nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2015‒12‒01
nine papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Spatial Dimension of Knowledge Intensive Business Services in Russia By Olga V. Kotomina
  2. Commuting farther and earning more? : how employment density moderates workers commuting distance By Reichelt, Malte; Haas, Anette
  3. ‘Williamson’s Fallacy’ in Estimation of Inter-Regional Inequality By Gluschenko, Konstantin
  4. Do Earnings by College Major Affect Graduate Migration? By Winters, John V.
  5. Chinese Roads in India: The Effect of Transport Infrastructure on Economic Development By Simon Alder
  6. Bright Minds, Big Rent: Gentrification and the Rising Returns to Skill By Edlund, Lena; Machado, Cecilia; Sviatschi, Maria
  7. All aboard? Commuter train access and labor market outcomes By Åslund, Olof; Blind, Ina; Dahlberg, Matz
  8. Regional Growth and Convergence in the UK: the Role of MNE Subsidiaries and Domestic Firms By Bournakis, Ioannis; Papanastassiou, Marina; Pitelis, Christos
  9. Big Data and Big Cities: The Promises and Limitations of Improved Measures of Urban Life By Edward L. Glaeser; Scott Duke Kominers; Michael Luca; Nikhil Naik

  1. By: Olga V. Kotomina (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) are characterized by high concentration in large urban areas due to the presence of more developed infrastructure, higher human capital development, proximity to the large customer, etc. However, companies in the KIBS sector have potential for development (new knowledge, experience) in collaboration with agents located in other regions. This paper is focused on the spatial aspects of the knowledge intensive business services sector in Russia. The study is based on a unique empirical data from mass surveys of Russian producers and consumers of KIBS. Comparative analysis of the incoming and outgoing flows of KIBS in Russian regions helps us to classify federal districts by their involvement in KIBS exchange, and to map the intensity of these flows. We have identified regions that are actively involved in both the purchase of services and their delivery outside the regional boundaries (Volga and Central Districts); active regions of consumption with an average level of production (Northwestern and Siberian Districts); and the passive regions, who are only weakly involved in inter-regional exchange of knowledge intensive business services (Ural and Southern Federal Districts)
    Keywords: Knowledge intensive business services, spatial proximity, spatial development, interregional cooperation.
    JEL: O18 R11 R12
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Reichelt, Malte (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Haas, Anette (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Over the past several decades, most industrialized countries have experienced a rise in commuting distances, spurring scholarly interest in its determinants. The primary theoretical explanation for longer commuting distances is based on higher wages; however, empirical evidence is minimal. We argue that commuting indeed often results from changes to jobs with higher wages. However, local labor market opportunities strongly moderate individuals' responsiveness to wage changes, resulting in diverse wage effects determined by the place of residence. Using German survey data linked to administrative information with a mixed-effects design, we find that when changing jobs the effect of wages on commuting distances rises substantially according to the local labor market density. While residents in the least dense areas do not adjust their commuting distance substantially in response to a wage change, residents in areas with the highest employment density are highly responsive. This result indicates the need to take into account the regional labor market structure when analyzing commuting patterns as local opportunities strongly influence the adjustment process of commuting distances. Particularly commuters from economic centers seem to adjust their distances to a great degree." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Pendler, Pendelwanderung - Determinanten, Pendelwanderung - Motivation, Lohnhöhe, zwischenbetriebliche Mobilität, Arbeitsplatzdichte, regionale Faktoren, Arbeitsweg, IAB-Datensatz Arbeiten und Lernen
    JEL: J61 J62 R12 R23
    Date: 2015–11–24
  3. By: Gluschenko, Konstantin
    Abstract: Following Williamson (1965), many economists estimate inter-regional inequality with the use of indexes weighted by regions’ shares in the national population. Despite that widespread, this approach is conceptually inconsistent, yielding an estimate of interpersonal inequality among the whole population of the country rather than an estimate of inter-regional inequality. On the other hand, if one considers such an estimate as a proxy of population inequality, it is very rough and for the most part misleading.
    Keywords: Inequality index Weighting by population Williamson coefficient of variation Gini coefficient
    JEL: D31 D63 R10
    Date: 2015–11–20
  4. By: Winters, John V. (Oklahoma State University)
    Abstract: College graduates are considerably more mobile than non-graduates, and previous literature suggests that the difference is at least partially attributable to college graduates being more responsive to employment opportunities in other areas. However, there exist considerable differences in migration rates by college major that have gone largely unexplained. This paper uses microdata from the American Community Survey to examine how the migration decisions of young college graduates are affected by earnings in their college major. Results indicate that higher major-specific earnings in an individual's state of birth reduce out-migration suggesting that college graduates are attracted toward areas that especially reward the specific type of human capital that they possess.
    Keywords: graduate migration, college major, college graduates, human capital
    JEL: J24 J61 R23
    Date: 2015–11
  5. By: Simon Alder (University of North Carolina at Chapel H)
    Abstract: This paper uses a general equilibrium framework as in Eaton and Kortum (2002) to estimate the contribution of transport infrastructure to regional development. I apply the analysis to India, a country with a notoriously weak and congested transportation infrastructure. I first analyze the development effects of a recent Indian highway project that improved connections between the four largest economic centers. I estimate the effect of this new infrastructure on income across districts using satellite data on night lights. The results show aggregate gains from the Indian highway project, but unequal effects across regions. China has followed a different highway construction strategy and has experienced more significant convergence across regions than India. I therefore use the model to gauge the effects of a counterfactual highway network for India that replicates the Chinese strategy of connecting intermediate-sized cities. The results suggest that this counterfactual network would have benefited the lagging regions of India. I also construct additional counterfactuals and discuss their effects on economic development.
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Edlund, Lena (Columbia University); Machado, Cecilia (Fundação Getúlio Vargas); Sviatschi, Maria (Columbia University)
    Abstract: In 1980, housing prices in the main US cities rose with distance to the city center. By 2010, that relationship had reversed. We propose that this development can be traced to greater labor supply of high-income households through reduced tolerance for commuting. In a tract-level data set covering the 27 largest US cities, years 1980-2010, we employ a city-level Bartik demand shifter for skilled labor and find support for our hypothesis: full-time skilled workers favor proximity to the city center and their increased presence can account for the observed price changes, notably the rising price premium commanded by centrality.
    Keywords: gentrification, returns to skill, time use, location choice
    JEL: R21 R30
    Date: 2015–11
  7. By: Åslund, Olof (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Blind, Ina (Institute for Housing and Urban Research (IBF)); Dahlberg, Matz (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of commuter train access on individual labor market outcomes. Our study considers the introduction of a commuter train on a pre-existing railroad in Sweden, considerably decreasing commuting times by public transit and hence increasing access to the regional employment center. Using difference-in-differences matching techniques on comprehensive individual panel data spanning over a decade, our intention-to-treat estimates show that the reform essentially had no impact on the earnings and employment development among the affected individuals.
    Keywords: Infrastructure investment; commuting; job access; labor market outcomes
    JEL: J22 J63 R23
    Date: 2015–11–09
  8. By: Bournakis, Ioannis; Papanastassiou, Marina; Pitelis, Christos
    Abstract: This paper explores the relative effects of Multinational Enterprises’ (MNEs) subsidiaries to domestic firms (DOMS) on regional productivity growth in the UK. We combine regional and firm level data to explore the relative importance of three key characteristics of Multinational Enterprises’ subsidiaries: R&D, intangible assets and exports. Our main results indicate that MNE subsidiaries are on average more R&D intensive and have a higher level of investment in intangibles which impact significantly on regional productivity growth. The results are shown not to be symmetric when we take into account the country of origin of MNE subsidiaries, the role of R&D, intangibles and exports depending on the country of origin of the parental MNE. Two key implications can be derived from our findings: (a) DOMS can sometimes be more advantageous for local development; (b) the contribution of MNEs subsidiaries to the regional economy depends on its degree of embeddedness in the local economy. These two findings can provide a large scope for regional policy making.
    Keywords: Total Factor Productivity (TFP), Regions, Multinationals, Subsidiaries, Domestic Firms, R&D, Intangibles, Exports
    JEL: F23 O47 R3
    Date: 2015–11–26
  9. By: Edward L. Glaeser (Harvard University); Scott Duke Kominers (Harvard Business School); Michael Luca (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit); Nikhil Naik (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab)
    Abstract: New, "big" data sources allow measurement of city characteristics and outcome variables higher frequencies and finer geographic scales than ever before. However, big data will not solve large urban social science questions on its own. Big data has the most value for the study of cities when it allows measurement of the previously opaque, or when it can be coupled with exogenous shocks to people or place. We describe a number of new urban data sources and illustrate how they can be used to improve the study and function of cities. We first show how Google Street View images can be used to predict income in New York City, suggesting that similar image data can be used to map wealth and poverty in previously unmeasured areas of the developing world. We then discuss how survey techniques can be improved to better measure willingness to pay for urban amenities. Finally, we explain how Internet data is being used to improve the quality of city services.
    Date: 2015–11

This nep-geo issue is ©2015 by Andreas Koch. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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