nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2006‒10‒21
eight papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Understanding Why Universal Service Obligations May Be Unnecessary: The Private Development of Local Internet Access Markets By Thomas Downes; Shane Greenstein
  2. An empirically based implementation and evaluation of a network model for commuting flows By Gitlesen, Jens Petter; Kleppe, Gisle; Thorsen, Inge; Ubøe, Jan
  3. Interregional Population Migration in Russia: Using an Origin-to-Destination Matrix By Kazuhiro Kumo
  4. Fat City: The Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Obesity By Jean Eid; Henry G. Overman; Diego Puga; Matthew A. Turner
  5. Congestion Pricing: Long-Term Economic and Land-Use Effects By Safirova, Elena A.; Houde, Sébastien; Lipman, D. Abram; Harrington, Winston; Bagliano, Andrew D.
  6. National and Regional Trends in Business Bankruptcies, 1980 to 2005 By Lecavalier, Cindy
  7. Country-level Business Performance and Policy Asymmetries in Great Britain By Anthony Plumridge; Don J. Webber; Martin Boddy; John Hudson
  8. School Competition By Jaag, Christian

  1. By: Thomas Downes; Shane Greenstein
    Abstract: This study analyzes the geographic spread of commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the leading suppliers of Internet access. The geographic spread of ISPs is a key consideration in U.S. policy for universal access. We examine the Fall of 1998, a time of minimal government subsidy, when inexpensive access was synonymous with a local telephone call to an ISP. Population size and location in a metropolitan statistical area were the single most important determinants of entry, but their effects on national, regional and local firms differed, especially on the margin. The thresholds for entry were remarkably low for local firms. Universal service in less densely-populated areas was largely a function of investment decisions by ISPs with local focus. There was little trace of the early imprint of government subsidies for Internet access at major U.S. universities.
    Keywords: Internet; Universal service; Geographic diffusion; Telecommunications
    JEL: L10 L86 L96 R11
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Gitlesen, Jens Petter (University of Stavanger); Kleppe, Gisle (Stord/Haugesund University College (HSH)); Thorsen, Inge (Stord/Haugesund University College (HSH)); Ubøe, Jan (Dept. of Finance and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: In this paper we present empirical results based on a network model for commuting flows. The model is a modified version of a construction introduced in Thorsen et al. (1999). Journeys-to-work are determined by distance deterrence effects, the effects of intervening opportunities, and the location of potential destinations relative to alternatives at subsequent steps in the transportation network. Calibration is based on commuting data from a region in Western Norway. Estimated parameter values are reasonable, and the explanatory power is found to be very satisfying compared to results from a competing destinations approach. We also provide theoretical arguments in favor of a network approach to represent spatial structure characteristics.
    Keywords: Journeys-to-work; transportation network; network approach; spatial structure characteristics
    JEL: C13 C51 C52
    Date: 2006–04–27
  3. By: Kazuhiro Kumo
    Abstract: This study examines regional economic conditions and their effects on interregional population redistribution patterns in Russia. After reviewing striking changes in population flows before and after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, an application of the gravity model on population migration in Russia in 2003 is presented using a newly obtained interregional in- and out-migration flow matrix supplied by Rosstat (formerly Goskomstat). Gross migration patterns in since the year 2000, when large transformational population flows ceased, have not been investigated so far in the existing literature. The analysis conducted focuses on geographical factors, which have been basically omitted in existing literature on migration patterns in transformational Russia, and the attractiveness of Moscow regions and resource-mining areas is clearly presented.
    JEL: P36 R12 R23
    Date: 2006–07
  4. By: Jean Eid; Henry G. Overman; Diego Puga; Matthew A. Turner
    Abstract: We study the relationship between urban sprawl and obesity. Using data that tracks individuals over time, we find no evidence that urban sprawl causes obesity. We show that previous findings of a positive relationship most likely reflect a failure to properly control for the fact the individuals who are more likely to be obese choose to live in more sprawling neighborhoods. Our results indicate that current interest in changing the built environment to counter the rise in obesity is misguided.
    Keywords: urban sprawl; obesity; selection effects
    JEL: I12 R14
    Date: 2006–10–06
  5. By: Safirova, Elena A. (Resources for the Future); Houde, Sébastien (Resources for the Future); Lipman, D. Abram; Harrington, Winston (Resources for the Future); Bagliano, Andrew D.
    Abstract: We employ a spatially disaggregated general equilibrium model of a regional economy that incorporates decisions of residents, firms, and developers integrated with a spatially disaggregated strategic transportation planning (START) model that features mode, time period, and route choice to evaluate economic effects of congestion pricing. First, we evaluate the long-run effects of a road-pricing policy based on the integrated model of land use, strategic transport, and regional economy (LUSTRE) and compare them with the short-term effects obtained from the START model alone. We then look at distributional effects of the policy in question and point out differences and similarities in the short run versus the long run. Finally, we analyze the mechanisms at the source of the economic and land-use effects induced by the road-pricing policy.
    Keywords: traffic congestion, welfare analysis, CGE modeling, cordon tolls, distributional effects
    JEL: C68 D63 R13 R14 R41
    Date: 2006–09–15
  6. By: Lecavalier, Cindy
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the long-run trend in business bankruptcies in Canada, examines the reaction of bankruptcies by region to the stresses associated with fluctuations in the economy and analyses the relation between the incidence of bankruptcies and the economic health of the regions. Over the past 25 years, Canadian businesses have experienced a number of tumultuous periods. After 2 decades of high bankruptcy associated with 2 major recessions and the implementation of 2 free trade agreements in the 1980s and 1990s, bankruptcies have returned by 2005 to levels experienced in the early 1980s. At the same time, the differences between the bankruptcy rates of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia fell as the intensity of bankruptcies in these 3 provinces converged. Throughout the period, bankruptcies in these 3 provinces moved in concert with unemployment rates in most provinces. The exceptions are Alberta and Nova Scotia, which experienced marked increases in bankruptcies in the early 1990s.
    Keywords: Business enterprises, Labour, National accounts, Business finance, Employment, Economic conditions
    Date: 2006–10–12
  7. By: Anthony Plumridge (School of Economics, University of the West of England); Don J. Webber (School of Economics, University of the West of England); Martin Boddy (Faculty of the Built Environment, University of the West of England); John Hudson (Depatment of Economics, University of Bath)
    Abstract: The HM Treasury identifies key ‘drivers’ of business performance and productivity differentials, which include skills, investment and competition. This paper presents an empirical investigation into the effects of these drivers on business-level productivity per employee across England, Scotland and Wales in order to identify whether spatial differences in the influence of these drivers exist. We adopt the Cobb-Douglas production function approach and our results suggest that, after taking account of sector specific effects, productivity differentials do exist between businesses across Great Britain and that policy instruments do potentially enhance productivity. The results indicate that these key drivers are equally applicable across countries of Great Britain. However, there is evidence to suggest that scale effects for labour and capital do differ across England, Wales and Scotland and that policy makers should be aware of these asymmetries.
    Keywords: Productivity per employee; HM Treasury’s key drivers; scale effects
    JEL: C21 R38 R58
    Date: 2006–11
  8. By: Jaag, Christian
    Abstract: This paper considers the influence of spatial competition on education and its effect on students' school choice and educational achievement by explicitely modeling educational production and the students' participation decision. Education at school is a function of teacher effort and class size. Students decide which school to attend on the basis of an assessment of the associated costs and prospective benefits from doing so. We analyze how competition between schools affects equilibrium resource spending and school diversity as well as the level and distribution of student attainment and welfare. The consideration of spatial aspects of school choice without recourse to vertical differentiation is a unique contribution of this paper. We argue that schools in metropolitan areas with short ways to school and many potential students face fiercer competition which increases school productivity and student performance. This result confirms the findings in Hoxby (2000). Overall learning time in school is constant in the probability that students behave well if students are segregated by type. However, better behaved students have a higher achievement due to higher optimum resource spending. Finally, we support our argument by an empirical analysis of student performance in various matura schools in Switzerland.
    Keywords: Schools; Education; Competition
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2006

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