nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2007‒03‒24
23 papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. The Effect of Location on Finding a Job in the Paris Region By Gobillon, Laurent; Magnac, Thierry; Selod, Harris
  2. The Effect of Segregation and Spatial Mismatch on Unemployment: Evidence from France By Gobillon, Laurent; Selod, Harris
  3. Are Shirking and Leisure Substitutable? An Empirical Test of Efficiency Wages Based on Urban Economic Theory By Stephen L. Ross; Yves Zenou
  4. Neighborhood effects, public housing and unemployment in France By Florence Goffette-Nagot; Claire Dujardin
  5. Industrial Location at the Intra-metropolitan Level: A Negative Binomial Approach By Elisabet Viladecans Marsal; Josep Maria Arauzo Carod
  6. Fat City: Questioning the Relationship Between Urban Sprawl and Obesity By Eid, Jean; Overman, Henry G.; Puga, Diego; Turner, Matthew A
  8. WP. n. 73 Undermining The Principle Of Concentration? Eu Development Policies And The Socio-Economic Disadvantage Of European Regions By Riccardo Crescenzi
  9. Using the Global Positioning System (GPS) in Household Surveys For Better Economics and Better Policy By John Gibson; David McKenzie
  10. Mapping Accessibility Over Time By Ahmed El-Geneidy; David Levinson
  11. The Weakest Link: A Model of the Decline of Surface Transportation Networks By Feng Xie; David Levinson
  12. Evaluation des politiques de transports et équité spatiale By Alain Bonnafous; Sophie Masson
  13. Models of Transportation and Land Use Change: A Guide to the Territory By Michael Iacono; David Levinson; Ahmed El-Geneidy
  14. Effectiveness of Learning Transportation Network Growth Through Simulation By Wenling Chen; David Levinson
  15. Is the influence of quality of life on urban growth non-stationary in space? A case study of Barcelona By Vicente Royuel; Rosina Moreno; Esther Vaya
  16. Decomposing the Growth in Residential Land in the United States By Overman, Henry G.; Puga, Diego; Turner, Matthew A
  17. Comparing the evolution of spatial inequality in China and India: a fifty-year perspective By Gajwani, Kiran; Kanbur, Ravi; Zhang, Xiaobo
  18. Spatial Inequality in Chile By Claudio Agostini; Phillip Brown
  19. Money Illusion and Housing Frenzies By Brunnermeier, Markus K; Julliard, Christian
  20. Network Expansion Decision-making in the Twin Cities By Norah Montes de Oca; David Levinson
  21. La distribución geográfica del stock de capital productivo empresarial: Los polos de atracción en la economía regional española y factores determinantes, 1980-2000 By Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez
  22. El impacto de las infraestructuras en la convergencia de las regiones españolas: especial referencia al caso de Andalucía, 1980-2000. By Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez
  23. What Next? How the Internalization Process Might Lead to the Dissolution of Veneto's Low-technology Industrial District By Alessandro Spaventa; Salvatore Monni

  1. By: Gobillon, Laurent; Magnac, Thierry; Selod, Harris
    Abstract: There are large spatial disparities in unemployment durations across the 1,300 municipalities in the Paris region (Ile-de-France). In order to characterize these imbalances, we estimate a proportional hazard model stratified by municipality on an exhaustive dataset of all unemployment spells starting in the first semester of 1996. This model allows us to recover a survival function for each municipality that is purged of individual observed heterogeneity. We show that only 30% of the disparities in the survival rates relate to observed individual variables. Nearly 70% of the remaining disparities are captured by local indicators, mainly segregation indices.
    Keywords: duration model; residential segregation; spatial mismatch; urban unemployment
    JEL: C41 J64 R23
    Date: 2007–03
  2. By: Gobillon, Laurent; Selod, Harris
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate how residential segregation and bad physical access to jobs contribute to urban unemployment in the Paris region. We first survey the general mechanisms according to which residential segregation and spatial mismatch can have adverse labour-market outcomes. We then discuss the extent of the problem with the help of relevant descriptive statistics computed from the 1999 Census of the Population and from the 2000 General Transport Survey. Finally, we estimate the effect of indices of segregation computed at the neighbourhood and municipality levels, as well as job accessibility indices on the labour-market transitions out of unemployment using the 1990-2002 Labour Force Survey. Our results show that neighbourhood segregation is a key factor that prevents unemployed workers from finding a job. These results are robust to potential location endogeneity biases.
    Keywords: residential segregation; sensitivity analysis; spatial mismatch; urban unemployment
    JEL: J64 R14
    Date: 2007–03
  3. By: Stephen L. Ross (University of Connecticut); Yves Zenou (Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Stockholm, GAINS, CEPR and IZA)
    Abstract: Recent theoretical work has examined the spatial distribution of unemployment using the efficiency wage model as the mechanism by which unemployment arises in the urban economy. This paper extends the standard efficiency wage model in order to allow for behavioral substitution between leisure time at home and effort at work. In equilibrium, residing at a location with a long commute affects the time available for leisure at home and therefore affects the trade-off between effort at work and risk of unemployment. This model implies an empirical relationship between expected commutes and labor market outcomes, which is tested using the Public Use Microdata sample of the 2000 U.S. Decennial Census. The empirical results suggest that efficiency wages operate primarily for blue collar workers, i.e. workers who tend to be in occupations that face higher levels of supervision. For this subset of workers, longer commutes imply higher levels of unemployment and higher wages, which are both consistent with shirking and leisure being substitutable.
    Keywords: efficiency wage, leisure, urban unemployment
    JEL: J41 R14
    Date: 2007–02
  4. By: Florence Goffette-Nagot (GATE - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - [CNRS : UMR5824] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines]); Claire Dujardin (CORE - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics - [Université catholique de Louvain])
    Abstract: This paper is aimed at examining how individual unemployment is influenced both by location in a deprived neighborhood and public housing. Our identification strategy is twofold. First, we estimate a simultaneous probit model of public housing accommodation, type of neighborhood, and unemployment, thus accounting explicitely for correlation of unobservables between the three behaviors. Second, we take advantage of the situation of the public housing sector in France, which allows us to use public housing accommodation as a powerful<br />determinant of neighborhood choices and to use household's demographic characteristics as exclusion restrictions. Our results show that public housing does not have any direct effect on unemployment. However, living within the 35% more deprived neighborhoods does increase the unemployment probability significantly. As expected, the effect of neighborhood substantially decreases when dealing with the endogeneity of neighborhood and when using public housing as a determinant of neighborhood choice.
    Keywords: Neighborhood effects ; public housing ; unemployment ; simultaneous probit models ; simulated maximum likelihood
    Date: 2007–03–13
  5. By: Elisabet Viladecans Marsal; Josep Maria Arauzo Carod
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to analyse the influence of agglomeration economies on location decisions taken by new firms inside metropolitan areas. Following the literature, we consider that agglomeration economies are related to the concentration of an industry (location economies) and/or to the size of the city itself (urbanisation economies). As we assume that these economies differ according to firms' level of technology, our sample comprises new firms from high, intermediate and low technology industries. Our results confirm these sectoral differences and show some interesting location patterns for manufacturing firms. Taking into account the renewed interest in the influence of geography and distance in the location of economic activity, we introduce in our estimation the effect of the area's central city as a determinant for the location of new firms in the rest of the metropolitan area. This allows us to determine whether a suburbanisation effect exists and whether this effect remains the same regardless of the industry involved. Our main statistical source is the REI (Spanish Industrial Establishments Register), which provides plant-level microdata for the creation and location of new industrial firms.
  6. By: Eid, Jean; Overman, Henry G.; Puga, Diego; Turner, Matthew A
    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 neighbourhoods. Our results indicate that current interest in changing the built environment to counter the rise in obesity is misguided.
    Keywords: obesity; selection effects; urban sprawl
    JEL: I12 R14
    Date: 2007–03
  7. By: P Tridico
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse regional difference yield in terms of Human Development (HD) in Poland. During transition, western Polish regions grew more than eastern regions, and differences in terms of GDP per capita are evident. Nevertheless, higher GDP per capita in the West did not produce a higher level of non-income dimension indicators (i.e., Education and Life expectancy). On the contrary eastern regions, although they have a lower level of GDP per capita, have a higher level of non-income dimension indicators. This contradicts a neoclassical argument of considering HD as a proxy of GDP per capita. GDP growth is not a sufficient condition for HD. Along with GDP growth HD requires investments in social dimensions.
    Keywords: Regional Disparities, Human Development, Transition economics, Poland.
    JEL: R11 I10 I21 P25
  8. By: Riccardo Crescenzi
    Abstract: A number of empirical analyses has found evidence that the impact of the EU structural funds on the growth performance of assisted regions is comparatively weak and has failed to promote the objective of economic and social cohesion. This literature explains this lack of convergence in terms of the policies implemented, which, from this perspective, should be considered as social (or redistributive) rather than as development policies. This paper puts forward a different explanation for the failure to deliver the expected cohesion, namely that the distribution of the funds to the regions may have been à priori distorted by either political equilibriums or inaccurate assumptions over the most cost-effective allocation of the funds. As a consequence the principle of concentration has been undermined, as, among the poorest regions in the EU there is little correlation between expenditure and socio-economic disadvantage. In order to assess this potential explanation the geographical distribution of both sources of socio-economic disadvantage and the regional allocation of structural funds are compared, by means of a Heckman two-step selection model. The results show that the sources of disadvantage are more spatially concentrated than the funds devoted to compensating such disadvantage and uncover a weak association between structural disadvantage and EU funding. Consequently, structural policies could prove helpful to promote development in the EU’s lagging regions provided that the necessary corrections are introduced in their allocation mechanism in order to increase the geographical concentration of the funds and by more adequately earmarking the available resources to the most disadvantaged regions, which the analysis indicates as having the best potential for convergence.
    Keywords: Regional Policy, Regional development, socio-economic
    JEL: C24 O18 R11 R58
    Date: 2007–03
  9. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato); David McKenzie (Development Research Group, The World Bank)
    Abstract: Distance and location are important determinants of many choices that economists study. While these variables can sometimes be obtained from secondary data, economists often rely on information that is self-reported by respondents in surveys. These self-reports are used especially for the distance from households or community centers to various features such as roads, markets, schools, clinics and other public services. There is growing evidence that self-reported distance is measured with error and that these errors are correlated with outcomes of interest. In contrast to self-reports, the Global Positioning System (GPS) can determine almost exact location (typically within 15 meters). The falling cost of GPS receivers (typically below US$100) makes it increasingly feasible for field surveys to use GPS as a better method of measuring location and distance. In this paper we review four ways that GPS can lead to better economics and better policy: (i) through constructing instrumental variables that can be used to understand the causal impact of policies, (ii) by helping to understand policy externalities and spillovers, (iii) through better understanding of the access to services, and (iv) by improving the collection of household survey data. We also discuss several pitfalls and unresolved problems with using GPS in household surveys.
    Keywords: distance; externalities; global positioning system; location; survey measurement
    JEL: C81 O12 R20
    Date: 2007–03–19
  10. By: Ahmed El-Geneidy; David Levinson (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: The concept of "accessibility" has been coin in the transportation planning field for more than 40 years. Improving accessibility is a common element in the goals section in almost all transportation plans in the US. In this study we compare the changes in levels of accessibility over time in the Minneapolis - St. Paul region using two different modes (auto and transit). The importance of accessibility as a measure of land use and transportation planning performance in the region is revealed by comparing it over time. The longitudinal analysis being conducted shows improvements in most areas in the studied region in terms of the level of accessibility by automobile, and a drop in accessibility by transit over the period 1990 to 2000. The findings are compared to the levels of congestion in the region between the same time periods. This comparison shows the difference between the two measures and strengthens the importance of accessibility measures as a tool for monitoring and evaluating regional land use and transportation planning performance. <em>Journal of Maps (in press).
    JEL: R40 R11 R14
    Date: 2007
  11. By: Feng Xie; David Levinson (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: This study explores the economic mechanisms behind the decline of a surface transportation network, based on the assumption that the decline phase is a spontaneous process driven by decentralized decisions of individual travelers and privatized links. A simulation model is developed with a degeneration process by which the weakest link is removed iteratively from the network. Experiments reveal how the economic efficiency of a network evolves during the degeneration process and suggest an “optimal†degenerated network could be derived during the decline phase in terms of maximizing total social welfare. Keywords: decline, transportation network, degeneration, welfare, accessibility
    Keywords: Networks, Transportation, Structure, Entropy, Pattern, Continuity
    JEL: R40 R42 R48 D10 D83 D85 O33
    Date: 2007
  12. By: Alain Bonnafous (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat]); Sophie Masson (GEREM - Groupe d'Étude et de Recherche en Économie Mathématique - [Université de Perpignan])
    Abstract: Un système de transport irrigue un espace dont tous les lieux ne jouissent pas de la même accessibilité, que cet espace soit local, national ou international. Cela pose le problème de l'inégalité face au droit au transport et plus généralement celui de l'iniquité spatiale. Dans le cas de l'évaluation des politiques de transport, la prise en compte de l'équité spatiale pose un certain nombre de problèmes. Cela renvoie à la contradiction entre efficacité et équité. L'incapacité du calcul économique, tel qu'il est usuellement pratiqué, à considérer des objectifs de redistribution est clairement liée à son principe fondé sur l'hypothèse d'une répartition optimale. Nous nous proposons dans un premier temps de formaliser cette difficulté, puis nous nous interrogeons sur la manière d'arbitrer au mieux la contradiction. Plusieurs pistes sont alors étudiées. La première consiste en l'intégration de la notion d'accessibilité dans le calcul du surplus de l'usager selon la proposition de KOENIG. Les suivantes reposent sur les propositions des économistes de la redistribution et suggèrent, en amont du problème, de s'interroger sur la définition de l'équité spatiale. Une méthode est proposée qui intègre à l'évaluation standard une dimension redistributive.
    Keywords: calcul économique ; équité spatiale ; redistribution ; accessibilité ; utilitarisme ; évaluation redistributive
    Date: 2007–03–13
  13. By: Michael Iacono; David Levinson; Ahmed El-Geneidy (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: Modern urban regions are highly complex entities. Despite the difficulty of modeling every relevant aspect of an urban region, researchers have produced a rich variety models dealing with inter-related processes of urban change. The most popular types of models have been those dealing with the relationship between transportation network growth and changes in land use and the location of economic activity, embodied in the concept of accessibility. This paper reviews some of the more common frameworks for modeling transportation and land use change, illustrating each with some examples of operational models that have been applied to real-world settings.
    Keywords: Transport, land use, models, review network growth, induced demand, induced supply
    JEL: R42 R31 R21
    Date: 2007–03
  14. By: Wenling Chen; David Levinson (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: Computer simulation plays an increasingly important role in engineering education as a tool for enhancing classroom learning. This research investigates the efficacy of using simulation in teaching the topic of transportation network growth through an experiment conducted at the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Minnesota. In the experiment, a network growth simulator program (SONG) was incorporated into a senior/graduate class in transportation system analysis. Results of the experiment show that the use of SONG effectively enhanced students' learning in terms of helping students develop in-depth understanding about the development process of network patterns, and helped them develop some aspects of judgment, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. However the use of SONG may have been more effective had some other barriers to learning been overcome.</font></p>
    Keywords: Simulation, Engineering Education, and Transportation Network Growth .
    JEL: R40 R42 R48 A23
    Date: 2006
  15. By: Vicente Royuel (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Rosina Moreno (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Esther Vaya (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: There are several determinants that influence household location decisions. More concretely, recent economic literature assigns an increasingly important role to the variables governing quality of life. Nevertheless, the spatial stationarity of the parameters is implicitly assumed in most studies. Here we analyse the role of quality of life in urban economics and test for the spatial stationarity of the relationship between city growth and quality of life.
    Keywords: quality of life, urban economics, geographically weighted regressions
    JEL: R00 E00
    Date: 2007–02
  16. By: Overman, Henry G.; Puga, Diego; Turner, Matthew A
    Abstract: This paper decomposes the growth in land occupied by residences in the United States to give the relative contributions of changing demographics versus increases in the land area used by individual households. Between 1976 and 1992 the amount of residential land in the United States grew 47.5% while population only grew 17.8%. At first glance, this suggests an important role for per household increases. However, the calculations in this paper show that only 24.3% of the growth in residential land area can be attributed to State level changes in land per household. 37.5% is due to overall population growth, 5.9% to the shift of population towards States with larger houses, 22.7% to an increase in the number of households over this period, and the remaining 9.5% to interactions between these changes. There are large differences across states and metropolitan areas in the relative importance of these components.
    Keywords: land use; population growth
    JEL: O51 R14
    Date: 2007–03
  17. By: Gajwani, Kiran; Kanbur, Ravi; Zhang, Xiaobo
    Abstract: "In the second half of the last century, both India and China have undergone major transitions and have moved to more liberalized economies. This paper relates the observed patterns in regional inequality to major events during this period. Because of China's institutional barriers to migration, regional inequality is much higher than in India. Also, China's decentralization and opening up are closely related to the observed regional inequality – particularly the inland-coastal disparity – since the reform period. From the Green Revolution age to the period of economic liberalization in India, the evolution of regional comparative advantage has shifted from the quality of land to the level of human capital as India integrates with the international market. Therefore, India's states have become clustered into two clubs: more educated and less educated ones." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Liberalization, Liberalized economies, Regional inequality, Migration, Decentralization, Green Revolution, Economic conditions, International economic relations, Human capital, Spatial inequality,
    Date: 2006
  18. By: Claudio Agostini (ILADES-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado); Phillip Brown (Colby College, Waterville, Maine, United States and International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., United States.)
    Abstract: Despite success in reducing poverty over the last twenty years, inequality in Chile has remained virtually unchanged, making Chile one of the least equal countries in the world. High levels of inequality have been shown to hamper further reductions in poverty as well as economic growth and local inequality has been shown to affect such outcomes as violence and health. The study of inequality at the local level is thus crucial for understanding the economic well-being of a country. Local measures of inequality have been difficult to obtain, but recent theoretical advances have enabled the combination of survey and census data to obtain estimators of inequality that are robust at disaggregated geographic levels. In this paper, we employ this methodology to produce consistent estimators of inequality for every county in Chile. We find a great deal of variation in inequality, with county-level Gini coefficients ranging from 0.41 to 0.63.
    Keywords: Inequality, poverty mapping, Chile
    JEL: O15 D63 O54
    Date: 2007–03
  19. By: Brunnermeier, Markus K; Julliard, Christian
    Abstract: A reduction in inflation can fuel run-ups in housing prices if people suffer from money illusion. For example, investors who decide whether to rent or buy a house by simply comparing monthly rent and mortgage payments do not take into account that inflation lowers future real mortgage costs. We decompose the price-rent ratio in a rational component — meant to capture the proxy effect and risk premia — and an implied mispricing. We find that inflation and nominal interest rates explain a large share of the time-series variation of the mispricing, and that the tilt effect is very unlikely to rationalize this finding.
    Keywords: behavioural finance; housing; inflation illusion; interest rate; money illusion; mortgages; real estate
    JEL: G12 R2
    Date: 2007–03
  20. By: Norah Montes de Oca; David Levinson (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)
    Abstract: This paper presents a qualitative analysis of the decision-rules used by jurisdictions in Minnesota's Twin Cities metropolitan area. Interviews were conducted with staff at the city, county, metropolitan, and state levels to determine how decisions about road investment, expansion and new construction were made. Flowcharts were developed to provide a more systematic way of presenting that information. Most jurisdictions do not have extensive public participation processes, though several, notably the Metropolitan Council, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties and the City of Minneapolis do. Jurisdictions with public participation have the most formal and extensive documentation of their investment decision process. The decision factors vary by jurisdiction, though safety, capacity, and pavement quality were important throughout.
    JEL: R41 R42 R48 H40
    Date: 2006
  21. By: Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez
    Abstract: El objetivo planteado en este trabajo es, por un lado, presentar la dinámica territorial del crecimiento desde una óptica distinta a la que utiliza la teoría convencional, centrando la atención en la contrastación de la hipótesis planteada por la Nueva Geografía Económica referida a la localización espacial de actividades en las regiones españolas en el periodo 1980-2000; por otro lado, se trata de poner de manifiesto cuáles han sido algunos de los factores que explican la concentración regional del stock de capital productivo privado en las regiones españolas, tales como la eficiencia productiva regional, la localización y especialización de la mano de obra, el tamaño del mercado de consumo y la dotación territorial de infraestructuras.
  22. By: Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez (Universidad de Cádiz)
    Abstract: Este trabajo trata de analizar el impacto que han tenido las infraestructuras en el nivel de desarrollo económico en Andalucía, desde una perspectiva comparativa con el conjunto de las regiones españolas. En este sentido, este documento pone de manifiesto que, sin duda, la escasez de infraestructuras en la región andaluza ha constituido un serio obstáculo en el proceso de convergencia experimentado por el nivel de bienestar económico con el resto de las comunidades autónomas españolas.
    Keywords: convergencia sigma, productividad aparente del empleo, desarrollo económico, nivel de infraestructuras,sigma convergence, apparent productivity of employment, economic development, infrastructure level.
    JEL: D24 O18 O47 R11 R58
    Date: 2007
  23. By: Alessandro Spaventa; Salvatore Monni (Department of Law, Università degli Studi Roma Tre)
    Abstract: Since the early ‘90s Veneto’s firms have progressively internationalised their production process. After having described this phenomenon, we discuss the conditions under which it could lead in the medium term to the vanishing of the district of origin and the potential development of an industrial district in the recipient area. To support our case we examine the characteristics, trends and effects of the internationalisation process of the Montebelluna industrial district. We conclude by suggesting the adoption of policy measures to amplify possible positive effects and counter negative consequences.
    Keywords: Internationalisation, Clusters, Industrial districts, Delocalisation, Organization of Production
    JEL: L23
    Date: 2005–05

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