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The 'genome' of NEG models with vertical linkages: a positive and normative synthesis

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  • Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano
  • Frédéric Robert-Nicoud

Abstract

This paper takes a broader look at how vertical linkages can trigger the spatial agglomeration of economic activity in a 'new economic geography' (NEG) set-up. First, it formally establishes the key positive features of a wide class of vertical-linkage models without resorting to numerical simulations. Second, it proposes an analytically solvable model of this class. Third, it addresses the important though neglected issue of whether in such models market forces yield too much or too little agglomeration. It shows that, in terms of positive implications, vertical-linkage models are identical to migration models once considered in their 'natural' state space. Important differences arise, however, in terms of normative implications in the absence of interregional transfers: in migration models agglomeration is necessarily bad for people stuck in lagging regions; in the vertical-linkage models it can be good for everybody as it delivers richer product variety. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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  • Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2006. "The 'genome' of NEG models with vertical linkages: a positive and normative synthesis," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 113-139, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:6:y:2006:i:2:p:113-139
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeg/lbh070
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    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • 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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