nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2020‒07‒27
sixty-two papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Foreign Demand and Local House Prices: Evidence from the US By Damien Puy; Anil Ari; Yu Shi
  2. Why Do Buyers Pay Different Prices for Comparable Products? Evidence from the Housing Market By Ralph Siebert; Michael J. Seiler
  3. Why are Low-Skilled Workers less Mobile ? The role of Mobility Costs and Spatial Frictions By Benoît SCHMUTZ; Modibo SIDIBÉ; Élie VIDAL-NAQUET
  4. Housing Supply and Affordability: Evidence from Rents, Housing Consumption and Household Location By Raven S. Molloy; Charles G. Nathanson; Andrew D. Paciorek
  5. Racial Heterogeneity and Local Government Finances: Evidence from the Great Migration By Tabellini, Marco
  6. Guyana: Housing Market and Implications for Macroprudential Policies By Julian T Chow
  7. Locating Public Facilities: Theory and Micro Evidence from Paris By Gabriel Loumeau
  8. Housing and inequality: The case of Luxembourg and its cross-border workers By Guillaume Claveres; Thomas Y. Mathä; Giuseppe Pulina; Jan Stráský; Nicolas Woloszko; Michael Ziegelmeyer
  9. Immigration and Preferences for Redistribution in Europe By Alesina, Alberto F; Murard, Elie; Rapoport, Hillel
  10. Exploring evidence of spatial economic agglomeration in Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa By Koech Cheruiyot
  11. Capital Flows, Real Estate, and Local Cycles: Evidence from German Cities, Banks, and Firms By Bednarek, Peter; Ma, Chang; Rebucci, Alessandro; Te Kaat, Daniel Marcel
  12. Income Growth and the Distributional Effects of Urban Spatial Sorting By Couture, Victor; Gaubert, Cécile; Handbury, Jessie; Hurst, Erik
  13. Anatomy of a techno-creative community – the role of places and events in the emergence of videomapping in Nante By Etienne Capron; Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux; Raphaël Suire
  14. The Cash Crop Revolution, Colonialism and Legacies of Spatial Inequality: Evidence from Africa By Philip Roessler; Yannick I. Pengl; Robert Marty; Kyle Sorlie Titlow; Nicolas van de Walle
  15. Do Politicians Shape the Electorate ? Evidence from French Municipalities By Benoît SCHMUTZ; Grégory VERDUGO
  16. Household Debt and House Prices-at-risk: A Tale of Two Countries By Adrian Alter; Elizabeth M. Mahoney
  17. Occupational Matching and Cities By Theodore Papageorgiou
  18. Information and the Acquisition of Social Network Connections By Toman Barsbai; Victoria Licuanan; Andreas Steinmayr; Erwin Tiongson; Dean Yang
  19. Distribution of COVID-19 Incidence by Geography, Race, and Income By Rajashri Chakrabarti; William Nober
  20. The Spanish spatial city size distribution By González-Val, Rafael
  21. Pale in Comparison: Jews as a Rural Service Minority By Spitzer, Yannay
  22. Towards Sustainable Cities: Lessons from Urban Decentralization in India and Bangladesh By Simanti Bandyopadhyay; Firdousi Naher; Aishna Sharma
  23. The Ins and Outs of Selling Houses: Understanding Housing Market Volatility By Ngai, Liwa Rachel; Sheedy, Kevin D.
  24. How Discrimination and Bias Shapes Outcomes By Ariella Kahn-Lang Spitzer; Kevin Lang
  25. Socioeconomic Network Heterogeneity and Pandemic Policy Response By Mohammad Akbarpour; Cody Cook; Aude Marzuoli; Simon Mongey; Abhishek Nagaraj; Matteo Saccarola; Pietro Tebaldi; Shoshana Vasserman; Hanbin Yang
  26. I Am Innocent: Hourly Variations in Air Pollution and Crime Behavior By Luis Sarmiento
  27. The Determinants and Effects of Social Connectedness in Europe By Michael Bailey; Theresa Kuchler; Dominic Russel; Bogdan State; Johannes Stroebel
  28. Peers and Motivation at Work: Evidence from a Firm Experiment in Malawi By Brune, Lasse; Chyn, Eric T.; Kerwin, Jason Theodore
  29. Housing insecurity, homelessness and populism: Evidence from the UK By Fetzer, Thiemo; Sen, Srinjoy; Souza, Pedro CL
  30. Immigration and Innovation. By Arthur Grimes; Shaan Badenhorst; David C. Maré; Jacques Poot
  31. Mentoring and Schooling Decisions: Causal Evidence By Armin Falk; Fabian Kosse; Pia Pinger
  32. The role of demographics and migration for the future of economic growth in China By Juan Carlos Conesa; Yan Wang
  33. Unspoken alternatives to expensive housing By Murray, Cameron
  34. Urban Growth and Convergence Dynamics after COVID-19 By Stefano Magrini; Marco Di Cataldo; Margherita Gerolimetto
  35. Electoral Turnout and Social Capital By Jeremy Clark; Abel François; Olivier Gergaud
  36. Gifts of the Immigrants, Woes of the Natives: Lessons from the Age of Mass Migration By Tabellini, Marco
  37. Measuring Movement and Social Contact with Smartphone Data: A Real-time Application to COVID-19 By Victor Couture; Jonathan I. Dingel; Allison Green; Jessie Handbury; Kevin R. Williams
  38. Geographic and Socioeconomic Heterogeneity in the Benefits of Reducing Air Pollution in the United States By Tatyana Deryugina; Nolan H. Miller; David Molitor; Julian Reif
  39. Credit demand versus supply channels: Experimental- and administrative-based evidence By Valentina Michelangeli; José-Luis Peydró; Enrico Sette
  40. Exit at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Empirical Explorations in the Context of Elementary Schooling in Delhi. By Bose, Sukanya; Ghosh, Priyanta; Sardana, Arvind
  41. Improving the Traffic Census and Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) Programs By Mauch, Michael PhD; Skabardonis, Alex PhD
  43. Subnational borders and individual well-being : Evidence from the merger of French regions By Lionel WILNER
  44. How Much are the Poor Losing from Tax Competition: The Welfare Effects of Fiscal Dumping in Europe By Mathilde Munoz
  45. Interdependence in active mobility adoption: Joint modelling and motivational spill-over in walking, cycling and bike-sharing By M Said; A Biehl; A Stathopoulos
  46. Housing Cycle and Firm Investment: International Firm-level Evidence By Hyunduk Suh; Jin Young Yang
  47. Happily Ever After: Immigration, Natives' Marriage and Fertility By Carlana, Michela; Tabellini, Marco
  48. The Effect of High School Rank in English and Math on College Major Choice By Delaney, Judith; Devereux, Paul J.
  49. The futures of land: modes of capital accumulation, property rights and city production By Natacha Aveline-Dubach; Thibault Le Corre; Eric Denis; Napoleone Claude
  50. On the Capacity to Absorb Public Investment: How Much is Too Much? By Daniel Gurara; Kangni R Kpodar; Andrea F Presbitero; Dawit Tessema
  51. Building Bridges and Widening Gaps: Wage Gains and Equity Concerns of Labor Market Expansions By Butikofer, Aline; Løken, Katrine; Willén, Alexander
  52. Urban inequality and protests in Ecuador and Chile By María Gabriela Palacio Ludeña; Fabio Andrés Díaz Pabón
  53. Did State Reopenings Increase Social Interactions? By Rajashri Chakrabarti; Maxim L. Pinkovskiy
  54. GLOBAL CONNECTIONS AND THE STRUCTURE OF SKILLS IN LOCAL CO-WORKER NETWORKS By László Lõrincz; Guilherme Kenji Chihaya; Anikó Hannák; Dávid Takács; Balázs Lengyel; Rikard Eriksson
  55. Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Deaths: Seeking Economic Roots with Census data. By John McLaren
  56. Social Capital and the Spread of Covid-19: Insights from European Countries By Alina Kristin Bartscher; Sebastian Seitz; Sebastian Sieglich; Michaela Slotwinski; Nils Wehrhöfer; Sebastian Siegloch
  57. House Price Cycles, Wealth Inequality and Portfolio Reshuffling By Clara Toledano
  58. Measuring Evictions during the COVID-19 Crisis By Rebecca Corwin; Hal Martin; Clare Stevens
  59. Leaving the Enclave: Historical Evidence on Immigrant Mobility from the Industrial Removal Office By Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Dylan Connor
  60. Agglomeration Effects in a Developing Economy: Evidence from Turkey By Cem Özgüzel
  61. Sorting and wage premiums in immoral work By Florian H. Schneider; Fanny Brun; Roberto A. Weber
  62. Self-Assessment: The Role of the Social Environment By Armin Falk; Fabian Kosse; Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch; Florian Zimmermann

  1. By: Damien Puy; Anil Ari; Yu Shi
    Abstract: We test whether foreign demand matters for local house prices in the US using an identification strategy based on the existence of “home bias abroad” in international real estate markets. Following an extreme political crisis event abroad, a proxy for a strong and exogenous shift in foreign demand, we show that house prices rise disproportionately more in neighbourhoods with a high concentration of population originating from the crisis country. This effect is strong, persistent, and robust to the exclusion of major cities. We also show that areas that were already expensive in the late 1990s have experienced the strongest foreign demand shocks and the biggest drop in affordability between 2000 and 2017. Our findings suggest a non-trivial causal effect of foreign demand shocks on local house prices over the last 20 years, especially in neighbourhoods that were already rather unaffordable for the median household.
    Keywords: Economic conditions;Real estate prices;Housing prices;Business cycles;Demand;House Prices,Housing Affordability,Political Risk,Capital Flows.,WP,local house price,foreign demand,house price,affordability,foreign-born population
    Date: 2020–02–28
  2. By: Ralph Siebert; Michael J. Seiler
    Abstract: We focus on the housing market and examine why nonlocal home buyers (NLBs) pay 15 percent more for houses than local home buyers (LBs). We estimate a housing demand model that returns heterogeneous willingness to pay parameters for housing attributes. Our results show that NLBs are willing to pay more for specific housing attributes, especially for house size and school quality. We also find that gratification and reward arguments, and imperfect price information explain the price differential to a large extent. Search cost and house age arguments have an adverse effect on NLBs’ house spending.
    Keywords: heterogeneous preferences, housing market, imperfect information on price distributions, school quality, search costs
    JEL: L13 L49 L63
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Benoît SCHMUTZ (Ecole Polytechnique and CREST, France); Modibo SIDIBÉ (Duke University, USA); Élie VIDAL-NAQUET (Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France)
    Abstract: Workers’ propensity to migrate to another local labor market varies a lot by occupation. We use the model developed by Schmutz and Sidibé (2019) to quantify the impact of mobility costs and search frictions on this mobility gap. We estimate the model on a matched employer-employee panel dataset describing labor market transitions within and between the 30 largest French cities for two groups at both ends of the occupational spectrum and find that: (i)mobility costs are very comparable in the two groups, so they are three times higher for blue-collar workers relative to their respective expected income; (ii)Depending on employment status, spatial frictions are between 1.5 and 3.5 times higher for blue-collar workers; (iii)Moving subsidies have little (and possibly negative) impact on the mobility gap, contrary to policies targeting spatial frictions.
    Keywords: mobility costs, spatial frictions, migration, local labor markets, occupation.
    JEL: J61 J64 R12 R23
    Date: 2020–06–15
  4. By: Raven S. Molloy; Charles G. Nathanson; Andrew D. Paciorek
    Abstract: We examine how housing supply constraints affect housing affordability, which we define as the quality-adjusted price of housing services. In our dynamic model, supply constraints increase the price of housing services by only half has much as the purchase price of a home, since the purchase price responds to expected future increases in rent as well as contemporaneous rent increases. Households respond to changes in the price of housing services by altering their housing consumption and location choices, but only by a small amount. We evaluate these predictions using common measures of housing supply constraints and data from US metropolitan areas from 1980 to 2016. We find sizeable effects of supply constraints on house prices, but modest-to-negligible effects on rent, lot size, structure consumption, location choice within metropolitan areas, sorting across metropolitan areas, and housing expenditures. We conclude that housing supply constraints distort housing affor dability, and therefore housing consumption and location decisions, by less than their estimated effects on house prices suggest.
    Keywords: Housing affordability; Housing supply; Land use regulations; Rent
    JEL: R23 R28 R31 R38
    Date: 2020–06–12
  5. By: Tabellini, Marco
    Abstract: Between 1915 and 1930, during the First Great Migration, more than 1.5 million African Americans migrated from the South to the North of the United States, altering the racial profile of several northern cities for the first time in American history. I exploit this episode to study how an increase in racial heterogeneity affects the provision of public goods and city finances. I predict black in-migration by interacting 1900 settlements of southern born blacks across northern cities with variation in outmigration from the South after 1910. I find that black inflows had a strong, negative impact on both public spending and tax revenues in northern cities. The decline in tax revenues was not due to cities' decision to cut tax rates, but was entirely driven by a reduction in property values. These findings suggest that the housing market response to black arrivals imposed a negative fiscal externality to receiving cities that, unable or unwilling to raise taxes, were forced to cut spending. Consistent with this interpretation, cities did not change the allocation of spending across categories, while the negative effects of black in-migration were smaller when controlling for the (predicted) white outflows triggered by black arrivals.
    JEL: H41 J15 N32
    Date: 2020–01
  6. By: Julian T Chow
    Abstract: Guyana’s residential real estate prices have been rising, particularly in the capital city Georgetown, following the discovery of oil in 2015. In line with the growing demand for housing, commercial banks’ housing loans have increased, prompting higher household debt. This paper presents two analyses which suggest that housing prices in Georgetown and banks’ lending to the housing sector appear to be in their early stages of growth. However, given the data limitations and caveats that underpin the analyses, the findings could also indicate early signals of possible risks. Further data collection would support surveillance and deeper studies. At the same time, enhancing prudential measures would help safeguard financial and macroeconomic stability. These include strengthening the monitoring of the housing market, bank lending practices and household debt, as well as fortifying the macroprudential framework, including with more effective toolkits for early intervention.
    Keywords: Real estate prices;Price indexes;Real sector;Supply and demand;Housing prices;Guyana,macroprudential policies,housing market,macroeco-financial stability.,WP,house price,percent change,house market,estate price,household debt
    Date: 2020–01–31
  7. By: Gabriel Loumeau (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the problem of the optimal location of public facilities. I develop a quantifiable model in which the central planner decides on a location strategy, which includes the geographical location and the capacity of public facilities, while anticipating how individuals and firms will react. The central planner's objective is to maximize aggregate welfare. I calibrate the model to fit the economic and geographic characteristics of the Paris metropolitan area at a 1km x 1km geographic resolution and focus on secondary schools as an example of public facilities. The counterfactual analysis, which compares the optimal and observed location strategy between 2001 and 2015, suggests that adopting the optimal strategy in any year would have increased welfare growth by about 12%. Half of the effect is attributable to improvements in channels other than shorter commutes to the public facility, mostly via lower housing prices and shorter commutes to the workplace. The analysis also reveals that the observed location strategy disproportionately favored short commutes in central locations and led to a mis-allocation of residential and commercial activities between the center and the periphery.
    Keywords: Public facility location, agglomeration, commuting, gravity, Big Cube-Small Cube
    JEL: H11 R53 R41
    Date: 2019–03
  8. By: Guillaume Claveres; Thomas Y. Mathä; Giuseppe Pulina; Jan Stráský; Nicolas Woloszko; Michael Ziegelmeyer
    Abstract: The rate of homeownership in Luxembourg is close to the OECD average. However, strong house price increases, mainly driven by population growth and limited housing supply, reduce housing affordability, in particular for the young, and contribute to the net wealth gap between homeowners and renters. As in many OECD countries, housing is the main asset of the middle class. However, at the top of the wealth distribution housing is less prominent and accounts for a smaller share of wealth than in most OECD countries. Mortgage market participation in Luxembourg is higher than in neighbouring countries and households in the middle income quintile are almost as likely to have a mortgage as those in the top income quintile. Among non-resident commuters (who cross the border every day to work in Luxembourg), homeownership is higher than the average for the country in which they live, mainly reflecting their higher income. Still, commuters often identify high real estate prices as the reason for not moving to Luxembourg. Among Luxembourg residents, a third are renters, often citing high real estate prices and insufficient own funds as obstacles to homeownership. Even controlling for other household characteristics, there is a substantial gap in net wealth between renters and homeowners. The data also indicates that median net wealth among Luxembourg residents is significantly higher than among cross-border commuters. For Luxembourg employed residents and cross-border workers from different countries, the empirical analysis confirms that higher education and income play an important role in explaining wealth differences between households.
    Keywords: Household, survey, wealth, income, assets, debt, cross-border commuters.
    JEL: D31 D14 C81 C83
    Date: 2020–06
  9. By: Alesina, Alberto F; Murard, Elie; Rapoport, Hillel
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between immigration and preferences for redistribution in Europe using a newly assembled data set of immigrant stocks for 140 regions in 16 Western European countries. Exploiting within-country variations in the share of immigrants at the regional level, we find that native respondents display lower support for redistribution when the share of immigrants in their residence region is higher. This negative association is driven by regions of countries with relatively large Welfare States and by respondents at the center or at the right of the political spectrum. The effects are also stronger when immigrants originate from Middle-Eastern or Eastern European countries, are less skilled than natives, and experience more residential segregation. These results are unlikely to be driven by immigrants' endogenous location choices, that is, by welfare magnet effects or by immigrants' sorting into regions with better economic opportunities. They are also robust to instrumenting immigration with a standard shift-share approach or to controlling for regional growth prospects.
    Keywords: Immigration; Income Redistribution; population heterogeneity; welfare systems
    JEL: D31 D64 I3 Z13
    Date: 2019–12
  10. By: Koech Cheruiyot
    Abstract: Since Marshall's (1890) work on industrial districts in 19^{th} century England, agglomeration economies are credited for providing the needed catalytic role to economic growth and development. It does this by allowing critical masses, where knowledge spillovers among firms; labour market pooling; and sharing of industry-specific non-traded inputs, prosper. This research employs advanced spatial statistical approaches to analyse the spatial locations and economic sectors data of about 14,000 firms in Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, a major sub-regional economy in Gauteng economic metropolis and in South Africa. It attempts to answer the following questions; Is there evidence of spatial sectoral clusters, and if present, which kind of spatial economic clusters are they? What is the footprint of these spatial business clusters? The results of four selected industrial clusters show evidence of varying global and localised agglomeration. Localised agglomeration was established to be statistically significant as well. This research complements existing research in suggesting policies that ensure economic growth and development of the regional economy benefits from agglomeration economies.
    Keywords: Spatial agglomeration, exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA), Ekurhuleni metro, South Africa
    JEL: R12 O4 R3 O18
    Date: 2020–01
  11. By: Bednarek, Peter; Ma, Chang; Rebucci, Alessandro; Te Kaat, Daniel Marcel
    Abstract: Capital flows and real estate are pro-cyclical, and real estate has a substantial weight in economies' income and wealth. In this paper, we study the role of real estate markets in the transmission of bank flow shocks to output growth across German cities. The empirical analysis relies on a new and unique matched data set at the city level and the bank-firm level. To measure bank flow shocks, we show that changes in sovereign spreads of Southern European countries (the so-called GIPS spread) can predict German cross-border bank flows. To achieve identification by geographic variation, in addition to a traditional supply-side variable, we use a novel instrument that exploits a policy assigning refugee immigrants to municipalities on an exogenous basis. We find that output growth responds more to bank flow shocks in cities that are more exposed to tightness in local real estate markets. We estimate that, during the 2009-2014 period, for every 100-basis point increase in the GIPS spread, the most exposed cities grow 15-25 basis points more than the least exposed ones. Moreover, the differential response of commercial property prices can explain most of this growth differential. When we unpack the transmission mechanism by using matched bank-firm-level data on credit, employment, capital expenditure and TFP, we find that firm real estate collateral as measured by tangible fixed assets plays a critical role. In particular, bank flow shocks increase the credit supply to firms and sectors with more real estate collateral. Higher credit supply then leads firms to hire and invest more, without evidence of capital misallocation.
    Keywords: business cycles; Capital Flows; cities; real estate
    JEL: E3 F3 R3
    Date: 2019–12
  12. By: Couture, Victor; Gaubert, Cécile; Handbury, Jessie; Hurst, Erik
    Abstract: We explore the impact of rising incomes at the top of the distribution on spatial sorting patterns within large U.S. cities. We develop and quantify a spatial model of a city with heterogeneous agents and non-homothetic preferences for neighborhoods with endogenous amenity quality. As the rich get richer, demand increases for the high quality amenities available in downtown neighborhoods. Rising demand drives up house prices and spurs the development of higher quality neighborhoods downtown. This gentrification of downtowns makes poor incumbents worse off, as they are either displaced to the suburbs or pay higher rents for amenities that they do not value as much. We quantify the corresponding impact on well-being inequality. Through the lens of the quantified model, the change in the income distribution between 1990 and 2014 led to neighborhood change and spatial resorting within urban areas that increased the welfare of richer households relative to that of poorer households, above and beyond rising nominal income inequality.
    Date: 2020–01
  13. By: Etienne Capron; Dominique Sagot-Duvauroux; Raphaël Suire
    Abstract: This article aims to study the role of places and events in the structuring of a community of innovation whose practice is at the crossroads of art and tech - videomapping. Based on an exploratory case study, we observe the relationships between the different actors who form subgroups, sharing a common interest in a techno-creative practice - but whose collective innovation dynamic is only in its beginnings. We also document the usage of places and events in their intermediation role for these subgroups. This reveals preferential circulations - patterns of moves among a set of focal locations in the city for a community – and the crucial role of these locations in creative communities emergence.
    Keywords: techno-creative innovation, places, knowledge, network analysis
    JEL: D85 O32 R11 Z10
    Date: 2020–07
  14. By: Philip Roessler; Yannick I. Pengl; Robert Marty; Kyle Sorlie Titlow; Nicolas van de Walle
    Abstract: We analyze the long-term effects of colonial cash crop extraction in Africa. Our conceptual framework focuses on the dynamic, interactive effects of geography, trade and colonialism in the context of Africa’s structural change from the slave trades to export agriculture. The adoption of cash crops shifted the loci of economic production to smallholder farmersin areas suitable for cultivation. Concurrently, the cash crop revolution—tied to European industrialization—led to the diffusion of economic imperialism beyond coastal Africa. Imperial extractive economies fueled infrastructural development in highly-suitable zones but dislocated production linkages to Europe and stymied the economic differentiation that otherwise might have occurred. The result was economic agglomeration at the site of production but with limited spillovers to nearby areas. Using agro-climatic suitability scores and historical data on the source location of more than 95 percent of all exports across 38 African states, we find that colonial cash crop production exhibited a large and positive long-run effect on local development in terms of urbanization, road infrastructure, nighttime luminosity and household wealth. These effects rival or surpass other geographic and historical forces frequently linked to subnational development in Africa. Exploring causal mechanisms, we show that path dependence due to colonial infrastructure investments is the more important channel than continued advantages in agricultural productivity. We also find that the positive local effects of colonial cash crop extraction came at the expense of surrounding areas and thereby entrenched deep spatial inequalities.
    JEL: F63 N57 O13 O18 Q17
    Date: 2020
  15. By: Benoît SCHMUTZ (Ecole Polytechnique and CREST); Grégory VERDUGO (Université Paris-Saclay)
    Abstract: When elections are local and voters are mobile, politicians may be tempted to implement policies that attract inhabitants more likely to vote for them while prompting their opponents to leave. We test this hypothesis using data from French municipalities that, in recent decades, received large in ows of immigrants, who tend to vote for the left once naturalized, while immigrant-hostile voters lean to the right. Based on quasi-experimental evidence from thirty years of close elections, we show that six years after close elections, municipalities where a left-wing mayor was elected are characterized by a 2.4 p.p. higher share of immigrants and a 1.4 p.p. lower share of retired natives than the corresponding shares in municipalities where a right-wing mayor was elected. These effects are driven by peripheral municipalities that make up a small share of the population in their metropolitan areas and can therefore benefit from substantial population reshuffling. The evidence suggests that mayors use the large stock of municipal public housing over which they have allocative authority to favor or discriminate against immigrants. These strategies are electorally rewarding as we find a higher probability of reelection for the same party in municipalities in which these demographic changes are the most pronounced. We also find evidence that these demographic changes are associated with the surge of the far-right in local elections in the 1980s.
    Keywords: Immigration, Public Housing, Local Elections, Incumbent Effect.
    Date: 2020–07–02
  16. By: Adrian Alter; Elizabeth M. Mahoney
    Abstract: To identify and quantify downside risks to housing markets, we apply the house price-at-risk methodology to a sample of 37 cities across the United States and Canada using quarterly data from 1983 to 2018. This paper finds that downside risks to housing markets in the United States have seemingly fallen over the past decade, while having increased in Canada. Supply-side drivers, valuation, household debt, and financial conditions jointly play a key role in forecasting house price risks. In addition, capital flows are found to be significantly associated with future downside risks to major housing markets, but the net effect depends on the type of flows and varies across cities and forecast horizons. Using micro-level data, we identify households vulnerable to potential housing shocks and assess the riskiness of household debt.
    Keywords: Economic conditions;Price indexes;National income;Financial crises;Economic growth;Housing,Household Indebtedness,United States,Canada,Quantile Regressions,WP,household debt,capital flow,GFC,house market,overvaluation
    Date: 2020–02–28
  17. By: Theodore Papageorgiou (Boston College)
    Abstract: In this paper, I document that workers in larger cities have significantly more occupational options than workers in smaller ones. They are able to form better occupational matches and earn higher wages. I also note differences in the occupational reallocation patterns across cities. I develop a dynamic model of occupational choice that microfounds agglomeration economies and captures the empirical patterns. The calibration of the model suggests that better occupational match quality accounts for approximately 35% of the observed wage premium and a third of the greater inequality in larger cities.
    Keywords: occupations, agglomeration economies, urban wage premium, multi-armed bandits, geographical mobility, matching theory, wage inequality, job vacancy postings
    JEL: J24 J31 R23
    Date: 2020–06
  18. By: Toman Barsbai; Victoria Licuanan; Andreas Steinmayr; Erwin Tiongson; Dean Yang
    Abstract: How do information interventions affect individual efforts to expand social networks? We study a randomized controlled trial of a program providing information on settling in the U.S. for new immigrants from the Philippines. Improved information leads new immigrants to acquire fewer new social network connections. Treated immigrants make 16-28 percent fewer new friends and acquaintances and are 65 percent less likely to receive support from organizations of fellow immigrants. The treatment has no effect on employment, wellbeing, or other outcomes. Consistent with a simple model, the treatment reduces social network links more in places likely to have lower costs of acquiring network links (those with more prior fellow immigrants). Information and social network links appear to be substitutes in this context: better-informed immigrants invest less in expanding their social networks upon arrival. Our results suggest that endogenous reductions in acquisition of social network connections can reduce the effectiveness of information interventions.
    JEL: D83 D85 F22
    Date: 2020–06
  19. By: Rajashri Chakrabarti; William Nober
    Abstract: In this post, we study whether (and how) the spread of COVID-19 across the United States has varied by geography, race, income, and population density. Have urban areas been more affected by COVID-19 than rural areas? Has population density mattered in the spread? Has the coronavirus's impact varied by race and income? Our analysis uncovers stark demographic and geographic differences in the effects of the pandemic thus far.
    Keywords: COVID-19; income; race; diversity; population density; urban
    JEL: I14 R10
    Date: 2020–06–15
  20. By: González-Val, Rafael
    Abstract: This paper analyses the Spanish city size distribution from a new perspective, focusing on the role played by distance. Using un-truncated data from all cities in 1900 and 2011, we study the spatial distribution of cities and how the city size distribution varies with distance. First, K-densities are estimated to identify different spatial patterns depending on city size, with significant patterns of dispersion found for medium-sized and large cities. Second, using a distance-based approach that considers all possible combinations of cities within a 200-km radius, we analyse the influence of distance on the city size distribution parameters, considering both the Pareto and lognormal distributions. The results validate the Pareto distribution in most of the cases regardless of city size, and the lognormal distribution at short distances.
    Keywords: city size distribution; distance-based approach; Pareto distribution; Zipf’s law; lognormal distribution
    JEL: C12 C14 O18 R11 R12
    Date: 2020–06–16
  21. By: Spitzer, Yannay
    Abstract: Jews are typically characterized as an urban minority. This paper challenges this view, while explaining the geographic distribution and variations in the occupational choices of Jews in the Pale of Settlement at the end of the nineteenth century. Viewing Jews as a rural service minority, with comparative advantage in countryside commerce, not in dense urban centers, a simple model of a regional labor market with inter-ethnic complementarities produces a series of empirical predictions. Using data from the 1897 Russian census, I show that the geographic dispersion of Jewish communities and the variation in their occupational distribution conform with these predictions and could be explained by this model. The mechanism at work was adverse effects of ethnic congestion in the niche of rural services: When the share of Jews in the population grew, Jews spilled across two margins - occupational, as manufacturing workers, and geographic, as frontier migrants to districts where Jews were scarce. There was little distinction between rural and urban Jewish labor markets, and no preference for large urban centers over small towns or for urban congestion effects. The patterns exhibited in the US after migration appear as a sharp break from, rather than a continuation of, old-country tradition. The case of Russian Jews exemplifies how inter-ethnic complementarities shape the long-run spatial distribution of an ethnic minority group, and in particular, that economic incentives can lead to cross-regional dispersion.
    Keywords: East European history; Inter-ethnic complementarities; Jewish history; Middleman minority; Pale of Settlement; Russian empire
    JEL: J15 J24 N33 N73 N93
    Date: 2019–12
  22. By: Simanti Bandyopadhyay (School of Management and Entrepreneurship, Shiv Nadar University, India); Firdousi Naher (Economics Department, Dhaka University, Bangladesh); Aishna Sharma (School of Management and Entrepreneurship, Shiv Nadar University, India)
    Abstract: Fiscal and financial management in South Asian cities typically face constraints in capacity and utilization of resources. This paper attempts a systematic analysis of three corporations in the region: the Indian city of Kolkata (Kolkata Municipal Corporation, KMC) and the city corporations in Bangladesh’s capital city, Dhaka (Dhaka North City Corporation, DNCC, and Dhaka South City Corporation, DSCC). Based on the incomes and expenditures of these corporations, this paper attempts for the first time a comparison in the status of finances and service delivery in cities of two South Asian Countries. The main findings suggest that the revenue receipts of KMC is significantly higher than that of either DNCC or DSCC or even both the bodies combined. This is true for own revenue as well as for grants from the upper tiers. Both DNCC and DSCC have expenses, which are way below the low level of existing earnings. These expenses are less when compared with international expenditure norms also. For KMC the revenue is not sufficient to cover the expenditures. For DNCC and DSCC, levels of expenditures on provision of urban services are abysmally low, which is also reflected in the status of service delivery in these cities. Property tax accounts for the lion’s share of the tax revenue in both Kolkata and Dhaka. For Dhaka, non-tax revenues obtained from fees, fines, rates, etc. have a higher share in own revenue, while Kolkata has higher shares of taxes. Interestingly, despite the low revenue generation capacity of the DNCC and DSCC, this is what comprises the bulk of total revenue. Grants received from the upper tiers are very low in DNCC and DSCC compared to the fact that close to half of KMC’s total revenue comes from grants. We also estimated the GCP for Dhaka and Kolkata and did some simulation exercises for estimating the revenue capacities. Based on these exercises, we suggest that KMC should generate up to 4 percent of their GCP as revenues for the corporation. For Dhaka, 1 percent of GCP as revenues in both DNCC and DSCC are estimated as their potentials.
    Date: 2020–06
  23. By: Ngai, Liwa Rachel; Sheedy, Kevin D.
    Abstract: This paper documents the cyclical properties of housing-market variables, which are shown to be volatile, persistent, and highly correlated with each other. Is the observed volatility in these variables due to changes in the speed at which houses are sold or changes in the number of houses that are put up for sale? An inflow-outflow decomposition shows that the inflow rate accounts for almost all of the fluctuations in sales volume. The paper then shows that a search-and-matching model with endogenous moving subject to housing demand shocks performs well in explaining fluctuations in housing-market variables. A housing demand shock induces more moving and increases the supply of houses on the market, thus one housing demand shock replicates three correlated reduced-form shocks that would be needed to match the relative volatilities and correlations among key housing-market variables.
    Keywords: Endogenous moving; Housing market volatility; inflow-outflow decomposition; search frictions
    Date: 2020–01
  24. By: Ariella Kahn-Lang Spitzer; Kevin Lang
    Abstract: The authors focus on discrimination by race, acknowledging that discrimination exists along other dimensions. They describe evidence of substantial racial disparities in labor, education, criminal justice, health, and housing - showing that such disparities partially reflect discrimination.
    Keywords: Discrimination, Health and Human Services, Education, Labor, Housing
  25. By: Mohammad Akbarpour; Cody Cook; Aude Marzuoli; Simon Mongey; Abhishek Nagaraj; Matteo Saccarola; Pietro Tebaldi; Shoshana Vasserman; Hanbin Yang
    Abstract: We develop a heterogeneous-agents network-based model to analyze alternative policies during a pandemic outbreak, accounting for health and economic trade-offs within the same empirical framework. We leverage a variety of data sources, including data on individuals' mobility and encounters across metropolitan areas, health records, and measures of the possibility to be productively working from home. This combination of data sources allows us to build a framework in which the severity of a disease outbreak varies across locations and industries, and across individuals who differ by age, occupation, and preexisting health conditions. We use this framework to analyze the impact of different social distancing policies in the context of the COVID-19 outbreaks across US metropolitan areas. Our results highlight how outcomes vary across areas in relation to the underlying heterogeneity in population density, social network structures, population health, and employment characteristics. We find that policies by which individuals who can work from home continue to do so, or in which schools and firms alternate schedules across different groups of students and employees, can be effective in limiting the health and healthcare costs of the pandemic outbreak while also reducing employment losses.
    JEL: H12 H75 I18
    Date: 2020–06
  26. By: Luis Sarmiento
    Abstract: I posit that hourly changes in air pollution affect criminality through two distinct pathways, via physiological effects on the criminal and by changes in the tightness of the market for criminal activities. To disentangle individual from market effects, I develop a behavioral model of the individual decision to transgress and a model of search-and-matching frictions between criminals and crime opportunities. The study examines the impact on the four largest cities in North America. Causality emerges from instrumental variable panel-models. Results show that pollution increases violent and unpremeditated crimes while decreasing burglaries and sexual offenses through a reduction of crime opportunities.
    Keywords: Local air pollution, criminality, external effects, prospect theory, search and matching frictions, panel models
    JEL: K14 Q53 I18 H23
    Date: 2020
  27. By: Michael Bailey; Theresa Kuchler; Dominic Russel; Bogdan State; Johannes Stroebel
    Abstract: We use aggregated data from Facebook to study the structure of social networks across European regions. Social connectedness declines strongly in geographic distance and at country borders. Historical borders and unions — such as the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia, and East/West Germany — shape present-day social connectedness over and above today’s political boundaries. All else equal, social connectedness is stronger between regions with residents of similar ages and education levels, as well as between those that share a language and religion. In contrast, region-pairs with dissimilar incomes tend to be more connected, likely due to increased migration from poorer to richer regions. We find more socially connected region-pairs to have more passenger train trips between them, even after controlling for distance and travel time. We also find that regions with a higher share of connections to other countries have higher rates of trust in the E.U. and lower rates of voting for anti-E.U. political parties.
    Keywords: social connectedness, Europe, homophily, border effects, migration
    JEL: D72 J61 O52 R23 Z13
    Date: 2020
  28. By: Brune, Lasse; Chyn, Eric T.; Kerwin, Jason Theodore
    Abstract: This paper studies workplace peer effects by randomly varying work assignments at a tea estate in Malawi. We find that increasing mean peer ability by 10 percent raises productivity by 0.3 percent. This effect is driven by the responses of women. Neither production nor compensation externalities cause the effect because workers receive piece rates and do not work in teams. Additional analyses provide no support for learning or socialization as mechanisms. Instead, peer effects appear to operate through “motivation”: given the choice to be reassigned, most workers prefer working near high-ability co-workers because these peers motivate them to work harder.
    Date: 2020–06–10
  29. By: Fetzer, Thiemo; Sen, Srinjoy; Souza, Pedro CL
    Abstract: Homelessness and precarious living conditions are on the rise across much of the Western world. This paper exploits exogenous variation in the affordability of rents due to a cut that substantially lowered housing benefit -- a welfare benefit aimed at helping low income households pay rent. Before April 2011, local housing allowance covered up to the median level of market rents; from April 2011 onwards, only rents lower than the 30th percentile were covered. We exploit that the extent of cuts significantly depend on statistical noise due to estimation of percentiles. We document that the affordability shock caused a significant increase in: evictions; individual bankruptcies; property crimes; share of households living in insecure temporary accommodation; statutory homelessness and actual rough sleeping. The fiscal savings of the cut are much smaller than anticipated. We estimate that for every pound saved by the central government, council spending to meet statutory obligations for homelessness prevention increases by 53 pence. We further document political effects: the housing benefit cut causes lower electoral registration rates and is associated with lower turnout and higher support for Leave in the 2016 EU referendum, most likely driven by its unequal impact on the composition of those that engage with democratic processes.
    Keywords: homelessness and populism: Evidence from the UK; Housing insecurity
    JEL: D72 H2 H3 H5 P16
    Date: 2019–12
  30. By: Arthur Grimes (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Shaan Badenhorst (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); David C. Maré (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Jacques Poot (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and University of Waikato Author-Name Isabelle Sin; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Abstract: One of the main challenges facing non-metropolitan regions is the attraction and retention of highly-educated young people. A loss of the brightest can lead to reduced business creation, innovation, growth and community wellbeing in such regions. We use rich longitudinal microdata from New Zealand’s integrated administrative data infrastructure to analyse the determinants and geography of the choice of destination of tertiary educated (university and polytechnic) graduates. We address the question of post-student location choice in the context of the approach of Chen and Rosenthal (2008) who introduced a methodology for calculating ‘quality of life’ and ‘quality of business’ indicators for urban areas reflecting consumption and productive amenities respectively. Specifically, we test whether students – of different characteristics (e.g. institutional type and field of study) – locate in places that are regarded as good to live or good to do business. Our estimates are conditional on students’ prior school (home) location and the location of their higher education institution. We find that graduates are attracted to locate in places that have high quality production amenities. High quality consumption amenities have heterogeneous effects on the location choice of students. Creative Arts and Commerce graduates are relatively more likely to locate in places that are attractive to business, consistent with a symbiosis between bohemians and business. Places can leverage their existing (productive or consumption amenity) strengths to act as drawcards to recent graduates. The results are important for local decision-makers who wish to know which factors can attract and retain young qualified people.
    Keywords: Innovation; Immigration; Local labour market
    JEL: I23 J24 J61 R23 R58 Z13
    Date: 2020–04
  31. By: Armin Falk (briq and the University of Bonn); Fabian Kosse (LMU Munich); Pia Pinger (University of Cologne and briq)
    Abstract: Inequality of opportunity strikes when two children with the same academic performance are sent to different quality schools because their parents differ in socio-economic status. Based on a novel dataset for Germany, we demonstrate that children are significantly less likely to enter the academic track if they come from low socio-economic status (SES) families, even after conditioning on prior measures of school performance. We then provide causal evidence that a low-intensity mentoring program can improve long-run education outcomes of low SES children and reduce inequality of opportunity. Low SES children, who were randomly assigned to a mentor for one year are 20 percent more likely to enter a high track program. The mentoring relationship affects both parents and children and has positive long-term implications for children's educational trajectories.
    Keywords: mentoring, childhood intervention programs, education, human capital investment, inequality of opportunity, socioeconomic status
    JEL: C90 I24 J24 J62
    Date: 2020–06
  32. By: Juan Carlos Conesa; Yan Wang
    Abstract: China's real GDP has been growing by almost 10 percent a year for the last three decades. For how long should we expect this spectacularly high growth to continue? We evaluate in a quantitative two sector model with segmented labor markets and nancial frictions the prospects for China's future growth under different policy scenarios. In our model the high growth rate observed in China since the early 1990s is fueled by the large increase in urban labor supply, because of rural-urban migration, and the emergence of private enterprises that absorb those migrant workers. Our simulations suggest that the rapid aging of its population will signicantly decelerate urban labor force and economic growth starting around 2040. In a counterfactual exercise we show that substantial relaxation of labor market segmentation and nancial constraints faced by private enterprises cannot compensate for that deceleration.
    Date: 2020
  33. By: Murray, Cameron
    Abstract: Secure, affordable housing is a worthy policy objective. Unfortunately, many affordable housing policies are ineffective because they allow monopolist landholders to capture the value of subsidies for themselves. If Australian governments want to enact policies to make housing cheaper for residents, they should focus on housing options that provide residents access to housing without having to pay the monopoly market price. Option 1: The ACT’s Land Rent Scheme (LRS) is a publicly-run housing system that ensures residents get a discount on the market price of land, while providing secure long-term tenure, just as with private ownership. Option 2: Community Land Trusts (CLTs) are a privately-run housing scheme that provide secure long-term housing at below market prices. The CLT is an incorporated entity, much like a ‘land body corporate’, that inserts a layer of control over property ownership for land and dwellings within the trust.
    Date: 2018–09–03
  34. By: Stefano Magrini (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Marco Di Cataldo (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Margherita Gerolimetto (; Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: Internet and near-instant communication services have had a strong impact on the way people communicate and exchange information since the end of the 1990s. The COVID-19 pandemic shock is likely to provide a dramatic boost to this phenomenon. In the world that will emerge from lockdown, digital communication and videoconferencing will be integral part of daily working and social life to a much higher extent than before. This will have a disproportionally strong impact on knowledge based activities, and therefore on research. This paper presents a theoretical model of endogenous economic growth with the aim of providing hints on the possible consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic shock on income per capita growth and disparities within a system of integrated urban areas. In the model, abstract technological knowledge flows at no cost across space. In contrast, flows of tacit knowledge arise from the interaction between researchers and hence tends to be hampered by distance. Within this framework, the diffusion of broadband technology, high-speed connections and videoconferencing takes the form of a reduction of the “cost of distance” for flows of tacit knowledge. This reinforces productive specialization that, in turn, yields an increase in the system-wide, common growth rate and an increase in income per capita disparities across areas. On the other hand, social distancing is likely to yield an asymmetric negative impact on the productivity of urban research systems thus leading to a decrease in the growth rate.
    Keywords: COVID-19, social distancing, videoconferencing, innovation, growth, disparities
    JEL: O31 O41 O51 R12
    Date: 2020
  35. By: Jeremy Clark (University of Canterbury); Abel François; Olivier Gergaud
    Abstract: Although social capital is a useful and often used concept in political science to explain political behavior and electoral turnout, its effects are rarely tested because of scarcity of available data. It is hard to find a good measure of social capital not produced by a political process. Moreover, the concept suffers from an unstable definition that makes it difficult to operationalize. In line with a part of the previous literature, we propose a restricted definition of social capital based on its main origin, a person’s accumulated social interactions. This enables us to integrate social capital into the rational calculus of voting and state a clear prediction that higher social capital will raise electoral turnout. We test this prediction using data on New Zealand participation in the 2017 national election based on 2013 census characteristics at the finest aggregated level of “meshblock.” We measure social capital using a census measure of volunteering rates. Our results are clear and stable: there is a strong positive association between social capital and subsequent electoral turnout.
    Keywords: Electoral turnout, social capital, volunteering work, calculus of voting
    JEL: D42
    Date: 2020–07–01
  36. By: Tabellini, Marco
    Abstract: In this paper, I jointly investigate the political and the economic effects of immigration and study the causes of anti-immigrant sentiments. I exploit exogenous variation in European immigration to U.S. cities between 1910 and 1930 induced by World War I and the Immigration Acts of the 1920s as well as instrument immigrants' location decision relying on pre-existing settlement patterns. I find that immigration triggered hostile political reactions, such as the election of more conservative legislators, higher support for anti-immigration legislation, and lower redistribution. Exploring the causes of natives' backlash, I document that immigration increased natives' employment, spurred industrial production, and did not generate losses even among natives working in highly exposed sectors. These findings suggest that opposition to immigration was unlikely to have economic roots. Instead, I provide evidence that natives' political discontent was increasing in the cultural differences between immigrants and natives. Results in this paper indicate that, even when diversity is economically beneficial, it may nonetheless be socially hard to manage.
    Keywords: Age of Mass Migration; Cultural diversity; Immigration; Political Backlash
    JEL: J15 J24 N32
    Date: 2020–01
  37. By: Victor Couture (University of British Columbia); Jonathan I. Dingel (University of Chicago Booth School of Business); Allison Green (Princeton University); Jessie Handbury (University of Pennsylvania); Kevin R. Williams (Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
    Abstract: Tracking human activity in real time and at ï¬ ne spatial scale is particularly valuable during episodes such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we discuss the suitability of smartphone data for quantifying movement and social contact. We show that these data cover broad sections of the US population and exhibit movement patterns similar to conventional survey data. We develop and make publicly available a location exposure index that summarizes county-to-county movements and a device exposure index that quantiï¬ es social contact within venues. We use these indices to document how pandemic-induced reductions in activity vary across people and places.
    JEL: C8 R1 R4
    Date: 2020–07
  38. By: Tatyana Deryugina; Nolan H. Miller; David Molitor; Julian Reif
    Abstract: Policies aimed at reducing the harmful effects of air pollution exposure typically focus on areas with high levels of pollution. However, if a population’s vulnerability to air pollution is imperfectly correlated with current pollution levels, then this approach to air quality regulation may not efficiently target pollution reduction efforts. We examine the geographic and socioeconomic determinants of vulnerability to dying from acute exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution. We find that there is substantial local and regional variability in the share of individuals who are vulnerable to pollution both at the county and ZIP code level. Vulnerability tends to be negatively related to health and socioeconomic status. Surprisingly, we find that vulnerability is also negatively related to an area’s average PM2.5 pollution level, suggesting that basing air quality regulation only on current pollution levels may fail to effectively target regions with the most to gain by reducing exposure.
    JEL: I14 Q53 Q56
    Date: 2020–06
  39. By: Valentina Michelangeli; José-Luis Peydró; Enrico Sette
    Abstract: This paper identifies and quantifies -for the first time- the relative importance of borrower (credit demand) versus bank (supply) balance-sheet channels. We submit fictitious applications (varying households'characteristics) to the major Italian online-mortgage platform. In this way we ensure that all banks receive exactly the same mortgage applications, and that -for each application- there are other identical ones except for one borrower-level characteristic. We find that: (i) Borrower and bank channels are equally strong in causing (and explaining) loan acceptance (each channel changes acceptance by 50 p.p. for the interquartile range and explains 29% of R-square). (ii) Differently, for pricing, borrower factors are much stronger. (iii) Banks supplying less credit accept riskier borrowers. Finally -exploiting administrative credit register data- we document borrower-lender assortative matching: safer banks have more credit relations with safer firms. Moreover, the measure of credit supply estimated in the experiment (differently from a very similar measure estimated from the observational mortgage data) determines bank credit supply to firms and risk-taking in administrative data.
    Date: 2020–07
  40. By: Bose, Sukanya (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy); Ghosh, Priyanta (National Institute of Public Finance and Policy); Sardana, Arvind (Eklavya, Madhya Pradesh)
    Abstract: The framework of exit and voice, a la Hirschman, is applied to understand the social phenomenon of exit at the bottom of the pyramid. As the dominant groups vote with their feet, the low fee private school (LFPS) is perceived to be offering parents from disadvantaged groups “school choice”. We attempt to establish the size of the LFPS sector, information about which is central to educational planning, regulation and implementation, but invisible in the official database. A methodology based on macro-survey data is formulated and then applied to Delhi that has a substantial underbelly of LFPSs. We find that the estimated size of the LFPS sector accounts for nearly half the share of the overall children attending private schools at the elementary level. Policy recommendation suggests concrete steps toward expansion of public schools through public investment estimated at 0.3-0.4% of GSDP of Delhi, and upgradation of the existing facilities towards well functional benchmarks as per the RTE design so as to provide a credible alternative to the LFPS sector.
    Keywords: Low Fee Private School ; Affordability ; Exit ; Voice ; RTE ; Elementary Education ; Education Policy
    JEL: I21 I24 I28 H75
    Date: 2020–05
  41. By: Mauch, Michael PhD; Skabardonis, Alex PhD
    Abstract: The objective of this research study was to support the Traffic Census and Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) Programs in identifying locations for motorized traffic data collection on public roads in California. The study analyzed the traffic census count locations for each District to determine at which Census count locations the automated and continuously collected Caltrans Performance Measurement System (PeMS) data could be used in lieu of manual traffic counts. Next, this research identified and evaluated count locations for motorized traffic data collection on non-State Highway System Routes to help meet Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirements for the Caltrans Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) program. Lastly, this research reviewed and summarized the emerging traffic data collection technologies and data sources appropriate for Caltrans HPMS and/or Census reporting purposes.
    Keywords: Engineering, traffic surveillance, data collection, automatic data collection systems, traffic data, performance measurement
    Date: 2020–06–01
  42. By: Teresa Farinha; ; Raphaël
    Abstract: Workers that become automated may transfer productivity gains to their co-workers or make it easier to automate their jobs too. In this paper, I empirically investigate how automatable jobs have diffused impacts to neighbouring jobs in North American cities between 2007 and 2016. Results indicate that jobs that share similarities with neighbouring high-risk jobs grew less, even when controlling for their own technical risk of automation. Conversely, jobs that share complementarities with neighbouring high-risk jobs grew faster, possibly indicating productivity gains from working with recently automated jobs. In addition to the analysis in this paper, I provide an adjusted index of job automation risk that accounts for local diffusion of impacts (negative and positive) in US cities.
    Keywords: automation, diffusion, jobs, cities, similarity, complementarity
    JEL: J21 O20 O33 R10
    Date: 2020–07
  43. By: Lionel WILNER (INSEE – CREST)
    Abstract: Using the 2016 merger of French regions as a natural experiment, this paper adopts a difference-in-difference identification strategy to recover its causal impact on individual subjective well-being. No depressing effect is found despite increased centralization and higher local public spending, an intended effect of the merger. Life satisfaction has even increased in regions that were absorbed from economic and political viewpoints. The empirical evidence suggests that local economic performance improved in the concerned regions, which includes a faster decline in the unemployment rate. In this setting, economic gains have likely outweighed cultural attachment to administrative regions.
    Keywords: Merger of regions, natural experiment, difference-in-difference, subjective well-being, centralization
    JEL: H75 I31
    Date: 2020–07–09
  44. By: Mathilde Munoz (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, WIL - World Inequality Lab)
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the welfare effects of tax competition in an union where individuals can respond to taxation through migration. I derive the optimal linear and non-linear tax and transfer schedules in a free mobility union composed by symmetric countries that can either compete or set a federal tax rate. I show how in the competition union, the mobility-responses to taxation affect the redistributive capacity of governments through several mechanisms. I then use empirical earnings' distribution and estimated migration elasticities to implement numerical calibrations and simulations. I use my formulas to quantify the welfare gains and losses of being in a tax competition union instead of a federal union, and show how these welfare effects vary along the earnings distribution. I show that the bottom fifty percent always loses from tax competition, and that being in a competition union rather than in a federal union could decrease poorer individuals welfare up to -20 percent.
    Keywords: Tax Competition,Fiscal Dumping,Europe,taxation rate,migration,migration elasticities,international taxation
    Date: 2019
  45. By: M Said; A Biehl; A Stathopoulos
    Abstract: Active mobility, traditionally referring to modes requiring physical activity to operate, offers an array of physical, emotional, and social well-being benefits. However, with the proliferation of the sharing economy, new nonmotorized means of transport are entering the fold, complementing some existing mobility options while competing with others. The purpose of this research is to investigate the adoption of three active travel modes, namely walking, cycling and bike-sharing, in a joint modeling framework. The analysis is based on an adaptation of the stages of change framework, which originates from the health behavior sciences. The development of a multivariate ordered probit model drawing on U.S. survey data provides well-needed insights into individuals preparedness to adopt multiple active modes as a function of personal, neighborhood and psychosocial factors. The joint model structures reveal different levels of interdependence among active mobility choices. The strongest positive association is found for walking and cycling adoption, whereas other joint model effects are less evident. Identifying strongly with active mobility, experiences with multimodal travel, possessing better navigational skills, along with supportive local community norms are the factors that appear to drive the joint adoption decisions. This study contributes to the understanding of how decisions within the same functional domain are related.
    Date: 2020–06
  46. By: Hyunduk Suh (Inha University); Jin Young Yang (Zayed University)
    Abstract: We analyze international firm-level data to examine the relationship between housing cycle and firm capital expenditure or R&D spending. We use the housing price component independent of firms’ investment opportunity and credit supply shocks, obtained by historical decomposition of a structural VAR, as the key explanatory variable. The baseline results support the existence of the collateral channel as housing price growth and firm investment exhibit a positive relationship. This collateral channel is more distinct for capital expenditure than R&D spending, and in housing market downturns than booms. Another notable finding is that despite the collateral channel, large housing price booms are detrimental to investment, which suggests a possible reallocation of resources from the production sector to the housing sector during those phases. Moreover, various firm-specific and country-specific characteristics are found to affect the housing price-investment relationship. Small firms and firms with stronger investment opportunities respond more sensitively to housing price shocks. Countries that rely more on bank financing, collateralized lending, and with higher LTV restraint, display a larger collateral effect in capital expenditure.
    Keywords: Housing cycle, Investment, R&D, Housing price, Collateral channel
    JEL: E22 E32 G31
    Date: 2020–05
  47. By: Carlana, Michela; Tabellini, Marco
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the effects of immigration on natives' marriage, fertility, and family formation across U.S. cities between 1910 and 1930. Instrumenting immigrants' location decision by interacting national changes in migration flows across ethnic groups with pre-existing immigrants' enclaves across U.S. cities, we find that immigration raised marriage rates and the probability of having children for young native men and women. We show that these effects were driven by the large and positive impact of immigration on native men's employment and occupational standing, which increased the supply of "marriageable men." We explore alternative mechanisms-changes in sex ratios, natives' cultural responses, and displacement effects of immigrants on female employment-and provide evidence that none of them can account for a quantitatively relevant fraction of our results.
    JEL: J12 J13 J61 N32
    Date: 2020–01
  48. By: Delaney, Judith; Devereux, Paul J.
    Abstract: Using unique data on preference rankings for all high school students who apply for college in Ireland, we investigate whether, conditional on absolute achievement, within school-cohort rank in English and math affects choice of college major. We find that higher rank in math increases the likelihood of choosing STEM and decreases the likelihood of choosing Arts and Social Sciences. Similarly, a higher rank in English leads to an increase in the probability of choosing Arts and Social Sciences and decreases the probability of choosing STEM. The rank effects are substantial, being about one third as large as the effects of absolute performance in math and English. We identify subject choice in school as an important mediator â?? students who rank high in math are more likely to choose STEM subjects in school and this can partly explain their subsequent higher likelihood of choosing STEM for college. We also find that English and math rank have significant explanatory power for the gender gap in the choice of STEM as a college major--they can explain about 36% as much as absolute performance in English and math. Overall, the tendency for girls to be higher ranked in English and lower ranked in math within school-cohorts can explain about 6% of the STEM gender gap in mixed-sex schools and about 16% of the difference in the STEM gender gap between mixed-sex schools and same-sex schools. Notably, these effects occur even though within-school rank plays no role whatsoever in college admissions decisions.
    Keywords: college major choice; comparative advantage; Gender Gap; High school rank; STEM
    JEL: I20 I23
    Date: 2019–12
  49. By: Natacha Aveline-Dubach (CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Thibault Le Corre (GC (UMR_8504) - Géographie-cités - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP - Université de Paris); Eric Denis (CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Napoleone Claude (ECODEVELOPPEMENT - Unité de recherche d'Écodéveloppement - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: This chapter is part of an edited volume on the prospective of urban issues that aims to shed light on the future directions of French research : what could, or should, be the priority areas for the production of knowledge on the urban environment in the next decade? In this chapter, we examine the "urban land issue" in relation to the transformations of the macroeconomic and institutional frameworks of contemporary capitalism. Starting from a panorama encompassing the urban contexts of the North and South, we attempt to identify prospective avenues for renewing research agendas on land and property issues.
    Abstract: Ce chapitre entre dans le cadre d'un ouvrage collectif de prospective des questions urbaines, qui vise à éclairer les orientations futures de la recherche française : quels pourraient, ou devraient, être les domaines prioritaires pour la production de connaissances sur l'environnement urbain au cours de la prochaine décennie ? Dans ce chapitre, nous abordons la "question du foncier urbain" en relation avec les transformations des cadres macroéconomiques et institutionnels du capitalisme contemporain. A partir d'un panorama embrassant les contextes urbains du Nord et du Sud, nous tentons d'identifier des pistes prospectives pour renouveler les agendas de recherche sur les questions foncières et immobilières.
    Keywords: ground rent,urban commons,financialisation of real estate,urban land,land property,urban planning,land policy,financiarisation de l'immobilier,aménagement urbain,foncier urbain,communs urbains,rente foncière,politiques foncières,propriété foncière
    Date: 2020–06–18
  50. By: Daniel Gurara; Kangni R Kpodar; Andrea F Presbitero; Dawit Tessema
    Abstract: While expanding public investment can help filling infrastructure bottlenecks, scaling up too much and too fast often leads to inefficient outcomes. This paper rationalizes this outcome looking at the association between cost inflation and public investment in a large sample of road construction projects in developing countries. Consistent with the presence of absorptive capacity constraints, our results show a non-linear U-shaped relationship between public investment and project costs. Unit costs increase once public investment is close to 10% of GDP. This threshold is lower (about 7% of GDP) in countries with low investment efficiency and, in general, the effect of investment scaling up on costs is especially strong during investment booms.
    Keywords: National income;Public investments;Absorptive capacity;Economic growth;Public investment programs;Public investment,Unit costs,Investment efficiency,infrastructure,WP,unit cost,quantiles,capacity constraint,public investment program
    Date: 2020–02–28
  51. By: Butikofer, Aline; Løken, Katrine; Willén, Alexander
    Abstract: We exploit the construction of the Oresund bridge, which connects a medium-sized city in Sweden to the capital of Denmark, to study the labor market effects of gaining access to a larger labor market. Using unique cross-country matched registry data that allow us to follow individuals across the border, we find that the bridge led to a substantial increase in cross-country commuting among Swedish residents. This effect is driven both by extensive and intensive margin employment responses, and translates into a 15% increase in the average wage of Swedish residents. However, the wage effects are unevenly distributed: the effect is largest for high-educated men and smallest for low-educated women. Thus, the wage gains come at the cost of increased income inequality and a widening of the gender wage gap, both within- and across-households. We show that these inequality effects are driven not only by differences in the propensity to commute, but also by educational specialization.
    Keywords: Equity Concerns; Labor Market Expansions; wages
    JEL: J3 J62
    Date: 2020–01
  52. By: María Gabriela Palacio Ludeña (Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University); Fabio Andrés Díaz Pabón (African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research (ACEIR), Southern African Labour Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town & Department of Political and International Studies, Rhodes University)
    Abstract: Mobility is a multifaceted concept with social, economic and political implications. Spatial mobility, inequality and precarity intertwine. This article reflects on the role of mobility and precarity and the emergence of protests in both Ecuador and Chile in 2019. We argue that the announced increases in transport and fuel costs in Chile and Ecuador unveiled the obstacles to mobility and the degree of existing inequalities. Whereas protests emerged as a response to the announcement of a reduction in fuel subsidies and the possible increases in the costs of transport, they reflec something deeper related to the vulnerability of the livelihoods of segments of the population; this in spite that both Chile and Ecuador observe improvements in poverty and inequality indicators. Undertaking a more dissagragated analysis of the effects of reduction in fuel subsidies or increases in metro tickets we find that mobility correlates with a pattern of structural marginalisation that perpetuates inequality, which is not necessarily visible to aggregate economic indicators.
    Keywords: mobility, protests, Ecuador, Chile, Latin America, inequality, poverty
    Date: 2020
  53. By: Rajashri Chakrabarti; Maxim L. Pinkovskiy
    Abstract: Social distancing—avoiding nonessential movement and largely staying at home—is seen as key to limiting the spread of COVID-19. To promote social distancing, over forty states imposed shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, closing nonessential businesses, banning large gatherings, and encouraging citizens to stay home. Over the course of the last month, virtually all of these states have reopened. However, these reopenings were preceded by a spontaneous increase in mobility and decline in social distancing. Did the reopenings decrease social distancing, or did it ratify ex post what was already going to take place? In this post, we will investigate this question using an event study methodology and demonstrate that reopenings probably have caused a large decline in social distancing, even after accounting for the trends already in place at the time of reopening.
    Keywords: social distancing; state reopenings; pandemic; COVID-19
    JEL: I18
    Date: 2020–06–17
  54. By: László Lõrincz (Centre for Economic- and Regional Studies, Institute of Economics, Budapest and Networks, Technology and Innovation Lab, Corvinus University of Budapest); Guilherme Kenji Chihaya (Department of Geography, Umea University;); Anikó Hannák (Department of Information Science, University of Zurich); Dávid Takács (Department of Geography, Umea University); Balázs Lengyel (Centre for Economic- and Regional Studies, Institute of Economics, Budapest; Networks, Technology and Innovation Lab, Corvinus University of Budapest;Agglomeration and Social Networks Lendület Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences); Rikard Eriksson (Department of Geography, Umea University; Center for Regional Science, Umea University)
    Abstract: Social connections that reach distant places are advantageous for individuals and firms by providing access to new skills and knowledge. However, systematic evidence on how firms work up global knowledge access is still missing. In this paper, we analyse how global work connections relate to differences in the skill composition of employees within companies. We gather survey data from 10% of workers in a local industry in Sweden and complement this with digital trace data to map co-worker networks and skill composition. This unique combination of data and features allows us to quantify global connections of employees and measure the degree of skill-similarity and skill-relatedness to co-workers. We find that the workers with extensive local networks typically have related skills to others in the region and to their co-workers. Workers with more global ties typically bring in less related skills to the region. These results provide new insights to the composition of skills within knowledge intensive irms by connecting the geography of networks contacts to the diversity of skills accessible through them.
    Keywords: Co-worker networks, skills, relatedness, global connections, survey, online social network
    JEL: D85 J24 J61
    Date: 2020–07
  55. By: John McLaren
    Abstract: This note seeks the socioeconomic roots of racial disparities in COVID-19 mortality, using county-level mortality, economic, and demographic data from 3,140 counties. For all minorities, the minority's population share is strongly correlated with total COVID-19 deaths. For Hispanic/Latino and Asian minorities those correlations are fragile, and largely disappear when we control for education, occupation, and commuting patterns. For African Americans and First Nations populations, the correlations are very robust. Surprisingly, for these two groups the racial disparity does not seem to be due to differences in income, poverty rates, education, occupational mix, or even access to healthcare insurance. A significant portion of the disparity can, however, be sourced to the use of public transit.
    JEL: I14 J15
    Date: 2020–06
  56. By: Alina Kristin Bartscher; Sebastian Seitz; Sebastian Sieglich; Michaela Slotwinski; Nils Wehrhöfer; Sebastian Siegloch
    Abstract: We explore the role of social capital in the spread of the recent Covid-19 pandemic in independent analyses for Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Exploiting within-country variation, we show that a one standard deviation increase in social capital leads to 12% and 32% fewer Covid-19 cases per capita accumulated from mid-March until mid-May. Using Italy as a case study, we find that high-social-capital areas exhibit lower excess mortality and a decline in mobility. Our results have important implications for the design of local containment policies in future waves of the pandemic.
    Keywords: Covid-19, social capital, collective action, health costs, Europe
    JEL: D04 A13 D91 H11 H12 I10 I18
    Date: 2020
  57. By: Clara Toledano (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, WIL - World Inequality Lab)
    Abstract: Business cycle dynamics can shape the wealth distribution through asset price changes, saving responses, or a combination of both. This paper studies the implications of housing booms and busts for wealth inequality, examining two episodes over the last four decades in Spain. I combine fiscal data with household surveys and national accounts to reconstruct the entire wealth distribution and develop a new asset-specific decomposition of wealth ac- cumulation to disentangle the main forces behind wealth inequality dynamics (e.g., capital gains, saving rates). I find that the top 10% wealth share drops during housing booms, but the decreasing pattern reverts during busts. Differences in capital gains across wealth groups appear to be the main drivers of the decline in wealth concentration during booms. In contrast, persistent differences in saving rates across wealth groups and portfolio reshuf- fling towards financial assets among top wealth holders are the main explanatory forces behind the reverting evolution during housing busts. I show that the heterogeneity in saving responses is largely driven by differences in portfolio adjustment frictions across wealth groups and that tax incentives can exacerbate this differential behavior. Using a novel personal income and wealth tax panel, I explore the role of tax incentives exploiting quasi-experimental variation created by a large capital income tax reform in a differences- in-differences setting. I find that capital income tax cuts, largely benefiting top wealth holders, explain on average 60% of the increase in the top 10% wealth share during the re- cent housing bust. These results provide novel empirical evidence to enrich macroeconomic theories of wealth inequality over the business cycle.
    Keywords: Wealth distribution,wealth concentration,Spain,inequality,asset,housing,wealth tax
    Date: 2020
  58. By: Rebecca Corwin; Hal Martin; Clare Stevens
    Abstract: Evictions are a serious risk for households facing job loss and economic upheaval during the COVID-19 pandemic, and temporary policies put in place to protect renters are beginning to expire. To understand how the crisis is affecting evictions, we measured eviction filing activity across 44 cities and counties. As of July 7, 2020, eviction filings have almost returned to their prepandemic levels in places where local bans have expired or where they were never enacted. We find that eviction filings tend to surge after temporary policies expire much more in places that enacted both filing bans and hearing bans than those that enacted just hearing bans while allowing filings to continue. As federal stimulus supplements for the unemployed expire, evictions are likely to increase for households that have lost work because of the crisis unless there is material improvement in the economy (Mervosh 2020).
    Keywords: COVID-19
    Date: 2020–07–17
  59. By: Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Dylan Connor
    Abstract: We study a program that funded 39,000 Jewish households in New York City to leave enclave neighborhoods circa 1910. Compared to their neighbors with the same occupation and income score at baseline, program participants earned 4 percent more ten years after removal, and these gains persisted to the next generation. Men who left enclaves also married spouses with less Jewish names, but they did not choose less Jewish names for their children. Gains were largest for men who spent more years outside of an enclave. Our results suggest that leaving ethnic neighborhoods could facilitate economic advancement and assimilation into the broader society, but might make it more difficult to retain cultural identity.
    JEL: J15 N12 R23
    Date: 2020–06
  60. By: Cem Özgüzel (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Productivity differences across Turkish provinces is one of the highest among the OECD countries. In this paper, I estimate agglomeration effects for Turkish provinces to shed light on the causes of productivity differences and provide evidence on the importance of such effects in a developing country context which literature needs. I use a novel administrative dataset recently made available at NUTS-3 level, for 81 provinces of Turkey for the period 2008-2013 and carry out a two-step estimation. Using a variety of panel data techniques and historical instruments to deal with estimation concerns, I estimate an elasticity of labor productivity with respect to the density of 0.057-0.06, which is higher than in developed countries and around the levels observed in developing countries. I find that domestic market potential matters even more than density and is the most significant determinant of the productivity differences across Turkish provinces. Finally, in stark contrast with the evidence coming from developed countries, I do not find any effects for positive sorting of workers across provinces. This finding suggests that urbanisation patterns may be operating differently in developing countries, indicating the need for further evidence from such countries.
    Keywords: local labor markets,spatial wage disparities,developing country,Turkey
    Date: 2020–06
  61. By: Florian H. Schneider; Fanny Brun; Roberto A. Weber
    Abstract: We use surveys, laboratory experiments and administrative labor-market data to study how heterogeneity in the perceived immorality of work and in workers’ aversion to acting immorally interact to impact labor market outcomes. Specifically, we investigate whether those individuals least concerned with acting morally select into jobs generally perceived as immoral and whether the aversion among many individuals to performing such acts contributes to immorality wage premiums, a form of compensating differential. We show that immoral work is associated with higher wages, both using correlational evidence from administrative labor-market data and causal evidence from a laboratory experiment. We also measure individuals’ aversion to performing immoral acts and show that those who find immoral behavior least aversive are more likely to be employed in immoral work in the lab and have a relative preference for work perceived as immoral outside the laboratory. We note that sorting by “immoral” types into jobs that can cause harm may be detrimental for society. Our study highlights the value of employing complementary research methods.
    Keywords: Wage premium, immoral behavior, sorting, experiments
    JEL: C92 J31 D03
    Date: 2020–06
  62. By: Armin Falk; Fabian Kosse; Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch; Florian Zimmermann
    Abstract: This study presents descriptive and causal evidence on the role of the social environment in shaping the accuracy of self-assessment. We introduce a novel incentivized measurement tool to measure the accuracy of self-assessment among children and use this tool to show that children from high socioeconomic status (SES) families are more accurate in their self-assessment, compared to children from low SES families. To move beyond correlational evidence, we then exploit the exogenous variation of participation in a mentoring program designed to enrich the social environment of children. We document that the mentoring program has a causal positive effect on the accuracy of children’s self-assessment. Finally, we show that the mentoring program is most effective for children whose parents provide few social and interactive activities for their children.
    Keywords: self-assessment, beliefs, experiments, randomized intervention, children
    JEL: D03 C21 C91 I24
    Date: 2020

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