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A Centered Index of Spatial Concentration: Axiomatic Approach with an Application to Population and Capital Cities

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  • Campante, Filipe Robin
  • Do, Quoc-Anh

Abstract

We construct an axiomatic index of spatial concentration around a center or capital point of interest, a concept with wide applicability from urban economics, economic geography and trade, to political economy and industrial organization. We propose basic axioms (decomposability and monotonicity) and refinement axioms (order preservation, convexity, and local monotonicity) for how the index should respond to changes in the underlying distribution. We obtain a unique class of functions satisfying all these properties, defined over any n-dimensional Euclidian space: the sum of a decreasing, isoelastic function of individual distances to the capital point of interest, with specific boundaries for the elasticity coefficient that depend on n. We apply our index to measure the concentration of population around capital cities across countries and US states, and also in US metropolitan areas. We show its advantages over alternative measures, and explore its correlations with many economic and political variables of interest.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard Kennedy School of Government in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4481653.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4481653

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2004, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Campante, Filipe Robin & Chor, Davin & Do, Quoc-Anh, 2009. "Instability and the Incentives for Corruption," Scholarly Articles 4778510, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  3. C. A. Hidalgo & B. Klinger & A. -L. Barabasi & R. Hausmann, 2007. "The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations," Papers 0708.2090, arXiv.org.
  4. Campante, Filipe & Do, Quoc-Anh, 2007. "Inequality, Redistribution, and Population," Working Paper Series rwp07-046, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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Cited by:
  1. Quoc-Anh Do & Bang Dang Nguyen & Yen-Teik Lee & Kieu-Trang Nguyen, 2011. "Out of Sight, Out of Mind:The Value of Political Connections in Social Networks," Working Papers 19-2011, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  2. Campante, Filipe & Do, Quoc-Anh & Guimarães, Bernardo, 2013. "Isolated Capital Cities and Misgovernance: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 9284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Quoc-Anh Do & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest: the Role of Population Concentration," Working Papers 01-2009, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  4. Sebastian Galiani & Sukkoo Kim, 2008. "Political Centralization and Urban Primacy: Evidence from National and Provincial Capitals in the Americas," NBER Chapters, in: Understanding Long-Run Economic Growth: Geography, Institutions, and the Knowledge Economy, pages 121-153 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Filipe R Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2013. "Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability and Corruption Evidence from US States: Evidence from US States," Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers 2013-01, Sciences Po Departement of Economics.
  6. Filipe R. Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2012. "Isolated Capital Cities, Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from US States," Working Papers 21-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  7. Quoc-Anh Doy & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest : the Role of Population Concentration," Governance Working Papers 22076, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  8. Filipe Campante & Edward L. Glaeser, 2009. "Yet Another Tale of Two Cities: Buenos Aires and Chicago," NBER Working Papers 15104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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