nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2005‒03‒13
ten papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. House prices in Norway 1819-1989 By Øyvind Eitrheim; Solveig K. Erlandsen
  2. Agglomeration economies and entrepreneurship: testing for spatial externalities in the Dutch ICT industry By Erik Stam; Frank G. van Oort
  3. Urban Transport Pricing Reform With Two Levels Of Government By Stef Proost; Akshaya Sen
  4. Income Inequality and Growth: A Panel Study of Swedish Counties 1960-2000 By Nahum, Ruth-Aïda
  5. Explaining Patterns of Corruption in the Russian Regions By Phyllis Dininio; Robert W. Orttung
  6. Geography, Industrial Organization, and Agglomeration By Stuart S. Rosenthal; William C. Strange
  7. Agglomeration, Labor Supply, and the Urban Rat Race By Stuart S. Rosenthal; William C. Strange
  8. Easing the Fiscal Restraints: New Revenue Tools in the City of Toronto Act By Enid Slack
  9. Regional convergence, trade liberalization and agglomeration of activities : an analysis of NAFTA and MERCOSUR cases By Nicole Madariaga; Sylvie Montout; Patrice Ollivaud
  10. R&D and M&A : Are cross-border M&A different ? An investigation on OECD countries By Olivier Bertrand; Pluvia Zuniga

  1. By: Øyvind Eitrheim (Norges Bank); Solveig K. Erlandsen (Norges Bank)
    Abstract: Annual house price indices for four Norwegian cities are presented for the period from 1819 to 1989. The indices are constructed on the basis of nominal housing transaction prices compiled from the real property registers of the cities. Existing Norwegian house prices indices generally cover a few decades and usually start in the mid-1980s. Hence, we present new information about Norwegian house prices for more than 160 years. The house price indices seem to fit well in with historical events and available indicators of the Norwegian economy. The overall trend in nominal house prices is upward sloping over the two centuries. However, in real terms the picture looks different, in particular in the first half of the twentieth century.
    Keywords: Economic history, house prices, repeat sales indices
    JEL: N10 E31 C81
    Date: 2004–11–11
  2. By: Erik Stam; Frank G. van Oort
    Abstract: Although there is growing evidence on the role of agglomeration economies in the formation and growth of firms, both the concepts of agglomeration economies and entrepreneurship tend to be ambiguously defined and measured in the literature. In this study, we aim to improve the conceptualisations and measures of agglomeration economies and entrepreneurship. Indicators of agglomeration economies are analysed in clearly defined urban regimes on three spatial scales in the Netherlands - national zoning, labour market connectedness, and urban size. This is done in order to uncover their effect on two entrepreneurial phases in the firm life cycle - new firm formation and the growth of incumbent firms in the relatively new ICT industry in the Netherlands. In comparison with new firm formation, the growth of incumbent firms is not so much related to spatial clustering of the ICT industry and other localized sources of knowledge economies associated with urban density. Instead, knowledge as an input for growth of incumbent firms is associated with more endogenous (firm internal) learning aspects, reflected by a significant correlate with R&D-investments. Also the effect of local ICT firm competition differs between the two types of firms: a positive effect on new firm formation, but a negative effect on incumbent firm growth. In general, agglomeration economies have stronger effects on the formation of ICT firms than on the growth of ICT firms.
    Keywords: agglomeration economies, spatial externalities, entrepreneurship, location, urban regimes, ICT industry
    JEL: D21 L25 L63 L86 M13 O18 R12 R30
  3. By: Stef Proost (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies; UCL - CORE); Akshaya Sen
    Abstract: This paper analyses two challenges in the reform of urban transport pricing. The first challenge is the construction of an optimal package of urban transport pricing instruments assuming one benevolent government level that maximizes overall welfare. We examine the welfare gains from implementing in succession better parking prices, improved public transport prices and time varying tolling. It is found that parking and tolling are the most important elements of the optimal package and that the alternative policy instruments are sub-additive in their benefits. The second problem studied is the use of these pricing instruments by different government levels. We examine a case where an urban government controls parking fees and the regional government controls the tolling. Although both government levels have different objective functions, we find that the overall efficiency losses in the Nash and Stackelberg equilibria are limited.
    JEL: R48 H71 H21
    Date: 2005–03
  4. By: Nahum, Ruth-Aïda (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between income inequality and growth using panel data on Swedish counties from 1960-2000. Compared to standard methods of estimating this relationship yearly regional level data are used, and inequality is allowed to be endogenous. We find a significant positive impact of inequality on growth, but the magnitude of the effect decreases with the length of the growth period studied. When allowing income inequality to be endogenous, using a panel 2SLS IV estimation, we find positive effect of inequality on 1 to 5-year growth rates, when significant, whereas the effect on 10-year growth rates are not clear cut.
    Keywords: Income inequality; regional economic growth; panel data
    JEL: D31 O15 O40
    Date: 2005–03–08
  5. By: Phyllis Dininio; Robert W. Orttung
    Abstract: Corruption is one of the key problems facing the Russian state as it seeks to evolve out of its socialist past. Naturally, regional patterns of corruption exist across a country as large and diverse as the Russian Federation. To explain these variations, we analyze 2002 data from Transparency International and the Information for Democracy Foundation that provides the first effort to measure differences in incidence of corruption across 40 Russian regions. We find that corruption in Russia primarily is a structural problem, and not one related to its institutions. Within each region, the amount of corruption increases as the size of the regional economy grows, the per capita income decreases, and the population decreases. Russian policymakers can therefore work to reduce corruption by encouraging economic development outside of the key centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg. Because the data show that voter turnout also lowers corruption, policymakers can also fight corruption by fostering more political accountability in elections.
    Keywords: Corruption, Russia
    JEL: D73
    Date: 2004–11–01
  6. By: Stuart S. Rosenthal (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University); William C. Strange
    Abstract: This paper makes two contributions to the empirical literature on agglomeration economies. First, the paper uses a unique and rich database in conjunction with mapping software to measure the geographic extent of agglomerative externalities. Previous papers have been forced to assume that agglomeration economies are club goods that operate at a metropolitan scale. Second, the paper tests for the existence of organizational agglomeration economies of the kind studied qualitatively by Saxenian (1994). This is a potentially important source of increasing returns that previous empirical work has not considered. Results indicate that localization economies attenuate rapidly and that industrial organization affects the benefits of agglomeration.
    Date: 2003–04
  7. By: Stuart S. Rosenthal (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University); William C. Strange
    Abstract: This paper establishes the existence of a previously overlooked relationship between agglomeration and hours worked. Among non-professionals, hours worked decrease with the density of workers in the same occupation. Among professionals, a positive relationship is found. This relationship is twice as strong for the young as for the middle-aged. Moreover, young professional hours worked are shown to be especially sensitive to the presence of rivals. We show that these patterns are consistent with the selection of hard workers into cities and the high productivity of agglomerated labor. The behavior of young professionals is also consistent with the presence of keen rivalry in larger markets, a kind of urban rat race. This evidence of a rat race is nearly unique in the literature.
    JEL: J24 J44 J61
    Date: 2003–09
  8. By: Enid Slack (Director, Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, Munk Centre for International Studies)
    Abstract: This paper show that there is a mismatch between the expenditure responsibilities that the City of Toronto is required to undertake and the revenue tools available to it. Toronto relies mainly on property taxes, user fees, and intergovernmental transfers to finance a wide range of services. In the absence of a realignment of service responsibilities (in particular, uploading social services and social housing to the provincial level), the paper makes the case for a mix of taxes at the local level. A mix of taxes, particularly taxes that grow with the economy, would give the city more flexibility to respond to local conditions such as changes in the economy, evolving demographics, and expenditure needs. A mix of taxes would be more effective than the property at linking the costs and benefits of services when people commute to work from one jurisdiction to another. Although the city should piggyback onto existing provincial taxes to minimize administrative costs, it is argued that it should set its own tax rates to ensure autonomy, accountability, and predictability of revenues.
    Keywords: urban finance, local taxation
    JEL: H71
  9. By: Nicole Madariaga (TEAM); Sylvie Montout (TEAM); Patrice Ollivaud (OECD)
    Abstract: This study examines the theoretical and empirical link between trade integration, the density of activities and per capita income convergence within NAFTA members during the 1980-2000 period and within MERCOSUR partners from 1985 to 2000. We first build a two countries framework based on economic geography theory to explore this link. We introduce differences in wage levels between a rich and a poor region. We find that trade liberalization may have a positive impact on per capita income convergence if countries have initially similar wages and transaction costs are low. Second, the empirical approach refers to two different convergence concepts : homogenization and catch-up. We also determine activities' concentration trends within each trade agreement according to different measures of agglomeration. Afterwards, we use these measures to introduce an agglomeration variable in conditional convergence regressions. The analysis of the sigma and absolute beta-convergence concludes to a divergence between the two NAFTA partners. On the contrary, we observe a process of convergence in the MERCOSUR between 1985 and 2000 even if this process appears to slow down after 1991. Our conditional estimates also show that agglomeration plays a significant and positive role in growth after the implementation of treaties.
    Keywords: Growth; regional convergence; economic geography; trade integration
    JEL: F43 R11 R12 O40
    Date: 2004–04
  10. By: Olivier Bertrand (TEAM); Pluvia Zuniga (TEAM)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the incidence of national and cross-border M&A on industrial R&D investment in OECD countries over the period 1990-1999. We use generalized method of moments (GMM) estimation techniques for dynamic panel data and control for market-related and technological determinants of R&D production. Our findings show that the last M&A wave contributed to expand domestic R&D activities, especially in high-technology intensive industries. However, further evidence suggests that cross-border M&A (particularly outward M&A), and not domestic ones, have stimulated more significantly R&D spending. This result gives evidence that anti-competition effects are more likely to affect negatively R&D activities with a domestic M&A. Reversely, efficiency gains might be higher in a cross-border operation, encouraging merging firms to raise their R&D investments.
    Keywords: M&A; Industrial restructuring; R&D, technology
    JEL: O30 L10 F23
    Date: 2004–07

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