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Labor Differentiation and Agglomeration in General Equilibrium

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  • Berliant, Marcus
  • Zenou, Yves

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to explore the structure of cities as a function of labor differentiation, gains to trade, a fixed cost for constructing the transportation network, a variable cost of commodity transport, and the commuting costs of consumers. Firms use different types of labor to produce different outputs. Locations of all agents are endogenous as are prices and quantities. This is among the first papers to apply smooth economy techniques to urban economics. Existence of equilibrium and its determinacy properties depend crucially on the relative numbers of outputs, types of labor and firms. More differentiated labor implies more equilibria. We provide tight lower bounds on labor differentiation for existence of equilibrium. If these sufficient conditions are satisfied, then generically there is a continuum of equilibria for given parameter values. Finally, an equilibrium allocation is not necessarily Pareto optimal in this model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8840.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8840

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Keywords: city structure; general equilibrium; heterogeneous labour; transportation network;

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  1. Hamilton, Jonathan H & MacLeod, W Bentley & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1991. "Spatial Competition and the Core," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 925-37, August.
  2. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Berliant, Marcus & Fujita, Masahisa, 1992. "Alonso's Discrete Population Model of Land Use: Efficient Allocations and Competitive Equilibria," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 535-66, August.
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  6. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Berliant, Marcus & ten Raa, Thijs, 1994. "Regional science: The state of the art," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 631-647, October.
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  12. Berliant, Marcus & Kung, Fan-chin, 2009. "Bifurcations in regional migration dynamics," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 714-720, November.
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  17. Marcus Berliant & Hideo Konishi, 2000. "The Endogenous Formation of a City: Population Agglomeration and Marketplaces in a Location-Specific Production Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 451, Boston College Department of Economics.
  18. Berliant, Marcus & Kung, Fan-chin, 2006. "The indeterminacy of equilibrium city formation under monopolistic competition and increasing returns," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 101-133, November.
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  27. Papageorgiou, Yorgo Y & Smith, Terrence R, 1983. "Agglomeration as Local Instability of Spatially Uniform Steady-States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1109-19, July.
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  29. Starrett, David, 1978. "Market allocations of location choice in a model with free mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 21-37, February.
  30. Berliant, Marcus & Wang, Ping, 1993. "Endogenous formation of a city without agglomerative externalities or market imperfections : Marketplaces in a regional economy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 121-144, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Fan-chin Kung, 2004. "Genericity analysis of split bifurcations," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410008, EconWPA, revised 13 Oct 2004.
  2. Berliant, Marcus & Kung, Fan-chin, 2006. "The indeterminacy of equilibrium city formation under monopolistic competition and increasing returns," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 101-133, November.
  3. David E. Wildasin, 2000. "Labor-Market Integration, Investment in Risky Human Capital, and Fiscal Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 73-95, March.
  4. Fan-chin Kung, 2004. "Bifurcations in regional migration dynamics," Urban/Regional 0409008, EconWPA, revised 12 Sep 2004.

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