XREAP 2008-12: Assessing the assignation of public subsidies: Do the experts choose the most efficient R&D projects?

The implementation of public programs to support business R&D projects requires the establishment of a selection process. This selection process faces various difficulties, which include the measurement of the impact of the R&D projects as well as selection process optimization among projects with multiple, and sometimes incomparable, performance indicators. To this end, public agencies generally use the peer review method, which, while presenting some advantages, also demonstrates significant drawbacks. Private firms, on the other hand, tend toward more quantitative methods, such as Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), in their pursuit of R&D investment optimization. In this paper, the performance of a public agency peer review method of project selection is compared with an alternative DEA method.

Duch-Brown, N. (IEB); García-Quevedo, J. (IEB); Montolio, D. (IEB)


XREAP 2008-13: Scheduled service versus personal transportation: the role of distance

This paper analyzes both theoretically and empirically the relationship between distance and frequency of scheduled transportation services. We study the interaction between a monopoly firm providing high-speed scheduled service and personal trans- portation (i.e., car). Most interestingly, the carrier chooses to increase frequency of service on longer routes when competing with personal transportation because provid- ing a higher frequency (at extra cost) it can also charge higher fares that can boost its profits. However, when driving is not a relevant option, frequency of service de- creases for longer flights consistently with prior studies. An empirical application of our analysis to the European airline industry con?rms the predictions of our theoretical model.

Bilotkach, V., Fageda, X. (PPRE-IREA), Flores-Fillol, R.


XREAP 2008-14: Tourism and urban transport: Holding demand pressure under supply constraints

Scholars and local planners are increasingly interested in tourism contribution to economic and social development. To this regard, several European cities lead the world rankings on tourist arrivals, and their governments have promoted tourism activity. Mobility is an essential service for tourists visiting large cities, since it is a crucial factor for their comfort. In addition, it facilitates the spread of benefits across the city. The aim of this study is to determine whether city planners respond to this additional urban transport demand pressure by extending supply services. We use an international database of European cities. Our results confirm that tourism intensity is a demand enhancing factor on urban transport. Contrarily, cities do not seem to address this pressure by increasing service supply. This suggests that tourism exerts a positive externality on public transport since it provides additional funding for these services, but it imposes as well external costs on resident users because of congestion given supply constraints.

Albalate, D. (PPRE-IREA), Bel, G. (PPRE-IREA)


XREAP 2008-03: Car ownership and access to jobs in Spain

This study analyses the impact that job accessibility in public transport has on car ownership. An ordered probit explaining the number of cars per household is estimated as a function of head of household characteristics, household characteristics and job accessibility. The data used in the analysis come from the Microcensus of year 2001 of the Spanish Institute of Statistics for the areas of Barcelona and Madrid. Our results show a significant effect of accessibility on car ownership. Additionally, we carried out simulation exercises in which the expected number of vehicles decreases as accessibility improves. For instance, in the case of households living outside the central city, an improvement of accessibility up to the average level of the central city would offset the effect of the number of working adults on the expected number of vehicles.

Anna Matas (GEAP); José Luís Raymond (GEAP); José Luís Roig (GEAP)


XREAP 2008-04: Privatization and competition in the delivery of local services: An empirical examination of the dual market hypothesis

This paper empirically analyses the hypothesis of the existence of a dual market for contracts in local services. Large firms that operate on a national basis control the contracts for delivery in the most populated and/or urban municipalities, whereas small firms that operate at a local level have the contracts in the least populated and/or rural municipalities. The dual market implies the high concentration and dominance of major firms in large municipalities, and local monopolies in the smaller ones. This market structure is harmful to competition for the market as the effective number of competitors is low across all municipalities. Thus, it damages the likelihood of obtaining cost savings from privatization.

Germà Bel (PPRE-IREA), Xavier Fageda (PPRE-IREA)


XREAP 2008-09: A priori ratemaking using bivariate Poisson regression models

In automobile insurance, it is useful to achieve a priori ratemaking by resorting to gene- ralized linear models, and here the Poisson regression model constitutes the most widely accepted basis. However, insurance companies distinguish between claims with or without bodily injuries, or claims with full or partial liability of the insured driver. This paper exa- mines an a priori ratemaking procedure when including two different types of claim. When assuming independence between claim types, the premium can be obtained by summing the premiums for each type of guarantee and is dependent on the rating factors chosen. If the independence assumption is relaxed, then it is unclear as to how the tariff system might be affected. In order to answer this question, bivariate Poisson regression models, suitable for paired count data exhibiting correlation, are introduced. It is shown that the usual independence assumption is unrealistic here. These models are applied to an automobile insurance claims database containing 80,994 contracts belonging to a Spanish insurance company. Finally, the consequences for pure and loaded premiums when the independence assumption is relaxed by using a bivariate Poisson regression model are analysed.

Bermúdez, Ll. (RFA-IREA)  Published at Insurance, Mathematics and Economics, 44, 1, 135-141 (doi:10.1016/j.insmatheco.2008.11.005)


XREAP 2008-08: Price level convergence, purchasing power parity and multiple structural breaks: An application to US cities

This article provides a fresh methodological and empirical approach for assessing price level convergence and its relation to purchasing power parity (PPP) using annual price data for seventeen US cities. We suggest a new procedure that can handle a wide range of PPP concepts in the presence of multiple structural breaks using all possible pairs of real exchange rates. To deal with cross-sectional dependence, we use both cross-sectional demeaned data and a parametric bootstrap approach. In general, we find more evidence for stationarity when the parity restriction is not imposed, while imposing parity restriction provides leads toward the rejection of the panel stationar- ity. Our results can be embedded on the view of the Balassa-Samuelson approach, but where the slope of the time trend is allowed to change in the long-run. The median half-life point estimate are found to be lower than the consensus view regardless of the parity restriction.

Syed A. Basher; Josep Lluis Carrión-i-Silvestre (AQR-IREA)


XREAP 2008-05: Job accessibility and employment probability

The objective of this paper is to estimate the impact of residential job accessibility on female employment probability in the metropolitan areas of Barcelona and Madrid. Following a “spatial mismatch” framework, we estimate a female employment probability equation where variables controlling for personal characteristics, residential segregation and employment potential on public transport network are included. Data used come from Microcensus 2001 of INE (National Institute of Statistics). The research focuses on the treatment of endogeneity problems and the measurement of accessibility variables. Our results show that low job accessibility in public transport negatively affects employment probability. The intensity of this effect tends to decrease with individual’s educational attainment. A higher degree of residential segregation also reduces job probability in a significant way.

Anna Matas (GEAP); José Luis Raymond (GEAP); José Luis Roig (GEAP)


XREAP 2008-10: Does urban sprawl increase the costs of providing local public services? Evidence from Spanish municipalities

This paper examines the impact of urban sprawl, a phenomenon of particular interest in Spain, which is currently experiencing this process of rapid, low-density urban expansion. Many adverse consequences are attributed to urban sprawl (e.g., traffic congestion, air pollution and social segregation), though here we are concerned primarily with the rising costs of providing local public services. Our initial aim is to develop an accurate measure of urban sprawl so that we might empirically test its impact on municipal budgets. Then, we undertake an empirical analysis using a cross-sectional data set of 2,500 Spanish municipalities for the year 2003 and a piecewise linear function to account for the potentially nonlinear relationship between sprawl and local costs. The estimations derived from the expenditure equations for both aggregate and six disaggregated spending categories indicate that low-density development patterns lead to greater provision costs of local public services.

Solé-Ollé, A. (IEB); Hortas-Rico, M. (IEB)


XREAP 2008-11: Immigration and Firm Growth: evidence from Spanish cities

This article analyses the effect of immigration flows on the growth and efficiency of manufacturing firms in Spanish cities. To date, most studies have tended to focus on the effect immigrants have on labour markets at an aggregate level. Here, however, we undertake an exhaustive analysis at the firm level and report conclusive empirical findings. Ten years ago, Spain began to register massive immigration flows, concentrated above all on its most dynamic and advanced regions. Here, therefore, rather than focusing on the impact this has had on Spain’s labour market (changes to the skill structure of the workforce, increase in labour supply, the displacement of native workers, etc.), we examine the arrival of immigrants in terms of the changes this has meant to the structure of the country’s cities and their amenities. Thus, we argue that the impact of immigration on firm performance should not only be considered in terms of the labour market, but also in terms of how a city’s amenities can affect the performance of firms. Employing a panel data methodology, we show that the increasing pressure brought to bear by immigrants has a positive effect on the evolution of labour productivity and wages and a negative effect on the job evolution of these manufacturing firms. In addition, both small and new firms are more sensitive to the pressures of such immigrant inflows, while foreign market oriented firms report higher productivity levels and a less marked impact of immigration than their counterparts. In this paper, we also present a set of instruments to correct the endogeneity bias, which confirms the effect of local immigration flows on the performance of manufacturing firms.

Teruel-Carrizosa, M. (GRIT); Segarra-Blasco, A. (GRIT)