2015. “Visa waivers, multilateral resistance and international tourism: some evidence from Israel
”. Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences
8 (3):357-371. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This paper tests the visa-led tourism hypothesis which contends that easing of visa restrictions increases international tourism. Israel acts as a natural laboratory in this case with clear before and after junctures in visa restrictions. We use panel data on tourism to Israel from 60 countries during 1994–2012. In contrast to previous work we take account of nonstationarity in the data and test for the effect of multilateral resistance on tourism. Partial waivers of visa restrictions are estimated to increase tourism by 48 % and complete waivers increase tourism by 118 %. Other results include the adverse effect of Israel’s security situation on tourism, the beneficial effect of real devaluation on tourism, and the fact that the elasticity of tourism to Israel with respect to tourism to all destinations is very small.
2015. “Tide Gauge Location and the Measurement of Global Sea Level Rise
”. Environmental and Ecological Statistics
22 (1):179-206. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The location of tide gauges is not random. If their locations are positively (negatively) correlated with sea level rise (SLR), estimates of global SLR will be biased upwards (downwards). Using individual tide gauges obtained from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level during 1807–2010, we show that tide gauge locations in 2000 were independent of SLR as measured by satellite altimetry. Therefore these tide gauges constitute a quasi-random sample, and inferences about global SLR obtained from them are unbiased. Using recently developed methods for nonstationary time series, we find that sea levels rose in 7 % of tide gauge locations and fell in 4 %. The global mean increase is 0.39–1.03 mm/year. However, the mean increase for locations where sea levels are rising is 3.55–4.42 mm/year. These findings are much lower than estimates of global sea level (2.2 mm/year) reported in the literature and adopted by IPCC (2014
), and which make widespread use of imputed data for locations which do not have tide gauges. We show that although tide gauge locations in 2000 are uncorrelated with SLR, the global diffusion of tide gauges during the 20th century was negatively correlated with SLR. This phenomenon induces positive imputation bias in estimates of global mean sea levels because tide gauges installed in the 19th century happened to be in locations where sea levels happened to be rising.
2015. “Spatial Spillover in Housing Construction
”. Journal of Housing Economics
A model is proposed in which building contractors have regional preferences so that housing construction in different regions are imperfect substitutes. The model hypothesizes spatial and national spillovers in construction. Although the government does not engage directly in housing construction, it influences regional housing markets by auctioning land to contractors. Contractors are hypothesized to use housing-under-construction as a buffer between starts and completions. Spatial panel data for Israel are used to test the model and investigate the determinants of regional housing construction. Because the spatial panel data are nonstationary, we use spatial panel cointegration methods to estimate the model. The estimated model is used to calculate impulse responses which propagate over time and across space.
. 2015. “Simulating and Communicating Outcomes in Disaster Management Situations
”. International Journal of Geographic Information
41827-1847. Publisher's VersionAbstract
An important, but overlooked component of disaster managment is raising the awareness and preparedness of potential stakeholders. We show how recent advances in agent-based modeling and geo-information analytics can be combined to this effect. Using a dynamic simulation model, we estimate the long run outcomes of two very different urban disasters with severe consequences: an earthquake and a missile attack. These differ in terms of duration, intensity, permanence, and focal points. These hypothetical shocks are simulated for the downtown area of Jerusalem. Outcomes are compared in terms of their potential for disaster mitigation. The spatial and temporal dynamics of the simulation yield rich outputs. Web-based mapping is used to visualize these results and communicate risk to policy makers, planners, and the informed public. The components and design of this application are described. Implications for participatory disaster management and planning are discussed.
2015. “Immigration to the European Union from its Neighborhoods: Testing Welfare-Chasing and Related Hypotheses by Spatial Gravity
”. International Journal of Manpower
36 (4):491-517. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of immigration from European Neighborhood (EN) and new member states to the EU core countries over the period 2000- 2010. Apart from income differentials, unemployment rates and other standard variables hypothesized to determine immigration, the paper focusses attention on welfare-chasing as well as measures to enforce immigration policy. Using a variant of the gravity model, the paper investigates whether tests of these hypotheses are robust with respect to spatial misspecification.
Design/methodology/approach – The determinants of migration from the European Neighborhood and new member states to the EU core countries is estimated using a spatial variant of the gravity model. The methodology is used for both multilateral and spatial flows. Gravity model estimations are presented for immigration into the EU core destinations using standard, non-spatial econometrics, as well as spatial econometrics for single and double-spatial dynamics
Findings – Immigration to EU core countries varies directly with the change in social spending per head in the destination. This result stands out in all the models, both OLS and spatial. Immigrants are attracted by economic inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient. However, in this case it is the level that matters rather than its change. No evidence is found that the threat of apprehension at the destination deters migrants from the European Neighborhood and other countries.
Research limitations/implications – The authors assume multilateralism is spatial. This means that everything else given, destinations are closer substitutes the nearer they are, and that immigration shocks are likely to be more correlated among origins the closer they are. This implicit assumption is restrictive because multilateralism is just spatial.
Social implications – While immigration to EU core countries varies directly with the change in (not level of ) social spending per head. If a given country becomes more benevolent it attracts more immigration. The results suggest that if during 2000-2010 social spending per capita grew by 1 percent, the immigration rate increased by between 1 and 2 percentage points relative to the number of foreign-born in 2000. This is a large demographic effect.
Originality/value – Uniquely, this paper does not assume immigration flows are independent and stresses their spatial and multilateral nature. A series of new non-spatial and spatial (single and double-spatial lag) models are used to empirically test hypotheses about the determinants of immigration to the EU core countries.
. 2015. “Factors Affecting Regional Productivity and Innovation in Israel: Some Empirical Evidence
”. Regional Studies
49 (9):1457-1469. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The role of human capital and physical capital in determining regional productivity and innovation is examined. Two specific mechanisms through which knowledge becomes an inherently regional asset are investigated: the generation of local externalities (a stock mechanism) and human capital accumulation and mobility (a flow mechanism). Empirically, this connection is investigated using recent advances in spatial panel data analysis applied to regions in Israel. Panel co-integration is used to entangle issues of spurious relationships. Results show that human capital stock has large and relatively consistent effects on both regional earnings and regional innovation levels. Human capital mobility is inversely related to innovation. This is interpreted as reflecting the ‘conduit’ role of the region in the innovation process. Regional capital-to-labour ratios are also inversely related to innovation, implying that physical capital substitutes rather than complements human capital.
. 2015. “Simulating Urban Resilience: Disasters,Dynamics and (Synthetic) Data
”. Pp. 99-120 in S. Geertman, J. Stillwell, J. Ferreira, & R. Goodspeed (eds.), Planning Support Systems and Smart Cities
, S. Geertman, J. Stillwell, J. Ferreira, & R. Goodspeed (eds.), Planning Support Systems and Smart Cities
. Heidelberg: Springer. Publisher's VersionAbstract
An agent based (AB) simulation model of urban dynamics following a disaster is presented. Data disaggregation is used to generate ‘synthetic’ data with accurate socio-economic profiling. Entire synthetic populations are extrapolated at the building scale from survey data. This data is coupled with the AB model. The disaggregated baseline population allows for the bottom-up formulation of the behavior of an entire urban system. Agent interactions with each other and with the environment lead to change in residence and workplace, land use and house prices. The case of a hypothetical earthquake in the Jerusalem CBD is presented as an illustrative example. Dynamics are simulated for a period up to 3 years, post-disaster. Outcomes are measured in terms of global resilience measures, effects on residential and non-residential capital stock and population dynamics. The visualization of the complex outputs is illustrated using dynamic web-mapping.
. 2015. “