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Dupuit, Spatial Economics and Optimal Resource Allocation: A French Tradition


  • Ekelund, Robert B, Jr
  • Shieh, Yeung Nan


This paper uncovers and develops nineteenth-century engineer Jules Dupuit's pivotal role in the independent French tradition in spatial economic analysis. Dupuit's invention of market area studies and (approximately first-degree) spatial price discrimination is illustrated with a simple mathematical model. Next, Dupuit's conception of optimal toll structures and their relation to efficient transport systems, regulation, and economic welfare is analyzed and shown to contain a remarkably modern case for transport deregulation. The paper also assesses Dupuit's role in the development of spatial economics and in the French contribution to the location paradigm in microeconomic analysis. Copyright 1986 by The Review of Economic Studies Limited.

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  • Ekelund, Robert B, Jr & Shieh, Yeung Nan, 1986. "Dupuit, Spatial Economics and Optimal Resource Allocation: A French Tradition," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(212), pages 483-496, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:53:y:1986:i:212:p:483-96

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    Cited by:

    1. Poinsot, Philippe, 2016. "Jules Dupuit And The Railroads: What Is The Role Of The State?," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(02), pages 189-209, June.
    2. Jacques-François Thisse & Suzanne Scotchmer, 1993. "Les implications de l'espace pour la concurrence," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 44(4), pages 653-670.

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