From Neighborhoods to Nations: The Economics of Social Interactions

By Yannis M. Ioannides | Go to book overview

NOTES

Notes to Chapter 1 Introduction

1. Rothenberg (1967) offers the mainstream economics view, and Gans (1968) and Marris (1974) provide sociology and urban planning critiques.

2. The repeated arguments in favor of 5,040 throughout The Laws include the claim that its arithmetic property of admitting 59 divisors is advantageous for the mechanics of urban government in the fictitious city of Magnetes, whose design The Laws addresses.

3. “Jane Jacobs and worse” was a notorious statement made by an eminent economist of the “Chicago School” (ca. 1971). Today it is for me a critical reminder of how economic thinking proceeds by pushing economic ideas to their logical conclusions and then renewing itself via self-criticism.


Notes to Chapter 2 Social Interactions

1. It is straightforward to define individual actions as resulting from the purposeful maximization of a utility function. If this function is quadratic, then linear decisions readily follow, as I show explicitly below. See the work by Blume, Brock, Durlauf, and Ioannides (2011, 944–947, app. A1) for a rigorous derivation and analysis of equilibria in the linear-in-means model. See also sections 2.3 and 2.6 below.

2. The work by Henderson, Mieszkowski, and Sauvageau (1978) appears to be a pioneering empirical study of peer effects in the classroom. This study employs an unusually detailed data set comprised of French-speaking students in Montreal that allows for a range of controls for family, teacher, and school effects. These authors find that peer effects are clearly present and are concave, that is, the marginal effect of an increase in mean classroom IQ is decreasing in the level of mean IQ. This finding suggests that tracking classes by IQ would be inefficient if the objective of the school were to maximize average educational achievement. It also allows analysis of distributional consequences from classroom mixing, with more able students being hurt and less able students being helped.

3. Expectations are sometimes observed. See the discussion of Li and Lee (2009), sec. 2.4.2.

4. This term as a theoretical concept was originally due to Schlicht (1981a, 1981b).

5. Specification of the neighborhood quality index as a function of observable attributes need not be arbitrary. It could be based on the same underlying utility index from which the quantity decision yi, also emanates (Ioannides and Zabel 2008). The implied cross-equations restrictions are testable. I discuss in more detail below their model of joint discrete-continuous decisions based on indirect utility functions; see chapter 3, section 3.5.1. See also Graham (2008b) for an “alternative” hedonic approach to correcting for the consequences of self-selection.

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