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Aging Nations And The Future Of Cities

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  • Carl Gaigné
  • Jacques-François Thisse

Abstract

We investigate whether an aging population may challenge the supremacy of large working cities. To this end, we develop an economic geography model with two types of individuals (workers and retirees) and two sectors (local services and manufacturing). Workers produce and consume; the elderly consume only. As a result, the mobility decision of workers is driven by both the wage gap and the cost-of-living gap, unlike the elderly who react to the differences in the cost of living only. We show that the return of pre-industrial urban system dominated by rentier cities does not seem to be on the agenda. Quite the opposite, the future of large working cities is still bright, the reason being that today's urban costs act as a strong force that prevents a large share of local services and manufacturing firms from following the rentiers in the elderly cities, while the supply of differentiated b2c services impede their complete separation. Copyright (c) 2009, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Gaigné & Jacques-François Thisse, 2009. "Aging Nations And The Future Of Cities," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 663-688.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:49:y:2009:i:4:p:663-688
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward L. Glaeser, Jed Kolko, and Albert Saiz, 2001. "Consumer city," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-50, January.
    2. Edward Glaeser & Janet Kohlhase, 2003. "Cities, regions and the decline of transport costs," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 83(1), pages 197-228, October.
    3. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-François Thisse, 2006. "Regional Specialization, Urban Hierarchy, And Commuting Costs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1295-1317, November.
    4. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2004. "Sprawl and urban growth," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 56, pages 2481-2527 Elsevier.
    5. 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, January.
    6. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    7. Ginsburgh, Victor & Papageorgiou, Yorgo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1985. "On existence and stability of spatial equilibria and steady-states," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 149-158, June.
    8. Stuart A. Gabriel & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 2004. "Quality of the Business Environment Versus Quality of Life: Do Firms and Households Like the Same Cities?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 438-444, February.
    9. Chen, Yong & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 2008. "Local amenities and life-cycle migration: Do people move for jobs or fun?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 519-537, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. K. Newbold, 2015. "Population aging: What role for regional science?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 55(2), pages 357-372, December.
    2. Grafeneder-Weissteiner, Theresa & Prettner, Klaus, 2013. "Agglomeration and demographic change," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 1-11.
    3. David Plane, 2012. "What about aging in regional science?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(2), pages 469-483, April.
    4. 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.
    5. Carl Gaigné & Jacques-François Thisse, 2013. "New Economic Geography and the City," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 13-02, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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