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Feeding the cities and greenhouse gas emissions: a new economic geography approach

Author

Listed:
  • Stéphane De Cara

    () (UMR 210 Economie Publique, INRA-AgroParisTech.)

  • Anne Fournier

    (UMR 7235 EconomiX-CNRS, University of Paris Ouest)

  • Carl Gaigné

    (UMR 1302 SMART, INRA)

Abstract

In this paper, we argue ’buying local’ does not necessarily reduces transport-related greenhouse gas emissions even if transport and production technologies, as well as natural endowment are homogeneous in space. We develop a model of rural-urban systems where the spatial distribution of food production within and between regions is endogenously determined. We exhibit cases where locating a significant share of the food production in the least-urbanized regions results in lower transport-related emissions than in configurations where all regions are self-sufficient (’pure local-food’). In addition, the optimal spatial allocation of food production does not exclude the possibility that some regions should rely solely on local production, provided their urban population sizes are neither too large nor too small.

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane De Cara & Anne Fournier & Carl Gaigné, 2011. "Feeding the cities and greenhouse gas emissions: a new economic geography approach," Working Papers 1109, Chaire Economie du climat.
  • Handle: RePEc:cec:wpaper:1109
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    File URL: http://www.chaireeconomieduclimat.org/RePEc/cec/wpaper/11-07_WP_2011-09_De_Cara_Fournier_Gaigne.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cavailhes, Jean & Gaigne, Carl & Tabuchi, Takatoshi & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 2007. "Trade and the structure of cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 383-404, November.
    2. JunJie Wu & Monica Fisher & Unai Pascual, 2011. "Urbanization and the Viability of Local Agricultural Economies," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(1), pages 109-125.
    3. 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.
    4. Gaigné, Carl & Riou, Stéphane & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2012. "Are compact cities environmentally friendly?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 123-136.
    5. Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-François Thisse, 2006. "Regional Specialization, Urban Hierarchy, And Commuting Costs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1295-1317, November.
    6. Picard, Pierre M. & Zeng, Dao-Zhi, 2005. "Agricultural sector and industrial agglomeration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 75-106, June.
    7. Overman, Henry G. & Puga, Diego & Turner, Matthew A., 2008. "Decomposing the growth in residential land in the United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 487-497, September.
    8. Karine Daniel & Maureen Kilkenny, 2009. "Agricultural Subsidies and Rural Development," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 504-529.
    9. Roberta Sonnino & Terry Marsden, 2006. "Beyond the divide: rethinking relationships between alternative and conventional food networks in Europe," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 181-199, April.
    10. Gaigné, Carl & Riou, Stéphane & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2012. "Are compact cities environmentally friendly?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 123-136.
    11. Pretty, J.N. & Ball, A.S. & Lang, T. & Morison, J.I.L., 2005. "Farm costs and food miles: An assessment of the full cost of the UK weekly food basket," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-19, February.
    12. Carl Gaigné & Stéphane Riou & Jacques-François Thisse, 2012. "Are Compact Cities Environmentally (and Socially) Desirable ?," Cahiers de recherche CREATE 2012-4, CREATE.
    13. Xavier Vives, 1990. "Trade Association Disclosure Rules, Incentives to Share Information, and Welfare," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 409-430, Autumn.
    14. Gaigné, Carl & Riou, Stéphane & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2012. "Are compact cities environmentally friendly?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 123-136.
    15. Behrens, Kristian & Gaigné, Carl & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2009. "Industry location and welfare when transport costs are endogenous," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 195-208, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nadezda Shcherbakova, 2012. "Globalisation Or Autonomy Of A Big City: Evidence From St. Petersburg," Romanian Journal of Regional Science, Romanian Regional Science Association, vol. 6(1), pages 53-70, JUNE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agricultural location; Transport; Greenhouse gas emissions; Food miles; Local food;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • 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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