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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. 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).
  2. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Head, Charles Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2003. "The Empirics of Agglomeration and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3985, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  6. Ginsburgh, Victor & Papageorgiou, Yorgo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1985. "On existence and stability of spatial equilibria and steady-states," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 149-158, June.
  7. Ottaviano, G.I.P. & Thisse, J.-F., 1999. "Integration, Agglomeration and the Political Economics of Factor Mobility," Economics Working Papers eco99/27, European University Institute.
  8. 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.
  9. Keith Head & John Ries, 2001. "Increasing Returns versus National Product Differentiation as an Explanation for the Pattern of U.S.-Canada Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 858-876, September.
  10. J. Peter Neary, 2000. "Of Hype and Hyperbolas - Introducing the new Economic Geography," Working Papers 200019, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  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.
  12. 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.
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