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The effect of information and communication technologies on urban structure

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  • Yannis M. Ioannides
  • Henry G. Overman
  • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
  • Kurt Schmidheiny

Abstract

"This paper examines the effects of information and communication technologies (ICT) on urban structure. Improvements in ICT may lead to changes in urban structure, for example, because they reduce the costs of communicating ideas from a distance. Hence, they may weaken local agglomeration forces and thus provide incentives for economic activity to relocate to smaller urban centres. We use international data on city size distributions in different countries and on country-level characteristics to test the effect of ICT. We find robust evidence that increases in the number of telephone lines per capita encourage the spatial dispersion of population in that they lead to a more concentrated distribution of city sizes. So far the evidence on internet usage is more speculative, although it goes in the same direction. We argue that the internet is likely to have similar, or even larger, effects on urban structures once its use has spread more thoroughly through different economies." Copyright (c) CEPR, CES, MSH, 2008.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
Issue (Month): (04)
Pages: 201-242

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:23:y:2008:i::p:201-242

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  1. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  6. Comin, D. & Hobijn, B., 2004. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 39-83, January.
  7. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2006. "Urban structure and growth," Staff Report 381, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Soo, Kwok Tong, 2005. "Zipf's Law for cities: a cross-country investigation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 239-263, May.
  9. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2006. "Log(Rank-1/2): A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2106, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  13. Gabaix, Xavier & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "The evolution of city size distributions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 53, pages 2341-2378 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Francois, Joseph & Manchin, Miriam, 2013. "Institutions, Infrastructure, and Trade," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 165-175.
  2. Kok, Suzanne & ter Weel, Bas, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 8053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Fu, Shihe & Hong, Junjie, 2008. "Information and communication technologies and geographic concentration of manufacturing industries: evidence from China," MPRA Paper 7446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," CPB Discussion Paper 269, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  5. Efthymia Kyriakopoulou & Anastasios Xepapadeas, . "Environmental Policy, Spatial Spillovers and the Emergence of Economic Agglomerations," DEOS Working Papers 1018, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  6. Ioannides, Yannis & Skouras, Spyros, 2013. "US city size distribution: Robustly Pareto, but only in the tail," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 18-29.
  7. Ibragimov, Marat & Ibragimov, Rustam & Kattuman, Paul, 2013. "Emerging markets and heavy tails," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2546-2559.
  8. Suzanne Kok, 2013. "Returns to Communication in Specialised and Diversified US Cities," CPB Discussion Paper 236, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  9. Bas, Maria & Ledezma, Ivan, 2007. "Market Access and the Evolution of within Plant Productivity in Chile," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6913, Paris Dauphine University.

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