nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2017‒04‒23
eight papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Making policy evaluation work: The case of regional development policy By OECD
  2. Regional Policy and Industrial Relocation in China: A Panel Data Analysis By Robert Alexander; Rui-cong Sang; Sajid Anwar
  3. University location and city development: the effects of Victoria University on the Western Melbourne economy By John R. Madden
  4. Social networks, geographic proximity, and firm performance in Viet Nam By Emma Howard
  5. About the Origin of Cities By André De Palma; Yorgos Papageorgiou
  6. Secondary Towns and Poverty Reduction: Refocusing the Urbanization Agenda By Christiaensen, Luc; Kanbur, Ravi
  7. Spatial wage inequality in Belarus By Aleh Mazol
  8. O ciclo das commodities e crescimento regional desigual no Brasil: uma aplicação de equilíbrio geral computável (EGC) By Celso Bissoli Sessa; Thiago Cavalcante Simonato; Edson Paulo Domingues

  1. By: OECD
    Abstract: The paper presents a critical discussion of ex-post impact evaluation of policies that affect regional economic development, with a particular emphasis on drawing useful implications for policy making. In particular, it discusses the importance of setting clear and measurable objectives in designing policies and the need for equally clear policy levers; it highlights the main advantages of “counterfactual” evaluation; it analyses the methodological specificities of the evaluation of programmes that have a regional or urban dimension; and it provides a survey of some of the most relevant examples in the empirical economics literature. The ultimate goal is to “bridge” the perceived distance between policy discussions on the one side, and academic debates on the other. Some specific recommendations conclude the report.
    Date: 2017–04–21
  2. By: Robert Alexander; Rui-cong Sang; Sajid Anwar
    Abstract: An important part of Chinese economic development, especially of the Eastern Coastal provinces, has been the relocation of industry from Western countries. More recently, the Chinese Government has encouraged the development of Central, Western and Northern provinces and local governments in these regions have been making efforts to attract investment from companies from Eastern China. We investigate the factors that drive the investment decisions of such companies. Using data on the investment decisions of 498 listed Chinese companies headquartered in the provinces of Guangdong, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu over the period 2000-2010, we estimate a Probit model to investigate the factors that drive their investment decisions. The model controls for market factors and firm-specific factors, We find strong positive effects on investment from the provision of both transport and communications infrastructure and strong negative effects from a higher proportion of state-owned enterprises and higher local government administrative expenses but no significant effect from taxation.
    Keywords: China, Regional modeling, Developing countries
    Date: 2016–07–04
  3. By: John R. Madden
    Abstract: Does the presence of a local university affect the economic development of an area within a large city? This paper focuses on the Western region of Melbourne, which accounts for 18 per cent of the city's population of 4.5 million. Only one of Melbourne's seven universities has located campuses in Western Melbourne, a region containing many areas of social disadvantage. The importance of the University to the region's economy in 2013 is analysed with the aid of a 6-region CGE model, four of the regions covering Greater Melbourne. The analysis is undertaken by simulating a counterfactual that there was no university in the region during the period 1992 to 2013. Under the counterfactual, students who in actuality had studied in Western Melbourne in the period are assumed to have either attended a university in another Melbourne region or forgone a university education. The simulation accounted for a relocation of both the University's demand-side impacts (operating expenditures and student living costs) and its supply-side impacts (knowledge effects). A particular feature of the analysis was the estimation of the interregional relocation of local productivity effects flowing in 2013 from returns to the stocks of human capital and research knowledge accumulated over the years from 1992. For the human capital effects this involved, for each Melbourne region, undertaking detailed estimates of changes in annual university completions, annual migration rates, labour force participation rates, interregional commuting and returns to university qualifications. Key assumptions related to the effects of university proximity on tertiary participation and of place of study on regional attachment. For local R&D effects, regional estimates were made of annual R&D expenditure, knowledge decay, returns to R&D expenditure and regional knowledge spillovers. The simulation results suggested that the presence of a university in Western Melbourne had a significant effect on the region's GDP, but due to interregional commuting the local university had a more muted effect on the real consumption of the region's households.
    Keywords: Regional development, higher education, spatial distribution of urban economic activity, regional CGE modelling
    JEL: D58 I23 I25 O15 O18 R12 R15
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: Emma Howard
    Abstract: This paper uses panel data to assess the relative importance of social networks and geographic proximity to micro, small, and medium enterprises in Viet Nam. The results suggest that a larger social network, and hiring employees mainly through social networks, are both correlated with higher value added per worker. The number of government officials and civil servants in a firm’s network emerges as particularly important. When the quality of contacts is controlled for, firms with tighter social networks have, on average, higher value added per worker. The analysis of spatial networks reveals that firms with a lower percentage of customers and suppliers in the same district actually have higher value added per worker. The results suggest that for micro, small, and medium firms in Viet Nam, strong social networks are much more important than geographic proximity.
    Date: 2017
  5. By: André De Palma (ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan); Yorgos Papageorgiou (McMaster University [Hamilton, Ontario])
    Abstract: We provide a bare–bones account concerning the circumstances that led to the emergence of the first permanent human settements, the spatial arrangement of such emerging settlement patterns on a linear world, and how the macro–morphology of those patterns reflected spatial interaction attributes of their inhabitants.
    Keywords: emergence of spatial order, cities, non-linear systems,Agglomeration economies, spatial stability
    Date: 2016–12–23
  6. By: Christiaensen, Luc (World Bank); Kanbur, Ravi (Cornell University)
    Abstract: This review is framed around the exploration of a central hypothesis: A shift in public investment towards secondary towns from big cities will improve poverty reduction performance. Of course the hypothesis raises many questions. What exactly is the dichotomy of secondary towns versus big cities? What is the evidence for the contribution of secondary towns versus cities to poverty reduction? What are the economic mechanisms for such a differential contribution and how does policy interact with them? We find preliminary evidence and arguments in support of our hypothesis, but the impacts of policy on poverty are quite complex even in simple settings, and the question of secondary towns and poverty reduction is an open area for research and policy analysis.
    Keywords: secondary towns, poverty reduction, mega cities, urbanization, rural-urban migration, Zipf's Law
    JEL: I32 J61 O18 R12 R23
    Date: 2017–03
  7. By: Aleh Mazol
    Abstract: This paper studies the wage inequality in Belarus' districts from 2000 till 2015 following the multistep and multi-mechanism framework. The empirical results show: first, that wage disparities across the districts decreased in the 2000-2012 period and then increased from 2013 to 2015; second, there is the spatial dependency in district wages and increasing separation between districts, and between rural and urban population in Belarus; third, the main economic factors that contribute to decrease in district wage inequality are industrial development, retail trade and agricultural development. Finally, from theoretical point of view this research rejects the inverted U-shaped relationship between spatial inequality and economic development for Belarus and supports the hypothesis made by French economist Thomas Piketty that slow growth rates lead to rising inequality.
    Keywords: economic growth, quantile regression, spatial dependence, stochastic kernel, wage inequality, Belarus
    JEL: C30 C46 I30 J31 O18 Q53 R12
    Date: 2016–08
  8. By: Celso Bissoli Sessa (Cedeplar-UFMG); Thiago Cavalcante Simonato (Cedeplar-UFMG); Edson Paulo Domingues (Cedeplar-UFMG)
    Abstract: The principles of uneven development are important for understanding the Brazilian regional reality, which has peculiar contours by dependence on commodity exports. Given the locational rigidity and the volatility of prices characteristic of this market, the spatial distribution of the impacts of these activities assumes importance in the persistence of regional inequalities. This work proceeds from the use of IMAGEM-B model (Integrated Multi-Regional Applied General Equilibrium Model - Brazil) configured to capture the impact that the increase in foreign demand for commodities had on Brazil's economic performance, allowing to identify the main channels capable of stimulating economic growth. Preliminary results indicate that the Brazilian economy showed significant responses to effect price of exports (investment, regional employment, income and consumption), the quantum effect in exports to other exporting regions (export and domestic import) and the aggregate result of GDP. The observed trends reflect not only different levels of industrialization and regional production structures, but also an economic concentration (sectoral and spatially selective) held a regional division of production, which has not allowed apparently reduce regional inequalities
    Keywords: Commodities, Regional Inequalities, Computable General Equilibrium.
    JEL: R11 R13 C68
    Date: 2017–03

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