nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2008‒02‒02
ten papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Accessibility and urban development: A grid-based comparative statistical analysis of dutch cities By Borzacchiello, Maria Teresa; Nijkamp, Peter; Koomen, Eric
  2. Tendencies in the Romania's Regional Economic Development during the Period 1991-2004 By Andrei, Tudorel; Iacob, Andreea Iluzia; Vlad, Liviu Bogdan
  3. Specialization and Concentration of the Manufacturing Industry in the Italian Local Labor Systems By Sergio Lodde
  4. Regional and National Industrial Policies in Italy, 1950s-1993. Where Did the Subsidies Flow?" By Anna Spadavecchia
  5. Spatial Concentration in Institutional Investment in the UK: Some comparisons between the Retail and Office Sectors By Peter Byrne; Stephen Lee
  6. Banche e Imprese nei Distretti Industriali By Pietro ALESSANDRINI; Alberto ZAZZARO; Andrea PRESBITERO
  7. How do the Location Determinants of Vertical FDI and Horizontal FDI Differ? By Kyoji Fukao; Yuhong Wei
  8. Social Interactions and Labor Market Outcomes in Cities By Zenou, Yves
  9. Innovation and the geographical and functional dimensions of outsourcing: An empirical investigation based on Italian firm level data. By Lucia Cusmano; Maria Luisa Mancusi; Andrea Morrison
  10. Comparing House Prices Across Regions and Time: An Hedonic Approach By Robert J. Hill; Daniel Melser

  1. By: Borzacchiello, Maria Teresa (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics); Nijkamp, Peter; Koomen, Eric
    Abstract: Accessibility has become a key issue in modern urban planning. This paper aims to identify the impact of differences in spatial accessibility on the development of the built environment in cities. Using a few simple accessibility indicators, it tries to map out in a quantitative way the detailed implications of accessibility conditions for built-up areas, on the basis of a 25x25m grid cell approach. The statistical tools used are discriminant analysis and logistic regression, followed by a GIS representation of the empirical results for four Dutch cities: Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, and Utrecht.
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Andrei, Tudorel; Iacob, Andreea Iluzia; Vlad, Liviu Bogdan
    Abstract: The objective of this paper represents the analysis of the way the Romania's economic integration in the EU will influence the regional specialization and industrial activities localization within NUTS (the eight regions of Romania) during the period 1991-2004, using absolute measures (Herfindahl index).
    Keywords: regional specialization; geographic concentration; panel data; fixed effect model; random effect model.
    JEL: C13 C51 C52 B23 C23 C33
    Date: 2007–06
  3. By: Sergio Lodde
    Abstract: The paper examines the main trends of sectoral specialization and geographic concentration of the manufacturing industry in the Italian Local Labor Systems from 1981 to 2001. The main results are the following: both specialization and concentration show a tendency, although very weak, to decrease during the period under examination. Specialization decreases steadily in the Southern areas while in the Northern regions the trend slows down significantly during the nineties, presumably because Northern Local Labor Systems have been more affected by the European integration process. No such difference has been detected for concentration. Innovative industries shares are quite stable in the aggregate, however a technological convergence process can be detected among the territorial units. High tech industries tend to locate into territorial clusters and to diffuse into contiguous areas. High tech and increasing returns to scale industries are more geographically concentrated. A stable concentration degree over time is compatible with industries locational mobility across SLLs.
    Keywords: industrial specialization, technological specialization, geographic concentration, Italy
    JEL: R12 L60
    Date: 2007
  4. By: Anna Spadavecchia (Department of Management, University of Reading)
    Abstract: This paper compares the magnitude and distribution of regional subsidies to Southern industry to those of subsidies available in the country as a whole through the national industrial policy. The comparison highlights the fact that from the second half of the 1970s, industry located in the most prosperous region of Italy, the North-West, was the main beneficiary of subsidised credit. These findings refine our understanding of the regional policy for Southern Italy and the reasons for its limited achievements. Moreover, the redirection of subsidies away from the South cast doubts on the extent of the Italian government’s commitment to its programme of regional development.
    Keywords: Regional policy; Industrial policy; Regional pattern of government spending
    JEL: R58 H50 N94
    Date: 2007
  5. By: Peter Byrne (Department of Real Estate & Planning, University of Reading); Stephen Lee
    Abstract: Geographic diversity is a fundamental tenet in portfolio management.  Yet there is evidence from the US that institutional investors prefer to concentrate their real estate investments in favoured and specific areas as primary locations for the properties that occupy their portfolios.  The little work done in the UK draws similar conclusions, but has so far focused only on the office sector; no work has examined this issue for the retail sector.  This paper therefore examines the extent of real estate investment concentration in institutional Retail portfolios in the UK at two points in time; 1998 and 2003, and presents some comparisons with equivalent concentrations in the office sector.  The findings indicate that retail investment correlates more closely with the UK urban hierarchy than that for offices when measured against employment, and is focused on urban areas with high populations and large population densities which have larger numbers of retail units in which to invest.
    Keywords: Retail, Institutional Investment, Spatial Concentration
    Date: 2007
  6. By: Pietro ALESSANDRINI (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia); Alberto ZAZZARO (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia); Andrea PRESBITERO ([n.a.])
    Abstract: Given the changes that occurred in the organization and specialization of Italian industrial districts and the changing geography of the banking system, in this paper is we aim at reassessing the bank-firm relationship in industrial districts. Using firm-level data on a sample of Italian SME, we examine the determinants of credit rationing and relationship lending. Firstly, we test whether firms located in industrial district area have more access to banking credit and rely more on relationship lending. Secondly, we assess if being localized in industrial clusters have heterogeneous effects due to the structure of local credit markets. Our results point out the firms operating in industrial districts are less credit rationed, while their probability of relationship lending is not significantly different from the one of the average firm. Furthermore, a higher operational proximity of banks to local economies is associated with more access to banking credit and and to a lower probability of engaging in relationship lending, while a higher functional distance of the banking system from local communities is associated with tighter financing constraints and a lower probability of relationship lending. These effects are significantly intensified for firms located inside industrial districts.
    Keywords: banche, distanza funzionale, distretti, razionamento, relationaship lending
    JEL: G21 R51 R58
    Date: 2008–01
  7. By: Kyoji Fukao; Yuhong Wei
    Abstract: Distinguishing between vertical and horizontal foreign direct investment (FDI), this paper examines how the location determinants of the two types of FDI differ. Based on a conditional logit model and data on Japanese foreign affiliates, the main findings are that the most important determinant for horizontal FDI is a large market, whereas labor costs play a significant role in the case of vertical FDI. Concerning the effect of tariffs, geographical distance, and labor quality on the location decision, this study obtains results that differ from those of previous studies on the determinants of location choice of Japanese multinationals. First, tariffs and distance have opposite effects on the location decisions in the case of horizontal and vertical FDI. Second, labor quality has a positive effect only on the location decision of horizontal FDI.
    Keywords: horizontal FDI, vertical FDI, location decisoin, Japan's FDI
    Date: 2008–01
  8. By: Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We develop a model where information about jobs is essentially obtained through friends and relatives, i.e. strong and weak ties. Workers commute to a business center to work and to interact with other people. We find that housing prices increase with the level of social interactions in the city because information about jobs is transmitted more rapidly and, as a result, individuals are more likely to be employed and to be able to pay higher land rents. We also show that, under some condition, workers using more their weak ties than strong ties to find a job receive a higher wage. We finally demonstrate that workers living far away from jobs pay lower housing prices but experience higher unemployment rates than those living close to jobs because they mainly rely on their strong ties to obtain information about jobs.
    Keywords: social networks, labor market, weak ties, land rent
    JEL: D85 J60 R14
    Date: 2008–01
  9. By: Lucia Cusmano (Insubria University, Varese and CESPRI - Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.); Maria Luisa Mancusi (CESPRI - Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.); Andrea Morrison (URU - Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands and CESPRI - Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)
    Abstract: The paper investigates the diversified patterns of outsourcing in the Lombardy region and relates them to the probability of introducing product and process innovation. Based on a large firm-level survey, we show that outsourcing processes are strongly regionally embedded and that offshoring is still a limited phenomenon. Outsourcing strategies are shown to have a positive impact on firms’ innovation. In particular, the outsourcing of service activities contributes the most to innovation, thus suggesting that firms successfully pursue core strengthening strategies. Our econometric estimates show that both geographical and organizational proximity matter. Indeed, the positive association of services with innovation is strongly related to their regional dimension, which points toward the importance of local user-producer relationships. When outsourcing crosses national borders, keeping the outsourced activities at least loosely connected to the firm appears critical, as offshoring to non affiliated firms has a clear negative impact on innovation.
    Keywords: Product Innovation, Process Innovation, Outsourcing, Offshoring.
    JEL: D21 F23 L22 L23 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2007–12
  10. By: Robert J. Hill (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales); Daniel Melser (Moody’s Economy.Com)
    Abstract: Panel hedonic comparisons can be made using the region-time-dummy method. This method is a natural extension of the well known time-dummy and region-dummy methods which have been used extensively in the hedonic literature. We show that these methods are all affected by substitution bias, which can seriously distort their results. We propose an alternative approach that is free of substitution bias which builds up panel comparisons from bilateral building blocks using the hedonic imputation method. This approach is very flexible. We consider a number of variants on this method, all of which are likely to be improvements on the unconstrained region-time-dummy method. We illustrate our findings using data for 14 regions in Sydney over a six year period. We find clear evidence of bias in the region-time-dummy results as well as in simple average measures such as the median that fail to adjust for quality change. For these reasons we favor the hedonic imputations approach.
    Keywords: Hedonic regression; Quality adjustment; Housing; Price index; Substitution bias; Multilateral indexes
    JEL: C43 E31 O47 R31
    Date: 2007–11

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