nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2021‒03‒15
nine papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Consumption Access and Agglomeration: Evidence from Smartphone Data By Yuhei Miyauchi; Kentaro Nakajima; Stephen J. Redding
  2. Regional income disparities, monopoly & finance By Maryann Feldman; Frederick Guy; Simona Iammarino
  3. High-speed Rail and the Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity: Evidence from Japan's Shinkansen By HAYAKAWA Kazunobu; Hans R.A. KOSTER; TABUCHI Takatoshi; Jacques-François THISSE
  4. Spatial Polarization By Fabio Cerina; Elisa Dienesch; Michelle Rendall
  5. Cluster competence for higher resilience: A neo-institutional perspective on how firms from the Lusatian Energy Cluster cope with an external shock By Tomenendal, Matthias; Lange, Hans Rüdiger; Raffer, Christian
  6. Locating Public Facilities: Theory and Micro Evidence from Paris By Gabriel Loumeau
  7. The Geography of Job Tasks By Enghin Atalay; Sebastian Sotelo; Daniel Tannenbaum
  8. From Growth Poles and Clusters to Business Ecosystems Dynamics: The ILDI Counterproposal By Vlados, Charis; Chatzinikolaou, Dimos
  9. Measuring Commuting and Economic Activity inside Cities with Cell Phone Records By Gabriel E. Kreindler; Yuhei Miyauchi

  1. By: Yuhei Miyauchi; Kentaro Nakajima; Stephen J. Redding
    Abstract: We provide new theory and evidence on the role of consumption access in understanding the agglomeration of economic activity. We combine smartphone data that records user location every 5 minutes of the day with economic census data on the location of service-sector establishments to measure commuting and non-commuting trips within the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area. We show that non-commuting trips are frequent, more localized than commuting trips, strongly related to the availability of nontraded services, and occur along trip chains. Guided by these empirical findings, we develop a quantitative urban model that incorporates travel to work and travel to consume non-traded services. Using the structure of the model, we estimate theoretically-consistent measures of travel access, and show that consumption access makes a sizable contribution relative to workplace access in explaining the observed variation in residents and land prices across locations. Undertaking counterfactuals for changes in travel costs, we show that abstracting from consumption trips leads to a substantial underestimate of the welfare gains from a transport improvement (because of the undercounting of trips) and leads to a distorted picture of changes in travel patterns within the city (because of the different geography of commuting and non-commuting trips).
    JEL: R2 R3 R41
    Date: 2021–02
  2. By: Maryann Feldman (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA); Frederick Guy (Department of Management, Birkbeck College, University of London); Simona Iammarino (London School of Economics & Political Science, UK)
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: HAYAKAWA Kazunobu; Hans R.A. KOSTER; TABUCHI Takatoshi; Jacques-François THISSE
    Abstract: We investigate the effects of high-speed rail (HSR) on the location of economic activity. We set up a spatial quantitative general equilibrium model that incorporates spatial linkages between firms (including manufacturing and services), agglomeration economies, as well as commuting and migration. The model is estimated for Japan in order to investigate the impacts of the Shinkansen, i.e., the first HSR ever built. We show that traveling by train strengthens firm linkages, but is less important for commuting interactions. The Shinkansen increases welfare by about 5%. We show that extensions of the Shinkansen network may have large effects (up to a 30% increase in employment) on connected municipalities, although the effects are smaller for places with higher fixed costs. Our counterfactuals show that, without the Shinkansen, Tokyo and Osaka would be 6.3% and 4.4% larger, respectively.
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Fabio Cerina; Elisa Dienesch; Michelle Rendall
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the allocation of skills across space and time in the U.S. We start by documenting two facts on the phenomenon of employment polarization: i) it is stronger in larger vs smaller cities and ii) it is mainly driven by heads rather than hours. We then build a spatial general equilibrium model in which workers with heterogeneous skills choose the location in which they live and work. The model provides a theory based measure of skills that we use to investigate how the skill distribution changes across time and space in the U.S. Consistent with the empirical evidence on employment polarization by city size, we find that between 1980 and 2008 larger cities display a higher increase in the fraction of both highand low-skilled workers relative to smaller cities, which in turn display a higher increase in the fraction of medium skilled. We calibrate the model to evaluate the role of technology and find that faster skill-biased technological change in larger cities can account for a substantial fraction of the differential emergence of fat tails and employment polarization between large and small cities.
    Date: 2019–06
  5. By: Tomenendal, Matthias; Lange, Hans Rüdiger; Raffer, Christian
    Abstract: In former studies cluster firms have hardly proven to be more resilient to shocks than non-cluster firms. Yet, there is a lack of research on how cluster firms can achieve resilience. Based on a qualitative study of firms in the Eastern German Lusatian energy cluster we found that after a shock - a sudden decision on energy policy changes of the German federal government - cluster firms have replaced pre- by postshock institutional logics. Studied firms put more emphasis on further utilising core competences and demonstrate more openness to communicate inside and outside of the cluster. In essence, cluster firms change institutional logics for strengthened T-shaped cluster competences, which subsequently lead to higher resilience of cluster firms and clusters. By linking institutional logics to cluster resilience via cluster competences we provide a new perspective on how cluster firms can be resilient in the face of a shock.
    Keywords: neo-institutionalism,cluster resilience,cluster competences
    JEL: L14 L29 O43 R11
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Gabriel Loumeau
    Abstract: This paper proposes a novel approach to evaluate location decisions for public facilities. The approach addresses, not only the standard distance-minimizing problem, but also the endogenous location decisions of individuals. To do so, I develop a quantifiable general equilibrium model with endogenous (residential and commercial) densities, housing prices, commutes to work and public facilities, as well as public facility characteristics. The latter includes a facility’s location, quality, district and capacity. I apply the framework to secondary schools in Paris’ greater region at a 1km2 geographical scale. The analysis reveals that the observed location decisions made between 2001 and 2015 underestimate the endogenous reaction of individuals. A more decentralized strategy is predicted to increase welfare growth by 10 percentage points on average, mostly via shorter commutes and lower housing prices.
    Keywords: location, facility, general equilibrium, commuting, interrupted search
    JEL: R53 H11 R12
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Enghin Atalay (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Sebastian Sotelo (University of Michigan); Daniel Tannenbaum (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
    Abstract: We present new facts about the geography of work using online job ads and introduce new measures of job tasks, technology requirements, and the degree of specialization within firms or occupations. We show that the (i) intensity of interactive and analytic tasks, (ii) technological requirements, and (iii) task specialization all increase with city size. The gradient for tasks and technologies is steeper for jobs requiring a college degree. We show that these facts help account for the urban wage premium, both in aggregate and across skill groups.
    Keywords: geography, job tasks, education
    JEL: J20 J24 R12 R23
    Date: 2021–02–27
  8. By: Vlados, Charis (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics); Chatzinikolaou, Dimos (Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: The study of spatial socio-economic development constitutes a significant field of analysis of innovation creation and diffusion. Understanding the spatial evolution of the different socio-economic systems in the age of globalization requires a synthesizing and integrated theoretical approach to how innovation is generated and replicated. This article aims to study three significant spatial socio-economic development theories –the growth poles, the clusters, and the business ecosystems. A literature review reveals that (a) the concept of growth poles concerns mostly the analysis of spatial polarization between specific territories and regions, (b) the clusters concept addresses the issue of developed inter-industrial competition and co-operation from a meso-level perspective, and (c) the analytical field of business ecosystems provides an evolutionary approach that can be valorized for all co-evolving spatial socio-economic organizations. In this context, an eclectically interventional mechanism to strengthen innovation is suggested. The Institutes of Local Development and Innovation (ILDI) policy is proposed for all firms and business ecosystems, of every size, level of spatial development, prior knowledge, specialization, and competitive ability. The ILDI is presented as an intermediate organization capable of diagnosing and enhancing the firm’s physiology in structural Stra.Tech.Man terms (strategy-technology-management synthesis).
    Keywords: Spatial Socio-Economic Development; Business Ecosystems; Clusters; Growth Poles; Institutes of Local Development and Innovation (ILDI); Stra.Tech.Man Physiology
    JEL: R11 R58
    Date: 2020–11–27
  9. By: Gabriel E. Kreindler; Yuhei Miyauchi
    Abstract: We show how to use commuting flows to infer the spatial distribution of income within a city. A simple workplace choice model predicts a gravity equation for commuting flows whose destination fixed effects correspond to wages. We implement this method with cell phone transaction data from Dhaka and Colombo. Model-predicted income predicts separate income data, at the workplace and residential level, and by skill group. Unlike machine learning approaches, our method does not require training data, yet achieves comparable predictive power. We show that hartals (transportation strikes) in Dhaka reduce commuting more for high model-predicted wage and high-skill commuters.
    JEL: C55 E24 R14
    Date: 2021–02

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