nep-geo New Economics Papers
on Economic Geography
Issue of 2023‒05‒01
six papers chosen by
Andreas Koch
Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung

  1. The role of localised, recombinant and exogenous technological change in European regions By T.E. Uberti; M.A. Maggioni; E. Marrocu; S. Usai
  2. The Spatial Distribution of Public Spending, Commuting, and Migration By Wookun Kim
  3. Inequality, poverty, deprivation and the uneven spread of COVID-19 in Europe By Burlina, Chiara; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
  4. Moving OpportunityLocal Connectivity and Spatial Inequality By Luke Heath Milsom
  5. Wealth and Property Taxation in the United States By Sacha Dray; Camille Landais; Stefanie Stantcheva
  6. Social Inclusion and Levels of Urbanisation: Does It Matter Where You Live? By Whelan, Adele; Devlin, Anne; McGuinness, Seamus

  1. By: T.E. Uberti; M.A. Maggioni; E. Marrocu; S. Usai
    Abstract: How do regions develop and evolve along their productive and technological path is a central question. Within an evolutionary perspective, a given region is likely to develop new technologies closer to its pre-existing specialization. We adopt the approach of Hidalgo et al. (2007) to map the regional European technology/knowledge space to investigate the pattern and the evolution of regional specialisation in the most innovative EU countries. These dynamics depend on the interaction of three factors - (i) localised technological change, (ii) endogenous processes of knowledge recombination, and (iii) exogenous technological paradigm shifts while accounting for spatial and technological spillovers. Our paper maps the technological trajectories of 198 EU regions over the period 1986-2010 by using data on 121 patent sectors at the NUTS2 level for the 11 most innovative European countries, plus Switzerland and Norway. The results show that regional technological specialization is mainly shaped by localised technological change and exogenous technological paradigm shifts, whereas recombinant innovation contributes to a lower extent and that these effects largely depends on the increasing, decreasing or stable regional dynamics.
    Keywords: Technology/knowledge space;spatial ordered models.;recombinant innovation;patent analysis;localised technology change;evolutionary economic geography;european regions
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Wookun Kim (Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: What are the aggregate welfare consequences of fiscal transfers across local governments that finance their spending? Answering these questions requires understanding of how much people value local public spending. I develop a spatial equilibrium framework in which people's simultaneous migration and commuting choices reveal preferences. I combine this framework with unique data from South Korea and tax reforms as a source of exogenous variation. The estimated mobility responses imply that workers value an additional dollar of per-capita local government spending by 75 cents of their after-tax income. The general-equilibrium counterfactuals imply that a fiscal arrangement with lower redistribution would result in aggregate gains. A key aspect of my analysis is that bilateral migration and commuting decisions are made jointly. Ignoring any of these margins biases the estimates of preferences for public goods, and of distance elasticities of migration or commuting which play a central role in quantitative spatial models.
    Keywords: local public finance, redistribution, gravity equation, migration, commuting, quan-titative spatial model
    JEL: H3 H77 J61 R12 R13 R5
  3. By: Burlina, Chiara; Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés
    Abstract: COVID-19 is mostly considered to have ravaged places with high levels of inequality and poverty. Yet, in the case of Europe, the evidence for this is limited. In this paper we address this gap in our knowledge by exploring how regional variations in poverty, wealth, and inter-personal inequality have shaped COVID-19-related excess mortality. The results show that during the first 18 months of the pandemic there is no link between inequality and poverty, on the one hand, and the lethality of the disease, on the other. The geographical concentration of wealthy people is related to more, not less, excess mortality.
    Keywords: Covid-19; pandemic; inequality; poverty; institutions; regions; Europe; coronavirus; T&F deal
    JEL: R58 D31
    Date: 2023–03–15
  4. By: Luke Heath Milsom
    Abstract: Spatial inequality within countries is a pervasive and persistent phenomenon. Howdoes the connectivity of place determine underlying spatial inequality of opportunity?To answer this question, I derive a sufficient statistic result linking local opportunity tomarket access terms, developing a framework consistent with a broad class of spatialgeneral equilibrium models. I empirically validate this result using a novel not-on-least-cost-path identification strategy and data from historical road maps in Benin, Cameroon, and Mali covering 1970 to 2020, that I digitize. Using these estimates toparameterize a structural case of the spatial model, I show that road building alters thespatial distribution of opportunity. By considering each possible road upgrade I showthat although some roads decrease the standard deviation of opportunity by more than2%, others increase inequality by a similar amount. By fixing the spatial distribution ofopportunity I show that to achieve similar reductions in inequality by moving people, aprohibitively large number would need to migrate from low- to high-opportunity areas— between 13% and 44% of the low-opportunity areas’ population. Policymakers alsoface an equity-efficiency trade-off: 4 out of the top 10 aggregate opportunity-increasingroads alsoincreasespatial inequality of opportunity.
    Keywords: Inequality, Opportunity, Roads, Spatial, Market Access
    Date: 2023–04
  5. By: Sacha Dray; Camille Landais; Stefanie Stantcheva
    Abstract: We study the history and geography of wealth accumulation in the US, using newly collected historical property tax records since the early 1800s. The US General Property Tax was a comprehensive tax on all types of property (real, personal, and financial), making it one of the first “wealth taxes.” Drawing on many historical records, we construct long-run, consistent, high-frequency wealth series at the county, state, and national levels. We first document the long-term evolution of household wealth in the US since the early 1800s. The US experienced extraordinary wealth accumulation after the Civil war and until the Great Depression. Second, we reveal that spatial inequality in the US has been large and highly persistent since the mid-1800s, driven mainly by Southern states, whose long-run divergence from the rest of the US predated the Civil War. Before the Civil war, enslaved people were assessed as personal property of the enslavers, representing almost one-half of total taxable property in Southern states. In addition to the moral and ethical issues involved, this system wrongly counted forced labor income as capital. The regional distribution of wealth and the effects of the Civil war appear very different if enslaved people are not included in the property measure. Third, we investigate the determinants of long-term wealth growth and capital accumulation. Among others, we find that counties with a higher share of enslaved property before the Civil War or higher levels of wealth inequality experienced lower subsequent long-run growth in property.
    JEL: E01 H20 H71 J15 N31 R12
    Date: 2023–03
  6. By: Whelan, Adele (ESRI, Dublin); Devlin, Anne (ESRI, Dublin); McGuinness, Seamus (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)
    Abstract: Are individuals living in distinct urban or rural settings more likely to experience barriers to social inclusion? If so, what are the nature of the barriers that they face? Using a unique administrative dataset for Ireland's dominant social inclusion programme, this paper examines the effect of location on the incidence of barriers to social inclusion. We find that some forms of social exclusion, particularly those which are related to economic exclusion, are more prevalent for those in independent urban towns compared to cities, commuter towns or rural areas, even after controlling for area-level deprivation. The results suggest that existing policy, which has traditionally focused on tackling social disadvantage in the most urban or rural areas, is not well targeted and would benefit from having a wider spatial focus.
    Keywords: social inclusion, urban disadvantage, community economic development, jobless household, lone parents, disability, homelessness, ethnic minority
    JEL: R10 R58 P25 J15
    Date: 2023–04

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