nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2020‒08‒17
79 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Modelling urban development in New Zealand. By Stuart Donovan; Arthur Grimes; David C. Maré
  2. The Assessment Gap: Racial Inequalities in Property Taxation By Carlos Avenancio-León; Troup Howard
  3. The Apartment Shortage By Keaton Jenner; Peter Tulip
  4. Medieval Cities Through the Lens of Urban Economic Theories By Remi Jedwab; Noel D. Johnson; Mark Koyama
  5. Housing, Wealth Accumulation and Wealth Distribution: Evidence and Stylized Facts By Orsetta Causa; Nicolas Woloszko; David Leite
  6. Congestion Tolls Efficiently Reduce CO2 Emissions from Homes in addition to Urban Transportation in the Long Run By Domon, Shohei; Hirota, Mayu; Kono, Tatsuhito; Managi, Shunsuke; Matsuki, Yusuke
  7. Localised employment spillovers By Laws, A.
  8. A Crisis of Missed Opportunities? Foreclosure Costs and Mortgage Modification During the Great Recession By Stuart A. Gabriel; Matteo Iacoviello; Chandler Lutz
  9. Housing for all in India By Christine de la Maisonneuve; Marnix Dek
  10. Museums and Local Development in Poland By OECD
  11. Search and Credit Frictions in the Housing Market By Miroslav Gabrovski; Victor Ortego-Marti
  12. The Role of Government and Private Institutions in Credit Cycles in the U.S. Mortgage Market By Manuel Adelino; William B. McCartney; Antoinette Schoar
  13. What do divided cities have in common? An international comparison of income segregation By Paolo Veneri; Andre Comandon; Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López; Michiel N. Daams
  14. Grade Expectations: How well can we predict future grades based on past performance? By Jake Anders; Catherine Dilnot; Lindsey Macmillan; Gill Wyness
  15. You Say Hello and I Say Goodbye? Natives’ Reactions to Openings of Asylum Centers By Myohl, Nadia; Stadelmann, Sabrina
  16. Compensating for Academic Loss: Online Learning and Student Performance during the COVID-19 Pandemic By Andrew E. Clark; Huifu Nong; Hongjia Zhu; Rong Zhu
  17. The effects of the 2012 Spanish law reform to protect mortgage debtors By González-Val, Rafael
  18. Evaluating the Benefits of a Streamlined Refinance Program By Kristopher S. Gerardi; Lara Loewenstein; Paul S. Willen
  19. Private Precaution and Public Restrictions: What Drives Social Distancing and Industry Foot Traffic in the COVID-19 Era? By Christopher J. Cronin; William N. Evans
  20. Income Sorting Across Space: The Role of Amenities and Commuting Costs By Carl Gaigne; Hans R.A. Koster; Fabien Moizeau; Jacques-François Thisse
  21. Commuting time and the gender gap in labor market participation By Lídia Farré; Jordi Jofre-Monseny; Juan Torrecillas
  22. Evaluating the Benefits of a Streamlined Refinance Program By Kristopher S. Gerardi; Lara Loewenstein; Paul S. Willen
  23. The housing boom and selection into entrepreneurship By Joao Galindo da Fonseca; Pierluca Pannella
  24. Driven to succeed? Teenagers' drive, ambition and performance on high-stakes examinations By John Jerrim; Nikki Shure; Gill Wyness
  25. House prices and tourism development in Cyprus: A contemporary perspective By Alola, Andrew; Asongu, Simplice; Alola, Uju
  26. The Shrinking Advantage of Market Potential By Brülhart, Marius; Desmet, Klaus; Klinke, Gian-Paolo
  27. How Much does COVID-19 Increase with Mobility? Evidence from New York and Four Other U.S. Cities By Edward L. Glaeser; Caitlin S. Gorback; Stephen J. Redding
  28. Challenges for the Marginalised Youth in Accessing Jobs - How Effective is Public Service Delivery? By Khondaker Golam Moazzem; A S M Shamim Alam Shibly
  29. Optimal Lockdown in a Commuting Network By Pablo Fajgelbaum; Amit Khandelwal; Wookun Kim; Cristiano Mantovani; Edouard Schaal
  30. Spatial distributive justice and crime in the covid-19 pandemic By Dixon, Anthony; Halford, Eric; Farrell, Graham
  31. Does media coverage affect governments’preparation for natural disasters? By Pierre Magontier
  32. Cultural Identity and Social Capital in Italy By Sgroi, Daniel; Redoano, Michela; Liberini. Federica; Lockwood, Ben; Emanuele Bracco, Emanuele; Porcelli, Francesco
  33. The effectiveness of school closures and other pre-lockdown COVID-19 mitigation strategies in Argentina, Italy, and South Korea By Neidhöfer, Guido; Neidhöfer, Claudio
  34. General Equilibrium Effects in Space: Theory and Measurement By Rodrigo Adao; Costas Arkolakis; Federico Esposito
  35. Multi-collège catchment areas in Paris: an effective tool for combating social segregation? By Julien Grenet; Youssef Souidi
  36. "Geography and Regional Economic Growth: The high cost of deviating from nature" By Daniel Albalate; Germà Bel; Ferran A. Mazaira-Font
  37. Measuring uncertainty at the regional level using newspaper text By Christopher Rauh
  38. Measuring Movement and Social Contact with Smartphone Data: A Real-Time Application to COVID-19 By Victor Couture; Jonathan Dingel; Allison Green; Jessie Handbury; Kevin Williams
  39. Spatial Production Economics By Orea, Luis; Álvarez, Inmaculada C.
  40. Arm-wrestling in the classroom: the non-monotonic effects of monitoring teachers By Guilherme Lichand; Sharon Wolf
  41. Spatial autocorrelation of exports and R&D expenditures in Portugal By António Carlos de Campos; Luís Lopes; Carlos Carreira
  42. The labour market impact of robotisation in Europe By Jose-Ignacio Anton; David Klenert; Enrique Fernandez-Macias; Maria Cesira Urzi Brancati; Georgios Alaveras
  43. Electric Street Car as a Clean Public Transport Alternative: A Choice Experiment Approach By Dey, Oindrila; Chakravarty, Debalina
  44. What happens when separate and unequal school districts merge? By Aue, Robert; Klein, Thilo; Ortega, Josué
  45. Price regulation, inflation, and nominal rigidity in housing rents By O'Toole, Conor; Martinez-Cillero, Maria; Ahrens, Achim
  46. How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect housing prices in China? By Chong, Terence Tai Leung; Liu, Hengliang
  47. Learning from House Prices: Amplification and Business Fluctuations By Chahrour, Ryan; Gaballo, Gaetano
  48. Economic Activities and Regional Correlation During Economic and Natural Disasters By Jun Nagayasu
  49. Fear, Lockdown, and Diversion: Comparing Drivers of Pandemic Economic Decline 2020 By Austan Goolsbee; Chad Syverson
  50. Did President Trump’s Tulsa Rally Reignite COVID-19? Indoor Events and Offsetting Community Effects By Dhaval M. Dave; Andrew I. Friedson; Kyutaro Matsuzawa; Drew McNichols; Connor Redpath; Joseph J. Sabia
  51. Mentoring and Schooling Decisions: Causal Evidence By Armin Falk; Fabian Kosse; Pia Pinger
  52. To securitise or to price credit default risk? By McGowan, Danny; Nguyen, Huyen
  53. Building(s and) cities: delineating urban areas with a machine learning algorithm By Daniel Arribas-Bel; Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López; Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal
  54. The Labor Market Effects of Venezuelan Migration in Ecuador By Olivieri,Sergio Daniel; Ortega,Francesc; Carranza,Eliana; Rivadeneira Alava,Ana Mercedes
  55. Background Paper: The General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) Makes Trip-Planning Easier — Especially During a Pandemic — Yet its Use by California Agencies is Uneven By Frick, Karen Trapenberg PhD; Kumar, Tanu PhD; Post, Alison PhD
  56. How Much are the Poor Losing from Tax Competition: The Welfare Effects of Fiscal Dumping in Europe By Mathilde Munoz
  57. The causal effect of road concessions on road safety By Alves, Pedro Jorge; Emanuel, Lucas; Pereira, Rafael Henrique Moreas
  58. The Geography of Business Dynamism and Skill Biased Technical Change By Hannah Rubinton
  59. Reference Dependence in the Housing Market By Andersen, Steffen; Badarinza, Cristian; Liu, Lu; Marx, Julie; Ramadorai, Tarun
  60. Spatial competition and efficiency: an investigation in the airport sector By Bergantino, Angela Stefania; Intini, Mario; Volta, Nicola
  61. A perfect storm for European office markets? Potential price effects of the Covid-19 pandemic By Voigtländer, Michael
  62. Social Interaction Methods By Hsieh, Chih-Sheng; Lin, Xu; Patacchini, Eleonora
  63. Road Transport Energy Consumption and Vehicular Emissions in Lagos, Nigeria By Monica Maduekwe; Uduak Akpan; Salisu Isihak
  64. An Evaluation Of Free- Floating Carsharing In Oakland, California By Martin, Elliot PhD; Pan, Alexandra; Shaheen, Susan
  65. Measuring Infrastructure in BEA's National Economic Accounts By Jennifer Bennett; Robert Kornfeld; Daniel Sichel; David Wasshausen
  66. Optimal Taxation with Homeownership and Wealth Inequality By Borri, Nicola; Reichlin, Pietro
  67. Asset Pricing with Cohort-Based Trading in MBS Markets By Nicola Fusari; Wei Li; Haoyang Liu; Zhaogang Song
  68. Roommate effects in health outcomes By Frijters, Paul; Islam, Asad; Lalji, Chitwan; Pakrashi, Debayan
  69. The integrity of crime statistics: Assessing the impact of police data bias on crime mapping By Buil-Gil, David; Moretti, Angelo; Langton, Samuel
  70. Implementation of Optimal Connection Networks By Jens Leth Hougaard; Mich Tvede
  71. Regional Labour Market Spillovers By Cameron Haworth
  72. Inference and Influence of Large-Scale Social Networks Using Snapshot Population Behaviour without Network Data By Godoy-Lorite, Antonia; Jones, Nick S.
  73. Tech Clusters By William R. Kerr; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud
  74. Mapping Fuel Poverty Risk at the Municipal Level: A Small-Scale Analysis of Italian Energy Performance Certificate, Census and Survey Data By Riccardo Camboni; Alberto Corsini; Raffaele Miniaci; Paola Valbonesi
  75. A model of dynamic migration networks: Explaining Turkey's inter-provincial migration flows By Aksoy, Ozan; Yıldırım, Sinan
  76. Migrants and Firms : Evidence from China By Imbert, Clement; Seror, Marlon; Zhang, Yifan; Yanos Zylberberg
  77. Discrimination, narratives and family history: An experiment with Jordanian host and Syrian refugee children By Barron, Kai; Harmgart, Heike; Huck, Steffen; Schneider, Sebastian; Sutter, Matthias
  78. Islam and the State: Religious Education in the Age of Mass Schooling By Samuel Bazzi; Masyhur Hilmy; Benjamin Marx
  79. Minimum wage and immigrants' participation in the welfare system: evidence from France By Eva Moreno-Galbis

  1. By: Stuart Donovan (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Arthur Grimes (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); David C. Maré (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Abstract: We formulate and estimate a simple dynamic spatial general equilibrium model of urban development. Notwithstanding its simplicity, the model allows for adjustment frictions in housing markets; workers with heterogeneous productivities and preferences; and agglomeration economies in production and consumption. We estimate our model as a system of equations using panel data for workers residing in 132 urban settlements in New Zealand for the period 1976 to 2013. In terms of housing markets, we find strong evidence of increasing marginal costs and large adjustment frictions. The latter suggests demand shocks lead to temporarily elevated prices. In terms of agglomeration economies, we find New Zealand’s cities and towns offer economies of scale to producers, in the form of higher wages, but diseconomies of scale to consumers. By exploiting the panel structure of our data, we consider whether our findings are stable over time. We use the results of our model to compare relative productivity and amenity levels in New Zealand’s cities and towns and consider implications for research and policy.
    Keywords: urban development; location choice; dynamics; wages; rents; New Zealand
    JEL: R11 R12 R23
    Date: 2020–07
  2. By: Carlos Avenancio-León; Troup Howard
    Abstract: We use panel data covering 118 million homes in the United States, merged with geolocation detail for 75,000 taxing entities, to document a nationwide "assessment gap" which leads local governments to place a disproportionate fiscal burden on racial and ethnic minorities. We show that holding jurisdictions and property tax rates fixed, black and Hispanic residents nonetheless face a 10-13% higher tax burden for the same bundle of public services. This assessment gap arises through two channels. First, property assessments are less sensitive to neighborhood attributes than market prices are. This generates racially correlated spatial variation in tax burden within jurisdiction. Second, appeals behavior and appeals outcomes differ by race. This results in higher assessment growth rates for minority residents. We propose an alternate approach for constructing assessments based on small-geography home price indexes, and show that this reduces inequality by at least 55-70%.
    JEL: H71 J15 R10
    Date: 2020–07–06
  3. By: Keaton Jenner (Reserve Bank of Australia); Peter Tulip (Reserve Bank of Australia)
    Abstract: This paper measures the excess demand for apartments in Australia's largest cities. We estimate that home buyers will pay an average of $873,000 for a new apartment in Sydney though it only costs $519,000 to supply, a gap of $355,000 (68 per cent of costs). There are smaller gaps of $97,000 (20 per cent of costs) in Melbourne and $10,000 (2 per cent of costs) in Brisbane. The large gaps are sustained by planning restrictions. The shortage of apartments is most severe in the inner suburbs of Sydney, where height limits prevent more construction. Elsewhere, restrictions on converting low-density housing to apartments are important. High-rise apartments are a much less costly means of supplying extra housing than the medium-density housing that some planners favour.
    Keywords: housing prices; apartments; zoning; land use
    JEL: R31 R38 R52
    Date: 2020–08
  4. By: Remi Jedwab (George Washington University); Noel D. Johnson (George Mason University); Mark Koyama (George Mason University)
    Abstract: We draw on theories and empirical findings from urban economics to explore and explain patterns of city growth in the Middle Ages (c. 800-1500 CE). We discuss how agricultural development and physical geography determined the location and size of cities during the medieval period. We also consider the relative importance of economies of scale, agglomeration, and human capital spillovers in medieval cities and discuss how their growth was limited by disamenities and constraints on mobility. We discuss how medieval cities responded to shocks such as the Black Death and describe how institutions became increasingly important in determining their trajectories. Avenues for future research are also laid out.
    Keywords: Medieval Era, City Growth, Urbanization, Food Surplus Hypothesis, Agglomeration Effects, Labor Mobility, Pandemics, Institutions, Europe, Asia
    JEL: R11 R12 R19 N9 N93 N95
    Date: 2020–09
  5. By: Orsetta Causa; Nicolas Woloszko; David Leite
    Abstract: This paper produces new evidence and stylised facts on housing, wealth accumulation and wealth distribution, relying on an in-depth analysis of micro-based data on household wealth across OECD countries. The analysis addresses several questions: i) How is homeownership and housing tenure distributed across the population along various socio-economic characteristics such as income, wealth and age? What is the weight of housing in households’ balance sheets and how does this vary across socio-economic groups? ii) What is the incidence of mortgage debt across households and how does this vary across socio-economic groups? What is the impact of mortgage debt on access to homeownership and wealth accumulation, and on debt overburden and financial risks among vulnerable groups? iii) Is housing a vehicle for wealth accumulation? Can it be a barrier to residential mobility? iv) Is there a link between homeownership and wealth inequality? Between inequality in housing wealth and in total wealth? A key policy issue addressed in this paper is whether and how housing-related policies affect wealth distribution. Another important issue is whether housing-related policies raise potential trade-offs between equity, or inequality reduction, and other policy objectives such as employment and productivity growth as well as macroeconomic resilience. Informed by the stylised facts and existing evidence, this paper discusses preliminary policy implications of housing reform to promote inclusiveness and social mobility, to enhance efficiency in the allocation of labour and capital and to strengthen macroeconomic resilience.
    Date: 2020–02
  6. By: Domon, Shohei; Hirota, Mayu; Kono, Tatsuhito; Managi, Shunsuke; Matsuki, Yusuke
    Abstract: Greenhouse gas emissions caused by urban residents' energy consumption arise from the 1) transportation and 2) housing sectors. This energy consumption depends on the population distribution of the city. This study quantitatively examines the effectiveness of congestion tolls, carbon tax, and land use regulations on the social welfare and the reduction of urban CO2 emissions. Results show that, among the three policies, the congestion toll can increase the social welfare by about 99% of the increase in the first-best scenario, which shows the best among the three policies, and can reduce the amount of total CO2 emissions by about 22%, which is almost the highest level among the three policies. These results suggest that congestion tolling, which is primarily the Pigovian tax for congestion, does not only internalize congestion externalities but also reduce CO2 emissions rather effectively through downsizing transportation distances and housing sizes with the spatial change in population density in the city.
    Keywords: Carbon tax; Congestion tolls; CO2 emissions; Land use regulations
    JEL: Q5 Q54 R0 R00
    Date: 2020–08–04
  7. By: Laws, A.
    Abstract: This paper is the first to provide firm level estimates of the propagation rates of localised employment shocks through space and time. A spatial network of the universe of UK firms with near pinpoint location accuracy is used to estimate the firm-level employment adjustment to mass layoffs. Results show that firm level employment adjustment is highly localised and decays rapidly through space - the negative spillover effects halve approximately every kilometre further away from the event. Firm level adjustment is also highly persistent, with further localised employment losses continuing for at least five years after the event. The spillover effects are experienced by a wide range of local firms, but are strongest in non-tradeable sector firms, consistent with the presence of local product demand transmission mechanisms. The paper provides new supporting evidence to theories that sluggish firm level adjustment interacting with local agglomeration forces generate persistence in local labour market outcomes. Furthermore, the micro-level effects uncovered are extremely localised, and thus more standard analysis methods discretising space into regions will incur significant measurement costs.
    Keywords: local employment dynamics, spillover decay rates, agglomeration
    JEL: J23 J63 R12
    Date: 2020–07–15
  8. By: Stuart A. Gabriel; Matteo Iacoviello; Chandler Lutz
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of Great Recession policies in California that substantially increased lender pecuniary and time costs of foreclosure. We estimate that the California Foreclosure Prevention Laws (CFPLs) prevented 250,000 California foreclosures (a 20% reduction) and created $300 billion in housing wealth. The CFPLs boosted mortgage modifications and reduced borrower transitions into default. They also mitigated foreclosure externalities via increased maintenance spending on homes that entered foreclosure. The CFPLs had minimal adverse side effects on the availability of mortgage credit for new borrowers. Altogether, findings suggest that policy interventions that keep borrowers in their homes may be broadly beneficial during times of widespread housing distress.
    Keywords: Foreclosure crisis; Mortgage forbearance; Mortgage modification; Great recession
    JEL: E52 E58 R20 R30
    Date: 2020–07–06
  9. By: Christine de la Maisonneuve; Marnix Dek
    Abstract: Housing is key for well-being and for spatial and social mobility. In India, the housing market is characterised by excess demand for affordable dwellings, a small rental market and an oversupply of high-end housing, especially in urban areas.
    Keywords: affordability, housing, India, mobility, regulation, rental market
    JEL: H53 H54 O18 R14 R21 R31 R52
    Date: 2020–08–14
  10. By: OECD
    Abstract: The OECD-ICOM Guide for Local Governments, Communities and Museums provides a framework for local and regional governments to assess and maximise the social and economic value of cultural heritage, and for museums to understand and strengthen their existing and potential linkages with the local economy and social fabric. This case study in Poland is based on nine museums of different size and ownership structure located in both large urban areas and rural municipalities. It explores opportunities for museums and local development in Poland along five dimensions: i) economic development, ii) urban design and community development, iii) culturally aware and creative societies, iv) inclusion, health and well-being, and v) mainstreaming the role of museums in local development.
    JEL: H41 O10 Z18
    Date: 2020–08–06
  11. By: Miroslav Gabrovski; Victor Ortego-Marti (Department of Economics, University of California Riverside)
    Abstract: This paper develops a model of the housing market with search and credit frictions. The interaction between the two sources of friction gives rise to a novel channel through which the financial sector affects prices and liquidity in the housing market and leads to multiple equilibria. In a numerical exercise, we gauge the relative contribution of credit market shocks to the observed patterns in housing prices, time-to-sell, and mortgage debt-to-price ratio in the U.S. data prior to the $2007$ housing market crash. Our results suggest that shocks associated with the credit frictions channel had a relatively larger impact on the observed build-up in mortgage debt and lack of change in time-to-sell than on the increase in prices.
    Keywords: Housing market; Credit Frictions; Search and Matching; Multiple Equilibria; Mortgages
    JEL: E2 E32 R21 R31
    Date: 2020–08
  12. By: Manuel Adelino; William B. McCartney; Antoinette Schoar
    Abstract: We show that the distribution of combined loan-to-value ratios (CLTVs) for purchase mortgages in the U.S. has been remarkably stable over the last 25 years. But there was a dramatic shift during the housing boom of the 2000s in the provision of high- CLTV loans through private sources, which replaced almost one-for-one the share of high-CLTV loans directly guaranteed by the government, via FHA and VA. Post 2008, FHA/VA loans increased back to 30% of all purchase mortgages. This substitution between government and privately backed high-CLTV loans holds within ZIP codes, properties and borrower types over the full sample period. We also show that the increase in private high-CLTV lending follows local house price increases rather than preceding them. These findings suggest that the housing boom was not accompanied by a shift towards more high-CLTV loans, and instead favor models that rely on changes in collateral values or broad changes in house price expectations.
    JEL: E03 G21 G28 G30 R30
    Date: 2020–07
  13. By: Paolo Veneri (OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities); Andre Comandon (University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)); Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona & IEB); Michiel N. Daams (University of Groningen)
    Abstract: This paper provides a comparative assessment of income segregation within cities in 12 countries. We use spatial entropy indexes based on small-scale gridded income data and consistent definition of city boundaries to ensure international comparability of our segregation measures. Results show considerable variation in the levels of income segregation across cities, even within countries, reflecting the diversity of cities within urban systems. Larger, more affluent, productive, and more unequal cities tend to be more segregated. Urban form, demographic, and economic factors explain additional variation in segregation levels through the influence of high-income households, who tend to be the most segregated. The positive association between productivity and segregation is mitigated in polycentric cities.
    Keywords: Segregation, income, functional urban areas, international urban comparison, spatial inequalities
    JEL: D63 R12
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Jake Anders (Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London); Catherine Dilnot (Oxford Brookes Business School); Lindsey Macmillan (Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London); Gill Wyness (Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, University College London)
    Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented disruption of England's education system, including the cancellation of all formal examination. Instead of sitting exams, the class of 2020 will be assigned "calculated grades" based on predictions by their teachers. However, teacher predictions of pupil grades are a common feature of the English education system, with such predictions forming the basis of university applications in normal years. But previous research has shown these predictions are highly inaccurate, creating concern for teachers, pupils and parents. In this paper, we ask whether it is possible to improve on teachers' predictions, using detailed measures of pupils' past performance and non-linear and machine learning approaches. Despite lacking their informal knowledge, we can make modest improvements on the accuracy of teacher predictions with our models, with around 1 in 4 pupils being correctly predicted. We show that predictions are improved where we have information on 'related' GCSEs. We also find heterogeneity in the ability to predict successfully, according to student achievement, school type and subject of study. Notably, high achieving non-selective state school pupils are more likely to be under-predicted compared to their selective state and private school counterparts. Overall, the low rates of prediction, regardless of the approach taken, raises the question as to why predicted grades form such a crucial part of our education system.
    Date: 2020–08
  15. By: Myohl, Nadia; Stadelmann, Sabrina
    Abstract: We study the sentiments of local residents towards asylum seekers by analyzing location choices in the proximity of asylum centers. We address the key endogeneity issue of immigrant sorting by exploiting the random distribution key that assigns asylum seekers to municipalities in Switzerland. Using individual-level data from the universe of the Swiss population, we find that relative to the overall probability of moving at least once per year, those living within a 500m radius to an open asylum center are 7.96% more likely to move away than those living further away. The effect is driven by renters and highly educated individuals and is larger in right-wing voting municipalities for moves within the same canton. Our results are robust to alternative treatment definitions, sample variation and placebo tests.
    Keywords: Asylum seekers, sentiments, regional migration
    JEL: D91 J15 R23
    Date: 2020–08
  16. By: Andrew E. Clark (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); Huifu Nong (SunYat-sen University); Hongjia Zhu (Jinan University [Guangzhou]); Rong Zhu (Flinders University [Adelaide, Australia])
    Abstract: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread school shutdowns, and many schools have opted for education using online learning platforms. Using administrative data from three middle schools in China, this paper estimates the causal effects of online learning on student performance. Using the difference-in-differences approach, we show that online education improves students' academic achievement by 0.22 of a standard deviation, relative to those who stopped receiving learning support from their school during the COVID-19 lockdown. All else equal, students from a school having access to recorded online lessons delivered by external higher-quality teachers have achieved more progress in academic outcomes than those accessing lessons recorded by teachers in their own school. We find no evidence that the educational benefits of distance learning differ for rural and urban students. However, there is more progress in the academic achievement of students using a computer for online education than that of those using a smartphone. Last, low achievers benefit the most from online learning while there is no significant impact for top students. Our findings have important policy implications for educational practices when lockdown measures are implemented during a pandemic.
    Keywords: academic achievement,COVID-19 pandemic,online learning
    Date: 2020–07
  17. By: González-Val, Rafael
    Abstract: We examine the effects of the legal reform passed in 2012 in Spain to protect mortgage debtors. Under the new regime, it is difficult for low-income debtors who meet certain requirements to be evicted. In the case of default, the bank is forced to offer the debtor a restructuring of the debt, or the debtor can even, as a last resort, transfer the property to the bank as an alternative to having the lender foreclose on it, thus being allowed to stay in the property as a tenant and paying a reduced rent, and avoiding eviction even after foreclosure. We consider quarterly data from 50 Spanish provinces (NUTS III regions) from 2001 to 2019(Q3). We use panel data models with regional, year, and quarter fixed effects, linear and quadratic region-specific time trends, and other relevant control variables at the regional level (house prices, inflation, and unemployment rates), and our results reveal that the reform significantly reduced the number of foreclosures, but that this effect was transitory, fading six years after the reform. However, the negative effect on the mortgage loans market was permanent throughout the period under consideration.
    Keywords: House prices; mortgage loans; default; law reform; panel data models
    JEL: K00 K11 R21
    Date: 2020–07–05
  18. By: Kristopher S. Gerardi; Lara Loewenstein; Paul S. Willen
    Abstract: Mortgage borrowers who have experienced employment disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are unable to refinance their loans to take advantage of historically low market rates. In this article, we analyze the effects of a streamlined refinance ("refi") program for government-insured loans that would allow borrowers to refinance without needing to document employment or income. In addition, we consider a cash-out component that would allow borrowers to extract some of the substantial amount of housing equity that many have accumulated in recent years.
    Keywords: mortgage; refinance; cash-out; COVID-19
    JEL: G28 R38
    Date: 2020–06–25
  19. By: Christopher J. Cronin; William N. Evans
    Abstract: We examine the role of state and local policies to encourage social distancing, including stay at home orders, public school closures, and restrictions on restaurants, entertainment, and large social gatherings. Outcomes come from cell phone records and include foot traffic in six industries (essential and nonessential retail, entertainment, hotel, restaurant, and business services) plus the fraction of cell phones that are home all day. Structural break models show mobility series at the national and state levels start to change dramatically in a short window from March 8-14, well before state or local restrictions of note are in place. In difference-in-difference models, declarations of state of emergency reduce foot traffic and increase social distancing. Stay at home restrictions explain a modest fraction of the change in behavior across outcomes. Industry-specific restrictions have large impacts. For example, restrictions on dining in restaurants reduce traffic in restaurants, hotels, and nonessential retail. Private, self-regulating behavior explains more than three-quarters of the decline in foot traffic in most industries. Restrictive regulation explains half the decline in foot traffic in essential retail and 75 percent of the increase in the fraction home all day. In this latter result, public school closings have a substantial effect.
    JEL: I12 I18
    Date: 2020–07
  20. By: Carl Gaigne; Hans R.A. Koster; Fabien Moizeau; Jacques-François Thisse
    Abstract: We study the sorting of skill/income-heterogeneous consumers within and between cities. We allow for non-homothetic preferences and locations that are differentiated by their accessibility to exogenous amenities and distance to employment centers, where production is subject to local externalities. The residential equilibrium is driven by the properties of an amenity-commuting aggregator obtained from the primitives of the model. Using the model’s structure and estimated parameters based on micro-data for the Netherlands, we predict that exogenous amenities are a key driver of spatial sorting. Our general equilibrium counterfactual analysis shows that in the absence of amenities, the GDP increases by 10% because commutes are shorter. However, income segregation rises and 95% of consumers are worse-off.
    Keywords: cities, social stratification, income, amenities, commuting
    JEL: R14 R23 R53 Z13
    Date: 2020
  21. By: Lídia Farré (Universitat de Barcelona & IAE (CSIC)); Jordi Jofre-Monseny (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB); Juan Torrecillas (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the contribution of increasing travel times to the persistent gender gap in labor market participation. In doing so, we estimate the labor supply elasticity of commuting time from a sample of men and women in US cities using microdata from the Census for the last decades. To address endogeneity concerns, we adopt an instrumental variables approach that exploits the shape of cities as an exogenous source of variation for travel times. Our estimates indicate that a 10 minutes increase in commuting decreases the probability of married women to participate in the labor market by 4.6 percentage points. In contrast, the estimated effect on men is small and statistically insignificant. We also find that women with children and immigrant women originating from countries with more gendered social norms respond the most to commuting time variations. This evidence suggests that the higher burden of family responsibilities supported by women may magnify the negative effect of commuting on their labor supply. From our findings, we conclude that the increasing trend in travel times observed in the US and in many European countries during the last decades may have contributed to the persistence of gender disparities in labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: Commuting time, labor supply, gender roles, family responsibilities, city shape
    JEL: R41 J01 J16 J22
    Date: 2020
  22. By: Kristopher S. Gerardi; Lara Loewenstein; Paul S. Willen
    Abstract: Mortgage borrowers who have experienced employment disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are unable to refinance their loans to take advantage of historically low market rates. In this article, we analyze the effects of a streamlined refinance (“refi”) program for government-insured loans that would allow borrowers to refinance without needing to document employment or income. In addition, we consider a cash-out component that would allow borrowers to extract some of the substantial housing equity that many have accumulated in recent years.
    Keywords: government-sponsored enterprises; refinancing; business cycles
    JEL: R30 R38
    Date: 2020–07–08
  23. By: Joao Galindo da Fonseca (Université de Montréal); Pierluca Pannella (Sao Paulo School of Economics)
    Abstract: We provide evidence that the boom in housing prices occurred in the early 2000 distorted the selection of individuals that opened a business. A simple model of collateral financing predicts an increase in entry into entrepreneurship for house-owners and, particularly, for individuals with lower entrepreneurial ability and higher probability of failure. We support the predictions of the model using panel data at the individual level including restricted access information on the MSA of residence of an individual. We combine this data with geographic information about house prices at the MSA level. We confirm that the increase in house prices had a larger impact on the decision of becoming an entrepreneur for lower ability house-owners.
    Date: 2019–05
  24. By: John Jerrim (University College London); Nikki Shure (University College London); Gill Wyness (University College London)
    Abstract: There has been much interest across the social sciences in the link between young people’s socio-emotional (non-cognitive) skills and their educational achievement. But much of this research has focused upon the role of the Big Five personality traits. This paper contributes new evidence by examining two inter-related non-cognitive factors that are rarely studied in the literature: ambition and drive. We use unique survey-administrative linked data from England, gathered in the lead-up to high-stakes compulsory school exams, which allow us to control for a rich set of background characteristics, prior educational attainment and, unusually, school fixed effects. Our results illustrate substantial gender and immigrant gaps in young people’s ambitiousness, while the evidence for socio-economic differences is more mixed. Conversely, we find a strong socio-economic gradient in drive, but no gender gap. Both academically ambitious and driven teenagers achieve grades around 0.37 standard deviations above their peers, even controlling for prior academic attainment and school attended.
    Keywords: socio-economic gaps, gender gaps, aspirations, secondary school, higher education
    JEL: I24 J24
    Date: 2020–07–01
  25. By: Alola, Andrew; Asongu, Simplice; Alola, Uju
    Abstract: This study investigates the nexus between tourism development and house prices in the Republic of Cyprus over the period spanning from 2005Q1 to 2016Q4. Tourism indicators vis-à-vis tourism arrivals along with other explanatory variables (domestic credit, land area per person, and the consumer price index) are employed in a multivariate Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL)-bound test model. The empirical results indicate a significant evidence of cointegration. Indicatively, an observed adjustment of about 44% from short-run to long-run implies that the model is not relatively slow to adjust to disequilibrium. Importantly, a percent increase in tourism arrivals is observed to cause a rise in house price by about 37%. Expectedly, it is statistically observed that as the land area per person decreases, it is accompanied by a hike in house price. Also, the impacts of domestic credit offered to private enterprises and the consumer price index are different from the results in previous studies. As a policy guide, the government of Cyprus and stakeholders in the tourism and housing sectors should outline a strategy that will ensure the social welfare of people such that housing availability is not hampered by tourism activities.
    Keywords: house prices; tourism; domestic credit; cointegration; ARDL; Republic of Cyprus
    JEL: C22 N50 R31
    Date: 2019–01
  26. By: Brülhart, Marius; Desmet, Klaus; Klinke, Gian-Paolo
    Abstract: How does a country's economic geography evolve along the development path? This paper documents recent employment growth in 18,961 regions in eight of the world's main economies. Overall, market potential is losing importance, and local density is gaining importance, as correlates of local growth. In mature economies, growth is strongest in low-market-potential areas. In emerging economies, the opposite is true, though the association with market potential is also weakening there. Structural transformation away from agriculture can account for some of the observed changes. The part left unexplained by structural transformation is consistent with a standard economic geography model that yields a bell-shaped relation between trade costs and the growth of centrally located regions.
    Keywords: economic development; market potential; regional growth; structural transformation
    JEL: O18 R11 R12
    Date: 2019–11
  27. By: Edward L. Glaeser; Caitlin S. Gorback; Stephen J. Redding
    Abstract: How effective are restrictions on geographic mobility in limiting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic? Using zip code data for Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York (NYC), and Philadelphia, we estimate that total COVID-19 cases per capita decrease on average by approximately 20 percent for every ten percentage point fall in mobility between February and May 2020. To address endogeneity concerns, we instrument for travel by the share of workers in remote work friendly occupations, and find a somewhat larger average decline of COVID-19 cases per capita of 27 percent. Using weekly data by zip code for NYC and a panel data specification including week and zip code fixed effects, we estimate a similar average decline of around 17 percent, which becomes larger when we measure mobility using NYC turnstile data rather than cellphone data. We find substantial heterogeneity across both space and over time, with stronger effects for NYC, Boston and Philadelphia than for Atlanta and Chicago, and the largest estimated coefficients for NYC in the early stages of the pandemic.
    JEL: H12 I12 J17 R41
    Date: 2020–07
  28. By: Khondaker Golam Moazzem; A S M Shamim Alam Shibly
    Abstract: The study brings forth the challenges of marginalised youth in accessing jobs and how effective is the public service delivery in addressing their challenges. Taking a life cycle approach, the study identifies four categories of challenges which include livelihood, education, training and employment-related issues of the youth. Lack of transparency and accountability of the concerned public offices deprive youths in accessing essential services related to these challenges. A standard operating procedure (SOP) should be maintained in order to ensure effectiveness, transparency and accountability of these public services. Increased budgetary allocation is required in a number of accounts, such as for better housing facilities, for accessing tertiary-level education and establishment of new schools, educational equipment, ICT labs and skill development of teachers. Establishment of specialised industrial estates/zones may be taken into consideration in regions where marginalised youths’ concentration is high. Effective GO–NGO–private sector collaboration in accessing information and providing soft–hard skills of training, is also important.
    Keywords: Youth, public service, youth employment, education, training, private sector
    Date: 2020–03
  29. By: Pablo Fajgelbaum; Amit Khandelwal; Wookun Kim; Cristiano Mantovani; Edouard Schaal
    Abstract: We study optimal dynamic lockdowns against Covid-19 within a commuting network. Our framework integrates canonical spatial epidemiology and trade models, and is applied to cities with varying initial viral spread: Seoul, Daegu and NYC-Metro. Spatial lockdowns achieve substantially smaller income losses than uniform lockdowns, and are not easily approximated by simple centrality-based rules. In NYM and Daegu—with large initial shocks—the optimal lockdown restricts inflows to central districts before gradual relaxation, while in Seoul it imposes low temporal but large spatial variation. Actual commuting responses were too weak in central locations in Daegu and NYM, and too strong across Seoul.
    JEL: C6 R38 R4
    Date: 2020–06
  30. By: Dixon, Anthony; Halford, Eric; Farrell, Graham (University of Leeds)
    Abstract: Nationally, small area (LSOAs) were ranked by recorded crime rate and grouped into deciles for May 2020 relative to previous five Mays. Decile rate changes relative to expected from previous five years. Key findings: • Previously high-crime areas saw the largest crime declines. • Previously-low-crime rate areas experienced crime increases. • Urban centres saw the greatest crime drops in absolute (but not necessarily relative) terms. • Public order crime increases likely reflect breaches - or perceived breaches - of lockdown rules. Some crime increases, including drugs and weapon offences, may reflect changes in police activity
    Date: 2020–07–28
  31. By: Pierre Magontier (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)
    Abstract: While natural hazards have never been so frequent in modern history, the political economy of disaster preparation remains largely understudied. To prepare for natural disasters, local governments can adopt mitigation measures (e.g., infrastructure elevation, retrofitting, shelter construction, etc.). However, in doing so, there is a trade-off between risk reduction and risk disclosure as these initiatives may signal latent dangers of a place to unsuspecting homebuyers. Increased media coverage may ease this trade-off by revealing these dormant risks. I develop a measure of newspaper coverage of storms using data on newspapers’ circulation and occurrence of storms at the ZIP code level in the United States. Using the variation in this measure, I identify the effects of heightened media attention on local governments’ mitigation efforts under the Hazard Mitigation Grant program managed by FEMA. I find that when newspaper coverage is high, jurisdictions that have experienced severe storms tend to implement significantly more mitigation projects. Conversely, when coverage of storms is low, jurisdictions do not undertake mitigation projects after being hit by a storm. My results are primarily driven by ZIP codes with high pre-treatment levels of vacant housing units, housing units occupied by renters, and housing units owned with a mortgage. I argue that local governments may be strategically underinvesting in disaster preparation to avoid revealing their jurisdictions’ inherent risk to otherwise uninformed property investors.
    Keywords: Local governments, natural disasters, mitigation, media, newspapers
    JEL: H72 H84 Q54 R52 R53
    Date: 2020
  32. By: Sgroi, Daniel (University of Warwick, IZA & ESRC CAGE Centre); Redoano, Michela (University of Warwick); Liberini. Federica (University of Bath); Lockwood, Ben (University of Warwick); Emanuele Bracco, Emanuele (Universit`a di Verona); Porcelli, Francesco (Universit`a di Bari)
    Abstract: Italy became one nation only relatively recently and as such there remains significant regional variation in trust in government and society (so-called “social capital”) as well as in language and diet. In an experiment conducted across three Italian cities we exploit variation in family background generated through internal migration and make use of novel measures of social capital, language and diet to develop a new index of cultural heritage. Our new index predicts social capital, while self-reported identity does not. The missing link between the past and current identity seems to come through grandparents (especially maternal grandmothers) who have a strong role in developing the cultural identity of their grandchildren.
  33. By: Neidhöfer, Guido; Neidhöfer, Claudio
    Abstract: The rapid spread of COVID-19 forced policy-makers to swiftly find solutions to reduce infection rates and keep mortality as low as possible. Empirical analyses on the effectiveness of control measures are hereby of primary importance. School closures were among the earliest measures enacted by the governments of most countries. However, while schools are now reopening in many countries, the impact of school closures on the course of the epidemic is still an open question. Adopting parametric and non-parametric synthetic control methods we estimate the effectiveness of pro-active school closures, and other early social distancing interventions, in three countries that reacted relatively early during the course of the pandemic. Our findings suggest that these interventions were effective at reducing the mortality rate of COVID-19, especially when enacted early.
    Keywords: COVID-19,policy evaluation,school closures,mitigation strategies
    JEL: I18 J18
    Date: 2020
  34. By: Rodrigo Adao; Costas Arkolakis; Federico Esposito
    Abstract: How do international trade shocks affect spatially connected regional markets? We answer this question by extending shift-share empirical specifications to incorporate general equilibrium effects that arise in spatial models. In partial equilibrium, regional shock exposure has a shift-share structure: it is the average shock weighted by regional exposure shares in revenue and consumption. General equilibrium responses of employment and wages in each market are the sum, across all regions, of these shift-share measures times bilateral reduced-form elasticities determined by the economy’s spatial links. We use this reduced-form representation of the model to efficiently estimate the bilateral elasticities exploiting exogenous variation in shock exposure across markets. Finally, we study the general equilibrium impact of the ‘‘China shock’’ on U.S. CZs using our model-consistent generalization of the specification in Autor et al. (2013). We find that indirect effects from the shock exposure of other markets reinforce the negative impact of the market’s own shock exposure, leading to employment and wage losses that are significantly larger than those reported in the existing literature.
    Date: 2020
  35. By: Julien Grenet (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques); Youssef Souidi (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IPP - Institut des politiques publiques)
    Abstract: Collèges (middle schools) in Paris have some of the highest levels of social segregation in France due to wide social contrasts between geographically close neighbourhoods and to a large number of pupils from the most privileged backgrounds attending private schools. Because of this, the Council of Paris voted in January 2017 to create three two-collège catchment areas in the 18th and 19th arrondissements. The scheme consisted of defining joint catchment areas (secteurs) for several middle schools in order to make their intakes socially more diverse. The provisional results for the first year of the experiment (2017-2018) are encouraging. Two of the three catchment areas achieved their objective of greater social diversity and also reduced the number of pupils enrolling in private schools. Although in the short term the social composition of the schools in the third catchment area was not rebalanced by the scheme, from the results of the assessment we can identify several ways to improve this.
    Date: 2018–09
  36. By: Daniel Albalate (Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics (Public Policy Unit). Universitat de Barcelona. John Keynes 1-11, 08034 Barcelona. Spain); Germà Bel (Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics (Public Policy Unit). Universitat de Barcelona. John Keynes 1-11, 08034 Barcelona. Spain); Ferran A. Mazaira-Font (Department of Econometrics, Statistics and Applied Economics (Public Policy Unit). Universitat de Barcelona. John Keynes 1-11, 08034 Barcelona. Spain)
    Abstract: We analyze the role of nature and geography in determining economic and social outcomes. We propose a theoretical model relating geography and nature to economic growth, and examine that model using data from NUTS 2 European regions. By doing this, we identify the predictive power of first-nature variables to explain regional population distribution. Then we analyze the effects of misadjustment between the actual and predicted distribution of populations on economic performance. Our results indicate that deviating from first-nature outcomes has a significant negative effect on economic growth. Furthermore, we find that departing from natural endowment has a negative effect on social cohesion. The main policy implication emerging from our analysis is that strategies that harmonize with nature and geography yield better social welfare and human well-being than those policies that conflict with them.
    Keywords: Geography, Population, Growth, Conditional convergence, Inequality. JEL classification: O43, O44, Q57, R11, R12.
    Date: 2020–07
  37. By: Christopher Rauh (Université de Montréal)
    Abstract: In this paper I present a methodology to provide uncertainty measures at the regional level in real time using the full bandwidth of news. In order to do so I download vast amounts of newspaper articles, summarize these into topics using unsupervised machine learning, and then show that the resulting topics foreshadow fluctuations in economic indicators. Given large regional disparities in economic performance and trends within countries, it is particularly important to have regional measures for a policymaker to tailor policy responses. I use a vector-autoregression model for the case of Canada, a large and diverse country, to show that the generated topics are significantly related to movements in economic performance indicators, inflation, and the unemployment rate at the national and provincial level. Evidence is provided that a composite index of the generated diverse topics can serve as a measure of uncertainty. Moreover, I show that some topics are general enough to have homogenous associations across provinces, while others are specific to fluctuations in certain regions.
    Keywords: Machine learning, Latent Dirichlet allocation, Newspaper text, Economic uncertainty, Topic model, Canada
    Date: 2019–08
  38. By: Victor Couture; Jonathan Dingel; Allison Green; Jessie Handbury; Kevin Williams
    Abstract: Tracking human activity in real time and at fine 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 quantifies social contact within venues. We use these indices to document how pandemic-induced reductions in activity vary across people and places.
    Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus
    JEL: C80 R10 R40
    Date: 2020–07–09
  39. By: Orea, Luis; Álvarez, Inmaculada C.
    Abstract: This chapter summarizes the empirical literature that uses a spatial analysis framework in production economics. This literature takes advantage of the spatial dimension of the data to capture the spillover effects of neighboring production units. In the first three sections, we outline standard spatial extensions of the neoclassical production models aiming to measure knowledge spillovers, the effect of network inputs and economies of agglomeration. The next three sections outline the literature that on one hand examines returns to scale and productivity growth from both internal and external inputs, and on the other hand summarize the spatial econometric techniques used in frontier analyses of firms’ production. The last section includes a set of final remarks regarding the application of spatial econometric techniques in production analyses.
    Date: 2019
  40. By: Guilherme Lichand; Sharon Wolf
    Abstract: Teacher absenteeism and shirking are common problems in developing countries. While monitoring teachers should ameliorate those problems, mobilizing parents to do so often leads to small or even negative effects on learning outcomes. This paper provides causal evidence that this might result from non-monotonic effects of monitoring teachers. Cross-randomizing nudges to teachers and parents in Ivory Coast – to motivate and monitor teachers directly, and to mobilize parents –, we find that in schools where either parents or teachers are nudged, student dropouts decrease by nearly 50%. In contrast, in schools where both are nudged, there is no effect on dropouts.
    Keywords: Moral hazard, monitoring, education, teachers
    JEL: C93 D23 D91 I25
    Date: 2020–07
  41. By: António Carlos de Campos (State University of Maringá, Department of Economics); Luís Lopes (University of Coimbra, Centre for Business and Economics Research, CeBER and Faculty of Economics); Carlos Carreira (University of Coimbra, Centre for Business and Economics Research, CeBER and Faculty of Economics)
    Abstract: This article analyzes spatial autocorrelations and the formation of clusters of exports, based on Research and Development (R&D) intensity in Portugal. The central idea is that exports show relative interdependence and spillover effects among nearby regions and a direct relationship with R&D expenditures. It adopts the new taxonomy of the OECD, separating exports by manufacturing and non-manufacturing activities. Methodologically, is was used Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), utilizing Global Moran's Index and LISA. The results showed the presence of positive spatial autocorrelation of exports and the formation of a cluster of the High-High type for the Porto metropolitan region and Aveiro region. There was no confirmation of positive spatial autocorrelation for R&D expenditures among the regions of Portugal. However, there was both a positive spatial autocorrelation for exports associated with R&D expenditures as well as the formation of a regional cluster with high-high pattern for the Aveiro region. This outcome can be explained, in part, by nationally and internationally recognized universities and research centers surrounding the region, favoring knowledge spillovers across the regions.
    Keywords: Export; R&D expenditures; Spatial autocorrelation; Technological intensity; Clusters; Spillovers; Portugal.
    JEL: F10 F14 O32 R12
    Date: 2020
  42. By: Jose-Ignacio Anton (University of Salamanca, Spain); David Klenert (European Commission – JRC); Enrique Fernandez-Macias (European Commission - JRC); Maria Cesira Urzi Brancati (European Commission - JRC); Georgios Alaveras (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of robot adoption on European regional labour markets between 1995 and 2015. Specifically, we look at the effect of the usage of industrial robots on jobs and employment structures across European regions. We regress the outcome of interest on the change in the exposure to robotisation in each regional labour market, based on the initial distribution of employment by industry across regions. Our estimates suggest that the effect of robots on employment tends to be mostly small and negative during the period 1995–2005 and positive during the period 2005–2015 for the overwhelming majority of model specifications and assumptions. Regarding the effects on employment structures, we find some evidence of a mildly polarising effect in the first period, but this finding depends to some extent on the model specifications. In sum, this paper shows that the impact of robots on European labour markets in the last couple of decades has been small and ambiguous. The strength and even the sign of this effect are sensitive to the specifications, as well as to the countries and periods analysed.
    Keywords: robots, employment, polarisation, robots and jobs, European Union
    Date: 2020–07
  43. By: Dey, Oindrila; Chakravarty, Debalina
    Abstract: Electric Street Car (ESC) has established itself as an ideal public transport system for urban agglomeration by offering better safety, minimum pollution and conservation of fossil fuel. Yet, India envisions going all-electric by 2030 by procuring electric buses (e-buses) rather than ESCs. The crucial question is, why not upgrade the existing ESC considering that the e-buses need a profound infrastructural development in India. This paper studies the potential uptake rate of ESC over e-buses using stratified sampling data from 1226 daily public transport commuters of Kolkata, the only Indian city having an operational ESCs. We identify the demographic, psychometric and socio-economic factors influencing the probabilistic uptake of ESC over e-buses using a random utility choice model. It estimates that 38% of the commuters demand ESC over e-buses given the alternatives’ comparative details. ESC can be a model electric public transport if there is an improvement in factors, like frequent availability of ESCs and technological upgradation. By promoting the ESC services over e-buses, the government can potentially save on public investment and reach a low carbon pathway cost-effectively. The findings have crucial implications in exploration of the operational feasibility of ESC in the small and medium-sized cities of developing economies like India.
    Keywords: Public Transport, Electric Bus, Electric Street Car, Sustainability, Urban Area
    JEL: Q40 Q56 R49 R58
    Date: 2020–01
  44. By: Aue, Robert; Klein, Thilo; Ortega, Josué
    Abstract: We study the welfare effects of school district consolidation, i.e. the integration of disjoint school districts into a centralised clearinghouse. We show theoretically that, in the worst-case scenario, district consolidation may unambiguously reduce students' welfare, even if the student-optimal stable matching is consistently chosen. However, on average all students experience expected welfare gains from district consolidation, particularly those who belong to smaller and over-demanded districts. Using data from the Hungarian secondary school assignment mechanism, we compute the actual welfare gains from district consolidation in Budapest and compare these to our theoretical predictions. We empirically document substantial welfare gains from district consolidation for students, equivalent to attending a school five kilometres closer to the students' home addresses. As an important building block of our empirical strategy, we describe a method to consistently estimate students' preferences over schools and vice versa that does not fully assume that students report their preferences truthfully in the student-proposing deferred acceptance algorithm.
    Keywords: school district consolidation,integration of matching markets,preference estimation without truth-telling
    JEL: C78 I21
    Date: 2020
  45. By: O'Toole, Conor; Martinez-Cillero, Maria; Ahrens, Achim
    Date: 2019
  46. By: Chong, Terence Tai Leung; Liu, Hengliang
    Abstract: COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan in late December 2019, and then spread throughout China, which has had great influence on many aspects of the economy. This paper uses the two-way fixed effects model to investigate the non-linear relationship between the death toll of COVID-19 and the changes in housing prices using monthly panel data from November 2019 to May 2020. The results suggest that there is a U-shaped relationship between monthly death toll of COVID-19 and the percentage changes of housing prices in cities. In addition, the housing markets of New First-tier cities are more sensitive to the COVID-19 pandemic than Second and Third-tier cities, which the pandemic has had little effect on. Similarly, monthly confirmed cases of COVID-19 come to the same conclusions.
    Keywords: COVID-19; Housing prices; Non-linear relationship; New First-tier cities
    JEL: R31
    Date: 2020–07–28
  47. By: Chahrour, Ryan; Gaballo, Gaetano
    Abstract: We provide a new theory of demand-driven business cycles based on learning from prices in an otherwise frictionless real model. In our model, house price increases caused by aggregate disturbances may be misinterpreted as a signal of improved local consumption prospects, leading households to demand more current consumption and housing. Higher demand reinforces the initial price increase in an amplification loop that drives comovement in output, labor, residential investment, and house prices even in response to aggregate supply shocks. The model's qualitative implications are consistent with observed business cycles, and it can explain apparently autonomous changes in sentiment without resorting to non-fundamental shocks.
    Keywords: animal spirits; Demand Shocks; House Prices; imperfect information
    JEL: D82 D83 E03
    Date: 2019–11
  48. By: Jun Nagayasu
    Abstract: Life is characterized by risks of different features and origins. Examining the economic and natural disasters that have occurred in Japan in the past decades, we show that regional relationships strengthen during chaotic moments, such as the Lehman Brothers collapse, the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the coron- avirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Moreover, we nd that business prospects are a good predictor of labor market conditions, and employment opportunities deteriorate more severely when regions are highly correlated. Our study indicates the side effect of market integration, and the relevance of regional economic cen- ters in cushioning nationwide economic and natural shocks.
    Date: 2020–07
  49. By: Austan Goolsbee; Chad Syverson
    Abstract: The collapse of economic activity in 2020 from COVID-19 has been immense. An important question is how much of that resulted from government restrictions on activity versus people voluntarily choosing to stay home to avoid infection. This paper examines the drivers of the collapse using cellular phone records data on customer visits to more than 2.25 million individual businesses across 110 different industries. Comparing consumer behavior within the same commuting zones but across boundaries with different policy regimes suggests that legal shutdown orders account for only a modest share of the decline of economic activity (and that having county-level policy data is significantly more accurate than state-level data). While overall consumer traffic fell by 60 percentage points, legal restrictions explain only 7 of that. Individual choices were far more important and seem tied to fears of infection. Traffic started dropping before the legal orders were in place; was highly tied to the number of COVID deaths in the county; and showed a clear shift by consumers away from larger/busier stores toward smaller/less busy ones in the same industry. States repealing their shutdown orders saw identically modest recoveries--symmetric going down and coming back. The shutdown orders did, however, have significantly reallocate consumer activity away from “nonessential” to “essential” businesses and from restaurants and bars toward groceries and other food sellers.
    JEL: E6 H7 L51
    Date: 2020–06
  50. By: Dhaval M. Dave; Andrew I. Friedson; Kyutaro Matsuzawa; Drew McNichols; Connor Redpath; Joseph J. Sabia
    Abstract: On June 20, 2020, President Donald J. Trump held his first mass campaign rally following the outbreak of COVID-19. Held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the political gathering attracted 6,000 to 12,000 individuals to the indoor Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) arena. This study is the first to explore the impact of this event on the spread of COVID-19. First, using data from Safegraph Inc, we show that while non-resident visits to census block groups hosting the Trump event grew by approximately 25 percent, there was no decline in net stay-at-home behavior in Tulsa county, reflecting important offsetting behavioral effects. Then, using data on coronavirus cases from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a synthetic control design, we find little evidence that COVID-19 case growth grew more rapidly in Tulsa County, its border counties, or in the state of Oklahoma than each’s estimated counterfactual in the three weeks following the campaign rally. Difference-in-differences estimates further provide no evidence that COVID-19 case rates grew faster in counties that drew relatively larger shares of residents to the event. We conclude that offsetting behavioral responses to the rally — including voluntary closures of restaurants and bars in downtown Tulsa, increases in stay-at-home behavior, displacement of usual activities of weekend inflows, and smaller-than-expected crowd attendance — may be important mechanisms.
    JEL: H75 I1
    Date: 2020–07
  51. By: Armin Falk; Fabian Kosse; Pia Pinger
    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 investments, inequality of opportunity, socio-economic status
    JEL: C90 I24 J24 J62
    Date: 2020–06
  52. By: McGowan, Danny; Nguyen, Huyen
    Abstract: We evaluate lenders' incentives to mitigate credit default risk through pricing or securitisation. Exploiting exogenous variation in credit default risk created by differences in foreclosure law along US state borders, we find that lenders in the mortgage market respond to the law in heterogeneous ways. In the agency market where the GSEs mandate a common interest rate policy, foreclosure law provokes a 4.5% increase in securitisation rates but does not affect interest rates. For nonagency loans where market participants demand risk premium, foreclosure law does not incentivise lenders to transfer the risk through the use of securitisation but causes a 625 basis point increase in interest rates. The results highlight how the GSEs' common interest rate policy inhibits lenders' risk-based pricing incentives, increases the GSEs' debt holdings by $70 billion per annum, and exposes taxpayers to preventable losses in the housing market.
    Keywords: loan pricing,securitisation,credit risk,GSEs
    JEL: G21 G28 K11
    Date: 2020
  53. By: Daniel Arribas-Bel (University of Liverpool); Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona & IEB); Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a novel methodology for delineating urban areas based on a machine learning algorithm that groups buildings within portions of space of sufficient density. To do so, we use the precise geolocation of all 12 million buildings in Spain. We exploit building heights to create a new dimension for urban areas, namely, the vertical land, which provides a more accurate measure of their size. To better understand their internal structure and to illustrate an additional use for our algorithm, we also identify employment centers within the delineated urban areas. We test the robustness of our method and compare our urban areas to other delineations obtained using administrative borders and commuting-based patterns. We show that: 1) our urban areas are more similar to the commuting-based delineations than the administrative boundaries but that they are more precisely measured; 2) when analyzing the urban areas’ size distribution, Zipf’s law appears to hold for their population, surface and vertical land; and 3) the impact of transportation improvements on the size of the urban areas is not underestimated.
    Keywords: Buildings, urban areas, city size, transportation, machine learning
    JEL: R12 R14 R2 R4
    Date: 2019
  54. By: Olivieri,Sergio Daniel; Ortega,Francesc; Carranza,Eliana; Rivadeneira Alava,Ana Mercedes
    Abstract: As of 2019, more than 1.2 million Venezuelans passed through Ecuador and more than 400,000 settled (almost 3 percent of Ecuador's population). This paper analyzes the location choices of Venezuelan migrants in Ecuador and the labor market consequences of these choices, using data from Ecuador's labor force survey and mobile phone records on the geographic distribution of Venezuelan migrants. Around half of the migrants live in four cantons (of 221). Their location is primarily driven by local economic conditions, rather than point of entry. Overall, the regions with the largest inflows of Venezuelans have not seen any effects on labor market participation or employment, compared with regions with fewer inflows. However, our difference-in-difference estimates clearly indicate that young, low-educated Ecuadoran workers in high-inflow regions have been adversely affected. Specifically, the estimates that these workers have experienced reductions in employment quality, a 5 percentage-point increase in the rate of informality, and a 13 percentage-point reduction in earnings, relative to workers with similar characteristics living in areas with very low or non-existent inflows of Venezuelans.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Rural Labor Markets,Telecommunications Infrastructure,Labor&Employment Law,Educational Sciences,Inequality
    Date: 2020–07–27
  55. By: Frick, Karen Trapenberg PhD; Kumar, Tanu PhD; Post, Alison PhD
    Abstract: The General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) is an open source data format public transportation agency use to share information about routes and vehicle arrival and departure times. A variety of trip-planning applications, including Google Maps, rely on GTFS feeds to incorporate public transit information. In April 2020, the California Integrated Travel Project conducted a Feasibility Study that called for the widespread adoption of GTFS-static (GTFS-s) and GTFS-realtime (GTFS-r) to make transit simpler for California residents; however, there is little research on patterns of information sharing across transit agencies. This background paper highlights findings from an analysis of GTFS use among agencies that report to the National Transit Database (NTD) in California. The prevalence of transit service modifications in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were also studied.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, GTFS, public transit, routes, schedules, data sharing, data communications, transportation planning, transit operating agencies, COVID-19
    Date: 2020–07–01
  56. 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
  57. By: Alves, Pedro Jorge; Emanuel, Lucas; Pereira, Rafael Henrique Moreas
    Abstract: Reducing road fatalities is a key policy concern in several countries. Nonetheless, there is limited evidence on whether highway concessions and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) can bring road safety benefits, despite the growing number of countries adopting this policy to finance and manage road infrastructure. In this paper, we use a difference-in-differences approach to examine the causal effect of highway concessions on road safety outcomes using daily crash data from Brazilian Federal highways between 2007-2017. We find that concessions significantly improve road safety measures, including fatality rates and the number of people and vehicles involved in crashes. On average, procured roads had 15 fewer deaths then publicly managed highways for every 1000 crashes each year, and avoided 16 thousand deaths between 2007-2017. Moreover, these effects are marginally larger for every additional year of treatment but only become statistically significant a few years after the concession implementation. Finally, our results suggest that including safety-based incentives in concession contracts can substantially improve road safety performance
    Date: 2020–07–15
  58. By: Hannah Rubinton
    Abstract: This paper seeks to explain three key components of the growing regional disparities in the U.S. since 1980, referred to as the Great Divergence by Moretti (2012). Namely, big cities saw a larger increase in the relative wages of skilled workers, a larger increase in the relative supply of skilled workers, and a smaller decline in business dynamism. These trends can be explained by differences across cities in the extent to which firms adopt new skill-biased technologies. In response to the introduction of a new skill-biased, high fixed cost but low marginal cost technology, firms endogenously adopt more in big cities, in cities that offer abundant amenities for high-skilled workers and in cities that are more productive in using high-skilled labor. The differences in adoption can account for the increasing relationship between skill intensity and city size, the divergence of the city size wage premium by skill group and the changing cross sectional patterns of business dynamism. I document a new fact that firms in big cities invest more in Information and Communication Technology per employee than firms in small cities,consistent with patterns of technology adoption in the model.
    Keywords: Skill Biased Technical Change; Technology Adoption; Economic Geography
    JEL: R12 O33
    Date: 2020–07–21
  59. By: Andersen, Steffen; Badarinza, Cristian; Liu, Lu; Marx, Julie; Ramadorai, Tarun
    Abstract: We model listing decisions in the housing market, and structurally estimate household preference and constraint parameters using comprehensive Danish data. Sellers optimize expected utility from property sales, subject to down-payment constraints, and internalize the effect of their choices on final sale prices and time-on-the-market. The data exhibit variation in the listing price-gains relationship with "demand concavity;" bunching in the sales distribution; and a rising listing propensity with gains. A new fact is that gains and down-payment constraints have interactive effects on listing prices. We find reference-dependence around the nominal purchase price and modest loss-aversion, but our canonical model cannot fully explain the new facts.
    Keywords: down-payment constraints; Housing; loss aversion; Mortgages; reference dependence
    JEL: D03 D12 D14 G02 R21
    Date: 2019–11
  60. By: Bergantino, Angela Stefania (Management and Business Law, University of Bari Aldo Moro); Intini, Mario (Management and Business Law, University of Bari Aldo Moro); Volta, Nicola (Centre for Air Transport Management, Cranfield University)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the potential impact of airport competition on technical efficiency by applying the spatial stochastic frontier approach (SSFA) rather than traditional model (SFA). The SSFA allows to isolate the cross-sectional spatial dependence and to evaluate the role of intangible factors in influencing the airport economic performance, through the inclusion of the distance matrix and the shared destinations matrix, calibrated for different distances. By analysing statistical differences between the traditional and the spatial model, it is possible to identify the competition effects. This study includes 206 airports at worldwide level. First, the results show the existence of the spatial component, that could not be otherwise captured by the traditional SFA. Moreover, airport competition is found to affect the efficiency level with either a positive or a negative effect, depending on the distance considered in the spatial model.
    Keywords: Transportation; Major Airports ; Efficiency Analysis ; Spatial Interaction ; Airport Competition.
    Date: 2020
  61. By: Voigtländer, Michael
    Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic is not only endangering the health of people worldwide, but is also causing an economic recession. Given past experience, office markets, particularly the prime market, are reacting very strongly to economic downswings. This paper attempts to derive a likely scenario for the effects in selected European office markets. As a first step, the impact of the economic downturn on prime rents is estimated based on data provided by PMA (Property Market Analysis). As a result, prime rents could decrease by between 5 and 23 percent. In most cases, the reductions are comparable to developments in past crises and in some cases reductions exceed those of former crises. Yet, given the severity of the crisis, this is not implausible. The crisis will also affect expectations, which in turn will affect prices. Based on an analysis of the spreads, a likely effect on prices can be deduced. Prices will drop by 15 to 47 percent. Obviously, the results can be viewed critically, especially since local factors have not been taken into account. Thus, results for cities should be regarded with caution. Nonetheless, the broader view clearly indicates that the downturn in the office market looks set to be severe. In addition, there is the potential for a perfect storm in the office markets since structural changes are also likely. Specifically, workers will push for more remote work and employers are likely to favour this in order to save costs. Also, digitisation offers more potential for saving costs for staff. As a result, office demand could be impaired in the long term, posing challenges for owners and investors in the office market.
    JEL: F44 R11 R33
    Date: 2020
  62. By: Hsieh, Chih-Sheng; Lin, Xu; Patacchini, Eleonora
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with methods for analyzing social interaction effects. The attention is focused on how to estimate endogenous effects, where an individual's choice may depend on those of his/her contacts about the same activity. The analysis is guided by the data structure that is available to measure social interactions, an intuitive aspect that allows empirical researchers to understand whether and how they could study social interaction effects in their own data. First, the case where the information on social interaction patterns is limited to membership to a given group is considered, then the discussion moves to the case where the data contain information on specific relationships among pairs of individuals within each group, and the availability of data on the co-evolution of social structures and outcomes. This paper also discusses some basic methods to deal with online social network data, and the novel literature estimating social interaction effects relying only on outcome data. For each data structure, the challenges and the main methods proposed in the literature to tackle them are reviewed.
    Date: 2019–11
  63. By: Monica Maduekwe (Praia, Cabo Verde); Uduak Akpan (SPIDER Solutions, Uyo, Nigeria); Salisu Isihak (Rural Electrification Agency, Abuja, Nigeria)
    Abstract: The “Avoid”, “Shift” and “Improve” (A-S-I) approach is an effective method for transforming an unsustainable transport system to a sustainable one. This study intends to examine the possible impact of the A-S-I policy measures in transforming the transportation system in Lagos - the most populous city and the commercial capital of Nigeria. The study employs the Long Range Energy Alternative Planning (LEAP) model to project future energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions to determine the most effective A-S-I option for the city. We construct a business-as-usual scenario for Lagos as well as sustainable road transport alternative policy scenarios. The results show that Lagos’ biggest obstacle to achieving its emission reduction target is the presence of very old vehicles on its roads. Our analysis shows that emission reduction in the road transport sector in Lagos is sensitive to vehicle survivability rate (i.e. the fraction of vehicles of a certain age still driven). We conclude that unless the age limit of vehicles in Lagos reduces from 40 years to 22 years, vehicle growth rate from 5% to 2% and mileage by 2% per year from 2020- 2032, Lagos may not achieve the target 50% emission reduction by 2032.
    Keywords: Road transport, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, LEAP, Lagos, Nigeria
    Date: 2020–01
  64. By: Martin, Elliot PhD; Pan, Alexandra; Shaheen, Susan
    Abstract: GIG Car Share is a free-floating carsharing system that began operations in the East Bay in April 2017. Similar to other free-floating carsharing systems, such as car2go and ReachNow (which later combined as ShareNow), members of GIG have access to a fleet of vehicles which they can book and unlock via an app. Once booking the vehicle, members can drive anywhere, but must park back in the home zone in order to terminate their session. The price of driving a GIG vehicle is charged per hour, per mile, or per day, and is calculated based on the lowest cost to the user. This report uses the results from a pre- and post-survey of GIG members in Oakland to measure the changes in travel behavior, with special attention paid to changes in personal vehicle use that occurred as a result of joining GIG. The pre-survey (N = 362) was conducted in December 2017 and the postsurvey (N = 221) was conducted in January 2019. The demographics of GIG survey respondents in Oakland are similar to previous findings from evaluations of shared mobility in other cities. The sample of post-survey respondents was younger than the general Oakland population, with 50% of the sample under the age of 34 compared to 36% for the general population. The survey sample was also highly educated; 88% of respondents have at least a 4- year college degree, compared to only 40% in the general population. Income distribution was relatively similar, though GIG survey respondents had a slightly higher income than the rest of Oakland. However, the race/ethnicity distribution was more imbalanced, where 60% of survey respondents were White, while only 27% of the Oakland population is White. African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos were relatively underrepresented; 12% of survey respondents were African American compared to 23% of the Oakland population and 7% of survey respondents were Hispanic/Latino compared to 30% of the population. Table 1 presents a distribution of demographics for key attributes.
    Keywords: Engineering
    Date: 2020–06–01
  65. By: Jennifer Bennett; Robert Kornfeld; Daniel Sichel; David Wasshausen
    Abstract: Infrastructure provides critical support for economic activity, and assessing its role requires reliable measures. This paper provides an overview of U.S. infrastructure data in the National Economic Accounts. After developing definitions of basic, social, and digital infrastructure, we assess trends in each of these categories and their components. Results are mixed depending on the category. Investment in some important types of basic infrastructure has barely or not kept up with depreciation and population growth in recent decades, while some other categories look better. We also show that the average age of most types of infrastructure in the U.S. has been rising, and the remaining service life has been falling. This paper also presents new prototype estimates of state-level investment in highways, highlighting the wide variation across states. In addition, we present new prototype data on maintenance expenditures for highways. In terms of future research, we believe that deprecation rates warrant additional attention given that current estimates are based on 40-year old research and are well below those used in Canada and other countries. We also believe that additional creative work on price indexes for infrastructure would be valuable. Finally, all of the data in this paper will be downloadable on the BEA website, and we hope that the analysis in this paper and the availability of data will spur additional research.
    JEL: E01 H4 H54 O4
    Date: 2020–06
  66. By: Borri, Nicola; Reichlin, Pietro
    Abstract: We consider optimal taxation in a model with wealth-poor and wealth-rich households, where wealth derives from business capital and homeownership, and investigate the consequences on these tax rates of a rising wealth inequality at steady state. The optimal tax structure includes some taxation of labor, zero taxation of financial and business capital, a housing wealth tax on the wealth-rich households and a housing subsidy on the wealth-poor households. When wealth inequality increases, the optimal balance between labor and housing wealth taxes depends on the source of the increasing wealth.
    Keywords: Housing; taxation; Wealth
    JEL: E21 E62 G1 H2 H21
    Date: 2019–11
  67. By: Nicola Fusari; Wei Li; Haoyang Liu; Zhaogang Song
    Abstract: Agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) with diverse characteristics are traded in parallel with individualized contracts in the specified pool (SP) market and with standardized contracts in the to-be-announced (TBA) market. We find that this unique parallel trading environment substantially affects MBS returns: (1) Greater heterogeneity in MBS values increases the yields of all MBS because it exacerbates the cheapest-to-deliver concerns for TBA buyers and reduces the value of the TBA market as a backup selling venue for SP buyers; (2) high selling pressure amplifies the impact of MBS heterogeneity on MBS yields; (3) greater MBS heterogeneity dampens trading activities on both the SP and TBA markets and increases the ratio between the two. We provide strong evidence that these effects differ from the impacts of prepayment risks.
    Keywords: E58; G12; G18; G21
    JEL: E58 G12 G18 G21
    Date: 2020–07–01
  68. By: Frijters, Paul; Islam, Asad; Lalji, Chitwan; Pakrashi, Debayan
    Abstract: We use randomized roommate assignment in dormitories in a college in Kolkata in India to examine peer effects in weight gains among roommates. We use administrative data on weight, height, and test scores of students at the time of college admission and then survey these students at the end of their first and second years in college. We do not find any significant roommate specific peer effect in weight gain. Our results rather suggest that an obese roommate reduces the probability that the other roommates become obese in subsequent years. We examine potential mechanism using survey data on students' eating habits, smoking, exercise, and sleeping patterns. We find that obese roommates sleep longer, which in turn improves the sleep pattern of others, which might explain the weak negative effect of obese roommates on the weight of others in the same room.
    Keywords: health outcomes; obesity; peer effects; random dormitory assignment
    JEL: D90
    Date: 2019–08–01
  69. By: Buil-Gil, David (University of Manchester); Moretti, Angelo; Langton, Samuel
    Abstract: Police-recorded crimes are used by police forces to map crime patterns and design spatially-targeted strategies. Nevertheless, maps of crimes known to police are affected by selection biases driven by unequal crime reporting rates across social groups. This paper presents a simulation study to analyse the impact of selection biases on crime maps produced at different spatial scales. Based on parameters obtained from the UK Census, we simulate a synthetic population consistent with the characteristics of Manchester. Then, based on parameters derived from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, we simulate crimes suffered by individuals, and their likelihood to be known to police. This allows comparing the relative difference between all crimes and police-recorded incidents at the different spatial scales. While the average relative difference between all crimes and those known to police is 62% across all geographical scales, the measures of dispersion of the relative difference are larger when crimes are aggregated to small geographies. The percentage of crimes unknown to police varies widely across small areas, underestimating the prevalence of crime in certain places while overestimating it in others. Micro-level crime maps are affected by a larger risk of bias than maps produced at larger scales.
    Date: 2020–06–25
  70. By: Jens Leth Hougaard (NYU-Shanghai, China; Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Mich Tvede (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: We consider a connection networks model. Every agent has a demand in the form of pairs of locations she wants connected, and a willingness to pay for connectivity. A planner aims at implementing a welfare maximizing network and allocating the resulting cost, but information is asymmetric: agents are fully informed, the planner is ignorant. The options for full implementation in Nash and strong Nash equilibria are studied. We simplify strategy sets without changing the set of Nash implementable correspondences. We show the correspondence of consisting of welfare maximizing networks and individually rational cost allocations is implementable. We construct a minimal Nash implementable desirable solution in the set of upper hemi-continuous and Nash implementable solutions. It is not possible to implement solutions such a the Shapley value unless we settle for partial implementation.
    Keywords: Connection networks; Welfare maximization; Nash Implementation; Strong Nash Implementation
    JEL: C70 C72 D71 D85
    Date: 2020–07
  71. By: Cameron Haworth (Reserve Bank of New Zealand)
    Abstract: This analytical note examines how unemployment in one region could spill over and influence unemployment in other regions. The paper finds rising unemployment in Auckland and Waikato has the biggest impact on unemployment around New Zealand. In contrast, rising unemployment in the Upper South Island, Southland, and Taranaki generate few spillovers into other regions. The modelling indicates that regions with the largest spillovers can be used to improve the accuracy of national unemployment forecasts. This can help inform the Reserve Bank when it sets monetary policy to achieve its mandate in supporting employment in New Zealand. Watch Cameron Haworth from the Reserve Bank's Economics team explain how unemployment in one region can effect joblessness in another region.
    Date: 2020–07
  72. By: Godoy-Lorite, Antonia; Jones, Nick S.
    Abstract: Population behaviours, such as voting and vaccination, depend on social networks. Social networks can differ depending on behaviour type and are typically hidden. However, we do often have large-scale behavioural data, albeit only snapshots taken at one timepoint. We present a method that jointly infers large-scale network structure and a networked model of human behaviour using only snapshot population behavioural data. This exploits the simplicity of a few-parameter, geometric socio-demographic network model and a spin-based model of behaviour. We illustrate, for the EU Referendum and two London Mayoral elections, how the model offers both prediction and the interpretation of our homophilic inclinations. Beyond offering the extraction of behaviour-specific network-structure from large-scale behavioural datasets, our approach yields a crude calculus linking inequalities and social preferences to behavioural outcomes. We give examples of potential network-sensitive policies: how changes to income inequality, a social temperature and homophilic preferences might have reduced polarisation in a recent election.
    Date: 2020–07–17
  73. By: William R. Kerr; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud
    Abstract: Tech clusters like Silicon Valley play a central role for modern innovation, business competitiveness, and economic performance. This paper reviews what constitutes a tech cluster, how they function internally, and the degree to which policy makers can purposefully foster them. We describe the growing influence of advanced technologies for businesses outside of traditional tech fields, the strains and backlash that tech clusters are experiencing, and emerging research questions for theory and empirical work.
    JEL: L26 M13 O30 O31 R11 R12
    Date: 2020–06
  74. By: Riccardo Camboni (University of Padova, Italy; OIPE); Alberto Corsini (Université Côte d'Azur, France; CNRS, GREDEG; OIPE); Raffaele Miniaci (University of Brescia; OIPE); Paola Valbonesi (University of Padova, Italy; OIPE)
    Abstract: We use the nearest neighbour propensity score matching to link dwellings holding Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) in the Italian province of Treviso with information on the socio-economic characteristics of households most likely to inhabit them. We construct a database of 17,405 dwellings for which information on standardized energy needs is matched to data on (potential) inhabitants and their imputed income, based respectively on census records and survey data. Our analysis shows that EPC registers can be exploited to investigate how income and housing conditions affect fuel poverty and to identify municipal areas with higher fuel poverty risk. Our findings highlight that when designing interventions to reduce fuel poverty, policymakers should target households based not only on their income but also on type of heating fuel, and on efficiency and the size of their accommodation.
    Keywords: Fuel Poverty, Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), Building and dwelling Efficiency, Energy: Government Residential Policy
    JEL: C21 I32 Q48
    Date: 2020–07
  75. By: Aksoy, Ozan; Yıldırım, Sinan
    Abstract: In this study we propose a Dirichlet-multinomial regression model and a Bayesian estimation method to analyse dynamic migration networks whereby the nodes are the origins and destinations, and the edges are the number of people migrating between the two over time. We apply this model to analyse 25,632,876 migration instances that take place between Turkey's 81 provinces from 2009 to 2018. We quantify the associations of economic, physical, social, political, and network factors with migration. We find that economic prosperity and population in and the spatial distance between the origin and destination, as well as network characteristics such as reciprocity, province popularity and centrality are important predictors of migration. We also find that electoral distance between provinces and the strength of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) in a province are associated with migration. The proportion of Kurds in a province has no sizeable association with in- and out-migration.
    Date: 2020–06–21
  76. By: Imbert, Clement (University of Warwick and JPAL); Seror, Marlon (University of Bristol, DIAL, Institut Convergences Migrations); Zhang, Yifan (Chinese University of Hong Kong); Yanos Zylberberg (University of Bristol, CESifo, the Alan Turing Institute)
    Abstract: How does rural-urban migration shape urban production in developing countries? We use longitudinal data on Chinese manufacturing firms between 2001 and 2006, and exploit exogenous variation in rural-urban migration induced by agricultural price shocks for identification. We find that, when immigration increases, manufacturing production becomes more labor-intensive in the short run. In the longer run, firms innovate less, move away from capital-intensive technologies, and adopt final products that use low-skilled labor more intensively. We develop a model with endogenous technological choice, which rationalizes these findings, and we estimate the effect of migration on factor productivity and factor allocation across firms JEL codes: D24 ; J23 ; J61 ; O15
    Date: 2020
  77. By: Barron, Kai; Harmgart, Heike; Huck, Steffen; Schneider, Sebastian; Sutter, Matthias
    Abstract: We measure the prevalence of discrimination between Jordanian host and Syrian refugee children attending school in Jordan. Using a simple sharing experiment, we find only little discrimination. Among the Jordanian children, however, we see that those who descended from Palestinian refugees do not discriminate at all, suggesting that a family history of refugee status can generate solidarity with new refugees. We also find that parents' narratives about the refugee crisis are correlated with the degree of discrimination, suggesting that discriminatory preferences are being transmitted through parental attitudes.
    Keywords: discrimination,refugees,children,experiment,integration
    JEL: C91 D90 J15 C93 J13
    Date: 2020
  78. By: Samuel Bazzi (Boston University); Masyhur Hilmy (Boston University (BU)); Benjamin Marx (Département d'économie)
    Abstract: Public schooling systems are an essential feature of modern states. These systems often developed at the expense of religious schools, which undertook the bulk of education historically and still cater to large student populations worldwide. This paper examines how Indonesia’s longstanding Islamic school system responded to the construction of 61,000 public elementary schools in the mid-1970s. The policy was designed in part to foster nation building and to curb religious influence in society. We are the first to study the market response to these ideological objectives. Using novel data on Islamic school construction and curriculum, we identify both short-run effects on exposed cohorts as well as dynamic, long-run effects on education markets. While primary enrollment shifted towards state schools, religious education increased on net as Islamic secondary schools absorbed the increased demand for continued education. The Islamic sector not only entered new markets to compete with the state but also increased religious curriculum at newly created schools. Our results suggest that the Islamic sector response increased religiosity at the expense of a secular national identity. Overall, this ideological competition in education undermined the nation-building impacts of mass schooling.
    JEL: H52 I25 N45 P16 Z12
    Date: 2020–05
  79. By: Eva Moreno-Galbis (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, EHESS, Ecole Centrale, IRD, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: This study examines how minimum wage laws affect the share of immigrants receiving welfare benefits. Minimum wage increases might have larger effects among low-skilled immigrants than among low-skilled natives because, on average, immigrants are less productive. We develop an analytical framework in which a government legislated minimum wage increase promotes a decrease in labor demand and an increase in the earned wage. The net impact on the expected wage is then ambiguous and so is the impact on search effort of unemployed. However, we expect the reduction in labor demand to be more important for immigrants due to their lower productivity. Immigrants remain unemployed and eventually become welfare recipients. Using the French Labor Force Surveys 2003-2016 we exploit the 2006 and 2012 government legislated minimum wage increases and find consistent evidence that a discretionary increase in the minimum wage induces a rise in the share of immigrants receiving welfare benefits which is more important than the rise estimated for natives. This result is driven by low-skilled immigrants and no significant effect arises for high-skilled. Endogeneity issues are addressed through an IV approach.
    Keywords: minimum wage, welfare benefits, immigrants
    JEL: J15 J38 H53 J23
    Date: 2020–06

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