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The contribution of economic geography to GDP per capita

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  • Hervé Boulhol
  • Alain de Serres
  • Margit Molnár

Abstract

This article examines how much of the dispersion in economic performance across OECD countries can be accounted for by the proximity to areas of dense economic activity. To do so, various indicators of distance to markets and transportation costs are added as determinants in an augmented Solow model, which serves as a benchmark. Measures of distance to markets are found to have a statistically significant effect on GDP per capita. And the estimated economic impact is far from negligible. The reduced access to markets relative to the OECD average could contribute negatively to GDP per capita by as much as 11% in Australia and New Zealand. Conversely, a favourable impact of around 6-7% of GDP is found in the case of two centrally-located countries: Belgium and the Netherlands. The paper provides also some tentative evidence that spending on R&D and human capital might have a stronger effect on GDP per capita in countries with a higher degree of urban concentration.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eco_studies-v2008-art9-en
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by OECD Publishing in its journal OECD Journal: Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 2008 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-37

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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecokac:5kz9l4rz66ls

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Cited by:
  1. J.A. Bikker, 2009. "An extended gravity model with substitution applied to international trade," Working Papers 09-17, Utrecht School of Economics.
  2. Rudiger Ahrend, 2008. "Understanding Russian Regions' Economic Performance during Periods of Decline and Growth: An Extreme-bound Analysis Approach," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 644, OECD Publishing.
  3. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances: can Structural Reforms Help to Reduce Them?," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2011(1), pages 1-44.
  4. Clovis Kerdrain & Isabell Koske & Isabelle Wanner, 2010. "The Impact of Structural Policies on Saving, Investment and Current Accounts," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 815, OECD Publishing.
  5. Christophe Gouel & Nina Kousnetzoff & Hassan Salman, 2008. "Commerce international et transports : tendances du passe et prospective 2020," Working Papers 2008-28, CEPII research center.
  6. Sebastian Barnes & Romain Bouis & Philippe Briard & Sean Dougherty & Mehmet Eris, 2013. "The GDP Impact of Reform: A Simple Simulation Framework," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 834, OECD Publishing.
  7. Andrea Elekes, 2011. "Cohesion and/or Growth?," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 56(1), pages 108-124.
  8. Romain Bouis & Romain Duval & Fabrice Murtin, 2011. "The Policy and Institutional Drivers of Economic Growth Across OECD and Non-OECD Economies: New Evidence from Growth Regressions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 843, OECD Publishing.

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