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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
  • GAIGNE, Carl
  • ROBERT-Nicoud, Frederic
  • THISSE, Jacques-François

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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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2004.12.002
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number -1857.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:-1857

Note: In : Journal of Public Economics, 90, 325-347, 2006
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1998. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 1903, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "Bones, Bombs and Break Points: The Geography of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 8517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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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