nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2008‒11‒04
23 papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Fifty Years of Urban Accessibility : The Impact of Urban Railway Network on the Land Gradient in Industrializing Berlin By Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt; Nicolai Wendland
  2. Flexible Spatial and Temporal Hedonic Price Indexes for Housing in the Presence of Missing Data By Iqbal Syed; Robert J. Hill; Daniel Melser
  3. A combinatorial optimisation approach to non-market environmental benefit aggregation By O'Donoghue, Cathal; Hanley, Nick; Hynes, Stephen
  4. Financiranje regionalnog razvitka putem subvencija i donacija By Matić, Branko; Serdarušić, Hrvoje
  5. Intermediation, reciprocity and compatibility in regional innovation systems - an interregional comparison By Uwe Cantner; Andreas Meder; Tina Wolf
  6. Detection of local interactions from the spatial pattern of names in France By Keith Head; Thierry Mayer
  7. Agricultural exit problems: Causes and consequences By Headey, Derek; Bezemer, Dirk; Hazell, Peter B.
  8. Tourism and Regional Competitiveness: the Case of the Portuguese Douro Valley By Argentino Pessoa
  9. An Evolutionary Approach to Regional Systems of Innovation By Jan Gunnarsson; Torsten Wallin
  10. An alternative approach of valence advantage in spatial competition By Guillaume Hollard; Stéphane Rossignol
  11. Mietpreise und Lebensqualität: Ist das Wohnen in Ostdeutschland wirklich günstig? By Dominik Weiß
  12. Regional Measures of Human Capital in the European Union By Christian Dreger; Georg Erber; Daniela Glocker
  13. Inversión en infraestructuras, crecimiento y convergencia regional By Angel de la Fuente
  14. Tourism - Part of Sustainable Local Development By Avramescu , Tiberiu Cristian; Popescu, Ramona Florina
  15. El sistema de financiación regional: problemas y propuestas de reforma By Angel de la Fuente
  16. Housing busts and household mobility By Fernando Ferreira; Joseph Gyourko; Joseph Tracy
  17. City Size and the Henry George Theorem under Monopolistic Competition By Kristian Behrens; Yasusada Murata
  18. How Do Very Open Economies Absorb Large Immigration Flows? Recent Evidence from Spanish Regions By Libertad González; Francesc Ortega
  19. Efectos de la Inmigración sobre Crecimiento Regional en España By José Ignacio Conde Ruiz; Juan Ramón García López; María Navarro
  20. Can we use hedonic pricing to estimate freight value of time? By Jérôme Massiani
  21. Influencia de la cultura en el desarrollo económico regional de España (1983-2001) By Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez
  22. Does social capital reinforce technological inputs in the creation of knowledge? Evidence from the Spanish regions. By Ernest Miguélez; Rosina Moreno; Manuel Artís
  23. Spatial Disadvantages or Spatial Poverty Traps: Household Evidence from Rural Kenya. By W.J. Burke; T.S. Jayne

  1. By: Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt (University of Hamburg, Department of Economics); Nicolai Wendland (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: As the first to use an archival data set on historical land values of Berlin, Germany, from 1890 to 1936, we exploit exogenous variation in transport technology in order to test the validity of the monocentric city model. Endogenously determining the CBD, we conduct cross-section and timedifference analysis and model the land gradient in terms of straight-line distance and travel times. A counterfactual scenario indicates that a large proportion of urban decentralization is attributable to improvements in transport infrastructure. Controlling for spatial dependency, results suggest that the monocentric model fitted the city structure until the mid 20th century.
    Keywords: Transport Innovations, Land Values, Location Productivity, Economic History
    JEL: N7 N9 R33 O12
    Date: 2008–10
  2. By: Iqbal Syed (School of Economics, University of New South Wales); Robert J. Hill (School of Economics, University of New South Wales); Daniel Melser (Moody's Economy.Com)
    Abstract: We propose a flexible hedonic methodology for computing house price indexes that uses multiple imputation (MI) to account for missing data (a huge problem in housing data sets). Ours is the first study to use MI in this context. We also allow for spatial correlation, include interaction terms between characteristics, between regions and periods, and between regions and characteristics, and break the regressions up into overlapping blocks of five consecutive periods (quarters in our case). These features ensure that the shadow prices are flexible both across regions and time. This flexible structure makes the derivation of price indexes from the estimated regression equations far from straightforward. We develop innovative methods for resolving this problem and for splicing the overlapping blocks together to generate the overall panel results. We then use our methodology to construct temporal and spatial price indexes for 15 regions in Sydney, Australia on a quarterly basis from 2001 to 2006 and combine them to obtain an overall price index for Sydney. Our hedonic indexes differ quite significantly from the official index for Sydney published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. We also find clear evidence of convergence in prices across regions from 2001-3 (while prices were rising), and divergence thereafter. We conclude by exploring some of the implications of these empirical findings.
    Keywords: Real estate; House prices; Hedonic price index; Missing data; Multiple imputation; Spatial correlation
    JEL: C43 E01 E31 R31
    Date: 2008–10
  3. By: O'Donoghue, Cathal; Hanley, Nick; Hynes, Stephen
    Abstract: This paper considers the use of spatial microsimulation in the aggregation of regional environmental benefit values. The developed spatial microsimulation model uses simulated annealing to match the Irish Census of Agriculture data to a Contingent Valuation Survey that contains information on Irish farmers' willingness to pay (WTP) to have the corncrake restored as a common sight in the Irish countryside. We then use this matched farm survey and Census information to produce regional and national total WTP figures, and compare these to figures derived using more standard approaches to calculating aggregate environment benefit values. The main advantage of the spatial microsimulation approach for environmental benefit value aggregation is that it allows one to account for the heterogeneity in the target population. Results indicate that the microsimulation modelling approach provides aggregate WTP estimates of a similar magnitude as those produced using the usual sample mean WTP aggregation at the national level, but yields regional aggregate values which are significantly different.
    Keywords: corncrake conservation; willingness to pay; aggregation spatial microsimulation; Environmental benefit value
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: Matić, Branko; Serdarušić, Hrvoje
    Abstract: Unbalanced regional development is mayor obstacle to general advancement and prosperity of the European Union. Object of research is significance and role of financial sources as main factor that determine the development. The authors analyzes the financing models for polycentric balanced development through grant’s and donations.
    Keywords: regional development; grant; financing; European Union
    JEL: O1 O2 R11
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Uwe Cantner (Department of Economics, Friedrich-Schiller-University); Andreas Meder (Department of Economics, Friedrich-Schiller-University); Tina Wolf (Department of Economics, Friedrich-Schiller-University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the possible presence of three problems in regional innovation systems (RIS): intermediation, reciprocity and compatibility. Based on ï¬rm data gathered for three different regions, Northern Hesse, Jena and Sophia Antipolis, we can show that a low propensity to cooperate in a RIS is related to poorly performing intermediaries and a low complementarity with the regional knowledge base. The issue of trust in cooperating tends to have no effect on the propensity to cooperate. However, it is a main determinant of failed cooperation projects.
    Keywords: regional innovation systems, reciprocity, intermediation, complementarity, cooperation
    JEL: D81 O18 P25
    Date: 2008–10–28
  6. By: Keith Head (Sauder School of Business - University of British Columbia); Thierry Mayer (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: Using data on name distributions in 95 French d´epartements observed from 1946 to 2002, we investigate spatial and social mechanisms behind the transmission of parental preferences. Drawing inspiration from recent work on social interactions, we develop a simple discrete choice model that predicts a linear relationship between choices by agents in one location and the choices made in neighboring areas. We explain the shares of parents that give their children Saint, Arabic, and American-type names. In a second exercise we examine the effect of distance between locations on differences in name-type shares. In our last exercise we consider dissimilarity in actual names rather than name-types. Using Manhattan Distances as our metric, we find a steady and substantial decline in the importance of geographic distance. Meanwhile, differences in class and national origins have increasing explanatory power.
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Headey, Derek; Bezemer, Dirk; Hazell, Peter B.
    Abstract: "Contrary to conventional economic theories, the relationship between income growth and the share of the population within the rural or agricultural sector is extremely diverse, even among regions starting from similar levels of development, such as Asia and Africa. The pattern in developing Asia is characterized by fast growth and slow urbanization, primarily as the result of labor-intensive agricultural growth and strong farm–nonfarm linkages. But for all its success to date, Asia appears to be increasingly vulnerable to rising inequality and jobless growth patterns. Africa presents a divergent pattern of slow growth with rapid urbanization stemming from urban-biased policies, low rural population density, and high rates of population growth. But whereas Africa's path of urbanization without growth presents problems like unemployment, congestion, and food-price inflation, it may also provide new development possibilities through greater political empowerment, lower fertility rates, and agglomeration externalities. The paper concludes with a discussion of how development strategies can address these agricultural exit problems." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: economic growth, structural change, Urbanization, agricultural exits, rural to urban migration, rural non-farm employment, Inequality, employment, agglomeration externalities,
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Argentino Pessoa (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: Using a framework that articulates the most important factors of competitiveness to evaluate the regional economic strategies, and applying this framework to the Portuguese NUT III Douro, we show that this region is relatively weak in terms of internal linkages, subject to ageing and out-migration and lacking in innovation and entrepreneurship, apart from being isolated from mass markets. With these characteristics, to define only the priority to tourism is clearly insufficient for convergence. So, after assessing the results of such strategy, the paper ends with a conclusion that is extensive to other regions: the lagging regions, which are trying to converge with the more developed ones based on tourism, cannot only rely on a combination of environmental resources and marketing, but have to attend to other factors of competitiveness as well.
    Keywords: Douro Valley, environmental resources, regional competitiveness, tourism
    JEL: Q25 Q28 R19 R58
    Date: 2008–10
  9. By: Jan Gunnarsson (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen); Torsten Wallin
    Abstract: This article examines how the birth and the development of regional systems of innovation are connected with economic selection and points to implications for regional-level policies. The research questions are explored using an evolutionary model, which emphasises geographical spaces and production of intermediate goods. In particular we are concerned with how cooperative behaviour of technology producers is affected by the need to protect technological secrecies and of being financially constrained by forms demanding innovative input. Based on the theoretical model, we provide an analysis using computer simulations. The primary fidings are, firstly, that the model generates predictions suited for empirical research on how economic selection influences cooperative behaviour of innovative actors. Secondly, we demonstrate how a region's entrepreneurial activity and growth can be controlled in a decentralised way by regions.
    Keywords: social capital; social identity; civil society; open methods of coordination
    JEL: L24 O33 R38
    Date: 2008–06
  10. By: Guillaume Hollard (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris); Stéphane Rossignol (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: This paper explores a two-candidate spatial voting model, where one candidate has a valence advantage. Contrary to previous models, we introduce a multiplicative advantage, rather than an additive one. This takes into account the possible interaction between the quality of a candidate and his policy platform. This leads to a strikingly different model, in which all extreme voters support the favored candidate.
    Keywords: Spatial voting, Valence advantage
    Date: 2008–06
  11. By: Dominik Weiß
    Abstract: The rent levels between East- and Westgermany differ less than one Euro on average. This difference seems very slow regarding the persistant economic disparities and high vacancy rates in East-Germany. Based on the assumtion, that income and life quality aspects have an impact on the local rent level a set of variables is regressed on the rent of several housing quality segments in a cross-section analysis at the community-level. The regression contains demographic, economic and housing-market-related variables and a dummy variable for east germany. It incorporates hypotheses about a special supplier structure and several market interventions that are related to the transformation process from socialistic into market economic structures after the reunification in the 1990s. The results show a significant positive coeficiant for the east german dummy in two segments of the housing stock. Further Research about the reasons for the extra charge are important, because theese findings may be responsible for the continous out migration from East Germany.
    Keywords: Rents, East Germany, Housing Market, Urban Regeneration, Quality of Life
    Date: 2008–10
  12. By: Christian Dreger; Georg Erber; Daniela Glocker
    Abstract: The accumulation of the human capital stock plays a key role to explain the macroeconomic performance across regions. However, despite the strong theoretical support for this claim, empirical evidence has been not very convincing, probably because of the low quality of the data. This paper provides a robustness analysis of alternative measures of human capital available at the level of EU NUTS1 and NUTS2 regions. In addition to the univariate measures, composite indicators based on different construction principles are proposed. The analysis shows a significant impact of construction techniques on the quality of indicators. While composite indicators and labour income measures point to the same direction of impact, their correlation is not overwhelmingly high. Moreover, popular indicators should be applied with caution. Although schooling and human resources in science and technology explain some part of the regional human capital stock, they cannot explain the bulk of the experience.
    Keywords: Human capital indicators, SOEP, regional growth
    JEL: I20 O30 O40 O52
    Date: 2008
  13. By: Angel de la Fuente
    Abstract: En este trabajo se presentan algunas estimaciones de la contribución de la inversión en infraestructuras al crecimiento del producto y el empleo en España y sus regiones y se analiza el impacto de este factor sobre el proceso de convergencia regional en renta per cápita durante el período 1965-2004.
    Date: 2008–09
  14. By: Avramescu , Tiberiu Cristian; Popescu, Ramona Florina
    Abstract: Local development could be described as an attempt of global territorial development including economic, social, ultural, political aspects, encouraging the endogenous development -involving all human and financial means which contribute to it and assuring their convergence. It is a process based on the involvement of all interested actors (persons elected at local level, socio-professional groups, associative groups, initiators of projects on a certain territory) but also of the local population. Tourism is one of the most important branches in Romanian economy, having at its disposal a huge development potential. This field can represent a development chance for many areas. The diversity of tourism activities as well as the presence of some of them in the structure of other branches of economy offers tourism the character of an interference branch, having complex, ample connections with the other economic branches, connections that must be taken into account when local development strategies are drawn up. Local authorities are increasingly involved in the development and running of several aspects connected to tourism. This fact is based on the decentralizing tendency found in many countries, which refers to granting more responsibilities to local authorities. They know best what is important for the areas they manage and will do their best to achieve the local development objectives. At the same time, this reflects the stress laid on the involvement of communities in planning tourism and in the developing process of their areas. Tourism has many positive effects and contributes to the economic development of the areas that contain tourism sights directly and indirectly. The currency contribution of tourism, its contribution to forming the community’s income, the generation of business and employment opportunities are only a few of the aspects that show the part played by tourism in the overall economic development of an area. Tourism contributes to the sustainable local development. Tourism development must take place both in rural and urban environments.
    Keywords: local development; sustainable tourism; local communities
    JEL: L82 O18 H11
    Date: 2008–07–04
  15. By: Angel de la Fuente
    Abstract: Esta nota contiene el texto revisado de la conferencia impartida por el autor en el marco de la jornada sobre el futuro del sistema de financiación autonómica celebrada en La Granda (Asturias) en Agosto de 2008. En ella se analizan los principales problemas del actual sistema de financiación regional y se avanzan algunas propuestas para su reforma.
    Date: 2008–09
  16. By: Fernando Ferreira; Joseph Gyourko; Joseph Tracy
    Abstract: Using two decades of American Housing Survey data from 1985 to 2005, we estimate the influence of negative home equity and rising mortgage interest rates on household mobility. We find that both factors lead to lower, not higher, mobility rates over time. The effects are economically large -- mobility is almost 50 percent lower for owners with negative equity in their homes. This finding does not imply that current concerns over defaults and homeowners having to relocate are entirely misplaced. It does indicate that, in the past, the mortgage lock-in effects of these two factors were dominant over time. Policymakers may wish to begin considering the consequences of mortgage lock-in and reduced household mobility because they are quite different from the consequences associated with default and higher mobility.
    Keywords: Housing - Finance ; Mortgages ; Households ; Home ownership
    Date: 2008
  17. By: Kristian Behrens; Yasusada Murata
    Abstract: We analyze the equilibrium and the optimal resource allocations in a monocentric city under monopolistic competition. Unlike the constant elasticity of substitution (CES) case, where the equilibrium markups are independent of city size, we present a variable elasticity of substitution (VES) case where the equilibrium markups fall with city size. We then show that, due to excess entry triggered by such pro-competitive effects, the "golden rule" of local public finance, i.e., the Henry George Theorem (HGT), does not hold at the second best. We finally prove, within a more general framework, that the HGT holds at the second best under monopolistic competition if and only if the second-best allocation is first-best efficient, which reduces to the CES case.
    Keywords: City size, Henry George Theorem, monopolistic competition, first-best and second-best allocations, variable elasticity
    JEL: D43 R12 R13
    Date: 2008
  18. By: Libertad González; Francesc Ortega
    Abstract: In recent years, Spain has received unprecedented immigration flows. Between 2001 and 2006 the fraction of the population born abroad more than doubled, increasing from 4.8% to 10.8%. For Spanish provinces with above-median inflows (relative to population), immigration increased the high school dropout population by 24%, while only increasing the number of college graduates by 11%. We study the different channels by which regional labor markets have absorbed the large increase in the relative supply of low educated (foreign-born) workers. We identify the exogenous supply shock using historical immigrant settlement patterns by country of origin. Using data from the Labor Force Survey and the decennial Census, we find a large expansion of employment in high immigration regions. Specifically, most industries in high-immigration regions experienced a large increase in the share of low-education employment. We do not find an effect on regions’ sectoral specialization. Overall, and perhaps surprisingly, Spanish regions have absorbed immigration flows in the same fashion as US local economies.
    Date: 2008–05
  19. By: José Ignacio Conde Ruiz; Juan Ramón García López; María Navarro
    Abstract: España ha pasado en muy poco tiempo de ser un país de emigrantes a un país de inmigrantes. El flujo medio anual de entrada es este nuevo siglo es de 600.000 al año (en la actualidad la inmigración representa el 10,5% de la población total, frente al 2,2% que representaba en el año 2000). Esto ha permitido situar la tasa de crecimiento poblacional en su nivel más alto de la historia. Además, el fenómeno no ha sido homogéneo en todo el territorio nacional, más del 55% del stock de inmigrantes se concentra en cuatro CCAA (Madrid, Cataluña y la C. Valencia). El objetivo de este artículo es calcular, mediante un ejercicio contable los efectos de la inmigración sobre la renta per-cápita por regiones de la economía española. Para ello analizaremos los efectos de la inmigración sobre los tres factores que determinan la renta per-cápita (factor demográfico, tasa de empleo y productividad). Vemos que la inmigración ha tenido un efecto positivo sobre los dos primeros, pero negativo sobre la productividad. En términos cuantitativos, para el conjunto de España la inmigración ha tenido un impacto neto neutro sobre la renta per-cápita (0,05 puntos en promedio anual). A nivel regional encontramos diferencias significativas. Por un lado, encontramos comunidades como La Rioja, Murcia, Castilla la Mancha, Canarias y Andalucía, donde el impacto global de la inmigración sobre la tasa de crecimiento de la renta per-cápita ha sido muy positivo. Pero por otro lado, encontramos regiones como Madrid, Navarra, Cataluña, Baleares o Aragón para las cuales el balance ha sido negativo. El impacto de la inmigración sobre el PIB es mucho mas positivo. A nivel nacional más del 38% del crecimiento medio del PIB anual se puede asignar a la inmigración. Además, el impacto sobre el PIB regional es muy positivo en todas las CCAA.
    Date: 2008–05
  20. By: Jérôme Massiani
    Abstract: In this article, we investigate the use of hedonic pricing method to measure freight value of time. We concentrate on the demand side of the freight market (that is shippers) and give a pre-cise definition to transport duration. We analyse the different temporal dimensions of freight transportation and examine how equilibrium forms on the freight market. This equilibrium is defined in reference cost and duration of the transport operations. Subsequently, we analyse how standard hedonic pricing technique has to be customised to be implemented on freight value of time. In a final section, we implement hedonic analysis on a data set consisting of ship-pers’ interviews. We test different specifications and find information on the distribution of shippers' willingness to pay for transport time savings.
    Keywords: Hedonic pricing, freight value of time.
    JEL: R41 D61
    Date: 2008–10–21
  21. By: Antonio Rafael Peña Sánchez
    Abstract: El objetivo planteado en este trabajo es analizar la influencia que la cultura, a partir de la utilización de la única base de datos disponible en la actualidad de capital social a nivel regional en la economía española, ha ejercido sobre la productividad y el nivel de desarrollo económico de las regiones españolas en el periodo 1983-2001. Los resultados obtenidos en las estimaciones econométricas elaboradas permiten avalar la hipótesis de que el capital social ha influido positiva y significativamente en la productividad y el nivel de desarrollo económico de las regiones españolas. En este sentido, se concluye que resulta aconsejable definir y poner en práctica políticas que favorezcan las redes sociales, sobre todo en las regiones más débiles, con el fin de facilitar un proceso de convergencia regional que haga factible un mayor grado de cohesión económico y social entre las Comunidades Autónomas españolas.
    Date: 2008–02
  22. By: Ernest Miguélez (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Rosina Moreno (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona); Manuel Artís (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: In this paper we seek to verify the hypothesis that trust and cooperation between individuals, and between them and public institutions, can encourage technological innovation and the adoption of knowledge. Additionally, we test the extent to which the interaction of social capital with human capital and R&D expenditures improve their effect on a region’s ability to innovate. Our empirical evidence is taken from the Spanish regions and employs a knowledge production function and longitudinal count data models. Our results suggest that social capital correlates positively with innovation. Further, our analysis reveals a powerful interaction between human and social capital in the production of knowledge, whilst the complementarity with R&D efforts would seem less clear.
    Keywords: social capital, human capital, innovation, complementarities.
    Date: 2008–10
  23. By: W.J. Burke (Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University); T.S. Jayne (Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University)
    Abstract: The goals of this study are: 1) to determine the relative importance of spatial factors in explaining household wealth; 2) to identify the spatial characteristics of the chronically poorest, the consistently well off, and households escaping from poverty as well as descending into poverty; 3) to determine effects of compound disadvantages on the likelihood of chronic poverty; and 4) to assess the evidence of spatial poverty traps (SPTs). Quantitative analysis is conducted using panel data collected from 1275 households, each surveyed four times with a structured questionnaire over an 11 year period from 1997 to 2007. We identified four distinct groups. The chronically poor are defined as households remaining consistently in the bottom third (tercile) of households ranked by wealth in each of the four survey years. Roughly 12.9% of the nationwide sample was found to be chronically poor. The consistently non-poor are defined as households consistently in the upper tercile of households ranked by wealth, and this group formed 16.2% of the total sample. The third and fourth groups were those households found to have risen from poverty (starting in the bottom tercile and ending in the top tercile, the ascending) and those who were in the top asset tercile in 1997 and fell to the bottom tercile by 2007 (the declining). Relatively few households in the sample were in either the upwardly mobile category (3.8%) or the downwardly mobile category (3.6%).
    Keywords: Africa, food security, kenya, poverty, spatial
    JEL: Q18
    Date: 2008

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