nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2021‒03‒22
eleven papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. Regional income disparities, monopoly and finance By Feldman, Maryann; Guy, Frederick; Iammarino, Simona
  2. Trade and Geography By Stephen J Redding
  3. A regional approach to the study of industrial diversity in Argentina (1996-2012) By Belmartino, Andrea; Calá, Carla Daniela
  4. The geography of innovation and technology news - An empirical study of the German news media By Burcu Ozgun; Tom Broekel;
  5. The innovative impact of public research institutes: evidence from Italy By Robbiano, Simone
  6. Extending A Regional Innovation Network: A Technology Intelligence Approach By Johannes van der Pol; Jean-Paul Rameshkoumar; Sarah Teulière; Thierry Bazerque
  7. The Network of US Airports and its Effects on Employment By Nicholas Sheard
  8. When Distance Drives Destination, Towns Can Stimulate Development By De Weerdt, Joachim; Christiaensen, Luc; Kanbur, Ravi
  9. Does road accessibility to cities support rural population growth? Evidence for Portugal for the 1991-2011 period By Patrícia C. Melo; Conceição Rego; Paulo Rui Anciães; Nuno Guiomar; José Muñoz-Rojas
  10. Changes in Metropolitan Area Definition, 1910-2010 By Todd Gardner
  11. Matrizes de distâncias e tempo de deslocamento rodoviário entre os municípios brasileiros : uma atualização metodológica para 2020 By Lucas Resende de Carvalho; Pedro Vasconcelos Maia do Amaral; Philipe Scherrer Mendes

  1. By: Feldman, Maryann; Guy, Frederick; Iammarino, Simona
    Abstract: The overall rise in inequality in the USA since 1980 has been matched by a rise in inequality between places; local and regional development policies aimed at reversing this polarisation have seen limited success. We propose an explanation for the spatial polarisation of prosperity and the failure of the policies to remedy it. Our explanation is based on the interaction of monopoly power, agglomeration economies in technology clusters and the power of financial sector actors over non-financial firms—all phenomena characteristic of the post-1980 economy. We review evidence for each of these elements and propose some causal relationships between them, as an outline of an ongoing research programme.
    Keywords: Regional income distribution; Monopoly; Technology clusters; Platforms; Financialization; Spatial inequality; LSE OA Fund
    JEL: O33 R11 R12
    Date: 2020–12–31
  2. By: Stephen J Redding (Princeton University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews recent research on geography and trade. One of the key empirical findings over the last decade has been the role of geography in shaping the distributional consequences of trade. One of the major theoretical advances has been the development of quantitative spatial models that incorporate both exogenous first-nature geography (natural endowments) and endogenous second-nature geography (the location choices of economic agents relative to one another) as determinants of the distribution of economic activity across space. These models are sufficiently rich to capture first-order features of the data, such as gravity equations for flows of goods and people. Yet they remain sufficiently tractable as to permit an analytical characterization of the properties of the general equilibrium and facilitate counterfactuals for realistic policy interventions. We distinguish between models of regions or systems of cities (where goods trade and migration take center stage) and models of the internal structure of cities (where commuting becomes relevant). We review some of key empirical predictions of both sets of theories and show that they have been remarkably successful in rationalizing the empirical findings from reduced-form research. Looking ahead, the combination of recent theoretical advances and novel geo-coded data on economic interactions at a fine spatial scale promises many interesting avenues for further research, including discriminating between alternative mechanisms for agglomeration, understanding the implications of new technologies for the organization of work, and assessing the causes, consequences and potential policy implications of spatial sorting.
    JEL: F10 F12 R12
    Date: 2020–09
  3. By: Belmartino, Andrea; Calá, Carla Daniela
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to quantify the productive diversity of the manufacturing industry in the provinces of Argentina, to analyse trends in productive diversity between 1996 and 2012, and to identify the main related economic factors. A diversity index is calculated based on official data on total registered wage employment from the Dynamic Employment Analysis Database (BADE). An analysis is then performed of trends in diversity in the different provinces over the period. Lastly, an econometric panel data model is estimated to identify the main related economic factors. The industrial diversity of the provinces is negatively associated with withdrawal of firms and positively associated with level of development, region size, higher levels of urbanization and greater territorial capabilities. The results of this study can be used to design policies to promote regional diversity.
    Keywords: Industria; Empresas Industriales; Empresas Manufactureras; Productos Manufacturados; Modelos Econométricos; Análisis Provincial;
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Burcu Ozgun; Tom Broekel;
    Abstract: Variations in the frequency and tone of news media are the focus of a growing literature. However, to date, empirical investigations have primarily confirmed the existence of such differences at the country level. This paper extends those insights to the subnational level. We provide theoretical arguments and empirical support for systematic regional variations in the frequency and sentiments of news related to innovation and new technologies. These variations reflect regional socio-economic structures. We find that the average newspaper circulating in urban areas features more news on innovation and new technologies than media in more rural areas. Similar endings hold for locations in East Germany and to a certain degree for regions with low unemployment. The sentiments of innovation and new technology news are negatively associated to the unemployment rate, and they tend to be lower in regional newspapers than in national ones. Overall, our results suggest a strong link between the regional socioeconomic conditions and how newspapers circulating in these places report on innovation and new technologies.
    Keywords: innovation, technology, news media, sentiment analysis, topic modeling
    JEL: O33 R12 L82
    Date: 2021–03
  5. By: Robbiano, Simone
    Abstract: This paper empirically analyzes whether a prominent place-based innovation policy, the institution of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), has affected the treated region innovative capacity. By relying on the Synthetic Control Method (SCM) approach and Italian NUTS-3 regional panel data, the innovative development of the latter, proxied by (per-capita) fractional count of patents, is compared with a set of Italian NUTS-3 control ones. Results suggest that the establishment of IIT has impacted on the regional innovative output, on average, by about 22.5 more patents for million inhabitants per year in the post-intervention period. The paper also provides evidence of knowledge spillovers from IIT in the hosting region. In addition, positive effects on the regional endowment of high-skilled human capital as well as regional growth are also documented. Finally, these results are robust to a variety of placebo permutation tests as well as several sensitivity checks, or when considering a Difference-in-Differences (DiD) approach. Finally, the paper may provide useful insights to inform policy makers about the marginal benefits of additional research funding by highlighting the stream of private and social returns, against which the opportunity cost of the intervention must be compared.
    Keywords: Public Research Institutes; Regional Development; Growth; Innovation; Human Capital; Knowledge Spillovers; Knowledge Accumulation; Synthetic Control Method.
    JEL: I23 I25 J24 O10 O15 O18 O30 O31 R10 R11 R58
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Johannes van der Pol; Jean-Paul Rameshkoumar; Sarah Teulière; Thierry Bazerque
    Abstract: In France, Regions do not make their own innovation policies, this is the role of the State. A Region implements national policies and uses grants and subsidies to create and dynamize innovation eco-systems important for its economic development. The Region’s role is therefore largely influential. In order to influence one needs to how and when to exert this influence. A precise understanding of an innovation eco-system is therefore of vital importance. On the occasion of the venue of a Nobel laureate to the French region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine the regional counsel aimed to connect her with the regional innovation eco-system around her research. The purpose of this paper is to show methods and techniques using patents, scientific publications and non-patent literature citations that can help with the identification of an innovation eco-system and how to integrate a researcher into this eco-system.
    Keywords: NPL ; Technology Intelligence ; Patents ; innovation networks
    JEL: R11 O34
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Nicholas Sheard
    Abstract: This paper estimates the effects of airport infrastructure on employment and the distribution of the labor force in US metropolitan areas. The analysis is based on models for the air network and for its effects on employment, which are estimated using US data. Air traffic is found to have a positive effect on the population of the local area, with an elasticity of 0.010, so airport improvements induce a reallocation of workers between regions. Air traffic is also found to have a positive effect on employment in the local area with an elasticity of 0.036 and a weakly positive effect on the employment rate in other places within 400 miles. Simulations suggest that for each job created in the local area by an airport expansion, two and a half jobs are created elsewhere in the US due to the changes in the air network and the distribution of employment. Expanding the average airport adds one job in the US for roughly each $78,000 invested. The results further suggest that the US air network is less centralized than would be optimal.
    Keywords: Airport, Network, Transportation infrastructure, Urban growth
    JEL: H54 L93 R11 R42
    Date: 2020–12
  8. By: De Weerdt, Joachim (University of Antwerp); Christiaensen, Luc (World Bank); Kanbur, Ravi (Cornell University)
    Abstract: While city migrants see their welfare increase much more than those moving to towns, many more rural-urban migrants end up in towns. This phenomenon, documented in detail in Kagera, Tanzania, begs the question why migrants move to seemingly suboptimal destinations. Using an 18-year panel of individuals from this region and information on the possible destinations from the census, this study documents, through dyadic regressions and controlling for individual heterogeneity, how the deterrence of further distance to cities (compared to towns) largely trumps the attraction from their promise of greater wealth, making towns more appealing destinations. Education mitigates these effects (lesser deterrence from distance; greater attraction from wealth), while poverty reduces the attraction of wealth, consistent with the notion of urban sorting. With about two thirds of the rural population in low-income countries living within two hours from a town, these findings underscore the importance of vibrant towns for inclusive development.
    Keywords: Africa, internal migration, urbanization, secondary towns
    JEL: J61 O15 O55
    Date: 2021–03
  9. By: Patrícia C. Melo; Conceição Rego; Paulo Rui Anciães; Nuno Guiomar; José Muñoz-Rojas
    Abstract: Transport investment is frequently advocated as having the double virtue of achieving both economic growth and territorial cohesion. The idea is that improving the accessibility of lagging regions to cities, increases the attractiveness of those regions for people and businesses. However, transport is only one of the factors affecting local development and there is no consensus on its net effect on population growth. The large scale of public funding allocated to motorway investment since the country joined the European Union in 1986 makes Portugal an ideal case study to examine the potential effect of improved road accessibility on the development of lagging rural areas. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between rural population change and road accessibility to the urban hierarchy (i.e. cities of different sizes) between 1991 and 2011. Regression analyses show that rural population growth is negatively associated with road distance and road travel time to the urban hierarchy, notably to medium-sized cities (i.e. 20,000-99,999 inhabitants). This suggests that medium-size cities play an important role in supporting population growth in their rural hinterlands. Robustness tests confirmed the validity of these findings. There is no evidence of nonlinearities in the magnitude of the effect between accessible and remote rural areas, which may be partially related to the relatively small size of the country.
    Keywords: rural areas, population change, road accessibility, rural-urban linkages, spillover effects
    JEL: R11 R12 J21
    Date: 2021–03
  10. By: Todd Gardner
    Abstract: The Census Bureau was established as a permanent agency in 1902, as industrialization and urbanization were bringing about rapid changes in American society. The years following the establishment of a permanent Census Bureau saw the first attempts at devising statistical geography for tabulating statistics for large cities and their environs. These efforts faced several challenges owing to the variation in settlement patterns, political organization, and rates of growth across the United States. The 1910 census proved to be a watershed, as the Census Bureau offered a definition of urban places, established the first census tract boundaries for tabulating data within cities, and introduced the first standardized metropolitan area definition. It was not until the middle of the twentieth century, however, the Census Bureau in association with other statistical agencies had established a flexible standard metropolitan definition and a more consistent means of tabulating urban data. Since 1950, the rules for determining the cores and extent of metropolitan areas have been largely regarded as comparable. In the decades that followed, however, a number of rule changes were put into place that accounted for metropolitan complexity in differing ways, and these have been the cause of some confusion. Changes put into effect with the 2000 census represent a consensus of sorts for how to handle these issues.
    Keywords: statistical geography, metropolitan areas, urbanized areas, history
    Date: 2021–02
  11. By: Lucas Resende de Carvalho (CEDEPLAR/UFMG); Pedro Vasconcelos Maia do Amaral (CEDEPLAR/UFMG); Philipe Scherrer Mendes (CEDEPLAR/UFMG)
    Abstract: This working paper describes the methodological procedure for calculating distances and travel time between the 5,570 Brazilian municipalities using the APIs from Google Maps (Application Programming Interface) and, mainly, OpenStreet Maps. This is an update of the results of Carvalho et at. (2016). The data generated by this work provide relevant information that can be used by other academic works with the most diverse applications, such as, for example, applications in regional economics, dynamic allocation models, operational research, spatial econometrics or general equilibrium models. Therefore, the main objective of this work is to build a database that can be used in several applied studies.
    Keywords: traveling distance matrix; traveling time matrix; municipal districts
    JEL: R15 R19 R39
    Date: 2021–04

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