nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2006‒12‒16
nine papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Regional development: contribution of evolutionary biology By Lucie Vaskova
  2. A quantitative assessment of the role of agglomeration economies in the spatial concentration of U.S. employment By Satyajit Chatterjee
  3. Urban structure and growth By Esteban Rossi-Hansberg; Mark L. J. Wright
  4. Applications of Evolutionary Eceonomic Geography By Ron A. Boschma; Koen Frenken
  5. Knowledge and the diversity of innovation systems: a comparative analysis of European regions By Christophe CARRINCAZEAUX (E3I-IFReDE-GRES); Frédéric GASCHET (IERSO-IFReDE-GRES)
  6. Foreign direct investment and economic growth: Empirical evidence from Russian regions By Ledyaeva , Svetlana; Linden, Mikael
  7. Bridging the Gap between Growth Theory and the New Economic Geography : The Spatial Ramsey Model By Raouf, BOUCEKKINE; Carmen, CAMACHO; Benteng, ZOU
  8. Is the Regional Perspective Useful? : Rural and Urban Quality of Life ; an Assessment By Annette Spellerberg; Denis Huschka; Roland Habich
  9. Prospective analysis: residential choice and territorial attractiveness By Marie-Martine GERVAIS-AGUER (IERSO-IFReDE-GRES)

  1. By: Lucie Vaskova (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: This paper tries to set out a potential of application of some evolutionary biology concepts to the issue of regional development. The objective is to show that employment of these concepts or at least inspiration by them may enrich some theories of regional development and enhance the explanatory framework of regional evolution.<br />First, the views of institutional economics and geography on evolutionary biology contribution are summarised, then some evolutionary concepts are applied to the path dependence concept e. g., in effort to find a possible way of classification of this phenomenon. However, we discuss some other evolutionary concepts, as coevolution, adaptation, preadaption, general approach to comprehension of evolution, etc. in connexion with some chosen theories and problems of regional development.
    Keywords: Regional development ; evolutionary biology ; path dependence ; theories of regional development
    Date: 2006–12–05
  2. By: Satyajit Chatterjee
    Abstract: This paper seeks to quantify the contribution of agglomeration economies to the spatial concentration of U.S. employment. A spatial macroeconomic model with heterogeneous localities and agglomeration economies is developed and calibrated to U.S. data on the spatial distribution of employment. The model is used to answer the question: By how much would the spatial concentration of employment decline if agglomeration economies were counterfactually suppressed? For the most plausible calibration, the answer is about 48 percent. More generally, the general equilibrium contribution of agglomeration economies appears to be substantial, with empirically defensible calibrations yielding estimates between 40 and 60 percent.
    Keywords: Employment
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Esteban Rossi-Hansberg; Mark L. J. Wright
    Abstract: Most economic activity occurs in cities. This creates a tension between local increasing returns, implied by the existence of cities, and aggregate constant returns, implied by balanced growth. To address this tension, we develop a general equilibrium theory of economic growth in an urban environment. In our theory, variation in the urban structure through the growth, birth, and death of cities is the margin that eliminates local increasing returns to yield constant returns to scale in the aggregate. We show that, consistent with the data, the theory produces a city size distribution that is well approximated by Zipf’s Law, but that also displays the observed systematic under-representation of both very small and very large cities. Using our model, we show that the dispersion of city sizes is consistent with the dispersion of productivity shocks found in the data.
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Ron A. Boschma; Koen Frenken
    Abstract: This paper is written as the first chapter of an edited volume on evolutionary economics and economic geography (Frenken, K., editor, Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, expected publication date February 2007). The paper reviews empirical applications of evolutionary economics in the field of economic geography. The review is divided in four parts: the micro-level of the firm, the meso-levels of industry and network, and the macro-level of spatial system. Some remarks on evolutionary policy in regional development are added as well as a short discussion of empirical problems that remain.
    Date: 2006
    Abstract: The main goal of this paper is to shed some light on European regional diversity in terms of knowledge accumulation and socio-economic performances. Dynamic links between knowledge, innovation and performance are complex to address because they take place in different contexts, involving heterogeneous agents interacting through different institutions. Studies on national systems of innovation (Edquist, 1997) stressed the role of the institutional context in these dynamics and identify various configurations associated with these national systems. This conceptual framework, used at the regional level, leads to the identification of regional systems of innovation (Cooke, 2001) and thus underlines the limits of a regional scoreboard only based on high-tech indicators as it is usually proposed. This paper constitutes a first attempt to propose a more exhaustive effort in characterizing the diversity of \"regional knowledge an innovation systems \" within Europe. The study is performed through data analysis using the conceptual framework of \"social systems of innovation and production\" (SSIP) proposed by Amable, Barré and Boyer (1997). A Social System of Innovation and Production can be defined as a coherent combination of different components referring to Science-technology-industry (STI) configurations articulated with financial system, labour relations, education and training and economic performances. This framework can be adapted at the regional level by identifying specific arrangements of each part of the system even if the concept of system is questionable at this level. The analysis is performed combining data from three sources (Eurostat, the Cambridge Econometrics database and OST (Observatoire des Sciences et des Techniques)) over a sample of NUTS-II european regions and using multivariate data analysis (principal component analysis, hierarchical anova). Putting together the SSIP and local economic performances allows defining different regional configurations in order to identify regional trajectories and patterns of articulation between knowledge dynamics and performance. Our hypothesis is that regional growth in not a problem of best practice but of coherent knowledge combination: institutional differences may lead similar (or different) STI structures to different (respectively same) performances.
    Keywords: NARegional Innovation systems, Knowledge economy, Institutional diversity, European regions, Regional economic performances
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Ledyaeva , Svetlana (BOFIT); Linden, Mikael (BOFIT)
    Abstract: Barro and Sala-I-Martin empirical framework of neoclassical Solow-Swan model is specified to determine the FDI impact on per capita growth in 74 Russian regions during period of 1996-2003. The Arellano-Bond GMM-DIFF methodology, developed for dynamic panel data models, is used in estimations. Results imply that in general FDI (or related investment components) do not contribute significantly to economic growth in Russia in the analyzed period. Regional growth in 1996-2003 is explained by the initial level of region’s economic development, the 1998 financial crisis, domestic investments, and exports. However some evidence of positive aggregate FDI effects in higher-income regions is relevant. Another interesting result is that natural resource availability seems to be growth-inducing in rich regions, while in poor regions it is not significant. We also found convergence between poor and rich regions in Russia. However FDI seems not to play any significant role in the recent growth convergence process among Russian regions.
    Keywords: foreign direct investment (FDI); Russian regional economy; and economic growth
    JEL: E22 F21 P27
    Date: 2006–12–14
  7. By: Raouf, BOUCEKKINE (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics); Carmen, CAMACHO (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics); Benteng, ZOU
    Abstract: We study a Ramsey problem in infinite and continuous time and space. The problem is discounted both temporally and spatially. Capital flows to locations with higher marginal return. We show that the problem amounts to optimal control of parabolic partial differential equations (PDEs). We rely on the existing related mathematical literature toderive the Pontyagin conditions. Using explicit representations of the solutions to the PDEs, we first show that the resulting dynamic gystem gives rise to an ill-posed problem in the sense of Hadamard (1923). We then turn to the spatial Ramsey problem with linear utility. The botained properties are significantly different from those of the non-spatial linear Ramsey model dute to the spatial dynamics induced by capital mobility.
    Keywords: Ramsey model, Economic Geography, parabolic equations, optimal control
    JEL: C61 C62 O41
    Date: 2006–10–30
  8. By: Annette Spellerberg; Denis Huschka; Roland Habich
    Abstract: In Germany, processes can be observed that have long been out of keeping with the principle of equality of opportunity. Unemployment is concentrated in the structurally weak peripheral areas, in Eastern Germany in particular; emigration of young and better-educated people to the West is not diminishing, but contrary to expectation is again on the increase; aging pro-cesses have set in already, and when it comes to the provision of infrastructure, e.g. in the field of professional training, some regions are already suffering from considerable problems. These difficulties are frequently interpreted as differences between East and West and are explained away as problems resulting from reunification, such as the deindustrialization and restructuring of the economy and the enormous decline in the birth rate in Eastern Germany. Although these problems cannot just be attributed to social transformation and the birth rate crisis alone, being subject to more general processes of intensified globalization and the aging of society, the increasing regional disparities are rarely considered in the overall context of regional development patterns throughout Germany. Moreover, the difficulty of even obtaining data for purposes of comparison generally means that an international yardstick is lacking when regional developments are analyzed. The present study investigates regional disparities over a period of time in the light of subjective and objective indicators of the quality of life for individuals. To this end, we make use of data from the Wohlfahrtssurvey [Welfare Survey] from 1978 to 2001, among other sources. On the basis of the Euromodule that has been established at the WZB, we compare current regional patterns in Germany with those in other European countries. This approach makes it possible to provide information on the scale of regional disparities in various different countries, and to identify privileged and handicapped regions with reference to standards of living and the sense of wellbeing. The study's findings show that, in the past twenty-five years, welfare in Western Germany has evened out at a higher level, but currently a trend towards increasing economic disparity is discernible. In comparison with other European countries, on the other hand, the differences (regional differences) within Germany are comparatively slight.
    Date: 2006
    Abstract: A multitude of complex factors may affect the dynamics of where people choose to live yet little analysis has been done on the determinants of residential choice. With the help of a large on-line survey, the present paper will try to unscramble the criteria of choice used by British citizens with plans to establish their main, secondary or “secondary then main” residence in France within three years time. Such choices are all the more revealing due to this population’s preference for certain host regions over others. The study’s aims, purpose and foci will be presented in its first section, followed by a discussion of its theoretical underpinnings and modes of investigation. We will then examine some initial findings, comparing them with future migrants’ residential biography. We follow this with an in-depth analysis, with no pretence of being all-encompassing. The permanent, temporary or “mixed” nature of a move is a very important criterion in analysing migrants’ residential choice and in determining a typology thereof. Then the choices are examined once the various types of migrations and households have been neutralised. Subsequently we focus on territorial attractiveness by selecting five regions, based on future migrants’ expressed preferences for the first three, and the territorial specificities of the other two. One notable challenge will be to identify potential inter-area competition in light of various factors. These include the arbitrage that future migrants might make, the attractiveness that a region may possess (selective or not), the image they have of different areas, and the migratory imagination, whose not insignificant role requires some decoding.
    Keywords: British migration, Hedonic analysis, Residential choice, Territorial attractiveness, Selectivity, Inter-area competition and arbitrage, Migratory imagination
    Date: 2006

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