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Opening the Black Box of Agglomeration Economies for Measuring Cities’ Competitiveness through International Firm Networks

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  • Céline Rozenblat

    (Institut de géographie, University of Lausanne, Dorigny, Lausanne, 1015, Switzerland, celine.rozenblat@unil.ch)

Abstract

The ability of cities to operate in global networks is usually measured according to their central position within multinational firm linkages. These measures are often used at the interurban level and neglect the intraurban processes of multiplier effects. The present study demonstrates that this affects the measurement of city centrality in business networks. Intraurban capabilities of interaction are considered in the measurement of interurban indices. The study is based on hypothetical networks at a micro level between long-range links and it mobilises processes as agglomeration economies, social capital developments and transaction costs. These processes at the intraurban level strengthen the efficiency of interurban linkages. It is suggested that the indices used to measure city centrality should include these local effects. Applied to a small sample of six firm networks, the methodology shows advantages for emerging large metropolises, but insufficient local effects for specialised clusters. The multilevel approach offers improved perspectives for the comparison of city centralities.

Suggested Citation

  • Céline Rozenblat, 2010. "Opening the Black Box of Agglomeration Economies for Measuring Cities’ Competitiveness through International Firm Networks," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 47(13), pages 2841-2865, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:47:y:2010:i:13:p:2841-2865
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    Cited by:

    1. Denise PUMAIN, 2012. "Une Théorie Géographique Pour La Loi De Zipf," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 36, pages 31-54.
    2. Charlie Joyez, 2017. "Network Structure of French Multinational Firms," Working Papers DT/2017/08, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    3. César Ducruet & Laurent Beauguitte, 2014. "Spatial Science and Network Science: Review and Outcomes of a Complex Relationship," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 297-316, December.
    4. William F. Lever, 2013. "Evaluating the urban milieu of an individual city," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Urban Economies, chapter 15, pages 372-395 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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