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Looking for Multiple Equilibria when Geography Matters: German City Growth and the WWII Shock

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  • Maarten Bosker
  • Steven Brakman
  • Harry Garretsen
  • Marc Schramm

Abstract

Many modern trade and growth models are characterized by multiple equilibria. In theory the analysis of multiple equilibria is possible, but in practice it is difficult to test for the presence of multiple equilibria. Based on the methodology developed by Davis and Weinstein (2004) for the case of Japanese cities and WWII, we look for multiple equilibria in a model of German city growth. The strategic bombing of Germany during WWII enables us to assess the empirical relevance of multiple equilibria in a model of city-growth. In doing so, and in addition to the Davis and Weinstein framework, we look at the spatial inter-dependencies between cities. The main findings are twofold. First, multiple equilibria seem to be present in German city growth. Our evidence supports a model with 2 stable equilibria. Second, the explicit inclusion of geography matters. Evidence for multiple equilibria is weaker when spatial interdependencies are not taken into account.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1553.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1553

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  1. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  2. David E. Weinstein & Donald R. Davis, 2004. "Search for Multiple Equilibria in Urban Industrial Structure," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 639, Econometric Society.
  3. Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Marc Schramm, 2002. "The Strategic Bombing of German Cities during World War II and its Impact on City Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 808, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Stephen Redding & Daniel Sturm, 2006. "The Costs of Remoteness: Evidence from German Division and Reunification," 2006 Meeting Papers 283, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Diego Puga, 1996. "The Rise and Fall of Regional Inequalities," CEP Discussion Papers dp0314, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Head, Charles Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2003. "The Empirics of Agglomeration and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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