nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2020‒05‒04
nine papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. The urban rural-education gap: do cities indeed make us smarter? By Raoul van Maarseveen
  2. Factors influencing the potential of European Higher Education Institutions to contribute to innovation and regional development By John Edwards; Eskarne Arregui-Pabollet; Federico Biagi; Koen Jonkers
  3. The Size Distribution of Cities with Distance-Bound Households By Axel Watanabe
  4. An information-theoretic approach to the analysis of location and co-location patterns By Alje van Dam; Andres Gomez-Lievano; Frank Neffke; Koen Frenken
  5. Returns to migration after job loss– the importance of job match By Orsa Kekezi; Andres Ron Boschma
  6. Borders, Roads and the Relocation of Economic Activity Due to Extreme Weather By Jasmin Katrin Gröschl; Thomas Steinwachs
  7. The geographical psychology of recent graduates in the Netherlands: Relating environmental factors and personality traits to location choice By Hooijen, Inge; Bijlsma, Ineke; Cörvers, Frank; Poulissen, Davey
  8. All roads lead to market integration : lessons from a spatial analysis of the wheat market in 18th century Spain By Santiago Caballero, Carlos; López Cermeño, Alexandra
  9. Covid-19 : analyse spatiale de l’influence des facteurs socio-économiques sur la prévalence et les conséquences de l’épidémie dans les départements français By Nadine Levratto; Mounir Amdaoud; Giuseppe Arcuri

  1. By: Raoul van Maarseveen (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)
    Abstract: Despite the existence of a large urban-rural education gap in many countries, little attention has been paid whether cities enjoy a comparative advantage in the production of human capital. Using Dutch administrative data, this paper finds that conditional on family characteristics and cognitive ability, children who grow up in urban regions consistently attain higher levels of human capital compared to children in rural regions. The elasticity of university attendance with respect to population density is 0.07, which is robust across a wide variety of specifications. Hence, the paper highlights an alternative channel to explain the rise of the city. .
    JEL: I20 J24 R10
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: John Edwards (European Commission – JRC); Eskarne Arregui-Pabollet (European Commission – JRC); Federico Biagi (European Commission - JRC); Koen Jonkers (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This Science for Policy Report analyses the main factors influencing the potential of Higher Education Institutions to contribute to innovation and regional development. The analysis is structured around two groups of factors: The supply of knowledge and skills through education, research and external engagement, and the demand side concerning the ability of regional actors to absorb it. The report draws on both qualitative and quantitative data, including two sets of case studies from JRC projects related to the regional impact of universities and the role of HEIs in Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3), as well as a recent econometric study that compares flows of human capital and knowledge from HEIs with firm location. The report is part of the Commission's Knowledge Hub for Higher Education at the JRC which brings together a number of tools including University Multi Rank, from which data is analysed in this report.
    Keywords: higher education, innovation, regional development
    Date: 2020–04
  3. By: Axel Watanabe (Concordia University and CIREQ)
    Abstract: There has been a long tradition of presumed perfect mobility in urban economics. Workers switch their locations in direct response to differences in local economic performance. Recent empirical observations prove otherwise. The number of movers rapidly declines with distance moved while there is a positive correlation between distance moved and skill level. I build a general equilibrium model of a system of cities to explain the city-size distribution as a result of reduced mobility. Workers with a heterogeneous skill level have a corresponding distance-tolerance level and self-sort into select cities. The resulting size distribution reflects the trade-off between the distance moved and earning opportunities enhanced by agglomeration. I extrapolate consumers’ tolerance towards distance and skill level from US Census data on city size and intercity migration.
    Keywords: labor mobility, internal migration, city-size distribution
    JEL: J61 R12
    Date: 2020–04–13
  4. By: Alje van Dam; Andres Gomez-Lievano; Frank Neffke; Koen Frenken
    Abstract: We propose a statistical framework to quantify location and co-location associations of economic activities using information-theoretic measures. We relate the resulting measures to existing measures of revealed comparative advantage, localization and specialization and show that they can all be seen as part of the same framework. Using a Bayesian approach, we provide measures of uncertainty of the estimated quantities. Furthermore, the information-theoretic approach can be readily extended to move beyond pairwise co-locations and instead capture multivariate associations. To illustrate the framework, we apply our measures to the co-location of occupations in US cities, showing the associations between different groups of occupations.
    Date: 2020–04
  5. By: Orsa Kekezi; Andres Ron Boschma
    Abstract: Loss of specific human capital is often identified as a mechanism for why displaced workers might experience permanent drops in earnings after job loss. Moreover, the existing research has argued that displaced workers who migrate out of their region of origin have lower earnings than those who do not. The purpose of this paper is to extend the discussion on returns to migration by accounting for the type of job people get and how related it is to their skills. Using an endogenous treatment model to control for selection bias in migration and career change, we compare displaced stayers with displaced movers in Sweden. Results show that migrants who get a job that matches their occupation- and industry-specific skills display the highest earnings compared to all displaced workers. If migration is combined with a job mismatch, negative returns to migration are instead observed. Given that job displacement is associated with high costs, understanding how the workers behave in the labor market gives insights on how to minimize the costs of losing a job for the individual, which in its turn creates implications for the society at large.
    Keywords: inter-regional migration, specific human capital, job match, displaced workers, skill relatedness
    JEL: R23 J24 J62
    Date: 2020–04
  6. By: Jasmin Katrin Gröschl; Thomas Steinwachs
    Abstract: Extreme weather may give rise to the relocation of economic activity towards nearby locations. But how are the economic effects of weather events transmitted between locations? And, which role does the interconnection of small economic units play? This paper takes a granular approach to identify the role of connectivity on economic activity due to severe weather. We combine a 0.5°×0.5° grid-cell level dataset on economic activity and weather events with global geographic information on national borders and road networks. We first explore how a potential disruption of connectivity through an international border affects local spillovers in case of a weather shock. Second, we use road infrastructure as a proxy for overall connectivity to explore how this affects the diversion of economic activity across local economic units. Results suggest that international borders limit economic relocation due to extreme weather to domestic neighboring cells. The existence of major road infrastructure between locations is key to the relocation of economic activity due to a weather event. Without a transport network, spillovers between local economic units do, on average, not exist or are at least very limited and costly to implement.
    Keywords: light emission, weather, connectivity, border effect, road network
    JEL: F15 O18 Q54 R11
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Hooijen, Inge (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work); Bijlsma, Ineke (RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research, ROA / Dynamics of the labour market); Cörvers, Frank (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work, RS: SBE - MACIMIDE, ROA / Human capital in the region, RS: FdR Institute ITEM); Poulissen, Davey (RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research, ROA / Training and employment)
    Abstract: There is ample evidence from different research disciplines that location factors such as employment opportunities or the availability of amenities and facilities are a powerful predictor of settlement behaviour. Recent research suggests that citizens’ mean personality traits could be an additional predictor of where young people settle. We therefore explore 1) the extent to which recent graduates in the Netherlands are geographically clustered with respect to five different personality traits, 2) whether the geographical clustering of graduates is intensified as they grow older, 3) how regional environmental characteristics are related to personality traits, and 4) the extent to which personality traits play a role in graduates’ location choices. Our results reveal a distinct geographical clustering of personality traits among the different regions in the Netherlands. We also show that this geographical clustering becomes more blurred as graduates age. The results furthermore show robust associations between personality traits and several environmental characteristics with respect to demographic, economic, health, political, sociocultural, crime, and religious outcomes. In addition, we show that personality traits play a role in graduates’ location choices. Economic factors seem to have a larger impact in determining location choices than personality traits.
    JEL: J61 R23 D91
    Date: 2020–02–13
  8. By: Santiago Caballero, Carlos; López Cermeño, Alexandra
    Abstract: This paper uses newly collected data from a large-scale census (Catastro de la Ensenada) to investigate the scale and causes of market integration in eighteenth century Spain. We use wheat prices observed in more than 5,200 municipalities to analyse the local spatial dependence of prices. We detect several regional clusters in the centre and coasts but find that these were not integrated with each other. We then investigate the first nature, second nature, and demand side determinants of these clusters and find that although geographical constrains like terrain roughness play a negatively significant role, the transportation network allowed connected municipalities to alleviate such obstacles. Our results suggest that unfavourable geographical conditions can be overcome by investments in transportation infrastructures.
    Keywords: Geography; Prices; Grain Markets; Market Integration; Early Modern
    Date: 2020–04–28
  9. By: Nadine Levratto; Mounir Amdaoud; Giuseppe Arcuri
    Abstract: This paper analyses the socio-economic determinants of hospitalizations and death rates related to Covid-19 on the one hand, and the excess mortality observed this year compared to previous ones, on the other. It proposes a territorial approach to these questions thanks to the use of data calculated at the French departments level. The exploratory spatial analysis carried out reveals the heterogeneity and spatial autocorrelation of the disease and its consequences. The use of spatial econometric models, then, allows us to highlight the influence of demographic density, social inequalities, part of blue-collars in the active population and emergency services on the studied phenomena.
    Keywords: Covid-19, local variables, spatial analysis
    JEL: C21 I14 R23
    Date: 2020

This nep-geo issue is ©2020 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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