nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2018‒01‒22
eleven papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Does Country Size Affect the Relationship between Population Density and Labour Productivity? Theory and Evidence for Europe By José Pedro Pontes; Patrícia Melo
  2. Next train to the polycentric city: The effect of railroads on subcenter formation By Miguel Ángel García-López; Camille Hémet; Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal
  3. Cluster dynamics: learning from Competitiveness Cluster policy. The case of ‘Secure Communicating Solutions’ in the French Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region By Christian Longhi
  4. Market Potential, Agglomeration Effects and the Location of French Firms in Africa By PHOLO Alain; TENIKUE Michel; NAFARI Baraka
  5. Why do firms collaborate with local universities? By Rune Dahl Fitjar; Martin Gjelsvik
  6. Agglomeration and Firm Wage Inequality: Evidence from China By Chen, Anping; Dai, Tianshi; Partridge, Mark
  7. Do behaviours in cultural markets affect economic resilience? An analysis of the Italian regions By Cellini, Roberto; Cuccia, Tiziana
  8. How Centralized is U.S. Metropolitan Employment? By Brown, Jason; Maloney, Maeve; Rappaport, Jordan; Smalter Hall, Aaron
  9. School Performance, Score Inflation and Economic Geography By Battistin, Erich; Neri, Lorenzo
  10. Smart Specialisation, seizing new industrial opportunities By Antonio VEZZANI; Marco BACCAN; Alina CANDU; CASTELLI; Mafini DOSSO; Petros GKOTSIS
  11. Regionale Konvergenzprozesse in Deutschland: Der ländliche Raum holt auf By Röhl, Klaus-Heiner

  1. By: José Pedro Pontes; Patrícia Melo
    Abstract: The empirical literature on the relationship between labour productivity and urbanisation economies has considered the presence of variable returns to density, but it has not investigated the existence of a heterogeneous relationship according to country size. This paper proposes a theoretical model which can explain why the relationship between regional labour productivity and population density may differ in strength between small and large countries. To test the proposed theory, we carry out an empirical regression analysis using NUTS2-level data on GDP per capita and population density for the EU28 countries. The results from the empirical analysis corroborate the theoretical model and indicate the relationship is linear and stronger for regions in small countries compared to large countries.
    Keywords: Labour Productivity; Population Density; Economic Development; Country Size
    JEL: O11 O14 O15 R11 R12
    Date: 2018–01
  2. By: Miguel Ángel García-López (UAB - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona [Barcelona], Institut d'Economia de Barcelona, Departament d'Econometria, Estadística i Economia Espanyola - UB - Universitat de Barcelona); Camille Hémet (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona, Departament d'Econometria, Estadística i Economia Espanyola - UB - Universitat de Barcelona, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR); Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal (Institut d'Economia de Barcelona, Departament d'Econometria, Estadística i Economia Espanyola - UB - Universitat de Barcelona, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, UB - Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Recent evidence reveals that transportation's improvements within metropolitan areas have a clear effect on population and job decentralization processes. Yet, very little has been said on how these improvements affect the spatial organization of the economic activity in the suburbs. This paper analyses the effects of transportation's changes on employment subcenters formation. Using data from metropolitan Paris between 1968 and 2010, we first show that the spatial pattern of job decentralization is reinforcing the polycentric nature of Paris: the number of subcenters grew from 21 in 1968 to 35 in 2010 and the employment growth was very intense within them. Second, our main contribution is to show that the new rail transit clearly affects the emergence of subcenters: not only does the presence of a rail station increase the probability of a suburban municipality of becoming (part of) a subcenter by 5 to 10%, but a 10% increase in municipality proximity to a suburban station is found to increase its chance to be part of a subcenter by 3 to 5%.
    Keywords: Urban spatial structure ,Decentralization,Subcenters Polycentric city,Transportation
    Date: 2017–11
  3. By: Christian Longhi (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur)
    Abstract: The paper aims to identify the forms and dynamics of the organizational structures of high-tech clusters overtime. Since Markusen (1996), it is well acknowledged that diversity is an emergent property of clusters, but the interactions between local and non-local actors of the clusters are difficult to trace because of lack of relevant data. The cluster policies developed to fix the network failures between the heterogeneous actors – large and small firms, universities, research institutes – of the current processes of innovation provide new information opportunities. In France, Competitiveness Clusters work as a “factories of project”; the information they produce on collective R&D projects applying for subsidies provides a proxy of local and non-local relations of the clusters. Social network analysis is used to infer the organizational structure of the collective learning networks and trace their dynamics. The case studies considered are Sophia-Antipolis and Rousset, two high tech clusters which belong to the same Competitiveness Cluster, ‘Secure Communicating Solutions’ in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region. The paper highlights the decoupling of the two clusters overtime as a consequence of distinctive organizational structures. The diversity of the dynamics of the collective learning networks which emerges through the analysis of the collective R&D projects in the two high tech clusters shows that knowledge creation and innovation can follow different paths and questions the public policies implemented.
    Keywords: Innovation, Collective Learning Networks, Competitiveness Cluster, Social Network Analysis, Rousset,Cluster Policy, Sophia Antipolis
    Date: 2017
  4. By: PHOLO Alain; TENIKUE Michel; NAFARI Baraka
    Abstract: The impact of agglomeration economies in African urban development has not been clearly measured yet. To inform the debate on their existence and their intensity, there is a need for empirical studies providing new evidence on agglomeration effects in the African region. In this research we contribute in bridging this gap by investigating, through a structural estimation approach, the impact of agglomeration economies and forward linkages on the localization of French affiliates in Africa. Using a sample of French subsidiaries in Africa, we compare the theoretically derived measure of market potential with the standard form used by geographers and with a measure of local demand. Our results show that Market Potential matters for location choice. However, the semi-elasticity estimates suggest that the intensity of demand linkages in Africa is lower than what has been observed in the European Union. Moreover, their effects seem to be insignificant when we consider the spillover variables. These spillover effects have a positive and significant impact on location which suggests that agglomerations effects are at play throughout Africa.
    Keywords: agglomeration economics; location of firms; market potential
    JEL: F12 F15
    Date: 2017–12
  5. By: Rune Dahl Fitjar; Martin Gjelsvik
    Abstract: This paper examines why firms sometimes collaborate locally rather than with higher-quality universities at a distance. Existing research has mostly relied on the localised knowledge spillover, or LKS, model to explain this. This model holds that knowledge transfer across distance is costly, and collaborating locally reduces the risk of information loss when the knowledge is transferred. However, there are various other reasons that could also explain the pattern. If the local university can make a useful contribution, firms might choose to look no further. Firms may also see collaboration as a long-term investment, helping to build up research quality at the local university with the hope of benefiting in the future. Finally, firms may want to contribute to the local community. We extend the LKS model with these additional motivations and explore their validity using data from 23 semi-structured interviews of firms that collaborate intensively with lower-tier local universities.
    Keywords: University-industry linkages, Knowledge spillovers, Geographical proximity, Collaboration
    JEL: O32 D21
    Date: 2017–12
  6. By: Chen, Anping; Dai, Tianshi; Partridge, Mark
    Abstract: China is experiencing rapid urbanization with the steady emergence of large cities, leading to policy discussions of the role of large cities in its development. While the consensus is that agglomeration plays an important role in economic development and large cities can act as engines of economic growth, there is relatively little empirical knowledge of the effects of agglomeration on inequality. In this study, we apply panel data from a micro firm-level survey and from city-level data to investigate whether there is a causal relationship between agglomeration and establishment wage dispersion in China. Given potential endogeneity of city size, we employ an instrumental variable regression (IV) approach. We find strong evidence that agglomeration has significant effects on wage dispersion in the short- and long-run. The link between agglomeration and wage dispersion is heterogeneous across regions. The spatially varying results appear to be due to different stages of development. Our results are consistent with two-sided sorting models in that it appears that the most productive and least productive firms are moving from inland cities to the coast.
    Keywords: Agglomeration, Wage Dispersion, City Size, Inequality, China
    JEL: R1
    Date: 2017–12–27
  7. By: Cellini, Roberto; Cuccia, Tiziana
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relation between the economic resilience and cultural behaviour, resorting to the evidence provided by the 20 Italian regions at the time of the Great recession. We consider specific cultural behaviours, which provide a specific meaning of culture; its relation with the resilience ability of regions is analysed. We document that higher level of supplied and demanded quantity of cultural goods in a region associate with higher regional economic resilience as measured by the ability of limiting employment drop; the relation with the considered cultural behaviours is weaker in the case of economic resilience as measured by the ability of limiting income drop. We propose possible explanations for this asymmetry.
    Keywords: Regions, Economic resilience, Great Recession, Cultural goods, Italy
    JEL: R39 Z10
    Date: 2018–01–11
  8. By: Brown, Jason (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City); Maloney, Maeve (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City); Rappaport, Jordan (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City); Smalter Hall, Aaron (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)
    Abstract: Centralized employment remains a benchmark stylization of metropolitan land use.To address its empirical relevance, we delineate "central employment zones" (CEZs)- central business districts together with nearby concentrated employment|for 183 metropolitan areas in 2000. To do so, we first subjectively classify which census tracts in a training sample of metros belong to their metro's CEZ and then use a learning algorithm to construct a function that predicts our judgment. {{p}} Applying this prediction function to the full cross section of metros estimates the probability we would judge each census tract as belonging to its metro's CEZ. Using a high probability threshold for tract inclusion conservatively delineates a predicted CEZ for each metro. On average, the conservatively predicted CEZs account for only 12 percent of metropolitan employment in 2000. But the distribution of shares is positively skewed, with the conservatively predicted CEZs accounting for at least 20 percent of employment in 29 metros. Employment centralization is considerably higher for agglomerative occupations|those that arguably bene t most from face-to-face contact. The conservatively predicted CEZs account for at least 33 percent of agglomerative employment in 24 metros and at least 50 percent of legal employment in 79 metros.
    Keywords: Central business districts; Employment density; Metropolitan land use
    JEL: C45 R12 R32
    Date: 2017–11–16
  9. By: Battistin, Erich (Queen Mary, University of London); Neri, Lorenzo (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: We show that grading standards for primary school exams in England have triggered an inflation of quality indicators in the national performance tables for almost two decades. The cumulative effects have resulted in significant differences in the quality signaled to parents for otherwise identical schools. These differences are as good as random, with score inflation resulting from discretion in the grading of randomly assigned external markers. We find large housing price gains from the school quality improvements artificially signaled by inflation as well as lower deprivation and more businesses catering to families in local neighborhoods. The design ensures improved external validity for the valuation of school quality with respect to boundary discontinuities and has the potential for replication outside of our specific case study.
    Keywords: house prices, school quality, score inflation
    JEL: C26 C31 I2
    Date: 2017–11
  10. By: Antonio VEZZANI (European Commission - JRC); Marco BACCAN (Finlombarda S.p.A. (Italy)); Alina CANDU (Finlombarda S.p.A. (Italy)); CASTELLI (Finlombarda S.p.A. (Italy)); Mafini DOSSO (European Commission - JRC); Petros GKOTSIS (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This study offers a novel analytical approach to inform the regional search for new industrial opportunities, as promoted by smart specialisation in the EU Cohesion policy context. The analysis departs from the challenges of practicing smart specialisation and its entrepreneurial discovery process in a dynamic perspective. It argues that the adoption of a dynamic approach to identify new opportunities implies mapping regional business and innovation assets as well as, assessing their position within the global technological and industrial landscape. The study brings a case study of Lombardy region, spurring the S3 Lab initiative (in collaboration with Baden-Württemberg, Catalonia and Lapland), together with a comparative analysis of its technological profile. The empirical study combines patent data from OECD REGPAT and territorial proprietary micro-data from Lombardy region on firm creation in emerging industries (EI) – new industrial sectors or existing sectors evolving into new industries (European Cluster Observatory). These industries represent a priority area for Lombardy's innovation-led development strategy. The initial observations confirm the importance of such industries in the region; they represent more than one-third of employment, almost a half of the regional value-added and feature together the majority of start-ups, suggesting the relevance of the regional strategic development choices. Also, in terms of productive advantages, Lombardy ranks high in some key EI. The mapping of technological competences through patent indicators, e.g. specialisation, diversification and ability to specialise in fast-growing and niche fields gives relevant insights on the technological potential of the region, providing further guidance for better targeted interventions.
    Keywords: smart specialisation, emerging industries, regional search, technological specialisation
    JEL: O25 O33 O38 R58
    Date: 2017–11
  11. By: Röhl, Klaus-Heiner
    Abstract: Seit dem Jahr 2000 nimmt der Urbanisierungsgrad in Deutschland wieder zu. Die Einwohnerzahlen in den Großstädten steigen an und haben inzwischen eine zunehmende Knappheit auf dem Wohnungsmarkt ausgelöst. Der ländliche Raum verliert hingegen vielerorts Einwohner. Zum einen begünstigt die Bildungsmigration die Städte, zum anderen richtet sich die Zuwanderung aus dem Ausland vorwiegend auf städtische Regionen. Aber auch Familien entscheiden sich heute eher für ein Leben in der Stadt als im Umland. Die Bevölkerungsverteilung im Raum wird von zunehmenden Agglomerationstendenzen geprägt. Doch die räumliche Konzentration der Bevölkerung wird bislang nicht von einer vergleichbaren Zentralisierung der Wirtschaftsaktivität begleitet. Der ländliche Raum kann seinen Anteil am Bruttoinlandsprodukt vielmehr konstant halten, so dass sein BIP-Rückstand je Einwohner gegenüber der Wirtschaftszentren seit dem Jahr 2000 spürbar abnimmt und die räumliche Konvergenz zwischen dem ländlichen Raum insgesamt und den Städten steigt. Dabei nimmt jedoch die Streuung der Wirtschaftskraft innerhalb der Regionstypen zu: Ein Teil der ländlichen Kreise fällt zurück, aber auch unter den Stadtregionen gibt es wachsende Divergenzen. Berücksichtigt man zudem den demografischen Wandel, der sich aufgrund der abweichenden Altersstrukturen in manchen, überwiegend ländlichen Regionen sehr viel eher und stärker als in den meisten Landesteilen auswirken wird, besteht trotz der erfreulichen Konvergenzprozesse weiterhin erheblicher regionalpolitscher Handlungsbedarf.
    JEL: R11 O18 P25
    Date: 2017

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