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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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References

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  1. Mark Wright & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Urban Structure and Growth," 2004 Meeting Papers 33, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1994. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," NBER Working Papers 4715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Martin, Philippe, 1999. "Public policies, regional inequalities and growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 85-105, July.
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  6. J.V. Henderson, 1972. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," Working Papers 75, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. Henderson, Vernon, 1997. "Medium size cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 583-612, November.
  8. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, December.
  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.
  10. Xavier Gabaix & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2003. "The Evolution of City Size Distributions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  11. Paul Conway & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2006. "Product Market Regulation in the Non-Manufacturing Sectors of OECD Countries: Measurement and Highlights," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 530, OECD Publishing.
  12. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2003. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Staff Reports 169, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Suzanne Kok, 2013. "Returns to Communication in Specialised and Diversified US Cities," CPB Discussion Paper 236, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  2. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," CPB Discussion Paper 269, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  3. 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.
  4. Joseph Francois & Miriam Manchin, 2007. "Institutions, Infrastructure, and Trade," IIDE Discussion Papers 20070401, Institue for International and Development Economics.
  5. Anastasios Xepapadeas & Efthymia Kyriakopoulou, 2009. "Environmental Policy, Spatial Spillovers and the Emergence of Economic Agglomerations," Working Papers 2009.70, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. 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.
  7. Hong, Junjie & Fu, Shihe, 2008. "Information and communication technologies and geographic concentration of manufacturing industries: Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 7574, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Ibragimov, Marat & Ibragimov, Rustam & Kattuman, Paul, 2013. "Emerging markets and heavy tails," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2546-2559.
  9. Kok, Suzanne & ter Weel, Bas, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 8053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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