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Agglomeration Economies, Regional Growth, and the Aggregate Production Function: A Caveat Emptor for Regional Scientists

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  • Jesus Felipe
  • John McCombie

Abstract

Over the last 20 years or so, mainstream economists have become more interested in spatial economics and have introduced largely neoclassical economic concepts and tools to explain phenomena that were previously the preserve of economic geographers. One of these concepts is the aggregate production function, which is also central to much of regional growth theory. However, the estimates obtained cannot be regarded as providing evidence of the underlying technological structure of the spatial economy, including the aggregate elasticity of substitution, the degree of returns to scale, or the rate of technical progress. RÉSUMÉ Depuis une vingtaine d'années, les économistes traditionnels font preuve d'un intérêt supérieur pour l’économie spatiale, et ont introduit des concepts et des outils en grande partie néoclassiques pour expliquer des phénomènes qui étaient, jusqu'alors, réservés aux spécialistes de l’économie géographique. Un de ces concepts est la fonction de production globale, qui est également au cæur même d'une grande partie de la théorie de croissance régionale. Toutefois, on ne peut considérer que les évaluations obtenues démontrent la structure technologique sous-jacente de l’économie spatiale, y compris l’élasticité globale de la substitution, le degré de rendement à l’échelle, ou le taux de progrès technique. EXTRACTO Durante los últimos veinte años, los economistas establecidos han desarrollado mayor interés en la economía espacial y han introducido conceptos y herramientas económicos mayormente neoclásicos para explicar fenómenos que anteriormente pertenecían al campo de los geógrafos económicos. Uno de estos conceptos es la función de producción agregada, que también es una parte central de mucha de la teoría del crecimiento regional. No obstante, no se puede considerar que las estimaciones obtenidas proporcionen evidencia de la estructura tecnológica subyacente de la economía espacial, incluyendo la elasticidad agregada de sustitución, el grado de retornos a escala, o el índice de progreso técnico. 聚集经济、区域经济&# x589E;长和总量生产函数 摘要: 近二十年来 , 主流经济学家对空间&# x7ECF;济学日渐热衷,引 165;了大量新古典主义ݨ 4;经 济学概念和工具来解&# x91CA;以前经济地理学家 75F;手无策的现象。这ө B;概念之一就是总量生 产函数,它对大部分&# x533A;域经济增长理论也 F88;重要。但是,得到ݨ 4;估计量并不能作为空 间经济学内部技术结&# x6784;的证据,包括替代 684;总估算、规模报酬ڽ 4;例或者技术进度速率 。

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/17421772.2012.722668
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Spatial Economic Analysis.

Volume (Year): 7 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 461-484

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Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:7:y:2012:i:4:p:461-484

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