nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2015‒01‒14
sixteen papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. On the Economic Geography of International Migration By Ozden, Caglar; Parsons, Christopher
  2. Combinatorial knowledge bases: integrating cognitive, organizational and spatial dimensions in innovation studies and economic geography By Manniche , Jesper; Moodysson , Jerker; Testa , Stefania
  3. Distinguishing Neighborhood and Workplace Effects on Individual Productivity: Evidence from Sweden By Mellander, Charlotta; Stolarick, Kevin; Lobo, José
  4. Innovation in peripheral regions: Do collaborations compensate for a lack of local knowledge spillovers? By Grillitsch , Markus; Nilsson , Magnus
  5. Motives behind the mobility of university graduates – A study of three German universities By Sidonia von Proff; Matthias Duschl; Thomas Brenner
  6. The Technological Resilience of U.S. Cities By Balland, Pierre-Alexandre; Rigby, David; Boschma, Ron
  7. U.S. Regional Population Growth 2000-2010: Natural Amenities or Urban Agglomeration? By Rickman, Dan S.; Wang, Hongbo
  8. Measuring urban agglomeration. A refoundation of the mean city-population size index By Andrè Lemelin; Fernando Rubiera-Morollón; Ana Gómez-Loscos
  9. Geography, Policy, or Productivity? Regional Trade in five South American Countries, 1910-1950 By Marc Badia-Miró; Anna Carreras-Marín; Christopher M. Meissner
  10. The persistent heterogeneity of trade patterns: A comparison of four European Automotive Global Production Networks By Vincent FRIGANT; Martin ZUMPE
  11. Evaluation of public interventions at regional level; the new evidence for actual programming period By Antonescu, Daniela
  12. Driving factors and spatial scales for cluster development - The case of environmental technologies in Upper Austria By Alexander Auer; Franz Tödtling
  13. Is the German Retail Gas Market Competitive? A Spatial-temporal Analysis Using Quantile Regression By Alexander Kihm; Nolan Ritter; Colin Vance
  14. Income Inequality, Urban Size and Economic Growth in OECD Regions By Vicente Royuela; Paolo Veneri; Raul Ramos
  15. Free patient mobility is not a free lunch. Lessons from a decentralised NHS By S. Balia; R. Brau; E. Marrocu
  16. Medium-Term Health Impacts of Shocks Experienced In Utero and After Birth: Evidence from Detailed Geographic Information on War Exposure By Richard Akresh; German Daniel Caruso; Harsha Thirumurthy

  1. By: Ozden, Caglar (World Bank); Parsons, Christopher (University of Oxford)
    Abstract: We exploit the bilateral and skill dimensions from recent data sets of international migration to test for the existence of Zipf's and Gibrat's Laws in the context of aggregate and high-skilled international immigration and emigration using graphical, parametric and non-parametric analysis. The top tails of the distributions of aggregate and high-skilled immigrants and emigrants adhere to a Pareto distribution with an exponent of unity i.e. Zipf's Law holds. We find some evidence in favour of Gibrat's Law holding for immigration stocks, i.e. that the growth in stocks is independent of their initial values and stronger evidence that immigration densities are diverging over time. Conversely, emigrant stocks are converging in the sense that countries with smaller emigrant stocks are growing faster than their larger sovereign counterparts. Lastly, high skilled immigration and emigration stocks expressed in levels or as densities all exhibit signs of convergence. We conclude by discussing some competing mechanisms that could be driving the observed patterns including: differing fertility rates, reductions in emigration restrictions, migrant sorting and selective immigration policies, immigrant networks and persisting wage differentials.
    Keywords: Zipf's Law, Gibrat's Law, international migration
    JEL: F22 J61 O15
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Manniche , Jesper (Centre for Regional and Tourism Research (CRT), Bornholm, Denmark); Moodysson , Jerker (Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE), Lund University, Sweden); Testa , Stefania (Polytechnic School, University of Genova, Italy)
    Abstract: This paper has three aims. Firstly, to provide a critical review of previous conceptualizations of the knowledge base approach in the research fields of innovation studies and economic geography. Secondly, to propose a broadened interpretation of the knowledge base approach which allows for considering combinatorial knowledge bases within and across industries, regions and time periods and for analytically integrating the cognitive, organizational and spatial dimensions of innovation and learning. Thirdly, to provide methodological suggestions for how to apply such broadened interpretation of the knowledge base approach in empirical innovation studies, regardless of industrial, geographical or temporal context. The paper thereby dismisses the wide-spread taxonomical application of knowledge base conceptualizations in innovation studies and economic geography for classification of firms, industries and economies into fixed categories based on their knowledge base characteristics. Instead it proposes a typological approach and a conceptual and methodological basis for explaining the shifting dynamics of innovation processes in firms, industries and economies. In addition to highlighting limitations and strengths of the knowledge base approach, the paper thus targets investigation of unexploited potentials of knowledge base conceptualizations and provides suggestions for future research.
    Keywords: Biographies; economic geography; innovation; knowledge; learning
    JEL: L20 O31 O32
    Date: 2014–12–15
  3. By: Mellander, Charlotta (Jönköping International Business School, Martin Prosperity Institute, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto & Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS)); Stolarick, Kevin (Urban Studies, University of Toronto); Lobo, José (School of Sustainability, Arizona State University)
    Abstract: We investigate the effects on individuals’ productivity (captured through their wage income) of two social networks in which individuals are embedded: their residential neighborhood and their workplace. We avail ourselves of Swedish micro-level data which makes it possible to identify individual workers, and who they live next to and work with. We vary the spatial extent of the non-workplace social networkfrom block group to the whole of a metropolitan areato examine which social community most affects an individual’s productivity. We distinguish between individuals engaged in “creative” and “non creative” occupations so as to starkly control for differences in education, training and skills. Our results suggest that residential neighborhoods do matter for individuals’ productivity, although the effect is stronger for noncreatives. For both creatives and noncreatives their workplace group has the greatest effect on income.
    Keywords: network effects; neighborhood; productivity; workplace; creative occupations
    JEL: J10 R20 R23
    Date: 2014–12–15
  4. By: Grillitsch , Markus (CIRCLE, Lund University); Nilsson , Magnus (Department of Business Administration and CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: It is widely accepted that firms in peripheral regions benefit to a lesser extent from local knowledge spillovers than firms located in agglomerations or industrial clusters. This paper investigates the extent to which innovative firms in peripheral regions compensate for the lack of access to local knowledge spillovers by collaborating at other geographical scales. So far the literature predominantly suggests that collaborations complement rather than compensate for local knowledge spillovers. Using data on the collaboration patterns of innovative firms in Sweden, this paper provides evidence that firms with low access to local knowledge spillovers tend to collaborate more. This effect, however, depends on firm size and in-house capabilities. Our findings suggest that firms with strong in-house capabilities do indeed compensate for a lack of local knowledge spillovers with collaborations while firms with weaker in-house capabilities depend more on the regional knowledge infrastructure.
    Keywords: Local knowledge spillovers; periphery; collaboration; innovation; geography; Sweden
    JEL: O18 O30 O31 P48 R10 R11
    Date: 2014–12–25
  5. By: Sidonia von Proff (Economic Geography and Location Research, Philipps-University, Marburg); Matthias Duschl (Economic Geography and Location Research, Philipps-University, Marburg); Thomas Brenner (Economic Geography and Location Research, Philipps-University, Marburg)
    Abstract: The mobility of university graduates is influenced by economic factors and individual attitudes. The paper at hand focuses on individual characteristics influencing the spatial preferences of graduates from three universities in Hesse (Germany). Using survey data from prospective graduates in 2012 we find that the majority has preferred locations during the job search, which are on average farther away if the respondents focus on broad availability of job opportunities and leisure/cultural activities. Social ties and a focus on good infrastructure leads to a search dominantly at familiar places, i.e. the home or university region.
    Keywords: graduate mobility, regional labor mobility, universities
    JEL: J61 I23
    Date: 2014–12–17
  6. By: Balland, Pierre-Alexandre (Department of Economic Geography Utrecht University and Center for Innovation and Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE), Lund University); Rigby, David (Departments of Geography and Statistics, University of California Los Angeles); Boschma, Ron (Center for Innovation and Research and Competence in the Learning Economy (CIRCLE), Lund University and Utrecht University, Urban and Regional research centre Utrecht (URU))
    Abstract: We study the resilience of cities by analyzing their capacity to sustain the production of technology when facing adverse events. Patent applications for 366 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas, spanning the period 1975 to 2002, are used to analyze the vulnerability and response of cities to technological crises. Crises are defined as periods of sustained negative growth in patenting activity. We find that the frequency, intensity and duration of technological crises vary considerably across American cities. We examine how the technological knowledge bases of cities, their network openness and institutional environment condition resilience. Econometric analysis suggests that cities with knowledge bases that are diverse, flexible and proximate to technologies in which they do not currently possess comparative advantage tend to avoid technological crises, have limited downturns in patent production and recover faster from crisis events.
    Keywords: Urban resilience; technological crisis; related knowledge structure; institutions; inter-city networks
    JEL: D83 L65 O33 R11
    Date: 2014–12–25
  7. By: Rickman, Dan S.; Wang, Hongbo
    Abstract: Using a spatial hedonic growth model, this paper empirically examines the relative roles of natural amenities and urban agglomeration economies as determinants of U.S. regional growth patterns from 2000 to 2010. Natural amenities and urban agglomeration are measured using the USDA Economic Research Service county classification codes. The general finding is that natural amenities and urban agglomeration both influenced regional growth. However, the natural amenity ranking is estimated to be positively related to increased productivity over the period rather than increased attractiveness to households. Urban agglomeration is positively related to increased amenity attractiveness to households. Within Census regional analysis revealed a stronger role for household natural amenity demand in nonmetropolitan areas.
    Keywords: Regional growth; Natural amenities; Agglomeration economies
    JEL: R11 R12
    Date: 2015–01–01
  8. By: Andrè Lemelin (INRS - Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique); Fernando Rubiera-Morollón (REGIOLAB - University of Oviedo); Ana Gómez-Loscos (Banco de España)
    Abstract: In this paper, we put forth the view that the potential for urbanisation economies increases with interaction opportunities. On the basis of that premise, three properties are key to an agglomeration index, which should: (i) increase with the concentration of population and conform to the Pigou-Dalton transfer principle; (ii) increase with the absolute size of constituent population interaction zones; and (iii) be consistent in aggregation. Confining our attention to pairwise interactions, and invoking the space-analytic foundations of local labour market area (LLMA) delineation, we develop an index of agglomeration based on the number of interaction opportunities per capita in a geographical area. This leads to Arriaga’s mean city-population size, which is the mathematical expectation of the size of the LLMA in which a randomly chosen individual lives. The index has other important properties. It does not require an arbitrary population threshold to separate urban from non-urban areas. It adapts readily to situations where an LLMA lies partly outside the geographical area for which agglomeration is measured. Finally, it can be satisfactorily approximated when data are truncated or aggregated into size classes. We apply the index to the Spanish NUTS III regions, and evaluate its performance by examining its correlation with the location quotients of several knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) known to be highly sensitive to urbanisation economies. The Arriaga index correlations are clearly stronger than those of either the classical degree of urbanisation or the Hirshman-Herfindahl concentration index.
    Keywords: urban and regional economics, urbanisation, agglomeration economies, indexes and Spain
    JEL: R11 R12
    Date: 2014–12
  9. By: Marc Badia-Miró; Anna Carreras-Marín; Christopher M. Meissner
    Abstract: Regional trade in South America since independence has long been much smaller than would be expected if geography were the only constraint on trade. Several potential explanations exist: low technological and demand complementarities; low productivity; high barriers to trade. We first argue that none of these are mutually exclusive and different explanations may be valid at different times. Whatever the causes of low trade, such limits to market access likely hampered economic growth in the region. To address this issue, policy makers have long advocated a South American/Southern Cone Free Trade Area--proposed as early as 1889. Would reductions in trade costs have been sufficient to significantly raise trade? We study bilateral trade between 1910 and 1950, when large external shocks altered global supply and demand. These shocks help us identify the determinants of low intra-regional trade. We find evidence that both low productivity and high trade barriers decreased trade. South American regional trade might have expanded with less restrictive trade policy or improved productivity. Regional trade in textiles, which took off from the 1930s, supports our argument that trade improved when relative productivity and quality improved and when trade costs fell.
    JEL: F02 F15 N16 N76
    Date: 2014–12
  10. By: Vincent FRIGANT; Martin ZUMPE
    Abstract: In this paper, we examine the structure and the evolution of international exchanges of auto parts over the 2000-2012 period for four European countries. The first part of our study reviews the literature and points out four stylized facts about the geography of automotive supply networks. In section 2 we propose an analysis of the organisation of automotive supply chains based on the global production networks framework. We give details about this approach by stating the nature of trade flows that occur in these networks, and by highlighting the importance of intra-firms flows. In the third part, we compare the structure of external GPNs of German, Spanish, British and French automotive firms located in these countries. On the basis of Chelem data about auto parts exchanges, we examine in a comparative way the evolution of intra-continental and intercontinental flows. Our results highlight the heterogeneity of situations and of trajectories in the different countries.
    Keywords: Global Production Networks; Automotive industry; International Comparison; Auto-parts industry; Regional integration; Globalisation.
    JEL: F14 F15 F23 R12 L62
    Date: 2014
  11. By: Antonescu, Daniela
    Abstract: Within the European Union, the impact of structural funds is evaluated periodically with the purpose of identifying the attainment degree of the convergence objectives and the efficiency in implementing the cohesion and regional development policy. The regional policy, assimilated in general to a public intervention at territorial level is evaluated in certain stages of implementation for learning about the whole change obtained as result of the actions and measures realised with the purpose of attaining the established objectives (for instance, diminishing inter- and intraregional disparities, balanced economic and social development, employment, output and consumption growth, improving social, transport, environmental, tourism and education infrastructure, etc.). Irrespective of the stage to which it refers, evaluation is based on the spatial analysis techniques and methods presented in the previous chapter, its outcomes being useful for improving the decisional process. Actual regulations for regional programme require central authorities to carry out evaluations which assess the effects of structural interventions. This is an essential element of the strengthened results-focus of the policy. The evaluation plans are therefore strategic documents setting out how these evaluations will be organised in order to provide evidence on effects for policy making.
    Keywords: evaluation of public intervention, Structural Funds
    JEL: H1 R0 R58
    Date: 2014–11–03
  12. By: Alexander Auer; Franz Tödtling
    Date: 2014
  13. By: Alexander Kihm; Nolan Ritter; Colin Vance
    Abstract: We explore whether non-competitive pricing prevails in Germany’s retail gasoline market by examining the influence of the crude oil price on the retail gasoline price, focusing specifically on how this influence varies according to the brand and to the degree of competition in the vicinity of the station. Our analysis identifies several factors other than cost – including the absence of nearby competitors and regional market concentration – that play a significant role in mediating the influence of the oil price on the retail gas price, suggesting price setting power among stations.
    Keywords: Panel data; quantile regression; spatial competition; gasoline market
    JEL: C33 Q41 R41
    Date: 2014–12
  14. By: Vicente Royuela; Paolo Veneri; Raul Ramos
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to understand how income inequality is associated with economic growth in OECD regions and whether the degree and type of urban concentration affects this relationship. Both income inequality and urban concentration can be seen as patterns of resource allocation that are particularly interlinked at the regional level. We combine household survey data and macroeconomic databases, covering a period ranging from 2004 to 2012 for comparable regions in 15 OECD countries. Econometric results show that, at least for the short period under consideration, there is a general negative association between inequalities and economic growth, especially since the start of the economic crisis. This relationship is sensitive to the type of urban structure. Higher inequalities seem to be more detrimental for growth in large cities, while regions characterised by small cities and rural areas are less affected.
    Keywords: economic growth, inequality, OECD regions, urban
    JEL: O15 R11 R12
    Date: 2014–12–22
  15. By: S. Balia; R. Brau; E. Marrocu
    Abstract: Patient mobility is a crucial phenomenon in contexts of hospital competition based on quality and driven by patient choice. This study examines inter-regional patient mobility in the Italian National Health Service, a regionally decentralised tax-funded system in which in-patient hospital services are provided free at any point of use in the whole country, using administrative data on hospital discharges from 2001 to 2010 in all public and private accredited hospitals. The aim is to understand whether mobility patterns might have consequences for the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare provided at the regional level, as well as universalism and equity in healthcare. We specify a gravity model for Origin-Destination (OD) flow data that distinguishes between emissiveness (at Origin) and attractiveness (at Destination) factors affecting bilateral flows. We exploit the longitudinal dimension of the data and estimate a negative binomial conditionally correlated random effects (CCRE) dynamic model that allows for region-pair-specific unobservable heterogeneity. Total and specific types of flow (surgical, medical, acute and cancer-related admissions) are modelled, accounting for the correlation between unobserved region-pair effects and time-variant covariates and their spatial lags. Our main findings indicate that RHSs in the richest regions attract more patients from other regions and that the most effective pull factors are the number of beds and diversification of the organisational structure. We also find that the ability of a RHS to attract patients who reside in other regions decreases with the concentration of the organizational structure. Finally, we have detected a mildly explosive dynamics in inter-regional patient mobility over time, which could have implications for the long-run sustainability of the overall national-regional health system.
    Keywords: hospital admission, gravity model, decentralised health systems, spatial dependence, negative binomial regression, nonlinear panel data methods
    JEL: I18 I1 H77 H75 C23
    Date: 2014
  16. By: Richard Akresh; German Daniel Caruso; Harsha Thirumurthy
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of armed conflict on subsequent health outcomes using detailed geographic information on households’ distance from conflict sites—a more accurate measure of conflict exposure— and compares the impact on children exposed in utero versus after birth. The identification strategy relies on exogenous variation in the conflict’s geographic extent and timing as well as the exposure of different birth cohorts while in utero or after birth. Results show that war-exposed children subsequently have lower height-for-age Z-scores, and impacts using GPS information are 87-188% larger than if exposure is measured at the imprecise regional level. Effects of in utero and after birth exposure are comparable in magnitude, and children in the war instigating and losing country (Eritrea) suffer more than the winning nation (Ethiopia). Results are robust to including region-specific time trends, alternative conflict exposure measures, and addressing potential bias due to selective migration.
    JEL: I12 J13 O12 O15
    Date: 2014–12

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