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Feeding the Cities and GHG Emissions: Beyond the Food Miles Approach


Author Info

  • Stéphane De Cara

    (UMR 210 Economie Publique, INRA-AgroParisTech.)

  • Anne Fournier

    (UMR 7235 EconomiX-CNRS, University of Paris Ouest)

  • Carl Gaigné

    (UMR 1302 SMART, INRA)


In this paper, we study the impact of urbanization on the location of agricultural production and the GHG emissions related to transportation. We develop an economic geography model where the location of agricultural activities and urban population are endogenous. We show that increasing yields induce the spatial concentration of agricultural production in the most urban-crowded region if collection costs are relatively low and in the smallest one otherwise. In addition, we find that inter-regional trade in agricultural commodities may be desirable to reduce GHG emissions, except when urban population is equally split between cities. Finally, we highlight that the market may induce an excess of agricultural agglomeration when yields are high and/or collection costs are low.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Chaire Economie du Climat in its series Working Papers with number 1109.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cec:wpaper:1109

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Related research

Keywords: Urbanization; Agricultural location; Transport; Greenhouse gas; Food miles;

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  1. Overman, Henry G. & Puga, Diego & Turner, Matthew A., 2008. "Decomposing the growth in residential land in the United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 487-497, September.
  2. Jean Cavailhes & Carl Gaigne & Jacques-Rrancois Thisse, 2006. "Trade and the structure of cities," KIER Working Papers, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research 623, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Jean Cavailhes & Carl Gaigné & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jean-François Thisse, 2012. "Trade and the structure of cities," Working Papers, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France 170328, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  4. Pretty, J.N. & Ball, A.S. & Lang, T. & Morison, J.I.L., 2005. "Farm costs and food miles: An assessment of the full cost of the UK weekly food basket," Food Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-19, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Nadezda Shcherbakova, 2012. "Globalisation Or Autonomy Of A Big City: Evidence From St. Petersburg," Romanian Journal of Regional Science, Romanian Regional Science Association, Romanian Regional Science Association, vol. 6(1), pages 53-70, JUNE.


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