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Agglomeration and welfare : the core-periphery model in the light of Bentham, Kaldor, and Rawls

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  • CHARLOT, Sylvie
  • GAIGNÉ, Carl
  • ROBERT-NICOUD, Frédéric
  • THISSE, Jacques

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to apply different welfare approaches to the canonical model developed by Krugman, with the aim of comparing the only two possible market outcomes, i.e. agglomeration and dispersion. More precisely, we use the Pareto criterion, the compensation criteria put forward by Kaldor, as well as the utilitarian and Rawlsian welfare functions. No clear answer emerges for the following two reasons: (i) except for small range of transport cost values, there is indetermination when compensation schemes are used and (ii) the best outcome heavily depends on societal values regarding inequalities across individuals. In particular, our analysis cautions against the use of utilitarian welfare functions as a foundation for regional policy recommendations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2003039.

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Date of creation: 00 Feb 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2003039

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Keywords: agglomeration; welfare; economic geography; compensation mechanism;

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  1. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2004. "The empirics of agglomeration and trade," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 59, pages 2609-2669 Elsevier.
  2. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2002. "Bones, Bombs, and Break Points: The Geography of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1269-1289, December.
  3. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Integration, agglomeration and the political economics of factor mobility," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1541, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. GINSBURGH, Victor & PAPAGEORGIOU, Yorgo & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "On existence and stability of spatial equilibria and steady-states," CORE Discussion Papers RP -651, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1999. "Agglomeration and trade revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 1999041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. J.Peter Neary, 2001. "Of Hype and Hyperbolas: Introducing the New Economic Geography," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 536-561, June.
  8. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  9. Robert-Nicoud, Frederic & Sbergami, Federica, 2004. "Home-market vs. vote-market effect: Location equilibrium in a probabilistic voting model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 155-179, February.
  10. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, December.
  11. Wildasin, David E., 1986. "Spatial variation of the marginal utility of income and unequal treatment of equals," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 125-129, January.
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