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Integration, agglomeration and welfare

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  • Pflüger, Michael
  • Südekum, Jens

Abstract

This paper studies the social desirability of agglomeration, and the efficiency arguments for policy intervention in a simple, analytically tractable new economic geography model. The location pattern emerging as market equilibrium is 'bubble-shaped', i.e. it features dispersion both at high and low trade costs and stable equilibria with partial and full agglomeration for intermediate levels of trade costs. We show that the market equilibrium is characterized by over-agglomeration for high trade costs and under-agglomeration for low trade costs, and we work out analytically that a net pecuniary externality is the underlying cause of this market failure. One particularly noteworthy result is that the net pecuniary externality is positive at high levels of trade freeness. However, there is no market under-agglomeration unless this positive net pecuniary externality interacts with an additional congestion force originating in the (per se efficient) competitive housing market.

Suggested Citation

  • Pflüger, Michael & Südekum, Jens, 2008. "Integration, agglomeration and welfare," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 544-566, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:63:y:2008:i:2:p:544-566
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    Cited by:

    1. Arcalean, Calin & Glomm, Gerhard & Schiopu, Ioana, 2012. "Growth effects of spatial redistribution policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 988-1008.
    2. Fabien Candau, 2011. "Is Agglomeration Desirable?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 101-102, pages 203-227.
    3. Akamatsu, Takashi & Mori, Tomoya & Osawa, Minoru & Takayama, Yuki, 2017. "Spatial scale of agglomeration and dispersion: Theoretical foundations and empirical implications," MPRA Paper 80689, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Broll, Udo & Roldán-Ponce, Antonio & Wahl, Jack E., 2007. "Barriers to Diversification and Regional Allocation of Capital," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 14/07, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    5. Georg Hirte & Christian Leßmann, 2014. "Trade, Integration, and Interregional Inequality," CESifo Working Paper Series 4799, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Broll, Udo & Roldán-Ponce, Antonio & Wahl, Jack E., 2012. "Regional investment under uncertain costs of location," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 01/12, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    7. Jun Oshiro, 2011. "Tariff Policy and Transport Costs under Reciprocal Dumping," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 11-17, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    8. Matthias Wrede, 2013. "Heterogeneous skills and homogeneous land: segmentation and agglomeration," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 767-798, September.
    9. Schaeffer, Y. & Charlot, S., 2012. "Inequality aversion, income redistribution and economic geography," Working Papers 201204, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    10. Rainald Borck & Hyun‐Ju Koh & Michael Pflüger, 2012. "Inefficient Lock‐In And Subsidy Competition," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1179-1204, November.
    11. Georg Hirte & Christian Lessmann, 2014. "Trade and Interregional Inequality," ERSA conference papers ersa14p304, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Theresa Grafeneder-Weissteiner & Ingrid Kubin & Klaus Prettner & Alexia Prskawetz & Stefan Wrzaczek, 2012. "Coping with Inefficiencies in a New Economic Geography Model," VID Working Papers 1204, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
    13. Hirte, Georg & Stephan, Andreas, 2014. "Regionale Beschäftigungswirkungen von öffentlichen Investitionen in Straßen- und Schieneninfrastruktur," Discussion Papers 2/2014, Technische Universität Dresden, "Friedrich List" Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, Institute of Transport and Economics.
    14. G. Rayp & B. Vanbergen, 2009. "Are social welfare states facing a race to the bottom? A theoretical perspective," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/572, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    15. Broll, Udo & Roldán-Ponce, Antonio & Wahl, Jack E., 2010. "Spatial allocation of capital: The role of risk preferences," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 03/10, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    16. Kurata, Hiroshi & Nomura, Ryoichi & Suga, Nobuhito, 2011. "A Chamberlinian Agglomeration Model with External Economies of Scale," Discussion paper series. A 242, Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration, Hokkaido University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic geography Optimal agglomeration Pecuniary externalities Welfare Regional policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • R22 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Other Demand
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General

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