The Sizes and Types of Cities
AbstractThis paper presents a simple general equilibrium model of an economy where production and consumption occur in cities. The paper focuses on the different sizes and types of cities generated by market forces and whether these market forces generate optimally size cities. Before the model is presented, four complex questions are naively answered, revealing the most basic concepts underlying the paper and intellectual debts to the existing literature. First the model of a single city is presented. How factor rewards and cost of living vary with city size is analysed. Given these results, the paper presents an analysis of market equilibrium and optimum city size. Finally, equilibrium in an economy with multiple types of cities is examined. At the end of the paper, we discuss how natural resources and transportation costs in trade can be integrated into the model. Throughout the paper, it is assumed that capital and labour are scarce resources and perfectly mobile within the economy. The economy is situated on a flat featureless plain, large enough so that land per se is never a scarce resource (although location will be a scarce resource). This non-critical assumption implies the opportunity cost of land is zero. Lastly, there are no specified transport costs of inter-city trade.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 75.
Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Nov 1972
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James R. Melvin, 1969. "Increasing Returns to Scale as a Determinant of Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 2(3), pages 389-402, August.
- Horst Herberg & Murray C. Kemp, 1969. "Some Implications of Variable Returns to Scale," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 2(3), pages 403-415, August.
- Ronald W. Jones, 1965. "The Structure of Simple General Equilibrium Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 557.
- Chipman, John S, 1970. "External Economies of Scale and Competitive Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 347-85, August.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Babcock).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.