nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2006‒03‒25
fourteen papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Productivity Differences and Agglomeration Across Districts of Great Britain By Lubomira Anastassova
  2. Cities with Children - Child Friendly Cities in Italy By UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  3. Education and Regional Job Creation by the Self-Employed: The English North-South Divide By Andrew E. Burke; Michael A. Nolan; Felix R. FitzRoy
  4. Local sustainable development and well-being/quality of life. An application of the capability approach at regional level By Alba Distaso
  5. Does Monetary Policy Help Least Those Who Need It Most? By Michael S. Hanson; Erik Hurst; Ki Young Park
  6. Rural and urban dynamics and poverty: Evidence from China and India By Fan, Shenggen; Chan-Kang, Connie; Mukherjee, Anit
  7. The Private Housing Market in Eastern Europe and the CIS By Jose Palacin; Robert Shelburne
  8. Livelihoods, growth, and links to market towns in 15 Ethiopian villages By Dercon, Stefan; Hoddinott, John
  9. A Commuting Model of the Non-urban Residents: Case Study of Hiiumaa and Läänemaa By Karin Juurikas
  10. Livelihood diversification and rural-urban linkages in Vietnam's Red River Delta By Thanh, Hoang Xuan; Anh, Dang Nguyen; Tacoli, Cecilia
  11. Moving Away from Poverty: A spatial analysis of poverty and migration in Albania By Alberto Zezza; Gero Carletto; Benjamin Davis
  12. Why the poor in rural Malawi are where they are: An Analysis of the Spatial Determinants of the Local Prevalence of Poverty By Benson, Todd; Chamberlin, Jordan; Rhinehart, Ingrid
  13. Regional school comparison and school choice : how do they relate to student performance ? Evidence from PISA 2003 By Maresa, SPRIETSMA
  14. Border Wars: Tax Revenues, Annexation, and Urban Growth in Phoenix By Carol E. Heim

  1. By: Lubomira Anastassova
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of employment density (agglomeration) on the hourly earnings of workers across districts of Great Britain. The potentially two-way causality between agglomeration and productivity is dealt with using two instruments: the total land area of a district and its population density. The estimated agglomeration effect is similar across different levels of territorial aggregation; however, the effect is stronger when looking only across Metropolitan areas. There is evidence of endogeneity only when the sample is split into Metropolitan and Non-Metropolitan areas and even so endogeneity has only little effect on the estimates.
    Keywords: Agglomeration, Productivity, Multiple Instruments.
    JEL: C31 O18 R12
    Date: 2006–02
  2. By: UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: Child Friendly Cities in Italy describes the evolution of childhood in Italy and the emergence of a new culture of the city. It analyses the consideration given to the Child Friendly Cities initiative and in particular the attention provided to the child as an active citizen and the role of the city in promoting the participation of young people in decision-making processes at the local level. The study looks at the specific experience of 12 of the more than 100 Italian cities that have adopted this approach, considering planning, budgeting and monitoring plans of action for children and ways through which children’s views are taken in due account. The study provides recommendations on how to further promote children’s rights within local governance.
    Keywords: Italy;
    JEL: J19
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Andrew E. Burke; Michael A. Nolan; Felix R. FitzRoy
    Abstract: Using decomposition analysis, the paper investigates the reasons why Northern England has less but higher performing self-employed businesses than the South. It finds the causes are mainly structural differences rather than due to regional variation in people's characteristics. The paper also unearths a regional dimension behind the impact of education on entrepreneurial job creation. It finds that, in the less developed North, education boosts self-employment job creation by enhancing performance per venture (quality). In the South, it reduces it by having no effect on quality alongside a negative effect on the number of people who become self-employed (quantity).
    Keywords: Self-employment, job creation, North-South divide, decomposition
    JEL: J23 R11 R23
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Alba Distaso
    Abstract: This paper has a twofold aim: the former is to focus on the concept of well-being/quality of life and its relationships with local sustainable development and the latter is to apply the capability approach at regional level. More specifically, one wants to analyse if sustainable development at a local level serves to better understand both the formation of well-being and/or quality of life. The instrument which will allow us to verify the operational value of the capability approach is the building of a multidimensional synthetic index of sustainability. This index will consists of aggregating a set of variables of different nature – from the socio-economic to the environmental ones. It may be considered an alternative to the conventional indices, which are normally founded on GDP, and will be applied to the Italian regions. After having standardised each variable so to make them homogeneous, the methodology proposed, which will allow us to gather and compare the Italian regions according to the higher or lower level of quality of life, is the Wroclaw’s Economic School taxonomic method. The results obtained may represent an information tool for targeting and zoning sustainable development measures which aim at improving well-being/quality of life at a local level.
    Date: 2005–12
  5. By: Michael S. Hanson (Economics Department, Wesleyan University); Erik Hurst (University of Chicago GSB, and NBER); Ki Young Park (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of U.S. monetary policy on the cross-sectional distribution of state economic activity for a 35-year panel. Our results indicate that the effects of policy have a significant history dependence, in that relatively slow growth regions contract more following contractionarymonetary shocks. Moreover, policy is asymmetric, in that expansionary shocks have less of a beneficial impact upon relatively slow growth areas. As a result, we conclude that monetary policy on average widens the dispersion of growth rates among U.S. states, and those locations initially at the low end of the cross-sectional distribution benefit least from any given change inmonetary policy.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, asymmetric effects, state dependence, regional business cycles
    JEL: E32 E59 R10
    Date: 2006–01
  6. By: Fan, Shenggen; Chan-Kang, Connie; Mukherjee, Anit
    Abstract: "Like many developing countries, China and India followed development strategies biased in favor of the urban sector over the last several decades. These development schemes have led to overall efficiency losses due to misallocation of resources among rural and urban sectors. It also led to large income gaps between rural and urban areas. The urban bias was greater in China than in India. Indeed, official data show that both the income gap and the difference in poverty rates between rural and urban areas are much larger in China than in India. Both countries have corrected the rural-urban divide to some extent as part of reform processes. But the bias still exists. Other studies also support the idea presented here that correcting this imbalance will not only contribute to higher rural growth, but also secure future urban growth (Fan and Chan-Kang 2005). More important, correcting the urban bias will lead to larger reductions in poverty as well as more balanced growth across sectors and regions. Correcting a government's bias towards investment in urban areas is one of the most important policies to pursue." from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Rural-urban linkages ,Poverty ,
    Date: 2005
  7. By: Jose Palacin (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe); Robert Shelburne (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe)
    Abstract: This study provides a broad overview of the private housing market in central and eastern Europe and some of the CIS – its history, current conditions and implications for the overall economy. It highlights regional differences, describes the different policy choices that have been made, and evaluates potential problem areas and the policy options for addressing them. The paper begins with a description of housing in these countries before and during their transition phase to market economies. The current state of the housing market in this region is then examined with an emphasis on its institutional development and size. Price trends throughout the region are analysed. A major objective is to ascertain the extent to which these markets are now similar to those observed in more developed western economies. The implications for the housing market resulting from the further integration of these countries into the global financial system are also explored.
    Keywords: housing market, East Europe, CIS, housing prices, housing bubble, mortgage market
    JEL: P25 G21 R31
    Date: 2005–12
  8. By: Dercon, Stefan; Hoddinott, John
    Abstract: ""This paper uses longitudinal data from 15 villages in rural Ethiopia to explore the nature and consequences of these links. It addresses the following questions: (1) What are the links between rural households and local urban centers? (2) Does better access to local market towns affect household economic behavior? and (3) Does better access to local market towns make households better off? ...In our results, market towns and cities are an important source of demand for products produced in rural areas, and rural residents are a source of demand for goods sold in urban areas. Improving the presence of roads, their quality, and improved transport are important factors that willfurther bind these spaces together and improve rural welfare market towns." from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Rural-urban linkages ,Livelihoods ,
    Date: 2005
  9. By: Karin Juurikas (Tallinn University of Technology)
    Abstract: Nowadays, increasing attention is paid to studying the circumstances of people`s migration. First of all, researchers are interested in the behavioural aspects and people´s choices of purpose and destination. The author’s interest was how the traffic models of travelling routes reflect the individual choices and movement trends. The research territory was Hiiumaa, one of the smallest counties of Estonia, which is the least affected by outside influence. As a control area, the coastal region of Läänemaa County was used. About Hiiumaa one can state that the shape of migration models depends on the network of roads; this, in its turn, depends on settlement patterns; this, however, depends on naturals and other features. People usually go to work near their home, but in the case of higher-paid and highly skilled jobs, the workplaces may be rather far away from home. Workplaces are mostly situated in larger settlements; therefore, the direction of migration from home to workplace is predominantly from a smaller to a larger settlement. In Hiiumaa, several forms of commuting to work are used and also expeditional migration. Comparison with Läänemaa shows that, under fairly similar conditions, the movement models are different. This difference is partly caused by the isolation of Hiiumaa, which is an island. Läänemaa, being situated on the mainland, has direct links with the capital city, Tallinn. In many cases, the people of Läänemaa commute to Tallinn every day, which would be impossible from an island.
    Date: 2005
  10. By: Thanh, Hoang Xuan; Anh, Dang Nguyen; Tacoli, Cecilia
    Abstract: "With high population density and limited land availability, Vietnam's Red River Delta is undergoing a major transformation as its economic base moves away from subsistence farming towards intensive, high-value food production for export and local urban markets, and nonfarm employment. This paper describes the changing livelihoods of the residents of two villages that represent two different pathways to local economic development. One village relies primarily on agricultural intensification and diversification, although in combination with nonfarm activities. These nonfarm activities are either supplementary (such as handicraft production and seasonal migration) or related to farming, such as provision of agricultural services, transport and trade of agricultural produce. To a large extent, it is this nonfarm income that allows investment in agriculture at the household level. Residents of the second village, although nominally still owning rice farms, have effectively moved out of agriculture and engage almost exclusively in handicraft production. Despite these major differences, there are also important similarities between the two villages. First, much of their recent economic development is linked to access to markets — including proximity to local urban centers and to Hanoi (where demand from urban consumers and from exporting enterprises has increased substantially), a vastly improved road and transport system, and an excellent communications infrastructure. Second, each village has developed forward and backward linkages with their main production sector. Last but not least, local authorities have played an important role in supporting local economic development, providing infrastructure, training for handicraft production, and inputs for farmers. The long-term sustainability of economic growth and poverty reduction in the Red River Delta will largely depend on strengthening rural-urban linkages. This includes adopting regulations on land use that allow farmers to better respond to growing urban demand for high-value produce; incorporate more explicitly the needs of the handicraft micro-enterprises in existing and future policies and plans for rural industrialization; recognize and support the role of seasonal migration in rural local economic development; and address the changing planning and natural resource management needs of these urbanizing villages." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: south east asia ,East and Southeast Asia ,Microenterprises Vietnam ,Migration, Internal ,Rural-urban linkages ,Livelihoods ,
    Date: 2005
  11. By: Alberto Zezza (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization); Gero Carletto (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization); Benjamin Davis (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)
    Abstract: This paper analyses recent patterns of migration and poverty in Albania, a country that - following the collapse of the communist regime in 1990 – has been experiencing high migration rates. Using a combination of survey and census data, the paper characterises spatial patterns in the distribution of poverty and migration at a high level of geographic disaggregation. The results emphasise the importance of analysing internal and international migration as different phenomena, as the two appear to be associated in opposite ways to observed poverty and welfare levels. While poverty acts as a push factor for internal migration, it seems to be a constraining factor for the more costly international migration. The results also suggest that rural migration to urban areas contributes to the relocation of poverty in urban areas.
    Keywords: Poverty, Migration, Albania.
    JEL: J1 J61 I32
    Date: 2005
  12. By: Benson, Todd; Chamberlin, Jordan; Rhinehart, Ingrid
    Abstract: "We examine the spatial determinants of the prevalence of poverty for small spatially defined populations in rural Malawi. Poverty prevalence was estimated using a small-area poverty estimation technique. A theoretical approach based on the risk chain conceptualization of household economic vulnerability guided our selection of a set of potential risk and coping strategies — the determinants of our model — that could be represented spatially. These were used in two analyses to develop global and local models, respectively. In our global model—a spatial error model — only eight of the more than two dozen determinants selected for analysis proved significant. In contrast, all of the determinants considered were significant in at least some of the local models of poverty prevalence. The local models were developed using geographically weighted regression. Moreover, these models provided strong evidence of the spatial nonstationarity of the relationship between poverty and its determinants. That is, in determining the level of poverty in rural communities, where one is located in Malawi matters. This result for poverty reduction efforts in rural Malawi implies that such efforts should be designed for and targeted at the district and subdistrict levels. A national, relatively inflexible approach to poverty reduction is unlikely to enjoy broad success." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Spatial analysis (Statistics) ,Poverty mapping ,Spatial regression ,Poverty determinants ,
    Date: 2005
  13. By: Maresa, SPRIETSMA (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: School choice and accountability have become popular educational policies in the US and the UK. In Europe, such policies are less often applied and therefore less subject to research. The present paper uses recent international data to study the impact of schools comparing their pupil’s results to a regional or national performance standard and that of regional school choice on student test scores. School performance comparisons and school choice by parents are assumed to complement each other in increasing both school and teacher effort. We estimate an education production function controlling for the hierarchical nature of the data. We also estimate our model using quantiles of student test scores to identify potentially different effects at different levels of student performance. We find that both a higher regional percentage of schools comparing their results and regional intensity of school choice significantly improve student test scores. This positive effect varies in size according to whether we consider low or high-performancing students.
    Keywords: School choice; school performance standards; education production function; pupil performance; hierarchical models
    JEL: I20 I28
    Date: 2006–02–15
  14. By: Carol E. Heim
    Abstract: Phoenix and neighboring municipalities, like many in the South and West, pursued a growth strategy based on annexation in the decades after World War II. This paper explores the link between annexation and competition for tax revenues. After discussing arguments for annexation, it traces the history of annexation in the Phoenix metropolitan area. A long-running series of "border wars" entailed litigation, pre-emptive annexations, and considerable intergovernmental conflict. The paper argues that tax revenues have been a key motivation for annexation, particularly since the 1970s. It then considers several related policy issues and argues that while opportunities for annexation are becoming more limited, competition for tax revenues (particularly sales tax revenues) continues to be fierce and to create dilemmas for municipalities in the region.
    JEL: H71 H77 N92 R51
    Date: 2006

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