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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. Venables, Anthony J, 1993. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 802, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 2002. "Taste heterogeneity, labor mobility and economic geography," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 155-177, October.
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