Victor Couture

University of California, Berkeley
Haas School of Business
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-1900

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of California at Berkeley

NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 2018Mobility and Congestion in Urban India
with Prottoy A. Akbar, Gilles Duranton, Adam Storeygard: w25218
We develop a methodology to estimate robust city level vehicular mobility indices, and apply it to 154 Indian cities using 22 million counterfactual trips measured by a web mapping service. There is wide variation in mobility across cities. An exact decomposition shows this variation is driven more by differences in uncongested mobility than congestion. Under plausible assumptions, a one standard deviation improvement in uncongested speed creates much more mobility than optimal congestion pricing. Denser and more populated cities are slower, only in part because of congestion. Urban economic development is correlated with better (uncongested and overall) mobility despite worse congestion.
March 2018E-Commerce Integration and Economic Development: Evidence from China
with Benjamin Faber, Yizhen Gu, Lizhi Liu: w24384
E-commerce markets are rapidly growing in the developing world, but this growth has until recently been limited to urban areas. Inspired by growth in cities and numerous case studies on the transformative effect of e-commerce trading on rural markets, policy makers are now targeting large investments to expand access to e-commerce outside of cities. In this paper, we investigate the effect of the first nationwide e-commerce expansion program on household welfare and the underlying channels at work. The program invests in the necessary logistics to ship products to and sell products from tens of thousands of Chinese villages that were largely unconnected to e-commerce. Our analysis combines a new collection of survey and administrative microdata with a randomized control trial (RCT) that w...
November 2017Urban Revival in America, 2000 to 2010
with Jessie Handbury: w24084
This paper documents and explains the striking rise in the proclivity of college-educated individuals to reside near city centers since 2000. We show that this recent urban revival is driven almost entirely by younger college graduates in larger cities. With a residential choice model, we quantify the role of jobs, amenities, and house prices in explaining this trend. We find that the rising taste of young college graduates for non-tradable service amenities like restaurants and nightlife accounts for more than 40 percent of their movement toward city centers. Complementary data shows a corresponding rise in young college graduate expenditures on and trips to non-tradable services. We then link changes in both consumption and urbanization to secular trends of top income growth and delayed ...
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