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Trade Openness and City Size with Taste Heterogeneity


  • Mauricio Ramírez Grajeda
  • Willy Cortez Yactayo


Abstract This paper incorporates taste heterogeneity, as a dispersion force, into Fujita et al.'s New Economic Geography model. By doing so, agglomeration of both firms and workers is the result of market and non-market interactions. We analyze the outcomes of the original model vis-à-vis the outcomes of its extension. In particular, we assess the impact of international trade openness on cities' size. Two main general predictions arise from such a departure. First, the breakpoint with taste heterogeneity is higher than the breakpoint associated without it. Second, for low levels of trade openness urban agglomeration is attenuated with taste heterogeneity. Finally, based upon particular values of the parameters of the model, market outcomes converge to the optimal social welfare outcomes as taste heterogeneity increases. Ouverture commerciale et tailles des agglomérations avec hétérogénéité des gouts Résumé La présente communication incorpore l'hétérogénéité des goûts, en tant que force de dispersion, dans le nouveau modèle de Géographie économique de Fujita et al. De cette façon, l'agglomération d'entreprises et de travailleurs constitue l'aboutissement d'interactions commerciales et non commerciales. Nous analysons les résultats du modèle original en fonction de ceux de son extension. Nous évaluons, en particulier, l'impact de l'ouverture commerciale internationale sur la taille des villes. Cette nouvelle orientation donne lieu à deux prédictions générales principales. Premièrement, le seuil tenant compte de l'hétérogénéité des goûts est plus élevé que le seuil connexe sans cette dernière. Deuxièmement, en présence de bas niveaux d'ouverture commerciale, l'agglomération urbaine est atténuée par l'hétérogénéité des goûts. Enfin, en fonction de valeurs particulières des paramètres du modèle, les conséquences commerciales convergent vers les résultats optimaux de l'assistance sociale au fur et à mesure de l'augmentation de l'hétérogénéité des goûts. Apertura comercial y tamaño de ciudad con heterogeneidad en los gustos Extracto Este trabajo incorpora la heterogeneidad en los gustos, como una forma de dispersión, en el modelo de Nueva Geografía Económica de Fujita et al. Por este medio, la aglomeración de empresas y trabajadores es el resultado de interacciones de mercado y de no mercado. Analizamos los resultados del modelo original frente a los resultados de su extensión. En particular, evaluamos el impacto de la apertura del comercio internacional sobre el tamaño de las ciudades. Dos predicciones principales surgen de tal desviación. En primer lugar, el punto límite con heterogeneidad en los gustos es más alto que el punto límite asociado sin ella. En segundo lugar, en niveles bajos de apertura comercial, la aglomeración urbana es atenuada con la heterogeneidad en los gustos. Finalmente, basados en valores particulares de los parámetros del modelo, los resultados del mercado convergen con los resultados de bienestar social óptimos a medida que la heterogeneidad en los gustos aumenta.

Suggested Citation

  • Mauricio Ramírez Grajeda & Willy Cortez Yactayo, 2010. "Trade Openness and City Size with Taste Heterogeneity," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 263-275.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:5:y:2010:i:3:p:263-275
    DOI: 10.1080/17421772.2010.493952

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 6849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1856, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    More about this item


    Agglomeration economies; amenities; city size; taste heterogeneity; trade openness; R12; F15; F12;

    JEL classification:

    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation


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