IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

A meta-analysis of estimates of urban agglomeration economies

  • Melo, Patricia C.
  • Graham, Daniel J.
  • Noland, Robert B.

Although the productivity gains of urban agglomeration economies are generally found to be positive, there is a great deal of variability in the magnitude of reported estimates. This paper undertakes a quantitative review of the empirical literature on agglomeration through a meta-analysis of 729 elasticities taken from 34 different studies. The objective is to make sense of the range of values for agglomeration economies found in the literature by identifying some key characteristics that affect the magnitude of the results obtained. Our analysis confirms that study characteristics do matter. In particular, we find that country specific effects, the industrial coverage, the specification of agglomeration economies, and the presence of controls for both unobserved cross-sectional heterogeneity and differences in time-variant labor quality can give rise to large differences in the results reported in the literature. In contrast, correcting for reverse causality of agglomeration does not seem to produce noticeable changes in the size of urban agglomeration estimates. We also test for publication bias and find some evidence supporting the presence of positive reporting bias. The findings support the intuition that agglomeration estimates for any particular empirical context may have little relevance elsewhere.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166-0462(08)00126-9
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 39 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 332-342

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:39:y:2009:i:3:p:332-342
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-43, May.
  2. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2004. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," Development Working Papers 186, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  3. T. D. Stanley & Stephen B. Jarrell, 2005. "Meta-Regression Analysis: A Quantitative Method of Literature Surveys," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 299-308, 07.
  4. Weichselbaumer, Doris & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "A Meta-Analysis of the International Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 906, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2002. "The Last Word on the Wage Curve?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-029/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 13 Mar 2003.
  6. T. D. Stanley, 2001. "Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  7. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1.
  8. Gaspar, Jess & Glaeser, Edward L., 1998. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 136-156, January.
  9. Anthony Briant & Pierre-Philippe Combes & Miren Lafourcade, 2008. "Dots to boxes: Do the size and shape of spatial units jeopardize economic geography estimations?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586029, HAL.
  10. Edward Glaeser & Janet Kohlhase, 2003. "Cities, regions and the decline of transport costs," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 83(1), pages 197-228, October.
  11. Tim Jeppesen & John A. List & Henk Folmer, 2002. "Environmental Regulations and New Plant Location Decisions: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 19-49.
  12. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2004. "A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-134/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  13. Ashenfelter, O. & Harmon, C. & Oosterbeek, H., 1999. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/ Earnings Relationship, with tests for Publication Bias," Papers 99/20, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  14. Florax, R.J.G.M., 2002. "Accounting for dependence among study results in Meta-Analysis: methodology and applications to the valuation and use of natural resources," Serie Research Memoranda 0005, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  15. Eberts, Randall W. & McMillen, Daniel P., 1999. "Agglomeration economies and urban public infrastructure," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 1455-1495 Elsevier.
  16. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  17. Pedro R. D. Bom & Jenny Ligthart, 2008. "How Productive is Public Capital? A Meta-Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 2206, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," 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 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  19. Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Evaluating Urban Transport Improvements: Cost Benefit Analysis in the Presence of Agglomeration and Income Taxation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0651, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  20. Nitsch, Volker, 2005. "Zipf zipped," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 86-100, January.
  21. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Florax, Raymond J.G.M., 2001. "Methodological pitfalls in meta-analysis: publication bias," Serie Research Memoranda 0028, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  23. T. D. Stanley, 2005. "Beyond Publication Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 309-345, 07.
  24. Robert Wieser, 2005. "Research And Development Productivity And Spillovers: Empirical Evidence At The Firm Level," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 587-621, 09.
  25. Kenneth Button, 1998. "original: Infrastructure investment, endogenous growth and economic convergence," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 32(1), pages 145-162.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:39:y:2009:i:3:p:332-342. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.