nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2006‒01‒01
nineteen papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. The Geography of Internet Adoption by Retailers By Jesse W.J. Weltevreden; Oedzge A.L.C. Atzema; Koen Frenken; Karlijn de Kruijf; Frank G. van Oort
  2. Agglomeration economies and entrepreneurship: testing for spatial externalities in the Dutch ICT industry By Frank G. van Oort; Erik Stam
  3. Precio de la tierra con presión urbana: Un modelo para España. By Esther Decimavilla; Carlos San Juan Mesonada; Stefan Sperlich
  4. Diversity, stability and regional growth in the U.S. (1975-2002) By Jürgen Essletzbichler
  5. The Analysis of Location, Co-location and Urbanisation Economics By Johansson, Börje; Forslund, Ulla
  6. Variety and regional economic growth in the Netherlands By Koen Frenken; Frank G. van Oort; Thijs Verburg; Ron A. Boschma
  7. The evolution of the spatial digital divide: From internet adoption to internet use by french industrial firms By Danielle GALLIANO (LEREPS-GRES & INRA-ETIC ); Pascale ROUX (ADIS, Université Paris Sud )
  8. The effect of regional differences on the performance of software firms in the Netherlands By Ron A. Boschma; Anet B.R. Weterings
  9. Housing and the Household Wealth Portfolio: The Role of Location By Marion Kohler; Kylie Smith
  10. B2c e-commerce adoption in inner cities: An evolutionary perspective By Ron A. Boschma; Jesse W.J. Weltevreden
  11. Regional Income Stratification in Unified Germany Using a Gini Decomposition Approach By Joachim R. Frick; Jan Goebel
  12. Localized Learning and Social Capital: The Geography Effect in Technological and Institutional Dynamics By Mark Lorenzen
  13. Evolutionary urban transportation planning? An exploration By Luca Bertolini
  14. A complex network approach to urban growth By Claes Andersson; Koen Frenken; Alexander Hellervik
  15. Un atlante del capitale sociale italiano By Fabio Sabatini
  16. Clustering of auto supplier plants in the U.S.: GMM spatial logit for large samples By Thomas H. Klier; Dan McMillen
  17. SBA guaranteed lending and local economic growth By Ben R. Craig; William E. Jackson, III; James B. Thomson
  18. Getting the Most Out of Public-Sector Decentralisation in Korea By Randall Jones; Tadashi Yokoyama
  19. Shelf Sequence and Proximity Effects on Online Grocery Choices By Breugelmans,Els; Campo,Katia; Gijsbrechts,Els

  1. By: Jesse W.J. Weltevreden; Oedzge A.L.C. Atzema; Koen Frenken; Karlijn de Kruijf; Frank G. van Oort
    Abstract: Up till now, the literature on Internet adoption by retailers paid little attention to spatial variables. Using data on 27,000 retail outlets in the Netherlands, we investigate the geographical diffusion of Internet adoption by Dutch retailers. More precise, we examine to what extent retail Internet adoption differs between shopping centers, cities, and regions, while controlling for product and organizational variables. Results of the linear and multinomial logistic regressions suggest that shops at city centers are more likely to adopt the Internet than shops located at shopping centers at the bottom of the retail hierarchy. Furthermore, shops in large cities have a higher probability to adopt the Internet than shops in small cities. On the regional level, the likelihood of Internet adoption is higher for shops in core regions than for retail outlets in the periphery. In conclusion, geography seems to matter for retail Internet adoption.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, internet adoption, retailing
    Date: 2005–09
  2. By: Frank G. van Oort; Erik Stam
    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 economics, spatial externalities, entrepreneurship, location, urban regimes, ICT industry
    JEL: D21 L25 L63 L86 M13 O18 R12 R30
    Date: 2005–03
  3. By: Esther Decimavilla (Universidad de Valladolid); Carlos San Juan Mesonada (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid); Stefan Sperlich (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: Land prices with urban sprawl: a model for Spain The paper describes the agricultural land price to identify the explanatory variables of the recent cycle in Spain. The key variables in our panel data model are location and expected farm rents as fundamentals and the housing prices and increases in the irrigated area as non fundamentals dependant variables. The demographic growth is also a relevant explanatory variable in the regions. The price cycle is also related with the specialization path of the regions and the impact of the integration in the CAP. The novelty of the paper relay on use of panel data models to identify fundamental factors related with agricultural productivity (expected agricultural rents) and location and no fundamental factors or speculative like (housing price, the irrigate area and the population) using regional data by type of land. The fundamental and non fundamental dependant variables are identify and the results are related with the regional and county specialization. RESUMEN La novedad de este trabajo consiste en identificar, mediante técnicas de datos de panel, factores no fundamentales (precios de la vivienda, creación de regadíos, cambio demográfico) que, además de los fundamentales, (ingresos esperados, costes de producción) determinan el valor de cada tipo de tierras y su productividad en cada región. En definitiva se trata de cuantificar que parte de la subida de precios observada se justifica por elementos “internos”, relacionados con la renta agraria esperada, y cual proviene de elementos externos o especulativos (cambio de uso del suelo). Palabras clave: Precios del suelo, competencia por la tierra, especulación urbana, datos de panel, precio de la vivienda, productividad agraria, regadíos, especialización regional. Estudiamos los precios de mercado de las tierras para uso agrario y elaboramos un modelo de datos de panel para identificar las variables que determinan la evolución de estos precios en España. La determinación del precio de la tierra es compleja, en nuestro modelo identificamos como variables fundamentales la evolución de los ingresos esperados por los agricultores y la localización geográfica, y como no fundamentales o especulativos la presión urbanizadora y el incremento del área de regadío, que tienen un impacto significativo. El crecimiento demográfico es otras de las variables significativas en el modelo. Además tratamos de describir los elementos del ciclo de precios que están más relacionados con el proceso de especialización productiva de las regiones, ya que el período estudiado coincide con la aceleración de la especialización en el ámbito regional y la integración en la PAC.
    Keywords: Land prices, land competing, urban pressure, panel data, agricultural productivity, irrigated land, regional specialization.
    JEL: R
    Date: 2005–12–23
  4. By: Jürgen Essletzbichler
    Abstract: This paper summarizes the theoretical arguments from evolutionary theory and ecological economics to put the trade-off between regional economic diversity and regional economic growth on stronger theoretical foundations. Hypotheses are tested using an empirical model that links regional economic diversity to stability and growth using data on 177 BEA areas of the continental United States during the period (1975-2002).
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, ecological economies, diversity, stbility, regional growth
    Date: 2005–09
  5. By: Johansson, Börje (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Forslund, Ulla (JIBS, Jönköping International Business School)
    Abstract: Using the taxonomy by Anselin (2003), this paper investigates how the inclusion of spatially discounted variables on the ‘right-hand-side’ (RHS) in empirical spatial models affects the extent of spatial autocorrelation. The basic proposition is that the inclusion of inputs external to the spatial observation in question as a separate variable reveals spatial dependence via the parameter estimate. One of the advantages of this method is that it allows for a direct interpretation. The paper also tests to what extent significance of the estimated parameters of the spatially discounted explanatory variables can be interpreted as evidence of spatial dependence. Additionally, the paper advocates the use of the accessibility concept for spatial weights. Accessibility is related to spatial interaction theory and can be motivated theoretically by adhering to the preference structure in random choice theory. Monte Carlo Simulations show that the coefficient estimates of the accessibility variables are significantly different from zero in the case of modelled effects. The rejection frequency of the three typical tests (Moran’s I, LM-lag and LM-err) is significantly reduced when these additional variables are included in the model. When the coefficient estimates of the accessibility variables are statistically significant, it suggests that problems of spatial autocorrelation are significantly reduced. Significance of the accessibility variables can be interpreted as spatial dependence
    Keywords: accessibility; spatial dependence; spatial econometrics; Monte Carlo Simulations; spatial spillovers
    JEL: C31 C51 R15
    Date: 2005–12–28
  6. By: Koen Frenken; Frank G. van Oort; Thijs Verburg; Ron A. Boschma
    Abstract: In economic theory, one can distinguish between variety as a source of regional knowledge spillovers, called Jacobs externalities, and variety as a portfolio protecting a region from external shocks. We argue that Jacobs externalities are best measured by related variety (within sectors), while the portfolio argument is better captured by unrelated variety (between sectors). We introduce a methodology based on entropy measures to compute related variety and unrelated variety. Using data at the COROP level for the period 1996-2002, we find that Jacobs externalities enhance employment growth, while unrelated variety dampens unemployment growth. Productivity growth, by contrast, can be explained by traditional determinants including investments and R&D expenditures. Implications for regional policy in The Netherlands follow.
    Keywords: evolutionary economic geography, new economic geography, economic variety
    Date: 2004–12
  7. By: Danielle GALLIANO (LEREPS-GRES & INRA-ETIC ); Pascale ROUX (ADIS, Université Paris Sud )
    Abstract: In this paper, we concentrate on different aspects of the « spatial digital divide » and seek to answer three questions : Are there still spatial inequalities in the adoption of these technologies ? Is there a so-called “second level” geographical divide characterized by important differences in the intensity of Internet use between firms that have adopted these tools? Do the appropriation processes and logic of diffusion of ICT adopters vary according to the type of area in which they are located (urban vs. rural areas)? To answer these questions we have constructed an original model of technological diffusion (of the type developed by Battisti and Stoneman, 2005) that merges two types of models: those that concentrate on epidemic effects, and the so-called equilibrium models that model the decision to adopt new technologies as the result of an economic calculation by firms, which depends on their internal characteristics and those of their competitive, industrial and local environment. This model uses data drawn from a recent national survey (“ICT and e-commerce” 2002). One of the main results is that, for a given size and sector, although there no longer are spatial inequalities in terms of ICT adoption in France, there are still important inequalities in firms’ processes of ICT appropriation and use.
    Keywords: Internet, inter-firm and intra-firm diffusion, rank and epidemic effects, agglomeration effects, spatial inequalities
    JEL: L2 O3 O18
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Ron A. Boschma; Anet B.R. Weterings
    Abstract: This paper aims to explore the effect of regional differences on the performance of software firms in the Netherlands. Inspired by evolutionary economics, we account for the impact of (1) co-location and sharing a local knowledge base; (2) pre-entry experience in the same or related industries; (3) being connected; and, (4) having organisational capabilities to cope with change. The outcomes of the regression analyses on data gathered among 265 software firms suggest that firms located in regions specialised in ICT have a higher innovative productivity. Spin-offs and firms with organisational capabilities also perform better, while network relationships do not affect the performance of software firms.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, agglomeration economies, innovative productivity, software industry, spin-offs
    Date: 2005–01
  9. By: Marion Kohler (Reserve Bank of Australia); Kylie Smith (Reserve Bank of Australia)
    Abstract: There is little doubt that cities can provide many benefits, such as greater employment and business opportunities, which tend to result in higher income and wealth for urban households. In addition, there may be a number of non-pecuniary benefits, including greater access to education, infrastructure and services. But these benefits are accompanied by an urban premium on house prices, thus possibly affecting the composition of the asset portfolios of households living in different locations. Using a recent cross-section of wealth data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey we test whether urbanisation, when controlling for other factors, has a significant effect on the share of assets that households hold in housing. For owner-occupiers, the effect is found to be significant and positive, suggesting that housing is more expensive in larger cities even once we allow for the higher incomes and asset holdings of these households. In fact, the effect is quite large with a 100 person per square kilometre increase in urbanisation increasing the share of assets held in the home by 0.4 percentage points, on average. Further, we find that this effect is not linear but declines at higher levels of urbanisation. Hence, for example, for an average owner-occupier household moving from Cairns to Brisbane city – an increase in urbanisation of around 2 000 persons per square kilometre – the increase in their housing share of total assets is estimated to be 5.6 percentage points.
    Keywords: HILDA; owner-occupiers; household survey; households; wealth shares
    JEL: D31 R12 R21 R23
    Date: 2005–12
  10. By: Ron A. Boschma; Jesse W.J. Weltevreden
    Abstract: Internet makes it possible for consumers to shop without visiting a physical store. As online shopping is becoming more popular, this could have significant impact on in-store shopping. The extent to which consumers, producers and retailers make use of the Internet as a complementary channel or as a substitute for in-store shopping is fundamental for the way traditional retailing will be affected. It is only recently that geographers are becoming interested in the spatial consequences of this new form of commerce. From a traditional geographical perspective, one could expect that business-to-consumer (b2c) e-commerce could make physical shopping redundant, leading to a ‘death of distance’. There are, however, several factors that may limit this new form of commerce, such as logistical constraints (e.g., personal delivery of goods may be quite expensive), habits of people, and the need for social contact. The main goal of the paper is to draw some expectations concerning the relationship between b2c e-commerce and inner city retailing. Using new insights based on evolutionary economics, hypotheses will be developed concerning the impact of b2c e-commerce on consumers’ shopping behaviour, retailers’ store strategy, and the inner city retailing environment as a whole. We claim that habits may act as a constraint to change consumers’ shopping behaviour. In addition, routines can explain why retailers may be rather reluctant in exploiting this new channel of commerce, and why they are most likely to adopt rather conservative e-commerce strategies. We also explain how and why inner cities, as important retailing and consumption places, may affect the way actors deal with this new form of commerce. One may expect that especially in these localities, both stimulating and limiting factors of b2c e-commerce adoption are predominant, depending on the quality or the attractiveness of the inner cities, among other things.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, e-commerce, urban economics
    Date: 2005–02
  11. By: Joachim R. Frick (DIW Berlin, Berlin University of Technology (TUB) and IZA Bonn); Jan Goebel (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: This paper delivers new insights into the development of income inequality and regional stratification in Germany after unification using a new method for detecting social stratification by a decomposition of the GINI index which yields the obligatory between- and within-group components as well as an "overlapping" index for the different sup-populations. We apply this method together with a jackknife estimation of standard errors. We find that East Germany is still a stratum on its own when using post-government income, but since 2001 no longer is when using pre-government income. These results remain stable when using alternatively defined regional classifications. However, there are also indications of some regional variation within West Germany. Overall, these findings are important for the political discussion with respect to a potential regional concentration of future transfers from East to West Germany.
    Keywords: inequality decomposition, Gini, stratification, German unification, regional disparities, SOEP
    JEL: C81 D31 D63
    Date: 2005–12
  12. By: Mark Lorenzen
    Abstract: Providing a concise working definition of social capital, this conceptual paper analyses why social capital is important for learning and economic development, why it has a regional dimension, and how it is created. It argues that with the rise of the Knowledge Economy, social capital is becoming valuable because it organizes markets, lowering business firms’ costs of coordinating and allowing them to flexibly connect and reconnect. Thus, it serves as a social framework for localized learning in both breadth and depth. The paper suggests that a range of social phenomena such as altruism, trust, participation, and inclusion, are created when a matrix of various social relations is combined with particular normative and cognitive social institutions that facilitate cooperation and reciprocity. Such a matrix of social relations, plus facilitating institutions, is what the paper defines as “social capital”. The paper further suggests that social capital is formed at the regional (rather than national or international) level, because it is at this level we find the densest matrices of social relations. The paper also offers a discussion of how regional policies may be suited for promoting social capital.
    Keywords: Social capital; knowledge economy; regional dimension
    JEL: D83 Z13
    Date: 2005
  13. By: Luca Bertolini
    Abstract: For urban transportation planners these are challenging times. Mounting practical concerns are mirrored by more fundamental critiques. The latter come together in the observation that conventional approaches do not adequately account for the irreducible uncertainty of future developments. The central aim of this paper is to explore if and how an evolutionary approach can help overcome this limit. Two core-hypotheses are formulated. The first is that the urban transportation system behaves in an evolutionary fashion. The second hypothesis is that because of this, urban transportation planning needs also to focus on enhancing the resilience and adaptability of the system. Changes in transport and land use development patterns and policies and in the broader context in the post-war period in the Amsterdam region are analysed in order to illustrate the two core-hypotheses. In the conclusions more general implications are drawn.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, urban economics, transportation planning
    Date: 2005–09
  14. By: Claes Andersson; Koen Frenken; Alexander Hellervik
    Abstract: The economic geography can be viewed as a large and growing network of interacting activities. This fundamental network structure and the large size of such systems makes complex networks an attractive model for its analysis. In this paper we propose the use of complex networks for geographical modeling and demonstrate how such an application can be combined with a cellular model to produce output that is consistent with large scale regularities such as power laws and fractality. Complex networks can provide a stringent framework for growth dynamic modeling where concepts from e.g. spatial interaction models and multiplicative growth models can be combined with the flexible representation of land and behavior found in cellular automata and agent-based models. In addition, there exists a large body of theory for the analysis of complex networks that have direct applications for urban geographic problems. The intended use of such models is twofold: i) to address the problem of how the empirically observed hierarchical structure of settlements can be explained as a stationary property of a stochastic evolutionary process rather than as equilibrium points in a dynamics, and, ii) to improve the prediction quality of applied urban modeling.
    Keywords: evolutionary economics, complex networks, urban growth
    Date: 2005–02
  15. By: Fabio Sabatini (University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics)
    Abstract: This paper is the Italian version of “Measuring Social Capital in Italy”, presented at the Third Forum for Young Researchers promoted by the Italian Sociological Association and at the Second Workshop for Young Economists organized by the University of Bologna. The contribution of this paper to the social capital literature is threefold. Drawing on Italian data, it firstly develops a new framework for measurement, allowing to build indicators of five different components of the multidimensional concept of social capital. Secondly, it provides a single, synthetic, measure capturing that particular configuration of social capital which the literature generally associates with positive economic outcomes. Thirdly, it draws the first atlas of the Italian social capital endowments. Questo saggio propone un nuovo metodo per la misurazione del capitale sociale ed effettua un’indagine empirica sul territorio italiano. L’analisi è basata su un dataset di indicatori di cinque dimensioni fondamentali del capitale sociale: i legami familiari, i rapporti informali con amici e conoscenti, le organizzazioni volontarie, la partecipazione politica e la coscienza civica. Sui cinque gruppi di variabili viene effettuata un’analisi in componenti principali, con l’obiettivo di costruire indicatori sintetici per ciascuna dimensione e individuare eventuali dimensioni latenti. L’intero dataset è analizzato invece mediante un’analisi fattoriale multipla, nel tentativo di costruire una misura “unica” delle dotazioni complessive di capitale sociale di ciascuna regione italiana. Dall’analisi emerge una chiara distinzione tra due tipi di rete, rispettivamente formati dai legami forti tra familiari e dai legami deboli che collegano amici, conoscenti e membri delle organizzazioni volontarie. Queste due forme di capitale sociale sono diversamente distribuite sul territorio italiano: le regioni ricche di legami forti sono povere di legami deboli e viceversa.
    Keywords: Social capital, social networks, social norms, civil society, economic development, Italy. Capitale sociale, società civile, sviluppo economico
    JEL: A12 O10 O18 R11
    Date: 2005–12–24
  16. By: Thomas H. Klier; Dan McMillen
    Abstract: A linearized version of Pinkse and Slade’s (1998) spatial probit estimator is used to account for the tendency of auto supplier plants to cluster together. By reducing estimation to two steps – standard probit or logit followed by two-stage least squares – linearization produces a model that can be estimated using large datasets. Our results imply significant clustering among older plants. Supplier plants are more likely to be in counties that are near assembly plants, that include interstate highways, and that are near other counties with supplier plants. New plants show no additional tendency toward clustering beyond that shown by older plants.
    Date: 2005
  17. By: Ben R. Craig; William E. Jackson, III; James B. Thomson
    Abstract: Increasingly, policymakers look to the small business sector as a potential engine of economic growth. Policies to promote small businesses include tax relief, direct subsidies, and indirect subsidies through government lending programs. Encouraging lending to small business is the primary policy objective of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) loan-guarantee program. Using a panel data set of SBA guaranteed loans, we assess whether SBA guaranteed lending has an observable impact on local economic performance. We find a positive and significant (although economically small) relationship between the relative levels of SBA guaranteed lending in a local market and the future per capita income growth in that market.
    Date: 2005
  18. By: Randall Jones; Tadashi Yokoyama
    Abstract: This paper discusses policies to improve fiscal relations between levels of government to better meet the needs of citizens, an objective of the government’s “Roadmap for Decentralisation”. Although local government accounts for around half of total government spending, they have little autonomy and fiscal resources vary sharply between regions. The priority should be to enhance the independence of local authorities by establishing a clear division of responsibilities and transferring additional assignments to the local level. The general local governments should also have more influnence on education, while providing more support, through stronger linkages with the local education authorities, with a final aim of merger. The allocation of intergovernmental grants should be more transparent and the regulations attached to them should be relaxed to expand flexibility, while increasing reliance on block grants. Improving the fiscal federalism framework also requires more revenue raising power for local governments while simplifying the structure of local taxes. Greater accountability and rules are needed to ensure sound fiscal management by local governments. This Working Paper relates to the 2005 OECD Economic Survey of Korea ( <P>Tirer le maximum de la décentralisation du secteur public en Corée Ce papier examine les politiques qui visent à rationaliser les relations financières des différents niveaux d’administration pour mieux répondre aux besoins des habitants, comme le veut le plan de marche gouvernemental vers la décentralisation. Bien que les collectivités locales soient à l’origine de la moitié des dépenses publiques totales, elles n’ont guère d’autonomie et leurs ressources budgétaires varient fortement d’une région à l’autre. L’objectif prioritaire est de renforcer l’indépendance des autorités locales en clarifiant la répartition des compétences, en transférant d’autres tâches à l’échelon local et en fusionnant les autorités scolaires locales avec les autorités locales générales. L’affectation des transferts entre collectivités publiques doit être plus transparente et leur réglementation, assouplie, pour plus de flexibilité, avec en parallèle un recours élargi aux dotations globales. Pour rationaliser le fédéralisme budgétaire, il faut aussi que les collectivités locales puissent mobiliser davantage de recettes et, en même temps, simplifier la structure de la fiscalité locale. Ce chapitre recommande aussi un effort de responsabilité et des règles qui assurent une saine gestion budgétaire des autorités locales. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de la Corée 2005 (
    Keywords: Korea, Corée, local government, fiscal discipline, discipline budgétaire, fiscal federalism, intergovernmental grants, fédéralisme financier, collectivités territoriales, transferts intergouvernementaux, decentralisation, property tax, décentralisation, impôt immobilier
    JEL: H1 H2 H7 R58
    Date: 2005–12–16
  19. By: Breugelmans,Els; Campo,Katia; Gijsbrechts,Els (METEOR)
    Abstract: Research on traditional store shelf effects has shown that a product’s absolute and relative shelf position may strongly affect consumer choices. In this paper, we examine whether such shelf effects are still at play in an online grocery store. While traditional ‘eye-level’ placement is no longer predominant, we find that a product’s choice probability increases when presented on the first screen or located near focal (highly-preferred) items. Our results further demonstrate that these primacy and proximity effects depend on assortment size and composition. Larger and more difficult to process assortments complicate the choice process, thereby stimulating the use of shelf-based simplifying choice heuristics.
    Keywords: marketing ;
    Date: 2005

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