nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2016‒11‒06
four papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. New Economic Geography: history and debate By José M. Gaspar
  2. A Life Course Approach to Understanding Neighbourhood Effects By de Vuijst, Elise; van Ham, Maarten; Kleinhans, Reinout
  3. On the Geography of Global Value Chains By Alonso de Gortari; Pol Antras
  4. Urbanization and Rural Development in the People’s Republic of China By Chen, Zhao; Lu, Ming; Ni, Pengtu

  1. By: José M. Gaspar (Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-464 Porto PORTUGAL)
    Abstract: This paper aims to synthesize the main conceptual and ontological discussion around the field of New Economic Geography. It starts out by laying down the fundamental reasons and motivations that led to the surge of New Economic Geography and provides the background in adjacent fields of economic theory which made this possible. I then provide an overall assessment of the state of the art in NEG and track the intellectual evolution of the field since the nineties up to the present, focusing on the intrinsic criticism that it has been subject to throughout its history. This criticism has its roots in the different ontological conceptions of geography (space) and history (time), as well on the methodological differences, between economists and geographers. Another concern of this paper is to analyze the evolution of the debate and communication between geographical economists and economic geographers.
    Keywords: economic geography; geography and history; ontological debate;
    JEL: N7 N9 R12
    Date: 2016–10
  2. By: de Vuijst, Elise (Delft University of Technology); van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology); Kleinhans, Reinout (Delft University of Technology)
    Abstract: Many theories on so-called neighbourhood effects – effects of the residential context on individual outcomes such as employment, education, and health – implicitly, or explicitly suggest lagged effects, duration effects, or for example, intergenerational effects of neighbourhoods. However, these temporal dimensions of neighbourhood effects receive only limited attention in the empirical literature, largely because of a lack of suitable data. The increasing availability of geo-coded, longitudinal, individual-level data now leads to more research which takes these temporal dimensions and time effects into account. This paper argues that it is time for an overarching framework to better understand the temporal dimension of neighbourhood effects. We propose a conceptual model that uses the life course approach as a framework to integrate the various elements of time in current neighbourhood effects theories. The life course approach emboldens the study of full individual life course biographies over time, taking into consideration multiple parallel life careers (such as education, household, housing, work, and leisure) and their relative importance to individual outcomes. A large advantage of the life course approach to neighbourhood effects is that it does not only allow us to incorporate residential neighbourhoods into individual biographies, but also allows us to study the effects of (and interactions with) other social and spatial contexts on individual outcomes.
    Keywords: neighbourhood effects, neighbourhood histories, life course approach, temporal dimension, contextual effects
    JEL: I30 J60 P46 R23
    Date: 2016–10
  3. By: Alonso de Gortari (Harvard University); Pol Antras (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the optimal location of production for the different stages in a sequential global value chain. We develop a general-equilibrium model featuring a proximity-concentration tradeoff: slicing global value chains across countries allows to better exploit agglomeration economies, but such fragmentation comes at the cost of increased transportation costs. We show that, other things equal, it is optimal to locate relatively downstream stages of production in relatively central or well-connected locations, while upstream stages of production are optimally assigned to more remote locations. We illustrate this result by working out the optimal location of production for a few basic topologies featuring a low number of countries and stages. Exact solutions to the problem for a larger number of countries and stages are computationally complex, but can be obtained using combinatorial optimization tools. We apply the model to study the optimal specialization within chains in eleven countries in Factory Asia.
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Chen, Zhao (Asian Development Bank Institute); Lu, Ming (Asian Development Bank Institute); Ni, Pengtu (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: This paper presents research findings on how urbanization enhances productivity and economic growth in both urban and rural sectors. Through agglomeration effects, employment opportunities and income levels can largely increase. In addition, the mechanisms of sharing, matching, and learning are much stronger in cities, especially large cities. However, in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), urbanization lags far behind industrialization. Institutional barriers against rural-to-urban and interregional migration, such as the hukou system, have reduced the ability of urban growth to absorb rural labor. As for rural development, urbanization has propelled agricultural productivity, rural income, and consumption levels. Moreover, agricultural productivity is driven to a large extent by capital accumulation, through capital deepening and remittance. Agricultural organizations, urbanization, and outflow of migrant workers make it possible for large-scale production and agricultural mechanization to occur.
    Keywords: Urbanization; rural development; PRC; China; hukou system; productivity; economic growth; 都市化; 農村開発; 経済成長; 中国
    JEL: E23 O14 R11
    Date: 2016–10–31

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