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Towards applied geographical economics: modelling relative wage rates, incomes and prices for the regions of Great Britain

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  • Bernard Fingleton

Abstract

One of the key issues surrounding geographical economics is whether the theory can be made operational, so that proper investigations can be made of the basic theoretical assumptions and practical use can be made of the model's predictions at a detailed spatial level. In this paper the model formalized by Fujita et al. (1999) is developed in the context of 36 regions of Great Britain, enabling direct comparisons with observed wage rate data that are used to calibrate the model. Iceberg transport costs are in the form of an exponential function and a power function. For the range of parameters considered, the power function gives a better fit between model and data, suggesting scale economies in transportation. The paper shows that, in spite of the assumptions that have to be made, quite realistic distributions of relative wages, income and prices are attainable. However, caution is required in the interpretation of these simulations, which in no way provide proof of New Economic Geography theory, which clearly has limitations. Nonetheless it is hoped that the work reported in this paper does help to advance the progress of geographical economics theory towards empirical verification.

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  • Bernard Fingleton, 2005. "Towards applied geographical economics: modelling relative wage rates, incomes and prices for the regions of Great Britain," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(21), pages 2417-2428.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:21:p:2417-2428
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840500366221
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    1. repec:wsi:wschap:9789813209398_0006 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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, March.
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    4. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse, 2002. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 409-436, May.
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    6. Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano & Diego Puga, 1998. "Agglomeration in the Global Economy: A Survey of the 'New Economic Geography'," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(6), pages 707-731, August.
    7. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
    8. Bernard Fingleton, 2007. "Testing the ‘New Economic Geography’: A Comparative Analysis Based on EU Regional Data," Chapters,in: New Directions in Economic Geography, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Bernard Fingleton, 2006. "The new economic geography versus urban economics: an evaluation using local wage rates in Great Britain," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 501-530, July.
    10. Bernard Fingleton, 2003. "Increasing returns: evidence from local wage rates in Great Britain," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 716-739, October.
    11. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz & Luis A. Rivera-Batiz, 2018. "Increasing Returns, Monopolistic Competition, and Agglomeration Economies in Consumption and Production," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade, Capital Flows and Economic Development, chapter 6, pages 141-176 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    12. Patricia Rice & Anthony Venables, 2003. "Equilibrium Regional Disparities: Theory and British Evidence," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6-7), pages 675-686.
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    1. Bernard Fingleton & Simonetta Longhi, 2013. "The Effects Of Agglomeration On Wages: Evidence From The Micro-Level," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 443-463, August.
    2. Bernard Fingleton & Manfred Fischer, 2010. "Neoclassical theory versus new economic geography: competing explanations of cross-regional variation in economic development," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 44(3), pages 467-491, June.
    3. Gustavo Britto, 2008. "Industrial productivity growth and localisation in Brazil: a firm level analysis," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807211548190, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    4. Bosker,Maarten & Deichmann,Uwe & Roberts,Mark, 2015. "Hukou and highways : the impact of China?s spatial development policies on urbanization and regional inequality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7350, The World Bank.
    5. Roberts, Mark & Deichmann, Uwe & Fingleton, Bernard & Shi, Tuo, 2010. "On the road to prosperity ? The economic geography of China's national expressway network," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5479, The World Bank.
    6. Fingleton, Bernard, 2010. "Predicting the geography of house prices," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33507, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Rhydian James & Peter Midmore & Dennis Thomas, 2012. "Public Sector Size and Peripherality," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 447-460, December.
    8. Rafael Alvarado & Miguel Atienza, 2014. "The role of market access and human capital in regional wage disparities: Empirical evidence for Ecuador," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 50, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2014.
    9. Dusan Paredes, 2010. "The Role of Regional Price Index in New Economic Geography Models," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 07, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2010.
    10. Roberts, Mark & Deichmann, Uwe & Fingleton, Bernard & Shi, Tuo, 2012. "Evaluating China's road to prosperity: A new economic geography approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 580-594.

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