Semi-Parametric Interpolations of Residential Location Values: Using Housing Price Data to Generate Balanced Panels
We estimate location values for single family houses by local polynomial regressions (LPR), a semi-parametric procedure, using a standard housing price and characteristics dataset. As a logical extension of the LPR method, we interpolate land values for every property in every year and validate the accuracy of the interpolated estimates with an out-of-sample forecasting approach using Denver sales during 2003 through 2010. We also compare the LPR and OLS models out-of-sample and determine that the LPR model is more efficient at predicting location values. In a balanced panel application, we ...
Counterterrorism Policy: Spillovers, Regime Stability, and Corner Solutions
This paper takes a unique approach to the scenario where a resident terrorist group in a (fragile) developing nation poses a terrorism threat at home and abroad. The host developing nation’s proactive countermeasures against the resident terrorist group not only limits terrorism at home and abroad, but also bolsters regime stability at home. A two-stage game is presented in which the developed country takes a leadership role to institute a tax-subsidy combination to discourage (encourage) proactive measures at home (abroad) in stage 1. Stage 2 involves both nations’ counterterrorism ...
Terms-of-Trade and Counterterrorism Externalities
This paper investigates the interplay of trade and terrorism externalities under free trade between a developed nation that exports a manufactured good to and imports a primary product from a developing nation. A terrorist organization targets both nations and reduces its attacks in response to a nation?s defensive counterterrorism efforts, while transferring some of its attacks abroad. Terms-of-trade considerations lead the developed nation to raise its counterterrorism level beyond the ?small-country? level, thus compounding its over provision of these measures. By contrast, the developing ...
Local Polynomial Regressions versus OLS for Generating Location Value Estimates: Which is More Efficient in Out-of-Sample Forecasts?
As an alternative to ordinary least squares (OLS), we estimate location values for single family houses using a standard housing price and characteristics dataset by local polynomial regressions (LPR), a semi-parametric procedure. We also compare the LPR and OLS models in the Denver metropolitan area in the years 2003, 2006 and 2010 with out-of-sample forecasting. We determine that the LPR model is more efficient than OLS at predicting location values in counties with greater densities of sales. Also, LPR outperforms OLS in 2010 for all 5 counties in our dataset. Our findings suggest that LPR ...
Pork-Barrel Politics and Polarization
This article explores how earmarks shape the ideological composition of elected officials in Congress. Relative to the classic median voter theorem, the framework developed here introduces multiple legislative districts and incorporates a desire for local earmarks in the specification of voter preferences. The main theoretical result demonstrates that competition among politicians to ?bring home the bacon? substantially reduces Congressional polarization. Data from after the earmark ban of 2011 provide supporting evidence for this mechanism.
Greed as a Source of Polarization
The political process in the United States appears to be highly polarized: evidence from voting patterns finds that the political positions of legislators have diverged substantially, while the largest campaign contributions come from the most extreme lobby groups and are directed to the most extreme candidates. Is the rise in campaign contributions the cause of the growing polarity of political views? In this paper, we show that, in standard models of lobbying and electoral competition, a free-rider problem amongst potential contributors leads naturally to a divergence in campaign ...
Capitalization as a Two-Part Tariff: The Role of Zoning
This paper shows that the capitalization of local amenities is effectively priced into land via a two-part pricing formula: a ticket" price paid regardless of the amount of housing service consumed and a slope" price paid per unit of services. We first show theoretically how tickets arise as an extensi ve margin price when there are binding constraints on the number of households admitted to a neighborhood. We use a large national dataset of housing transactions, property characte ristics, and neighbor- hood attributes to measure the extent to which local amenities are capitalized in ticket ...
Efficient Public Good Provision in Networks : Revisiting the Lindahl Solution
The provision of public goods in developing countries is a central challenge. This paper studies a model where each agent?s effort provides heterogeneous benefits to the others, inducing a network of opportunities for favor-trading. We focus on a classical efficient benchmark ? the Lindahl solution ? that can be derived from a bargaining game. Does the optimistic assumption that agents use an efficient mechanism (rather than succumbing to the tragedy of the commons) imply incentives for efficient investment in the technology that is used to produce the public goods? To show that the answer is ...
The Role of Uncertainty and Risk in Climate Change Economics
This chapter is an introductory essay to the volume Climate Change Economics: The Role of Uncertainty and Risk, edited by V. V. Chari and Robert Litterman. This volume consists of a collection of papers that were presented at "The Next Generation of Economic Models of Climate Change," a conference hosted by the Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute at the University of Minnesota.
The Hammer and the Scalpel: On the Economics of Indiscriminate versus Targeted Isolation Policies during Pandemics
We develop a simple dynamic economic model of epidemic transmission designed to be consistent with widely used SIR biological models of the transmission of epidemics, while incorporating economic benefits and costs as well. Our main finding is that targeted testing and isolation policies deliver large welfare gains relative to optimal policies when these tools are not used. Specifically, we find that when testing and isolation are not used, optimal policy delivers a welfare gain equivalent to a 0.6% permanent increase in consumption relative to no intervention. The welfare gain arises because ...