nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2020‒11‒16
sixty-one papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. Teacher Pension Enhancements and Staffing in an Urban School District By Shawn Ni; Michael Podgursky; Xiqian Wang
  2. Regional Divergence and House Prices By Howard, Greg; Liebersohn, Jack
  3. The Compositional Effect of Rigorous Teacher Evaluation on Workforce Quality By Cullen, Julie Berry; Koedel, Cory; Parsons, Eric
  4. COVID and Crime: Analysis of crime dynamics amidst social distancing protocols By Scott, Shelby; Gross, Louis J
  5. The Role of Government and Private Institutions in Credit Cycles in the U.S. Mortgage Market By Manuel Adelino; W. Ben McCartney; Antoinette Schoar
  6. Industrial Clusters, Networks and Resilience to the Covid-19 Shock in China By Ruochen Dai; Dilip Mookherjee; Yingyue Quan; Xiaobo Zhang
  7. Connective Financing: Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries By Richard Bluhm; Axel Dreher; Andreas Fuchs; Bradley C. Parks; Austin M. Strange; Michael J. Tierney
  8. Regional Housing Market Conditions in Spain By Galesi, Alessandro; Mata, Nuria; Rey, David; Schmitz, Sebastian; Schuffels, Johannes
  9. Impacts of a French Urban Renewal Program on Local Housing Markets By Sylvain Chareyron; Florence Goffette-Nagot; Lucie Letrouit
  10. The User Cost of Housing and the Price-Rent Ratio in Shanghai By Jie Chen; Yu Chen; Robert J. Hill; Pei Hu
  11. Impact of public transport strikes on air pollution and transport modes substitution in Barcelona By Lyna González; Jordi Perdiguero Garcia; Alex Sanz Fernández
  12. Impacts of a French Urban Renewal Program on Local Housing Markets By Sylvain Chareyron; Florence Goffette-Nagot; Lucie Letrouit
  13. School Friendship Networks, Homophily and Multiculturalism: Evidence from European Countries By Campigotto, Nicola; Rapallini, Chiara; Rustichini, Aldo
  14. Suburbanization of transport poverty By Allen, Jeff; Farber, Steven
  15. A Markov model of urban evolution: Neighbourhood change as a complex process By Silver, Daniel; Silva, Thiago H
  16. REGIONAL CONVERGENCE IN RUSSIA: ESTIMATING A NEOCLASSICAL GROWTH MODEL By Hartmut Lehmann; Aleksey Oshchepkov; Maria Giulia Silvagni
  17. The Geography of Travel Behavior in the Early Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic By Jeffrey Brinkman; Kyle Mangum
  18. Top Lights: Bright cities and their contribution to economic development By Richard Bluhm; Melanie Krause
  19. Family Ties and Child Obesity in Italy By Federico Crudu; Laura Neri; Silvia Tiezzi
  20. COVID-19 and Educational Inequality: How School Closures Affect Low- and High-Achieving Students By Grewenig, Elisabeth; Lergetporer, Philipp; Werner, Katharina; Woessmann, Ludger; Zierow, Larissa
  21. Learning at Home: Distance Learning Solutions and Child Development during the COVID-19 Lockdown By Champeaux, Hugues; Mangiavacchi, Lucia; Marchetta, Francesca; Piccoli, Luca
  22. Contact vs. Information: What shapes attitudes towards immigration? Evidence from an experiment in schools By Florio, Erminia
  23. Hosting Refugees and Voting for the Far-Right: Evidence from France By Sarah Schneider-Strawczynski
  24. Documenting Loss Aversion Using Evidence of Round Number Bias By Stephen L. Ross; Tingyu Zhou
  25. Impact of Early Childcare on Immigrant Children's Educational Performance By Luca Corazzini; Elena Meschi; Caterina Pavese
  26. Mortgage Tax Reforms in Sweden: Scope for a Double Dividend? By Isabelle Justo; Julien Hartley; Fidel Picos; Sara Riscado
  27. Who Married, (to) Whom, and Where? Trends in Marriage in the United States, 1850-1940 By Olivetti, Claudia; Paserman, M. Daniele; Salisbury, Laura; Weber, E. Anna
  28. Demand-side assistance in Australia’s rental housing market: exploring reform options By Huang, Donna; Ong, Rachel; Pawson, Hal; Singh, Ranjodh; Martin, Chris
  29. Examining the Potential for Uber and Lyft to be Included in Subsidized MobilityPrograms Targeted to Seniors, Low Income Adults, and People with Disabilities By Deakin, Elizabeth SM., J.D.; Halpern, Jeremy; Parker, Madeleine
  30. Non-US global banks and dollar (co-)dependence: how housing markets became internationally synchronized By Torsten Ehlers; Mathias Hoffmann; Alexander Raabe
  31. Regulation of Local and Regional Railroads: A National Survey of Perspectives and Practice By Jessup, Eric; Casavant, Ken; Tolliver, Denver
  32. Modelling Returns in US Housing Prices – You’re the One for Me, Fat Tails By Kiss, Tamás; Nguyen, Hoang; Österholm, Pär
  33. Police-involved deaths and the impact on homicide rates in the post-Ferguson era: a study of 45 US cities By Lane, Tyler Jeremiah
  34. When should retirees tap their home equity? By Hambel, Christoph; Kraft, Holger; Meyer-Wehmann, André
  35. COVID-19 Spread and Inter-County Travel: Daily Evidence from the U.S. By Hakan Yilmazkuday
  36. Occupational Mobility of Routine Workers By Terhi Maczulskij
  37. Pooling for First and Last Mile By Ado Adamou Abba Ari; Andrea Araldo; Andr\'e De Palma; Vincent Gauthier
  38. Mortgage Loss Severities: What Keeps Them So High? By Xudong An; Lawrence R. Cordell
  39. Trust or property rights? Can trusted relationships substitute for costly land registration in West African cities? By Lucie Letrouit; Harris Selod
  40. Learning Inequality During the Covid-19 Pandemic By Engzell, Per; Frey, Arun; Verhagen, Mark D.
  41. Does Context Outweigh Individual Characteristics in Driving Voting Behavior? Evidence from Relocations within the U.S. By Enrico Cantoni; Vincent Pons
  42. Social Networks, Confirmation Bias and Shock Elections By Gallo, E.; Langtry, A.
  43. Immigration Stocks and Flows, APS and Electoral Register Data By Augustin de Coulon; Richmond Egyei; Jonathan Wadsworth
  44. Using nudges to prevent student dropouts in the pandemic By Guilherme Lichand; Julien Christen
  45. Peer Effects on Job Satisfaction from Exposure to Elderly Workers By KAWATA Yuji; OWAN Hideo
  46. The Benefits and Challenges of Incorporating Uber and Lyft in Subsidized Ride Programs that Serve Vulnerable Populations By Halpern, Jeremy; Deakin, Elizabeth; Parker, Madeleine
  47. How Teachers Value Pension Wealth: A Reexamination of the Illinois Experience By Shawn Ni; Michael Podgursky; Fangda Wang
  48. Economic Effects of Roadside Stations on Regional Economies: Using Input-Output Analysis for Three Economic Zones and Municipalities in Hyogo Prefecture By Ryusaku Matsuo
  49. A literature overview on scheduling electric vehicles in public transport and location planning of the charging infrastructure By Olsen, Nils
  50. Mafia Wears Out Women in Power: Evidence from Italian Municipalities By Anna Laura Baraldi; Giovanni Immordino; Marco Stimolo
  51. On the scope for work-from-home in high and upper middle-income countries By Antonio Estache; Simon Tooth
  52. Transportation Equity By Pereira, Rafael Henrique Moreas; Karner, Alex
  53. Home Equity Lending, Credit Constraints and Small Business in the US By William D. Lastrapes; Ian Schmutte; Thor Watson
  54. Evaluating the impact of next generation broadband on local business creation By Philip Chen; Edward J Oughton; Pete Tyler; Mo Jia; Jakub Zagdanski
  55. When homes earn more than jobs: the rentierization of the Australian housing market By Murray, Cameron; Ryan-Collins, Josh
  56. The Landlord-Tenant Problem and Energy Efficiency in the Residential Rental Market By Ivan Petrov; L. (Lisa B.) Ryan
  57. Housing Risk and the Cross-Section of Returns across Many Asset Classes By Ma, Sai; Zhang, Shaojun
  58. The long shadow of high stakes exams: Evidence from discontinuities By Hannu Karhunen; Artturi Björk
  59. Responding to the pandemic, can building homes rebuild Australia? By Huang, Donna; Rowley, Steven; Crowe, Adam; Gilbert, Catherine; Kruger, Marko; Leishman, Chris; Zuo, Jian
  60. Free movement of workers and native demand for tertiary education By Bachli, Mirjam; Tsankova, Teodora
  61. Transportation Policy in a Federal State By Ropertz, Henry

  1. By: Shawn Ni (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Michael Podgursky (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Xiqian Wang (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Abstract: Many states enhanced benefits in teacher retirement plans during the 1990s. This paper examines the school staffing effects of one such enhancement in a major urban school district with mostly high poverty schools. Pension rule changes in 1999 for St. Louis public school teachers resulted in large increases in pension wealth for active teachers, as well as a powerful increase in "push" incentives for earlier retirement. Simple descriptive statistics on retirement patterns before and after the enhancements suggest much earlier retirement resulted. Shorter teaching spells imply a steady state with more teaching vacancies and a larger share of novice teachers in classrooms. To better understand the long run effects of these changes and alternatives policies, the authors estimate a structural model of teacher retirement. Simulations of retirement behavior for a representative senior teacher point to shorter completed teaching spells and earlier retirement age as a result of the enhancements. By contrast, moving from the post-1999 to a DC-type plan would extend the teaching career of a representative senior teacher by roughly two years.
    Keywords: Teacher pensions, teacher compensation, state and local pension finance
    JEL: J32 J26 H72
    Date: 2020–10
  2. By: Howard, Greg (U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Liebersohn, Jack (Ohio State U)
    Abstract: This paper develops a model of the U.S. housing market that explains much of the time series of rents and house prices since World War II. House prices depend on expec- tations of future rents. We show that rents are tied to regional income inequality, and therefore, house prices are determined by how much faster incomes are growing in richer regions. This theory also matches many cross-sectional facts, including regional varia- tion in rents and prices, differing house price sensitivities to national trends, patterns of inter-state migration, and surveys of income expectations. An industry shift-share instrument provides causal evidence for our channel. The model implies that while interest rates have an ambiguous effect on house price levels, low rates increase house price volatility.
    JEL: E22 G12 R31
    Date: 2020–05
  3. By: Cullen, Julie Berry; Koedel, Cory; Parsons, Eric
    Abstract: We study how the introduction of a rigorous teacher evaluation system in a large urban school district affects the quality composition of teacher turnovers. With the implementation of the new system, we document increased turnover among the least effective teachers and decreased turnover among the most effective teachers, relative to teachers in the middle of the distribution. Our findings demonstrate that the alignment between personnel decisions and teacher effectiveness can be improved through targeted personnel policies. However, the change in the composition of exiters brought on by the policy we study is too small to meaningfully impact student achievement.
    Keywords: teacher labor market, public sector performance evaluation
    Date: 2019–06–04
  4. By: Scott, Shelby; Gross, Louis J
    Abstract: In response to the pandemic in early 2020, cities implemented states of emergency and stay at home orders to reduce virus spread. Changes in social dynamics due to local restrictions impacted human behavior and led to a shift in crime dynamics. We analyze shifts in crime types by comparing crimes before the implementation of stay at home orders and the time period shortly after these orders were put in place across three cities. We find consistent changes across Chicago, Baltimore, and Baton Rouge with significant declines in total crimes during the time period immediately following stay at home orders. The starkest differences occurred in Chicago, but in all three cities the crime types contributing to these declines were related to property crime rather than interpersonal.
    Date: 2020–10–20
  5. By: Manuel Adelino; W. Ben McCartney; Antoinette Schoar
    Abstract: The distribution of combined loan-to-value ratios (CLTVs) for purchase mortgages has been remarkably stable in the U.S. over the last 25 years. But the source of high-CLTV loans changed during the housing boom of the 2000s, with private securitization replacing FHA and VA loans directly guaranteed by the government. This substitution holds within ZIP codes, properties, and borrower types. Furthermore, the two groups exhibit similar delinquency rates. These findings suggest credit expanded predominantly through the increase in asset values rather than a relaxation of CLTV constraints, which supports models of the collateral channel or broad changes in house price expectations.
    Keywords: Household Finance; Mortgages; Loan-to-Value Ratios; Government Guarantees; Collateral Rates
    JEL: D30 E3 G21 G28 R30
    Date: 2020–10–07
  6. By: Ruochen Dai; Dilip Mookherjee; Yingyue Quan; Xiaobo Zhang
    Abstract: We examine how exposure of Chinese firms to the Covid-19 shock varied with a cluster index (measuring spatial agglomeration of firms in related industries) at the county level. Two data sources are used: entry flows of newly registered firms in the entire country, and an entrepreneur survey regarding operation of existing firms. Both show greater resilience in counties with a higher cluster index, after controlling for industry dummies and local infection rates, besides county and time dummies in the entry data. Reliance of clusters on informal entrepreneur hometown networks and closer proximity to suppliers and customers help explain these findings.
    JEL: L25 O14
    Date: 2020–10
  7. By: Richard Bluhm (SoDa Laboratories, Monash University); Axel Dreher (SoDa Laboratories, Monash University); Andreas Fuchs (SoDa Laboratories, Monash University); Bradley C. Parks (SoDa Laboratories, Monash University); Austin M. Strange (SoDa Laboratories, Monash University); Michael J. Tierney (SoDa Laboratories, Monash University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the causal effect of transport infrastructure on the spatial concentration of economic activity. Leveraging a new global dataset of geo-located Chinese government-financed projects over the period from 2000 to 2014 together with measures of spatial inequality based on remotely-sensed data, we analyze the effects of transport projects on the spatial distribution of economic activity within and between regions in a large number of developing countries. We find that Chinese-financed transportation projects reduce spatial concentration within but not between regions. In line with land use theory, we document a range of results which are consistent with a relocation of activity from city centers to their immediate periphery. Transport projects decentralize economic activity particularly strongly in regions that are more urbanized, located closer to the coast, and less developed.
    Keywords: transport costs, infrastructure, development finance, spatial concentration, China
    JEL: F15 F35 R11 R12 P33 O18 O19
    Date: 2020–11
  8. By: Galesi, Alessandro; Mata, Nuria; Rey, David; Schmitz, Sebastian; Schuffels, Johannes (RS: GSBE Theme Data-Driven Decision-Making, Macro, International & Labour Economics)
    Abstract: Selling homes is not easy. Home sellers usually need to apply a price discount to swiftly close a deal, and more so when housing market activity is low. Using detailed data on home listings and transactions in Spain, we provide unique estimates of the price discount across regional submarkets and time. We document that the price discount is strongly countercylical, as it increases with declining market conditions, and viceversa during upturns. Despite substantial heterogeneity, regional price discounts are synchronized and a single common factor can account for about sixty percent of their variation, thus suggesting the existence of a national housing cycle. Finally, we document that the main factors linked to changes in the price discount are developments in income, population, and interest rates, which are jointly able to explain the bulk of variation in housing market liquidity across regions and time. Besides providing a formal test of the performance of the price spread in gauging housing market liquidity, this study conveys practical information to real estate market participants, policymakers, and financial institutions for which assessing conditions in Spanish housing markets is a central task.
    JEL: R20 R30 R32
    Date: 2020–10–29
  9. By: Sylvain Chareyron (ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12 - UNIV GUSTAVE EIFFEL - Université Gustave Eiffel, TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Florence Goffette-Nagot (GATE - Health System Analysis Laboratory - Université de Lyon); Lucie Letrouit (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Urban renewal programs have been implemented in many countries to ght housing decay, poverty concentration, and associated social ills in the last decades. In this paper, we propose an evaluation of a large-scale urban renewal program launched in France in 2004. Using a novel estimator aimed at avoiding bias in the estimation of treatment eects heterogeneous across treatment groups or time periods, and complementing its results with a more precise double xed eects dierence-in-dierences estimator, we nd no signicant eect of the program on housing values and transaction volume. However, we do nd a signicant impact on the social prole of housing buyers and sellers: an increased number of upward transitions of housing units, from blue-collar sellers to intermediate category buyers or from intermediate category sellers to executive buyers, and reduced housing transactions among executives. Altogether, our ndings suggest a renewed interest of upper socio-professional categories to invest or keep their property in the renovated neighborhoods.4
    Keywords: Place-based policies,urban renewal,housing prices,housing spillovers,difference-indifferences
    Date: 2020–10
  10. By: Jie Chen (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China); Yu Chen (University of Graz, Austria); Robert J. Hill (University of Graz, Austria); Pei Hu (Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Fudan University, China)
    Abstract: We show that simple median price-rent ratios in Shanghai are distorted by quality differences between sold and rented properties. Correcting for these quality differences using hedonic methods reduces the price-rent ratio by 14%. Even so, the price-rent ratio in Shanghai (at about 67) is still extremely high by international standards. From a user cost perspective, such a large price-rent ratio is driven mainly by the very high rate of expected capital gains on housing. If households form their expectations by simply extrapolating past price trends, we find that the user cost of owner-occupying in Shanghai is negative (implying that everyone except short-term residents wants to owner occupy rather than rent). While for many years the user cost was probably negative, such a situation is not sustainable going forward. By international standards, house prices in Shanghai are already high, which limits the potential for further growth. Expected capital gains, therefore, need to start falling soon to prevent the emergence of a housing bubble.
    Keywords: Shanghai housing market; Price-rent ratio; User cost; Hedonic quality adjustment; Capital gains.
    JEL: C43 E01 E31 R31
    Date: 2020–11
  11. By: Lyna González (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 08193, Bellaterra, Spain); Jordi Perdiguero Garcia (Department of Applied Economics, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 08193, Bellaterra, Spain); Alex Sanz Fernández (Department of Economics and Economic History, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona 08193, Bellaterra, Spain)
    Abstract: Many cities in Spain are wrapped in air containing excessive levels of particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone, generally a problem in big cities caused by traffic. Pollutants largely associated with volume of traffic in urban cities and their outlying areas, such as Madrid and Barcelona, which is suffering from one of the worst levels of air pollution in the country. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 96.8% of Spain population breathe pollutant air. This paper shows empirical evidence about the contribution of public transport in the air quality of Barcelona using public transport strikes, through econometric analysis based on data from 2008 - 2016. During the study period, there were 147 days affected by some type of public transport strike:bus (57), metro (21), train (71) and tram (4) system, against 4 general strikes. The estimates indicate that public transit strikes have a statistically significant and positive effect on the concentration level of SO2, CO, PM10 and NOX in all over the city, especially in the case of metro and train. These results also allows us to understand better how commuters substitute transports modes between them and what policies can be implemented to increase the use of public transports.
    Keywords: Air pollution; Public transport strike; Econometric regression analysis; Public Transport Substitution
    JEL: C33 Q53 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2020–09
  12. By: Sylvain Chareyron (ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12 - UNIV GUSTAVE EIFFEL - Université Gustave Eiffel); Florence Goffette-Nagot (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Lucie Letrouit (PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Urban renewal programs have been implemented in many countries to fight housing decay, poverty concentration, and associated social ills in the last decades. In this paper, we propose an evaluation of a large-scale urban renewal program launched in France in 2004. Using a novel estimator aimed at avoiding bias in the estimation of treatment effects heterogeneous across treatment groups or time periods, and complementing its results with a more precise double fixed effects difference-indifferences estimator, we find no significant effect of the program on housing values and transaction volume. However, we do find a significant impact on the social profile of housing buyers and sellers: an increased number of upward transitions of housing units, from blue-collar sellers to intermediate category buyers or from intermediate category sellers to executive buyers, and reduced housing transactions among executives. Altogether, our findings suggest a renewed interest of upper socio-professional categories to invest or keep their property in the renovated neighborhoods.
    Keywords: Place-based policies,urban renewal,housing prices,housing spillovers,difference-in-differences
    Date: 2020–10–21
  13. By: Campigotto, Nicola; Rapallini, Chiara; Rustichini, Aldo
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of school friendship networks among adolescents, proposing a model of network formation and estimating it using a sample (CILS4EU) of about 10,000 secondary school students in four countries: England, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. We test the idea that networks arise according to homophily along many characteristics (gender, school achievement and ethnic and cultural backgrounds), and assess the relative importance of each factor. In addition to gender, we find that country of origin, generational status and religion predict friendship for foreign-born students. For country-born individuals, ties depend on a broader set of factors, including socioeconomic status and school achievement. In sum, homophilic preferences go considerably beyond ethnicity. Multiculturalism, which gives prominence to ethnic backgrounds, risks emphasising the differences in that dimension at the expense of affinity in others.
    Keywords: Friendship,Homophily,Immigration,Networks,Social cohesion
    JEL: D85 J15 Z13
    Date: 2020
  14. By: Allen, Jeff (University of Toronto); Farber, Steven
    Abstract: Many cities have undergone spatial re-distributions of low-income populations from central to suburban neighborhoods over the past several decades. A potential negative impact of these trends is that low-income populations are concentrating in more automobile oriented areas and thus resulting in increased barriers to daily travel and activity participation, particularly for those who are unable to afford a private vehicle. Accordingly, the objective of this paper is to analyze the links between increasing socio-spatial inequalities, transport disadvantage, and adverse travel behaviour outcomes. This is examined first from a theoretical perspective, and second via a spatio-temporal analysis for the Toronto region from 1991 to 2016. Findings show that many suburban areas in Toronto are not only declining in socioeconomic status, but are also suffering from increased barriers to daily travel evidenced by longer commute times and decreasing activity participation rates, relative to central neighborhoods. Because of these adverse effects, this evidence further supports the need for progressive planning and policy aimed at curbing continuing trends of suburbanization of poverty while also improving levels of transport accessibility in the suburbs.
    Date: 2020–10–18
  15. By: Silver, Daniel; Silva, Thiago H (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to advance neighbourhood change research and complexity theories of cities by developing and exploring a Markov model of socio-spatial neighbourhood evolution in Toronto, Canada. First, we classify Toronto neighbourhoods into distinct groups using established geodemographic segmentation techniques, a relatively novel application in this setting. Extending previous studies, we pursue a hierarchical approach to classifying neighbourhoods that situates many neighbourhood types within the city’s broader structure. Our hierarchical approach is able to incorporate a richer set of types than most past research and allows us to study how neighbourhoods' positions within this hierarchy shape their trajectories of change. Second, we use Markov models to identify generative processes that produce patterns of change in the city’s distribution of neighbourhood types. Moreover, we add a spatial component to the Markov process to uncover the extent to which change in one type of neighbourhood depends on the character of nearby neighbourhoods. In contrast to the few studies that have explored Markov models in this research tradition, we validate the model's predictive power. Third, we demonstrate how to use such models in theoretical scenarios considering the impact on the city’s predicted evolutionary trajectory when existing probabilities of neighbourhood transitions or distributions of neighbourhood types would hypothetically change. Markov models of transition patterns prove to be highly accurate in predicting the final distribution of neighbourhood types. Counterfactual scenarios empirically demonstrate urban complexity: small initial changes reverberate throughout the system, and unfold differently depending on their initial geographic distribution. These scenarios show the value of complexity as a framework for interpreting data and guiding scenario-based planning exercises.
    Date: 2020–10–30
  16. By: Hartmut Lehmann (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Aleksey Oshchepkov (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maria Giulia Silvagni (University of Bologna)
    Abstract: This paper studies the convergence in per capita gross regional products (GRPs) across Russian regions in the period from 1996 to 2017. We estimate growth equations, which are directly derived from a neoclassical growth model, augmented with human capital and migration. To our knowledge, this is the first paper that explicitly applies a neoclassical model to analyze regional convergence in Russia. We also take into account possible spatial effects and do a series of other robustness checks. Our main estimates establish a convergence rate of around 2% per year. While we fail to find any role of human capital for regional economic growth, we find that interregional migration and the interdependencies of the growth of Russian regions contribute to the economic convergence between them.
    Keywords: convergence, economic growth, regional economics, migration, Russia
    JEL: O47 R11 P2
    Date: 2020
  17. By: Jeffrey Brinkman; Kyle Mangum
    Abstract: We use a panel of county-level location data derived from cellular devices in the U.S. to track travel behavior and its relationship with COVID-19 cases in the early stages of the outbreak. We find that travel activity dropped significantly as case counts rose locally. People traveled less overall, and they specifically avoided areas with relatively larger outbreaks, independent of government restrictions on mobility. The drop in activity limited exposure to out-of-county virus cases, which we show was important because such case exposure generated new cases inside a county. This suggests the outbreak would have spread faster and to a greater degree had travel activity not dropped accordingly. Our findings imply that the scale and geographic network of travel activity and the travel response of individuals are important for understanding the spread of COVID-19 and for policies that seek to control it.
    Keywords: travel behavior; mobility; COVID-19 pandemic; spatial dynamics; spacial networks; cellular device location
    JEL: R11 I18 H11
    Date: 2020–09–28
  18. By: Richard Bluhm (SoDa Laboratories, Monash University); Melanie Krause (SoDa Laboratories, Monash University)
    Abstract: Tracking the development of cities in emerging economies is difficult with conventional data. Even the commonly-used satellite images of nighttime light intensity fail to capture the true brightness of larger cities. This paper shows that nighttime lights can be used as a reliable proxy for economic activity at the city level, provided they are first corrected for top-coding. We present a stylized model of urban luminosity and empirical evidence which both suggest that these ‘top lights’ can be characterized by a Pareto distribution. We then propose a correction procedure which recovers the full distribution of city lights. Our results show that the brightest cities account for nearly a third of global economic activity. Applying this approach to cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, we find that primate cities are outgrowing secondary cities but are changing from within. Poorer neighborhoods are developing and sub-centers are emerging, with the side effect that Africa’s cities are also becoming increasingly fragmented.
    Keywords: Development, urban growth, night lights, top-coding, inequality
    JEL: O10 O18 R11 R12
    Date: 2020–11
  19. By: Federico Crudu; Laura Neri; Silvia Tiezzi
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of overweight family members on weight outcomes of Italian children aged 6 to 14 years. We use an original dataset matching the 2012 cross sections of the Italian Multipurpose Household Survey and the House hold Budget Survey. Since the identification of within-family peer effects is known to be challenging, we implement our analysis on a partially identified model using inferential procedures recently introduced in the literature and based on standard Bayesian computation methods. We find evidence of a strong, positive effect of both overweight peer children in the family and of overweight adults on children weight outcomes. The impact of overweight peer children in the household is larger than the impact of adults. In particular, the estimated confidence sets associated to the peer children variable is positive with upper bound around one or larger, while the confidence sets for the parameter associated to obese adults often include zero and have upper bound that rarely is larger than one.
    Keywords: child obesity; confidence sets; partial identification; peer effects within the family
    JEL: I12 C15 C21 C35
    Date: 2020–10
  20. By: Grewenig, Elisabeth (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Lergetporer, Philipp (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Werner, Katharina (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Woessmann, Ludger (University of Munich); Zierow, Larissa (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: In spring 2020, governments around the globe shut down schools to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. We argue that low-achieving students may be particularly affected by the lack of educator support during school closures. We collect detailed time-use information on students before and during the school closures in a survey of 1,099 parents in Germany. We find that while students on average reduced their daily learning time of 7.4 hours by about half, the reduction was significantly larger for low-achievers (4.1 hours) than for high-achievers (3.7 hours). Low-achievers disproportionately replaced learning time with detrimental activities such as TV or computer games rather than with activities more conducive to child development. The learning gap was not compensated by parents or schools who provided less support for low-achieving students. The reduction in learning time was not larger for children from lower-educated parents, but it was larger for boys than for girls. For policy, our findings suggest binding distance-teaching concepts particularly targeted at low-achievers.
    Keywords: educational inequality, COVID-19, low-achieving students, home schooling, distance teaching
    JEL: I24 J62 D30
    Date: 2020–10
  21. By: Champeaux, Hugues (CERDI, University of Auvergne); Mangiavacchi, Lucia; Marchetta, Francesca (CERDI, University of Auvergne); Piccoli, Luca
    Abstract: School closures, forced by the COVID-19 crisis in many countries, impacted on children's lives and their learning process. There will likely be substantial and persistent disparities between families in terms of educational outcomes. Distant learning solutions adopted by schools have been heterogeneous over countries, within countries and between school levels. As a consequence, most of the burden of children's learning fell on their parents, with likely uneven results depending on the socio-economic characteristics of the family. Using a real time survey data collected in April 2020 and early May in France and Italy, we estimate child fixed effects models to analyze how the lockdown has affected children's emotional wellbeing and their home learning process. The analysis also focuses on the role played by online classes or other interactive methods on children's home learning and emotional status. We find that the lockdown had a stronger negative effect on boys, on kids attending kindergarten (in Italy) or secondary school (in France), and on children whose parents have a lower education level. We also find that the increase in the time spent in front of screen is correlated to a worse learning achievement and emotional status, while the opposite is true for the time spent reading. The use of interactive distance learning methodologies, that has been much more common in Italy than in France, appears to significantly attenuate the negative impact on lockdown on the learning progresses of both Italian and French kids.
    Keywords: distance learning, education inequality, children's education, children's time-use, emotional skills, COVID-19
    JEL: I24 J13 J24
    Date: 2020–10
  22. By: Florio, Erminia
    Abstract: We analyze whether (correct) information provision on immigration is more effective than contact in shaping attitudes towards immigration. We collect data from a randomized experiment in 18 middle- and high-school classes in the city of Rome. Half of the classes meet a refugee from Mauritania, whereas the rest of them attend a lecture on figures and numbers on immigration in Italy and the world. On average, students develop better attitudes towards immigration (especially in the case of policy preferences and the perceived number of immigrants in their country) after the information treatment more than they do after the contact treatment, whereas neither treatment affects feelings associated to immigrants. Also, students having received the information treatment strongly adjust their knowledge on immigration. However, students' individual characteristics and school type (i.e. middle vs. high school) affect treatments' effectiveness.
    Keywords: Attitudes towards immigration,Information Provision,Contact Theory,Randomized Experiment
    JEL: C93 J15 Z1 Z13
    Date: 2020
  23. By: Sarah Schneider-Strawczynski (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Does exposure to refugees change the political preferences of natives towards far-right parties, and how does this change in preferences occur? This paper examines the political economy of refugee-hosting. Using the opening of refugee centers in France between 1995 and 2017, I show that voting for far-right parties in cities with such opening between two presidential elections has fallen by about 2 percent. The drop in far-right voting is higher in municipalities with a small population, working in the primary and secondary sectors, with low educational levels and few migrants. I show that this negative effect can not be explained by an economic channel , but rather by a composition channel, through natives' avoidance, and a contact channel, through natives' exposure to refugees. I provide suggestive evidence that too-disruptive exposure to refugees, as measured by the magnitude of the inflows, the cultural distance and the media salience of refugees, can mitigate the beneficial effects of contact on reducing far-right support.
    Keywords: Migration,Refugees,Political Economy,Preferences Keywords: Migration,Preferences
    Date: 2020–10
  24. By: Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut); Tingyu Zhou (Florida State University)
    Abstract: Many studies document loss aversion in the housing market, where expected losses lead to higher sales prices. However, exposure to expected losses may correlate with unobservables that influence housing prices. Under the assumption that multiple psychological biases appear together, we estimate loss aversion by identifying sellers who appear psychologically biased by exhibiting focal point or round number bias in their choice of mortgage amount at purchase. Using both difference-in-differences and regression discontinuity approaches, we find evidence of loss aversion on sales prices based on a stronger correlation between loss and sales price for our subsample of sellers who exhibited round number bias, but our estimated effects are substantially smaller than the results that arise from directly estimating the effects of expected loss on the sales price. In addition, lumpy sellers are less likely to sell relative to the control group. We show that expected loss correlates strongly with predetermined mortgage, housing unit, and census tract attributes, but the interaction between a round mortgage amount and expected loss exhibits far fewer failures of balance. Further, the magnitude of the sample-wide relationship between expected loss and sales price is eroded substantially by the inclusion of balancing test controls, as well as by the inclusion of a running variable for the mortgage amount, while the magnitude of the relative estimates for the round mortgage amount subsample is quite stable. Evidence from an earlier experiement showing a positive relationship between reporting round numbers and loss aversioin provide supports for our identification strategy.
    Keywords: loss aversion, anchoring, mortgage, behavioral bias, round number bias, focal point, house prices, sale likelihood
    JEL: D81 G22 R20
    Date: 2020–11
  25. By: Luca Corazzini; Elena Meschi; Caterina Pavese
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of attending early childcare on immigrant children's cognitive outcomes. Our analysis makes use of administrative data on the entire population of students in the fth grade, collected by the Italian Institute for the Evaluation of the Educational System (INVALSI) for school years 2014/2015 to 2016/2017, matched to unique administrative records on early childcare availability at the municipal level. Our identication strategy exploits cross-sectional and time series variation in the provision of early childcare service across Italian municipalities as an instrument for individual attendance. Our results point out that the effect of early childcare attendance differs between native and immigrant children. Estimates show a positive and signicant effect on the language test scores of immigrant children, with the effect being mostly driven by females, by children with low-educated mothers and by children who, at home, speak a language highly dissimilar to Italian. Unlike immigrants, native students are negatively impacted by early childcare attendance, as reected in both language and math test scores. Effects are stronger on math test scores for females and for children with highly educated mothers.
    Keywords: Childcare, Cognitive skills, Immigrant children, IV.
    JEL: J13 J15 H75 I20 I28
    Date: 2020–10
  26. By: Isabelle Justo; Julien Hartley; Fidel Picos; Sara Riscado
    Abstract: Since the inception of the macroeconomic imbalance procedure in 2011, Sweden has been identified as having an imbalance related to increasing house prices and private indebtedness. Tax incentives for property ownership and mortgage debt are widely seen as important structural drivers behind household debt growth and overvalued house prices. Against this backdrop, the Council of the EU has asked Sweden to limit mortgage interest deductibility (MID). At the same time, despite a strong labour market with the highest employment rate in the EU, not all groups have benefited from job opportunities to the same extent. In particular, low-skilled workers have lower participation and employment rates, while their unemployment rate was, with 18.5% in 2017, well above the overall unemployment rate of 6.7%. Against this background, this economic brief considers shifting taxes from labour to property as a way to tackle macroeconomic vulnerabilities in the housing sector and labour market challenges in Sweden. We use the EUROMOD tax-benefit microsimulation model and the European Commission QUEST model to show that eliminating the MID, and using the additional tax revenues (around 0.3% of GDP) created to reduce, in a targeted way, labour taxes for vulnerable groups, could support their employment, while removing a structural driver of household debt growth.
    Keywords: imbalance, mortgage interest deductibility, tax shift, Mortgage Tax Reforms in Sweden: Scope for a Double Dividend?, Isabelle Justo, Julien Hartley, Fidel Picos, Sara Riscado.
    JEL: H30 J68
    Date: 2019–09
  27. By: Olivetti, Claudia (Dartmouth College); Paserman, M. Daniele (Boston University); Salisbury, Laura (York University); Weber, E. Anna (Boston University)
    Abstract: We present new findings about the relationship between marriage and socioeconomic background in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Imputing socioeconomic status of family of origin from first names, we document a socioeconomic gradient for women in the probability of marriage and the socioeconomic status of husbands. This socioeconomic gradient becomes steeper over time. We investigate the degree to which it can be explained by occupational income divergence across geographic regions. Regional divergence explains about one half of the socioeconomic divergence in the probability of marriage, and almost all of the increase in marital sorting. Differences in urbanization rates and the share of foreign-born across states drive most of these differences, while other factors (the scholarization rate, the sex ratio and the share in manufacturing) play a smaller role.
    Keywords: marriage, assortative mating, gender, intergenerational mobility, regional convergence
    JEL: J12 J62 N31 N32 N91 N92
    Date: 2020–10
  28. By: Huang, Donna; Ong, Rachel; Pawson, Hal; Singh, Ranjodh; Martin, Chris
    Abstract: This research examines possible cost-effective reforms of Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) (demand-side housing assistance) that could improve housing outcomes for low-income renters.
    Date: 2020–10–28
  29. By: Deakin, Elizabeth SM., J.D.; Halpern, Jeremy; Parker, Madeleine
    Abstract: Public agencies have subsidized taxi rides for people who have difficulty driving a car or using the regular transit system – targeting older residents and people with disabilities. There is interest among public agencies to add transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, to subsidized ride programs as a travel option due to the widespread availability of TNCs and high-quality service. Key issues include the need for wheelchair accessible vehicles, subsidy needs, and clients who lack or are uncomfortable using a smartphone and credit card. This research included a review of programs nationwide and interviews with program managers and clients to identify best practices. Best practices from agencies included contracting for wheelchair accessible TNC services, offering classes to help clients learn how to use the needed technologies, arranging for prepaid debit cards, creating a centralized billing system, providing a concierge service for those who need extra assistance, and setting subsidies based on need. Other recommended practices include providing high travel needs coverage, developing straightforward pricing structures, and not imposing restrictions on trip distance or trip purposes eligible for subsidy.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Ridesourcing, paratransit services, taxi services, subsidies, persons with disabilities, aged, public transit, mobility applications, equity
    Date: 2020–10–01
  30. By: Torsten Ehlers; Mathias Hoffmann; Alexander Raabe
    Abstract: US net capital inflows drive the international synchronization of house price growth. An increase (decrease) in US net capital inflows improves (tightens) US dollar funding conditions for non-US global banks, leading them to increase (decrease) foreign lending to third-party borrowing countries. This induces a synchronization of lending across borrowing countries, which translates into an international synchronization of mortgage credit growth and, ultimately, house price growth. Importantly, this synchronization is driven by non-US global banks' common but heterogenous exposure to US dollar funding conditions, not by the common exposure of borrowing countries to non-US global banks. Our results identify a novel channel of international transmission of US dollar funding conditions: As these conditions vary over time, borrowing country pairs whose non-US global creditor banks are more dependent on US dollar funding exhibit higher house price synchronization.
    Keywords: house price synchronization, US dollar funding, global US dollar cycle, global imbalances, capital inflows, global banks, global banking network
    JEL: F34 F36 G15 G21
    Date: 2020–10
  31. By: Jessup, Eric; Casavant, Ken; Tolliver, Denver
    Keywords: Public Economics
    Date: 2020–10–22
  32. By: Kiss, Tamás (Örebro University School of Business); Nguyen, Hoang (Örebro University School of Business); Österholm, Pär (Örebro University School of Business)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyse the heavy-tailed behaviour in the dynamics of housing-price returns in the United States. We investigate the sources of heavy tails by estimating autoregressive models in which innovations can be subject to GARCH effects and/or non-Gaussianity. Using monthly data ranging from January 1954 to September 2019, the properties of the models are assessed both within- and out-of-sample. We find strong evidence in favour of modelling both GARCH effects and non-Gaussianity. Accounting for these properties improves within-sample performance as well as point and density forecasts.
    Keywords: Non-Gaussianity; GARCH; Density forecasts; Probability integral transform
    JEL: C22 C52 E44 E47 G17
    Date: 2020–10–29
  33. By: Lane, Tyler Jeremiah (Monash University)
    Abstract: This study investigated whether in the post-Ferguson era, homicide rates increased in cities where there was a protested police-involved death. It also tests for evidence of two potential mechanisms. To test for evidence of legal cynicism, effects between homicide and aggravated assault rates are compared; a gap would suggest reduced reporting and community disengagement from police. The moderating influence of state or federal investigation was examined as a potential indicator of de-policing. Using an interrupted time series design, I analysed trends in 45 US cities with a protested police-involved death. Results were combined using a meta-analysis, and meta-regressions were used to test for moderating effects. A funnel plot and Egger’s regression were used to test for bias in event selection. Averaged across all cities, there was an acute and largely sustained increase of 31.6% in the homicide rate, which was significantly larger than the effect in aggravated assaults. Effects were not significantly moderated by state or federal investigations. There was no evidence of bias in event selection. The findings suggest that police-involved deaths can have wider-reaching increases in violence in the communities they are meant to protect.
    Date: 2020–10–24
  34. By: Hambel, Christoph; Kraft, Holger; Meyer-Wehmann, André
    Abstract: This paper studies a household's optimal demand for a reverse mortgage. These contracts allow homeowners to tap their home equity to finance consumption needs. In stylized frameworks, we show that the decision to enter a reverse mortgage is mainly driven by the differential between the aggregate appreciation of the house price and principal limiting factor on the one hand and the funding costs of a household on the other hand. We also study a rich life-cycle model that can explain the low demand for reverse mortgages as observed in US data. In this model, we analyze the optimal response of a household that is confronted with a health shock or financial disaster. If an agent suffers from an unexpected health shock, she reduces the risky portfolio share and is more likely to enter a reverse mortgage. On the other hand, if there is a large drop in the stock market, she keeps the risky portfolio share almost constant by buying additional shares of stock. Besides, the probability to take out a reverse mortgage is hardly affected.
    Keywords: reverse mortgage,consumption-portfolio decisions,optimal stopping,biometric risks,financial disasters
    JEL: D14 E21 G11 G21 J14 R21
    Date: 2020
  35. By: Hakan Yilmazkuday (Department of Economics, Florida International University)
    Abstract: Daily data at the U.S. county level suggest that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and deaths are lower in counties where a higher share of people have stayed in the same county (or travelled less to other counties). This observation is tested formally by using a difference-in-difference design controlling for county-fixed effects and time-fixed effects, where weekly changes in COVID-19 cases or deaths are regressed on weekly changes in the share of people who have stayed in the same county during the previous 14 days. A counterfactual analysis based on the formal estimation results suggests that staying in the same county has the potential of reducing total weekly COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. as much as by 139,503 and by 23,445, respectively.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Same-County Stayers, County-level Investigation, the U.S.
    JEL: I10 I18 R41
    Date: 2020–10
  36. By: Terhi Maczulskij
    Abstract: This paper analyzes occupational polarization within and across workers, as well as the occupational mobility of routine workers, using comprehensive data from Finland. As in most industrialized countries, job markets have polarized over the last few decades. Decomposition analysis shows that the upper tail of occupational polarization is largely a with-workers phenomenon, indicating that workers have moved to abstracts tasks. In contrast, the share of low-level service tasks increases largely through entry dynamics. The direction of occupational mobility is nevertheless linked with the task content in origin jobs. Conditional on observed general and specific human capital, routine cognitive workers are more likely to move up in the hierarchy, while routine manual workers are more likely to move to low-skilled service occupations. Data on plant closures and mass lay-offs are also used to identify involuntary separations from routine occupations. These results demonstrate similar strong uneven adjustment pattern, with routine cognitive workers being more able to adjust with smaller employment disruptions and wage costs.
    Keywords: Job market polarization, routine manual, routine cognitive, occupational mobility, displacement
    JEL: J23 J62
    Date: 2019–04–15
  37. By: Ado Adamou Abba Ari; Andrea Araldo; Andr\'e De Palma; Vincent Gauthier
    Abstract: Carpooling is a system in which drivers accept to add some limited detours to their habitual journeys to pick-up and drop-off other riders. Most research and operating platforms present carpooling as an alternative to fixed schedule transit and only very little work has attempted to integrate it with fixed-schedule mass transit. The aim of this paper is to showcase the benefits of such integration, under the philosophy of Mobility as a Service (MaaS), in a daily commuting scenario. We present an integrated mass transit plus carpooling system that, by design, constructs multimodal trips, including transit and carpooling legs. To this aim, the system generates vehicle detours in order to serve transit stations. We evaluate the performance of this system via simulation. We compare the ``Current'' System, where carpooling is an alternative to transit, to our ``Integrated'' System, where carpooling and transit are integrated in a single system. We show that, by doing this, the transportation accessibility greatly increases: about 40\% less users remain without feasible travel options and the overall travel time decreases by about 10\%. We achieve this by requiring relatively small driver detours, thanks to a better utilization vehicle routes, with drivers' vehicles driving on average with more riders on board. The simulation code is available open source.
    Date: 2020–10
  38. By: Xudong An; Lawrence R. Cordell
    Abstract: Mortgage loss-given-default (LGD) increased significantly when house prices plummeted during the financial crisis, but it has remained over 40 percent in recent years, despite a strong housing recovery. Our results indicate that the sustained high LGDs post-crisis is due to a combination of an overhang of crisis-era foreclosures and prolonged liquidation timelines, which have offset higher sales recoveries. Simulations show that cutting foreclosure timelines by one year would cause LGD to decrease by 5 to 8 percentage points, depending on the tradeoff between lower liquidation expenses and lower sales recoveries. Using difference-in-differences tests, we also find that recent consumer protection programs have extended foreclosure timelines and increased loss severities despite their potential benefits of increasing loan modifications and enhancing consumer protections.
    Keywords: loss-given default (LGD); foreclosure timelines; regulatory changes; Heckman twostage model; accelerated failure time model
    JEL: G21 G18 C41 C24 G01
    Date: 2020–09–25
  39. By: Lucie Letrouit (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - 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); Harris Selod (The World Bank - The World Bank - The World Bank)
    Abstract: Using an urban land use model, we study the market failures associated with land tenure insecurity and information asymmetry, and analyze households' responses to mitigate tenure insecurity. When buyers and sellers of land plots can pair along trusted kinship lines whereby deception (the nondisclosure of competing claims on a land plot to a buyer) is socially penalized, information asymmetry is attenuated but overall participation in the land market is reduced. Alternatively, when owners can make land plots secure by paying to register them in a cadaster, both information asymmetry and tenure insecurity are reduced, but the registration cost limits land market participation at the periphery of the city. We compare the overall surpluses under these trust and registration models and under a hybrid version of the model that reffects the context of today's West African cities where both registration and trusted relationships are simultaneously available to residents. The analysis highlights the substitutability of trusted relationships to costly registration and predicts the gradual evolution of economies towards the socially preferable registration system if registration costs can be su ciently reduced.
    Keywords: Land markets,property rights,information asymmetry,informal land use,land registration,ethnic kinship
    Date: 2020–10
  40. By: Engzell, Per; Frey, Arun; Verhagen, Mark D.
    Abstract: Suspension of face-to-face instruction in schools during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to concerns about consequences for student learning. So far, data to study this question have been limited. Here we evaluate the effect of school closures on primary school performance using exceptionally rich data from the Netherlands (n≈350,000). The Netherlands represents a best-case scenario with a relatively short lockdown (8 weeks) and a high degree of technological preparedness. We use the fact that national exams took place before and after lockdown, and compare progress during this period to the same period in the three previous years using a difference-in-differences design. Our results reveal a learning loss of about 3 percentile points or 0.08 standard deviations. These results remain robust when balancing on the estimated propensity of treatment and using maximum entropy weights, or with fixed-effects specifications that compare students within the same school and family. Losses are up to 55% larger among students from less-educated homes. Investigating mechanisms, we find that most of the effect reflects the cumulative impact of knowledge learned rather than transitory influences on the day of testing. The average learning loss is equivalent to a fifth of a school year, nearly exactly the same period that schools remained closed. These results imply that students made little or no progress whilst learning from home, and suggest much larger losses in countries less prepared for remote learning.
    Date: 2020–10–29
  41. By: Enrico Cantoni; Vincent Pons
    Abstract: We measure the overall influence of contextual versus individual factors (e.g., voting rules and media as opposed to race and education) on voter behavior, and explore underlying mechanisms. Using a U.S.-wide voter-level panel, 2008–18, we examine voters who relocate across state and county lines, tracking changes in registration, turnout, and party affiliation to estimate location and individual fixed effects in a value-added model. Location explains 37 percent of the cross-state variation in turnout (to 63 percent for individual characteristics) and an only slightly smaller share of variation in party affiliation. Place effects are larger for young and White voters.
    JEL: D72
    Date: 2020–10
  42. By: Gallo, E.; Langtry, A.
    Abstract: In recent years online social networks have become increasingly prominent in political campaigns and, concurrently, several countries have experienced shock election outcomes. This paper proposes a model that links these two phenomena. In our set-up, the process of learning from others on a network is influenced by confirmation bias, i.e. the tendency to ignore contrary evidence and interpret it as consistent with one's own belief. When agents pay enough attention to themselves, confirmation bias leads to slower learning in any symmetric network, and it increases polarization in society. We identify a subset of agents that become more/less influential with confirmation bias. The socially optimal network structure depends critically on the information available to the social planner. When she cannot observe agents' beliefs, the optimal network is symmetric, vertex-transitive and has no self-loops. We explore the implications of these results for electoral outcomes and media markets. Confirmation bias increases the likelihood of shock elections, and it pushes fringe media to take a more extreme ideology.
    Keywords: social learning, confirmation bias, network, elections, media
    JEL: C63 D72 D83 D85 D91 L15
    Date: 2020–11–02
  43. By: Augustin de Coulon; Richmond Egyei; Jonathan Wadsworth
    Abstract: The UK relies on survey data (the APS) to produce estimates of its local area immigrant populations at higher frequencies than generated by the decennial Census. All sample surveys come with some level of uncertainty attached to their estimates which can be particularly acute at local area level where sample populations are smaller. We therefore explore whether the local area population counts of immigrants contained in the electoral 'register' (ER) could help improve the accuracy and reliability of published local area migration statistics.
    Keywords: immigration, measurement, electoral register
    JEL: C81 C83 F22 J61
    Date: 2020–07
  44. By: Guilherme Lichand; Julien Christen
    Abstract: The impacts of COVID-19 reach far beyond the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the disease; in particular, the pre-existing learning crisis is expected to be magnified during school shutdown. Despite efforts to put distance learning strategies in place, the threat of student dropouts, especially among adolescents, looms as a major concern. Are interventions to motivate adolescents to stay in school effective amidst the pandemic? Here we show that, in Brazil, nudges via text messages to high-school students, to motivate them to stay engaged with school activities, substantially reduced dropouts during school shutdown, and greatly increased their motivation to go back to school when classes resume. While such nudges had been shown to decrease dropouts during normal times, it is surprising that those impacts replicate in the absence of regular classes because their effects are typically mediated by teachers (whose effort in the classroom changes in response to the nudges). Results show that insights from the science of adolescent psychology can be leveraged to shift developmental trajectories at a critical juncture. They also qualify those insights: effects increase with exposure and gradually fade out once communication stops, providing novel evidence that motivational interventions work by redirecting adolescents' attention.
    Keywords: Student dropouts, COVID-19, nudges, adolescent motivation, salience
    JEL: D91 I18 I24 I25
    Date: 2020–09
  45. By: KAWATA Yuji; OWAN Hideo
    Abstract: The Elderly Employment Stabilization Law revised in 2006 helped the government to increase elderly employment. Although there has been a discussion of whether the re-employment of elderly workers substitutes or complements the employment of young workers, there are few studies that examine potential peer effects of the former group on the latter's productivity or motivation in the workplace. Note that there might be knowledge spillovers from elderly workers to peers, especially younger ones (positive peer effects) but the presence of unmotivated elderly workers might demoralize peers (negative peer effects). This paper investigates such peer effects from the exposure to elderly workers using the employee satisfaction survey of a Japanese firm. We show that elderly workers do not have significant peer effects on coworkers' satisfaction on average. However, the effects are heterogeneous depending on the ability of the elderly workers, reflected in their wages, and the age and job levels of their peers. Namely, regular workers are more satisfied when they work with elderly workers who receive higher wages. Coworkers in their 30s and 40s receive more training and those in their 50s are more satisfied when they work with elderly workers. In contrast, first line managers are less satisfied by the allocation of elderly workers, especially those with high levels of ability. This paper contributes to the discussion on the efficient assignment of elderly workers.
    Date: 2020–11
  46. By: Halpern, Jeremy; Deakin, Elizabeth; Parker, Madeleine
    Abstract: Cities, transit agencies, and social service providers across the U.S. have implemented programs that provide taxi subsidies for people who have difficulty driving a car or using the regular transit system. These programs usually serve older residents and people with disabilities, though a few also serve low income users. Taxi subsidy programs provide curb-to-curb or door-to-door transportation at a fraction of the cost of paratransit.1 However, as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft, have entered markets around the country, taxi availability has declined, resulting in lower levels of service. In response, many public agencies are considering the addition of TNCs to subsidized ride programs; however, the inclusion of TNCs in these programs is not straightforward. For example, agencies must evaluate the extent to which their clients need wheelchair accessible vehicles or other personal assistance. In addition, TNC platforms require users to request rides through a smartphone and use debit or credit cards for payment, which is problematic for unbanked customers and those who do not own or have access to a smartphone.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Date: 2020–10–01
  47. By: Shawn Ni (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Michael Podgursky (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia); Fangda Wang (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Abstract: In a widely-cited study, Fitzpatrick (2015) found that more than a quarter of Illinois teachers were unwilling to pay 19 cents for pension enhancements worth one dollar in present value. We revisit this finding by tracking the same cohort of teachers to retirement, which permits exact measurement of the annuity received and service years. The vast majority of teachers purchased the upgrade. Among the teachers who did not, the benefit on average had a negative value given their retirement timing. Our analysis finds that Fitzpatrick's instrumental variables fail to capture the underlying heterogeneity of preferences driving this result.
    Keywords: teacher's value of pension wealth, unobserved heterogeneity, state and local pension finance
    JEL: H75 I21 J26 J45
    Date: 2020–10
  48. By: Ryusaku Matsuo (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)
    Date: 2020–11
  49. By: Olsen, Nils
    Abstract: The Vehicle Scheduling Problem (VSP) is a well-studied combinatorial optimization problem arising for bus companies in public transport. The objective is to cover a given set of timetabled trips by a set of buses at minimum costs. The Electric Vehicle Scheduling Problem (E-VSP) complicates traditional bus scheduling by considering electric buses with limited driving ranges. To compensate these limitations, detours to charging stations become necessary for charging the vehicle batteries during operations. To save costs, the charging stations must be located within the road network in such a way that required deadhead trips are as short as possible or even redundant. For solving the traditional VSP, a variety of solution approaches exist capable of solving even real-world instances with large networks and timetables to optimality. In contrast, the problem complexity increases significantly when considering limited ranges and chargings of the batteries. For this reason, there mainly exist solution approaches for the E-VSP which are based von heuristic procedures as exact methods do not provide solutions within a reasonable time. In this paper, we present a literature review of solution approaches for scheduling electric vehicles in public transport and location planning of charging stations. Since existing work differ in addition to the solution methodology also in the mapping of electric vehicles' technical aspects, we pay particular attention to these characteristics. To conclude, we provide a perspective for potential further research.
    Keywords: Vehicle Scheduling,Public Transport,Electric Buses,Charging Stations,Location Planning
    Date: 2020
  50. By: Anna Laura Baraldi (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli); Giovanni Immordino (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF); Marco Stimolo (Università della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli)
    Abstract: We test a neglected implication of women’s higher risk aversion: i.e., organized crime infiltration, increasing the perceived risk of entering politics, can prove more effective in discouraging highly qualified women to run for election compared to men. We constructed a data set based on yearly observations of 1,608 Italian municipalities in the 1985–2016 period. Exploiting the exogenous shock of municipal government dissolution for mafia infiltration, we robustly identify a stronger negative effect of organized crime activity on female politicians than on male.
    Keywords: Gender, Organized crime, Politician’s quality, Municipal government.
    JEL: J16 H70 K42
    Date: 2020–10–28
  51. By: Antonio Estache; Simon Tooth
    Abstract: This paper analyses the drivers of the scope for work-from-home (WFH) in high-income and upper-middle-income countries from a government policy perspective rather than from the firms’ or workers’ viewpoints. A simple statistical analysis confirms the important role of policy efforts to ease digital adoption decisions. But it also shows the role of other factors that can be influenced by policy choices. Policies to increase the average level of education of the population help. Labor policies matter as well, although in more complex ways. Their impact on the rate of part-time employment and on the degree of self-employment is statistically significant but with opposite signs. Policies reducing discrimination against women access to the labor market would also favour the scope for WFH
    Keywords: Telework; work-from-home; digitalisation; employment
    JEL: J21 J22 J24 J48 J81
    Date: 2020–11
  52. By: Pereira, Rafael Henrique Moreas; Karner, Alex
    Abstract: Transportation equity is a way to frame distributive justice concerns in relation to how social, economic, and government institutions shape the distribution of transportation benefits and burdens in society. It focuses on the evaluative standards used to judge the differential impacts of policies and plans, asking who benefits from and is burdened by them and to what extent. Questions of transportation equity involve both sufficientarian and egalitarian concerns with both absolute levels of wellbeing, transport-related poverty and social exclusion as well as with relative levels of transport-related inequalities. Ultimately, the study of transport equity explores the multiple channels through which transport and land use policies can create conditions for more inclusive cities and transport systems that allow different people to flourish, to satisfy their basic needs and lead a meaningful life. Transportation equity issues broadly encompass how policy decisions shape societal levels of environmental externalities and what groups are more or less exposed to them, as well as how those decisions affect the lives of different groups in terms of their ability to access life-enhancing opportunities such as employment, healthcare and education. Equity is a crucial part of a broader concern with transport and mobility justice. The call for transport justice goes beyond distributive concerns, and yet justice cannot be achieved without equity.
    Date: 2020–10–19
  53. By: William D. Lastrapes; Ian Schmutte; Thor Watson
    Abstract: We use Texas's constitutional amendment in 1997 that expanded the scope of home equity loans as a source of exogenous variation to estimate the effects of relaxing credit constraints on small businesses. We find, using standard panel data methods and restricted-use microdata from the US Census Bureau, that the Texas amendment increased the use of home equity finance by small businesses, increased new business and job creation and reduced establishment exit and job loss. The effects are larger and significant for businesses with fewer than ten employees.
    Keywords: natural experiment, Texas, entrepreneur, difference-in-differences
    JEL: M2 M13 R0 E0
    Date: 2020–10
  54. By: Philip Chen; Edward J Oughton; Pete Tyler; Mo Jia; Jakub Zagdanski
    Abstract: Basic broadband connectivity is regarded as generally having a positive macroeconomic effect. However, over the past decade there has been an emerging school of thought suggesting the impacts of upgrading to higher speed broadband have been overstated, potentially leading to the inefficient allocation of taxpayer-funded subsidies. In this analysis we model the impacts of Next Generation Access on new business creation using high-resolution panel data. After controlling for a range of factors, the results provide evidence of a small but significant negative impact of high-speed broadband on new business creation over the study period which we suggest could be due to two factors. Firstly, moving from basic to high-speed broadband provides few benefits to enable new businesses being formed. Secondly, strong price competition and market consolidation from online service providers (e.g. Amazon etc.) may be deterring new business start-ups. This analysis provides another piece of evidence to suggest that the economic impact of broadband is more nuanced than the debate has traditionally suggested. Our conjecture is that future policy decisions need to be more realistic about the potential economic impacts of broadband, including those effects that could be negative on the stock of local businesses and therefore the local tax base.
    Date: 2020–10
  55. By: Murray, Cameron (The University of Sydney); Ryan-Collins, Josh
    Abstract: This article develops the concept of housing market ‘rentierization’ to describe the shift in the treatment of housing away from its use as a consumption good to an asset from which economic rent can be extracted, with Australia as a canonical example. Rentierization encompasses, but goes beyond, the financialisation of housing that has been the focus of attention in recent political economy literature as it involves policy changes and coordination across the land and housing market, fiscal-policy as well as financial policy spheres. In addition, we argue, rentierization offers a better explanation of rising house prices than the decline in real interest rates which has come to the fore in the recent economics literature. Our study of Australia examines the returns to land and housing over time and traces the roots of rentierization to developments that preceded the financial liberalisation of the 1980s, including the privatisation of public housing in the 1960s and 70s. We consider some of the reasons for the resilience of Australia’s rentier-oriented housing model, and policy alternatives which might help reduce the logic of rentierization and, in doing so, reduce housing-related inequalities.
    Date: 2020–07–31
  56. By: Ivan Petrov; L. (Lisa B.) Ryan
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to test for the persistence of the landlord-tenant energy e fficiency problem in the residential rental property market in the presence of information on property energy performance. To do this, we compare the efficiency of rental and non-rental properties using a combination of Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM) and parametric regression. We use a sample of 585,578 residential properties in the Republic of Ireland - a region that legally requires rental properties to display energy performance certificates when advertised. The findings suggest that the landlord-tenant problem is present in the Irish rental market but that it is not uniform across locations, indicating the influence of other factors. To explore this further, we exploit the regional variation in rental property prices. We find a larger difference between rental and non-rental properties' energy efficiency in markets with scarcity in rental property supply.
    Keywords: Energy efficiency; Market failures; Energy performance certificate (EPC); Coarsened exact matching (CEM); Residential properties; Information asymmetry; Split incentives
    JEL: Q40 R20 D12
    Date: 2020–10
  57. By: Ma, Sai (Federal Reserve Board of Governors); Zhang, Shaojun (Ohio State U)
    Abstract: When households consume both nondurable goods and housing services, external habit preference over nondurable consumption generates procyclical demand for housing. Marginal utility falls when housing demand rises and innovations to housing demand arise as a risk factor. Motivated by theory, we use shocks to the ratio of residential-to-aggregate investment to capture the housing demand risk. The single-factor model exhibits strong explanatory power for expected returns across various equity characteristic-sorted portfolios and non-equity asset classes with positive risk price estimates that are similar in magnitude. The model is robust to controlling for other factor models based on durable consumption, financial intermediaries, household heterogeneity, and return-based multifactor models designed to price these assets.
    JEL: G10 G11 G12
    Date: 2020–05
  58. By: Hannu Karhunen (Palkansaajien tutkimuslaitos); Artturi Björk
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of receiving a higher grade on a high school exit exam on labor market and education outcomes. Identification comes from comparing students on di ?erent sides of grade cutoffs. Being above a cutoff in an exam leads to (i) an increase in quality of education, but no change in years of schooling, (ii) an increase in yearly earnings that peaks between 1 and 5% at age 48, but no change in employment. At most 60% of the increase in earnings is explained by better education opportunities.
    Keywords: High school exit exam, Regression discontinuity
    JEL: I21 I26 J24
    Date: 2019–09–26
  59. By: Huang, Donna; Rowley, Steven; Crowe, Adam; Gilbert, Catherine; Kruger, Marko; Leishman, Chris; Zuo, Jian
    Abstract: With the construction industry long being held up as an ideal mechanism for delivering economic stimulus in periods of economic recession and stagnation, this research assesses how the housing industry can help rebuild the Australian economy both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Date: 2020–10–20
  60. By: Bachli, Mirjam (University of St.Gallen); Tsankova, Teodora (Tilburg University and CAGE)
    Abstract: We investigate how the introduction of free movement of workers affects enrolment of natives in tertiary education. In a difference-in-differences framework, we exploit a policy change that led to a significant increase in the share of cross-border commuters in local employment in border regions of Switzerland. Our results show a rise in enrolment at Universities of Applied Sciences in affected relative to non-affected regions in the post-reform period but no change in enrolment at traditional universities. Furthermore, we find that enrolment increases in non-STEM fields that build skills less transferable across national borders. This allows for complementarities with foreign workers who are more likely to hold occupations requiring STEM training. Individuals with a labor market oriented education such as vocationally trained respond to the increase in labor market competition because they have employment opportunities and access to tertiary education through Universities of Applied Sciences.
    Keywords: cross-border commuting, demand for tertiary education, study field choice, labor market conditions JEL Classification: F22, I26, J24, J61, R23
    Date: 2020
  61. By: Ropertz, Henry
    Keywords: Public Economics
    Date: 2020–10–22

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