nep-ure New Economics Papers
on Urban and Real Estate Economics
Issue of 2023‒05‒15
73 papers chosen by
Steve Ross
University of Connecticut

  1. The Municipal Role in Transportation By Fanny Tremblay-Racicot; Patricia Burke Wood; Carolyn Kim; Chandan Bhardwaj; Adam Thorn; Marie-Ève Assunçao-Denis; Matt Pinder; Gabriel Eidelman; Kass Forman; Spencer Neufeld; Kinza Riaz
  2. Price and Prejudice: Housing Rents Reveal Racial Animus By Marius Brülhart; Gian-Paolo Klinke; Andrea Marcucci; Dominic Rohner; Mathias Thoenig
  3. What impact does subsidised housing renovations have on the filtering process? By Warsame, Abukar; Wilhelmsson, Mats
  4. Who Are Leaving Metropolitan Areas in the Post-COVID-19 Era:An Analysis of Urban Residents' Migration Decisions in Japan By PENG, Xue; DAI, Erbiao
  5. Does teacher subjective well-being influence students’ learning achievement? Evidence from public basic education in Peru By José María Rentería; Dante Solano
  6. Movilidad urbana sostenible: Predicción de demanda con Inteligencia Artificial By Gutierrez-Lythgoe, Antonio
  7. The Implications of Freeway Siting in California: Four Case Studies on the Effects of Freeways on Neighborhoods of Color By Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia; Handy, Susan L.; Ong, Paul M.; Barajas, Jesus M.; Wasserman, Jacob L.; Pech, Chhandara; Garcia Sanchez, Juan C.; Ramirez, Andres F.; Jain, Aakansha; Proussaloglou, Emmanuel; Nguyen, Andrea; Turner, Katherine; Fitzgibbon, Abigail; Kaeppelin, Francois; Ramirez, Felipe; Arenas, Marc
  8. The quality of school track assignment decisions by teachers By Joppe de Ree; Matthijs Oosterveen; Dinand Webbink
  9. American Micromobility Panel: Part 1 By Fitch-Polse, Dillon T; Mohiuddin, Hossain; Fukushige, Tatsuya; Darr, Justin; Agarwal, Swati
  10. Sustainable housing at a neighbourhood scale By Dühr, Stefanie; Berry, Stephen; Moore, Trivess
  11. Perpetual Motion: High-Frequency Human Mobility in Three African Countries By Paul Blanchard; Douglas Gollin; Martina Kirchberger
  12. The role of localised, recombinant and exogenous technological change in European regions By Mario A. Maggioni; Emanuela Marrocu; Teodora Erika Uberti; Stefano Usai
  13. Homophily and Transmission of Behavioral Traits in Social Networks By Palaash Bhargava; Daniel L. Chen; Matthias Sutter; Camille Terrier
  14. Dreaming of Leaving the Nest? Immigration Status and the Living Arrangements of DACAmented By Rania Gihleb; Osea Giuntella; Jakub Lonsky
  15. Neighbourhood Gangs, Crime Spillovers, and Teenage Motherhood By Christian Dustmann; Mikkel Mertz; Anna Okatenko
  16. What drives house prices in Europe? By Federica Ciocchetta; Elisa Guglielminetti; Alessandro Mistretta
  17. Proactive regional policy: What a new policy to avoid socio-economic disruptions could look like By Jens Suedekum
  18. How should place-based policies be designed to efficiently promote retail agglomeration? By Aizawa, Hiroki; Kono, Tatsuhito
  19. Alone and lonely: the economic cost of solitude for regions in Europe By Burlina, Chiara; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  20. Murphy's Law or Luck of the Irish? Disparate Treatment of the Irish in 19th Century Courts By Bindler, Anna; Hjalmarsson, Randi; Machin, Stephen; Rubio-Ramos, Melissa
  21. Background Matters, but not Whether Parents are Immigrants: Outcomes of Children Born in Denmark By Mathias Fjællegaard Jensen; Alan Manning
  22. Difficult Lessons on Social Prediction from Wisconsin Public Schools By Juan C. Perdomo; Tolani Britton; Moritz Hardt; Rediet Abebe
  23. Immigration Disruptions and the Wages of Unskilled Labor in the 1920s By Jeff Biddle; Elior Cohen
  24. The Labor Market Integration of Syrian Refugees in Turkey By Murat Demirci; Murat Güray Kırdar
  25. The Determinants of Refugees' Destinations: Where Do Refugees Locate within the EU? By Di Iasio, Valentina; Wahba, Jackline
  26. Local and national concentration trends in jobs and sales: The role of structural transformation By David Autor; Christina Patterson; John Van Reenen
  27. Refugee Benefit Cuts By Christian Dustmann; Rasmus Landersø; Lars Højsgaard Andersen
  28. Post COVID-19 Test Score Recovery: Initial Evidence from State Testing Data By Clare Halloran; Claire E. Hug; Rebecca Jack; Emily Oster
  29. The effects of a macroprudential loosening: the importance of borrowers’ choices By McCann, Fergal; Durante, Elena
  30. Is There a Trade-off between Housing and Pension System Generosity? Empirical Evidence from the Luxembourg Wealth Study By Edyta Marcinkiewicz; Filip Chybalski
  31. Estimating the Trend of the House Price to Income Ratio in Ireland By Yao, Fang
  32. Elderly vs Working-Age Generation: Homeownership and Housing Asset Inequality in a Cross-Country Perspective By Edyta Marcinkiewicz
  33. Learning in lockdown: University students’ academic performance during COVID-19 closures By Emma Whitelaw; Nicola Branson; Murray Leibbrandt
  34. What We Teach about Race and Gender: Representation in Images and Text of Children's Books By Adukia, Anjali; Eble, Alex; Harrison, Emileigh; Runesha, Hakizumwami Birali; Szasz, Teodora
  35. Income Taxes and the Mobility of the Rich: Evidence from US and UK Households in Switzerland By Marko Köthenbürger; Costanza Naguib; Christian Stettler; Michael Stimmelmayr
  36. The Geography of Job Tasks By Enghin Atalay; Sebastian Sotelo; Daniel Tannenbaum
  37. Current challenges to social mobility and equality of opportunity By Carlotta Balestra; ‪Emanuele Ciani
  38. Academic Migration and Academic Networks: Evidence from Scholarly Big Data and the Iron Curtain By Donia Kamel; Laura Pollacci
  39. Exploring economic activity from outer space: A Python notebook for processing and analyzing satellite nighttime lights By Carlos Mendez; Ayush Patnaik
  40. A Comparative Study of Inter-Regional Intra-Industry Disparity By Samidh Pal
  41. Tax Responses in Local Public Finance: The Flypaper Effect at Work By Marko Köthenbürger; Gabriel Loumeau
  42. Migration, Specialization, and Trade: Evidence from the Brazilian March to the West By Heitor S. Pellegrina; Sebastian Sotelo
  43. Intergenerational Mobility in the Land of Inequality By Paolo Pinotti; Diogo G. C. Britto; Alexandre Fonseca; Breno Sampaio; Lucas Warwar
  44. How Does the Presentation of Energy Performance Affect the Price of Houses? A Case Study of Detached Houses in Stockholm, Sweden By Wilhelmsson, Mats
  45. The causal impact of maternal educational curricula on infant health at birth By Cristina Borra; Pilar Cuevas-Ruiz; Almudena Sevilla
  46. Field and Natural Experiments in Migration By David McKenzie; Dean Yang
  48. From Euclidean Distance to Spatial Classification: Unraveling the Technology behind GPT Models By Alfredo B. Roisenzvit
  49. Discrimination on the Child Care Market: A Nationwide Field Experiment By Henning Hermes; Philipp Lergetporer; Fabian Mierisch; Frauke Peter; Simon Wiederhold
  50. Technological Change, Firm Heterogeneity and Wage Inequality By Cortes, Guido Matias; Lerche, Adrian; Schönberg, Uta; Tschopp, Jeanne
  51. Transportation Taxes and Energy Transitions: Alternative Policy Designs for Funding US Road Infrastructure and Pricing Externalities By Linn, Joshua; McConnell, Virginia; Pesek, Sophie; Raimi, Daniel
  52. Bound by Ancestors: Immigration, Credit Frictions, and Global Supply Chain Formation By Jaerim Choi; Jay Hyun; Ziho Park
  53. Unconventional Monetary Policy and Local Fiscal Policy By Huixin Bi; Nora Traum
  54. Slow Traffic, Fast Food: The Effects of Time Lost on Food Store Choice By Bencsik, Panka; Lusher, Lester; Taylor, Rebecca L.C.
  55. Four Case Studies on the Effects of Freeway Siting on Neighborhoods of Color By Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia; Handy, Susan L.; Ong, Paul M.; Wasserman, Jacob L.; Barajas, Jesus M.; Pech, Chhandara
  56. Decomposing Industry Leverage: the Special Cases of Real Estate Investment Trusts and Technology & Hardware Companies By Breuer, Wolfgang; Nguyen, Linh.D; Steininger, Bertram
  57. Merger Effects and Antitrust Enforcement: Evidence from US Retail By Vivek Bhattacharya; Gastón Illanes; David Stillerman
  58. Lane-Level Localization and Map Matching for Advanced Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Applications By Farrell, Jay A; Wu, Guoyuan; Hu, Wang; Oswald, David; Hao, Peng
  59. Distributional effects of immigration and imperfect labour markets By Julian Costas-Fernandez; Simon Lodato
  60. Starting unequal: How’s life for disadvantaged children? By Chris Clarke; Olivier Thévenon
  61. Enhancing intraregional investment in South Asia By Kshitiz Dahal
  62. The impact of local and foreign automation on labor market outcomes in emerging countries By Luis R. Diaz Pavez; Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso
  63. Global trends in countries‘ perceptions of the Belt and Road Initiative By Alicia García-Herrero; Robin Schindowski
  64. Uncertainty, Citizenship & Migrant Saving Choices By Hannah Zillessen
  65. What Can Be Expected from Mergers after Deregulation? The Case of the Long-Distance Bus Industry in France By Thierry Blayac; Patrice Bougette
  66. Framework and Demonstration of Simulations of Environmental Impacts from Traffic on Highway Construction Work Zones By Kim, Changmo; Butt, Ali Azhar; Harvey, John; Ostovar, Maryam; Saboori, Arash
  67. The impact of credit substitution between banks on investment By Francesco Bripi
  68. No Ground Truth? No Problem: Improving Administrative Data Linking Using Active Learning and a Little Bit of Guile By Sarah Tahamont; Zubin Jelveh; Melissa McNeill; Shi Yan; Aaron Chalfin; Benjamin Hansen
  69. Unconditional Convergence in Manufacturing Productivity across U.S. States : What the Long-Run Data Show By Klein, Alexander; Crafts, Nicholas
  70. Test-Optional Admissions By Wouter Dessein; Alex Frankel; Navin Kartik
  71. Social stratification and post-school funding thresholds: A dynamic approach to profiling the missing middle By Emma Whitelaw; Nicola Branson; Murray Leibbrandt
  72. Perception of Public Libraries as Substantive Knowledge Organizations By Chatterjee, Sidharta; Samanta, Mousumi; Dey, Sujoy
  73. Master Plan for Transport Connectivity: An Undertaking in Enhancing Regional Integration By Kshitiz Dahal

  1. By: Fanny Tremblay-Racicot; Patricia Burke Wood; Carolyn Kim; Chandan Bhardwaj; Adam Thorn; Marie-Ève Assunçao-Denis; Matt Pinder; Gabriel Eidelman; Kass Forman; Spencer Neufeld; Kinza Riaz (University of Toronto)
    Abstract: Investments in transportation are among the most visible investments made across all orders of government in Canada, with each order of government illustrating different forms of involvement in the country’s transportation networks. The federal and provincial governments oversee long-distance transportation, while municipalities are responsible for public transit, active transportation, and local highways and roads. By changing policies and priorities across all orders of government, cities could make transportation networks more effective while reducing emissions. The four papers in this report focus on the role that Canadian municipalities currently play in transportation and how other orders of government can support that role. The papers also propose policies to strengthen the municipal role in transportation while alleviating congestion, moving goods more efficiently, and promoting active transportation and sustainability. Municipalities Fanny Tremblay-Racicot examines the links between transportation, urban planning, and land use and asserts that municipalities have the power to prioritize complete streets interventions and active transportation investments, particularly in vulnerable neighbourhoods, as well as to democratize land-use planning. Patricia Burke Wood argues that Canadian cities need collaborative and regional transportation governance for strong, multimodal networks to provide better service to transit riders. She recommends that municipalities play a leading role in these governance structures and in efforts to coordinate travel across local networks. Carolyn Kim, Chandan Bhardwaj, and Adam Thorn discuss the unique policy levers that municipalities can use to make urban freight transportation more sustainable by encouraging low-emissions deliveries and optimizing freight routing. Marie-Ève Assunçao-Denis and Matt Pinder stress that municipal governments should continue to designate mixed-use areas, especially near public transit, and complement such land-use changes with upgrades to active transportation infrastructure to create more walkable environments. Provincial governments Tremblay-Racicot notes that provinces need to implement stronger growth-management policies and legislation regarding transportation and urban planning, so that local governments have more incentive to make changes. Wood finds that the working relationships between municipalities and provincial governments on urban transit governance are often weak, unclear, unstable, and antagonistic. She recommends more collaboration, drawing on international models. Kim, Bhardwaj, and Thorn advocate for provinces to enhance financial support and autonomy for municipalities. This support could include funding for low-emissions freight transportation technologies and granting the power to implement policies required to support more efficient goods movement. Assunçao-Denis and Pinder call for provinces to increase the funding available to municipalities for active transportation infrastructure and initiatives, highlighting existing programs in British Columbia and Québec. Federal government Wood argues that Canada’s transportation governance structures and practices are uneven and often unaccountable. The federal government’s current role is characterized by ambiguity and inconsistency, which could be improved by mutually agreed-upon expectations across orders of government. Kim, Bhardwaj, and Thorn highlight federal programs that have supported municipalities in adopting more sustainable practices, such as fleet electrification and the accompanying need for more public electric-vehicle charging stations. Assunçao-Denis and Pinder emphasize the crucial role of federal funding in the development and improvement of active transportation infrastructure and programs, including research and feasibility studies, community engagement initiatives, and cycling and walking infrastructure projects. Intergovernmental cooperation The need for increased intergovernmental cooperation among orders of government is an underlying assumption of all the contributors, particularly with respect to stronger legislation and funding assistance. Assunçao-Denis and Pinder call for more horizontal coordination across local governments such as boroughs and municipalities to support active transportation. Kim, Bhardwaj, and Thorn suggest that sustainable freight traffic would benefit from improved coordination of goals and policies among all orders of government.
    Keywords: Canada, municipalities, transportation, intergovernmental relations, transit governance, freight, active transportation
    JEL: R40 O18 H70
    Date: 2023–04
  2. By: Marius Brülhart; Gian-Paolo Klinke; Andrea Marcucci; Dominic Rohner; Mathias Thoenig
    Abstract: We study market rents in the neighborhood of asylum seeker hosting centers. Our empirical setting exploits the quasi-random opening of centers and spatial allocation of asylum seekers in Switzerland. Rents within 0.7km of an active center are found on average to be 3.8% lower than rents in the control group. The price drop is more pronounced when centers host a higher share of asylum seekers from Sub-Saharan countries. In contrast, neither the religious affiliation of asylum seekers nor their inferred crime propensity affect prices significantly. Our findings are consistent with racial animus as the dominant driver of observed market outcomes.
    Keywords: ethnic prejudice, willingness to pay, housing prices, refugee centers
    JEL: D90 J15 R31
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Warsame, Abukar (Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, Royal Institute of Technology); Wilhelmsson, Mats (Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: Sweden has introduced a system of subsidising renovations of housing in the property market, which aims to modernise the building stock and improve energy efficiency. This study explores the extent to which the tax deduction for renovations (ROT) has contributed to the reduction of property depreciation and subsequent differences in single-family house prices in Swedish municipalities. The paper also investigates whether house price levels influence the desire to renovate and whether tax deductions incentivise renovation needs. Using unbalanced data from 2004 to 2020 at a municipal level regarding total subsidy amounts and housing prices, we will estimate a panel data model based on a traditional DiPasquale and Wheaton reduced-form model where house prices are dependent variable in one model and renovation amounts are the dependent variable in the other model. Other independent variables that will be used are, among others, income, demographics, and supply of single-family houses. The findings suggest that variations in the amount of tax reduction for renovations and the number of property owners receiving these subsidies in different municipalities have contributed to observable differences in house prices. The study concludes that government housing policies like subsidising renovations may interfere with a well-functioning housing market's expected filtering process. Therefore, it could have implications for policymakers looking to promote more equitable access to housing in Sweden.
    Keywords: Housing; depreciation; renovation; maintenance; subsidy; price effect; filtering
    JEL: H20 R30 R38
    Date: 2023–04–27
  4. By: PENG, Xue; DAI, Erbiao
    Abstract: Japan's central and local governments have implemented various measures to encourage internal migration from metropolitan areas to local areas to address issues related to population decrease and unbalanced regional development. However, despite a significant decrease in net migration flow from Japan's local areas to main metropolitan areas over the past 50 years, the net outflow from metropolitan to local areas has remained negative. This suggests that Japan's population migration spatial pattern is more difficult to change than that of developed countries in Europe and America. On the other hand, the three-year-long COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes to people's work, consumption, learning, and daily life. Will such changes affect Japanese residents' residential location choices and migration patterns? This paper uses data from "The Fifth Survey on Residents' Life Consciousness and Behavior Changes under the Influence of COVID-19" and a multinomial logit model to conduct empirical analysis. Our findings suggest that individuals who are more likely to leave metropolitan areas are those with relatively low job opportunity costs in metropolitan areas and high employment probabilities in local areas, young adults who have entered the labor market within the past ten years, individuals who have been retired for a few years, and those who prioritize their well-being. In contrast, household-related factors such as marital status, having underage children, and the work status of residents' spouse did not significantly affect their decision to move. These results provide new evidence to support major migration theories. Based on our analysis, policy recommendations are also discussed.
    Keywords: leaving metropolitan areas, migration decision, Japan, the post-Covid-19 era, leaving metropolitan areas, migration decision, Japan, the post-Covid-19 era, M13
    Date: 2023–03
  5. By: José María Rentería; Dante Solano
    Abstract: We estimate the influence of teacher subjective well-being (TSWB) on the mathematics learning achievement of public-school students in Peru. Using the National Teacher Survey and the Census Student Assessment, after exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis we identify three dimensions of TSWB: i) workplace relationships, ii) working conditions, and iii) living conditions. We estimate instrumental variables and perform quantile regressions to disentangle the relationship between TSWB and students’ learning outcomes. Our results show that TSWB has an inverted U-shaped influence on test scores, suggesting the presence of the “too-much-of-a-good-thing effect”, and therefore the existence of an optimal threshold after which its effect becomes detrimental. Workplace relationships appear to be the most influential TSWB factor on students’ academic achievement.
    Keywords: Teacher subjective well-being, learning achievement
    Date: 2022–12
  6. By: Gutierrez-Lythgoe, Antonio
    Abstract: The evolution of cities has led to changes in urban mobility patterns, including an increased number of trips, longer and more dispersed routes. Therefore, it is crucial to study urban mobility efficiently to promote sustainability and well-being. In this context, we reviewed the existing literature on the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in urban mobility research, specifically focusing on Deep Learning techniques such as CNN and LSTM models. These AI tools are being used to address the challenges of urban mobility research and offer new possibilities for tackling the pressing issues faced by cities, such as sustainability in transportation. AI can contribute to improving sustainability by predicting real-time traffic, optimizing transportation efficiency, and informing public policies that promote sustainable modes of transportation. In this study, we propose a Random Forest model for predicting demand for sustainable urban mobility based on machine learning, achieving accurate and consistent predictions. Overall, the application of AI in urban mobility research presents a unique opportunity to advance towards more sustainable, livable cities and resilient societies.
    Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Urban mobility, Deep Learning, Machine Learning , sustainability
    JEL: C45 C53 Q56 R41 R42
    Date: 2023–04
  7. By: Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia; Handy, Susan L.; Ong, Paul M.; Barajas, Jesus M.; Wasserman, Jacob L.; Pech, Chhandara; Garcia Sanchez, Juan C.; Ramirez, Andres F.; Jain, Aakansha; Proussaloglou, Emmanuel; Nguyen, Andrea; Turner, Katherine; Fitzgibbon, Abigail; Kaeppelin, Francois; Ramirez, Felipe; Arenas, Marc
    Abstract: California's freeways have come under increasing scrutiny for their disproportionately adverse impacts on lowincome populations and populations of color. This study uses empirical research to not only understand but also quantify and describe in detail the historical impacts of freeways on communities of color in four California cities and areas: Pasadena, Pacoima, Sacramento, and San José. In these neighborhoods, freeways displaced many residents, significantly harmed those that remained, and left communities divided and depleted. The four cases differ in notable ways, but they share a disproportionate impact of freeway construction on communities of color. In Pasadena and Pacoima, decision-makers chose routes that displaced a greater share of households of color than proposed alternatives. Demolition and displacement were the most visible and immediate effects of the freeways, but toxic pollution, noise, economic decline, and stigmatization remained long after. In suburban areas, white, affluent interests often succeeded in pushing freeways to more powerless neighborhoods. Massive roadway construction complemented other destructive governmental actions such as urban renewal and redlining. Freeways and suburbanization were key components in the creation of a spatial mismatch between jobs and housing for people of color, with few transportation options to overcome it. Understanding the history of racism in freeway development can inform restorative justice in these areas.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, freeway history, freeway siting, Pasadena, Pacoima, Sacramento, San José, neighborhoods of color
    Date: 2023–03–03
  8. By: Joppe de Ree; Matthijs Oosterveen; Dinand Webbink
    Abstract: We study the quality of secondary school track assignment decisions in the Netherlands, using a regression discontinuity design. In 6th grade, primary school teachers assign each student to a secondary school track. If a student scores above a track-specific cutoff on the standardized end-of-primary education test, the teacher can upwardly revise this assignment. By comparing students just left and right of these cutoffs, we find that between 50-90% of the students are "trapped in track": these students are on the high track after four years, only if they started on the high track in first year. The remaining (minority of) students are "always low": they are always on the low track after four years, independently of where they started. These proportions hold for students near the cutoffs that shift from the low to the high track in first year by scoring above the cutoff. Hence, for a majority of these students the initial (unrevised) track assignment decision is too low. The results replicate across most of the secondary school tracks, from the vocational to the academic tracks, and stand out against an education system with a lot of upward and downward track mobility.
    Date: 2023–04
  9. By: Fitch-Polse, Dillon T; Mohiuddin, Hossain; Fukushige, Tatsuya; Darr, Justin; Agarwal, Swati
    Abstract: This report presents preliminary findings from the American Micromobility Panel, the largest study of shared micromobility services in the United States incorporating riders from multiple major operators. Micromobility services (bike-share and scooter-share) have recently emerged in many U.S. cities. Given that the substitution of bicycling, scooting, and other small vehicle travel for car travel will help cities reach numerous planning goals (e.g., accessibility, emissions, climate, health, equity, etc.), there is a need for understanding the effects of these mobility services. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of micromobility services on travel behavior and outcomes such as mode shift, car ownership, access, equity, safety, and physical activity. The authors surveyed shared micromobility service users in 48 U.S. cities with two different surveys in Summer 2022: a 21-day smartphone-based travel diary (2206 participants with 183, 483 trips), and an online follow-up survey of travel diary participants (657 valid responses). Car substitution rates, including private car and ride-hailing, show strong variation by city size and micromobility vehicle type. Through self-report, micromobility seems to have had at least a partial influence on the decision to purchase a car, perhaps as a part of a long-term car use reduction effort/plan. Participants showed positive attitudes toward using public transit, but a small portion of trips to access or egress from transit facilities were made by the participants. Instead, the participants more generally showed a transit substitution effect when using micromobility services. Results also suggest that bike-share and scooter-share use may be influenced in opposing ways by participant income. Half of participants had at least once experienced that they could not find an available vehicle nearby, suggesting a sizeable supply constraint on demand for the services to satisfy existing micromobility user needs. The effect of micromobility services on increasing physical activity was slight given the physical activity it often replaced. Additionally, concerning safety, participants tended to agree that bike-share is safer than scooter-share, and participants tended to agree with the view that using micromobility improved their mental health. View the NCST Project Webpage
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Micromobility, shared mobility, travel survey, GPS data, bicycles, e-scooters, e-bikes
    Date: 2023–04–01
  10. By: Dühr, Stefanie; Berry, Stephen; Moore, Trivess
    Abstract: This study investigated the challenges and opportunities that built environment professionals in Australia experience when planning, designing, and implementing sustainable housing developments at the neighbourhood scale. It also examined strategies and policy levers employed in case study eco-neighbourhoods from across Australia and Europe to inform future Australian policy and practice. Neighbourhoods are the ‘in-between scales’ between individual buildings and the urban scale and have been described as the ‘building blocks’ of a city. Planning for environments at a neighbourhood scale offers sustainability gains and economies of scale for decentralised systems (such as water and energy) and opportunities for integrated land-use and transport planning, biodiversity planning and social sustainability. Moreover, the neighbourhood scale allows consideration of the importance of communities and social capital for achieving sustainability. The research found there is a need for stricter regulatory requirements on urban sustainability in general, and for policy frameworks and development models to support sustainable housing at a neighbourhood scale specifically. Policy expectations for sustainable neighbourhood developments should be performance-based, rather than prescriptive, and they should be supported by objectives and targets so that achievements can be measured and compared. Many research participants called for mandatory targets, and for binding policies and regulation and sustainable housing and neighbourhood-scale developments to be coordinated across different levels of government and jurisdictions.
    Date: 2023–04–12
  11. By: Paul Blanchard (Trinity College Dublin); Douglas Gollin (University of Oxford); Martina Kirchberger (Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: This paper explores the within-country movements of people in three African countries. Although previous studies in other low-income settings have examined patterns of seasonal migration and daily commuting, much less is known about mobility at other temporal frequencies. This paper draws on a novel source of data from smartphone locations. These data allow us to observe the movements of a large set of individuals over a one-year period. We can characterize with considerable detail the locations that people visit and the frequency with which they make trips. The average smartphone user in our data ventures more than 10 km from home on 12-15% of the days when they are observed. On average, when we observe them away from home, our users are typically 35-50 km from home. We can characterize many of the specific locations that people visit when they are away from home. These include locations associated with shops and markets, government offices, and places offering a range of goods, services, and recreational venues. Big cities seem to be particularly important destinations, perhaps reflecting the range of amenities that they offer to visitors. We develop a conceptual framework that characterizes the role of visits for individuals and provides a number of testable predictions that are consistent with the movement patterns that we observe in the data. Although our sample of smartphone users is not representative of national populations, their mobility patterns offer useful insights into spatial frictions and the geographic patterns of economic activity.
    Date: 2023–04
  12. By: Mario A. Maggioni; Emanuela Marrocu; Teodora Erika Uberti; Stefano Usai
    Abstract: How do regions develop and evolve along their productive and technological path is a central question. Within an evolutionary perspective, a given region is likely to develop new technologies closer to its pre-existing specialization. We adopt the approach of Hidalgo et al. (2007) to map the regional European technology/knowledge space to investigate the pattern and the evolution of regional specialisation in the most innovative EU countries. These dynamics depend on the interaction of three factors: (i) localised technological change, (ii) endogenous processes of knowledge recombination, and (iii) exogenous technological paradigm shifts while accounting for spatial and technological spillovers. Our paper maps the technological trajectories of 198 EU regions over the period 1986-2010 by using data on 121 patent sectors at the NUTS2 level for the 11 most innovative European countries, plus Switzerland and Norway. The results show that regional technological specialization is mainly shaped by localised technological change and exogenous technological paradigm shifts, whereas recombinant innovation contributes to a lower extent and that these effects largely depends on the increasing, decreasing or stable regional dynamics.
    JEL: C23 O14 O31 O33 O52 R11 R12
    Date: 2023
  13. By: Palaash Bhargava (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Daniel L. Chen (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn); Camille Terrier (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: Social networks are a key factor of success in life, but they are also strongly segmented on gender, ethnicity, and other demographic characteristics (Jackson, 2010). We present novel evidence on an understudied source of homophily: behavioral traits. Behavioral traits are important determinants of life outcomes. While recent work has focused on how these traits are influenced by the family environment, or how they can be affected by childhood interventions, little is known about how these traits are related to social networks. Based on unique data collected using incentivized experiments on more than 2, 500 French high-school students, we find high levels of homophily across all ten behavioral traits that we study. Notably, the extent of homophily depends on similarities in demographic characteristics, in particular with respect to gender. Furthermore, the larger the number of behavioral traits that students share, the higher the overall homophily. Using network econometrics, we show that the observed homophily is not only an outcome of endogenous network formation, but is also a result of friends influencing each others’ behavioral traits. Importantly, the transmission of traits is larger when students share demographic characteristics, such as gender, have longer periods of friendship, or are friends with more popular individuals.
    Keywords: Homophily, social networks, behavioral traits, peer effects, experiments
    JEL: D85 C91 D01 D90
    Date: 2023–02
  14. By: Rania Gihleb; Osea Giuntella; Jakub Lonsky
    Abstract: This study investigates the effects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on the living arrangements and housing behavior of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Using an event-study approach and difference-in-differences (DID) estimates, we compared immigrants above and below eligibility cutoffs and demonstrated that, after the adoption of the policy in June 2012, DACA-eligible immigrants were less likely to live with their parents or in multigenerational households (-12.5%) and more likely to live independently (+15.5%). We also revealed that DACA-eligible immigrants were less likely to live in the same house (-2%) and more likely to quit ethnic enclaves (+8%). Notably, these patterns are not explained by the known effects of DACA on income and employment outcomes. Lower rental costs (-3%) may have facilitated this transition into adulthood and the observed trends in living arrangements. The DACA also led to a decline in marriage rates among DACA-eligible individuals, although we found no evidence of significant effects on cohabitation, divorce, and intermarriage. We also found no evidence of a clear impact on fertility.
    JEL: J13 J15 R20
    Date: 2023–04
  15. By: Christian Dustmann (University College London); Mikkel Mertz (Queen Mary University of London); Anna Okatenko (University College London)
    Abstract: Using an identification strategy based on random assignment of refugees to different municipalities in Denmark between 1986 and 1998, we find strong evidence that gang crime rates in the neighbourhood at assignment increase the probability of boys to commit crimes before the age of 19, and that gang crime (but not other crime) increases the likelihood of teenage motherhood for girls. Higher levels of gang crime also have detrimental and long-lasting effects, with men experiencing significantly higher levels of inactivity and women experiencing lower earnings and higher levels of welfare benefit claims at ages 19 to 28.
    Keywords: Crime spillovers, gang crime, teenage motherhood
    JEL: J1 K4 I3
    Date: 2023–03
  16. By: Federica Ciocchetta (Bank of Italy); Elisa Guglielminetti (Bank of Italy); Alessandro Mistretta (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Boom-and-bust cycles in the housing market pose a threat to macroeconomic and financial stability, thus calling for a timely assessment of imbalances. This work sheds light on the drivers of house price dynamics in some euro area economies, investigating whether the increases in house prices underway since 2015 signal a risk of overheating. We show that an Error-Correction-Model (ECM) featuring a long-run relationship between house prices and income and short-run effects of interest rates and housing supply fits the data well in most cases. We then propose a novel model-based misalignment indicator that consists in the difference between actual and predicted house prices once we have removed the component relating to extrapolative house price expectations (bubble-builder component). We find that, in 2021 (the last year in our analysis), prices were slightly undervalued in Italy and Ireland, moderately overvalued in France and Belgium, and significantly overvalued in Spain and Germany. Despite some quantitative differences, our results are broadly in line with the assessment of the European Central Bank.
    Keywords: house prices, Error Correction Model (ECM), over-valuation, housing bubbles
    JEL: C22 C51 C52 R21 R31
    Date: 2023–04
  17. By: Jens Suedekum (Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE))
    Abstract: Proactive regional policies to aide local transformation processes are in the limelight these days. This paper firstly discusses the big paradigm shift in mainstream economics towards this newly gained prominence of place-based policies. Afterwards, the paper introduces the most voluminous case in Germany, the coal exit. My analysis suggests that the three involved lignite mining areas, which have received unusual amounts for structural support, must realize that they are role models. But a preliminary assessment suggests that the resources will mostly flow into rather conventional spending categories. There is little evidence for moonshot projects or innovative novel paths that only those regions could try out – given the unique circumstances they are in. This misses the chance to experiment how proactive regional policies could exploit their full potential.
    Keywords: proactive regional policy, automobile industry, coal- /lignite-exit, innovative policies
    JEL: L5 L52 L62 L71
    Date: 2022–12
  18. By: Aizawa, Hiroki; Kono, Tatsuhito
    Abstract: Local governments have recently adopted place-based policies in order to revitalize decayed shopping areas in downtown areas. Developing a multipurpose shopping model, we evaluate the welfare impacts of place-based policies for downtown retail agglomeration. In the model, retail stores are under monopolistic competition, and consumers are free to choose where to reside. Results show that, whether or not place-based policies are efficient depends on the recipients of government subsidies, even if the policies promote retail agglomeration in downtown areas. Specifically, subsidizing consumers residing near downtown areas is inevitably harmful from the viewpoint of welfare, whereas subsidizing retail stores can be efficient.
    Keywords: Agglomeration; Monopolistic competition; Multipurpose shopping; Place-based policy.
    JEL: D6 D61 I38 R52
    Date: 2023
  19. By: Burlina, Chiara; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: Solitude is a rising phenomenon in the western world. The share of people affected by solitude has been rising for some time and the Covid-19 pandemic has further brought this trend to the fore. Yet, we know next to nothing about the aggregate subnational economic impact of the rise in solitude. In this paper we analyse the consequences of solitude on regional economic performance across Europe, distinguishing between two of its key dimensions: alone living, proxied by the regional share of single-person households and loneliness, proxied by the aggregate share of social interactions. We find that solitude has important implications for economic development, but that these go in different directions. While alone living is a substantial driver of economic growth across European regions, high shares of lonely people undermine it. The connection of loneliness with economic growth is, however, dependent on the frequency of in-person meetings, with large shares of the population meeting others socially on a weekly basis, alongside a small percentage of people who never meet others, yielding the best economic returns.
    Keywords: solitude; alone living; loneliness; growth; GDP per capita; regions
    JEL: J12 P48 R23
    Date: 2023–02–28
  20. By: Bindler, Anna (University of Gothenburg); Hjalmarsson, Randi (University of Gothenburg); Machin, Stephen (London School of Economics); Rubio-Ramos, Melissa (University of Cologne)
    Abstract: Using data on 100 years of 19th century criminal trials at London's Old Bailey, this paper offers clear evidence of disparate treatment of Irish-named defendants and victims by English juries. We measure surname Irishness and Englishness using place of birth in the 1881 census. Irish-named defendants are 11% less likely to plea, 3% more likely to be convicted by the jury, and 16% less likely to receive a jury recommendation for mercy. These disparities are: (i) largest for violent crimes and for defendants with more distinctive Irish surnames; (ii) robust to case characteristic controls and proxies for signals associated with Irish surnames (social class, Irish county of origin, criminality); (iii) particularly visible for Irish defendants in cases with English victims; and (iv) spill-over onto English-named defendants with Irish codefendants. Disparate treatment is first visible in the 1830s, after which it grows, then persists through to the end of the century. In particular, the gap in jury conviction rates became larger during the twenty years after the Irish Potato Famine-induced migration to London. We do not find evidence, however, that the first bombing campaign of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (in 1867 and the 1880s) further exacerbated these disparities.
    Keywords: Irish, crime, criminal law, discrimination, economic history
    JEL: K42 K14 J15 N33 N93
    Date: 2023–04
  21. By: Mathias Fjællegaard Jensen; Alan Manning
    Abstract: In Europe, the children of migrants often have worse economic outcomes than those with local-born parents. This paper shows that children born in Denmark with immigrant parents (first-generation locals) have lower earnings, higher unemployment, less education, more welfare transfers, and more criminal convictions than children with local-born parents. However, when we condition on parental socio-economic characteristics, first-generation locals generally perform as well or slightly better than the children of locals. Our results suggest that there is little distinctive about being a child of immigrants, other than the fact that they are more likely to come from deprived backgrounds.
    Date: 2023–03–31
  22. By: Juan C. Perdomo; Tolani Britton; Moritz Hardt; Rediet Abebe
    Abstract: Early warning systems (EWS) are prediction algorithms that have recently taken a central role in efforts to improve graduation rates in public schools across the US. These systems assist in targeting interventions at individual students by predicting which students are at risk of dropping out. Despite significant investments and adoption, there remain significant gaps in our understanding of the efficacy of EWS. In this work, we draw on nearly a decade's worth of data from a system used throughout Wisconsin to provide the first large-scale evaluation of the long-term impact of EWS on graduation outcomes. We present evidence that risk assessments made by the prediction system are highly accurate, including for students from marginalized backgrounds. Despite the system's accuracy and widespread use, we find no evidence that it has led to improved graduation rates. We surface a robust statistical pattern that can explain why these seemingly contradictory insights hold. Namely, environmental features, measured at the level of schools, contain significant signal about dropout risk. Within each school, however, academic outcomes are essentially independent of individual student performance. This empirical observation indicates that assigning all students within the same school the same probability of graduation is a nearly optimal prediction. Our work provides an empirical backbone for the robust, qualitative understanding among education researchers and policy-makers that dropout is structurally determined. The primary barrier to improving outcomes lies not in identifying students at risk of dropping out within specific schools, but rather in overcoming structural differences across different school districts. Our findings indicate that we should carefully evaluate the decision to fund early warning systems without also devoting resources to interventions tackling structural barriers.
    Date: 2023–04
  23. By: Jeff Biddle; Elior Cohen
    Abstract: An era of mass immigration into the United States ended with the onset of World War I in Europe, followed by the passage of restrictive immigration laws in 1921 and 1924. We analyze various sources of wage data collected in the 1910-1929 period to explore the impact of this significant disruption of the flow of immigration on the wages of unskilled labor. Our approach to identification entails examining differences in wages across local labor markets and industries differentially exposed to the disruptions in immigration due to different ethnic compositions of their immigrant populations in the pre-war era. We find evidence strongly suggesting that during the 1920s, industries and regions more affected by the disruptions in immigration experienced larger reductions in flows of immigrants that resulted in increased wages of unskilled labor.
    Keywords: immigration; wages; labor force
    JEL: J3 J61 N31 N32
    Date: 2022–09–27
  24. By: Murat Demirci (Koç University); Murat Güray Kırdar (Boğaziçi University)
    Abstract: Turkey hosts the largest population of refugees globally; however, we know little about their labor market outcomes at the national level. We use the 2018 round of the Turkey Demographic and Health Survey, which includes a representative sample of Syrian refugees in Turkey for the first time, to examine a rich set of labor market outcomes. We find that the native-refugee gap in men’s employment in Turkey (in favor of natives) is much smaller than that reported for most developed countries. Moreover, men’s employment peaks quite early (one year) after arrival and remains there, whereas women’s employment is lower to begin with and changes little over time. Once we account for demographic and educational differences, the native-refugee gap in men’s (women’s) paid employment reduces to 4.7 (4.0) percentage points (pp). These small gaps conceal the fact that refugees’ formal employment is much lower. Even after accounting for the covariates, refugee men’s formal employment rate is 58 pp lower. In addition, the native-refugee gap is the smallest in manufacturing for men and in agriculture for women, and the gap is also much smaller in wage employment than self-employment and unpaid family work for both genders. Young refugees are more likely to work than natives, whereas the gap favors natives among the prime-age working people. Moreover, the native-refugee gap in employment widens for more educated refugees. Finally, accounting for the differences in covariates, the native-refugee gap in men’s employment vanishes for Turkish-speaking refugees but persists for Arabic- and Kurdish-speaking refugees.
    JEL: F22 J21 J61 O15
    Date: 2021–12
  25. By: Di Iasio, Valentina (University of Southampton); Wahba, Jackline (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: The recent so called Mediterranean refugee crisis has ignited concerns about the magnitude of the flows of asylum seekers to Europe. This paper examines the determinants of the destination choice of first time non-EU asylum applicants to the EU, between 2008-2020. It investigates the role played by policies related to employment rights, processing of asylum applications, attractiveness of the welfare system, economic factors and networks on the destination of asylum seekers within the EU. We find that the strongest pull factor for asylum seekers to a destination is social networks both in terms of previous asylum applicants as well as stock of previous migrants. Our findings also suggest that employment bans are not a strong deterrence for asylum seekers given their modest association to asylum flows.
    Keywords: asylum seekers, refugees, EU migration, employment ban
    JEL: F22 J61 J15 O52
    Date: 2023–04
  26. By: David Autor; Christina Patterson; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: National industrial concentration in the U.S. has risen sharply since the early 1980s, but there remains dispute over whether local geographic concentration has followed a similar trend. Using near population data from the Economic Censuses, we confirm and extend existing evidence on national U.S. industrial concentration while providing novel evidence on local concentration. We document that the Herfindhahl index of local employment concentration, measured at the county-by-NAICS six-digit-industry cell level, fell between 1992 and 2017 even as local sales concentration rose. The divergence between national and local employment concentration trends is attributable to the structural transformation of U.S. economic activity: both sales and employment concentration rose within industry-by-county cells; but reallocation of sales and employment from relatively concentrated Manufacturing industries (e.g., steel mills) towards relatively un-concentrated Service industries (e.g. hair salons) reduced local concentration. A stronger between-sector shift in employment relative to sales drove the net fall in local employment concentration. Holding industry employment shares at their 1992 level, average local employment concentration would have risen by about 9% by 2017. Instead, it fell by 5%. Falling local employment concentration may intensify competition for recent market entrants. Simultaneously, rising within industry-by-geography concentration may weaken competition for incumbent workers who have limited sectoral mobility. To facilitate analysis, we have made data on these trends available at concentration trends.
    Keywords: national and local employment concentration, local geographic concentration, sales, U.S.
    Date: 2023–04–19
  27. By: Christian Dustmann (University College London); Rasmus Landersø (Rockwool Foundation); Lars Højsgaard Andersen (Rockwool Foundation)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of Denmark’s Start Aid welfare reform that targets refugees. Implemented in 2002, it enables us to study not only the reform’s immediate effects, but also its longer-term consequences, and its repeal a decade later. The reform-induced large transfer cuts led to an increase in employment rates, but only in the short run. Overall, the reform increased poverty rates and led to a rise in subsistence crime. Moreover, local demand conditions generate substantial heterogeneity in the reform’s effects on immediate and longer-term employment.
    Keywords: Social assistance, welfare state, labor market outcomes, labor demand, migration.
    JEL: E64 I30 J60
    Date: 2023–04
  28. By: Clare Halloran; Claire E. Hug; Rebecca Jack; Emily Oster
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruption in schooling in the U.S., and student test scores showed dramatic declines by the end of the 2020-21 school year. We use state test score data to analyze patterns of test score recovery over the 2021-22 school year. On average, we find that 20% of test score losses are recovered in English language arts (ELA) by 2022, compared to 37% in math. These recovery rates do not significantly vary across demographic characteristics, baseline achievement rates, in-person schooling rates in the pandemic school year, or category-based measures of recovery funding allocations. We observe large state-level variation in recovery rates in ELA – from full recovery to further losses. This evidence suggests state-level factors play an important role in students' academic recovery, but we are unable to isolate particular state factors. Future work should focus on this variation to facilitate a broader recovery effort.
    JEL: I19 I20
    Date: 2023–04
  29. By: McCann, Fergal (Central Bank of Ireland); Durante, Elena (Central Bank of Ireland)
    Abstract: Macroprudential policy implementation in the mortgage market has generally involved a policy tightening, as policies have been introduced in settings where no such policies previously existed. In this paper we produce rare evidence on an episode of loosening under the macroprudential regime for mortgages. We exploit a reform of the Irish borrower-based measures in 2017 that increased LTV limits for a cohort of First Time Buyers. We show in response to the reform that borrowers bunched at the new maximum LTV of 90, increasing LTVs relative to the counterfactual. We highlight an adjustment mechanism that has important policy implications: we find no evidence that treated borrowers purchased more expensive properties; rather, we find that treated borrowers post lower downpayments after the reform, displaying a preference for cash retention once the opportunity arises. While economic intuition leads one to expect house price amplification after a policy-induced credit loosening, we show that borrowers’ choices to rebalance towards greater cash retention dampened this channel in the Irish case in 2017.
    Keywords: Macroprudential policy; credit loosening; household finance
    JEL: G21 G28 G51
    Date: 2022–11
  30. By: Edyta Marcinkiewicz; Filip Chybalski
    Abstract: This study contributes to the discussion about the housing-pensions nexus. However, it aims to explore housing in the context of welfare provision from a different perspective. Unlike the vast majority of the previous studies, we do not focus on homeownership per se or housing deprivation as a dimension of poverty, but on the significance of housing wealth. Additionally, the presented analysis is based on the more comprehensive concept of pension generosity assessment which includes empirical replacement rates. The study employs micro-data from the Luxembourg Wealth Study (LWS) dataset. Using statistical analysis and multinomial logistic regression modelling we examine housing wealth patterns among elderly households with a special focus on the possible linkage between housing and pension system’s generosity. The results of cross-country comparisons imply that there are large country differences in terms of housing wealth accumulation. Analyses of the relationship between (average) pension system generosity and the (average) share of housing assets in total assets at the country level using aggregated values do not provide any evidence for the pensions-housing trade-off. However, when the level of aggregation is reduced, a different picture emerges. Especially when the households having very small or no housing assets relative to total assets are excluded, it becomes clearer that individuals receiving higher pension tend to differentiate their asset portfolio.
    Date: 2022–03
  31. By: Yao, Fang (Central Bank of Ireland)
    Abstract: Distinguishing trends and cycles in house prices is important for macroprudential policy. This paper estimates the unobserved trend and cycles of the house-price-to income ratio (HPI) using a multivariate unobserved components model, with auxiliary variables introduced for identifying both the trend and cycles. Under this approach, the HPI trend is driven by slow-moving fundamental forces, while the cyclical component of HPI is identified by using separate cyclical indicators in a VAR. I find that the estimated trend of the HPI ratio is rising over time, driven primarily by the declining natural interest rate, and to a lesser extent by credit conditions and housing imbalances. Of relevance for macroprudential policy setting, the underlying trend in HPI has risen by 8% since the introduction of borrower-based measures in 2015.
    Keywords: real estate markets, macroprudential policy, systemic risk, financial crises, bubbles, financial regulation, financial stability indicators.
    JEL: E5 G01 G17 G28 R39
    Date: 2022–11
  32. By: Edyta Marcinkiewicz
    Abstract: This study contributes to the discussion about wealth inequality, albeit from a more detailed housing perspective. It explores tenure inequality, as well as housing assets inequality. The latter includes a different approach than the one that prevails in the previous literature on wealth inequalities, which most often considers total net worth or net housing wealth. This study focuses on gross housing asset distribution, irrespective of mortgage debt, which corresponds with the potential of housing equity accumulation as a source of income in old age. It emphasises the intergenerational context, but simultaneously involves cross-country comparisons that allow for relative assessment of the intergenerational differences. Drawing from the Luxembourg Wealth Study (LWS) database the paper presents the results for fourteen developed countries. They suggest that the current working-age generation is to a lesser extent involved into homeownership, as compared to the older generation, which results in a smaller housing equity per household, but simultaneously it experiences greater housing inequality. Furthermore, as shown in a cross-country perspective, homeownership rates and housing asset inequality are negatively correlated. Consequently, higher housing asset inequality by lower homeownership rates are the factors that undermine the usefulness of the asset-based welfare concepts in a policy application. Such findings imply that in the macro perspective the potential of housing as a source of additional income in cash and in kind tends to shrink.
    JEL: D63 G51 R21
    Date: 2023–02
  33. By: Emma Whitelaw (Graduate Associate, Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town.); Nicola Branson (Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town); Murray Leibbrandt (Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit (SALDRU), African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research (ACEIR), University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, South African higher education institutions closed and rapidly moved to implement remote learning solutions. Many students lacked access to data and learning devices, and structural inequalities shape the household environments to which many students returned – and in which they were expected to learn new academic material. To date, there has been a paucity of research quantifying the effects of the pandemic on learning loss and academic outcomes among South African university students. Therefore, we explore changes in university students’ academic outcomes during the pandemic using longitudinal, administrative data from the University of Cape Town. We estimate a difference-in-differences model in which we allow for the effect of the pandemic on students’ outcomes to differ by their academic performance in previous years as well as their socioeconomic status. Results show that although performance improved on average in 2020, this was driven by performance gains at the bottom end of the grade point average distribution. Furthermore, performance gains made in 2020 are reversed in 2021, suggesting academic performance improvements in 2020 did not reflect true learning gains. Of particular concern, however, is a widening achievement gap between NSFAS-funded students and students not funded by NSFAS in 2021, suggesting household inequalities are playing out in student performance differentials to a greater extent since COVID-19.
    Date: 2022
  34. By: Adukia, Anjali (Harris School, University of Chicago); Eble, Alex (Columbia University); Harrison, Emileigh (University of Chicago); Runesha, Hakizumwami Birali (University of Chicago); Szasz, Teodora (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: Books shape how children learn about society and norms, in part through representation of different characters. We introduce new artificial intelligence methods for systematically converting images into data and apply them, along with text analysis methods, to measure the representation of skin color, race, gender, and age in award-winning children's books widely read in homes, classrooms, and libraries over the last century. We find that more characters with darker skin color appear over time, but the most influential books persistently depict characters with lighter skin color, on average, than other books, even after conditioning on race; we also find that children are depicted with lighter skin than adults on average. Relative to their growing share of the U.S. population, Black and Latinx people are underrepresented in these same books, while White males are overrepresented. Over time, females are increasingly present but appear less often in text than in images, suggesting greater symbolic inclusion in pictures than substantive inclusion in stories. We then present analysis of the supply of, and demand for, books with different levels of representation to better understand the economic behavior that may contribute to these patterns. On the demand side, we show that people consume books that center their own identities. On the supply side, we document higher prices for books that center non-dominant social identities and fewer copies of these books in libraries that serve predominantly White communities. Lastly, we show that the types of children's books purchased in a neighborhood are related to local political beliefs.
    Keywords: representation, images as data, curriculum, children, education, libraries, race, gender
    JEL: I24 I21 Z1 J15 J16
    Date: 2023–04
  35. By: Marko Köthenbürger; Costanza Naguib; Christian Stettler; Michael Stimmelmayr
    Abstract: We provide quasi-experimental evidence on the income tax-induced migration of foreign high-income households living in Switzerland by exploiting the differential tax treatment of UK and US households. While the two groups are similar in terms of non-tax sorting preferences, US households are effectively insulated from Swiss income taxation due to the US world-wide income tax system. Comparing the location choices of UK households (our treatment group) with those of US households (our control group) within a one-hour commuting zone of Zurich, we find a migration elasticity with respect to the net-of-tax rate of around eight. This estimate mirrors the possibility of unrestricted migration between small Swiss municipalities with significantly different income tax rates.
    Keywords: high-income households, location choice, income taxes, sorting
    JEL: H24 H71 J44 R32
    Date: 2023
  36. By: Enghin Atalay; Sebastian Sotelo; Daniel Tannenbaum
    Abstract: We present new facts about the geography of work using online job ads and introduce new measures of job tasks, technology requirements, and the degree of specialization within firms or occupations. We show that the (i) intensity of interactive and analytic tasks, (ii) technological requirements, and (iii) task specialization all increase with city size. The gradient for tasks and technologies is steeper for jobs requiring a college degree. We show that these facts help account for the urban wage premium, both in aggregate and across skill groups.
    Date: 2022–12
  37. By: Carlotta Balestra (OECD); ‪Emanuele Ciani
    Abstract: The current economic environment, the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing megatrends, such as digitalisation and the green transformation, threaten equality of opportunity and social mobility for current and future generations. High-quality cross-country evidence is necessary to implement policies to mitigate these threats, but critical data gaps remain.This paper provides updated indicators on equality of opportunity and social mobility across OECD countries and discusses ongoing challenges and opportunities to break down barriers to social mobility and promote equal opportunities for all. It also reviews four areas where more evidence is needed to inform effective policies: the extent of opportunity gaps across population groups; how unequal upbringings affect chances later in life; how growing economic insecurity and large wealth inequalities limit social mobility; and unequal distribution of opportunities across cities and regions. Work in these areas will inform the agenda of the OECD Observatory on Social Mobility and Equal Opportunity.
    Keywords: discrimination, equal opportunity, inequality, social mobility
    JEL: D31 D63 J15 J16 J62 J71
    Date: 2022–11–25
  38. By: Donia Kamel; Laura Pollacci
    Abstract: Iron Curtain and Big Data are two words usually used to denote completely two different eras. Yet, the context the former offers and the rich data source the latter provides, enable the causal identification of the effect of networks on migration. Academics in countries behind the Iron Curtain were strongly isolated from the rest of the world. This context poses the question of the importance of academic networks for migration post the fall of the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain. Using Microsoft Academic Knowledge Graph, a scholarly big data source, mapping of academics’ networks is possible and information about the size and quality of their co-authorships, by location is achieved. Focusing on academics from Eastern Europe (henceforth EE) from 1980-1988 and their academic networks (1980-1988), We investigate the effect of academic network characteristics, by location, on the probability to migrate post the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and up to 2003, marking the year many EE countries held referendums or signed treaties to join the EU. The unique context ensures that there was no anticipation of the fall of the Eastern Bloc and together with the data that offers unique rich information, identification is achieved. Approximately 30k academics from EE were identified, from which 3% were migrants. The results could be explained by two channels, the cost and signalling channel. The cost channel is how the network characteristic reduces or increases the cost of migration and thus acting as a facilitator or a de-facilitator of migration. The signal channel on the other hand in which the network characteristic serves as a signal for the academic himself and his quality and his potential contribution and addition to the new host institution, thus also serving as a facilitator or a de-facilitator of migration. We find that mostly network size and quality results could be explained by the cost channel and signalling channel, respectively. Size of the network tends to be more important than the quality, which is a context-specific result. We find heterogeneous effects by fields of study that align with previous lines of research. Heterogeneous effects are explained by two things: threat of attention and arrest from KGB and the role of reputation, language, and network barriers.
    Keywords: networks, migration, academic networks, Big Data, brain drain, Iron Curtain, Eastern Europe
    JEL: C55 D85 F50 I20 I23 J24 N34 N44 O15
    Date: 2023
  39. By: Carlos Mendez (Nagoya University); Ayush Patnaik (xKDR Forum)
    Abstract: Nighttime lights (NTL) data are widely recognized as a useful proxy for monitoring national, subnational, and supranational economic activity. These data offer advantages over traditional economic indicators such as GDP, including greater spatial granularity, timeliness, lower cost, and comparability between regions regardless of statistical capacity or political interference. However, despite these benefits, the use of NTL data in regional science has been limited. This is in part due to the lack of accessible methods for processing and analyzing satellite images. To address this issue, this paper presents a user-friendly geocomputational notebook that illustrates how to process and analyze satellite NTL images. First, the notebook introduces a cloud-based Python environment for visualizing, analyzing, and transforming raster satellite images into tabular data. Next, it presents interactive tools to explore the space-time patterns of the tabulated data. Finally, it describes methods for evaluating the usefulness of NTL data in terms of their cross-sectional predictions, time-series predictions, and regional inequality dynamics.
    JEL: Y9
    Date: 2023–04
  40. By: Samidh Pal
    Abstract: This paper investigates the inter-regional intra-industry disparity within selected Indian manufacturing industries and industrial states. The study uses three measures - the Output-Capital Ratio, the Capital-Labor Ratio, and the Output-Labor Ratio - to critically evaluate the level of disparity in average efficiency of labor and capital, as well as capital intensity. Additionally, the paper compares the rate of disparity of per capita income between six major industrial states. The study finds that underutilization of capacity is driven by an unequal distribution of high-skilled labor supply and upgraded technologies. To address these disparities, the paper suggests that policymakers campaign for labor training and technology promotion schemes throughout all regions of India. By doing so, the study argues, the country can reduce regional inequality and improve economic outcomes for all.
    Date: 2023–04
  41. By: Marko Köthenbürger; Gabriel Loumeau
    Abstract: The transfer elasticity of income tax rates is an important parameter in public finance. Given the significant fiscal autonomy of Swiss municipalities, Switzerland is an ideal setting for examining behavioral responses to tax policy. Using a regression kink design, we find robust causal evidence that transfers have a positive local average treatment effect on municipal expenditures while leaving the income tax rate (and other tax rates) unchanged. Thus, ‘money sticks where it hits’, providing comprehensive support for the flypaper effect, including with regard to income tax responses.
    Keywords: public finance, regression kink design, flypaper effect, transfers
    JEL: C21 H72 H77
    Date: 2023
  42. By: Heitor S. Pellegrina; Sebastian Sotelo
    Abstract: Exploiting a large migration of farmers to the West of Brazil between 1950 and 2010, we study how migration shapes aggregate and regional comparative advantage. We document that farmers emigrating from regions with high employment in an activity are more likely to work in that activity and have higher income than other migrants doing so. We incorporate this heterogeneity into a quantitative model and find that, by reshaping comparative advantage, declines in migration costs contributed substantially to Brazil’s rise as a leading commodity exporter. Opportunities to migrate, moreover, account for a substantial share of the gains from trade.
    Keywords: International Trade, Migration, Comparative Advantage
    Date: 2022–12
  43. By: Paolo Pinotti (Bocconi University); Diogo G. C. Britto (Bocconi University); Alexandre Fonseca (Federal Revenue of Brazil); Breno Sampaio (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco); Lucas Warwar (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco)
    Abstract: We provide the first estimates of intergenerational income mobility for a developing country, namely Brazil. We measure formal income from tax and employment registries, and we train machine learning models on census and survey data to predict informal income. The data reveal a much higher degree of persistence than previous estimates available for developed economies: a 10 percentile increase in parental income rank is associated with a 5.5 percentile increase in child income rank, and persistence is even higher in the top 5%. Children born to parents in the first income quintile face a 46% chance of remaining at the bottom when adults. We validate these estimates using two novel mobility measures that rank children and parents without the need to impute informal income. We document substantial heterogeneity in mobility across individual characteristics - notably gender and race - and across Brazilian regions. Leveraging children who migrate at different ages, we estimate that causal place effects explain 57% of the large spatial variation in mobility. Finally, assortative mating plays a strong role in household income persistence, and parental income is also strongly associated with several key long-term outcomes such as education, teenage pregnancy, occupation, mortality, and victimization.
    Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility, Inequality, Brazil, Migration, Place Effects
    JEL: J62 D31 I31 R23
    Date: 2022–10
  44. By: Wilhelmsson, Mats (Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: Our study aims to analyse whether the capitalisation of a property's energy performance is affected by how it is presented. Since 2002, an EU directive has been in place mandating the introduction of an energy performance certificate (EPC) when selling detached houses. This directive was implemented in Sweden in 2009. We analyse how EPC capitalised on housing prices during 2012-2018 for detached houses in Stockholm. This has been done before, but our contribution is to analyse both the effect of energy rating or labelling (A-G) and energy consumption (kWh/m²). How energy performance is communicated or displayed to potential buyers conveys that the format, style, and content of energy performance information may influence how buyers perceive its value and impact on the property's market price. We have information on energy rating, consumption, or both for selected properties. This allows us to test the hypothesis that how energy performance is presented affects pricing. We have also tested whether information affects different age cohorts differently. The results indicate that how energy performance is presented and visualised is important and that information about rating and consumption might be considered as a substitute for each other. It is also clear that the capitalisation effect differs depending on the age of the building.
    Keywords: energy rating; energy performance; labelling; capitalisation; housing prices
    JEL: M31 Q48 R30
    Date: 2023–04–17
  45. By: Cristina Borra; Pilar Cuevas-Ruiz; Almudena Sevilla
    Abstract: We provide the first causal evidence of the returns to maternal educational curricula on offspring's health at birth. Educational programs that aim to deliver more general knowledge may potentially improve women's earning potential and maternal prenatal investment by increasing the portability of skills across occupations and improving women's ability to make informed decisions about fertility options and health behavior. We study the impacts of a comprehensive educational reform that postponed students' curriculum choices and integrated more general education into the high school system on infant health outcomes. Using a dose-response difference-in-differences (DiD) model research design applied to linked population registries, we find that the reform led to a significant reduction in the incidence of very low birth weight (less than 1, 500 grams) and very preterm birth (less than 33 gestation weeks). Overall, the reform's positive effects on infant health at birth seem to be driven by increased mothers' labor market opportunities and better family planning, rather than increased ability to avoid risky behaviours or increased women's earnings via different occupational choices or assortative mating.
    Keywords: health at birth, educational curricula, vocational education, academic education, comprehensive educational reform
    Date: 2023–04–18
  46. By: David McKenzie (Development Economics Research Group, World Bank); Dean Yang (Department of Economics, University of Michigan)
    Abstract: Many research and policy questions surrounding migration are causal questions. We want to know what causes people to migrate, and what the consequences of migration are for the migrants, their families, and their communities. However, answering these questions requires dealing with the self-selection inherent in migration choices. Field and natural experiments offer methodological approaches that enable answering these causal questions. We discuss the key conceptual and logistical issues that face applied researchers when applying these methods to the study of migration, as well as providing guidance for practitioners and policymakers in assessing the credibility of causal claims. For randomized experiments, this includes providing a framework for thinking through what can be randomized; discussing key measurement and design issues that arise from issues such as migration being a rare event, and in measuring welfare changes when people change locations; as well as discussing ethical issues that can arise. We then outline what makes for a good natural experiment in the context of migration and discuss the implications of recent econometric work for the use of difference-in-differences, instrumental variables (and especially shift-share instruments), and regression discontinuity methods in migration research. A key lesson from this recent work is that it is not meaningful to talk about “the†impact of migration, but rather impacts are likely to be heterogeneous, affecting both the validity and interpretation of causal estimates.
    Keywords: Experimental Methods, Difference-in-Differences, Instrumental Variables, Regression Discontinuity, Natural Experiment, Migration
    JEL: F22 J61 O15 C93 C23 C26
    Date: 2022–11
  47. By: Giulia Bettin (Marche Polytechnic University and MoFiR); Amadou Jallow (University of the Gambia); Alberto Zazzaro (University of Naples Federico II, CSEF and MoFiR)
    Abstract: The literature on the impact of natural disasters on remittances has provided mixed evidence so far, with identification remaining a key challenge. This paper studies the insurance role of remittances by investigating their dynamic response in the aftermath of a disaster. We use a novel and rich panel dataset of monthly remittance flows from Italy to 81 developing countries for the period 2005 to 2015. We find that monthly remittance flows on average increase by 2% due to natural disasters in migrants' home countries. The response gets significant a few months after the event and tends to disappear within a year from the disaster occurrence. The intensity and timing of remittances' responsiveness are heterogeneous according to the nature of the disaster, the receiving country's characteristics, and migrants' socio-economic conditions in the host country.
    Keywords: migrants' remittances, international migration, natural disasters
    JEL: F24 F22 Q54
    Date: 2023–04
  48. By: Alfredo B. Roisenzvit
    Abstract: In this paper, we present a comprehensive analysis of the technology underpinning Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) models, with a particular emphasis on the interrelationships between Euclidean distance, spatial classification, and the functioning of GPT models. Our investigation begins with a thorough examination of Euclidean distance, elucidating its role as a fundamental metric for quantifying the proximity between points in a multi-dimensional space. Following this, we provide an overview of spatial classification techniques, explicating their utility in discerning patterns and relationships within complex data structures. With this foundation, we delve into the inner workings of GPT models, outlining their architectural components, such as the self-attention mechanism and positional encoding. We then explore the process of training GPT models, detailing the significance of tokenization and embeddings. Additionally, we scrutinize the role of Euclidean distance and spatial classification in enabling GPT models to effectively process input sequences and generate coherent output in a wide array of natural language processing tasks. Ultimately, this paper aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the intricate connections between Euclidean distance, spatial classification, and GPT models, fostering a deeper appreciation of their collective impact on the advancements in artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
    Date: 2023–04
  49. By: Henning Hermes; Philipp Lergetporer; Fabian Mierisch; Frauke Peter; Simon Wiederhold
    Abstract: We provide the first causal evidence of discrimination against migrants seeking child care. We send emails from fictitious parents to > 18, 000 early child care centers across Germany, asking if there is a slot available and how to apply. Randomly varying names to signal migration background, we find that migrants receive 4.4 percentage points fewer responses. Responses to migrants also contain substantially fewer slot offers, are shorter, and less encouraging. Exploring channels, discrimination against migrants does not differ by the perceived educational background of the email sender. However, it does differ by regional characteristics, being stronger in areas with lower shares of migrants in child care, higher right-wing vote shares, and lower financial resources. Discrimination on the child care market likely perpetuates existing inequalities of opportunities for disadvantaged children.
    Keywords: child care, discrimination, information provision, inequality, field experiment
    JEL: J13 J18 J22 C93
    Date: 2023
  50. By: Cortes, Guido Matias (York University, Canada); Lerche, Adrian (LMU Munich); Schönberg, Uta (University College London); Tschopp, Jeanne (University of Bern)
    Abstract: We argue that skill-biased technological change not only affects wage gaps between skill groups, but also increases wage inequality within skill groups, across workers in different workplaces. Building on a heterogeneous firm framework with labor market frictions, we show that an industry-wide skill-biased technological change shock will increase between-firm wage inequality within the industry through four main channels: changes in the skill wage premium (as in traditional models of technological change); increased employment concentration in more productive firms; increased wage dispersion between firms for workers of the same skill type; and increased dispersion in the skill mix that firms employ, due to more sorting of skilled workers to more productive firms. Using rich administrative matched employer-employee data from Germany, we provide empirical evidence of establishment-level patterns that are in line with the predictions of the model. We further document that industries with more technological adoption exhibit particularly pronounced patterns along the dimensions highlighted by the model.
    Keywords: skill-biased technological change, heterogeneous firms, between-firm inequality
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2023–04
  51. By: Linn, Joshua (Resources for the Future); McConnell, Virginia (Resources for the Future); Pesek, Sophie (Resources for the Future); Raimi, Daniel (Resources for the Future)
    Abstract: Federal and state tax policies designed to fund the construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure rely almost exclusively on excise taxes levied on petroleum products. But as the United States and the world seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boosting fuel economy and electric vehicle (EV) sales will reduce the demand for petroleum and associated public revenues. In this analysis, we use an economic model of the US household vehicle market to estimate the effects of three alternative revenue policies: one that adjusts tax rates for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and adds a new per-mile fee for EVs to maintain the performance of US roadways, a second that levies a per-mile fee on all vehicles in lieu of the gasoline tax, and a third that charges all motorists for the external costs of driving, including greenhouse gas emissions, “local†air pollution, traffic accidents, and congestion. We also examine the effects of extending fuel economy standards beyond their current levels. We find that current tax policies are insufficient by tens of billions of dollars per year to fund roadways and that either higher taxes on gasoline or a per-mile fee of $0.03 levied on all passenger vehicles could achieve the target revenue. Tightening fuel economy standards lowers the cost of operating ICE vehicles and reduces tax revenues. Imposing a per-mile fee on EV owners has virtually no effect on EV adoption because of interactions with other policies but does slightly reduce EV miles driven. We produce an updated estimate of the external costs of driving, averaging $0.16 per mile for gasoline vehicles ($3.85 per gallon) and $0.06 per mile for EVs, with large differences between urban and rural counties. Applying fees at this rate dramatically accelerates EV adoption, increases driving costs (especially for ICE vehicles), slightly reduces overall driving, and raises tax revenues well beyond the level needed to maintain roadway performance.
    Date: 2023–04–13
  52. By: Jaerim Choi; Jay Hyun; Ziho Park
    Abstract: This paper shows that the ancestry composition shaped by century-long immigration to the US can explain the current structure of global supply chain networks. Using an instrumental variable strategy, combined with a novel dataset that links firm-to-firm global supply chain information with a US establishment database and historical migration data, we find that the co-ethnic networks formed by immigration have a positive causal impact on global supply chain relationships between foreign countries and US counties. Such a positive impact not only exists in conventional supplier-customer relationships but also extends to strategic partnerships and trade in services. Examining the causal mechanisms, we find that the positive impact is stronger for counties in which more credit-constrained firms are located and that such a stronger effect becomes even more pronounced for foreign firms located in countries with weak contract enforcement. Collectively, the results suggest that co-ethnic networks serve as social collateral to overcome credit constraints and facilitate global supply chain formation.
    JEL: F14 F22 F36 F60 G30 J61 L14
    Date: 2023–04
  53. By: Huixin Bi; Nora Traum
    Abstract: Following the onset of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve employed an unconventional monetary policy that directly intervened in municipal bond markets. We characterize the fiscal and macroeconomic implications of such central bank actions in a New Keynesian model of a monetary union. We assume that state and local governments are subject to a loan-in-advance constraint, reflecting that with lumpy cash flows, they often finance a fraction of expenditures by issuing short-term bonds. The municipal debt is held by financial intermediaries, who also supply credit to the private sector. Direct central bank purchases can transmit to the economy through two main channels: 1) by alleviating cash flow problems of the regional governments and 2) by accelerating lending to the private sector if credit constraints ease more broadly. By quantifying the relative importance of these channels, we highlight that the central bank’s actions lead to sizable increases in private investment but have more muted effects on state and local government expenditures. In addition, we also show the transmission of direct federal government aid through intergovernmental transfers is markedly different from unconventional policy.
    Keywords: monetary policy; quantitative easing; municipal debt; Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF)
    JEL: E52 E58 E62
    Date: 2022–11–07
  54. By: Bencsik, Panka (University of Chicago); Lusher, Lester (University of Hawaii at Manoa); Taylor, Rebecca L.C. (University of Sydney)
    Abstract: Time scarcity is one of the strongest correlates of fast food consumption. To estimate the causal effect of time lost on food choice, we match daily store-specific foot traffic data traced via smartphones to plausibly exogenous shocks in highway traffic data in Los Angeles. We find that on days when highways are more congested, individuals are more likely to dine out and less likely to grocery shop. The effects are particularly pronounced for afternoon rush hour traffic. Our results imply a net reduction in healthy food store choice due to time lost.
    Keywords: traffic congestion, time constraints, store choice, nutrition, fast food
    JEL: I12 I30 J22 R41
    Date: 2023–03
  55. By: Loukaitou-Sideris, Anastasia; Handy, Susan L.; Ong, Paul M.; Wasserman, Jacob L.; Barajas, Jesus M.; Pech, Chhandara
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Date: 2023–03–03
  56. By: Breuer, Wolfgang (RWTH Aachen University); Nguyen, Linh.D (Banking University of Ho Chi Minh City); Steininger, Bertram (Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: Different industries exhibit significantly different leverage – companies in the REIT and technology/hardware sectors are extreme examples. The leverage ratio is twice as high with 50% for REITs as for non-real estate firms with around 25% in the U.S.; whereas the technology/hardware sector has the lowest ratio with around 17%. We theoretically and em-pirically analyse their differences. By decomposing the difference into three channels, we find that the industry-specific channel explains around 67% for REITs and 68% for technology/hard¬ware firms; the value-based channel is mostly responsible for the remaining part. When taking non-linear influences of extreme values into account, the relevance of the industry-specific channel is considerably reduced.
    Keywords: capital structure; leverage ratio; real estate investment trust (REIT); technology; hardware; software; and equipment firms; coefficient-based difference; value-based difference; intercept-based difference decomposition model
    JEL: G21 G32 H25
    Date: 2023–04–21
  57. By: Vivek Bhattacharya; Gastón Illanes; David Stillerman
    Abstract: We document the effects of a comprehensive set of US retail mergers. On average, prices increase by 1.5% and quantities decrease by 2.3%, with significant heterogeneity in outcomes across mergers. Price changes correlate with the screens codified in the Horizontal Merger Guidelines. Through a model of enforcement, we find that agencies challenge mergers they expect would increase average prices more than 8–9%. Modest increases in stringency reduce prices and the prevalence of approved anti-competitive mergers, with minimal impacts on blocked pro-competitive mergers, at a significantly greater agency burden. Our findings inform the debate over whether antitrust enforcement has been lax.
    JEL: D43 K21 L13 L41
    Date: 2023–04
  58. By: Farrell, Jay A; Wu, Guoyuan; Hu, Wang; Oswald, David; Hao, Peng
    Abstract: Reliable, lane-level, absolute position determination for connected and automated vehicles (CAV’s) is near at hand due to advances in sensor and computing technology. These capabilities in conjunction with high-definition maps enable lane determination, per lane queue determination, and enhanced performance in applications. This project investigated, analyzed, and demonstrated these related technologies. Project contributions include: (1) Experimental analysis demonstrating that the USDOT Mapping tool achieves internal horizontal accuracy better than 0.2 meters (standard deviation); (2) Theoretical analysis of lane determination accuracy as a function of both distance from the lane centerline and positioning accuracy; (3) Experimental demonstration and analysis of lane determination along the Riverside Innovation Corridor showing that for a vehicle driven within 0.9 meters of the lane centerline, the correct lane is determined for over 90% of the samples; (4) Development of a VISSIM position error module to enable simulation analysis of lane determination and lane queue estimation as a function of positioning error; (5) Development of a lane-level intersection queue prediction algorithm; Simulation evaluation of lane determination accuracy which matched the theoretical analysis; and (6) Simulation evaluation of lane queue prediction accuracy as a function of both CAV penetration rate and positioning accuracy. Conclusions of the simulation analysis in item (6) are the following: First, when the penetration rate is fixed, higher queue length estimation error occurs as the position error increases. However, the disparity across different position error levels diminishes with the decrease of penetration rate. Second, as the penetration rate decreases, the queue length estimation error significantly increases under the same GNSS error level. The current methods that exist for queue length prediction only utilize vehicle position and a penetration rate estimate. These results motivate the need for new methods that more fully utilize the information available on CAVs (e.g., distance to vehicles in front, back, left, and right) to decrease the sensitivity to penetration rate. View the NCST Project Webpage
    Keywords: Engineering, Connected and automated vehicles, lane determination, lane-level queue prediction, intersection traffic management, lane-level positioning
    Date: 2023–04–01
  59. By: Julian Costas-Fernandez (University College London); Simon Lodato (Middlesex University London)
    Abstract: We present evidence whereby immigration increases labour productivity while reducing the labour share, thus redistributing income from workers to employers. This result is unlikely in competitive markets with skill-neutral capital, where labour share is orthogonal to immigration shocks in the long run. Instead, our empirical evidence better matches predictions from imperfect labour market models where immigrant and native workers are heterogeneous in both skills and labour supply elasticities.
    Keywords: Immigration, Productivity, Labour Share, Imperfect Labour Markets, FactorIncome Distribution
    JEL: D33 J21 J24 J42 J61 O47
    Date: 2023–01
  60. By: Chris Clarke; Olivier Thévenon
    Abstract: Childhood is a crucial period in life. The things that we learn, do, and experience in childhood play a critical role in shaping who we are and who we become, and can leave lasting impressions on our lives for years to come. However, not all children have the same opportunities to enjoy good childhoods and to learn and grow in ways that set them up well for adult life. Children from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds are at particular risk, as this paper shows. Built using a series of key comparative indicators from the OECD Child Well being Dashboard, this paper examines how the well being of children from disadvantaged backgrounds compares both across OECD countries and relative to their more advantaged peers. Results highlight how growing up at the bottom end of the socio economic ladder leads to poorer outcomes in almost all well being areas, and how these well being inequalities are rooted in the poorer environments that disadvantaged children face at home, in school, and in the community.
    Keywords: child well-being, children, education, families, health
    JEL: I31 I32 J13
    Date: 2022–07–04
  61. By: Kshitiz Dahal (South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment)
    Abstract: This issue brief, drawing primarily from the World Bank publication “Regional Investment Pioneers in South Asia: The Payoff of Knowing Your Neighbors†and the presentation of its findings delivered in a webinar, focuses on enhancing intraregional investment in South Asia, which is one of the fastest-growing regional economies but also one of the least integrated regions in the world. The brief highlights the challenges and opportunities for intraregional investment and identifies weak knowledge connectivity as a significant barrier to intra-regional investment flows.
    Keywords: South Asia, intraregional investment, FDI, OFDI, IFDI, regional integration, economic integration, knowledge connectivity
    Date: 2022–12
  62. By: Luis R. Diaz Pavez (Unversity of Goettingen); Inmaculada Martinez-Zarzoso (Unievrsity of Goettingen and Universidad Jaume 1)
    Abstract: In the XXI century, the labor market effects of automation have gained significant attention from scholars and policymakers alike. Concerns about potential negative effects are particularly relevant in emerging countries, where a rapid acceleration of robot adoption and an increasing involvement in global value chains have been observed in recent years, with the subsequent increase in exposure to foreign competition. This paper estimates the effect of local and foreign robots on labor market outcomes and labor shares using a panel dataset composed of 16 sectors and ten emerging countries from 2008 to 2014. The endogeneity of robots’ adoption is addressed with an instrumental variables approach and using a shift-share index of exposure to foreign robots. The main results for all sectors show that only foreign robot adoption, but not local, has affected employment, whereas no effects on the labor share are found. When exploring sectoral heterogeneity, we find that the foreign robots’ negative effect on employment has occurred in many sectors, being more prominent in those with higher exposure to foreign robots. Moreover, we found small and negative spillover effects of robots in other sectors on employment and wages in the newly industrialized countries examined. Finally, the results obtained when examining the sectoral heterogeneity of the effects show that the labor share is also affected in some sectors by both the use of robots in developed and emerging countries.
    Keywords: Automation, Robots, Labor markets, Inequality, Emerging countries
    JEL: F
    Date: 2023
  63. By: Alicia García-Herrero; Robin Schindowski
    Abstract: In this paper, we have analysed the sentiment towards the Belt and Road Initiative in the world using a large open-access dataset, namely GDELT.
    Date: 2023–04
  64. By: Hannah Zillessen
    Abstract: In most Western countries, migrants hold significantly less wealth than natives. Migrants also face significantly more uncertainty about their future. This paper examines the central role of uncertainty over citizenship prospects and future location in explaining their saving choices. Exploiting quasi-experimental variation and panel data from Germany, I show that migrants with a right to citizenship save as much as comparable natives, while migrants without this right save 30% less. This unexplained gap is closed completely when migrants in the latter group gain access to citizenship. The effect is not driven by changes in resources, but rather willingness to save. While standard theory predicts that saving increases in uncertainty, I show that the effect can reverse if utility is state-dependent, malleable, or resources are not equally accessible across states. I build a life-cycle saving model with uncertain retirement location and heterogeneous country preferences. The model shows that agents can have a “preparatory saving motive” that decreases in uncertainty. I confirm the importance of this novel motive empirically, showing that migrants become significantly more likely to invest in illiquid assets if they gain certainty about their right to stay.
    Date: 2022–11–10
  65. By: Thierry Blayac (CEE-M, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, INRAE, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France); Patrice Bougette (Université Côte d'Azur; GREDEG, CNRS, France)
    Abstract: This study estimates the competitive effects of horizontal mergers in the French long-distance bus industry. We examine the two mergers that followed the 2015 Deregulation Act (the Macron Law); we use an exclusive and exhaustive dataset that covers eight consecutive quarters. We analyze the merger effects by comparing bus links that were affected by mergers with those that were unaffected; we use difference-in-differences estimations. We find that the two mergers are associated with price increases of about 13.5% immediately that then moderate to 5.3%; and with the frequency decreases from -21.5% to -25.7%; we observe no effects on load factors. These findings show evidence of short-run anticompetitive effects, while the mergers under study were not scrutinized by the French competition agency, as they were below the notification thresholds.
    Keywords: Long-distance bus industry, Mergers and acquisitions, Deregulated industry, Consolidation, Intramodal competition, Difference-in-differences estimation
    JEL: K21 L12 L40 L42
    Date: 2022–09
  66. By: Kim, Changmo; Butt, Ali Azhar; Harvey, John; Ostovar, Maryam; Saboori, Arash
    Abstract: The objective of this study was to develop a framework for determining the fuel use and environmental impacts caused by construction work zones (CWZs) on a range of vehicles and to produce initial calculations of these impacts by modeling traffic closure conditions for highway maintenance and rehabilitation (M&R) activities. The framework was developed and demonstrated in several scenarios. The study included three common highway categories—freeways, multi-lane highways, and two-lane highways—and common California vehicle types. The framework uses realistic drive cycle values and CWZ operation scenarios as inputs to the simulation software MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) to estimate total fuel consumption and air pollutant emissions. In this study, the framework was demonstrated using three CWZ operations under different traffic congestion levels: light, medium, and heavy. Fuel consumption and pollutant emissions results obtained for the CWZ operation scenario with and without congestion were compared with those for a no-CWZ, no-congestion scenario. In the simulation results for a freeway with a CWZ and heavy congestion, fuel consumption increased by 85% and the CO2 equivalent (CO2-e) emissions increased by 86%, NOx by 62%, SOx by 85%, and PM2.5 by 128%. In the multi-lane highway scenarios, fuel consumption increased by 85%, and CO2-e emissions increased by 88%, NOx by 75%, SOx by 87%, and PM2.5 emissions by 129% for a CWZ with heavy congestion. Lessening traffic congestion in a CWZ from heavy (average speed 5 mph) to medium (average speed 25 mph for a freeway section and 15 mph for a multi-lane road section) reduced fuel consumption by 40% on a freeway and 33% on multi-lane highway. This study also included use of a pilot car in a CWZ on a two-lane road. This approach was undertaken to estimate the possible benefits of different CWZ lane closure strategies and traffic management plans. The pilot-car operation scenario results indicate that a one-lane closure with pilot-car operation on a two-lane road might consume 13% more fuel because of idling time and the slow movement of vehicles following the pilot car. This scenario generated emissions increases of 10% for CO2-e, 14% for NOx, 13% for SOx, and 65% for PM2.5. The results of these scenarios indicate that the impacts from heavy vehicles far exceed those from smaller vehicles in CWZs. Phase 2 of the study will develop methods for pavement management, conceptual evaluation, and project design that consider construction closures by implementing this life cycle assessment framework. These methods will also be used in studies to evaluate pavement design lives (20 years versus 40 years) and pavement selection for truck lanes and in-place recycling and to evaluate lane closure schedules and tactics to minimize CWZ impacts on highways by using project-specific traffic congestion levels.
    Keywords: Engineering, fuel consumption, greenhouse gas, life cycle assessment, air pollutant
    Date: 2022–07–01
  67. By: Francesco Bripi (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the elasticity of substitution across banks using matched bank-firm data and assuming monopolistic competition in local credit markets. It also quantifies the impact of credit supply shocks on corporate investment as shaped by this elasticity. Credit supply shocks have significant effects on firms’ investments in industries with a lower degree of substitutability. In these industries, where firms find it difficult to acquire funding and obtain better credit conditions from other banks, a 1 per cent increase in credit supply increases firms’ investment rates by 0.2 per cent. The effect of lenders substitutability on investment offsets that of bank specialization, thus highlighting that the risks of excessive bank concentration in specific industries may be alleviated by lenders substitution. Overall, the evidence suggests that considering the demand side, i.e. the heterogeneous effects of the elasticity of substitution in credit markets, is crucial for a better understanding of the bank lending channel.
    Keywords: banks, credit, substitution, investments
    JEL: G21 D22 E22
    Date: 2023–04
  68. By: Sarah Tahamont; Zubin Jelveh; Melissa McNeill; Shi Yan; Aaron Chalfin; Benjamin Hansen
    Abstract: While linking records across large administrative datasets [“big data”] has the potential to revolutionize empirical social science research, many administrative data files do not have common identifiers and are thus not designed to be linked to others. To address this problem, researchers have developed probabilistic record linkage algorithms which use statistical patterns in identifying characteristics to perform linking tasks. Naturally, the accuracy of a candidate linking algorithm can be substantially improved when an algorithm has access to “ground-truth” examples — matches which can be validated using institutional knowledge or auxiliary data. Unfortunately, the cost of obtaining these examples is typically high, often requiring a researcher to manually review pairs of records in order to make an informed judgement about whether they are a match. When a pool of ground-truth information is unavailable, researchers can use “active learning” algorithms for linking, which ask the user to provide ground-truth information for select candidate pairs. In this paper, we investigate the value of providing ground-truth examples via active learning for linking performance. We confirm popular intuition that data linking can be dramatically improved with the availability of ground truth examples. But critically, in many real-world applications, only a relatively small number of tactically-selected ground-truth examples are needed to obtain most of the achievable gains. With a modest investment in ground truth, researchers can approximate the performance of a supervised learning algorithm that has access to a large database of ground truth examples using a readily available off-the-shelf tool.
    JEL: C15 C88
    Date: 2023–04
  69. By: Klein, Alexander (University of Kent); Crafts, Nicholas (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: This paper examines long-run unconditional convergence of labour productivity in manufacturing across 48 contiguous U.S. states. For that purpose, we construct a detailed panel data set of stateindustry pairs with over 120 industries covering the period 1880-2007. We find that unconditional convergence in manufacturing productivity was pervasive and rapid – 7.6% per year in 1880-2007 – and that manufacturing accounts for most of the unconditional convergence contribution to overall productivity growth over the long run: 61% in 1880-1940 and 91% in 1958-2007. We also examined broad U.S. regions and found that in the South the contribution of unconditional 𝛽-convergence in manufacturing to aggregate productivity growth before World War II was weak not because of a slower convergence rate but a much smaller manufacturing sector.
    Keywords: convergence ; economic growth ; U.S. economic history ; manufacturing belt JEL codes: O47 ; N11 ; N12 ; R11
    Date: 2023
  70. By: Wouter Dessein; Alex Frankel; Navin Kartik
    Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of many colleges moving to test-optional, and in some cases test-blind, admissions policies. A frequent claim is that by not seeing standardized test scores, a college is able to admit a student body that it prefers, such as one with more diversity. But how can observing less information allow a college to improve its decisions? We argue that test-optional policies may be driven by social pressure on colleges' admission decisions. We propose a model of college admissions in which a college disagrees with society on which students should be admitted. We show how the college can use a test-optional policy to reduce its "disagreement cost" with society, regardless of whether this results in a preferred student pool. We discuss which students either benefit from or are harmed by a test-optional policy. In an application, we study how a ban on using race in admissions may result in more colleges going test optional or test blind.
    Date: 2023–04
  71. By: Emma Whitelaw (Graduate Associate, Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town.); Nicola Branson (Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town); Murray Leibbrandt (Southern Africa Labour Development Research Unit (SALDRU), African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research (ACEIR), University of Cape Town)
    Abstract: Questions related to the sustainability of post-school education funding in South Africa, together with issues of expanding access and affordability have been fervently debated over the last decade. In 2018, government announced that the National Student Financial Aid Scheme would fund all eligible post-school students whose household income was R350 000 or less. The Department of Higher Education and Training is now focusing on the “missing middle” – students who come from households whose income is too high to make the R350 000 funding threshold but too low to afford fees. If free education for all students is not viable, a funding instrument that differentiates students according to socio-economic need may be relevant. Guided by the poverty dynamics literature, we argue that a key consideration for how we understand socio-economic need – on both sides of the funding threshold – should reflect the household circumstances that generate economic vulnerability, not only household income at a given point in time. Income mobility is associated with measurable differences in household characteristics that are related to economic vulnerability. In this paper, we conceptualise a stratification schema around the NSFAS funding threshold that is premised on mobility patterns over time as well as current living standards. Household income mobility is estimated using a multivariate probit model that explicitly accounts for endogeneity of initial conditions, unobserved heterogeneity, and non-random panel attrition. Recognising that the majority of post-school enrolment occurs among youth, we then situate this group within our stratification schema. In doing so, we provide a novel input to current discussions about the design of a sustainable, comprehensive, and progressive financial aid scheme.
    Date: 2022
  72. By: Chatterjee, Sidharta; Samanta, Mousumi; Dey, Sujoy
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine how public libraries promote development of good reading habits among the users who come to access for information. It explores how far–in this digital age, public and academic libraries are able to meet the information needs of society. By developing a theoretical model of access to and usage of information based on axioms that set forth the role of public libraries in the services of society, we attempt to examine and analyze how PLs promote adult literacy drive that have positive contribution to society. Community public library systems are thus examined and their role model clearly decimated. We find that public libraries have still much relevance in supporting readers and promoting literacy drive. Our thinking is that, public libraries can aptly be considered as institutions of national importance in imparting education and knowledge to patrons which is necessary for the growth of learned society.
    Keywords: Education, public libraries, literacy drive, user access, knowledge society
    JEL: L3 Y8 Z1
    Date: 2023–04–23
  73. By: Kshitiz Dahal (South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment)
    Abstract: The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization consisting of seven countries in South and Southeast Asia, cooperating in several areas, including trade, investment, energy, tourism, and more. This issue brief highlights the weak state of BIMSTEC connectivity and regional integration and introduces BIMSTEC’s plan—BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity—promulgated to enhance transport connectivity in the region. This strategic document aims to enhance transport connectivity between member states over a ten-year period from 2018 to 2028. The brief provides a brief description of each sector covered by the Master Plan and its importance for connectivity in the region. Moreover, the brief discusses the opportunities created by the Master Plan, identifies gaps in the Master Plan, and challenges in implementation.
    Keywords: Bay of Bengal Initiative, BIMSTEC, regional integration, trade, transport connectivity, BIMSTEC Master Plan for Transport Connectivity, Master Plan.
    Date: 2022–12

This nep-ure issue is ©2023 by Steve Ross. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.