few of them tend to study spatial association under heterogeneous environment. Additionally, most of the traditional methods are based on distance statistic and spatial weighted matrix. However, in some abstract spatial situations, distance statistic can not be applied since we can not even observe the geographical locations directly. Meanwhile, under these circumstances, due to invisibility of spatial positions, designing of weight matrix can not absolutely avoid subjectivity. In this paper, a new entropy-based method, which is data-driven and distribution-free, has been proposed to help us investigate spatial association while fully taking the fact that heterogeneity widely exist. Specifically, this method is not bounded with distance statistic or weight matrix. Asymmetrical dependence is adopted to reflect the heterogeneity in spatial association for each individual and the whole discussion in this paper is performed on spatio-temporal data with only assuming stationary m-dependent over time.
    Date: 2018–03
  36. By: Banks, Joanne; McCoy, Selina
    Date: 2018
  37. By: Diogo Lourenço (Faculty of Economics, University of Porto); Carla Sá (School of Economics and Management, University of Minho); Orlanda Tavares (Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of spatial mobility on enrolments in higher education. Candidates are grouped per their willingness to move and the district of placement. Findings point to a sizeable group who are voluntarily mobile or immobile. About 20% of students, however, were not placed in their first choice of destination. Using a logit model, estimation shows that candidates pushed away face a probability of enrolment about 17 percentage points lower than that of those who voluntarily stay in their home district. The availability of private sector alternatives in the home district has a role in the enrolment likelihood.
    Keywords: Student Mobility; Enrolments; Involuntary Mobility
    JEL: I23 R23
    Date: 2017–09
  38. By: Victor Aguirregabiria (University of Toronto and CEPR); Robert Clark (Queen's University); Hui Wang (Peking University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the integration of deposit and loan markets, which may be constrained by the geographic dispersion of depositors, borrowers, and banks. This dispersion results in problems of asymmetric information, monitoring and transaction costs, which in turn may prevent deposits from flowing from areas of low demand for loans to areas of high demand. We provide systematic evidence on the extent to which deposits and loans are geographically imbalanced, and develop a methodology for investigating the contribution of (i) branch networks, (ii) local market power, and (iii) economies of scope to this imbalance using data at the bank-county-year level from the US banking industry for 1998-2010. Our results are based on the construction of an index which measures the geographic imbalance of deposits and loans, and the estimation of a structural model of bank oligopoly competition for deposits and loans in multiple geographic markets. The estimated model shows that a bank's total deposits have a significant effect on the bank's market shares in loan markets. We also find evidence of significant economies of scope between deposits and loans at the local level. Counterfactual experiments show that multi-state branch networks contribute significantly to the geographic flow of credit but benefit especially larger/richer counties. Local market power has a very substantial negative effect on the flow of credit to smaller/poorer counties.
    Keywords: Geographic flow of bank funds, Access to credit, Bank oligopoly competition, Branch networks, Economies of scope between deposits and loans
    JEL: L13 L51 G21
    Date: 2017–11
  39. By: DELLOYE Justin (CORE, Université catholique de Louvain); PEETERS Dominique (CORE, Université catholique de Louvain); THARAKAN Joe (Université de Liège and CORE)
    Abstract: In New Economic Geography, recent models have shown that idiosyncratic preferences of workers for locations act as a dispersion force affecting the number and stability of equilibrium population distributions. Yet those models are based on ad hoc deterministic adjustment procedures that have two shortcomings. Firstly, they remove the aggregate effect of idiosyncratic preferences on the collective spatial dynamics of workers, whose study would require the use of specific notions of equilibrium stability. Secondly, these adjustment dynamics lack an explicit time unit that prevents adjustment trajectories to be expressed as dynamic scenarios. Those two shortcomings strive against the use of New Economic Geography models to support policy recommendations. Starting from a classic core-periphery model of New Economic Geography, this paper proposes a novel approach to adjustment dynamics, based on stochastic migration models, by which the dynamics of the population distribution is a continuous-time Markov chain. Using a diffusion approximation, the dynamic system is reduced to a set of Itô stochastic differential equations, which is an original contribution to New Economic Geography. In those equations, deterministic and stochastic effects are still distinct at the aggregate scale, which enables to numerically compute equilibrium population distributions as well as to evaluate their stability and selection under stochastic perturbations generated by idiosyncratic preferences. Those equations also enable to complete expected adjustment trajectories with an explicit time unit and with confidence intervals, for different scenarios. Hence this paper is a substantial improvement of the capacity of New Economic Geography models to support policy recommendations.
    Keywords: agglomeration, migration, wage differential, heterogeneous agents
    JEL: F12 F15 F21 R12 R13 O15 O18
    Date: 2018–01–29
  40. By: Merkl, Christian (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg); Stüber, Heiko (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze the connection between value added, wages, and labor market flows at the establishment level. We develop a simple model to illustrate the expected comovement of these variables. For the empirical analysis, we link the new German Administrative Wage and Labor Market Flow Panel (AWFP) dataset to the IAB Establishment Panel. We show that establishments' hires rates have a positive and separations rates a negative comovement with establishment-specific value added, whereby hires react by more than separations. In addition, we provide evidence that establishments' partial equilibrium reaction is an important driver for aggregate labor market dynamics.
    Keywords: labor market flows, value added, wages, administrative data, establishments
    JEL: E24 E32 J64
    Date: 2018–02
  41. By: Bergh, Andreas (Lund University and the Research Institute of Industrial Economics); Erlingsson, Gissur (Linköping University); Gustafsson, Anders (Jönköping International Business School); Wittberg, Emanuel (Linköping University)
    Abstract: Market-inspired reforms have been particularly pronounced in Swedish local government. Noteably, municipally owned enterprises (MOEs) have rapidly grown in numbers. Principal-agent theory leads us to suspect that the massive introduction of MOEs may have worsened conditions for accountability. To study this, we have employed social network analysis, mapping networks for 223 MOEs in 11 strategically chosen municipalities, covering a total of 723 politicians. The analysis shows substantial overlaps between principals (representatives of the owners) and agents (the boards of the MOEs), quantified using network modularity. Corporatization of public services therefore implies worrisome entanglings between the politicians who are set to steer, govern and oversee MOEs on the one hand, and the board members of MOEs on the other. The increasing numbers of MOEs, we argue, may hence have adverse effects on accountability in important and growing parts of the local economies.
    Keywords: Social Networks; Accountability; Transparency; Corruption; Publicly Owned Enterprises; Hybrid Organizations; Local Government; New Public Management
    JEL: D73 P16
    Date: 2018–03–21
  42. By: Bruno Carballa Smichowski (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - UP13 - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Date: 2018–03–17
  43. By: Kristian Behrens (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Yasusada Murata (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Quantitative spatial economics (QSE) specifies various components such as preferences, production technology, and frictions for the movement of goods, people, and ideas. Despite the long literature on endogenous location decisions, the question of how these specifications affect resulting spatial equilibria has not been systematically explored. In this paper we start with workhorse models of QSE based on different specifications of preferences and show that spatial equilibria in those models can be generated using the conditional logit model by McFadden (1974). Our result suggests that existing models of QSE have a common origin in one of the oldest location choice models.
    Keywords: quantitative spatial economics; location choice; logit; spatial equilibrium
    JEL: F12 F14 R12 R13
    Date: 2018
  44. By: Bernini, Andrea; Facchini, Giovanni; Testa, Cecilia
    Abstract: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 opened elective offices to blacks in the US South, but systematic evidence on its immediate effects remains scant. Using a novel data-set on black elected officials between 1964-1980, we assess the causal impact of the VRA on the racial make-up of local governments. Since the VRA mandated federal scrutiny (coverage) over a group of Southern counties, we deploy a differences-in-differences estimation strategy using non-covered counties as a comparison group. Our results show that coverage doubled the extent to which black enfranchisement led to gains in black office-holding, particularly among bodies controlling local public finances.
    Keywords: Black Representation; Local Elections; Public Good Provision; Voting Rights Act
    JEL: D72 J15 N92
    Date: 2018–03
  45. By: Sophia Chen; Estelle Dauchy
    Abstract: How much do firms benefit from foreign R&D and through what channel? We construct a global network of corporate innovation using more than 1.5 million patents granted to firms in OECD countries. We test the “international technology sourcing” hypothesis that foreign innovation activities tap into foreign R&D and improve home productivity through knowledge spillovers. We find that firms with stronger inventor presence in technology frontier countries benefit disproportionately more from their R&D. The strength of knowledge spillovers depends on the direction of technology sourcing. Knowledge externality is larger for firms in technology frontier countries than for firms in non-frontier countries.
    Date: 2018–03–12
  46. By: Tom Kirchmaier; Stephen Machin; Matteo Sandi; Robert Witt
    Abstract: In many historical episodes, the extent of criminal activity has displayed booms and busts. One very clear example is the case of metal crime, where in the face of big increases in value driven by world commodity prices, the incidence of metal thefts in the UK (and elsewhere) rose very sharply in the 2000s. Early in the current decade, they fell sharply again. This paper studies the roles of prices, policing and policy in explaining these crime dynamics. The empirical analysis shows sizeable and significant metal crime-price elasticities, in line with the idea that changing economic returns do shape crime. However, the rapid upward and downward trends are not only due to price changes. Their temporal evolution is also explained by changes in policing and policy. On the former, a difference-in-differences approach is used to document an important role of policing as a consequence of an anti-metal crime operation introduced in 2012. On the latter, the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 is exploited to study the impact of policy on the economic activity of scrap metal dealers in England and Wales. Results from our difference-in-differences specification suggest that the tougher regulatory system introduced by the policy hindered the economic activity of pre-existing dealers, reflecting the reduced market size for potential metal criminals to sell what they have stolen.
    Keywords: metal crime, metal prices, commodity prices
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2018–03
  47. By: Bellani, Luna (University of Konstanz); Fabella, Vigile Marie (University of Konstanz)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how upward mobility affects legislator voting behavior towards education policies. We develop an electoral competition model where voters are altruistic parents and politicians are office seeking. In this setting the future economic status of the children is affected both by current public education spending and by the level of upward mobility. Using a newly compiled dataset of roll call voting on California education legislation matched with electoral district-level upward mobility we find that the likelihood of a legislator voting "no" on redistributive education bills decreases by 10 percentage points when upward mobility in his electoral district decreases by a standard deviation.
    Keywords: upward income mobility, education policies, legislator voting behavior, roll call votes, California
    JEL: I24 D72 H4
    Date: 2018–02
  48. By: Irankunda, D.; van Bergeijk, P.A.G.
    Abstract: Ubu bushakashatsi bwize kubacuruzi bo mu muhanda mu karere ka Nyarugenge Kigali (Rwanda) guhera mu kwezi kwa Nyakanga kugeza muri Kanama 2017. Hifashishijwe uburyo bw’ikusanyamakuru butandukanye aribwo ibiganiro by’imbona nkubone (interviews) ndetse nurutonde rw’ibibazo (questionnaires). Ubu bushakashatsi bwasuzumye uburyo abakora ubucuruzi butemewe n’amategeko bakorana nama banki cyangwa ibigo by’imari iciriritse bugamije kongerera ibimenyetso abafite munshingano gufata ibyemezo kubakora ubucuruzi butemewe n’amategeko ndetse n’uburyo bagana amabanki n’ibigo by’imari iciriritse. Ubusesenguzi bw’ubu bushakashatsi bushimangira agaciro kuburinganire mukugira konti muri banki cyangwa mubigo by’imari iciriritse kubushake cyangwa kugahato bw’abakora ubucuruzi butemewe n’amategeko. Ariko bukavuguruza ibijyanye n’imyaka ndetse n’urwego rwamashuri kuri aba bacuruzi bo mumuhanda. Ubu bushakashatsi bwagaragaje ko kuba hari ikigo cy’imari mu mudugudu utuwemo naba bacuruzi bo mumuhanda byongera amahirwe menshi yo gukorana nacyo.
    Keywords: Rwanda, financial inclusion, gender, location, street vendors, mixed methodology
    Date: 2018–03–16
  49. By: Joseph J. Sabia; Taylor Mackay; Thanh Tam Nguyen; Dhaval M. Dave
    Abstract: Ban-the-box (BTB) laws, which prevent employers from asking prospective employees about their criminal histories at initial job screenings, have been adopted by 25 states and the District of Columbia. Using data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System, the Uniform Crime Reports, and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, this study is the first to estimate the effect of BTB laws on crime. We find some evidence that BTB laws are associated with an increase in property crime among working-age Hispanic men. This finding is consistent with employer-based statistical discrimination as well as potential moral hazard. A causal interpretation of our results is supported by placebo tests on policy leads and a lack of BTB-induced increases in crime for non-Hispanic whites and women. Finally, we find that BTB laws are associated with a reduction in property crime among older and white individuals, consistent with labor-labor substitution toward those with perceived lower probabilities of having criminal records (Doleac and Hansen 2017).
    JEL: J01 J08 K14 K31
    Date: 2018–03

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