nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2005‒02‒20
eight papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Agricultural surplus, division of labour and the emergence of cities, a spatial general equilibrium model By Gilles Spielvogel
  2. Intertemporal and Spatial Location of Disposal Facilities By Francisco J. André; Francisco Velasco; Luis González
  3. Analyzing the Determinants of Freight Shippers’ Behavior: Own-Account versus Purchased Transport in Andalusia. By Cristina Borra Marcos; Luis Palma Martos
  4. Latent Variables in a Travel Mode Choice Model: Attitudinal and Behavioural Indicator Variables By Vredin Johansson, Maria; Heldt, Tobias; Johansson, Per
  5. An Integrated Model of Downtown Parking and Traffic Congestion By Richard Arnott; Eren Inci
  6. World Urbanization Prospects : an alternative to the UN model of projection compatible with urban transition theory By Philippe Bocquier
  7. Migration and urbanization in francophone west Africa a review of the recent empirical evidence By Cris Beauchemin; Philippe Bocquier
  8. Trade and location: A moving example motivated by Japan By Alan V. Deardorff

  1. By: Gilles Spielvogel (DIAL, IEP-Paris)
    Abstract: (english) In this paper, we expose the economic conditions of cities emergence in a spatial general equilibrium framework. The presence of increasing returns based on the division of labour, transport costs and the possible existence of an agricultural surplus are enough to generate different possible urban equilibrium. A city may not be sustainable if internal transport costs are too high. On the other hand, a persistent migratory pressure may exist between the city and the surrounding rural hinterland if the urban labour market is saturated. In addition, we study the conditions of stability of the monocentric equilibrium in the different cases. _________________________________ (français) Dans ce papier, nous exposons les conditions économiques d’émergence des villes dans le cadre d’un modèle d’équilibre général spatial. L’existence de rendements croissants basés sur la division du travail, de coûts de transport et la présence éventuelle d’un surplus agricole conduisent à différentes possibilités d’équilibre urbain. En raison de la contrainte de subsistance, il est possible qu’aucune ville ne soit soutenable si les coûts de transport internes sont trop élevés. D’un autre côté, la contrainte d’emploi urbain débouche sur la saturation de tout ou partie du marché du travail urbain et à la persistance d’une pression migratoire entre campagne et ville. Par ailleurs, nous étudions les conditions de stabilité du système urbain monocentrique dans les différents cas d’équilibre.
    Keywords: Urbanisation, division du travail, surplus agricole, système urbain monocentrique, Urbanization, division of labour, agricultural surplus, monocentric urban system.
    JEL: R13 R14 O18
    Date: 2003–07
  2. By: Francisco J. André (Universidad Pablo de Olavide de Sevilla); Francisco Velasco (Universidad de Sevilla); Luis González (Universidad de Sevilla)
    Abstract: The optimal capacity and location of a sequence of landfills are studied, and the interactions between both decisions are pointed out. Deciding the capacity of a landfill has some spatial implications, because it effects the feasible region for the rest of the landfills, and some temporal implications because the capacity determines the lifetime of the landfill and hence the instant of time where the next landfills will need to be constructed. Some general mathematical properties of the solution are provided and interpreted from an economic point of view. The resulting problem turns out to be nonconvex and, therefore, it can not be solved by conventional optimization techniques. Some global optimization methods are used to solve the problem in a particular case to illustrate the behavior of the solution depending on the parameter values.
    Keywords: Landfilling, Optimal Capacity, Optimal Location, Global Optimization.
    JEL: C61 C63 Q30 R53
    Date: 2004
  3. By: Cristina Borra Marcos (Universidad de Sevilla); Luis Palma Martos (Universidad de Sevilla)
    Abstract: Previous work in the demand for freight transportation has focused in the rail-truck substitution problem, leaving aside the prior own-account versus third-party tradeoff, often found in transportation decision-making. In Andalusia, domestic freight transport takes place mostly by road, an important part of which is own-account transport. The purpose of this paper is to analyze shippers’ behavior relative to this question, paying particular attention to whether the decision to use a private form of transport is taken on a short term or on a medium term horizon. In order to provide a quantitative evaluation, as an illustrative case, the models developed are tested on data gathered by means of a sample survey conducted to Andalusian enterprises belonging to the food industry.
    Keywords: Freight transport demand, shippers’ behavior, discrete-choice models, own-account transport.
    JEL: R41 C35
    Date: 2004
  4. By: Vredin Johansson, Maria (Department of Economics); Heldt, Tobias (Department of Economics); Johansson, Per (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In a travel mode choice context, we use survey data to construct and test the significance of five individual specific latent variables – environmental preferences, safety, comfort, convenience and flexibility - postulated to be important for modal choice. Whereas the construction of the safety and environmental preference variables is based on behavioural indicator variables, the construction of the comfort, convenience and flexibility variables is based on attitudinal indicator variables. Our main findings are that the latent variables enriched discrete choice model outperforms the traditional discrete choice model and that the construct reliability of the “attitudinal” latent variables is higher than that of the “behavioural” latent variables. Important for the choice of travel mode are modal travel time and cost and the individual’s preferences for flexibility and comfort as well as her environmental preferences.
    Keywords: Modal choice; latent variable; discrete choice model; modal safety
    JEL: C35 R41
    Date: 2005–02–07
  5. By: Richard Arnott; Eren Inci
    Abstract: This paper presents a downtown parking model that integrates traffic congestion and saturated on-street parking. We assume that the stock of cars cruising for parking adds to traffic congestion. Two major results come out from the model, one of which is robust. The robust one is that, whether or not the amount of on-street parking is optimal, it is efficient to raise the on-street parking fee to the point where cruising for parking is eliminated without parking becoming unsaturated. The other is that, if the parking fee is fixed at a sub-optimal level, it is second-best optimal to increase the amount of curbside allocated to parking until cruising for parking is eliminated without parking becoming unsaturated.
    JEL: R4
    Date: 2005–02
  6. By: Philippe Bocquier (DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: (english) This paper proposes to critically examine the United Nations projections on urbanisation. Both the estimates of current trends based on national data and the method of projection are evaluated. The theory of urban transition is used as an alternative hypothesis for projections. Alternative projections are proposed using a polynomial model and compared to the UN projections, which are based on a linear model. The conclusions are that UN projections may overestimate the urban population for the year 2030 by almost one billion, or 19% in relative term. The overestimation would be particularly more pronounced for developing countries and may exceed 30% in Africa, India and Oceania. _________________________________ (français) Cet article se propose d’examiner d’une manière critique les projections urbaines des Nations Unies. Les estimations des tendances récentes basées sur les données nationales sont évaluées, de même que la méthode de projection. La théorie de la transition urbaine est utilisée comme une alternative pour les projections. Des projections alternatives sont proposées sur la base d’un modèle polynomial et sont comparées à celle des NU, qui sont fondées sur un modèle linéaire. Les conclusions sont que les projections des NU pourraient surestimer de près d’un milliard la population urbaine en 2030, soit 19% en terme relatif. La surestimation serait particulièrement plus prononcée pour les pays en développement et pourrait excéder 30% en Afrique, en Inde et en Océanie.
    Keywords: urbanisation, projections, transition urbaine, modèle, pauvreté, environnement, pays en développement, pays développés,urban transition, model, poverty, environment, developing countries, developed countries.
    Date: 2004–10
  7. By: Cris Beauchemin (Université de Montréal); Philippe Bocquier (DIAL, IRD, Paris)
    Abstract: (english) This contribution proposes to re-examine the contribution of migration to urbanization in the developing world, by presenting a comprehensive review of research on Francophone West Africa. The contribution of migration to urbanization is examined from different points of view: demographic, geographic and economic. The paper presents the context of urbanization, describes new trends in migration flows between urban and rural areas, and examines how migrants integrate in the city and fit in the urban economy. The conclusions are that migrants adapt quite well to the city and that urban integration problems do not concern exclusively migrants but all city-dwellers, especially the youths. However social and economic integration should also be studied from the rural point of view, taking into consideration the recent urban-torural migration flows and the slow-down of urban growth. _________________________________ (français) Cette contribution se propose de réexaminer le rôle des migrations dans l’urbanisation du monde en développement, en présentant une synthèse des résultats de recherches menées en Afrique de l’Ouest francophone. La contribution de la migration à l’urbanisation est considérée du point de vue tant démographique, qu’économique et géographique. Elle présente le contexte de l’urbanisation, décrit les nouvelles tendances des flux migratoires entre les milieux urbains et ruraux, et analyse comment les migrants s’insèrent dans la ville et s’adapte à l’économie urbaine. Les conclusions montrent que les migrants s’adaptent fort bien à la vie urbaine et que les problèmes d’insertion urbaine ne concernent pas seulement les migrants mais tous les urbains, en particulier les jeunes. Cependant, l’insertion économique et sociale devrait également être étudiée du point de vue rural, en prenant en compte les flux migratoires récents de l’urbain au rural, ainsi que le ralentissement de la croissance urbaine.
    Date: 2003–09
  8. By: Alan V. Deardorff
    Abstract: If trade costs matter for trade, and if distance matters for at least some trade costs, then location matters for trade. This may be especially important for Japan, given its distance from other developed countries and proximity to a number of developing countries. This paper explores the relationship between location and trade in a simple partial equilibrium model of a single homogeneous good that may be produced and traded by three countries located on a plane. Six equilibrium regimes arise in this model, depending on trade costs compared to differences in autarky prices. The results are the following: For a country whose autarky price lies between those of the other countries, it will export the good if it is close to the high-cost country, import it if it is close to the low-cost country, and not trade it at all if it is too far from both. The location of such a country is also important for the trade of the other countries. Finally, although a fall in trade costs increases, up to a point, the geographic scope for a country to trade, beyond that point it cannot make trade possible for an intermediate-cost country that is too remote to trade. The results suggest that Japan, with factor endowments similar to other developed countries but located closer to many developing countries, should dominate trade with its developing-country neighbors.
    Keywords: Trade costs, Location
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2004–12

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