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articles: Capital cities: When do they stop growing?


  • Kristof Dascher

    () (Viadrina University, Postbox 1786, D-15207 Frankfurt , Germany)


This article is an attempt to explain a capital city's size. We assume away explanations such as exploitation of the capital city's hinterland. Instead, we emphasise the role of the localisation of government activity (i.e., administration or legislation) in the capital city for both the capital city economy and the hinterland economy. We assume in the model that larger regions benefit from agglomeration economies. We discuss the interaction of those agglomeration economies with an agglomeration diseconomy specific to the capital city. Under certain conditions, a stable population distribution between the capital city and its hinterland emerges where neither region captures the entire population. We also analyse the comparative statics properties of this stable equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristof Dascher, 2002. "articles: Capital cities: When do they stop growing?," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 81(1), pages 49-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:presci:v:81:y:2002:i:1:p:49-62
    Note: Received: 6 June 2000

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    Cited by:

    1. Kristian Behrens & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2009. "Krugman's "Papers in Regional Science": The 100 dollar bill on the sidewalk is gone and the 2008 Nobel Prize well-deserved," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(2), pages 467-489, June.
    2. Sidney C. Turner, 2014. "Public Sector Agglomeration in Developed Countries: The Role of Oversight," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 191-210, June.

    More about this item


    Capital city; public goods; urban growth;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock


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