nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2009‒01‒03
24 papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Survival of the Fittest in Cities: Agglomeration, Selection, and Polarisation By Kristian Behrens; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud
  2. A Spatial-Dependence Continuous-Time Model for Regional Unemployment in Germany By Johan H. L. Oud; Henk Folmer; Roberto Patuelli; Peter Nijkamp
  3. THE RISE AND FALL OF SPATIAL INEQUALITIES IN FRANCE: A LONG-RUN PERSPECTIVE By Pierre-Philippe Combes; Miren Lafourcade; Jacques-François Thisse; Jean-Claude Toutain
  5. The Origins of Entrants and the Geography of the German Laser Industry By Guido Buenstorf; Matthias Geissler
  6. Does EU Cohesion Policy Promote Growth? Evidence from Regional Data and Alternative Econometric Approaches By Mohl, Philipp; Hagen, Tobias
  7. The Determinants of Economic Growth in European Regions By Jesus Crespo Cuaresma; Gernot Doppelhofer; Martin Feldkircher
  8. The Effects of R&D on Regional Invention and Innovation By Ejermo, Olof; Gråsjö,Urban
  9. Sectoral Productivity, Density and Agglomeration in the Wider Europe By Robert Stehrer; Neil Foster
  10. Tourism and urban transport: Holding demand pressure under supply constraints By Daniel Albalate; Germà Bel
  11. Poolability and Aggregation Problems of Regional Innovation Data: An Application to Nanomaterial Patenting By Roberto Patuelli; Andrea Vaona; Christoph Grimpe
  12. Exploring Network Effects of Point-to-Point Networks: An Investigation of the Spatial Entry Patterns of Southwest Airlines By Jia Yan; Xiaowen Fu; Tae Oum
  13. Urbanisation and Structural Transformation By Guy Michaels; Ferdinand Rauch; Stephen Redding
  14. Regional Versus Individual Aspects of the Digital Divide in Germany By Schleife, Katrin
  15. ESTIMATING AGGLOMERATION ECONOMIES WITH HISTORY, GEOLOGY, AND WORKER EFFECTS By Pierre-Philippe Combes; Gilles Duranton; Laurent Gobillon; Sébastien Roux
  17. Impacto dos investimentos do PAC em Minas Gerais: efeitos sobre crescimento e desigualdade By Edson Paulo Domingues; Aline Souza Magalhães; Weslem Rodrigues Faria
  18. Empathy and Emulation: Life Satisfaction and the Urban Geography of Comparison Groups By Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh; John F. Helliwell
  19. Why Capital does not Migrate to the South: A New Economic Geography Perspective By Jang Ping Thia
  20. Labor Pooling in R&D Intensive Industries By Gerlach, Heiko A.; Rønde, Thomas; Stahl, Konrad
  21. Borders, Market Size and Urban Growth, The Case of Saxon Towns and the Zollverein in the 19th Century By Florian Ploeckl
  22. The Geography of Inventive Activities in OECD Regions By Stefano Usai
  23. Immigration and cumulative causation: Explaining the ethnic and spatial diffusion of Spain\'s immigrant population 1997-2007 By Rickard Sandell
  24. A Hedonic Analysis of the Value of Rail Transport in the Greater Dublin Area By Mayor, Karen; Lyons, Seán; Duffy, David; Tol, Richard S. J.

  1. By: Kristian Behrens; Frédéric Robert-Nicoud
    Abstract: Empirical studies consistently report that labour productivity and TFP rise with city size. The reason is that cities attract the most productive agents, select the best of them, and make the selected ones even more productive via various agglomeration economies. This paper provides a microeconomically founded model of vertical city differentiation in which the latter two mechanisms (`agglomeration' and `selection') operate simultaneously. Our model is both rich and tractable enough to allow for a detailed investigation of when cities emerge, what determines their size, and how they interact through the channels of trade. We then uncover stylised facts and suggestive econometric evidence that are consistent with the most distinctive equilibrium features of our model. We show, in particular, that larger cities are both more productive and more unequal (`polarised'), that inter-city trade is associated with higher income inequalities, and that the proximity of large urban centres inhibits the development of nearby cities.
    Keywords: entrepreneur heterogeneity, firm selection, agglomeration, income inequalities, urbanization, urban systems
    JEL: F12 R12
    Date: 2008–10
  2. By: Johan H. L. Oud (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands); Henk Folmer (University of Groningen, The Netherlands; University of Wageningen, The Netherlands); Roberto Patuelli (University of Lugano, Switzerland; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy); Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes patterns of regional labour market development in Germany over the period 2000-2003 by means of a spatial-dependence continuous-time model. (Spatial) panel data are routinely modelled in discrete time. However, there are compelling arguments for continuous time modelling of (spatial) panel data. Particularly, most social processes evolve in continuous time such that analysis in discrete time is an oversimplification, gives a distorted representation of reality and leads to misinterpretation of estimation results. The most compelling reason for continuous time modelling is that, in contrast to discrete time modelling, it allows for adequate modelling of dynamic adjustment processes (see, for example, Special Issue 62:1, 2008, of Statistica Neerlandica). We introduce spatial dependence in a continuous time modelling framework and apply the unified framework to regional labour market development in Germany. The empirical results show substantial autoregressive effects for unemployment and population development, as well as a negative effect of unemployment development on population development. The reverse effect is not significant. Neither are the effects of the development of regional average wages and of the manufacturing sector on the development of unemployment and population.
    Keywords: Continuous time modelling, structural equation modelling, spatial dependence, panel data, disattenuation, measurement errors, Germany
    JEL: C33 E24 O18 R11
    Date: 2008–12
  3. By: Pierre-Philippe Combes (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - CNRS : UMR6579); Miren Lafourcade (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris); Jacques-François Thisse (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris); Jean-Claude Toutain (ERMES - Equipe de recherche sur les marches, l'emploi et la simulation - CNRS : FRE2887 - Université Panthéon-Assas - Paris II)
    Abstract: This paper uses a unique database that provides value-added, employment, and population levels for the entire set of French departments for the years 1860, 1930, and 2000. These data cover three sectors: agriculture, manufacturing, and services. This allows us to study the evolution of spatial inequalities within France and to test the empirical relevance of economic geography predictions over the long run. The evidence confirms the existence of a bell-shaped evolution of the spatial concentration of manufacturing and services. In contrast, labor productivity has been converging across departments. Last, our study also confirms the presence of strong agglomeration economies during the full time-period. Market potential during the first sub-period (1860-1930), and higher education during the second (1930-2000), together with sectoral diversity, account for the spatial distribution of these gains.
    Keywords: Economic geography, agglomeration economies, human capital, economic history
    Date: 2008–12–28
  4. By: Anthony Briant (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris); Pierre-Philippe Combes (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - CNRS : UMR6579); Miren Lafourcade (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées - Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates, in the context of economic geography estimates, the magnitude of the distortions arising from the choice of zoning system, which is also known as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). We consider three standard economic geography exercises (the analysis of spatial concentration, agglomeration economies, and trade determinants), using various French zoning systems differentiated according to the size and shape of spatial units, which are the two main determinants of the MAUP. While size matters a little, shape does so much less. Both dimensions seem to be of secondary importance compared to specification issues.
    Keywords: MAUP, concentration, agglomeration, wage equations, gravity
    Date: 2008–12–28
  5. By: Guido Buenstorf; Matthias Geissler
    Abstract: Entry into an industry often clusters in regions where the industry is already concentrated, which is suggestive of agglomeration economies. Regional public research activities may exert another attracting force on entrants into science-based industries. Empirically these proximity effects are confounded by other influences on where entrants originate and locate. This paper begins to disentangle the effects of agglomeration, public research, and the supply of capable entrants for the German laser industry. Our findings indicate that the industry’s geography was shaped by the local availability of potential entrants rather than localization economies. The impact of public research increased over time.
    Keywords: Industry clusters, agglomeration economies, public research, entry, heritage Length 29 pages
    JEL: L26 M13 R30
    Date: 2008–12
  6. By: Mohl, Philipp; Hagen, Tobias
    Abstract: This paper analyses the growth e®ects of EU structural funds using a new panel dataset of 124 NUTS-1 / NUTS-2 regions over the time period 1995-2005. We extend the current literature with regard to at least three aspects: First of all, we extend the time period of investigation, using structural funds payments of the last Financial Perspective 2000{2006 that have not been analysed before. Second, we use more precise measures of structural funds by distinguishing between Objective 1, 2 and 3 payments and by investigating the impact of time lags more carefully. Third, we examine the robustness of our results by comparing different econometric approaches highlighting specific methodological problems. Apart from \classical" panel data methods like system GMM, we apply spatial panel econometric techniques. The empirical evidence indicates that the Objective 1 payments in particular have a positive and significant impact on growth, whereas Objective 2 and 3 payments negatively affect the regions' growth rates. Furthermore, our results show that the growth impact occurs with a time lag of approximately two to three years.
    Keywords: EU structural funds, economic growth, spatial econometrics
    JEL: C21 O47 R11 R12
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Jesus Crespo Cuaresma; Gernot Doppelhofer; Martin Feldkircher
    Abstract: We use Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) to evaluate the robustness of determinants of economic growth in a new dataset of 255 European regions in the 1995-2005 period. We use three different specifications based on (1) the cross-section of regions, (2) the cross-section of regions with country fixed effects and (3) the cross-section of regions with a spatial autoregressive (SAR) structure. We investigate the existence of parameter heterogeneity by allowing for interactions of potential explanatory variables with geographical dummies as extra regressors. We find remarkable differences between the determinants of economic growth implied by differences between regions and those within regions of a given country. In the cross-section of regions, we find evidence for conditional convergence with speed around two percent. The convergence process between countries is dominated by the catching up process of regions in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), whereas convergence within countries is mostly a characteristic of regions in old EU member states. We also find robust evidence of positive growth of capital cities, a highly educated workforce and a negative effect of population density.
    Keywords: Model uncertainty, spatial autoregressive model, ddterminants of economic growth, European regions.
    JEL: C11 C15 C21 R11 O52
    Date: 2008–12
  8. By: Ejermo, Olof; Gråsjö,Urban
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of regional R&D on patenting for Sweden within an accessibility framework. We use two measures of patenting: number of patents granted per capita and a composite of quality-adjusted patents which we regard as an innovation indicator, respectively. Three conclusions emerge. First, we find that the specification where innovations per capita is used as a dependent variable performs much better than with granted patents per capita for capturing relationships with regional R&D. In fact, quantile regressions over the distribution of different patenting and innovation levels per capita show that R&D efforts within regions affect innovations per capita positively, except for the regions with the lowest levels of R&D. The effects on granted patents per capita are less robust and depend inconsistently on the level of R&D. Secondly, accessibility to inter-regional R&D do not affect innovation significantly in our results, which suggests that effects are locally bounded. This implies that studies of the R&D-innovation relationship are plagued by misspecification, since studies tend to show that R&D-effects diffuse to other regions. This is also the case in our study; the inter-regional effects are an important factor for granted patents. Third, the share of university R&D of all regional R&D has no effect on patenting, which suggests that the two types of R&D are substitutes. In view of these results the recommendation must be to use quality-adjusted patents for regional innovation studies rather than patent grants.
    Keywords: R&D, patenting, innovations, regions, spatial dependence.
    JEL: O31 O32 O33 O34 O38 N5 O47 R58
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Robert Stehrer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Neil Foster (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: In this paper we extend the agglomeration model of Ciccone (2002) to the level of industry. We then test this model using panel data for six sectors on regional level data for 27 EU member states. Our results for the aggregate economy confirm the estimates of Ciccone (2002). For our full sample of countries the sectoral level results also indicate significant agglomeration effects, with the exception of agriculture. Considering differences in the extent of agglomeration effects between new and old EU member states, however, leads to the conclusion that agglomeration effects tend to be stronger at both the aggregate and the sectoral level for new member states.
    Keywords: agglomeration, employment density, productivity, European regions
    JEL: R10
    Date: 2008–09
  10. By: Daniel Albalate (PPRE-IREA, Universitat de Barcelona); Germà Bel (PPRE-IREA, Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Scholars and local planners are increasingly interested in tourism contribution to economic and social development. To this regard, several European cities lead the world rankings on tourist arrivals, and their governments have promoted tourism activity. Mobility is an essential service for tourists visiting large cities, since it is a crucial factor for their comfort. In addition, it facilitates the spread of benefits across the city. The aim of this study is to determine whether city planners respond to this additional urban transport demand pressure by extending supply services. We use an international database of European cities. Our results confirm that tourism intensity is a demand enhancing factor on urban transport. Contrarily, cities do not seem to address this pressure by increasing service supply. This suggests that tourism exerts a positive externality on public transport since it provides additional funding for these services, but it imposes as well external costs on resident users because of congestion given supply constraints.
    Keywords: Tourism, Urban Transport, Local government
    JEL: H70 J68 L83 L98 R41
    Date: 2008–12
  11. By: Roberto Patuelli (Institute for Economic Research (IRE), University of Lugano, Switzerland; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy); Andrea Vaona (Institute for Economic Research (IRE), University of Lugano, Switzerland; Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany); Christoph Grimpe (ZEW Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim, Germany; Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium; University of Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: Research and development (R&D) in the field of nanomaterials is expected to be a major driver of innovation and economic growth. In this respect, many countries, as national systems of innovation, have established support programs offering subsidies for industry- and government-funded R&D. Consequently, it is of great interest to understand which factors facilitate the creation of new technological knowledge. The existing literature has typically addressed this question by employing a knowledge production function based on firm-, regional- or even country-level data. Estimating the effects for the entire national system of innovation, however, implicitly assumes poolability of regional data. We apply our reasoning to Germany, which has well-known – and wide – regional disparities, for example between the former East and West. Based on analyses at the level of NUTS-3 regions, we find different knowledge production functions for the East and the West. Moreover, we investigate how our results are affected by the adoption of alternative aggregation levels. Our findings have implications for further research in the field, that is, a careful evaluation of poolability and aggregation is required before estimating knowledge production functions at the regional level. Policy considerations are offered as well.
    Keywords: nanotechnology, patents, poolability, aggregation, Germany, spatial autocorrelation, spatial filtering
    JEL: L60 O32 R11 R12
    Date: 2008–12
  12. By: Jia Yan; Xiaowen Fu; Tae Oum (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)
    Abstract: This paper explores network effects in Point-to-Point airline networks by examining the spatial entry patterns of Southwest airlines during the 1990-2006 period. Estimation results from a spatial probit model reveal clear spatial dependence in profitability across different routes served by the carrier. Detailed investigation suggests two main sources of network effects, namely: (1) airport and regional presence, and (2) substitutability of markets. Findings of the paper suggest also that the network effects embedded in Southwest’s Point-to-Point network have many distinguishing features as compared to those identified in a typical Hub-and-Spoke network. This study brings some fresh insights on airline network effects in general, as well as explaining the pattern of aggressive network expansions of LCCs in particular.
    Keywords: Point-to-Point Networks, spatial entry patterns, Southwest airlines, spatial probit model
    Date: 2008–11
  13. By: Guy Michaels; Ferdinand Rauch; Stephen Redding
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on urbanization using sub-county data for the United Statesfrom 1880-2000 and municipality data for Brazil from 1970-2000. We show that the twocentral stylized features of population growth for cities - Gibrat's Law and a stablepopulation distribution - are strongly rejected when both rural and urban areas are considered.Population growth exhibits a U-shaped relationship with initial population density, and onlybecomes uncorrelated with initial population density at the high densities found inpredominantly urban areas. We provide evidence that the explanation for these patterns lies indifferent employment growth dynamics in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors andthe process of structural transformation away from the agricultural sector.
    Keywords: urbanisation, economic development, urban population, rural population
    JEL: R11 R51
    Date: 2008–10
  14. By: Schleife, Katrin
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the regional dimension of the German digital divide. It studies the determinants of home Internet use in Germany on the level of counties as well as on the level of individuals. Based on two large data sets, the analyses show that population density itself cannot explain regional differences in Internet use rates. The results rather indicate that it is the different composition of individual characteristics between rural and urban populations that accounts for the regional digital divide. At individual level, the findings underline the importance of network effects.
    Keywords: digital divide, Internet use, network effects
    JEL: O18 O33 R20
    Date: 2008
  15. By: Pierre-Philippe Combes (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - CNRS : UMR6579); Gilles Duranton (Department of Economics - University of Toronto); Laurent Gobillon (INED - INED); Sébastien Roux (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - INSEE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique)
    Abstract: Does productivity increase with density? We revisit the issue usingFrench wage and TFP data. To deal with the ‘endogenous quantity of labour’ bias (i.e., urban agglomeration is consequence of high local productivity rather than a cause), we take an instrumental variable approach and introduce a new set of geological instruments in addition to standard historical instruments. To dealwith the ‘endogenous quality of labour’ bias (i.e., cities attract skilled workers so that the effects of skills and urban agglomeration are confounded), we take a worker fixed-effect approach with wage data. We find modest evidence about theendogenous quantity of labour bias and both sets of instruments give a similar answer. We find that the endogenous quality of labour bias is quantitatively more important.
    Keywords: agglomeration economies, instrumental variables, wages, TFP
    Date: 2008–12–15
  16. By: Dayton M. Lambert (Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Tennessee); Raymond J.G.M. Florax (Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University); Seong-Hoon Cho (Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Tennessee)
    Abstract: This research note documents estimation procedures and results for an empirical investigation of the performance of the recently developed spatial, heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation consistent (HAC) covariance estimator calibrated with different kernel bandwidths. The empirical example is concerned with a hedonic price model for residential property values. The first bandwidth approach varies an a priori determined plug-in bandwidth criterion. The second method is a data driven cross-validation approach to determine the optimal neighborhood. The third approach uses a robust semivariogram to determine the range over which residuals are spatially correlated. Inference becomes more conservative as the plug-in bandwidth is increased. The data-driven approaches prove valuable because they are capable of identifying the optimal spatial range, which can subsequently be used to inform the choice of an appropriate bandwidth value. In our empirical example, pertaining to a standard spatial model and ditto dataset, the results of the data driven procedures can only be reconciled with relatively high plug-in values (n0.65 or n0.75). The results for the semivariogram and the cross-validation approaches are very similar which, given its computational simplicity, gives the semivariogram approach an edge over the more flexible cross-validation approach.
    Keywords: spatial HAC, semivariogram, bandwidth, hedonic model
    JEL: C13 C31 R21
    Date: 2008
  17. By: Edson Paulo Domingues (Cedeplar-UFMG); Aline Souza Magalhães (Cedeplar-UFMG); Weslem Rodrigues Faria (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: The Brazilian federal government has recently set out plans encompassing detailed public expenditure programs and targets on infra-structure investment (PAC, Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento). We investigate the sectoral, regional and national economic consequences of the PAC in Minas Gerais. Our modeling encompasses much detail. Firstly, we use a large-scale multi-regional CGE model of Brazil. The model is both bottom-up and top-down: bottom-up for Brazil's 27 states, and top-down for Brazil's 558 microrregions. Despite the high level of regional disaggregation, the level of sectoral disaggregation is also high, at 36 sectors. Secondly, we model the PAC in detail, considering each of the 9 sets of expenditure programs under the 2008-11 plan. We find that the PAC can have strong impacts in Minas Gerais, but can contribute to a increase in regional inequality in the state in long run.
    Keywords: regional modeling, general equilibrium, infrastructure, regional inequality, Brazil
    JEL: R11 R13 R58 C68
    Date: 2008–10
  18. By: Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh; John F. Helliwell
    Abstract: Departures from self-centred, consumption-oriented decision making are increasingly common in economic theory and are well motivated by a wide range of behavioural data from experiments, surveys, and econometric inference. A number of studies have shown large negative externalities in individual subjective well-being due to neighbours' incomes. These reflect the role of nearby households as comparison groups acting in individuals' reference-dependent preferences over income or consumption. At the same time, there are many reasons to expect positive spillovers from having prosperous neighbours. We combine high-resolution geographic data from three Canada-wide social surveys and the 2001 census to disentangle the spatial pattern of reference groups in urban areas and to identify channels of positive and negative spillovers on life satisfaction. We find evidence of significant effects of others' income at different scales and are able to reject a number of alternative explanations for the findings.
    JEL: D6 H0 J0 R0
    Date: 2008–12
  19. By: Jang Ping Thia
    Abstract: This paper explains why capital does not flow from the North to the South - the LucasParadox - with a New Economic Geography model that incorporates mobile capital,immobile labour, and productively heterogeneous firms. In contrast to neoclassical theories,the results show that even a small difference in the ex-ante productivity distribution betweenNorth and South can a have significant impact on the location of firms. Despite differences inaggregate capital to labour ratios, wage and rental rates continue to be the same in bothlocations. The paper also analyses the effects of risk on industrial locations, and shows why'low-tech' industries tend to migrate to the South, while 'high-tech' industries continue tolocate in the North.
    Keywords: Firm heterogeneity, capital mobility, economic geography
    JEL: F12 F15
    Date: 2008–11
  20. By: Gerlach, Heiko A.; Rønde, Thomas; Stahl, Konrad
    Abstract: We investigate the interplay between firms’ R&D decisions and labor market competition, and how this influences equilibrium location choices and welfare. Firms engage in risky R&D activities and thus create stochastic product and implied labor demand. Spatial agglomeration is more likely in situations where the innovation step is large and the probability for a firm to be the only innovator is high. When firms agglomerate, they tend to invest more in R&D compared to spatially dispersed firms. Agglomeration is welfare maximizing, because expected labor productivity is higher and firms choose a more efficient, diversified portfolio of R&D projects at the industry level. The latter aspect is ascertained by data from German firms in R&D intensive industries.
    JEL: L13 O32 R12
    Date: 2008
  21. By: Florian Ploeckl (Department of Economics, Yale University)
    Abstract: Changes in trade institutions, such as the abolishment of tariff barriers, have a potentially strong impact on economic development. The Zollverein, the 1834 customs union between German states, erased borders in much of central Europe. This paper investigates the Zollverein's economic impact through a study of urban population and its growth in the German state of Saxony. A model of the effect of market access on urban growth is combined with an extensive data set on town populations in Saxony and its neighbors as well as an improved distance measure based on GIS techniques, which take into account elevation patterns, roads, and rivers. The results show that Zollverein membership led to significantly higher growth for towns close to the border with fellow Zollverein member Thuringia. They also illustrate that natural resources affect town size but not the growth pattern after the Zollverein. The effects of changes in market access were reinforced through the impact on market access in other towns and they were stronger for larger towns as well. Migration was the predominant source of the differential growth pattern.
    Keywords: Zollverein, Saxony, Customs Union, Market Access, Economic Geography, GIS, Distance measurement
    JEL: F15 N93 R12
    Date: 2008–12
  22. By: Stefano Usai
    Abstract: This work reflects an initial analysis employing a pioneering new OECD database; it is among the first systematic attempts to analyse comparatively the distribution of innovative activity across regions in OECD economies with a set of homogenous measures for both input and output in the process of knowledge production and dissemination. The descriptive analysis shows that there are important differences in the inventive performance of regions in OECD economies, as measured by indicators for one of the key types of intellectual assets (i.e., patents). Inventive performance is concentrated in some regions in continental Europe, in North America and Japan. Highly inventive regions tend to cluster together. This spatial dependence is found to have increased over time. The inventive performance of regions is directly influenced by the availability of human capital and R&D expenditure. Local agglomeration factors (proxied by the density of population) are also found to have a significant impact while some negative effects appear when regions are mainly rural or when they are mainly service-oriented. Cross-country differences point to the importance of national innovation systems which shape the institutional framework within which innovation takes form and diffuses. <P>La Géographie des activités d'invention dans les régions de l’OCDE <BR>Ce travail est le fruit d’une première analyse à partir d’une base de données OCDE nouvelle et novatrice. Il correspond à l’une des premières tentatives d’effectuer de manière systématique des analyses comparatives de la distribution de l’activité d’innovation entre les régions, dans les économies de l’OCDE, et comporte une batterie d’indicateurs homogènes du processus de production et de diffusion du savoir (facteurs de production et produits). L’analyse descriptive montre que, dans les économies de l’OCDE, l’inventivité des régions, telle que mesurée par les indicateurs de l’un des principaux types d’actifs intellectuels (les brevets, par exemple), n’est absolument pas homogène. L’inventivité se concentre dans quelques régions du continent européen, d’Amérique du Nord et du Japon. Les régions à forte inventivité ont tendance à se constituer en réseaux. On a d’ailleurs constaté que cette dépendance spatiale a augmenté au fil du temps. La disponibilité de capital humain et les dépenses de R-D influent directement sur l’inventivité des régions. On observe également que des facteurs d’agglomération locaux (dont la variable indicatrice est la densité de la population) ont un impact significatif alors que certains effets négatifs se font sentir quand les régions sont principalement rurales ou principalement orientées vers les services. Les disparités transnationales mettent en exergue l’importance des systèmes nationaux d’innovation qui façonnent le cadre institutionnel au sein duquel l’innovation prend forme et se diffuse.
    Date: 2008–12–01
  23. By: Rickard Sandell (IMDEA Social Sciences)
    Abstract: This research argues that it is possible to explain the immigration intensity of close to 3 million immigration events in Spain by means of cumulative causation. In addition, it proposes that the theory of cumulative causation not only explains the intensity of migration but also the spatial and ethnic diffusion of the arriving immigrants. Thus, the research reported here significantly expands the explanatory scope of this approach. At the core of my argument is the innovative notion that to be able to take full advantage of the social capital made available by past immigrants, and which according to the theory of cumulative causation would make immigration more likely, it is not sufficient to be socially linked to past migrants, it is also essential for new immigrants to accept to live close to where past immigrants settled before them. The empirical analysis shows conclusively that the intensity of Spanish immigration is indeed subject to location specific cumulative causation, and that when present location specific cumulative causation gives rise to geographical and ethnic concentration of the immigrant population.
    Date: 2008–12–30
  24. By: Mayor, Karen (ESRI); Lyons, Seán (ESRI); Duffy, David (ESRI); Tol, Richard S. J. (ESRI)
    Abstract: We use a hedonic house price model to estimate the value of transport networks to homeowners in the Dublin area. Using a dataset of house sales between 2001 and 2006 and combining it with available geographical information system data on the train and tram lines in Dublin, it is possible to assess the values assigned to different transport links by homeowners. We find that the value of transport depends on how far from the property it is located and is also affected by the availability of alternative transport options in the area. There are differences in the values assigned to recently constructed tramlines compared to the traditional rapid transit train stations. The study also takes into account house characteristics and other environmental amenities.
    Keywords: Geographical Information System/Hedonic Regression/Train/Tram/Transport Network
    Date: 2008–11

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