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Increasing Returns and the Spatial Structure of French Wages

Listed author(s):
  • Sylvain Barde

Abstract New Economic Geography presents increasing returns to agglomeration as a central explanation for concentration of economic activity. The estimation of the size of these effects remains, however, a standing issue in the field. The focus of this study is to investigate the presence of increasing returns to agglomeration in the spatial structure of wages in France, using the methodology developed by Fingleton and initially used in the UK. The central finding is the statistically significant presence of such returns to density for France, as was the case for the UK in the original study. Compared to Fingleton's original work, it is shown that returns to density play a larger role in explaining French labour productivity, while commuting plays a smaller role than in the UK. Rendements croissants et structure spatiale des salaires français RÉSUMÉ La nouvelle économie géographique présente les ‘rendements croissants d'agglomération’ comme une variable explicative privilégiée de la concentration spatiale de l'activité économique. Un des enjeux empiriques de la nouvelle économie géographique reste cependant l'estimation de leur taille. Dans cette étude, nous cherchons à évaluer la présence de tels rendements croissants d'agglomération dans la structure spatiale des salaires français, en utilisant la méthodologie d'estimation développée pour le Royaume-Uni par Fingleton. Le résultat central de notre étude est la présence statistiquement significative de rendements croissants d'agglomération sur les zones d'emploi françaises, du même ordre de grandeur que ceux qui avaient été établis pour le Royaume-Uni dans l’étude originale. De plus, par rapport à l'analyse originale de Fingleton, nous montrons que les retours à la densité sont plus déterminants dans l'explication de la productivité du travail en France, tandis que les déplacements domicile—travail y jouent un rôle moins important qu'au Royaume-Uni. Rendimientos crecientes y la estructura espacial de los sueldos franceses RÉSUMÉN La nueva geografía económica presenta los rendimientos crecientes de aglomeración como una explicación central para la concentración de actividad económica. No obstante, la estimación de la magnitud de estos efectos continúa siendo una cuestión pendiente en el campo. El enfoque de este estudio es investigar la presencia de rendimientos crecientes de aglomeración en la estructura espacial de los sueldos en Francia, utilizando la metodología desarrollada por Fingleton y empleada inicialmente en el Reino Unido. El hallazgo central es la presencia estadísticamente significativa de tales rendimientos de densidad en Francia, como fue el caso del Reino Unido en el estudio original. En comparación con el trabajo original de Fingleton, se muestra que los rendimientos de densidad desempeñan un papel más importante en explicar la productividad laboral francesa, mientras que viajar largas distancias al trabajo diariamente tiene una función menor que en el Reino Unido.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Spatial Economic Analysis.

Volume (Year): 5 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 73-91

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Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:5:y:2010:i:1:p:73-91
DOI: 10.1080/17421770903511338
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