nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2009‒12‒05
six papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Human capital spillovers, productivity and regional convergence in Spain By Raul Ramos; Jordi Suriñach; Manuel Artís
  2. Europäische Metropolregionen in Deutschland – eine regionalökonomische Evaluation By Rusche, Karsten; Oberst, Christian
  3. The Determinants of Regional Economic Growth by Quantile By Robert Stehrer; Neil Foster; Jesus Crespo-Cuaresma
  4. Persistent regional gaps and the role of social capital: hints from the Italian Mezzogiorno’s case By Francesco Pigliaru
  5. Sobre la puesta en marcha del nuevo sistema de financiación regional: proyecciones para 2009 y algunas reflexiones By Angel de la Fuente
  6. Zipf's Law for Cities: On a New Testing Procedure By Sébastien TERRA

  1. By: Raul Ramos (AQR-IREA, Universitat de Barcelona); Jordi Suriñach (AQR-IREA, Universitat de Barcelona); Manuel Artís (AQR-IREA, Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the differential impact of human capital, in terms of different levels of schooling, on regional productivity and convergence. The potential existence of geographical spillovers of human capital is also considered by applying spatial panel data techniques. The empirical analysis of Spanish provinces between 1980 and 2007 confirms the positive impact of human capital on regional productivity and convergence, but reveals no evidence of any positive geographical spillovers of human capital. In fact, in some specifications the spatial lag presented by tertiary studies has a negative effect on the variables under consideration.
    Keywords: Regional convergence, productivity, human capital composition, geographical spillovers.
    JEL: O18 O47 R23
    Date: 2009–11
  2. By: Rusche, Karsten; Oberst, Christian
    Abstract: For more than ten years the concept of European Metropolitan Regions is fixed in the German regional planning system. This article uses the shift-share-technique to assess the economic performance of the eleven German metropolitan areas based on a national comparison. Firstly, there is a clear differentiation of different sets of metropolitan regions. Secondly, four categories of regions are implemented to analyze intraregional growth patterns. Here the category of agglomerations around the metropolitan core is identified as the growth foci in German employment. The Hinterland of the metropolitan regions as kind of edge regions between agglomeration and rural areas is characterized by relatively low economic performance.
    Keywords: metropolitan regions; employment growth; shift-share analysis; agglomeration economies
    JEL: O11 O18 R11
    Date: 2009–10
  3. By: Robert Stehrer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Neil Foster (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Jesus Crespo-Cuaresma
    Abstract: We analyse the robustness of potential determinants of the differences in the long-run growth rate of GDP per capita across EU regions using quantile regression. We propose using Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) methods on the class of quantile regression models in order to assess the set of relevant covariates in cross-regional growth regressions allowing for different effects across quantiles of the growth variable. The results indicate that the set of robust growth determinants differs across quantiles. The set of robust variables includes skill endowment and initial GDP per capita when not and physical investment when taking country fixed effects into account. However, even when a variable is found to be robust across quantiles the estimated impact on growth of that variable is often found to differ across the quantiles.
    Keywords: economic growth, Bayesian Model Averaging, quantile regressions, International Trade and Competitiveness, Services
    JEL: C11 C21 R11
    Date: 2009–05
  4. By: Francesco Pigliaru
    Abstract: <p>In this article I maintain that until the mid Seventies the regions of the Italian Mezzogiorno have followed a well-known path of divergence and convergence – a pattern in common with many other similar cases. The main characteristic of the Mezzogiorno’s case, however, is that the convergence phase has led the area to a remarkably unfavourable steady-state. Further, I suggest that the disappointing results obtained in the area by several and richly financed public policies – and the high persistence of the unfavourable steady-state – are partly due to the lowerquality institutions in the southern regions. In the second part of the article I discuss recent contributions that associate this failure of local institutions to the scarcity of social capital, and that explain the persistence of this scarcity assuming the existence of mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of values and norms that change very slowly in time. Finally, in the final part I discuss briefly the role of economic policy in the presence of mechanisms of this nature.</p>
    Keywords: Convergence, Institutions and Economic Growth, Social Capital
    JEL: Z1 R5 O4 H7
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Angel de la Fuente
    Abstract: This paper presents an estimate of the financial results of the new Spanish system of regional financing in 2009. According to these estimates, some regions will experience sharp reductions in their adjusted financing per capita between 2007 and 2009 which may be very difficult to accept. This would mean that there will be strong pressures for the reform of the new system from the very beginning. To avoid, or at least mitigate, this problem it would be helpful to introduce some changes in the bill currently being discussed by the Parliament. The necessary changes would not alter the nucleus of the recent agreement.
    Keywords: financiación autonómica
    JEL: H71 H77
    Date: 2009–11–24
  6. By: Sébastien TERRA (INSEE Auvergne)
    Abstract: In this paper, we provide a new framework to assess the validity of Zipf 's Law for cities. Zipf 's Law states that, within a country, the distribution of city sizes follows a Pareto distribution with a Pareto index equal to 1. We adopt a two-step approach where we formally test if the distribution of city sizes is a Pareto distribution and then we estimate the Pareto index. Through Monte Carlo experiments, we investigate the nite sample performances of this testing procedure and we compare the small-sample properties of a new estimator (the minimum variance unbiased estimator) to those of commonly used estimators. The minimum variance unbiased estimator turns out to be more efficient and unbiased. We use this two-step approach to examine empirically the validity of Zipf 's Law on a sample of 115 countries. Zipf 's Law is not rejected in most countries (62 out of 115, or 53.9%).
    Keywords: Minimum variance unbiased estimator, Monte Carlo study, Pareto distribution, Zipf 's Law, developing countries
    Date: 2009

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