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The Effect of Information and Communication Technologies on Urban Structure

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  • Yannis M. Ioannides
  • Henry G. Overman
  • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
  • Kurt Schmidheiny

Abstract

The geographic concentration of economic activity occurs because transport costs for goods, people and ideas give individuals and organisations incentives to locate close to each other. Historically, all of these costs have been falling. Such changes could lead us to predict the death of distance. This paper is concerned with one aspect of this prediction: the impact that less costly communication and transmission of information might have on cities and the urban structure. We develop a model which suggests that improvements in ICT will increase the dispersion of economic activity across cities making city sizes more uniform. We test this prediction using cross country data and find empirical support for this conclusion.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0708.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0708

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  1. Xavier Gabaix & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2003. "The Evolution of City Size Distributions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Urban Structure and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 597-624.
  3. Kwok Tong Soo, 2004. "Zipf's law for cities: a cross country investigation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19947, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Paul Conway & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2006. "Product Market Regulation in the Non-Manufacturing Sectors of OECD Countries: Measurement and Highlights," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 530, OECD Publishing.
  5. Glaeser, E.L. & Ades, A.F., 1993. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1646, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2006. "Log(Rank-1/2): A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2106, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. 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.
  8. Rosen, Kenneth T. & Resnick, Mitchel, 1980. "The size distribution of cities: An examination of the Pareto law and primacy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 165-186, September.
  9. Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 2003. "Urban evolution in the USA," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 343-372, October.
  10. Diego Comin & Bart Hobijn, 2003. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Staff Reports 169, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  11. Henderson, J V, 1974. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 640-56, September.
  12. Martin, Philippe, 1999. "Public policies, regional inequalities and growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 85-105, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Bas, Maria & Ledezma, Ivan, 2007. "Market Access and the Evolution of within Plant Productivity in Chile," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6913, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Anastasios Xepapadeas & Efthymia Kyriakopoulou, . "Environmental Policy, Spatial Spillovers and the Emergence of Economic Agglomerations," DEOS Working Papers 1016, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  3. Suzanne Kok & Bas ter Weel, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," CPB Discussion Paper 269, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Joseph Francois & Miriam Manchin, 2007. "Institutions, Infrastructure and Trade," Development Working Papers 224, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  5. Fu, Shihe & Hong, Junjie, 2008. "Information and communication technologies and geographic concentration of manufacturing industries: evidence from China," MPRA Paper 7446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Kok, Suzanne & ter Weel, Bas, 2014. "Cities, Tasks and Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 8053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Suzanne Kok, 2013. "Returns to Communication in Specialised and Diversified US Cities," CPB Discussion Paper 236, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  8. Ibragimov, Marat & Ibragimov, Rustam & Kattuman, Paul, 2013. "Emerging markets and heavy tails," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2546-2559.
  9. Ioannides, Yannis & Skouras, Spyros, 2013. "US city size distribution: Robustly Pareto, but only in the tail," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 18-29.

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