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The World Is Not Yet Flat: Transport Costs Matter!

Author

Listed:
  • Kristian Behrens

    (Université du Québec à Montréal, National Research University Higher School of Economics, CIRPÉE, and CEPR)

  • W. Mark Brown

    (Statistics Canada)

  • Théophile Bougna

    (Université du Québec à Montréal and World Bank)

Abstract

Using microlevel commodity flow data and microgeographic plant-level data, we construct industry-specific ad valorem trucking rate series and measures of geographic concentration to provide evidence on the relationship between transport costs and agglomeration. We find that low-transport-cost industries display significantly more geographic concentration in the cross-sectional dimension and that falling transport costs agglomerate industries in the panel dimension. The effects are large: the fall in trucking rates between 1992 and 2008 implied a 20% increase in geographic concentration on average, all else equal.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristian Behrens & W. Mark Brown & Théophile Bougna, 2018. "The World Is Not Yet Flat: Transport Costs Matter!," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 712-724, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:100:y:2018:i:4:p:712-724
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    Cited by:

    1. Branco, Catarina & Dohse, Dirk & dos Santos, João Pereira & Tavares, José, 2022. "Nobody's gonna slow me down? The effects of a transportation cost shock on firm performance and behavior," Ruhr Economic Papers 949, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Tomoya Mori, 2017. "Agglomeration," KIER Working Papers 960, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Arsène Aurelien NJAMEN KENGDO & Luc NEMBOT NDEFFO & Désiré AVOM, 2020. "The Effect of Foreign Debt on Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan African Sub-Regions," Economics and Applied Informatics, "Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 1, pages 109-114.
    4. Ekaterina Aleksandrova & Kristian Behrens & Maria Kuznetsova, 2020. "Manufacturing (co)agglomeration in a transition country: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 88-128, January.
    5. Kristian Behrens, 2016. "Agglomeration and clusters: Tools and insights from coagglomeration patterns," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 49(4), pages 1293-1339, November.
    6. Arsène Aurelien Njamen Kengdo & Tii N. Nchofoung & Philemon Bonaventure Ntang, 2020. "Effect of external debt on the level of infrastructure in Africa," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(4), pages 3349-3366.
    7. Behrens, Kristian & Sharunova, Vera, 2015. "Inter- and intra-firm linkages: Evidence from microgeographic location patterns," CEPR Discussion Papers 10921, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Lenaerts, Bert & Allroggen, Florian & Malina, Robert, 2021. "The economic impact of aviation: A review on the role of market access," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    9. Behrens, Kristian & Guillain, Rachel, 2017. "The determinants of coagglomeration: Evidence from functional employment patterns," CEPR Discussion Papers 11884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Robby K. Bemrose & W. Mark Brown & Jesse Tweedle, 2020. "Going the distance: Estimating the effect of provincial borders on trade when geography (and everything else) matters," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(3), pages 1098-1131, August.
    11. Armando J. Garcia Pires & José Pedro Pontes, 2021. "(De)Industrialization, Technology and Transportation," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 527-538, July.
    12. Kristian Behrens & Brahim Boualam & Julien Martin, 2016. "The resilience of the Canadian textile industries and clusters to shocks, 2001-2013," CIRANO Project Reports 2016rp-05, CIRANO.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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