nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2021‒06‒28
53 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The Donut Effect of Covid-19 on Cities By Arjun Ramani; Nicholas Bloom
  2. Possible income misstatement on mortgage loan applications: Evidence from the Canadian housing market By Basiri, Kiana; Mahmoudi, Babak
  3. Spatial heterogeneity of housing prices in formal and informal settlements: A GWR hedonic model for segmented markets in Cali By Vivas, H; Franco, A
  4. Connective Financing - Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries By Bluhm, Richard; Dreher, Axel; Fuchs, Andreas; Parks, Brad; Strange, Austin; Tierney, Michael J.
  5. Foreclosure Spillovers within broad Neighborhoods By Weiran Huang; Ashlyn Nelson; Stephen Ross
  6. Medieval Cities Through the Lens of Urban Economic Theories By Jedwab, Remi; Johnson, Noel; Koyama, Mark
  7. Real Estate and Rental Markets during Covid Times By Bertrand Achou; Hippolyte d'Albis; Eleni Iliopulos
  8. Urban rents and commuting times in Ireland By Lyons, Seán; Ahrens,Achim
  9. When Distance Drives Destination, Towns Can Stimulate Development By Joachim De Weerdt; Luc Christiaensen; Ravi Kanbur
  10. Transit Infrastructure and Informal Housing: Assessing an Expansion of the Medellin's Metrocable System By Posada, H; García-Suaza, A
  11. Spatial Wage Differentials and Agglomeration Externalities: Evidence from Indonesian Microdata By Masagus M. Ridhwan
  12. What drives transport and mobility trends? The chicken-and-egg problem. By Nathalie Picard
  13. Peer Gender and Schooling: Evidence from Ethiopia By Borbely, Daniel; Norris, Jonathan; Romiti, Agnese
  14. Costs, incentives, and institutions in bridging evolutionary economic geography and global production networks By Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  15. Neuroticism Mediates the Relationship Between Industrial History and Modern-Day Regional Obesity Levels By Daly, Michael; Obschonka, Martin; Stuetzer, Michael; Sutin, Angelina; Shaw-Taylor, Leigh; Satchell, Max; Robinson, Eric
  16. Speed limits and vehicle accidents in built-up areas: The impact of 30 km/h zones By Davide Cerruti; Massimo Filippini
  17. The Relationship Between Race, Type of Work, and Covid-19 Infection Rates By R. Jason Faberman; Daniel Hartley
  18. Spatial Economics for Granular Settings By Dingel, Jonathan; Tintelnot, Felix
  19. Plants in Space By Oberfield, Ezra; Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban; Sarte, Pierre-Daniel; Trachter, Nicholas
  20. Finding transport projects with high value for money : what are the socio-geographic determinants? By Jussila Hammes, Johanna; Volden, Gro Holst; Welde, Morten; Börjesson, Maria; Odeck, James
  21. Social Proximity to Capital: Implications for Investors and Firms By Kuchler, Theresa; Li, Yan; Peng, Lin; Ströbel, Johannes; Zhou, Dexin
  22. Divided We Stay Home: Social Distancing and Ethnic Diversity By Egorov, Georgy; Enikolopov, Ruben; Makarin, Alexey; Petrova, Maria
  23. How Lotteries in School Choice Help to Level the Playing Field By Author-Name: Christian Basteck; Author-Name: Bettina Klaus; Dorothea Kuebler
  24. More Opportunity, More Cooperation? The Behavioral Effects of Birthright Citizenship on Immigrant Youth By Christina Felfe; Martin G. Kocher; Helmut Rainer; Judith Saurer; Thomas Siedler
  25. Credit Score Doctors By Luojia Hu; Xing Huang; Andrei Simonov
  26. The Long-Run Effects of Sports Club Vouchers for Primary School Children By Jan Marcus; Thomas Siedler; Nicolas R. Ziebarth
  27. Mobility Zones By Monte, Ferdinando
  28. Institutions and the uneven geography of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic By Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés; Burlina, Chiara
  29. Communication Barriers and Infant Health: Intergenerational Effects of Randomly Allocating Refugees Across Language Regions By Auer, Daniel; Kunz, Johannes S.
  30. The Signaling, Screening, and Human Capital Effects of National Board Certification: Evidence from Chicago and Kentucky High Schools By Lisa Barrow; Linda Cavalluzzo; Thomas Geraghty; Christine Mokher; Lauren Sartain
  31. Regional indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals. An analysis based on the cases of the Basque Country, Navarre and Flanders By GEA ARANOA Ainhoa
  32. Designing effective and acceptable road pricing schemes: evidence from the Geneva congestion charge By Baranzini, Andrea; Carattini, Stefano; Tesauro, Linda
  33. The effects of age on educational performances at the end of primary school : cross-sectional and regression discontinuity approach applications from Reunion Island By Daniel Rakotomalala
  34. The Seeds of Ideology: Historical Immigration and Political Preferences in the United States By Giuliano, Paola; Tabellini, Marco
  35. Regional development trajectories of renewable energy: Evidence from French regions By F. Roussafi
  36. A Political-Economy Perspective on Mayoral Elections and Urban Crime By Batabyal, Amitrajeet; Beladi, Hamid
  37. Long-Term Decline of Regions and the Rise of Populism: The Case of Germany By Maria Greve; Michael Fritsch; Michael Wyrwich
  38. Your Uber Is Arriving Now: An Analysis of Platform Location Decisions through an Institutional Lens By MMatthijs B. Punt; Jesse van Kollem; Jarno Hoekman; Koen Frenken
  39. Some Benefit, Some Are Left Behind: NAFTA and Educational Attainment in the United States By Leopoldo Gòmez-Ramírez; María Padilla-Romo
  40. Local Public Goods and the Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity By Arthur Guillouzouic--Le Corff; Emeric Henry; Joan Monras
  41. Is Lending Distance Really Changing? Distance Dynamics and Loan Composition in Small Business Lending By Robert M. Adams; Kenneth P. Brevoort; John C. Driscoll
  42. Loss Aversion in Taste-Based Employee Discrimination: Evidence from a Choice Experiment By Lippens, Louis; Baert, Stijn; Derous, Eva
  43. Preference revelation games and strict cores of multiple-type housing market problems By Di Feng; Bettina Klaus
  44. The credibility revolution in the empirical analysis of crime By Pinotti, Paolo
  45. African regional integration: A problem-driven approach to delivering regional public goods By Bruce Byiers; Antoine Cazals; Alfonso Medinilla; Jaime de Melo
  46. The Impacts of Opportunity Zones on Zone Residents By Matthew Freedman; Shantanu Khanna; David Neumark
  47. Partial Interventions in Networks By Ryan Kor; Junjie Zhou
  48. Failed to Scale: Embracing the Challenge of Scaling in Early Childhood By Snigdha Gupta; John List; Lauren Supplee; Dana Suskind
  49. The Effect of Mergers on Variety in Grocery Retailing By Elena Argentesi; Paolo Buccirossi; Roberto Cervone; Tomaso Duso; Alessia Marrazzo
  50. Cheapest-to-Deliver Pricing, Optimal MBS Securitization, and Market Quality By Yesol Huh; You Suk Kim
  51. Educational Inequality in Luxembourg By Tamilina, Larysa
  52. The Impact on Birth Outcomes of Tansient, In Utero Exposure to Airborne Lead: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from NASCAR's Deleading Policy By Linda TM Bui; Ron Shadbegian; Alicia Marquez; Heather Klemick; Dennis Guignet
  53. Conceptual frameworks for urban sustainability indicators - an empirical analysis By Halla, Pekka; Merino-Saum, Albert

  1. By: Arjun Ramani; Nicholas Bloom
    Abstract: Using data from the US Postal Service and Zillow, we quantify the effect of Covid-19 on migration patterns and real estate markets within and across US cities. We find two key results. First, within large US cities, households, businesses, and real estate demand have moved from dense central business districts (CBDs) towards lower density suburban zip-codes. We label this the “Donut Effect” reflecting the movement of activity out of city centers to the suburban ring. Second, while this observed reallocation occurs within cities, we do not see major reallocation across cities. That is, there is less evidence for large-scale movement of activity from large US cities to smaller regional cities or towns. We rationalize these findings by noting that working patterns post pandemic will frequently be hybrid, with workers commuting to their business premises typically three days per week. This level of commuting is less than pre-pandemic, making suburbs relatively more popular, but too frequent to allow employees to leave the cities containing their employer.
    JEL: J0
    Date: 2021–05
  2. By: Basiri, Kiana; Mahmoudi, Babak
    Abstract: We construct a measure of possible income misstatement (PIM) for first-time homebuyers by quantifying the gap between growth in incomes reported on mortgage applications and growth in incomes reported on tax files from 2004 to 2014 in Canada. Using a two-stage least square framework to correct for the endogenous nature of house prices and PIM, we find robust evidence that part of the observed dispersion in PIM is caused by house price variation. This suggests borrowers have greater incentive to misstate income in high-priced markets. We report evidence that markets with a tendency for income misstatement also had higher default rates.
    Keywords: Income Misstatement, Mortgage lending, Default
    JEL: G21 R21 R28
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Vivas, H; Franco, A
    Abstract: This paper studies the factors associated with differential prices in segmented housing markets. Despite the breadth of the literature addressing this issue, a gap remains in the investigation of differential prices in areas where formal and informal settlements coexist. Based on primary data from more than 550 households, we calibrated a Geographically Weighted Regressions (GWR) hedonic model in the District 18 of Cali, Colombia, as an approach for housing pricing in areas where heterogeneous occupation patterns prevail. The findings reveal that environmental quality, violence, accessibility to transportation, business and services, and household incomes are the variables that have the greatest impact on price structures in both the formal and informal sub-markets. In this regard, the model of price behavior developed in this research improves predictions and provides accurate information to policymakers about the factors associated with housing prices.
    Keywords: Spatial heterogeneity; informal settlements; housing prices; Geographically WeightedRegressions (GWR); hedonic prices
    JEL: G28 R21 R28 R31 R38 R58
    Date: 2021–06–07
  4. By: Bluhm, Richard; Dreher, Axel; Fuchs, Andreas; Parks, Brad; Strange, Austin; Tierney, Michael J.
    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 activity particularly strongly in regions that are more urbanized, located closer to the coast, and less developed.
    Keywords: China; Development finance; foreign aid; infrastructure; spatial concentration; transport costs
    JEL: F15 F35 O18 O19 P33 R11 R12
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Weiran Huang; Ashlyn Nelson; Stephen Ross
    Abstract: Most evidence on foreclosure spillovers identifies localized effects that are modest in magnitude, but these effects could multiply to larger aggregate effects across broad neighborhoods. We test this proposition developing a proxy for the fraction of mortgages in negative equity during the foreclosure crisis and estimating a difference-in-differences model for foreclosure. This proxy exploits the timing of foreclosures in each tract, and this within tract variation is not predicted by mortgage attributes, housing attributes or sales prices. Our estimates suggest that 61 percent of the increase in across tract dispersion in foreclosure filings can be explained by these spillover effects.
    JEL: G21 R23 R32
    Date: 2021–05
  6. By: Jedwab, Remi; Johnson, Noel; Koyama, Mark
    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: Agglomeration effects; Asia; City Growth; Europe; Food Surplus Hypothesis; institutions; LaborMobility; Medieval Era; Pandemics; Urbanization
    JEL: N9 N93 N95 R11 R12 R19
    Date: 2020–05
  7. By: Bertrand Achou (Retirement and Savings Institute HEC Montréal); Hippolyte d'Albis (CNRS and Paris School of Economics); Eleni Iliopulos (EPEE, University of Evry, Univ. Paris-Saclay and Cepremap.)
    Abstract: In this work we introduce a general equilibrium model with landlords, indebted owner-occupiers and renters to study housing markets' dynamics. We estimate it by using standard Bayesian methods and match the US data of the last decades. This framework is particularly suited to explain current trends on housing markets. We highlight the crucial relationship between interest rates, house prices and rents, and argue that it helps understanding the main driving forces. Our analysis suggests that current developments on housing markets can play a role for a recovery from the Covid pandemic as they have an expansionary effect on aggregate output. Moreover, we account for the heterogeneous impact of crisis-induced policies depending on agents' status on the housing market. We show how, despite an increase in housing prices, the welfare of landlords has been negatively hit. This is associated to the joint decrease in returns on housing and financial assets that reduces their financial incomes.
    Keywords: Housing, Rental Markets, Collateral Constraints, Financial Frictions, HANK Models
    JEL: E3 G1 C1 I3
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Lyons, Seán; Ahrens,Achim
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Joachim De Weerdt; Luc Christiaensen; Ravi Kanbur
    Abstract: While city migrants see their welfare increase much more than those moving to towns, many more rural-urban migrants end up in towns. This phenomenon, documented in detail in Kagera, Tanzania, begs the question why migrants move to seemingly suboptimal destinations. Using an 18-year panel of individuals from this region and information on the possible destinations from the census, this study documents, through dyadic regressions and controlling for individual heterogeneity, how the deterrence of further distance to cities (compared to towns) largely trumps the attraction from their promise of greater wealth, making towns more appealing destinations. Education mitigates these effects (lesser deterrence from distance; greater attraction from wealth), while poverty reduces the attraction of wealth, consistent with the notion of urban sorting. With about two thirds of the rural population in low-income countries living within two hours from a town, these findings underscore the importance of vibrant towns for inclusive development.
    Keywords: Africa, internal migration, urbanization, secondary towns
    JEL: J61 O15 O55
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Posada, H; García-Suaza, A
    Abstract: Transportation policies have an important incidence on the allocation of resources within cities. Therefore, investigating the impacts of transit investment is relevant especially in developing countries where informal housing is highly prevalent and spatial disparities are remarkable. We study the impact of a transit expansion of the Metrocable system in Medellín (Colombia) as a natural scenario to understand the causal links between lowering access cost and informal housing. Using a difference-in-difference identification strategy, we estimate that the expasion of Line H of Metrocable reduces informal housing up to 15 percentage points. We also show that the magnitude of the effect depends on the distance to the intervention. When exploring potential mechanisms mediating the analyzed causal relation we find that the labor market plays a crucial role.
    Keywords: Informal housing; Transportation cost; Land value; Informal labormarket; Colombia
    JEL: R41 R42 R31 J46
    Date: 2021–04–20
  11. By: Masagus M. Ridhwan
    Abstract: This paper aims to examine sources of labor wage differentials and to investigate human capital externalities across Indonesian districts. Our study attempts to fill the gap in the standard literature, which mainly asserts thekey role of labor market characteristics in explaining the disparities. Based on microdata on individual workers from 2006-2015, we found that not only individual (labor) characteristics play a role in explaining the wage variations, but also regional endowments and agglomeration forces. The latter mainly results from spatial proximity of firms to other firms, from labor market pooling, and from knowledge spillovers. In addition, we also found strong evidence of positive human capital externalities, particularly in agglomerated regions. All in all, these findings may suggest the importance of skills and agglomeration for policymakers in boosting local productivity vis-Ã -visreducing income/wage inequality
    Keywords: Local labor markets; Spatial wage differentials; Panel data analysiS
    JEL: R23 J31 J61
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Nathalie Picard
    Abstract: Transport and mobility trends are heavily influenced by urban dynamics, especially in terms of residential and job location. Conversely, commuting time, and more generally transport supply, are major determinants of residential and job location. In addition, real estate prices depend on the supply and demand for dwellings and offices, which in turn depend on real estate prices. All these interactions, at the core of the Land Use and Transport Interactions (LUTI) models, give rise to the Land Use and Transport version of the chicken-and-egg problem. For the econometrician, who aims at estimating such interactions, the chicken-and-egg problem refers to endogeneity. We illustrate the main sources of endogeneity (common determinants, reversed causality and simultaneity of decisions) in the context of the four-step model. For the policy maker, the question is not which comes first, but rather which one is the most sensitive to public policies, and how can public policies be optimized given the mutual influences between transport, land use and economic growth, both in the short run and in the long run. Public policy optimization and evaluation requires to understand and measure the behavioural reactions of households, firms and other agents to public policies, as well as their redistributive effects.
    Keywords: Transport demand, trends, Endogeneity, causality, policy implications.
    JEL: R4 R5 R38 R21 O18
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Borbely, Daniel (University of Dundee); Norris, Jonathan (University of Strathclyde); Romiti, Agnese (University of Strathclyde)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study how classmate gender composition matters for students in Ethiopia. We base our results on a unique survey of students across classrooms and schools and among those randomly assigned to class. We find a strong asymmetry: males do not and females do benefit from exposure to more female classmates with less school absence and improvement on math test scores. We further find that exposure to more female classmates improves motivation and participation in class, and in general, that the effects of classmate gender composition are consistent with social interaction effects.
    Keywords: peer effects, gender, school performance, Ethiopia
    JEL: I21 I29 J16 J24
    Date: 2021–06
  14. By: Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: Two of the most influential strands in economic geography and regional studies – evolutionary economic geography and global production networks – have run on parallel tracks with limited cross-fertilization. The Regional Studies Annual Lecture 2020 paper by Henry Yeung proposes building bridges across both strands to improve our understanding of the uneven distribution and evolution of economic activity across the world. He puts forward the concept of strategic coupling as the foundation of such bridges. In this reply I argue that strategic coupling will not suffice, unless the variations in costs and incentives for engaging in networks and the different capacity of cities and regions to assimilate the benefits of innovation diffusion through networks are taken into consideration.
    Keywords: evolutionary economic geography; global production networks; strategic coupling; institutions; Taylor & Francis deal
    JEL: F23 L22 R58
    Date: 2021–06–03
  15. By: Daly, Michael; Obschonka, Martin; Stuetzer, Michael; Sutin, Angelina; Shaw-Taylor, Leigh; Satchell, Max; Robinson, Eric
    Abstract: Objective: The historical factors and contemporary mechanisms underlying geographical inequalities in obesity levels remain uncertain. In this study we examine whether modern regional variation in obesity is partly a result of the impact of large-scale industry on the personality traits of those living in regions once at the center of the Industrial Revolution. Method: Exposure to the effects of the Industrial Revolution was assessed using unique historical data from English/Welsh counties (N=111). Specifically, we examined the relationship between the regional employment share in large-scale coal-based industries in 1813-1820 and contemporary regional obesity levels (2013-2015). The Big Five personality traits and regional unemployment levels were examined as potential mediators of this association. Results: The historical regional employment share in large-scale industries positively predicted the modern-day regional prevalence of obesity. Mediation analysis showed that areas exposed to the decline of large-scale industries experienced elevated neuroticism and unemployment levels that explained almost half of the association between the historical dominance of large-scale industry and modern-day obesity levels. Conclusions: Our results provide initial evidence that raised regional neuroticism levels may play a key role in explaining why exposure to the rapid growth and subsequent decline of large-scale industries forecasts modern-day obesity levels.
    Keywords: Social deprivation; personality; obesity; industrialization
    JEL: I15 L16 N1 N9
    Date: 2019–10–19
  16. By: Davide Cerruti (CER–ETH – Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Massimo Filippini (CER–ETH – Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich and Facoltà di Scienze Economiche, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland)
    Abstract: Vehicle accidents represent an important source of externalities from driving. Using a detailed dataset on accident location and characteristics in Switzerland, we estimate the effect of switching from a 50 km/h speed limit to a 30 km/h limit on the probability of vehicle accident injuries. After an initial country-wide analysis, we exploit the quasi-experimental variation of the timing of introduction of 30 km/h zones in the municipality of Basel, using a difference in differences strategy. We find a significant reduction in accident severity due to lower speed limits, and substantial heterogeneities based on the circumstances of the accident.
    Keywords: Speed limits; vehicle accidents; 30 km/h zones; externalities; road transport; urban roads
    JEL: R41 R42 R48 H41
    Date: 2021–06
  17. By: R. Jason Faberman; Daniel Hartley
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between Covid-19 infection rates, race, and type of work. We focus on three U.S. cities—Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia—allowing us to exploit zip code-level variation in infection rates and testing rates over time, while controlling for a variety of neighborhood demographic characteristics. We find that neighborhoods with higher Black and Hispanic population shares, and neighborhoods with higher shares of workers in high-social contact jobs within essential businesses, had disproportionately higher Covid-19 infection rates, even after applying our testing and demographic controls. These higher rates coincide with citywide peak infection rates, suggesting an amplified response for these groups. Local variation in type of work accounts for relatively little of the variation in infection rates by race. Additional evidence for Arizona, Florida, and Texas also shows amplified infection rates for these groups around statewide peak infection rates, despite their peaks occurring months after the cities in our main sample. Evidence from these states also shows higher infection rates among high-social contact workers in nonessential businesses that coincides with a more aggressive reopening of these businesses.
    Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic; infection rates; race; employment; social interaction
    JEL: H12 I12 J15 R12
    Date: 2020–08–12
  18. By: Dingel, Jonathan; Tintelnot, Felix
    Abstract: We introduce a general-equilibrium model of a "granular" spatial economy populated by a finite number of people. Our quantitative model is designed for application to the growing body of fine spatial data used to study economic outcomes for regions, cities, and neighborhoods. Conventional approaches invoking the law of large numbers are ill-suited for such empirical settings. We evaluate quantitative spatial models' out-of-sample predictions using event studies of large office openings in New York City. Our granular framework improves upon the conventional continuum-of-individuals model, which perfectly fits the pre-event data but produces predictions uncorrelated with the observed changes in commuting flows.
    Keywords: commuting; granularity; Gravity Equation; quantitative spatial economics
    JEL: C25 F16 R1 R13 R23
    Date: 2020–05
  19. By: Oberfield, Ezra; Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban; Sarte, Pierre-Daniel; Trachter, Nicholas
    Abstract: We study the number, size, and location of a firm's plants. The firm's decision balances the benefit of delivering goods and services to customers using multiple plants with the cost of setting up and managing these plants, and the potential for cannibalization that arises as their number increases. Modeling the decisions of heterogeneous firms in an economy with a vast number of widely distinct locations is complex because it involves a large combinatorial problem. Using insights from discrete geometry, we study a tractable limit case of this problem in which these forces operate at a local level. Our analysis delivers clear predictions on sorting across space. Productive firms place more plants in dense locations that exhibit high rents compared with less productive firms, and place fewer plants in markets with low density and low rents. Controlling for the number of plants, productive firms also operate larger plants than those operated by less productive firms in locations where both are present. We present evidence consistent with these and several other predictions using U.S. establishment-level panel data.
    JEL: D24 L25 R3
    Date: 2020–05
  20. By: Jussila Hammes, Johanna (Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI)); Volden, Gro Holst (NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway); Welde, Morten (NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway); Börjesson, Maria (Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI)); Odeck, James (Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI))
    Abstract: We use cost-benefit data from 1052 projects in Norway and Sweden to analyse ex ante factors that can explain which characteristics of transport infrastructure projects explain high value for money. The aim is to identify characteristics that can be used in assessments of projects before a cost-benefit analysis is feasible. We find that in Norway, road toll financing is a good indicator of high value projects, especially in the poorer municipalities. In Sweden, co-financing serves to raise investment volumes, but tends to lead to worse value for money. In Sweden, congestion seems to be the biggest problem in medium-income municipalities, while there are traffic safety benefits to be obtained in the rural areas. A higher initial capacity on a link raises both benefits and costs, and costs are higher in more densely populated areas in both countries. We find diminishing economies of scale in Norway and increasing economies of scale in Sweden.
    Keywords: CBA; Transport infrastructure planning; Value for money
    JEL: R40 R42
    Date: 2021–06–16
  21. By: Kuchler, Theresa; Li, Yan; Peng, Lin; Ströbel, Johannes; Zhou, Dexin
    Abstract: We use social network data from Facebook to show that institutional investors are more likely to invest in firms from regions to which they have stronger social ties. This effect of social proximity on investment behavior is distinct from the effect of geographic proximity. Social connections have the largest influence on investments of small investors with concentrated holdings as well as on investments in firms with a low market capitalization and little analyst coverage. We also find that the response of investment decisions to social connectedness affects equilibrium capital market outcomes: firms in locations with stronger social ties to places with substantial institutional capital have higher institutional ownership, higher valuations, and higher liquidity. These effects of social proximity to capital on capital market outcomes are largest for small firms with little analyst coverage. We find no evidence that investors generate differential returns from investments in locations to which they are socially connected. Our results suggest that the social structure of regions affects firms' access to capital and contributes to geographic differences in economic outcomes.
    Keywords: institutional investors; Social Connectedness Index; Social Networks
    JEL: G2 G3 G4
    Date: 2020–05
  22. By: Egorov, Georgy; Enikolopov, Ruben; Makarin, Alexey; Petrova, Maria
    Abstract: Voluntary social distancing plays a vital role in containing the spread of the disease during a pandemic. As a public good, it should be more commonplace in more homogeneous and altruistic societies. However, for healthy people, observing social distancing has private benefits, too. If sick individuals are more likely to stay home, healthy ones have fewer incentives to do so, especially if the asymptomatic transmission is perceived to be unlikely. Theoretically, we show that this interplay may lead to a stricter observance of social distancing in more diverse and less altruistic societies. Empirically, we find that, consistent with the model, the reduction in mobility following the first local case of COVID-19 was stronger in Russian cities with higher ethnic fractionalization and cities with higher levels of xenophobia. For identification, we predict the timing of the first case using pre-existing patterns of internal migration to Moscow. Using SafeGraph data on mobility patterns, we confirm that mobility reduction in the United States was also higher in counties with higher ethnic fractionalization. Our findings highlight the importance of strategic incentives of different population groups for the effectiveness of public policy.
    Keywords: altruism; COVID-19; diversity; fractionalization; Pandemic; Quarantine; Russia; self-isolation; Social distancing; Xenophobia
    JEL: D64 D74 I12
    Date: 2020–05
  23. By: Author-Name: Christian Basteck; Author-Name: Bettina Klaus; Dorothea Kuebler
    Abstract: School authorities in the UK and the US advocate the use of lotteries to desegregate schools. We study a school choice mechanism employed in Berlin where a lottery quota is embedded in the immediate acceptance (IA) mechanism, and compare it to the deferred acceptance mechanism (DA) with a lottery quota. In both mechanisms, some seats are allocated based on academic achievement (e.g., grades),while seats in the lottery quota are allocated randomly. We find that,in theory,a lottery quota strengthens truth-telling in DA by eliminating non-truth-telling equilibria. Furthermore, the equilibrium outcome is stable for DA with a lottery but not for IA with a lottery. These predictions are borne out in the experiment. Moreover, the lottery quota leads to more diverse school populations in the experiment, as predicted. Students with the lowest grades profit more from the introduction of the lottery under IA than under DA.
    Keywords: School choice, immediate acceptance mechanism, deferred acceptance, mechanism, lotteries, experiment, market design
    JEL: C78 C91 D47 D82 I24
    Date: 2021–06
  24. By: Christina Felfe (University of Würzburg, CESifo); Martin G. Kocher (University of Vienna, IHS Vienna, University of Gothenburg); Helmut Rainer (University of Munich, ifo Institute, CESifo); Judith Saurer (University of Würzburg); Thomas Siedler (University of Potsdam, DIW Berlin, IZA)
    Abstract: Inequality of opportunity, particularly when overlaid with socioeconomic, ethnic, or cultural differences, may limit the scope of cooperation between individuals. A central question, then, is how to overcome such obstacles to cooperation. We study this question in the context of Germany, by asking whether the propensity of immigrant youth to cooperate with native peers was affected by a major integration reform: the introduction of birthright citizenship. Our unique setup exploits data from a large-scale lab-in-the-field experiment in a quasi-experimental evaluation framework. We find that the policy caused male, but not female, immigrants to significantly increase their cooperativeness toward natives. We show that the increase in out-group cooperation among immigrant boys is an outcome of more trust rather than a reflection of stronger other- regarding preferences towards natives. In exploring factors that may explain these behavioral effects, we present evidence that the policy also led to a near-closure of the educational achievement gap between young immigrant men and their native peers. Our results highlight that, through integration interventions, governments can modify prosocial behavior in a way that generates higher levels of efficiency in the interaction between social groups.
    JEL: C93 D90 J15 K37
    Date: 2021–06
  25. By: Luojia Hu; Xing Huang; Andrei Simonov
    Abstract: We study how the existence of cutoffs in credit scores affects the behavior of homebuyers. Borrowers are more likely to purchase houses after their credit scores cross over a cutoff to qualify them for a higher credit score bin. However, the credit accounts of these individuals (crossover group) are more likely to become delinquent within four years following home purchases than the accounts of those who had stayed in the same bin (non-crossover group). The effect is not only concentrated in subprime bins, but in other bins as well. It is neither limited to pre-crisis period nor curtailed by post-bust reforms. Using recent house price growth to proxy for the incentives for home purchases, we find that the gap in the delinquency rates between crossover and non-crossover groups is larger for areas with higher recent house price growth. Overall, our results indicate that the credit score at the time of home purchase may not be sufficiently informative because of individuals' strategic behavior, and suggest the importance of using the longer history of credit scores rather than just the latest draw in making lending decisions.
    Keywords: Mortgage lending; Credit score; Strategic behavior
    JEL: G18 G21 G50
    Date: 2020–02–26
  26. By: Jan Marcus (Universität Hamburg, DIW Berlin); Thomas Siedler (University of Potsdam, DIW Berlin, IZA); Nicolas R. Ziebarth (Cornell University)
    Abstract: Starting in 2009, the German state of Saxony distributed sports club membership vouchers among all 33,000 third graders in the state. The policy’s objective was to encourage them to develop a long-term habit of exercising. In 2018, we carried out a large register-based survey among several cohorts in Saxony and two neighboring states. Our difference-in-differences estimations show that, even after a decade, awareness of the voucher program was significantly higher in the treatment group. We also find that youth received and redeemed the vouchers. However, we do not find significant short- or long-term effects on sports club membership, physical activity, overweightness, or motor skills.
    Keywords: physical activity, voucher, primary school, obesity, habit formation, objective health measures, school health examinations, windfall gains, crowding out, taxpayer subsidies
    JEL: I12 I14 I18 I28 I38 Z28 H71
    Date: 2021–06
  27. By: Monte, Ferdinando
    Abstract: This short note constructs Mobility Zones to facilitate the discussion on the geographic extent of individual mobility restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19. Mobility Zones are disjoint sets of counties where a given level of individual mobility directly or indirectly connects all counties within each set. I compute Mobility Zones for the United States and each state using smartphone-based mobility data between counties. The average area and population of Mobility Zones have slightly grown at the onset of the epidemic and have sharply shrunk afterward. Pre-Covid-19 Mobility Zones may be useful in calibrating quantitative studies of targeted restriction policies, or for policymakers deciding on the adoption of specific mobility measures. Two examples suggest the use of Mobility Zones to inform within-state differences and cross-state coordination in mobility restriction policies.
    Keywords: COVID-19; Individual Mobility; Mobility Restrictions; Smartphone Data
    JEL: H1 R1
    Date: 2020–05
  28. By: Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés; Burlina, Chiara
    Abstract: This paper examines the uneven geography of COVID-19-related excess mortality during the first wave of the pandemic in Europe, before assessing the factors behind the geographical differences in impact. The analysis of 206 regions across 23 European countries reveals a distinct COVID-19 geography. Excess deaths were concentrated in a limited number of regions—expected deaths exceeded 20% in just 16 regions—with more than 40% of the regions considered experiencing no excess mortality during the first 6 months of 2020. Highly connected regions, in colder and dryer climates, with high air pollution levels, and relatively poorly endowed health systems witnessed the highest incidence of excess mortality. Institutional factors also played an important role. The first wave hit regions with a combination of weak and declining formal institutional quality and fragile informal institutions hardest. Low and declining national government effectiveness, together with a limited capacity to reach out across societal divides, and a frequent tendency to meet with friends and family were powerful drivers of regional excess mortality.
    Keywords: Covid-19; coronavirus; Europe; institutions; pandemic; regions
    JEL: H75 R58
    Date: 2021–05–12
  29. By: Auer, Daniel; Kunz, Johannes S.
    Abstract: This paper investigates the intergenerational effect of communication barriers on child health at birth using a natural experiment in Switzerland. We leverage the fact that refugees arriving in Switzerland originate from places that have large shares of French (or Italian) speakers for historical reasons and upon arrival are by law randomly allocated across states that are dominated by different languages but subject to the same jurisdiction. Our findings based on administrative records of all refugee arrivals and birth events between 2010 and 2017 show that children born to mothers who were exogenously allocated to an environment that matched their linguistic heritage are on average 72 gram heavier (or 2.2%) than those that were allocated to an unfamiliar language environment. The differences are driven by growth rather than gestation and manifest in a 2.9 percentage point difference in low birth weight incidence. We find substantial dose-response relationships in terms of language exposure in both, the origin country and the destination region. Moreover, French (Italian) exposed refugees only benefit from French-(Italian-) speaking destinations, but not vice versa. Contrasting the language match with co-ethnic networks, we find that high quality networks are acting as a substitute rather than a complement.
    Keywords: Infant health,Language Proffciency,Refugee allocation,Networks
    JEL: F22 I12 J13 J24 J61 J62
    Date: 2021
  30. By: Lisa Barrow; Linda Cavalluzzo; Thomas Geraghty; Christine Mokher; Lauren Sartain
    Keywords: Education; Human Capital; Human Capital Investment; Labor Productivity; Teacher Quality
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2020–02–25
  31. By: GEA ARANOA Ainhoa
    Abstract: This report proposes a number of indicators aimed at facilitating the work of European regional governments that want to monitor how their policies contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their progress toward them. For this purpose, this report analyses four European SDG sub-national indicator sets. The analysis starts by identifying which indicators included in the European Handbook for SDG Voluntary Local Reviews (published by the European Commission in 2020) and proposed for the local level are also meaningful and available at the regional level. After this first step, three case studies are analysed: the Basque Country and Navarre in Spain, and Flanders in Belgium. In spite of the differences between the case studies of the Basque Country, Navarra and Flanders, there are also remarkable similarities in these examples, which shows once again that the 2030 Agenda allows regions to speak a "common language”. Any regional government willing to adopt the proposed consolidated indicator system as the basis for the development of its own monitoring system, might select those indicators most relevant to the local situation and integrate them with additional indicators identified in the specific regional context.
    Keywords: sustainable development indicators, SDGs, regional indicators
    Date: 2021–06
  32. By: Baranzini, Andrea; Carattini, Stefano; Tesauro, Linda
    Abstract: While instruments to price congestion exist since the 1970s, less than a dozen cities around the world have a cordon or zone pricing scheme. Geneva, Switzerland, may be soon joining them. This paper builds on a detailed review of the existing schemes to identify a set of plausible design options for the Geneva congestion charge. In turn, it analyzes their acceptability, leveraging a large survey of residents of both Geneva and the surrounding areas of Switzerland and France. Our original approach combines a discrete choice experiment with randomized informational treatments. We consider an extensive set of attributes, such as perimeter, price and price modulation, use of revenues, and exemption levels and beneficiaries. The informational treatments address potential biased beliefs concerning the charge’s expected effects on congestion and pollution. We find that public support depends crucially on the policy design. We identify an important demand for exemptions, which, albeit frequently used in the design of environmental taxation, is underexplored in the analysis of public support. This demand for exemptions is not motivated by efficiency reasons. It comes mostly by local residents, for local residents. Further, people show a marked preference for constant prices, even if efficiency would point to dynamic pricing based on external costs. Hence, we highlight a clear trade-off between efficiency and acceptability. However, we also show, causally, that this gap can in part be closed, with information provision. Analyzing heterogeneity, we show that preferences vary substantially with where people live and how they commute. Even so, we identify several designs that reach majority support.
    Keywords: acceptability; congestion charge; poicy design; public support; road pricing; Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy; PZ00P1_180006/1
    JEL: D72 H23 Q53 Q58 R41 R48
    Date: 2021–05–31
  33. By: Daniel Rakotomalala (CEMOI - Centre d'Économie et de Management de l'Océan Indien - UR - Université de La Réunion, TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, UR UFRDE - Université de La Réunion - UFR Droit et économie - UR - Université de La Réunion)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the quantitative measure of the causal relationship between age and school results of pupils at the end of primary school in Reunion Island. The effect of age is composed of at least three distinct ones : (1) age at entry effect, (2) age at test effect and (3) relative age (compared to grade peers) effect. In order to extend the knowledge about determinants of educational sucess, especially about the impact of age on scholar results and then help policy makers in their decisions about optimal policies in the education field by providing informative results ; this paper, using cross-sectional data sets, exploits an exogenous variation of the age at test within a grade induced by the date of birth to measure the causal impact of age at test on the national achievement assessment scores in grade 5 in Reunion Island. I implement additionally a regresion discontinuity design for comparison purpose. The principal findings are that the age at test have a substantial positive effect on test scores in grade 5. Also, the effects in grade 5 are heterogeneous across sex subgroups but such a pattern is difficult to draw across social category subgroups. These results would suggest at best that, in order to improve the educational results of pupils in Reunion Island meaning the age variable, policy makers could first increase the minimum age of school entry. Second, they could regulate classroom compositions such that the age distribution within a classroom does not disperse too much. Third, they could normalize national achievement assessment scores by age or making pupils with different ages within a grade pass the national assessment at different times such that they have sufficiently close ages at test to not significantly impact their results. The latter enables at the same time to correct the inequality of having a different month of birth (unchose by the pupils) which is likely to lead all else equal towards different educational outcomes. Pupils would be indeed assessed « at equal luck ».
    Keywords: Age at test,Relative age,Month of birth,Educational performances
    Date: 2021–05–31
  34. By: Giuliano, Paola; Tabellini, Marco
    Abstract: We test the relationship between historical immigration to the United States and political ideology today. We hypothesize that European immigrants brought with them their preferences for the welfare state, and that this had a long-lasting effect on the political ideology of US born individuals. Our analysis proceeds in three steps. First, we document that the historical presence of European immigrants is associated with a more liberal political ideology and with stronger preferences for redistribution among US born individuals today. Next, we show that this correlation is not driven by the characteristics of the counties where immigrants settled or other speci c, socioeconomic immigrants' traits. Finally, we provide evidence that immigrants brought with them their preferences for the welfare state from their countries of origin. Consistent with the hypothesis that immigration left its footprint on American ideology via cultural transmission from immigrants to natives, we show that our results are stronger when inter-group contact between natives and immigrants, measured with either intermarriage or residential integration, was higher. Our fi ndings also indicate that immigrants influenced American political ideology during one of the largest episodes of redistribution in US history--the New Deal-- and that such effects persisted after the initial shock.
    Keywords: cultural transmission; Immigration; Political Ideology; Preferences for Redistribution
    JEL: D64 D72 H2 J15 N32 Z1
    Date: 2020–05
  35. By: F. Roussafi (CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - UNIV-RENNES - Université de Rennes - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This article aims to study the regional development of renewable energies (RE) in France over the period 1990–2015. As a first step, Principal Component Analysis was used on the collected data, which led to a classification of RE's development into four sub-periods. The first two sub-periods (1990–1994) and (1995–2003) are characterized by a strong dependence on hydro, thermal, and fossil energies. The third sub-period (2004–2011) shows the development of new RE sources. In the last sub-period (2012–2015), RE's use in transport and heating sectors has grown significantly. In a second step, we carried out a Hierarchical Ascendant Classification (HAC) on each sub-period to highlight the similarities and differences between regions in terms of diversification of the energy mix. The results show that 16 regions followed a similar path over the 1990–2015 period because of an initial favorable condition for sharing RE consumptions. Other regions (Auvergne, Aquitaine, Burgundy, Franche-Comté, Poitou Charentes, and Lorraine) experienced more contrasting trajectories in their RE development. © 2021 The Author
    Keywords: Data analysis methods,Regional disparities,Renewable energy consumption
    Date: 2021
  36. By: Batabyal, Amitrajeet; Beladi, Hamid
    Abstract: We provide a political-economy analysis of crime prevention in an arbitrary city in the United States. City residents (voters) elect mayors (politicians) and elected mayors determine the resources to be allocated to crime prevention. Between the two time periods, there is an election. Politicians are either honest or dishonest. The marginal cost of public monies ψ measures how efficiently an elected mayor converts tax receipts into crime prevention. Voters have identical per period utility functions. We ascertain the equilibrium outcome and per period voter well-being. Second, we show that an increase in ψ reduces the equilibrium allocation of resources to crime prevention and voter well-being. Third, a dishonest politician can delay the revelation of his dishonesty. A critical value of ψ,ψ^*, exists such that a dishonest incumbent separates and loses the election if and only if ψ>ψ^* and he pools and is re-elected otherwise. Finally, we note that an increase in ψ can raise voter well-being when politicians are more likely to be dishonest.
    Keywords: City Resident, Crime Prevention, Election, Mayor, Voting
    JEL: D72 R11 R50
    Date: 2020–12–15
  37. By: Maria Greve (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany and University of Groningen, The Netherlands); Michael Fritsch (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany); Michael Wyrwich (University of Groningen, The Netherlands and Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany)
    Abstract: What characterizes regions where right-wing populist parties are relatively successful? A prominent hypothesis proposed in recent literature claims that places that are "left behind" or "do not matter" are a breeding ground for the rise of populism. We re-examine this hypothesis by analyzing the rise of populism in Germany. Our results suggest that the high vote shares of populist parties are not only associated with low regional levels of welfare as such, but also with the long-term decline of a region's relative welfare. Hence, it is not the regions that do "not matter" that are most prone to the rise of populism, but the regions that once mattered, but are in long-term decline. Moreover, we find that regional knowledge represents an important channel through which the historical decline in wealth explains voting behavior in German regions.
    Keywords: Populism, economic development, territorial inequality, economic history
    JEL: R1 R11 D72 N94
    Date: 2021–05–11
  38. By: MMatthijs B. Punt; Jesse van Kollem; Jarno Hoekman; Koen Frenken
    Abstract: The disruptive impact of platform businesses on local economies has received much attention, but virtually none has been paid to the factors that impact platforms’ decisions about where to locate their activities. The novel, disruptive nature of platforms limits the relevance of traditional theories about location decisions. We argue that local institutional conditions and global legitimacy spillovers affect the choices of platform businesses about where to operate. We analyze the controversial case of ride-hailing platform Uber, an app-based service that matches uncertified chauffeurs with passengers. We find that Uber showed a preference for cities that promote competition and innovation. A spillover analysis shows how Uber leveraged their global pool of customers by choosing cities whose visitors were already familiar with Uber’s service. Our study illuminates the key role played by the brand’s mobile customer base as global carriers of legitimacy for Uber’s controversial innovation.
    Keywords: born global, customer following, institutions, legitimacy, platform economy, trusted community
    Date: 2021–06
  39. By: Leopoldo Gòmez-Ramírez (Universidad del Norte); María Padilla-Romo (Department of Economics, University of Tennessee)
    Abstract: This paper examines the persistent effects of eliminating tariffs on Mexican imports, following the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), on Americans' human capital investment. We leverage quasi-experimental changes in tariffs on Mexican imports following NAFTA across birth cohorts and within states. We show that NAFTA increases the probability of ever attending college and earning a degree. These results, however, mask important heterogeneous effects within the sample. In terms of race and ethnicity, gender, and their intersection, we find white Americans drive these positive effects, which in turn are smaller for white women. In contrast, the educational attainment of racial and ethnic minorities, especially men, shrank under NAFTA, decreasing their probability of graduating from high school.
    Keywords: NAFTA; human capital; trade openness; inequality
    JEL: F14 F61 I24 J15 J16
    Date: 2021–06
  40. By: Arthur Guillouzouic--Le Corff; Emeric Henry (Département d'économie); Joan Monras (Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF))
    Abstract: Using French data, we provide: a) causal evidence that a drop in local public goods provision decreases private sector activity, and b) evidence consistent with monopsony power of the public sector in local labor markets. We introduce a public sector with these two key characteristics in an otherwise standard spatial equilibrium model, and show that it delivers the main stylized facts established in our data, in particular, that the share of the public sector relative to the private is independent of the productivity of the city. We emphasize the tradeoffs between allowing governments to freely choose local public employment and wages (as in most of the US public sector), versus imposing rules that constrain public sector pay with some indexation to the local cost of living (as in many European countries). We show that wage indexation limits monopsony power – leading to a larger public sector – and is optimal if the indexation is sufficiently strong.
    Keywords: Local public goods; Public service; Market power,; Spatial economics
    JEL: H41 J42 J45 R12
    Date: 2021–06
  41. By: Robert M. Adams; Kenneth P. Brevoort; John C. Driscoll
    Abstract: Has information technology improved small businesses' access to credit by hardening the information used in loan underwriting and reducing the importance of proximity to lenders? Previous research, pointing to increasing average lending distances, suggests that it has. But this conclusion can obscure differences across loans and lenders. Using over 20 years of Community Reinvestment Act data on small business lending, we find that while average distances have increased substantially, distances at individual banks remain unchanged. Instead, average distance has increased because a small group of lenders specializing in high-volume, small-loan lending nationwide have increased their share of small business lending by 10 percentage points. Our findings imply that small businesses continue to depend on local banks.
    Keywords: Banks; Credit Card; Small Business Lending
    JEL: R21 G21 G38 L25
    Date: 2021–02–16
  42. By: Lippens, Louis (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University); Derous, Eva (Ghent University)
    Abstract: Using a choice experiment, we test whether taste-based employee discrimination against ethnic minorities is susceptible to loss aversion. In line with empirical evidence from previous research, our results indicate that introducing a hypothetical wage penalty for discriminatory choice behaviour lowers discrimination and that higher penalties have a greater effect. Most notably, we find that the propensity to discriminate is significantly lower when this penalty is loss-framed rather than gain-framed. From a policy perspective, it could therefore be more effective to financially penalise taste-based discriminators than to incentivise them not to discriminate.
    Keywords: taste-based discrimination, employee discrimination, loss aversion, ethnicity
    JEL: J70 J24 J60 C92
    Date: 2021–06
  43. By: Di Feng; Bettina Klaus
    Abstract: We consider multiple-type housing market problems as introduced by Moulin (1995) and study the relationship between strict strong Nash equilibria and the strict core (two solution concepts that are defined in terms of the absence of weak blocking coalitions). We prove that for lexicographically separable preferences, the set of all strict strong Nash equilibrium outcomes of each preference revelation game that is induced by a strictly core-stable mechanism is a subset of the strict core, but not vice versa, i.e., there are strict core allocations that cannot be implemented in strict strong Nash equilibrium (Theorem 1). This result is extended to a more general set of preference domains that satisfy strict core non-emptiness and a minimal preference domain richness assumption (Theorem 2).
    Keywords: multiple-type housing market problems, strict core, strict strong Nash equilibria
    JEL: C71 C72 C78
    Date: 2021–06
  44. By: Pinotti, Paolo
    Abstract: I review recent developments in the economic analysis of crime, focusing in particular on organized crime and corruption. I first discuss the main challenges to the empirical identification of causal relationships -- namely, measurement error due to endogenous reporting of crime and the fact that randomized controlled trials are rarely an option when studying crime. I then discuss recent advancements made possible by the combination of detailed micro-data and quasi-experimental methods.
    Keywords: Economics of crime; identification; Measurement error; Quasi-experiments
    JEL: K42
    Date: 2020–06
  45. By: Bruce Byiers (ECDPM - European Centre for Development Policy Management); Antoine Cazals (Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Alfonso Medinilla (ECDPM - European Centre for Development Policy Management); Jaime de Melo (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International, University of Geneva [Switzerland])
    Abstract: Africa is well endowed with organizations to promote regional cooperation and integration. It has 8 African Union (AU)-recognized regional economic communities (RECs), 7 other economic organizations and 25 specialized regional organizations (ROs). On average each country is member of 3 RECs and 4 other ROs. The number of continental treaties signed by African Union member states has accelerated over the last four decades. At the same time, progress on ratifying and implementing these and their regional equivalents is slow, undermining their impacts. This has led to calls to rationalize memberships. At its 50th anniversary in 2013, the AU launched the 50year AU2063 programme, "The Africa we want, " with 15 flagship projects, heralding a renewed push towards continent-wide projects.
    Keywords: Public goods,Regional public goods,Cooperation,Regional cooperation
    Date: 2021–05–28
  46. By: Matthew Freedman; Shantanu Khanna; David Neumark
    Abstract: Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017, the Opportunity Zone program was designed to encourage investment in distressed communities across the U.S. We examine the early impacts of the Opportunity Zone program on residents of targeted areas. We leverage restricted-access microdata from the American Community Survey and employ difference-in-differences and matching approaches to estimate causal reduced-form effects of the program. Our results point to modest, if any, positive effects of the Opportunity Zone program on the employment, earnings, or poverty of zone residents.
    Keywords: Opportunity Zones, Place-Based Policies, Tax Incentives, Employment, Poverty
    JEL: H25 J23 J38 R12 R38
    Date: 2021–06
  47. By: Ryan Kor; Junjie Zhou
    Abstract: We study the optimal welfare maximising intervention in a multiple activity network model taking into account both within-activity network spillovers and cross-activity interdependences. We analyse the effects of a restriction in the intervention space, by limiting the activities which the planner can intervene in, and show that the impact of a restriction greatly differs depending on the interdependency between activities. When the planner's budget is large, the percentage loss in welfare is significant when activities are complements, while there is asymptotically no loss in welfare when the activities are substitutes and the planner can intervene in at least two activities. When the budget is small, there are instead diminishing returns in the dimensions of intervention. For each case, we obtain approximations of the optimal interventions in terms of the eigenspaces of the network matrix, and provide a simple choice of intervention for the planner that achieves an asymptotically equal welfare.
    Date: 2021–06
  48. By: Snigdha Gupta; John List; Lauren Supplee; Dana Suskind
    Abstract: Failed to Scale: Embracing the Challenge of Scaling in Early Childhood
    Date: 2021
  49. By: Elena Argentesi; Paolo Buccirossi; Roberto Cervone; Tomaso Duso; Alessia Marrazzo
    Abstract: We study the effect of a merger between two Dutch supermarket chains to assess its effect on the depth as well as composition of assortment. We adopt a difference-in-differences strategy that exploits local variation in the merger’s effects, controlling for selection on observables through a matching procedure when defining our control group. We show that the merger led the merging parties to reposition their assortment to avoid cannibalization in the areas where they directly competed before the merger. While the low-variety target’s stores reduced the depth of their assortment when in direct competition with the acquirer, the latter increased their assortment. This suggests that variety is a strategic variable in retail chains’ response to changes in local competition.
    Keywords: variety, assortment, mergers, ex-post evaluation, retail sector, supermarkets, grocery
    JEL: L10 L41 L66 L81 D22 K21 C23
    Date: 2021
  50. By: Yesol Huh; You Suk Kim
    Abstract: We study optimal securitization and its impact on market quality when the secondary market structure leads to cheapest-to-deliver pricing in the context of agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). A majority of MBS are traded in the to-be-announced (TBA) market, which concentrates trading of heterogeneous MBS into a few liquid TBA contracts but induces adverse selection. We find that lenders segregate loans of like values into separate pools and tend to trade low-value MBS in the TBA market and high-value MBS outside the TBA market. We then present a model of optimal securitization for agency MBS. Lenders do not internalize the negative impact of such pooling and trading strategies on TBA market quality and thus create too many high-value MBS, which leads to more heterogeneity in MBS values, more adverse selection, and lower TBA liquidity. Lastly, we provide empirical evidence consistent with model predictions on how MBS pooling changes with trading costs and underlying loan value dispersion and how pooling practices affect MBS heterogeneity and TBA market adverse selection.
    Keywords: Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities; Liquidity; Securitization; TBA Trades
    JEL: G21 G10
    Date: 2021–05–06
  51. By: Tamilina, Larysa
    Abstract: Luxembourg is ranked among the countries with the highest disposable income per capita in the EU; despite that, the society is characterised by a wide range of inequalities. In this paper, we focus on the educational dimension of inequalities and seek to provide a brief literature overview on the key features of disparities that exist in Luxembourg’s education system. Our main intention is to define groups of children that are characterised as disadvantaged and describe the amount of inequalities they may face within or across their educational trajectories. We further proceed to discussing causes that scholarly discourse provides to explain the existence of these inequalities and measures that are expected to potentially minimise them.
    Keywords: Educational system, educational inequality, Luxembourg
    JEL: I21 I24 I28
    Date: 2021–06–01
  52. By: Linda TM Bui (Brandeis University); Ron Shadbegian (San Diego State University); Alicia Marquez (San Diego State University); Heather Klemick (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency); Dennis Guignet (Appalachian State University)
    Abstract: The impact of transient exposure to lead on birth outcomes is poorly understood. We estimate the aggregate and by trimester effects of in utero lead exposure on birth outcomes. We examined 147,160 births from the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia Metropolitan Statistical Area in North Carolina between 2004-2009 and used the National Association for Stock Car Racing’s (NASCAR) 2007 switch from leaded to unleaded fuel as a quasiexperiment. Adjusting for covariates and using coarsened exact matching, we estimated a difference-in-differences model to find the average treatment effect of deleading racing fuel on birth outcomes around the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    Date: 2021–03
  53. By: Halla, Pekka; Merino-Saum, Albert
    Abstract: Indicator-based assessment represents a popular means of operationalizing the concept of sustainability. A central yet often neglected aspect in the development of indicator sets concerns the elaboration of accompanying conceptual frameworks. Despite the pivotal role that such frameworks play, and the normative power they wield, little explicit guidance exists for their development. To address this issue, we analyze an extensive sample of conceptual frameworks drawn from 67 urban indicator initiatives. The results of the analysis elaborate an empirically-based typology of four principal and two emerging framework types, each based on a particular logic for creating conceptual categories for urban sustainability indicators. We also develop a comparison of the framework types in terms of their respective abilities to meet the different purposes that conceptual frameworks ideally serve in indicator set development. The results allow us to provide much-needed guidance for indicator set developers; first, by laying out the range of options available; second, by helping developers choose between types of frameworks in accordance with their particular aims. In addition, through analysis of how urban sustainability is de facto defined in indicator initiatives, we aim to make a conceptual contribution that advances our understanding of the meaning of this complex concept.
    Date: 2021–06–08

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