nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2005‒07‒11
fifteen papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Regional Intergration and Migration: An Economic Geography Model with Hetergenous Labour Force By Nicola D. Coniglio
  2. Combined and Uneven Development: Reflections on the North-South Divide By Robert Rowthorn
  3. The Embeddedness of small enterprises to the rural local economy of small and medium sized towns By Leeuwen, Eveline S. van; Nijkamp, Peter
  4. Urban Green Space Policies : A Comparative Study on Performance and Success Conditions in European Cities By Levent, Tuzin Baycan; Nijkamp, Peter
  5. Firm fragmentation and urban patterns By Esteban Rossi-Hansberg; Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte; Raymond E. Owens
  6. Finding commercially attractive user innovations: A test of lead user theory By Franke, Nikolaus; von Hippel, Eric; Schreier, Martin
  7. Is Central Paris still that rich? By Frederic Gilli
  8. Cambio estructural regional en Colombia: una aproximación con matrices insumo-producto By Jaime Bonet
  9. Geographic Heterogeneity in Housing. Evidence from Spain By Raquel Arévalo Tomé; José María Chamorro Rivas
  10. La educación en las regiones españolas: Algunas cifras preocupantes By Angel de la Fuente
  11. Fiscal Equlisation and Citizen's Preferences : Evidence from Swiss Municipalities By Nils Soguel; Alexandre Tangerini
  12. Evaluation monétaire de la qualité du paysage. Monetary valuation of the landscape quality By Alexandre Tangerini; Nils Soguel
  13. Transportation, Communication and Sustainability : In Search of a Pathway to Comparative Research By Black, William R.; Nijkamp, Peter
  14. ICT and the location of call centres: regional and local patterns By Beekman,. Michiel; Bruinsma, Frank; Rietveld, Piet
  15. Which School Attributes Matter? The Influence of School District Performance and Demographic Composition on Property Values By John M. Clapp; Anupam Nanda; Stephen L. Ross

  1. By: Nicola D. Coniglio
    Abstract: This paper aims to analyse the effect of deepening regional integration on the incentive for factors of production, in particular labour, to spatially relocate. We adopt a general equilibrium, economic-geography model built on Krugman (1991) allowing for skill heterogeneity in the manufacturing sector. At a given level of trade costs, due to the productivity premium associated with the concentration of high-skilled workers in one region, this type of worker will be more willing to migrate than low-skilled ones. The paper shows the existence of a range of trade costs for which only high-skilled workers have an incentive to migrate. Therefore, introducing labour heterogeneity in the basic core-periphery model enables us to explain one of the most striking features of interregional migration patterns: the positive self-selection of the migrants.
  2. By: Robert Rowthorn
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with the geography of structural change in Great Britain since 1971. It divides the country into two broad areas - the 'North' comprising Northern England, the West Midlands, Wales and Scotland, and the 'South' comprising the rest of mainland Britain.
    Keywords: de-industrialization, services, North-South divide, export base
    JEL: R11 O14 F22
  3. By: Leeuwen, Eveline S. van (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: This paper addresses the local-regional-supra-regional orientation of small-scale farms and firms in rural areas. Due attention is given to the role of local centres (villages, towns) for the functioning of rural areas. With help of a quantified indicator spatial linkages related to sales and purchases of small enterprises are shown. Furthermore the allocation of labour to the local economy is taken into account. The degree of embeddedness of small local firms in rural areas appears to be fairly strong, which means that they play a significant role in the local economy in several ways
    Keywords: local economy; rural areas; small enterprises
    Date: 2004
  4. By: Levent, Tuzin Baycan (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: Urban green spaces play a key role in improving the liveability of our towns and cities. The quality and viability of cities depend largely on the design, management and maintenance of urban green as well as on open and public spaces that make up an important social constellation and offer a visual representation of urban quality. Actually, urban green spaces may be seen as an important contribution to a sustainable development of cities. However, the full potential of green spaces is not always realized, so that current management practices are sometimes sub-optimal. From a policy perspective, the results of several case studies have highlighted critical policy needs and priorities for the development and management of urban green spaces. It is, therefore, of strategic importance to compare and evaluate urban green space policies for identifying the best practices with a view to proper policy recommendations and guidance for urban society and planning authorities in order to improve the quality of life in modern cities. Against this background, the present study investigates urban green spaces from a policy evaluation perspective and analyses in a comparative sense European cities in order to obtain strategic and policy relevant information on the key features of urban green. The study aims to compare and evaluate the current management practices in various European cities on the basis of the actual performance of urban green space policies. The data and information used for comparison and evaluation are based on extensive survey questionnaires filled out by relevant departments or experts of municipalities in European cities which aim to share their experience in innovative green space policies and strategies. As a rather novel methodological contribution, a recently developed artificial intelligence method, i.e. rough set analysis, is deployed to assess and identify the most important factors that are responsible for successes and failures of urban green space policies. Our approach is able to reveal the most critical policy variables
    Keywords: urban society; green spaces; european cities; comparison
    Date: 2004
  5. By: Esteban Rossi-Hansberg; Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte; Raymond E. Owens
    Abstract: We document several empirical regularities regarding the evolution of urban structure in the largest U.S. metropolitan areas over the period 1980-1990. These regularities relate to changes in resident population, employment, occupations, as well as the number and size of establishments in different sections of the metropolitan area. We then propose a theory of urban structure that emphasizes the location and integration decisions of firms. In particular, firms can decide to locate their headquarters and operation plants in different regions of the city. Given that cities experienced positive population growth throughout the 1980s, we show that our theory accounts for the diverse facts documented in the paper.
    Keywords: Population ; Employment
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Franke, Nikolaus; von Hippel, Eric; Schreier, Martin
    Abstract: Firms and governments are increasingly interested in learning to exploit the value of lead user innovations for commercial advantage. Improvements to lead user theory are needed to inform and guide these efforts. In this paper we empirically test and confirm the basic tenants of lead user theory. We also discover some new refinements and related practical applications. Using a sample of users and user-innovators drawn from the extreme sport of kite surfing, we analyze the relationship between the commercial attractiveness of innovations developed by users and the intensity of the lead user characteristics those users display. We provide a first empirical analysis of the independent effects of its two key component variables. In our empirical study of user modifications to kite surfing equipment, we find that both components independently contribute to identifying commercially attractive user innovations. Component 1 (the "high expected benefits" dimension) predicts innovation likelihood, and component 2 (the "ahead of the trend" dimension) predicts both the commercial attractiveness of a given set of user-developed innovations and innovation likelihood due to a newly-proposed innovation supply side effect. We conclude that the component variables in the lead user definition are indeed independent dimensions and so neither can be dropped without loss of information - an important matter for lead user theory. We also find that adding measures of users' local resources can improve the ability of the lead user construct to identify commercially-attractive innovations under some conditions. The findings we report have practical as well as theoretical import. Product modification and development has been found to be a relatively common user behavior in many fields. Thus, from 10% to nearly 40% of users report having modified or developed a product for in-house use in the case of industrial products, or for personal use in the case of consumer products, in fields sampled to date. As a practical matter, therefore, it is important to find ways to selectively identify the user innovations that manufacturers will find to be the basis for commercially attractive products in the collectivity of user-developed innovations. We discuss the implications of these findings for theory and also for practical applications of the lead user construct, i.e. how variables used in lead user studies can profitably be adapted to fit specific study contexts and purposes.
    Keywords: Lead User Theory,
    Date: 2005–06–03
  7. By: Frederic Gilli (CERAS ENPC)
    Abstract: From 1975 to 1999, employment in Paris metropolitan area has become more and more decentralized. This deconcentration is almost half spread and half clustered. Parallel to the sprawl of jobs, the growth of a services oriented economy has led to an increase in sectoral concentration. But there are no clear evidences of a vertical spatial desintegration, because by the same time the places tend to diversify. An explanation might be that the sprawl relies both on endogenous job creations and on job relocations: the relocations tend to increase the specialisation of the clusters but endogenous growth is more diverse and residential.
    JEL: L23 O18 R11 R12
    Date: 2005–07–08
  8. By: Jaime Bonet
    Abstract: No existen estudios previos orientados al análisis de las interacciones entre las economías regionales en Colombia. Una exploración inicial de la interacción entre regiones sugiere un país con una interdependencia espacial limitada. Estos hallazgos fueron evaluados a través del desarrollo de un modelo de insumo-producto multiregional. Los efectos directos e indirectos de los eslabonamientos de producción son capturados a través de la evaluación de las matrices inversas de Leontief. Los resultados sugieren que los sectores claves se han trasladado de los primarios y secundarios a los terciarios, un movimiento frecuentemente observado en el proceso de desarrollo económico. Sin embargo, se puede argumentar que las economías regionales no tienen las mismas estructuras de eslabonamientos. Las diferencias son el resultado de las discrepancias en los sectores dominantes en cada economía. Las integraciones entre regiones revelan un país con sectores auto-suficientes en la mayoría de las regiones, lo que apoya los resultados encontrados en los estudios previos en el sentido de una baja dependencia inter-regional. Debido a que los sectores con los más fuertes eslabonamientos se encuentran concentrados en las regiones prósperas, existe una alta probabilidad que las desigualdades regionales existentes permanezcan en el mediano plazo.
    Keywords: Matriz insumo-producto,
    JEL: R11
    Date: 2005–07–30
  9. By: Raquel Arévalo Tomé; José María Chamorro Rivas
    Abstract: This article offers an empirical analysis of geographical differences in the characteristics of housing in the different provinces of Spain. The study employs multiple correspondence analysis to derive a housing index, in line with Arévalo (1999). While Arévalo used only structural variables, this research also includes proxy variables for access to services derived from the location of the living unit. A readily interpretable index is thus created, which measures the level of internal and external services that a living unit (house or apartment) provides for its occupiers. The results confirm that characteristics derived from location are complementary to structural characteristics of the living unit itself (housing services). Moreover, with the addition of location variables, the new housing index shows: (i) increased correlation with observed rental and house prices, and (ii) a more realistic view of geographical differences in the level of services of Spanish housing. The study contributes new housing indicators that are easily applicable, for example, in studies on household quality of life, social exclusion, and poverty.
  10. By: Angel de la Fuente
    Abstract: En este trabajo se documentan dos hechos preocupantes. El primero es la existencia de importantes disparidades de gasto por estudiante que reflejan diferencias entre regiones en niveles de financiación autonómica por habitante. El segundo es que, con la excepción de los niveles obligatorios, no se detecta una tendencia clara hacia la reducción de la desigualdad educativa entre regiones al pasar del conjunto de la población adulta a las cohortes más jóvenes, lo que no es un buen augurio desde el punto de vista de la cohesión territorial.
  11. By: Nils Soguel (IDHEAP); Alexandre Tangerini (IDHEAP)
    Abstract: The normative literature on fiscal federalism generally recognises the need for fiscal equalisation mechanisms to facilitate the mitigation of inequities in the distribution of resources. The question of how far to go in matters of fiscal equalisation is a very sensitive one. Choices in this area reflect the prevailing social norms and the political debates, in the context of which these norms are expressed. Moreover, the political debates are characterised by the usual tensions between selfish and altruistic visions of society. The empirical part of this contribution analyses the results of two referenda recently held in the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. It provides explanatory models for both ballots (acceptance rate of the propositions in each municipality). The model’s explanatory variables show that the people of Vaud’s voting behaviour was basically selfish. The widespread belief that voters are capable of altruism in this particular area is, therefore, rejected.
    JEL: D6 D7 H
    Date: 2005–07–08
  12. By: Alexandre Tangerini (IDHEAP); Nils Soguel (IDHEAP)
    Abstract: The aim of this project is to quantify in monetary terms the value of the landscape in the Alps for both residents and tourists. To do this, we selected the hedonic price method from the holistic quantitative methods for landscape evaluation. This method assumes that the cost of a good – as can be observed on a market – does not reflects the utility of the good itself, but the utility its characteristics in the eyes of the consumer. Thus, we put forward the hypothesis that one of these characteristics may be an environmental attribute, such as the quality of the landscape. Seen from this perspective, the price of the good (in the case in question the rent paid by tourists and residents for apartment accommodation) results from the juxtaposition of implicit prices, for example the price of the landscape. A sample comprising 510 apartments, distributed at the rate of 403 for tourists and 107 for residents, was selected in six Alpine stations in the Swiss canton of Valais. Among the 80 characteristics adopted for the purpose of the analysis, the characteristic «landscape» was understood in two ways: quality of the natural and built landscape at each station and access to the landscape from each apartment. The main challenge of this research resided in obtaining quantitative values that enable the representation of the qualitative dimension of the landscape. This was made possible using the MACBETH approach. Leaving aside certain “conventional” characteristics that influence the rents paid by residents and tourists, the implicit prices revealed by the hedonistic functions show that for a relative improvement in the quality of the natural landscape of 0.1 points, the estimated rent varies by around 2% for tourists. The same applies for residents. With regard to the quality of the built landscape, a relative increase of 0.1 points gives rise to a positive variation in rent for tourists estimated at 0.2%. Conversely, a relative increase in the quality of the built landscape is perceived negatively by residents and thus gives rise to a depreciation of 0.8%. Thus, it may be suggested that both tourists and residents have similar preferences with regard to the quality of the natural landscape, however their preferences differ in regard to the built landscape. Variations in rent prices can also be explained by access to the landscape. Finally, our analysis reveals that both groups of actors value the fact of being located at a distance from the station’s main infrastructure; this is expressed in a positive willingness to pay for locations away from the centre of the station, the ski lifts and food shops. Furthermore, and as assumed, the implicit price for an increase in the length of ski slopes and hiking trails is positive for tourists, whereas it is negative for residents.
    Keywords: Cardinal data, hedonic prices, landscape quality, landscape value, MACBETH
    JEL: R
    Date: 2005–07–08
  13. By: Black, William R. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Nijkamp, Peter
    Abstract: This paper maps out recent trends in transportation, communication and mobility, against the background of the need for comparative research on a Transatlantic basis. Particular attention is given to the importance of the ICT sector. Questions on comparability and transferability are dealt with, in particular from a sustainability perspective. The paper is concluded with an overview of future research challenges.
    Keywords: transportation; communication; mobility; ICT; comparsion
    Date: 2004
  14. By: Beekman,. Michiel (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Bruinsma, Frank; Rietveld, Piet
    Abstract: One of the sectors that gained most of the boost in ICT developments is the call centres sector. The focus in this paper is on spatial diffusion patterns of call centres in the Netherlands. The number of call centres has increased rapidly in the last decade and it seems that impacts of call centres on the labour market are still underestimated. We will pay attention to two spatial levels: first, regional and second, local. Given the labour intensity and quality required by call centres and the absence of physical contacts with consumers one might expect that most call centres are located in the more peripheral regions of the country. In those peripheral regions there is less pressure on the labour market and the level of education - in particular the ability to speak English is almost as good as elsewhere in the country. At the local level we are interested in the precise location of the call centres. We expect that they will prefer back office locations or even locations on cheap industrial sites, again due to the absence of physical contacts with consumers. They only will need enough parking space for their employees, since this is a relatively labour intensive economic activity. In this exploratory study we will analyze the spatial diffusion patterns of call centres in the Netherlands and link them to regional labour market developments and other location factors.
    Keywords: call centres; Netherlands; spatial diffusion patterns; labour market; ICT
    Date: 2004
  15. By: John M. Clapp (University of Connecticut); Anupam Nanda (University of Connecticut); Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: Increasing levels of segregation in American schools raises the question: do home buyers pay for test scores or demographic composition? This paper uses Connecticut panel data spanning seven years from 1994 to 2000 to ascertain the relationship between property values and explanatory variables that include school performance and school demographic attributes such as racial and ethnic composition. Census tract fixed effects are included to control for neighborhood unobservables, and assessed property values are shown to provide important additional controls. The study finds strong evidence that percent Hispanic and percent free lunch are important in determining housing prices, and no evidence that improved test scores lead to higher housing prices.
    Keywords: Test Score and Demographics, House Price, Omitted Neighborhood Attributes. Assessed Value model.
    JEL: D1 D4 I2 R2 R5
    Date: 2005–07

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