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The Optimum Factory Town


  • Avinash Dixit


This paper studies the determination of the optimum size and arrangement of a monocentric city,. The major consideration is the trade-off between economies of scale in production in the central business district and the diseconomies of congestion in commuter transport. Planned optimum allocations and their decentralized implementation by suitable taxes and transfers are discussed. Rent and density profiles and land use are solved in closed form, and complete numerical solutions are obtained for particular parameter values. It is shown that negative exponential rent and density profiles may not be very good approximations, and that cities of more than a million inhabitants are difficult to justify in the framework considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Avinash Dixit, 1973. "The Optimum Factory Town," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(2), pages 637-654, Autumn.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:4:y:1973:i:autumn:p:637-654

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Westfield, Fred M, 1971. "Methodology of Evaluating Economic Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 211-217, May.
    2. MacAvoy, Paul W, 1971. "The Regulation-Induced Shortage of Natural Gas," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 167-199, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vincent Boitier, 2013. "Endogenous city size in urban search models: the case of high reallocation costs," ERSA conference papers ersa13p590, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Wheeler, Christopher H, 2001. "Search, Sorting, and Urban Agglomeration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 879-899, October.
    3. John M. Quigley, 1998. "Urban Diversity and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 127-138, Spring.
    4. Germà Bel, 2013. "Local government size and efficiency in capital-intensive services: what evidence is there of economies of scale, density and scope?," Chapters,in: The Challenge of Local Government Size, chapter 6, pages 148-170 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Peralta, Denis & Kim, Man-Keun, 2016. "Big-Box Retailers and Personal Income Growth in the U.S," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235216, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Sandler, Todd & Tschirhart, John T, 1980. "The Economic Theory of Clubs: An Evaluative Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 1481-1521, December.
    7. Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 2001. "Externalities and Cities," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 245-274, April.
    8. Germà Bel, 2013. "Local government size and efficiency in capital-intensive services: what evidence is there of economies of scale, density and scope?," Chapters,in: The Challenge of Local Government Size, chapter 6, pages 148-170 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Anas, Alex, 2012. "The optimal pricing, finance and supply of urban transportation in general equilibrium: A theoretical exposition," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 64-76.
    10. Ksenia Gonchar & Tatyana Ratnikova, 2012. "Explaining the Productivity Advantages of Manufacturing Firms in Russian Urban Agglomerations," HSE Working papers WP BRP 22/EC/2012, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    11. James PL Tan, 2016. "A Generalized Population Dynamics Model of a City and an Algorithm for Engineering Regime Shifts," Papers 1612.08338,
    12. Safirova, Elena, 2002. "Telecommuting, traffic congestion, and agglomeration: a general equilibrium model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 26-52, July.
    13. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2015. "Urban Land Use," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    14. Elena Avramenko & Sergey Kadochnikov & Tat'yana Lopatina & Irina Tyomkina, 2012. "Economic security of regions in the context of Russia's WTO accession," Economy of region, Centre for Economic Security, Institute of Economics of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 1(2), pages 186-196.

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