nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2015‒07‒18
eight papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Amenity, Diversity and Obesity: Unobserved Heretogeneity in Cities By Stephen Popick; Anthony M. Yezer
  2. Municipal fragmentation and economic performance of OECD TL2 regions By David Bartolini
  3. Urban Spatial Structure, Employment and Social Ties: European versus American Cities By Picard, Pierre M.; Zenou, Yves
  4. Is Internal Migration Slowing? An Analysis of Four Decades of NHSCR Records for England and Wales By Tony Champion; Ian Shuttleworth
  5. Are the log-growth rates of city sizes normally distributed? Empirical evidence for the US By Ramos, Arturo
  6. Creation and Diffusion of Knowledge across Creative Industries in Metropolitan Areas: the cases of Mexico and Spain By Marcos Valdivia López
  7. Innovation drivers, value chains and the geography of multinational corporations in Europe By Riccardo Crescenzi; Carlo Pietrobelli; Roberta Rabellotti
  8. Distance-based accessibility indices By Csató, László

  1. By: Stephen Popick; Anthony M. Yezer
    Abstract: Some sources of heterogeneity among cities, i.e. age, gender, race, income, and education, have been the object of substantial inquiry. The reasons are obvious. These differences are easily observed and may have important implications for economic activity. This study considers another potentially important population characteristic, obesity. Descriptive statistics reveal that the intercity variance in obesity rates is substantial. Empirical results demonstrate that demographic and regional amenity variables all have a relation to intercity differences in obesity. Because obesity is important for preferences, performance, and productivity, its omission from previous studies and its correlation with amenity and demographic characteristics, could create problems for empirical research.
    JEL: I12 J10 R23
    Date: 2015–06
  2. By: David Bartolini
    Abstract: The present work investigates the relationship between municipal fragmentation and regional per capita GDP growth rate, using a panel of OECD TL2 regions in the period 1996-2011. According to the fiscal decentralisation literature, fragmentation should enhance growth as local government closer to citizens can implement policies that better match their needs, thus providing services and public goods in a more efficient way. The presence of many local governments, however, may create problems in terms of overlapping functions, (dis)economies of scale, and policy fragmentation. The results of the empirical analysis show that municipal fragmentation has a negative impact on per capita GDP growth, thus supporting the view that costs prevail on benefits. The introduction of regional territorial characteristic – namely, the share of population living in rural areas – provides a different picture, however. The negative impact of fragmentation decreases with the share of population living in rural areas. Indeed, in extremely “rural” regions the effect turns mildly positive. This is because the costs and benefits of fragmentation have a different weight in urban and rural regions. The key insight is the different distribution of the population over the territory: more concentrated in urban than in rural regions. This implies that, for a given level of municipal fragmentation overlapping of function is more severe in urban regions (where people are likely to commute over municipal boundaries) than in rural area. In the same vein, for the same level of municipal fragmentation access to the local government is more difficult in rural areas (where people is sparsely located within municipal boundaries) than in urban areas. The policy implications of the analysis are twofold. Firstly, reducing municipal fragmentation may have a heterogeneous impact within the country, thus raising concern for one-size-fits-all policies of municipal agglomeration in favour of a place-based approach to institutional reform. For instance, the principle guiding municipal amalgamation should not be the average municipal size at the country level, but it should be weighted for the rural/urban characteristics of each region. Secondly, the analysis suggests that processes of agglomeration of people should be accompanied by a consistent amalgamation of the local administration, otherwise representing an obstacle to the full realisation of agglomeration economies.
    Keywords: institutions, local governments, regional growth
    JEL: R11 R50
    Date: 2015–07
  3. By: Picard, Pierre M. (University of Luxembourg); Zenou, Yves (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: We develop a model where workers both choose their residential location (geographical space) and their social interactions (social space). In equilibrium, we show under which condition some individuals reside close to the job center while others live far away from it. Even though the two populations have the same characteristics and no group experiences any discrimination, we show that the majority group always has a lower unemployment rate than the minority group both when ethnic minorities reside close and far away from the city-center where jobs are located. This is because they have a larger and better-quality social network. This result is quite unique as it can explain the high unemployment rates of ethnic minorities both in European and American cities.
    Keywords: social interactions, segregation, labor market, spatial mismatch, network size
    JEL: A14 J15 R14 Z13
    Date: 2015–07
  4. By: Tony Champion; Ian Shuttleworth
    Abstract: This paper is prompted by the widespread acceptance that the rates of inter-county and inter-state migration have been falling in the USA and sets itself the task of examining whether this decline in migration intensities is also the case in the UK. It uses the inter-area migration matrices available for England and Wales from the National Health Service Central Register (NHSCR) which provides continuous monitoring since the 1970s by broad age group. The main methodological challenge, arising from changes in the geography of health areas for which the inter-area flows are given, is addressed by adopting the lowest common denominator of 80 areas. Care is also taken to allow for the effect of business cycles in producing short-term fluctuations on migration rates and to isolate the effect of a sharp rise in rates for 16-24 year olds in the 1990s, which is presumed to be related to the expansion of the university sector. The findings suggest that, unlike for the USA, there has not been a substantial decline in the intensity of internal migration between the first two decades of the study period and the second two. While there was a 3 per cent reduction in the overall rate of migration between the regions of England and Wales between 1975-1990 and 1996-2011 (omitting the 16-24s), the rate for within-region moves between areas was some 10 per cent higher in the latter period. The main evidence for decline relates to particular age groups of between-region migration, where the rate for those aged 65 and over shrank by a quarter and that for 0-15 year olds was down by a tenth. In general, however, if there has been any major decline in the intensity of address changing in England and Wales, it can only be for the shortest-distance (within area) moves that the NHSCR does not record.
    Keywords: Internal migration, Migration intensity, Between-area moves, Long-term trend, England and Wales
    JEL: J11 J61 O15 R23
    Date: 2015–07
  5. By: Ramos, Arturo
    Abstract: We study the decennial log-growth population rate distributions of the US incorporated places (resp., all places) for the period 1990-2000 (resp. 2000-2010) and the recently constructed US City Clustering Algorithm (CCA) population data in the period 1991-2000. It is obtained an excellent parametric description of these log-growth rates by means of a newly introduced distribution called “double mixture exponential Generalized Beta 2”. The normal distribution is not the one empirically observed for the same datasets.
    Keywords: urban log-growth rates distribution, exponential distribution, exponential Generalized Beta 2 distribution, US population log-growth rates
    JEL: C46 R11 R12
    Date: 2015–07–14
  6. By: Marcos Valdivia López
    Abstract: This study proposes a spatial interaction model to analyze the level of creativity across Metro Areas (MAs) in a country. The model postulates that increasing creativity depends on the proportions of common knowledge and differential knowledge that MAs face when they interact with each other. We rely on an agent-based approach that allows incorporating GIS and spatial interaction between MAs under local and global network conditions. We chose the cases of Mexico and Spain to get a first glance of how the model works with real data. We find that the MAs of Spain (2001) and Mexico (2003) share the same level of common and differential knowledge in the creative industries and, that knowledge spillovers spread better under inter metropolitan conditions of interaction instead of intra ones. The simulations suggest that Spain is better suited to produce higher knowledge externalities under conditions that are not restricted by physical distance, which make policy intervention in Spain more effective to diffuse creative ideas.
    Keywords: Externalities, knowledge spillovers, creative industries, urban spatial models, computational modeling.
    Date: 2015–07
  7. By: Riccardo Crescenzi; Carlo Pietrobelli; Roberta Rabellotti
    Abstract: This paper investigates the geography of multinational corporations’ investments in the EU regions. The ‘traditional’ sources of location advantages (i.e. agglomeration economies, market access and labour market conditions) are considered together with innovation and socio-institutional drivers of investments, captured by means of regional ‘social filter’ conditions. This makes it possible to empirically assess the different role played by such advantages in the location decision of investments at different stages of the value chain and disentangle the differential role of national vs. regional factors. The empirical analysis covers the EU-25 regions and suggests that regional socio-economic conditions are crucially important for the location decisions of investments in the most sophisticated knowledge-intensive stages of the value chain.
    Keywords: Innovation; multinationals; systems of innovation; value chains; regions; European Union
    JEL: F21 F23 O33 R12 R58
    Date: 2014–08–12
  8. By: Csató, László
    Abstract: The paper attempts to develop a suitable accessibility index for networks where each link has a value such that a smaller number is preferred like distance, cost, or travel time. A measure called distance sum is characterized by three independent properties: anonymity, an appropriately chosen independence axiom, and dominance preservation, which requires that a node not far to any other is at least as accessible. We argue for the need of eliminating the independence property in certain applications. Therefore generalized distance sum, a family of accessibility indices, will be suggested. It is linear, considers the accessibility of vertices besides their distances and depends on a parameter in order to control its deviation from distance sum. Generalized distance sum is anonymous and satisfies dominance preservation if its parameter meets a sufficient condition. Two detailed examples demonstrate its ability to reflect the vulnerability of accessibility to link disruptions.
    Keywords: networks, geography, accessibility, distance sum, axiomatic approach
    JEL: D85 Z13
    Date: 2015–06–30

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