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A new economic geography model of central places


  • Tabuchi, Takatoshi
  • Thisse, Jacques-François


One of the most striking feature of the space-economy is that cities form a hierarchical system exhibiting some regularity in terms of their size and the array of goods they supply. In order to show how such a hierarchical system may emerge, we consider a model with monopolistically competitive markets for the industrial sectors. As transport costs steadily decrease from large values, the urban system formed by several small cities entails structural changes in that some cities expand at the expense of the others by attracting a growing number of industries. Beyond some threshold, some cities disappear from the space-economy. Such an evolution of the urban system describes fairly well what has been observed in various historical periods that have experienced major changes in transportation technologies and/or political unification.

Suggested Citation

  • Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2011. "A new economic geography model of central places," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 240-252, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:69:y:2011:i:2:p:240-252

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ikeda, Kiyohiro & Murota, Kazuo & Akamatsu, Takashi & Kono, Tatsuhito & Takayama, Yuki, 2014. "Self-organization of hexagonal agglomeration patterns in new economic geography models," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 32-52.
    2. Stephan Brunow & Peter Nijkamp, 2012. "The Impact of a Culturally Diverse Workforce on Firms' Market Size: An Empirical Investigation on Germany," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-082/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Ikeda, Kiyohiro & Akamatsu, Takashi & Kono, Tatsuhito, 2012. "Spatial period-doubling agglomeration of a core–periphery model with a system of cities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 754-778.
    4. Wen-Tai Hsu & Tomoya Mori & Tony E. Smith, 2014. "Spatial Patterns and Size Distributions of Cities," KIER Working Papers 882, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Marcus Berliant & Tomoya Mori, 2017. "Beyond urban form: How Masahisa Fujita shapes us," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 13(1), pages 5-28, March.
    6. MORI Tomoya, 2017. "Evolution of Sizes and Industrial Structure of Cities in Japan from 1980 to 2010: Constant churning and persistent regularity," Discussion papers 17013, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. Tomoya Mori, 2017. "Central Place Analysis," KIER Working Papers 959, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    8. repec:bla:ijethy:v:13:y:2017:i:1:p:113-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. TAKATSUKA Hajime & Dao-Zhi ZENG & Laixun ZHAO, 2013. "Resource-based Regions, the Dutch Disease and City Development," Discussion papers 13001, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    10. Gordon Mulligan & Mark Partridge & John Carruthers, 2012. "Central place theory and its reemergence in regional science," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(2), pages 405-431, April.
    11. Hsu, Wen-Tai & Holmes, Thomas J. & Morgan, Frank, 2014. "Optimal city hierarchy: A dynamic programming approach to central place theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 245-273.
    12. Akamatsu, Takashi & Takayama, Yuki & Ikeda, Kiyohiro, 2012. "Spatial discounting, Fourier, and racetrack economy: A recipe for the analysis of spatial agglomeration models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 1729-1759.
    13. Xavier Timbeau, 2013. "Les bulles « robustes ». Pourquoi il faut construire des logements en région parisienne," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(2), pages 277-313.
    14. Kiyohiro Ikeda & Kazuo Murota & Takashi Akamatsu & Yuki Takayama, 2017. "Agglomeration patterns in a long narrow economy of a new economic geography model: Analogy to a racetrack economy," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 13(1), pages 113-145, March.
    15. Takashi Akamatsu & Tomoya Mori & Yuki Takayama, 2015. "Agglomerations in a multi-region economy: Poly-centric versus mono-centric patterns," KIER Working Papers 929, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    16. AGO Takanori & MORITA Tadashi & TABUCHI Takatoshi & YAMAMOTO Kazuhiro, 2015. "Elastic Labor Supply and Agglomeration," Discussion papers 15118, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    17. Tomoya Mori & Tony E. Smith, 2014. "A probabilistic modeling approach to the detection of industrial agglomerations," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 547-588.
    18. 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.
    19. Wieland, Thomas, 2014. "Räumliches Einkaufsverhalten und Standortpolitik im Einzelhandel unter Berücksichtigung von Agglomerationseffekten: Theoretische Erklärungsansätze, modellanalytische Zugänge und eine empirisch-ökonome," MPRA Paper 77163, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Desmet, Klaus & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2015. "The Geography of Development Within Countries," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    21. Nathaniel Baum-Snow & Loren Brandt & J. Vernon Henderson & Matthew A. Turner & Qinghua Zhang, 2016. "Highways, Market Access and Urban Growth in China," SERC Discussion Papers 0200, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    22. Diaz-Lanchas, Jorge & Llano, Carlos & Zofío, José Luis, 2013. "Trade margins, transport cost thresholds and market areas: Municipal freight flows and urban hierarchy," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2013/10, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).


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