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Industry location and welfare when transport costs are endogenous

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Author Info

  • Behrens, Kristian
  • Gaigné, Carl
  • Thisse, Jacques-François

Abstract

Although transport costs are a key-ingredient of New Economic Geography, the transport sector is usually abstracted away from the analysis. Put differently, freight rates are taken as parametric and are not set by the market. This paper studies the relationships between transport costs, industry location, and welfare when freight rates are set by profit-maximizing carriers. We show that the demand for transport services becomes less elastic as the degree of spatial agglomeration rises, which increases carriers' market power and allows them to charge higher markups. Once it is recognized that firms and consumers are free to relocate in response to changes in transport costs, an increasing number of carriers, falling fixed or marginal costs in transportation, or both, trigger a gradual agglomeration of industry. In the long run, this leads to consumer welfare losses (and to aggregate welfare losses under free entry), with more inequality across agents living in different regions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 65 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 195-208

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:65:y:2009:i:2:p:195-208

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

Related research

Keywords: Transport sector New economic geography Imperfect competition Trade;

References

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  1. Behrens, Kristian, 2005. "How endogenous asymmetries in interregional market access trigger regional divergence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 471-492, September.
  2. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1994. "How Wide is the Border?," NBER Working Papers 4829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Economic geography and international inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3714, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Puga, Diego, 1999. "The rise and fall of regional inequalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 303-334, February.
  5. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse, 2002. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 409-436, May.
  6. Holger C. Wolf, 2000. "Intranational Home Bias In Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 555-563, November.
  7. PICARD, Pierre & ZENG, Dao-Zhi, 2003. "Agricultural sector and industrial agglomeration," CORE Discussion Papers 2003022, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Winston, Clifford, 1993. "Economic Deregulation: Days of Reckoning for Microeconomists," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1263-89, September.
  9. Sjostrom William, 2004. "Ocean Shipping Cartels: A Survey," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-28, June.
  10. Ottaviano, G.I.P. & Thisse, J.-F., 1999. "Integration, Agglomeration and the Political Economics of Factor Mobility," Economics Working Papers eco99/27, European University Institute.
  11. Teixeira, Antonio Carlos, 2006. "Transport policies in light of the new economic geography: The Portuguese experience," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 450-466, July.
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  13. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  14. BEHRENS, Kristian & GAIGNE, Carl & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I.P. & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "How density economies in international transportation link the internal geography of trading partners," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1870, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  15. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2005. "Transport costs: measures, determinants, and regional policy implications for France," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 319-349, June.
  16. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "The Empirics of Agglomeration and Trade," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/10191, Sciences Po.
  17. Bonanno, Giacomo, 1990. " General Equilibrium Theory with Imperfect Competition," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 297-328.
  18. Takahashi, Takaaki, 2006. "Economic geography and endogenous determination of transport technology," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 498-518, November.
  19. Blair, Roger D & Kaserman, David L & McClave, James T, 1986. "Motor Carrier Deregulation: The Florida Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 159-64, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Meunier, David & Quinet, Emile, 2012. "Applications of transport economics and imperfect competition," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 19-29.
  2. Zeng, Dao-Zhi & Zhao, Laixun, 2010. "Globalization, interregional and international inequalities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 352-361, May.
  3. Erhan Demirel & Jos van Ommeren & Piet Rietveld, 2007. "A Matching Model for the Backhaul Problem," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-083/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 19 Dec 2007.
  4. Xu, Hangtian & Nakajima, Kentaro, 2013. "Highways and Development in the Peripheral Regions of China," PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series 33, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  5. Gokan, Toshitaka, 2013. "The location of manufacturing firms and imperfect information in transport market," IDE Discussion Papers 398, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).

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