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Does the Structure of an Urban System Affect Income Disparities?


  • Hesham M. Abdel‐Rahman


In this paper I analyze the impact of basic training and specialized training on the distribution of skill, income disparity, social welfare, and on the structure of a decentralized specialized city system. This is done in a spatial general‐equilibrium model of a closed economy producing a single consumption good. The economy is populated with a continuum of unskilled labor with potential heterogeneous ability. The only consumption good can be produced by specialized technology or by general technology. Specialized technology requires specialized training that enables each worker to transform his potential ability into productivity. General technology requires basic training that enables all workers, independent of their potential ability, to produce the good at a constant marginal product. In this framework I show that such an equilibrium exists uniquely and is efficient. Then I characterize the conditions that lead to a different distribution of skills, a different system of cities, and generate income disparity endogenously. Thus, the paper presents a link among income disparities, social welfare, and the structure of an urban system that is new to this literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Hesham M. Abdel‐Rahman, 2002. "Does the Structure of an Urban System Affect Income Disparities?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 389-409, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:42:y:2002:i:2:p:389-409
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-9787.00264

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    Cited by:

    1. Rafael González‐Val, 2010. "The Evolution Of U.S. City Size Distribution From A Long‐Term Perspective (1900–2000)," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(5), pages 952-972, December.
    2. Vavrouskova, Lenka & Cechura, Lukas, 2012. "Wage Disparity and Inter-Occupation Specifics in Managing Czech Households’ Portfolios: What is the position of agricultural workers?," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 4(3), pages 1-13, September.
    3. Hesham ABDEL-RAHMAN, 2010. "Trade, Urban Systems, and Labor Markets," Regional and Urban Modeling 284100000, EcoMod.

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