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A Proposal to Delineate Metropolitan Areas in Colombia


  • Gilles Duranton



This paper discusses the need to delineate metropolitan areas and current practice in several countries. It argues for the use of a simple algorithm that examines cross-municipality commuting patterns. Municipalities are aggregated iteratively provided they send a share of their commuters, above a given threshold, to the rest of a metropolitan area. The algorithm is implemented on Colombian data and its robustness is assessed. Finally, the properties of the resulting spatial labor market networks are explored.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilles Duranton, 2015. "A Proposal to Delineate Metropolitan Areas in Colombia," Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000090:013543

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    Cited by:

    1. Bosker, Maarten & Park, Jane & Roberts, Mark, 2018. "Definition Matters: Metropolitan Areas and Agglomeration Economies in a Large Developing Country," CEPR Discussion Papers 13359, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Moises Lenyn Obaco Alvarez & Vicente Royuela & Xavier Vítores, 2016. "Computing functional urban areas using a hierarchical travel time approach," ERSA conference papers ersa16p238, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Julio A. Berdegué & Tatiana Hiller & Juan Mauricio Ramírez & Santiago Satizábal & Isidro Soloaga & Juan Soto & Miguel Uribe & Olga Vargas, 2019. "Delineating functional territories from outer space," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 28(1), pages 1-24, December.

    More about this item


    Delineation of metropolitan areas; municipal aggregation; Colombian cities; Zipf’s Law.;

    JEL classification:

    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns


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