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Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Boston  Series:New England Public Policy Center Working Paper 

Working Paper
Unaffordable housing and local employment growth

High housing prices have caused concerns among policy makers as well as the public in many U.S. regions. There is a general belief that unaffordable housing could drive businesses away and thus impede job growth. However, there has been little empirical evidence that supports this view. In this paper, we clarify how housing affordability is linked to employment growth and why unaffordable housing could negatively affect employment growth. We empirically measure this effect using data on California municipalities and U.S. metropolitan areas and counties. It is argued that for various reasons a ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 10-3

Working Paper
The New England-China relationship in 2005

This essay provides an overview of current trade patterns between New England and China. It was prepared for a symposium sponsored by The Boston Athenaeum comparing New England?s present-day trade with China to the region?s prominence in the U.S.-China trade of the 19th century. The essay concludes that a special trade relationship between New England and China does not exist at the present time. Although New England?s exports to China are growing rapidly, they are not growing markedly faster than exports from the rest of the country, and China does not account for an unusually large fraction ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 05-1

Working Paper
Spatial competition and cross-border shopping

This paper investigates competition between jurisdictions in the context of cross-border shopping for state lottery tickets. We first develop a simple theoretical model in which consumers choose between state lotteries and face a trade-off between travel costs and the price of a fair gamble, which is declining in the size of the jackpot and the odds of winning. Given this trade-off, the model predicts that per-resident sales should be more responsive to prices in small states with densely populated borders, relative to large states with sparsely populated borders. Our empirical analysis ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 10-1

Working Paper
House prices and risk sharing

We show that homeowners are able to maintain a high level of consumption following job loss or disability in periods of rising house values. However, the consumption drop for consumers who simultaneously lose their job and equity in their houses is substantial. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we verify that homeowners smooth consumption more than renters, and that consumption smoothing improves when houses appreciate in the area of residence. We calibrate and simulate a model of endogenous homeownership and home-equity loans, and show that the model is able to reproduce ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 09-3

Working Paper
The lengthening of childhood

Forty years ago, 96 percent of six-year-old children were enrolled in first grade or above. As of 2005, the figure was just 84 percent. The school attendance rate of six-year-olds has not decreased; rather, they are increasingly likely to be enrolled in kindergarten rather than first grade. This paper documents this historical shift. We show that only about a quarter of the change can be proximately explained by changes in school entry laws; the rest reflects "academic redshirting," the practice of enrolling a child in a grade lower than the one for which he is eligible. We show that the ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 08-3

Working Paper
The dynamic between municipal revenue sources and the state-local relationship in New England

This working paper was written for the New England Public Policy Center?s third annual conference: ?The Dynamic between Municipal Revenue Sources and the State-Local Relationship in New England?. It relies on data from the U.S. Census to examine the dynamic between municipal revenues and the state-local relationship in New England. The analysis shows that?compared with the nation as a whole?municipal governments in New England rely very heavily on the property tax. They also have limited or no access to local-option revenues such as sales taxes, and they rely less on fees and other nontax ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 08-1

Working Paper
Municipal aid evaluation and reform

The distribution of unrestricted municipal aid has been a major policy concern in many states. Using Massachusetts as a case study, this paper examines the extent to which unrestricted municipal aid is responsive to the variation in the underlying fiscal health of municipalities. The paper uses a measure of ?municipal gap??based on local economic and social characteristics outside the direct control of local officials?to indicate the underlying fiscal health of cities and towns. The analysis finds large disparities in municipal gaps among Massachusetts cities and towns, and that those ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 11-1

Working Paper
The impact of wetlands rules on the prices of regulated and proximate houses: a case study

Federal, state and local wetlands protection laws that restrict landowners' ability to develop their properties in certain ways could decrease the value of the affected properties. However, the regulations could also give benefits to nearby neighbors, who no longer need to worry about increased development in their area. Given that some properties may decline in value while others increase, the impact on individual properties must be determined empirically. ; This study uses a data set from Newton, Massachusetts, to examine the impact of wetlands laws on the regulated properties as well as on ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 07-3

Working Paper
Voting with their feet?: local economic conditions and migration patterns in New England

Over the past several years, policymakers and business leaders throughout New England have expressed concern regarding the region's ability to attract and retain skilled workers, given the economic climate of the region compared with other parts of the nation. Indeed, net domestic migration for New England became increasingly negative after the 2001 recession, as the number of people leaving the region exceeded those entering. Examining the factors underlying these migration trends is important for determining what role, if any, public policy might play in addressing their potential impact on ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 09-1

Working Paper
The role of the housing market in the migration response to employment shocks

The United States is known for the ability of its residents to move to where the jobs are, and this has helped the nation maintain its position as the world?s top economy. Households? decisions to move depend not only on job prospects but also on the relative cost of housing. I investigate how the housing market affects the flow of workers across cities. This occurs through at least two channels: the relative mobility of homeowners versus renters, and the relative cost of housing across markets. I use homeownership rates to measure the former, and use an index that measures house prices ...
New England Public Policy Center Working Paper , Paper 09-2

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