nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2007‒04‒28
eleven papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. What determines the efficiency of regional innovation systems? By Michael Fritsch; Viktor Slavtchev
  2. No Man is an Island, the Inter-personal Determinants of Regional Well-Being in Europe By Aslam, A.; Corrado, L.
  3. Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation By David Card; Alexandre Mas; Jesse Rothstein
  4. How do social capital and government support affect innovation and growth? Evidence from the EU regional support programmes By Akcomak, Semih; Ter Weel, Bas
  5. Foreign banks’ attraction to the financial centre Frankfurt – a ‘u’-shaped relationship By Michael H. Grote
  6. Regional Labour Mobility in the European Union: Adjustment Mechanism or Disturbance? By Paul Cavelaars; Jeroen Hessel
  7. Space, growth and technology: an integrated dynamic approach By Gomes, Orlando
  8. The Interaction between Mortgage Financing and Housing Prices in Greece By Sophocles N. Brissimis; Thomas Vlassopoulos
  9. Polycentrisme et mobilité domicile-travail By Anne Aguiléra; Dominique Mignot
  10. Cities, connections and cronyism By John Quiggin
  11. Localisation intra-urbaine des entreprises et attractivité des zones d'activités économiques : Le cas de Bordeaux By François Million

  1. By: Michael Fritsch (University of Jena, School of Busniess and Economics, Max Planck Institute of Economics Jena, and Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)); Viktor Slavtchev (University of Jena, School of Busniess and Economics)
    Abstract: We assess the efficiency of regional innovation systems (RIS) in Germany by means of a knowledge production function. This function relates private sector research and development (R&D) activity in a region to the number of inventions that have been registered by residents of that region. Different measures and estimation approaches lead to rather similar assessments. We find that both spillovers within the private sector as well as from universities and other public research institutions have a positive effect on the efficiency of private sector R&D in the respective region. It is not the mere presence and size of public research institutions, but rather the intensity of interactions between private and public sector R&D that leads to high RIS efficiency. We find that relationship between the diversity of a regions’ industry structure and the efficiency of its innovation system is inversely u-shaped. Regions dominated by large establishments tend to be less efficient than regions with a lower average establishment size.
    Keywords: Knowledge, innovation, technical efficiency, spillovers, patents, regional analysis
    JEL: O31 O18 R12
    Date: 2007–04–20
  2. By: Aslam, A.; Corrado, L.
    Abstract: There is a strong need to complement the analysis of social well-being at the European regional level to supplement existing, predominantly economic analysis. This work extends the measurement of well-being across the EU-15 regions in several ways. First, we assess the determinants of well-being using a multilevel modelling approach using data at the national, regional and individual levels. Second, we have extended the model to account for the effects of social interactions within each group, as well as intrinsic socio-demographic indicators and higher-level exogenous contextual factors. Empirical findings support the idea that well-being is strongly dependent both on these general forms of social interactions and on more specific individual characteristics. We find that there is some evidence of greater regional effects relative to national effect.
    Keywords: Multilevel Modelling, Regional Well-Being, Social Interactions, Social Distance.
    JEL: R1 I31 O18 D31 D6
    Date: 2007–04
  3. By: David Card; Alexandre Mas; Jesse Rothstein
    Abstract: In a classic paper, Schelling (1971) showed that extreme segregation can arise from social interactions in white preferences: once the minority share in a neighborhood exceeds a critical "tipping point," all the whites leave. We use regression discontinuity methods and Census tract data from 1970 through 2000 to test for discontinuities in the dynamics of neighborhood racial composition. White population flows exhibit tipping-like behavior in most cities, with a distribution of tipping points ranging from 5% to 20% minority share. The estimated discontinuities are robust to controls for a wide variety of neighborhood characteristics, and are as strong in the suburbs as in tracts close to high-minority neighborhoods, ruling out the main alternative explanations for apparent tipping behavior. In contrast to white population flows, there is no systematic evidence that rents or housing prices exhibit non-linearities around the tipping point. Finally, we relate the location of the estimated tipping points in different cities to measures of the racial attitudes of whites, and find that cities with more tolerant whites have higher tipping points.
    JEL: J15 R21 R31
    Date: 2007–04
  4. By: Akcomak, Semih (UNU-MERIT); Ter Weel, Bas (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This research investigates the role of social capital and government intervention in explaining the differences of innovation output and economic growth for regions of the European Union from 1990-2002. Using several measures of social capital and innovation, and the European Union’s Objective 1, 2 and 5b figures for EU regional support, the estimates suggest that EU funding is not significantly contributing to economic outcomes, while social capital is. Investigation of a possible complementary relationship between social capital and government support reveals that regions with higher levels of social capital are more likely to effectively gain from EU regional support programmes. This result implies that aside from the benefits associated with the direct effect of social capital on economic outcomes, social capital appears to be a critical prerequisite for the effective implementation of government programmes. From a policy perspective, it appears to be important to stimulate education to foster human capital formation. When combined, human capital and social capital are likely to yield stronger effects for effective policies which increase economic outcomes.
    Keywords: Social capital, Innovation, Economic growth, European Union, Structural funds
    JEL: O1 O3 O52 Z13
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Michael H. Grote
    Abstract: This paper traces the location of foreign banks in Germany from 1949 to 2006. As suggested by new economic geography models we find a ‘u’-shaped concentration of foreign banks in Germany. Only after a competition between several cities, Frankfurt has emerged as the pre-eminent financial centre, triggered by the ‘historical event’ of setting up the German central bank in Frankfurt. After a strong increase, Frankfurt’s share in the location of foreign banks in Germany decreases slowly but significantly since the mid 1980’s. We conclude that there will be a lesser role in Europe for secondtier financial centres in the future.
    JEL: R11 N94
    Date: 2007–04
  6. By: Paul Cavelaars; Jeroen Hessel
    Abstract: We analyse the role of labour mobility as a mechanism for regional adjustment in Europe. We find that only a small share of migration can be explained by economic differences. Moreover, despite European integration and structural reforms, the role of labour migration in regional adjustment has not increased since the late 1980s. We conclude that regional migration in Europe currently acts as a source of disturbances rather than an adjustment mechanism.
    Keywords: labour mobility.
    JEL: F2 J60 R1
    Date: 2007–04
  7. By: Gomes, Orlando
    Abstract: Economic phenomena are interrelated. From a growth perspective, time analysis concerning the choices of present and future consumption and the choices between the allocation of scientific resources should be combined with a space analysis regarding the dissemination of economic activity through geographical locations. This paper intends to present such an integrated approach under a simple endogenous growth model. The determinants of growth are, on one hand, the decisions about how to allocate technological resources and, on the other hand, the strength with which productive activities can agglomerate in order to generate increasing returns to scale. We find that the long run steady state does not have to be a state of unchangeable geography – consumption and production conditions and technological progress not only determine long term growth but also the long term tendency for the economy to geographically concentrate or disperse.
    Keywords: Optimal control; Economic growth; Technology; Agglomeration economies; Increasing returns.
    JEL: O41 O33 R11 R12
    Date: 2006–03
  8. By: Sophocles N. Brissimis (Bank of Greece and University of Piraeus); Thomas Vlassopoulos (European Central Bank)
    Abstract: Although the close empirical relationship between the evolution of mortgage lending and housing prices is well established in the literature, the direction of causation is less clear from a theoretical standpoint. We apply multivariate cointegration techniques in order to address this issue empirically for the Greek economy. Our results, based on a cointegration relationship that we identify as a mortgage loan demand equation, indicate that housing prices do not adjust to disequilibria in the market for housing loans. This suggests that in the long run the causation does not run from mortgage lending to housing prices. In the short run we find evidence of a contemporaneous bi-directional dependence.
    Keywords: Housing loans; Housing prices; Multivariate cointegration
    JEL: G21 R21 C32
    Date: 2007–03
  9. By: Anne Aguiléra (LVMT - Laboratoire Ville, Mobilité, Transports - [INRETS] - [Université de Marne la Vallée] - [Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées]); Dominique Mignot (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: Une organisation polycentrique des villes permettrait-elle de mieux maîtriser les flux, notamment domicile-travail ? L'analyse de sept aires urbaines très différentes permet de mettre en relief des pôles d'emploi qui constituent, avec le centre, les lieux privilégiés de destination des actifs. Deux types de pôles sont mis en évidence : des pôles de banlieue, de grande taille et proches du centre et qui constituent avec lui un centre élargi au sein duquel la cohérence spatiale habitat-emploi est très élevée, et des pôles périphériques, plus petits et plus éloignés mais bien situés sur les grands axes de transport. Ils favorisent localement une certaine proximité à l'emploi pour les actifs qui y sont localisés mais restent très dépendants des pôles de banlieue. Les évolutions observées entre 1990 et 1999 semblent montrer que ces polarités ne sont pas en mesure de résister à la dissociation croissante entre habitat et emploi et à un étalement urbain généralisé et diffus des résidences hors des pôles.
    Keywords: Polycentrisme ; déplacement domicile-travail ; flux de déplacement ; pôle d'activité ; étalement urbain ; pôles de banlieue ; pôles périphériques
    Date: 2007–04–18
  10. By: John Quiggin (Department of Economics, University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Recent developments in the global system of cities present a curious paradox. With the cost of communications declining almost to zero and substantial, though less dramatic reductions in transport costs, there is now little technical requirement for most kinds of production to be undertaken in any particular location, or for elements of production chains to be located close to each other. This fact has had dramatic consequences for the organisation of manufacturing industry. Simple production chains involving the import of raw materials, usually from developing countries, for processing in a specialised centre, have been replaced by far more complex structures. Yet, in important respects, the dominance of a small number of Òglobal citiesÓ has never been greater. In this paper, it is argued that the dominance of global cities reflects a desire for clustering on the part of finance sector professionals and corporate executives. It seems likely that such clustering provides private benefits by enhancing the value of personal contacts, but reduces the efficiency and profitability of the corporate sector.
    Date: 2006–03
  11. By: François Million (LET - Laboratoire d'économie des transports - [CNRS : UMR5593] - [Université Lumière - Lyon II] - [Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat])
    Abstract: Cette communication traite de l'attrait des zones d'activités économiques auprès des choix de localisation des entreprises au niveau intra-urbain. La poursuite de la concentration et de l'étalement des activités économiques ainsi que l'accroissement et l'allongement des migrations alternantes, nous force à nous interroger sur les principaux déterminants de la localisation des entreprises en milieu urbain pour la recommandation d'instruments de politique publique susceptibles d'influencer le choix de localisation. La réalisation de zones d'activités est devenue l'une des actions les plus répandues des collectivités locales en faveur des entreprises. Par ailleurs, en tant qu'instrument urbanistique opérationnel réalisant un groupement de terrains préalablement équipés pour accueillir des établissements à caractère économique, elles peuvent être considérées comme l'un de ces outils. L'objet principal de cette étude sera de différencier les établissements selon leur choix de localisation : zone d'activités ou tissu urbain. Les résultats qu'elle fournira permettront de mieux considérer la pertinence et l'efficacité d'un tel dispositif.
    Keywords: Zones d'activités économiques ; localisation des entreprises ; choix de localisation ; attractivité ; niveau intra-urbain ; Bordeaux (France)
    Date: 2007–04–18

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