nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2012‒12‒10
twelve papers chosen by
Vassilis Monastiriotis
London School of Economics

  1. Tourism and regional growth in Europe By Raffaele Paci; Emanuela Marrocu
  2. Regional Wage Convergence and Divergence: Adjusting Wages for Cost-of-Living Differences By Randall W. Eberts; Mark E. Schweitzer
  3. Partisan targeting of inter-governmental transfers & state interference in local elections: evidence from Spain By Marta Curto-Grau (Universitat de Barcelona); Albert Sole-Olle (Universitat de Barcelona); Pilar Sorribas-Navarro(Universitat de Barcelona)
  4. The evolution toward vagueness of industrial district concept and its impact on regional innovation policy By López-Estornell, Manuel; Tortajada Esparza, Enrique; Martinez-Chafer, l
  5. Evolution of innovation policy in Emilia-Romagna and Valencia: Similar reality, similar results? By López-Estornell,Manuel; Barberá-Tomás,David; García-Reche,Andrés; Mas-Verdú,Francisco
  6. Research cooperation within and across regional boundaries. Does innovation policy add anything? By Alberto Marzucchi; Davide Antonioli; Sandro Montresor
  7. An ex-post view of inequality of opportunity in France and its regions By Jean-François Carpantier; Christelle Sapata
  8. The Distributional Effects of Local Labor Demand and Industrial Mix: Estimates Using Individual Panel Data By Timothy J. Bartik
  9. Assessing the determinants of Firms’ Competitiveness in Greece: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis By Metaxas, Theodore; Economou, Athina
  10. Local government expenditure and council size: Quasi-experimental evidence from Japan By Hirota, Haruaki; Yunoue, Hideo
  11. Socio-Spatial Transformations, Suburbanisation, and Voting Behaviour in the Vilnius Urban Region By Ubarevičienė, Rūta; Burneika, Donatas; van Ham, Maarten
  12. Local social capital and geographical mobility By Quentin Max David; Alexandre Janiak; Etienne Wasmer

  1. By: Raffaele Paci; Emanuela Marrocu
    Abstract: Tourism represents one of the most relevant and fast growing industry in the world and the economic literature has widely analysed at the country level the role of the international flows in the development process. However, it is essential to consider also the impact of domestic tourism as it constitutes the largest component and can significantly influence the growth process at the regional level. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to analyse the impact of both domestic and international tourism on the economic growth process for a wide set of 179 regions belonging to ten European countries, which are highly representative of total tourism flows in Europe. The econometric analysis is carried out for the period 1999-2009 and it is based on a spatial growth regression framework, where the growth rate of GDP per capita at the regional level depends on tourism flows in addition to the traditional production inputs like physical, human and technological capital. Besides controlling for the initial conditions, we also include covariates for geographical, industrial, social and institutional features of the regions. Results, robust to several robustness checks, show the positive effect of domestic and international tourism flows on regional growth.
    Keywords: regional economic growth; tourism flows; spatial dependence; Europe
    JEL: R11 L83 C31
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Randall W. Eberts (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research); Mark E. Schweitzer
    Keywords: wage differential, cost-of-living, regional issues
    JEL: J31
  3. By: Marta Curto-Grau (Universitat de Barcelona); Albert Sole-Olle (Universitat de Barcelona); Pilar Sorribas-Navarro(Universitat de Barcelona) (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We examine whether state-level incumbents discriminate in the allocation of transfers in favour of local governments controlled by co-partisans, and whether the electoral prospects of local incumbents improve when they are aligned with the state incumbent. Using a new database covering around 3,000 Spanish municipalities during the period 2000-07 and a Regression Discontinuity design, we document a very strong and robust effect: in close races, municipalities aligned with the regional government obtain on average 83% more per capita transfers and their incumbents gain 10% more votes at the local elections. We also show that the effect of alignment is stronger: (i) when regional and local elections are held on the same day, (ii) in regions with less competitive regional elections, and (ii) in regions with more budget resources.
    Keywords: political parties, inter-governmental transfers, pork barrel politics
    JEL: D72 C2
    Date: 2012
  4. By: López-Estornell, Manuel; Tortajada Esparza, Enrique; Martinez-Chafer, l
    Abstract: The paper discusses the development of the industrial district policy in Italy and the different roles of regions in its implementation, and provides an initial assessment of the relationship between regional districts and innovation policies. First, we provide an overview of Italian national legislation on industrial districts since 1991 and the changes that have resulted. Next, we examine the evolution of industrial district policy in Veneto, in the context of the Italian framework. The regional government implemented its industrial district policy in the late 1990s and it has yielded some results which deserve attention. Second, we look at the benefits and limitations of district policy governance in Veneto region and focus on the links between regional district and innovation policies. To achieve a first assessment of district preferences in terms of policy, the paper discusses the specific arrangements in five industrial districts in different sectors, and the support provided by regional government. Our findings show that innovation projects are of limited relevance in strategies of industrial districts. A recommendation for policy is that cluster initiatives should be aligned to the specific economic features of the territory. Problems arise when national governments and international organizations assume that ‘one size fits all’.
    Keywords: industrial district policy, innovation policy
    Date: 2012–11–29
  5. By: López-Estornell,Manuel; Barberá-Tomás,David; García-Reche,Andrés; Mas-Verdú,Francisco
    Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of regional innovation policy in Emilia-Romagna, and Valencia, regions with similar economic features that implemented similar innovation policies in the 1970s and 1980s. We investigate whether their similarities have led to similar targets, policy tools and governance developments. We show that innovation policy in both regions suffered from the effects of privatization, budget constraints and changes to manufacturing during the 1990s and highlight the consequences. Although Emilia-Romagna experienced deeper change to its innovation policy, privatizations and/or the replacement of public funds promoted commercial approaches and induced market failures in both regions. The worst effects of these policies were the implementation of less risky innovation projects, the shift towards extra-regional projects and markets, and the favouring of large firms.
    Keywords: innovation policy, industrial district
    Date: 2012–11–29
  6. By: Alberto Marzucchi (Catholic University of Milan); Davide Antonioli (University of Ferrara); Sandro Montresor (JRC-IPTS)
    Abstract: The paper aims to show how policy makers can stimulate firms' cooperation with research organisations in innovation. We argue that the administration of an R&D subsidy can be effective. Furthermore, this should be more so for extra-regional than intra-regional cooperation. The firms' propensity to extend cooperation across the region is assumed to increase with the amount of support. However, the support must overcome a threshold, for firms to cover the fixed costs of distant interactions. These research hypotheses are tested with respect to a sample of firms in a region of Italy. Propensity score matching is applied to identify the impact of the subsidy receipt. A generalised propensity score technique is employed to investigate the effect of an increasing amount of support. All the hypotheses are not rejected. Firms' cooperation is policy sensitive, but the size of the support is crucial for its effects.
    Keywords: Industry-Research Cooperation, Regional Innovation Systems, Behavioural Additionality
    JEL: O32 O38 R11 R58
    Date: 2012–11
  7. By: Jean-François Carpantier (Universite Catholique de Louvain); Christelle Sapata (Facultés Universitaires de Saint Louis)
    Abstract: This paper proposes an ex-post measure of inequality of opportunity in France and its regions by assessing the inequality between individuals exerting the same effort. To this end, we define a fair income that fulfils ex-post equality of opportunity requirements. Unfairness is measured by an unfair Gini based on the distance between the actual income and the fair income. Our findings reveal that the measures of ex-post inequality of opportunity largely vary across regions, and that this is due to di_erences in reward schemes and in the impact of the non responsibility factors of income. We find that most regions have actual incomes closer to fair incomes than to average income, excepted Ile de France where the actual income looks poorly related to effort variables. Finally, we find that income inequality and inequality of opportunity are positively correlated among regions.
    Keywords: Inequality of Opportunity, Fairness, Regional Inequalities
    JEL: D31 D63 J62
    Date: 2012–12
  8. By: Timothy J. Bartik (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)
    Keywords: local economic development, labor demand, industries
    JEL: R3 J23
  9. By: Metaxas, Theodore; Economou, Athina
    Abstract: The paper investigates the importance of territorial characteristics/assets (i.e. agglomeration economies, urban infrastructure, factors of labor and cost, development policies, qualitative factors, inter alia) on small- and medium-sized firms’ competitiveness. The analysis uses primary data from 204 small- and medium-sized firms located in Thessaloniki (Greece). These firms operate in the sectors of industry, commerce and services. Through the use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analysis, the importance of particular factors for the competitiveness of firms has been analyzed, coming out in valuable conclusions not only for the firms and the city of Thessaloniki considered but also for firms and areas with similar characteristics in Greece and the wider area of Balkans.
    Keywords: firms’ competitiveness; territorial characteristics/assets; Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analysis; Greece
    JEL: R50 O18 R11
    Date: 2012
  10. By: Hirota, Haruaki; Yunoue, Hideo
    Abstract: In order to evaluate a fiscal common-pool problem, this paper focuses on the relationship between local government council size and its expenditure. Generally, local councilors internalize the benefit of public projects targeted at their political jurisdictions, but underestimate and prefer to externalize the cost of public projects due to the national subsidy system. When council sizes become larger, their expenditure might be larger because of the selfish behavior of local council members. This paper estimates the positive effect of local council size on local government expenditure using a dataset of 13,989 municipalities in Japan over a period of 6 years. In Japan, local council size is a deterministic and discontinuous function of municipal population size under legal rules. We pay attention to this exogenous discontinuity and apply a regression discontinuity design to consider an endogeneity bias. The results show that the larger the size of the local council the larger the size of expenditure they undertake. In particular, we find that growing small municipalities tend to increase their expenditures, so that for example, 1% increases in local council size lead to about 1.2% increases of expenditures by small municipalities. Our results show that the fiscal common-pool problem is produced in small municipalities.
    Keywords: fiscal common-pool problem; local council size; government expenditure; regression discontinuity design
    JEL: H11 H72 D72
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Ubarevičienė, Rūta (Lithuanian Social Research Centre); Burneika, Donatas (Lithuanian Social Research Centre); van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the interrelationship between the process of suburbanization and a changing political and ethnic landscape in the Vilnius urban region. The region surrounding Vilnius city is dominated by Polish identity residents while those who suburbanise into the region are mainly ethnic Lithuanians. This may lead to potential tension and conflicts in the region which may find its expression in the voting behaviour of residents of the region. Using data from the 1997 and 2011 municipal elections we found that the share of votes for the Polish party in the region decreases over time, while the absolute number of votes for this party increases. At the same time we find increasing voting activity in the suburban ring. The changing electoral behaviour can be regarded as an indicator of a growing ethnic identity. The voting results also identify the zones of the most intense changes in the electoral behavior and thus indicate areas of potential social tensions between two ethnic groups.
    Keywords: suburbanisation, ethnicity, conflict, voting behaviour, electoral data, Lithuania
    JEL: D72 J15 R11 R14 R23
    Date: 2012–11
  12. By: Quentin Max David; Alexandre Janiak; Etienne Wasmer
    Date: 2012–05–13

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