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A simple model of economic geography à la Helpman-Tabuchi

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  • MURATA, Yasudada
  • THISSE, Jacques-François

Abstract

This paper explores the interplay between commodities’ transportation costs and workers’ commuting costs within a general equilibrium framework `a la Dixit-Stiglitz. Workers are mobile and choose a region where to work as well as an intraurban location where to live. We show that a more integrated economy need not be more agglomerated. Instead, low transportation costs lead to the dispersion of economic activities. This is because workers are able to alleviate the burden of urban costs by being dispersed, while retaining a good access to all varieties. By contrast, low commuting costs foster the agglomeration of economic activities.

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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 2005017.

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Date of creation: 00 Feb 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2005017

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Keywords: commuting costs; urban costs; transportation costs; economic geography; agglomeration;

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  1. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2000. "Nursery Cities: Urban Diversity, Process Innovation, and the Life-Cycle of Products," CEPR Discussion Papers 2376, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse, 2002. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 409-436, May.
  3. Krugman, Paul & Elizondo, Raul Livas, 1996. "Trade policy and the Third World metropolis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 137-150, April.
  4. Alex Anas, 2004. "Vanishing cities: what does the new economic geography imply about the efficiency of urbanization?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 181-199, April.
  5. TABUCHI, Takahoshi & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Regional specialization, urban hierarchy, and commuting costs," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1967, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. 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.
  7. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2004. "The Structure of Simple 'New Economic Geography' Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 4326, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2006. "The 'genome' of NEG models with vertical linkages: a positive and normative synthesis," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 113-139, April.
  10. Tabuchi, Takatoshi, 1998. "Urban Agglomeration and Dispersion: A Synthesis of Alonso and Krugman," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 333-351, November.
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