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Heterogeneous firms, agglomeration and economic geography: spatial selection and sorting

  • Richard E. Baldwin
  • Toshihiro Okubo

A Melitz-style model of monopolistic competition with heterogeneous firms is integrated into a simple new economic geography model to show that the standard assumption of identical firms is neither necessary nor innocuous. We show that relocating to the big region is most attractive for the most productive firms; this implies interesting results for empirical work and policy analysis. A `selection effect' means standard empirical measures overestimate agglomeration economies. A `sorting effect' means that a regional policy induces the highest productivity firms to move to the core and the lowest productivity firms to the periphery. We also show that heterogeneity dampens the home market effect. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jeg/lbi020
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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 6 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 323-346

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:6:y:2006:i:3:p:323-346
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  1. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-Francois Tissse, 1999. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-65, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Amiti, Mary & Pissarides, Christopher, 2002. "Trade and Industrial Location with Heterogenous Labour," CEPR Discussion Papers 3366, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1995. "Industrial location and public infrastructure," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 335-351, November.
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  6. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  7. Fujita, M. & Thisse, J.-F., . "Economics of agglomeration," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1250, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  9. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," Working Paper Series WP03-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  10. Nicola D. Coniglio, 2002. "Regional Intergration and Migration: An Economic Geography Model with Hetergenous Labour Force," Working Papers 2003_1, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  11. Luís M B Cabral & José Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
  12. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
  13. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  14. TABUCHI, Takatoshi & THISSE, Jacques-François, 2001. "Taste heterogeneity, labor mobility and economic geography," CORE Discussion Papers 2001044, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  15. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  16. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476.
  17. Vincent Dupont & Philippe Martin, 2006. "Subsidies to poor regions and inequalities: some unpleasant arithmetic," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 223-240, April.
  18. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Borjas, George J. & Bronars, Stephen G. & Trejo, Stephen J., 1992. "Self-selection and internal migration in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 159-185, September.
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